The Past Week in Action 26 April 2017 -- Part II
By Eric Armit
Thu, 27 Apr 2017
Leicester, England: Middle: Avtandil Khurtsidze (33-2-2) W TKO 5 Tommy Langford (18-1). Super Light: Tyrone Nurse (34-2-2) DREW 12 Joe Hughes (15-2-1). Bantam: Zolani Tete (25-3) W PTS 12 Arthur Villanueva (30-2). Super Middle: Darryl Williams (15-0) W PTS 10 Jahmaine Smyle (14-5-2). Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (10-0) W KO 1 Darren Snow (5-13-1). Super Light: Sam Maxwell (2-0) W TKO 5 George Wright (4-2). Heavy: Daniel Dubois (2-0) W TKO 2 Blaise Mendouo (3-2).
Khurtsidze vs. Langford
A crude but strong Khurtsidze floors and halts Langford to win the interim WBO title.
Langford had huge height and reach over the small Khurtsidze which was not much of an advantage as Khurtsidze was coming in ducking low and getting under Langford?s punches and working to the body. Khurtsidze?s style is 100% crude, but effective, he holds and hits inside and is dangerous with wild punches when storming forward. Think a middleweight Tony Galento (if you don?t know who Tony Galento is ask your dad/granddad). Even in this opening round Khurtsidze was already throwing his arms wide and letting Langford have free shots with Langford unable to hurt Khurtsidze or find space to make his better boxing count.
Score 10-9 Khurtsidze
Langford has a much better round. He moves more and counters Khurtsidze?s lunges and gets home some shots. Khurtsidze just keeps coming and is still a big threat with swinging punches he launches whilst square on or off the wrong foot
Score 10-9 Langford 19-19
More of the same from Langford in the third. He is catching Khurtsidze with right counters and firing home hooks with Khurtsidze sometimes just standing in range and taking the punches before lunging forward again. If anything Langford is almost doing too well as his confidence grows he is standing and punching too much and not keeping his defence tight ignoring the danger in Khurtsidze swinging punches. A clash of heads causes a cut over the left eye of Langford.
Score 10-9 Langford 29-28
Brilliant boxing from Langford. He constantly slots home jabs and scores with hooks and uppercuts as Khurtsidze is unable to get inside and is left swishing air or being tied up inside as Langford is just too quick.
Score 10-9 Langford 39-37
Langford starts the fifth with some jabs but as he is backing up his hands are not up protecting his head and a sweeping left from Khurtsidze sends him into a corner and down on his knees. He struggles to rise and is unsteady on his feet and the referee stops the fight. It was a good call as Langford did not look ready to continue.
Brooklyn-based Georgian Khurtsidze is only 5?4? (163cm) which is ridiculously small for a middleweight but he is immensely strong, has a good chin and a big punch and is wildly aggressive. He lost a very close decision to Hassan N?Dam N?Jikam in 2010 for this same interim WBA title and had steamrollered his way to nine wins since then including a tenth round stoppage of unbeaten Antoine Douglas in his last fight in March last year. This win nets him a shot at the real WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders in July so Saunders is in for an interesting night. Langford, 27, showed some good skills but in the end could not keep Khurtsidze out and paid the price for letting his right hand stray from its defensive duties. He will come again.
Nurse vs. Hughes
Nurse holds on to his British title with a split draw against Hughes. Nurse was much the taller and had a big edge in reach. Those factors plus an edge in experience and a familiarity with going twelve rounds made Nurse the favourite but Hughes pushed forward from the start. Nurse used his reach to box over the early rounds and he was tying up Hughes when the challenger got inside but Hughes was making good use of his own jab to keep the fight close. Both fighters had good spells in a fight that was constantly swinging one way and then the other. Hughes scored well in the sixth and Nurse came back to take the seventh and a sharp uppercut from Hughes was the best punch of the eighth which he took. That was how the fight continued and with the decision in the balance they both fought hard to the bell and it was obviously going to be a very close decision, Scores 116-113 for Nurse, 116-113 for Hughes and 115-115. It had been a cracking British title fight and hopefully they will do it all again. Nurse,27, was making the third defence of his British title having scored good wins over Chris Jenkins, Willie Limond and Tommy Coyle in his last three fights. Hughes, 26, relinquished the English title before this fight and came close to moving up to British champion. He has lost only one of his last 13 fights and that was to unbeaten and world rated Jack Catterall.
