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List of Articles by Eric Armit



The Past Week in Action 27 February 2018 - Part I

By Eric Armit
PhilBoxing.com
28 Feb 2018


Diaz vs Terrazas.
Highlights:
-Srisaket retains the WBC super fly title with majority decision over Juan Estrada
-Donnie Nietes proves too good for Argentinian Juan Reveco and halts him to keep his IBF fly title
-Artem Dalakian wins the vacant WBA fly title with win over Brian Viloria
-McWilliams Arroyo scores upset victory over Carlos Cuadras
-Callum Smith moves on to the super middle final in the WBSS tournament with victory over substitute Nieky Holzken
-Joseph Diaz goes to 26-0 with kayo of former WBC champion Victor Terrazas
-Anthony Yarde destroys game Tony Averlant
- Jason Moloney wins the vacant Commonwealth title to join twin brother as a Commonwealth title holder


February 22

Indio CA, USA: Feather: Joseph Diaz (26-0) W KO 3 Victor Terrazas (38-5-2). Super Light: Vergil Ortiz (9-0) W KO 3 Jesus Alvarez (15-4). Light: Rey Perez (22-9) W PTS 8 Christian Gonzalez (18-2).
Diaz vs. Terrazas
Diaz takes less than three rounds to brush aside former WBC super bantam champion Terrazas. After an early session of probing with jabs southpaw Diaz staggers Terrazas with a right followed by a left. Terrazas tries to move inside but Diaz sinks home a short left to the body and Terrazas goes down on one knee. He is clearly hurt but beats the count but when he tries to move inside a left to the head puts him down again. He is up at eight and with only 30 seconds to go to the bell he throws a series of rights and Diaz is unable to nail him before the bell. Terrazas stays busy in the second. Diaz goes for the body with left hooks and clips Terrazas with lefts to the head but Terrazas gets through the round without too much grief. The veteran marches forward throughout the third coming in low trying to minimise the danger from Diaz’s body punches but late in the round Diaz hammers home a left to the body and Terrazas goes down on his knees and is counted out. The 25-year-old “JoJo” a member of the US team at the 2012 Olympics, retains his WBC NABF and WBO NABO titles and now has 14 wins by KO/TKO. He is No 1 with the WBC and is calling out Gary Russell and should get his title shot this year. Terrazas, 35, took three years out after losing his WBC title to Leo Santa Cruz in 2013 and when he returned in 2016 was knocked out by unbeaten Eduardo Hernandez and is now seriously considering retirement.
Ortiz vs. Alvarez
Ortiz gives another display of his power as he knocks out Alvarez in three rounds, Ortiz already has six first round wins and it looked as though he might make it seven when he floored Alvarez with a right. Alvarez made it to his feet and managed to last to the bell. Ortiz continued to hand out punishment in the second. He used a strong jab to open the door for right uppercuts and left hooks with Alvarez stuck on the back foot. Alvarez tried to get a toe-hold in the fight early in the third but late in the round Ortiz drove him to the ropes with a right and then unloaded with head punches until the referee stepped in and halted the fight. Texan Ortiz, 19, wins the vacant NABF junior title, He has won all nine of his fights by KO/TKO but the opposition so far has been modest at best. Mexican Alvarez has now lost four on the bounce by TKO/TKO all ending inside four rounds.
Perez vs. Gonzalez
Despite some poor recent form Perez shows he is not yet ready to roll over for every new young prospect as he outboxes and outscores young Gonzalez. Perez was taking the fight to Gonzalez from the start and worked hard for eighth rounds never letting Gonzalez into the fight. The experienced Filipino worked his jab hard and found gaps for his rights and a cut caused by a clash of heads did not help Gonzalez. Perez won clearly on all three cards. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 all for Perez. The former Philippines super fly champion was 4-7 in his last 11 fights in tough matches mainly against world rated fighters or hot prospects, The 22-year-old Gonzalez was 16-0 at the start of his career before being knocked out on two rounds by Filipino Romero Duro in March last year. He had recorded a win over former WBC champion Gamaliel Diaz in October so a big setback for him here.

