The Past Week in Action 6 March 2018 - Part I
By Eric Armit
07 Mar 2018
-Deontay Wilder retains WBC heavy title with stoppage of Luis Ortiz
-Sergey Kovalev crushes Igor Mikhalkin and remains WBO light heavy champion
-Dmitry Bivol impresses again as he retains his secondary WBA light heavy title with last round stoppage of Sullivan Barrera
-Jose Uzcategui wins the interim IBF super middle title with victory over Andre Dirrell
-Kevin Lerena retains the IBO cruiser title by decisioning Dmytro Kucher
-Kell Brook blasts out Siarhei Rabchenko to signal his return
-Dominica Boesel wins the European title with victory over Serhiy Demchenko
-Josh Taylor destroys Winston Campos in three round in WBC International title defence
-Gavin McDonnell wins over unbeaten Gamal Yafai for the WBC International title
-Lenroy Thomas retains the Commonwealth title when his fight with Dave Allen ends on a technical draw in the first round
San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina: Fly: Juan Jurado (15-0-3) W PTS 10 Junior Zarate (9-2). Fighting in his hometown Argentinian champion Jurado retains here title with unanimous decision over former top amateur Zarate. It was an even fight over the first four rounds but then the pressure from Jurado gave him the edge over the better technical skills of Zarate and he swept the middle rounds with Zarate also throwing away a point in the seventh for a blatant butt. Zarate staged the stronger finish with Jurado deducted a point in the last for one foul too many but holding onto his lead. Scores 97-90, 97-91 ½ and 98-95 for 31-year-old “Harry” Jurado. It is his second defence of the national title. Zarate represented Argentina at the World Championships and Pan American Games and fought for the Argentine Condors in the WSB. He had won his last five fights.
Sydney, Australia: Bantam: Brock Jarvis (13-0) W KO 3 Hamson Lamandau (8-2-1). Jarvis continues his run of inside the distance wins as he floors Indonesian Lamandau in the second and the fight is stopped when he puts Lamandau down again late in the third. Still only 20 Jarvis has now won twelve in a row by KO/TKO. Lamandau is now 0-2-1 in his last three fights after being 8-0.
Mexico City, Mexico: Bantam: David Carmona (21-5-5) W TKO 4 Jesus Iribe (20-10-6). With three losses in a row Carmona could not afford another defeat and he made sure that did not happen here. After a cautious start he put Iribe down in the second with a right to the head. Iribe made it to the bell but was put down again in the third. Carmona wrapped up the win in the fourth by dumping Iribe on the canvas again with the fight being stopped. Back in 2013 Carmona was beaten in seven rounds by Omar Narvaez in a challenge for the WBO super fly title. In 2015 he fought a draw with Warlito Parrenas for the interim WBO title but lost on points to Naoya Inoue for the full title in 2016. Third loss by KO/TKO for fellow-Mexican Iribe.
Fontvielle, Monaco: Bantam: Georges Ory (9-2-1) W PTS 12 Razmik Grigoryan (9-4-1). Ory wins the vacant European Union title with unanimous decision over Belgian super fly champion Grigoryan. It was the Belgian who made the better start scoring with some good rights. Ory was not moving as well as usual and it was the fifth round before he really began to dominate the action. He was quicker than Grigoryan and was cleverly mixing hooks and uppercuts but was not sustaining the attacks enough to be comfortable and Grigoryan was counter attacking well. Ory was doing enough to win rounds but his form was disappointing after his impressive victory over Jeremy Beccu in May. Scores 117-111, 117-112 and 116-112 for 26-year-old former French amateur champion. Grigoryan had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain: Welter: Ceferino Rodriguez (25-2) W PTS 8 Elvin Perez (28-20-4). Ferino V returns to action with a comfortable win over Perez. After a first round of probing Rodriguez stepped up the pace and bossed the fight over the next seven rounds pounding away at Perez with stiff jabs and right crosses. Perez’s face was cut and badly marked by the fifth and he was in trouble in the seventh and eighth but last the distance although losing every round. Local fighter Rodriguez was having his first fight since losing his European title to Sam Eggington on a tenth round kayo in May last year. His aim now is to regain that title. Barcelona-based Nicaraguan Perez has lost his last eight fights.
Manchester, England: Middle: Dale Coyne (13-0) W TKO 3 Julio Cesar (1-2). Super Feather: James Dickens (23-3) W TKO 5 Barnie Arguelles (11-9).