Tete vs. Villanueva
Once again Tete gives a boxing master class to win the vacant WBO title. The South Africa had an edge in reach and was much quicker both with his hands and his movement. Villanueva was forced to lunge in with his attacks and Tete was either standing and countering him with southpaw left or taking a long step back leaving Villanueva with no target and then countering as Villanueva tried to recover his balance. Tete scored with a beautiful left counter in the second and an even better one in the third. That one saw Villanueva dip at the knees and Tete pounced on him and unloaded heavy punches but Villanueva got out of trouble and scored with a couple of counters of his own late in the round. At times Tete was softening or shortening the jab to tempt Villanueva to dive in with an attack and had his left perfectly positioned to land a counter as Villanueva came forward. It was impossible to see a way for the Filipino to win this one or even to be competitive as he was being outboxed and outthought all the way. Villanueva had some success with his counters and short hooks when he moved inside but was only fighting in bursts whereas Tete was constantly jabbing to score points and break Villanueva?s rhythm. It might be possible to find a round somewhere to give to Villanueva but that was an effort. Additionally he spent most of each round circling, looking for an attack angle and burning energy whist Tete was able to conserve energy by just stepping around the ring centre. In the eleventh a short left put Villanueva down. He tried to protest but it was a genuine if not heavy knockdown caused by a punch. Tete boxed his way comfortably through the last round to win a very wide unanimous decision. Scores 119-108 twice and 120-107 all for Tete. The brilliant South African had a lucky break when on Friday Marlon Tapales failed to make the weight for a title defence in Japan. The Japanese challenger would have become champion if he won the fight but Tapales scored a stoppage win. That still left the title vacant so this eliminator became a fight for the vacant title. Tete, a former undefeated IBF super fly champion would be more that a match for any fighter in this division. Villanueva, 28, lost a technical decision to McJoe Arroyo for the vacant IBF super fly title in 2015. He had scored three wins since then and was No 1 with the WBO, one position above Tete.
Williams vs. Smyle
Williams overcomes the handicap of cuts over both eyes to win the English title from champion Smyle on a split verdict. As with the Nurse vs. Hughes fight this one was constantly on a knife edge capable of swinging either way. It was a war from the start an outstandingly competitive contest. Williams was cut over his left eye in the third but despite giving away height and reach too the much bigger looking Smyle he dragged Smyle into a toe-to-toe scrap that was a contender for Fight of the Year. Smyle fought hard to hold on to his title and Williams shrugged off a cut over his right eye in the eighth as they battled all of the way to the final bell. Scores 98-93 and 97-93 for Williams and 96-95 for Smyle. Frank Warren immediately announced there would be a return match. The 27-year-old Londoner Williams had won 5 of his last 7 fights by KO/TKO and this was the first time he had gone past the eighth round in a fight. Local fighter Smyle was 6-0-1 in his last 7 with the draw being a technical one and he was making the second defence of his English title.
Yarde vs. Snow
Yarde gets another inside the distance win. The hard punching young prospect put Snow down twice the last with a blistering body punch. The 25-year-old from Essex has 9 wins by KO/TKO including six in the first round. Sixth loss by KO/TKO for Snow
Maxwell vs. Wright
Maxwell gets his second pro win with stoppage of Wright. The tall London-born Commonwealth bronze medallist was English and British champion and competed in the WSB. He has the distinction of a win over Albert Selimov who in turn was the only man to beat Vasyl Lomachenko as an amateur. Second loss by KO/TKO for Wright.
Dubois vs. Mendouo
Dubois only took 35 seconds to get his first win but this time he had to actually come out for the second round. Dubois shook Mendouo with a couple of rights to the head but he stood up and posed a few problems for Dubois to solve. At the end of the round he had Mendouo trapped in a corner and was unloading with bell saving Mendouo. Dubois ended it early in the second. He landed a couple of hard rights and then drove Mendouo into a corner and rocked him time and again with head punches. Mendouo started to slip down the ropes so the referee stepped in and applied a count. When the count was finished Mendouo indicated he wanted no more at the same time as the referee waived the fight over. The big 19-year old Dubois only had a few amateur fights so is not the finished article but he has immense potential. The much smaller British based Cameroon Mendouo gave it a try with some wild swings but was in over his head literally.
Liverpool: England: Middle: Martin Murray (35-4-1) W PTS 12 Gabriel Rosado (23-11,1ND). Super Middle: Rocky Fielding (24-1) W PTS 12 John Ryder (24-4). Light: Sean Dodd (13-2-1) W PTS 12 Lee Appleyard (10-3). Super Light: Tom Farrell (12-0) W PTS 10 Tommy Carus (8-3-2). Super Feather: Joe Cordina (1-0) W TKO 4 Jose Aguilar (16-33-4).