February 23

Entre Rios, Argentina: Super Feather: Raul Centeno (22-4-1) W PTS 10 Ezequiel Fernandez (28-2-1). Centeno was a slight outsider in this one but he came through with a deserved win. In the fourth Centeno ignored the instruction to step back at the break call and instead landed a body punch that put Fernandez down. The referee counted over Fernandez and after Fernandez made it to his feet he then deducted a point from Centeno for hitting on the break so cancelling out any advantage from the knockdown. Apart from that moment of controversy Centeno controlled the action and was a good winner. Scores 97-91, 97-92 and 95-94 for Centeno. He wins the interim WBO Latino title. Former undefeated Argentinian champion Fernandez was 11-0-1 in his last 12 fights.

Rome, Italy: Middle: Kamil Szeremeta (17-0) W TKO 2 Alessandro Goddi (33-3-1). Light: Emiliano Marsili (36-0-1 W TEC DEC 7 Victor Betancourt (22-13,1ND). Super Middle: Andrea Di Luisa (19-4) W PTS 6 Djordje Markovic (3-7-1)> Feather: Carmine Tommasone (18-0) W PTS 6 Milan Savic (4-26-2).Super Feather: Devis Boschiero (45-5-1) W PTS 6 Edwin Tellez (12-37-5).
Szeremeta vs. Goddi
Pole Szeremeta springs big surprise as he shows unexpected power and halts Goddi in two rounds to win the vacant European title. Even in a close first round Szeremeta was finding gaps for some choice counters on the more aggressive Goddi. In the second Szeremeta took advantage of Goddi holding his left too low and landed a right to the head that sent Goddi down. The Italian made it to his feet but was still shaky and another put him down for the second time. Again he made it to the vertical but as the referee was assessing whether Goddi could continue the towel was flying in from his corner. The 28-year-old new champion had only two wins by KO/TKO prior to this fight and Goddi had never been stopped so not the expected outcome.”Highlander” Goddi, was having his second shot at the European title and had lost only one of his last 24 fights
Marsili vs. Betancourt
Oldie Marsili wins technical decision over Mexican Betancourt for something described as the WBC Peace title. The Italian southpaw had much better skills than Betancourt who was crude but strong. In the opening round a clash of heads saw Marsili cut under his right eyebrow and in accordance with the WBC rule the referee deducted a point from Betancourt. The pattern of the fight did not vary much. Betancourt was barrelling forward with Marsili slotting home jabs and counters. The Italian was picking up the points with his greater accuracy but Betancourt was dangerous with hooks. Marsili decided to stand and trade in the seventh but his cut had worsened and the referee asked the ringside physician to examine the cut. The physician recommend the fight be stopped so it went to the cards. Scores 70-62, 69-64 and 68-64 for Marsili. The 41-year-old Marsili has been a pro for 15 years and has collected the IBO, European and WBC Silver titles with wins over Derry Mathews, Luca Giacon and Gamaliel Diaz but is unlikely to get a world title shot now. Betancourt’s record mainly built against low level opposition.
Di Luisa vs. Markovic
Di Luisa gets win but makes hard work of beating the inexperienced Serb. All four of Di Luisa’s losses have come inside the distance and he was rocked badly early and struggled after that. He probably just did enough to win but it was a poor performance by the local fighter. The former Italian and EU title holder lost big fights to Lucien Bute and George Groves and is really just domestic level now. Markovic keeps his slate clean of any inside the distance losses.
Tommasone vs. Savic
With a big fight coming up in May Tommasone gets in some ring time in unanimous decision over Serb Savic. It was a comfortable six rounds for the Italian to prepare for his fight with Pole Kamil Laszczyk for the vacant EU title as he tries to get revenge for Goddi’s loss. The 33-year-old Italian, a former undefeated EU champion, took advantage of the AIBA decision to allow pros in the Olympics and competed in Rio but did not medal. Savic now 1-13-1 in his last 15 fights.
Boschiero vs. Tellez
Routine pay day for former world title challenger Boschiero who could also be challenging for the EU title in May. Rather than simply outboxing the limited Nicaraguan Tellez Boschiero chose to fight Tellez on the inside making for a more entertaining and competitive fight. Boschiero’s body punching and wicked uppercuts kept him on top as he took every round. The 36-year-old Italian lost a split decision to Takahiro Ao for the WBC title in 2011 but subsequent defeats against Romain Jacob, Stephen Smith and Mario Barrios have reduced his options and he is now waiting for the date for a challenge against Frenchman Farouk Kourbanov for the EU title. Tellez with typical figures for one of the squad of Barcelona-base4d Nicaraguans at 1-14 in his last 15 fights