Coyne vs. Cesar
Coyne goes to thirteen wins with stoppage of Cesar. Coyne was too strong and had too much power for Cesar. He spent a couple of rounds walking Cesar down and scoring with left hooks to the ribs and clubbing rights to the head. Cesar just circled the perimeter of the ring changing guard and pushing out light jabs. The constant pressure paid off and the referee stopped the fight in the third. The 23-year-old “Canelo”-he is red-headed- gets his third win by KO/TKO. Novice Cesar, a Belfast-based Angolan was a substitute for a substitute.
Dickens vs. Arguelles
Dickens returns to the ring and to the winning column. The 26-year-old Liverpool southpaw gets his eighth win by KO/TKO as he halts Panamanian Arguelles. First fight for Dickens for ten months. He lost to Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA super bantam title in 2016 and in May 2017 lost a close technical decision to Thomas Patrick Ward for the British title. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Arguelles and his eighth loss in his last nine fights.
Leicester, England: Bantam: Thomas Essomba (8-3) W TKO 6 Louis Norman (12-5-1). Popular Cameroon fighter Essomba wins the English title with stoppage of local fighter Norman. Both are better fighters than their records indicate but they also both badly needed a win. Essomba’s victory was built on a focused body attack. He hurt Norman with body punches throughout the fight before putting Norman down with one in the sixth and Norman was counted out. Essomba represented Cameroon at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. He did not return home after the London Olympics but instead claimed asylum in Britain and settled here before turning pro and settling down in North East England. He is a former Commonwealth champion but just eleven fights in eight years tells how tough it can be for lighter division fighters in the UK. Norman, a former English flyweight champion, has had the same problem and was 2-4 going in including very tough matches against Charlie Edwards and Andrew Selby.
New York, NY, USA: Heavy: Deontay Wilder (40-0) W TKO 10 Luis Ortiz (28-1). Super Middle: Jose Uzcategui (27-2) W RTD 8 Andre Dirrell (26-3). Super Welter: Patrick Day (15-2-1) W PTS 10 Kyrone Davis (13-2). Middle: Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0) W RTD 6 Dashon Johnson (22-23-3).Middle: Willie Monroe Jr (22-3) W PTS 8 Carlos Galvan (16-7-1).
Wilder vs. Ortiz
Wilder retains the WBC title with stoppage of Ortiz but has to survive a scare along the way
A very cautious opener. Ortiz was coming forward behind his southpaw jab and threw some lefts but Wilder really just poked out his jab without making contact and did not really land a punch
Score 10-9 Ortiz
Even fewer punches thrown in this one. Ortiz continued to plod forward and Wilder continued to go back. Ortiz slipped to the floor when he missed a punch. Ortiz threw some punches and Wilder only tried his right once but they both launched punches at the end of the round.
Score 10-9 Ortiz 18-20
This was turning into a non-event. Wilder was only sticking out his jab as a range finder for his right but when he did throw the right he missed badly. Ortiz was slow to cut the ring off but was at least throwing punches.
Score 10-9 Ortiz 27-30
Three more minutes of cat and mouse stuff as Wilder after trying a couple of rights wearily went back to just prodding his jab. Ortiz did a bit better at cutting off the ring and did what scoring there was.
Score 10-9 Ortiz 36-40
This round saw Ortiz dancing on his toes and Wilder throwing one or two more punches. Ortiz again was doing all of the pressing and the scoring. Just before the bell Wilder finally pulled the trigger and landed a fast right cross to the temple of Ortiz. The Cuban was stunned and stumbled. Wilder followed up with another punch as Ortiz tipped backwards into the ropes and down. He got up complaining about the count trying to indicate it had been a push but it was a genuine knockdown and the bell went as the eight count was competed.
Score 10-8 Wilder 46-48
Now it was Wilder on the front foot. He was throwing the right more and there were a couple of exchanges with both fighters landing but with Wilder just doing enough to win the round.
Score 10-9 Wilder 56-57
Best round of the fight so far and it went to Ortiz. Once again there lots of probing with jabs until late in the round when Wilder scored with a good right. He then decided to fight inside but Ortiz turned him and landed a left that had Wilder in trouble. He was trapped on the ropes with Ortiz unloading heavy punches and Wilder was floundering and holding on at the bell in what easily could have been scored a 10-8 round or even resulted in a win for Ortiz if he had hurt Wilder earlier in the round.