Murray vs. Rosado
Murray boxes his way to controversial majority decision over Rosado. This one was hard to score all the way. The both started well having good spells in the first round. Murray forced the fight more in the second with Rosado banging back to keep things tight. Again there were some furious exchanges and evidence of quite a bit of needle as they exchanged hard punches in the third and fourth. Murray started to open a gap over the middle rounds having a good fifth and sixth-apart from a very low right that earned Murray a strong rebuke from the referee-but he finished the sixth round strongly. The pace dropped for a while which suited Murray as he seemed to edge the eighth and ninth to open the gap further. Rosado is a battler and he came on strong over the tenth and eleventh and they fought hard to the bell in the last Murray seemed to have done enough to just take the decision and all would probably been OK apart from one of the scores. One judge had it even at 114-114 and another had Murray the winner by 116-112 but the third score of 119-109 for Murray incensed Rosado and that led to some recriminations and pushing and shoving in the ring. Murray, 34, wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title. He is looking for a fifth shot at a world title. Whilst Gennady Golovkin broke him down and halted him his draw with Felix Sturm and losses to Sergio Martinez and Arthur Abraham were all questionable. His only rating before this fight was No 8 with the WBA. He should now get a WBO ratings but getting another title shot is a different matter altogether. Rosado has lost to Golovkin and Peter Quillin in title shots. He is 2-4 in his last 6 fights but all against high class opposition and this fight shows he still has plenty left and can give any rated fighter a tough night.
Fielding vs. Ryder
Fielding wins the vacant British title with split decision over southpaw Ryder. After a messy first round the fight warmed-up with both fighters landing good punches to the body. Fielding tried to keep the fight an open one but Ryder was determined to get inside. It was close over the first three rounds but over the middle rounds Fielding made space for himself and was able to box and build a useful lead. He needed it as Ryder came on strong in the ninth pressing hard with Fielding forced to stand and trade in close. Fielding was able to box outside early in the tenth but Ryder came on strong at the end of the round as he forced his way inside. Ryder continued to press over the last two rounds but Fielding?s early lead saw him take the decision-but it was very close. Scores 116-113 and 115-114 for Fielding and 115-114 for Ryder. This was a much happier occasion than Fielding?s previous fight for this title when he was halted inside a round by Callum Smith in 2015. He had scored two wins in 2016 but the one against Chris Rebrasse was also a split decision. There are plenty of good fighters and fights to be made in this division and the 29-year-old Liverpool fighter will be looking to be in the mix. Londoner Ryder was making his third attempt to win this title having lost a hotly disputed decision against Billy Joe Saunders and being stopped in seven rounds by Nick Blackwell in previous efforts. He lost on points to Jack Arnfield in September but had bounced back with a good win over Adam Etches. He deserves a return and a fourth shot at the title.
Dodd vs. Appleyard
Dodd wins the vacant Commonwealth title as he overcomes a shaky start to outpoint Appleyard. The first round was a double whammy for Dodd. A right from Appleyard sent Dodd tumbling into the ropes badly shaken and the punch also opened a cut over Dodd?s left eye. It took Dodd a couple of rounds before he got into his stride after that poor start. Once he was rolling his awkward but effective style saw him take control of the fight. His quick accurate jabbing saw him outboxing the more conventional Appleyard. He quickly recovered the lost ground from that first round and as he upped his work rate he built a good lead. Appleyard stayed competitive but good defensive work from Dodd blunted many of his attacks and with his local fans cheering him on it was a clear and relatively comfortable win for Dodd. Scores 117-112, 117-113 and 116-112 all for Dodd. The 32-year-old local fighter has been a late developer and he signalled his arrival in two very close fights with unbeaten Scott Cardle for the British title being unlucky to lose the first and more than earn a draw in the second. Appleyard was 7-1 in his last 8 fights and with more experience can come again.
Farrell vs. Carus
Farrell beats Carus in fight of local friends. Friendship or not this was a hard fought close battle Farrell was the favourite but Carus was competitive all the way bringing blood from Farrell?s nose. Farrell only really pulled away over the late rounds when his extra experience and greater strength came into play. Referee?s score 97-95. Farrell, the WBA International champion will be moving onward and upwards. Carus had the additional handicap of only fight in the previous 18 months.
Cordina vs. Aguilar
Yet another Olympian moves into the pros as Welsh prospect Cordina halts Nicaraguan Aguilar. It was a classy and impressive display from Cordina. He constantly scored with stiff jabs and fine combinations of hooks and uppercuts. In the third a series of three uppercuts shook Aguilar and he also had to survive some wicked left hooks to the body. Aguilar usually goes the distance and might have made to the bell but in the last round as Cordina unloaded more power punches the referee stopped the one-sided fight despite protests from Aguilar. As well as competing at the 2016 Olympics the 25-year-old Cordina won a gold medal at the European championships and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games and boxed for the British Lionhearts in the WSB so yet another outstanding prospect. Now 17 losses in a row for Aguilar but then is what he is supposed to do.