Gurgliasco. Italy: Feather: Francesco Grandelli (91-1) W PTS 10 Emiliano Salvini (18-26-2). Grandelli wins the vacant Italian title with unanimous decision over old warrior Salvini. The veteran fought hard over the early rounds forcing the fight with Grandelli boxing on the back foot. The fast pace eventually told on Salvini and by the seventh Grandelli was in control and as he stepped up his attacks Salvini was the one under pressure as Grandelli wrapped up the victory. Scores 99-91, 99-92 and 98-93 for 23-year-old Grandelli who is 6-0-1 in his last 7 outings. The 39-year-old Salvini a former Italian super bantam champion is now 2-12-1 in fights for various Italian and EU titles.

Chinandega, Nicaragua: Bantam: Keyvin Lara (24-2-1) W PTS 6 Bryan Perez (11-5-1,1ND). Super Fly: Alex Taylor (17-21-2) W PTS 6 Elton Lara (16-3,2ND).
Lara vs. Perez
Big brother Keyvin gets a win on a mixed night for the Lara family in their home town. Keyvin was a heavy favourite to overcome fellow Nicaraguan Perez. Lara took the first two rounds with some good work countering the attacks of Perez but Perez got through with some heavy punches in the third. Lara swept the last three rounds with Perez flirting with disqualification with some careless head work as Lara stood and traded to the bell. Scores 59-55 for Lara. The WBO No 6 flyweight makes it five wins in a row since his eleven round kayo loss against Kazuto Ioka for the secondary WBA title in 2016. Perez, 21, just lacked the skill and experience to threaten Lara.
Taylor vs. Lara
Taylor gats a needed win as he upsets younger Lara brother Elton. Taylor was 2-7 going in but upset the odds. Lara had lost only one of his last fourteen fights but it was not his night.

Vanderbijlpark, South Africa: Heavy: Ruann Visser (13-1,1ND) W KO 7 Osborne Machimana (23-11-2). Visser wears down and kayos Machimana to win the South African title. Visser had a huge advantage in height and it was not a handicap. Machimana at 319lbs was 65lbs heavier and since most of it was around his waist that was certainly a handicap for him. “The Giant King” Visser is 6’9 ½” (207cm) and that allowed him to score with jabs from distance and he found an easy target for his punches to the body of champion Machimana. A left to the body floored Machimana in the third but he survived and his experience helped him stay in the fight. However he slowed considerably and a right put him down in the seventh and he was counted out. The 27-year-old Visser, also the ABU champion, gets his eighth win in a row and his twelfth win by KO/TKO. He literally came to boxing by accident. He was seriously injured in a game of rugby and as part of his rehabilitation in the gym they added boxing to his fitness programme. He had no real amateur experience but had his first five fights in Texas before returning to South Africa to continue his career. His opposition back home has been dismal with his 9 opponents before the Machimana win only having 17 victories between them so very little real experience. Machimana, 39, has been a pro for 17 years and was in his third spell as national champion. He was knocked out in three rounds by David Price for the Commonwealth title in 2011. When he turned pro he weighed 244lbs and it was an indication of the abysmal state of heavyweight boxing in South Africa that fighter such as Machimana has ruled the roost for so long. He did kayo Corrie Saunders in one round but Saunders, who stopped Wlad Klitschko in two rounds, was 42 at the time. Ironically when Machimana was having financial problems in 2016 it was Visser who subsidised him.