Score 10-9 Ortiz 65-67
Before the start of the round the referee was concerned enough to have the ringside physician examine Wilder. Ortiz dominated the round. He had Wilder in retreat catching him against the ropes and firing big lefts with Wilder really just prodding out his jab and throwing occasional rights and never really getting off the ropes.
Score 10-9 Ortiz 74-77
This one only really came alive late. Wilder seemed to hurt Ortiz with a right and drove Ortiz back. Ortiz fired punches of his own and they both threw and landed heavy punches at the bell.
Score 10-9 Wilder 84-86
Early in the round Wilder shook Ortiz with a right. Ortiz tried to hold but Wilder threw him to the canvas. The referee indicated it was not a knockdown but Ortiz was slow to rise. Wilder went straight after Ortiz landing heavy rights to the head and Ortiz slumped to his knees. He only just made it to his feet at nine but was badly shaken. Wilder pounced on him and landed a series of lefts and right and after a right uppercut Ortiz again dropped to his knees and the referee stopped the fight.
Official scores: 85-84, 85-84, 85-84 all for Wilder
Wilder again showed his power in the third and in the tenth but was in deep trouble in the seventh floundering and trapped on the ropes with Ortiz stating after the fight that he felt he was one punch away from victory. Naturally there will be some questions over this performance and Anthony Joshua fans will take heart from how vulnerable Wilder looked against a much smaller, older and slower opponent but we saw a different Wilder tonight than the whirlwind we saw against Bermane Stiverne in November and will see a different Wilder when-or if- he fights Joshua (or Parker). Some saw this as a potential fight of the year but apart from the fifth, seventh and tenth rounds it was a very slow fight with little sustained action. Wider has now scored 39 wins by KO/TKO and defended the WBC title seven times. Ortiz proved to be the danger he had threatened to be. He blew his chance for a multi-million payday when he failed to finish Wilder in the seventh and although he is 38 there are still some good fights out there for him in a vibrant division.
Uzcategui vs. Dirrell
Uzcategui wins the interim IBF title as he chips away at champion Dirrell until Dirrell decided he wanted no more and retired in his corner giving Uzcategui revenge for a controversial loss in May. There was a scare before the fight due to a query over Uzcategui’s urine test. It was not related to a banned substance but it proved to be due to a vitamin B injection he had previously. From the start the taller Uzcategui was marching forward walking Dirrell down and landing rights to the head and left hooks to the body. Dirrell was on the retreat and unable to solve the bobbing and weaving and hand waving style of Uzcategui. Dirrell was spending much of the ring time retreating around the perimeter of the ring with Uzcategui staying on top of him and landing short hooks and long rights. Just before the bell at the end of the third with Dirrell trapped in his own corner Uzcategui landed a left to the head, a right that landed high on Dirrell’s shoulder and then a wicked right hook. Dirrell dipped at the knees and almost went down. Uzcategui continued to pressure Dirrell for three minutes in every round. Dirrell just could not find his range and was being caught time and again with short chopping hooks inside and long rights. Dirrell tried to launch some attacks but inevitably he was taking more than he was giving and was forced again on to the retreat as Uzcategui worked him over in close and at a distance. By the end of the eighth Dirrell had effectively capitulated. He was shipping punishment from left hooks to the head and just swinging wildly trying to get lucky. After the bell he walked back to his corner and told his seconds he was finished. They tried to talk him out of it but it was Dirrell’s “no mas” moment and he would not continue. Uzcategui a 27-year-old 6’2” (188cm) Mexican-based Venezuelan had lost to Dirrell for this title in May. He was ahead on two cards he was disqualified for a punch after the bell. His only other loss was a decision against Matt Korobov in 2014. With his height, reach and quirky style he will be a handful for any but the best and he would have a good chance against IBF champion Caleb Truax. Dirrell just could not do anything on the night. From the first bell until he walked back to his corner at the end of the eighth round he was never in the fight and at 34 it is hard to see him getting another title shot.