Melbourne, Australia: Middle: Sam Soliman (45-14,1ND) W TKO 3 Balazs Horvath (29-22). Super Middle: Jake Carr (12-1) W PTS 8 Steven Ma (7-10-1). Super Middle: Jayde Mitchell (13-1) W TKO 2 Roland Oroszian (8-4). Middle: Dwight Ritchie (15-1) W TKO 2 Peter Orlik (22-21-1).
Soliman vs. Horvath
Soliman gives it more try as he returns to action with a win. The former IBF middle champion had poor Hungarian Balazs down in each of the first two rounds and the fight was stopped in the third. First fight the 43-year-old ?King? since being floored and halted in two rounds by Sergey Derevyanchenko in July last year. Now 20 losses by KO/TKO for Balasz.
Carr vs. Ma
Carr also gets back into action and the winning corner as he floors Ma in the first on the way to a unanimous decision. The 26-year-old local former Australian champion was halted in six rounds by Mike Gavronski in Tacoma in September so has come home to rebuild. Ma has lost 6 of his last 7 fight.
Mitchell vs. Oroszian
Mitchell much too good for yet another poor import. The interim OPBF champion and Australian No 4 put Oroszian down in the first and on a knockdown in the second the referee stopped the fight just as the towel came in from the Hungarian?s corner. Eight wins in a row for Mitchell including a stoppage of Les Sherrington. Oroszian no match for the local fighter.
Ritchie vs. Orlik
Another one-sided fight sees ?The Fighting Cowboy? Ritchie also get a needed win. He floors Orlik twice before the fight is stopped. The 25-year-old Ritchie, a former OPBF and Australian champion, suffered his first defeat and dropped his OPBF title to Japan?s Koki Tyson in November. He has 4 wins which count as No Decisions as he was below the age for pro fighting in Australia at the time. Orlik is 2-5 in his last 7 fights.
Puuvilla, Finland: Heavy: Johann Duhaupas (35-4) W KO 3 David Gogishvili (17-5). Just a payday and a bit of ring work for Duhaupas as he gets farcically easy win. In the first round Duhaupas was really just probing with his jab against the fat and slow Gogishvili. Duhaupas eventually threw a right through the Georgian?s guard. It did not look hard but Gogishvili went down. He beat the count and Duhaupas did not press too hard. In the second two rights from Duhaupas went through the Georgian?s guard and he dropped to the floor. He beat the count and stayed around for the third round. A couple of clubbing head punches from Duhaupas saw Gogishvili drop to his knees and he stayed there for the full count. The 36-year-old French ?Reptile? was having his first fight since a six round kayo loss to Alex Povetkin in December. He was stopped in eleven round by Deontay Wilder for the WBC title in 2015 but when he came to Finland in April last year he broke local hearts with a sixth round kayo of Robert Helenius. Gogishvili just fat and slow and on this showing a confirmed pacifist.
Villeurbanne, France: Super Welter: Michel Soro (30-1-1) W TKO 3 Javier Maciel (30-6). Cruiser: Arsen Goulamirian (20-0) W PTS 10 Alex Kubich (9-4). Super Welter: Dylan Charrat (12-0) W RTD 4 Bernard Follea (6-5-1).
Soro vs. Maciel
Soro pleases his home fans with stoppage of Argentinian Maciel. Soro used his left jab to put Maciel on the back foot from the start of the first round and kept him there. Maciel made a great start to the second round stopping Soro in his tracks with a jab and landing a right to the side of the head that seemed to wobble the Frenchman. Soro recovered quickly and soon was tracking Maciel around the ring pushing him back with the jab and now firing some combinations with a left hook to the body looking to have hurt Maciel. The Argentinian was on the front foot taking the fight to Soro at the start of the third but as Soro whacked home some combinations Maciel backed up to the ropes. Soro landed a hard right to the head and a left to the ribs which had Maciel sagging at the knees. Soro then landed a right to the back of Maciel?s head which stopped the action for a second. Maciel managed to fight his way off the ropes but Soro drove him across the ring and with the Argentinian staggering around the referee stopped the fight. Now 20 wins by KO/TKO for the 29-year-old former undefeated European champion. He was making the second defence of his WBA International title and is now 12-0-1 in his last 13 fights. His only loss was a points defeat against Zaurbek Baysangurov for the WBO title in 2012 and the draw was with Antoine Douglas in 2014 when he looked unlucky not to get the verdict. He is No 3 with the WBA and 13 (11) with the IBF but is a real danger man.