Kissimmee, FL, USA: Fly: Jonathan Gonzalez (20-2-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Ricardo Rodriguez (16-6). Feather: Hairon Socarras (16-0-3) W PTS 6 Luis Diaz (3-4). Bantam: Jeyvier Cintron (3-0) W PTS 6 Edson Neri (2-2). Bantam: Antonio Vargas (60-0) W PTS 6 Luis Saavedra (7-5).
Gonzalez vs. Rodriguez
Puerto Rican “Bomba” Gonzalez continues his rebuilding process but looks lucky to get split decision over Rodriguez. After a quite first round the fight developed generally along the lines of Rodriguez coming forward looking to land big single punches and Gonzalez aiming to blunt those attacks with good movement and clever counters. A significant piece of action in the third saw Rodriguez off balance and put one knee on the canvas which was counted as a knockdown. Rodriguez kept up his pressure and put Gonzalez on the floor for a genuine knockdown in the seventh. That was enough to make it a very close fight but it was Gonzalez who took the decision. Scores 96-93 and 95-94 for Gonzalez and 95-94 for Rodriguez. The 25-year-old Bronx-born Gonzalez was unbeaten in his first 13 fights but then got over-ambitious and was knocked out in four rounds by former champion Giovani Segura in 2013. He took almost a year out and then went 5-0-1until being knocked out in six rounds by Filipino Jobert Alvarez in 2016 which led to another year out. This win nets him the WBO NABO title and as he is Puerto Rican will lead to a good rating by the Puerto Rican based outfit. Good wins over Miguel Cartagena and David Carmona in 2016 earned Rodriguez a shot as WBO super fly champion Naoya Inoue in May last year but he was kayoed in three rounds. In his last fight in October he lost to former victim Daniel Lozano so it is now three losses in a row.
Socarras vs. Diaz
Socarras was to have faced a reasonable test in experienced William Gonzalez but Gonzalez had problems with his medical tests and Puerto Rican Diaz stepped in a very short notice. Socarras took the unanimous decision to stay unbeaten. He was coming off a poor showing in only getting a majority draw in his last fight so missed a chance to make up for that. Diaz is 40 and did not turn pro until he was 39 so no tests at all.
Cintron vs. Neri
Cintron gets in some work as he wins every round against Mexican novice Neri. Scores 60-54 all for Cintron. The 23-year-old is the only Puerto Rican boxer to have competed at two Olympics having participated in 2012 and 2016. He won a silver medal at the World Youth Championships and twice scored wins over the current WBC No 2 Emmanuel Rodriguez. His father Javier was a pro and faced world champions Danny Romero, Victor Rabanales and Will Grigsby. Neri just a prelim fighter.
Vargas vs. Saavedra
Vargas makes it a double for Olympians as he outpoints Mexican Saavedra. The young Mexican made Vargas work but did not have the power or skill to seriously inconvenience the rising young star. Scores 60-54 twice and 60-59 for Vargas. A deeply religious 21-year-old Vargas was USA Boxing Elite Male Boxer of the Year in 2015 when he won gold at both the US National Championships and the PanAmerican Games where he beat Cintron but did not medal in Rio. Three losses in a row for Saavedra against unbeaten fighters and he keeps his slate clean as far as losing inside the distance goes.

February 24

Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Feather: Alan Luques (24-7) W TKO 7 Matias Iriarte (7-4-1). Feather: Hector Sarmiento (18-0) W KO 1 Jose Alfaro (6-2-1).
9
Luques vs. Iriarte
South American champion Luques keeps busy with a win over Iriarte. Luques dominate most of the fight. He had no problems with the southpaw style of Iriarte but too often found himself tied up in clinches with a defensive minded Iriarte. Luques ended it the seventh with a left hook to the body. Ten wins by KO/TKO now for Luques. He has won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss being against Diego De La Hoya when De La Hoya came down to Argentina for a fight. Iriarte no sort of test for Luques.
Sarmiento vs. Alfaro
Sarmiento overwhelms inexperienced Venezuelan in the first. The “Little Bird” Sarmiento, the Argentinian champion, put Alfaro down in the middle of the round and although Alfaro beat the count a pair of hooks to the body and a series of head punches floored him for the second time and he was counted out. Now 12 wins by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old Sarmiento the WBA No 14. Second loss inside the distance for Alfaro.

Sydney, Australia: Super Middle: Bilal Akkawy (17-0-1) W PTS 10 Giovanni De Carolis (25-9-1). Important win for Akkawy as he outclasses Italian De Carolis a former holder of the secondary WBA title. Akkawy took centre ring from the opener and dominated the fight from there. His strong jab was something De Carolis could not match and the Italian was often short with his own punches and relied more on hooks than jabs but did not have much luck with either. Akkway’s aggression had De Carolis trying to smother the Australian’s attacks by clinching and as early as the fourth round the referee was tired of warning him and deducted a point. Akkawy, 24, continued to boss the fight all of the way in what was on paper a tough test and he turned an impressive performance to retain the WBA Oceania title for the first time. Scores 99-90 twice and 100-89. He is No 3 in the Australian ratings in a division in which Aussie land is strong but this win will get him a world rating from the WBA. The 33-year-old de Carolis had a purple patch in 2016 when he beat Vincent Feigenbutz to win the secondary WBA title and then retained the title in a draw with Tyron Zeuge but consecutive losses to Zeuge and Viktor Polyakov had seen him drop out of the ratings.