Day vs. Davis
Day gets unanimous verdict over Davis in fast-paced close bout between two fighters with excellent credentials from their amateur days. Davis was first to show and made a confident start taking a couple of the early rounds before Day got into his stride. From the half way mark Day brought his better skills into play and with the use a stiff and accurate jab built a lead and held on to it to the bell. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Day. The 25-year-old from Freeport NY is a former US National amateur champion who has taken a while to settle into pro boxing but has now won his last four fights. He retains his WBC Continental Americas title. Davis, 23, was a gold medal winner at the National Police Athletic Tournament and silver at the 2013 National Golden Gloves and had won his last three fights.
Derevyanchenko vs. Johnson
Derevyanchenko keeps busy with win over journeyman Johnson whilst waiting for the middleweight division to sort itself out. Johnson can be a dangerous opponent if allowed to settle into a fight and indeed Derevyanchenko chose to box on the back foot allowing Johnson to come forward and press. Gradually Derevyanchenko began to up the pace and soon it was Johnson on the retreat and shipping some heavy rights and slowly being broken down. His corner saw the way things were going and pulled their man out at the end of the sixth round. The 32-year-old Russian Derevyanchenko is the IBF No 1 and therefore the mandatory challenger to Gennady Golovkin. He has been No 1 since September after beating Tureano Johnson but of course champion Gennady Golovkin has been busy with fighting Saul Alvarez. Whoever wins between Golovkin and Alvarez will be under pressure to defend against Derevyanchenko or be stripped. Derevyanchenko did not turn pro until he was 29 but had a very impressive 22-1 score in four years of campaigning in the WSB. Only the fourth loss by KO/TKO for Johnson.
Monroe vs. Galvan
Monroe returns with a win as he floors and decisions Galvan. Scores 80-71 for Monroe from all three judges as he has his first fight since losing to Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO middles title in September. Galvan goes home to Colombia when he needs to pad his record and has never won a fight outside of his home country.
New York, NY, USA: Light Heavy: Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1) W TKO 7 Igor Mikhalkin (21-2). Light Heavy: Dmitry Bivol (13-0) W TKO 12 Sullivan Barrera (21-2), Super Middle; Vaughan Alexander (12-0) W PTS 10 Devaun Lee (10-3-1). Super Welter: Bakhram Murtazaliev (12-0) W TKO 5 Ken McNeil (11-4).
Kovalev vs. Mikhalkin
Kovalev retains the WBO title. The champion is much too good and much too powerful for fellow-Russian Mikhalkin and wins every round before the fight is stopped due to a cut
Confident start by Kovalev. He had his jab working and was able to pierce Mikhalkin’s guard with stabbing straight rights with Mikhalkin waiting too long to let his punches go.
Score 10-9 Kovalev
Mikhalkin threw more punches in the second and landed a hard southpaw left. Kovalev continued to find gaps for his jab and was constantly banging home straight rights with Mikhalkin walking on to punches as he tried to get inside.
Score 10-9 Kovalev 20-18
This round was closer as Mikhalkin pressed hard and scored with some accurate lefts. Kovalev was out jabbing him and those right crosses were getting though and he finished the round strongly.
Score 10-9 Kovalev 30-27
Kovalev continued to control the action. Mikhalkin was working hard with his right jab and letting go with lefts. But it was Kovalev who was the more accurate and landing the harder punches.
Score 10-9 Kovalev 40-36
Kovalev upped the pressure in this one. His jab had Mikhalkin on the back foot and he slotted home long rights with Mikhalkin not able to block them. A stiff jab saw Mikhalkin staggered and he stumbled into the ropes. Kovalev leaped after him but it was more a stumble that a stagger and Mikhalkin was not in any real trouble-but neither was he finding a way into the fight.