Newstead, Australia: Bantam: Robert Trigg (3-1-1) W TKO 4 Jarrett Owen (6-6-3). Trigg retains the Australian title with stoppage of local fighter Owen. Over the first two rounds Owen was able to use his jab to compete with the aggression of Trigg but Trigg kept coming and eventually overpowered Owen scoring two knockdowns before the fight was stopped. First defence of the national title and first win by KO/TKO for Trigg. Fifth loss inside the distance for Owen. There are only five active fighters below the super bantam division in Australia which is why two such inexperienced fighters can contest the title and both Trigg and Owen had previously failed in shots at the national super bantam title.

St Kilda, Australia: Bantam: Jason Moloney (16-0) W TKO 3 Immanuel Naidjala (23-5-1). Super Fly: Andrew Moloney (16-0) W PTS 12 Rene Dacquel (20-7-1).
Moloney vs. Naidjala
Another good night for the Moloney twins as they both register important and impressive wins. Jason joins Andrew as a Commonwealth title holder as he halts former world title challenger Namibian Naidjala. Although giving away a bit in height and reach Moloney had his jab working well in the first and stepped up a gear in the second pressing hard with Naidjala having difficulty getting off the ropes to find any space. It was apparent that Moloney had the power and in the third he again took Naidjala to the ropes and landed a crushing right to the head which had Naidjala floundering and with Moloney battered him with a series of unanswered punches the referee stopped the fight. Apart from winning the prestigious Commonwealth title Moloney also retains his WBA Oceania title. The 27-year-old Australian won titles at every level in Australian amateur boxing and was a quarter-finalist at the Commonwealth Games. He now has 13 wins by KO/TKO and is already rated WBA 9/IBF 12(14). “Prince” Naidjala, 33, lost on points to Tomoki Kameda for the WBO title in 2013 but was coming off back-to-back losses to South Africans Siboniso Goya and Mzuvukile Magwaca.
Moloney vs. Dacquel
Andrew faces his toughest test so far and comes through with a dominant display as he wins the OPBF title and retains the WBA Oceania title. After a close first round it was really all Moloney. He took control behind a hurtful jab and wore Dacquel down with a focused body attack. Dacquel managed to stay competitive but his successes were few as Moloney raked the Filipino with hooks and uppercuts inside. Dacquel did enough to make one or two of the early rounds close but eventually the resistance began to seep out of Dacquel. He did put in a big effort in the eleventh but it was too late for him to swing the fight his way and Moloney cruised through the last to victory. Scores 119-109, 118-111 and 117-111 confirming the dominance of the Australia. Andrew also won various Australian titles and took the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He is also the Commonwealth champion and is rated WBA 6/IBF 9. Former Philippines champion Dacquel was No 5 with the IBF. He was making the fourth defence of the OPBF title and had won his last five fights and gave Moloney a good test which he came through with impressive ease.

Quellon, Chile: Super Bantam: Ramon Contreras (15-6) W KO 2 Aldimar Silva (20-13). Contreras crushes Brazilian inside two rounds. Contreras almost finished it with two knockdowns in the first and when he put Silva down early in the second the Brazilian was counted out. The 32-year-old local southpaw was making the first defence of his WBA Fedebol title and gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. Silva heading in the opposite direction as he suffers his eighth loss by KO/TKO.

Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic: Bantam: Junior Almonte (8-0) W KO 1 Rafael Rodriguez (11-2). Super Feather: Juan Alberto Garcia (8-0) W TKO 8 Joan Orbin Medina (16-1).
Almonte vs. Rodriguez
Neighbourhood hope Almonte wins inside the distance and collects two titles. The former Dominican Youth champion blitzed Rodriguez with a series of thumps to head and body sending Rodriguez down and out after just 111 seconds. “Bombita” wins both the vacant Dominican and vacant WBC Fecarbox titles with his sixth victory by KO/TKO. Second quick time loss in a row for Rodriguez.
Garcia vs. Medina
Garcia springs surprise as he outpunches champion Medina to win the national title. Garcia just punched too hard for the favoured Medina flooring him in the second and again in the eighth to force the stoppage. The 21-year-old Garcia now has seven wins by KO/TKO and this was the first time he has had to go past the fourth round for victory. Medina was making the first defence of the Dominican title and had won his last 14 fights.

Caen, France: Super Welter: Maxime Beaussire (26-1-1) W TKO 7 Lenny Bottai (26-5). Beaussire retains the EU title with stoppage of Italian veteran Bottai. The local fighter got down to business straight away opening up with a left hook to the body-right cross-uppercut sequence that immediately puts Bottai on the defensive. The challenger manages to stand and swop punches for a period in the second but Beaussire is showing his work with his trainer Franck Nicotra, a former European champion, is paying dividends as he is changing the angles of his attacks and his hooks and uppercuts are getting through. A punch from Beaussire opens a cut on the bridge of Bottai’s nose in the third and the Italian has his head snapped back by an uppercut in the fourth. Bottai is taking punishment but showing real courage by trying to stay with Beaussire and stay competitive. In the sixth a left hook slashes open a cut over the right eye of Bottai and Beaussire rocks him with right hook with the bell saving Bottai. In the seventh the injury over Bottai’s right worsens and the referee asks the ringside physician to examine the injury and he advises the fight be stopping giving Beaussire victory. The 26-year-old “Conqueror” lost a split decision to fellow-Frenchman Zakaria Attou in a fight for this EU title in April last year but then won the vacant title with a victory over unbeaten Joffrey Jacob in November and will probably look to make another defence and then shoot for the European title. The 40-year-old former undefeated Italian champion Bottai was knocked out in three rounds by Jermall Charlo back in 2014 and it may be time to call it a day.

Nuremburg, Germany: Super Middle: Callum Smith (24-0) W PTS 12 Nieky Holzken (13-1). Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (4-0) W PTS 8 Sean Turner (12-2). Middle: Wanik Awdijan (24-1) W PTS 8 Florian Wildenhof (27-5-1). Super Middle: Dmitri Chudinov (21-2-2) W PTS 8 Siarhei Khamitski (31-16-3).
Smith vs. Holzken
Smith moves on to the final of the WBSDS tournament with points victory over late substitute Holzken. With height, reach, power and experience all on his side this was never going to be a risky job for Smith and that’s how he treated it. He did not come out all, guns blazing but used his reach to box on the outside. This was understandable as Holzken was an unknown-even to people in his own country- so Smith took some time to study the Dutchman. Smith easily took the first four rounds and built a good lead. Holzken finally began to get into the fight from the fifth and despite being rocked by uppercuts in the sixth he increased his pressure and was able to cut down the ring and work inside. Although he did not have the punch to match Smith he took a shot well and proved a better opponent than expected. The second half of the fight was more competitive as Holzken gained confidence from having some success. He was willing to take punishment to get close and Smith gave him plenty of that particularly with some vicious uppercuts, despite his pressure Holzken never really threatened and Smith seemed focused on just getting the win without undue risk with the big prize of a fight with George Groves there for the taking and he controlled the fight most of the way. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-111for Smith. The 27-year-old from Liverpool will be a totally different challenge to Groves to that presented by Chris Eubank Jr and a Groves vs. Smith fight was always the likeliest outcome of the tournament. We now have to hope it proves to be a great fight. Holzken, a former kickboxing champion, came in as a substitute when Juergen Brahmer had to pull out with illness and he performed well under the handicap of such a short notice and may get some good paydays as a result.
Hrgovic vs. Turner
Hrgovic had taken less the six rounds to win his first three fights so Dublin’s Turner gave him his first real test. Hrgovic had huge advantages in height and reach so was able to box on the outside. Turner was forced both to come inside and reach with his punches. Despite that once Hrgovic got past six rounds he lost some of his edge and Turner was able to get inside and do some scoring testing Hrgovic’s defence and his stamina. The big Croat fighter stood up to both tests but could never put a dent in Turner’s armour so it remains to be seen whether he has the power to succeed at a higher level but at 25 he is still young for a heavyweight. Turner , 26,was a sensible opponent for Hrgovic at this stage as “Big Sexy” had gone to Switzerland in December and knocked out the 30-1 Arnold Gjergjaj.
Awdijan vs. Wildenhof
Promising youngster Awdijan gets hard fought victory over useful Wildenhof. Awdijan suffered a nasty cut in the very first round which was a handicap but he was able to box his way to victory without the wound worsening and took the majority decision. The 6’2” Armenian-born fighter turned pro at 17 and suffered an early loss against the more experienced Frenchman Kevin Thomas Cojean but has won 17 in a row. This is his third fight of the year as he makes up time for a couple of operations last year which saw him inactive for six months. German Wildenhof was 10-1-1 in his last 12 fights.
Chudinov vs. Khamitski
Chudinov gets the win but has to battle hard all the way. He was to have faced Nieky Holzken but with the Dutchman being moved up to fight Callum Smith Khamitski came in as a late replacement. In many ways the 43-year-old Minsk-based “Ghost” was probably a tougher opponent but as a late replacement he was not on top fitness and Chudinov deservedly took the verdict by 78-73 on all cards. The 31-year-old Russian “Night Wolf” , a former interim WBA champion who lost his title to Chris Eubank Jr in 2015, was coming off a defeat against Lolenga Mock so could not afford to slip up here. Khamitski is better known as Khomitsky who did serious damaged to British super middles by beating Frank Buglioni, Adam Etches and is still a force.