Score 10-9 Kovalev 50-45
Mikhalkin started this one on the front foot taking the fight to Kovalev. Landed some lefts but they did not have the power to budge Kovalev who had scored with a series of rights early in the round and finished the round strongly but it was a close one. Mikhalkin was now cut over his right eye
Score 10-9 Kovalev 60-54
Before the start of the round the ringside physician examined the cut but let the fight continue. Mikhalkin put in a big effort again taking the fight to Kovalev but the cut was bleeding and there was blood coming from Mikhalkin’s nose. Kovalev was landing regularly to the face of Mikhalkin and when the referee asked the ringside official examine the injury the Physician advises the fight be stopped . Kovalev makes it 28 wins by KO/TKO. Mikhalkin was the No 5 rated contender so it may be that Kovalev will have to face his No 1 Olex Gvozdyk. He would like Adonis Stevenson but the WBC champion is due to defend against Badou Jack in May and Eleider Alvarez, the WBC No 1 should be in line after that so we may never see Kovalev vs. Stevenson
Bivol vs. Barrera
Bivol outclasses and halts Barrera in defence of the secondary WBA title. From the start the champion was quicker and more accurate than Barrera. Both tried to establish their jabs early but Bivol soon took control. He was slotting jabs through Barrera’s defence and catching him with right crosses. A clash of head in the second had Barrera walking away but there was no damage from that but plenty from the jab and rights from Bivol but Bivol in fact had suffered a cut over his right eye in the clash. Barrera tried to go to the body but Bivol was too quick on his feet and Barrera kept coming up short and paying for it in counters from Bivol. The champion shook Barrera with a couple of rights to the head in the fourth and landed a cluster of accurate shots before the bell to end the fifth. Barrera pressed harder in the sixth and landed a good right to the head but again he was outscored and Bivol ended the round with a flourish and it was difficult to see any of the first six rounds that you could give to Barrera-and it did not get any better for the Cuban. It was almost textbook stuff from Bivol in the seventh. Barrera managed to land a good right cross early but Bivol paid him back with rights of his own and a barrage of punches had Barrera floundering at the bell. Again Barrera padded forward in the eighth trying to go to the body but he was just too slow. Bivol was drawing the lead stepping back quickly to leave Barrera coming up short and off balance and then letting fly with rapid bursts of punches. There had been a clash of heads in the round and a big bump was showing on the temple of Bivo. The ringside physician examined the injury but the fight continue. This was a slower round letting Barrera have some success. Bivol finished it with a strong attack but it had been a more even round. In the tenth Barrera had slowed and Bivol was buzzing around him spearing him with jabs and landing two/three/ four punch combinations. The lump on Bivol’s forehead passed another examination at the start of this round. Barrera knew he needed a knockout to win this but Bivol never allowed him the sniff of one. The young Russian was moving jabbing and stepping in with quick combinations rarely wasting a punch. Barrera was trying to find a big effort in the last but had nothing. Bivol had been landing hard punches but now he was really loading up on his shots. He landed two hard rights that had Barrera backing off and the he stepped in with a thunderous right to the head that put Barrera down on his back. Barrera pulled himself up at nine but the referee had a look at him and waived the fight over and Barrera made no complaint. The 27-year-old Kyrgyzstan-born Russian was making the second defence of his title and now has 11 wins by KO/TKO. He is very technically correct boxer upright relying heavily on the left jab/right cross approach. He has excellent defensive skills and real power as he displayed with his finishing punch here and the laser-like right that flattened Trent Broadhurst in November. He is probably a fight or two away from being ready for Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson and Artur Beterbiev but he feels ready now and is a real danger to all three of them. Cuban Barrera, 36, suffered his only other loss when he was floored and outpointed by Andre Ward in a non-title fight in 2016 but a kayo of unbeaten Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and wins over Joe Smith and Felix Varela had seen him rise to No 1 in the WBA ratings.
Alexander vs. Lee
Alexander gets another win to make it seven on the bounce since returning to the ring. In a tough, hard fought contest he outscored Lee. Alexander was picking up pionts with his jab and matched Lee on the inside. Although not really rocking Lee until late in the fight he was a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94. Alexander, 32, the brother of Devon, turned pro in 2004 and won his first five fights but then spent eleven years in prison for armed robbery before being released in 2015 and resuming his career in 2016. Lee from nearby Queens was 6-0-1 in his previous 7 fights including wins over experienced Giovanni Lorenzo and 17-1 Carlos Cruz and in fairness to him he took this fight at only two days notice and was in it with a chance until he tired.
Murtazaliev vs. McNeil
Murtazaliev now has an impressive looking 83% wins by KO/TKO after this victory. McNeil has done a good job in past fights of going the distance against superior opposition but it did not work for him this time. Murtazaliev was hunting him down over the first four rounds with McNeil focusing on survival. His efforts proved in vain as a right from Murtazaliev put him down in the fifth. McNeil beat the count but a series of head punches from Murtazaliev convinced the referee to step in and save McNeil. The 25-year-old Russian has made a quick climb to ten round level under the Main Events banner and now has 10 wins by KO/TKO. McNeil loses inside the distance for the first time having taken both Ievgen Khytrov and Alantez Fox the distance.
Click here for Part II.
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