Naples, Italy: Super Light: Jeremias Ponce (15-0) W TKO 9 Francesco Lomasto (13-2). Ponce proves a surprise package as he halts Neapolitan Lomasto. Ponce is tall for a super light and had superior power. Lomasto had to survive a stormy second round and lost a point for holding in the fourth and was never really in contention. Ponce scored regularly with combinations switching from head to body. The body punches had their effect with Lomatso slowing in the seventh and eighth. He took a risk in the ninth going after Ponce to try to swing things his way but was nailed by a right and went down heavily. He beat the count but was pinned on the ropes and taking punishment when the referee stopped the fight. The 21-year-old Argentinian wins the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title with his tenth win by KO/TKO. Last year he was a candidate for the Firpo awards in from boxing journalists in Argentina in the “Revelation of the Year” category. First loss by KO/TKO for Italian champion Lomasto

Osaka, Japan: Light: Masayoshi Nakatani (16-0) W KO 6 Pharanpetch (22-3). Super Fly: Sho Ishida (24-1) W KO 3 Ratachanon (12-2).
Nakatani vs. Pharanpetch
Nakatani remains OPBF champion after inside the distance win over Thai Pharanpetch. From the outset Nakatani the taller fighter controlled the fight with his jab. He mixed in some vicious body punches quickly breaking Pharanpetch down and flooring the Thai in the fifth. Pharanpetch made it into the sixth but a right to the body put Pharanpetch down again in agony and he was counted out. The 28-year-old from Osaka, the WBC No 6, was making the ninth defence of his OPBF title and gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. Thai lightweight champion Pharanpetch has lost in each of his three trips outside Thailand having been beaten by Billy Dib and Brandon Ogilvie in Australia.
Ishida vs. Ratachanon
Ishida eases back with a third round kayo of overmatched Thai. Body punches did the damage with Ratachanon counted out in the third. First fight for Ishida since losing to Khalid Yafai in a challenge for the WBA super fly title in October. Ratachanon’s other loss was a ninth round stoppage against Filipino Rene Dacquel in 2014. All of his wins are by KO/TKO but against novices

Merida, Mexico: Middle: Elias Espadas (17-3) W KO 3 Felipe Santos (15-4). Heavy: Tyrone Spong (11-0) W TKO 5 Carlos Nascimento (16-6). Super Middle: Roamer Angulo (23-0) W KO 1 Evert Bravo (24-8-1).
Espadas vs. Santos
Espadas disposes of Brazilian Santos inside three rounds. The Merida fighter went to work immediately with fast accurate punches and swept the first two rounds. In the third Espadas drove Santos into a corner and landed a series of shots with the last, a sickening left hook to the body which dropped Santos to his knees and he was counted out. The 27-year-old Espadas wins the vacant WBO Latino title. He has won his last eight fights, seven of them by KO/TKO. Santos is 2-3 in his last 5 fights now and was stopped in four rounds by Ryota Murata in 2016.
Spong vs. Nascimento
Spong simply punches too hard for Brazilian. Spong was walking down the tall Brazilian throughout the first round loading up on every punch and landing thumping left hooks to the body and rights to the head. There was no power in Nascimento’s counters to dissuade Spong. Nascimento did better in the second and third. He was still circling the perimeter of the ring but was throwing more jabs and firing the occasional combination with Spong not able to cut the ring off as well as he had in the first. Spong was landing heavy body punches in the fourth and when he switched to the head an unbalanced Nascimento momentarily touch the floor with his glove resulting in a count and Spong landed some lefts to the head at the bell. Early in the fifth Spong cornered Nascimento and unloaded with head punches from both hands. Nascimento’s head was jarred badly a couple of times and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. The 32-year-old Spong from Surinam has won all of his fights by KO/TKO. He is a very solidly built heavyweight strong with real power but his opposition has been very mediocre, he won 74 of his 83 kickboxing contests but it needs better opposition to assess his potential. He wins the vacant WBO Latino title and retains the WBC Latino title. Nascimento wins at home and losses away and this is his fifth inside the distance loss.
Angulo vs. Bravo
Angulo obliterates fellow Colombian Bravo. Angulo pressed Bravo early and clobbered him with a right to the head that put him down. Bravo beat the count and wanted to continue but wobbled badly and the referee stopped the fight at the two minute mark. The 33-year-old Angulo was defending his WBO Latino title but this was a poor match. Then IBF No 14 (12) has won 20 of his contests by KO/TKO but only one or two of victims have been of average ability and the rest way below that standard. Bravo had gone the eight round distance with Sean Monaghan in November.

Zgorzelec, Poland: Welter: Lukasz Wierzbicki (15-0) W PTS 10 Anderson Clayton (41-12-2). Light: Damian Wrzesinski (13-1-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Marek Laskowski (9-9-2).
Wierzbicki vs. Clayton
Useful win for Polish southpaw Wierzbicki as he widely outpoints experienced Brazilian Clayton. The Pole was quicker and more mobile than the veteran “Panther” who tried to force the fight all the way. Wierzbicki scored well with his jab and straight rights with Clayton having some success when he could keep Wierzbicki against the ropes. Then Pole started to fade a little from the sixth allowing Clayton into the fight but he was still doing most of the scoring and was a comfortable winner. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Wierzbicki. The 27-year-old Wierzbicki is Polish champion and with this victory adds the Polish International title. The 39-year-old Clayton was having his first fight since October 2016. He has travelled far and wide in his career of almost 17 years with his peak achievement being winning the World Boxing Federation title and then defending three times against good level opposition.
Wrzesinski vs. Laskowski
Wrzesinski wins the vacant Polish title with points victory over Laskowski. These two had fought each other in November with a clash of heads leading to a No Decision. The fight was entertaining over the first six rounds and then stalled. Wrzesinski took charge early flooring southpaw Laskowski in the second with a right cross. He took the third with a series of left hooks but after there was too much holding and not enough fighting. Laskowski had his big moment in the seventh when he stunned Wrzesinski with a right but he failed to follow up and missed his chance and Wrzesinski had a good ninth as he eased his way to the title. Scores 97-92 for Wrzesinski from all three judges. Wrzesinski only loss is a majority verdict against Jean-Pierre Bauwens in Belgium. The two fights with Wrzesinski are the only fights that the Aberdeen-based Laskowski has had outside of Britain.

Kiev, Ukraine: Super Light: Mishiko Beselia (18-0) W PTS 10 Vlad Melnyk (5-1).
Beselia wins the vacant Ukraine title as he just squeezes by inexperienced Melnyk. The 25-year-old Georgian-born Beselia took the decision on scores of 96-94 from all three judges but he had to come from behind after Melnyk built an early lead. Melnyk, 19, had never been past four rounds before so understandably tired late.

Portsmouth, England: Light Heavy: Joel McIntyre (17-2) W PTS 8 Tayar Mehmed (7-29-2). Fighting in front of his home fans McIntyre returns with a win as he takes every round against Bulgarian Mehmed. Referee’s score 80-72. The 30-year-old “Toro” lost his English title to Liam Conroy on a second round stoppage in September so this is step one as he rebuilds. Mehmed is 2-11 in his last 13 fights and usually goes the full term.

Click here for Part I.


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