Maciel, 33, lost in his title shot to Dmitry Pirog for the WBO title in 2011 but is now 3-4 in his last 7 fights.
Goulamirian vs. Kubich
Goulamirian gets wide unanimous decision over Russian Kubich. Goulamirian totally dominated the fight having Kubich in deep trouble in the seventh and in the last round but could not find a punch to end things. Kubich used plenty of tricks to stay vertical and was dangerous with some wild swings but never really competitive. Scores 100-88,100-90 and 99-90 all for the Armenian-born French champion who is rated No 3 by the WBA. Three losses in a row now for Kubich.
Charrat vs. Follea
Charrat climbs off the floor to halt Follea. In the second round Charrat was put down for the first time in his short career with a punch which seemed to land on the back of his head. He was more insulted than hurt and in the third an uppercut had Follea ready to go down but he was saved by the bell. It was Follea?s turn to land on the canvas in the fourth and his corner pulled him out of the fight at the end of the round. The 23-year-old unbeaten fighter from Cannes is scheduled to fight in Tokyo on 10 June on the undercard to Ryota Murata vs. Hassan N?Dam N?Jikam for the vacant secondary WBA middle title. Now 3 losses in his last 4 fights for Follea.
Erfurt, Germany: Super Middle: Arthur Abraham (46-5) W PTS 12 Robin Krasniqi (46-5). Heavy: Tom Schwarz (19-0) W TKO 2 Adrian Redzovic (18-2). Light Heavy: Adam Deines (11-0-1) W TKO 3 Lukasz Golebiewski (8-1).
Abraham vs. Krasniqi
Abraham wins disappointing WBO eliminator. This was a typical Abraham fight. He plodded forward behind a high guard whilst Krasniqi flitted around scoring with light jabs and quick combinations. In the first Abraham did not really throw any punches of note until the last 30 seconds of the round and Krasniqi avoided any sustained trading using quick footwork to frustrate Abraham?s attack. From the second Abraham stepped up his pace but he was still having problems nailing down the fleet-footed Krasniqi who was slotting fast, accurate jabs and straight rights with the occasional body punch in the mix. The action varied little over the first half of the fight although Abraham did seem to shake Krasniqi in the fifth. Abraham has things going for him in the way of great punch resistance and the application of remorseless pressure. These factors began to pay off over the second half of the fight. Krasniqi had gone from boxing on the retreat to just plain retreat. He was unable to hurt or halt Abraham?s march. Abraham was getting through with heavy punches and Krasniqi was scooting around the ring perimeter to such an extent that Abraham began to drop his hands inviting Krasniqi to stop and fight. A tiring Krasniqi was caught and hurt by a couple of big rights in the tenth but battled back at the end of the round as Abraham just stood with his back to the ropes with his high guard allowing Krasniqi to throw a series of punches none of which trouble Abraham. Krasniqi was on the front foot more in the eleventh and banging home fast punches but it was Abraham who was landing the heavy punches Krasniqi started the last round brightly enough but by the end it was Abraham landing hard combinations and emerging a clear winner. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 115-114 all for Abraham. There was no title on the line here but with Abraham No 2 and Krasniqi No 3 Abraham should now be in line for a shot at Gilberto Ramirez but with Ramirez having made a defence on the same night as this fight it may be that No 1 contender Jesse Hart will be next in line. Ramirez outclassed Abraham so easily that a return would be a fight only Abraham and his team would like to see. German-based Kosovon Krasniqi is a neat, quick boxer but has been well beaten by Nathan Cleverly and Juergen Brahmer in world title fights and has gone as far as he can go.
Schwarz vs. Redzovic
No problems for heavyweight hope Schwarz. He had big height and reach advantages over the slow and predictable Redzovic. In the first Schwarz used his long reach to score with probing jabs and tried a few right crosses without really connecting. He dominated the early action in the second getting through with some right crosses. Late in the round as Redzovic moved in two right to the head put him on the floor. Redzovic made it to his feet and with less than ten seconds to go it looked as if he might last to the bell but a huge right from Schwarz put him down again and he was counted out. The 6?5 ?? (197cm), 22-year-old German makes it 12 wins by KO/TKO. He wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title and in this crazy sport that might get him a top 15 rating. He is still developing and has power in his right hand but if he continues to hold his left glove on his thigh and return it there after throwing a jab that could prove a dangerous fault. Bosnian Redzovic, 40, has a seriously over inflated record. His only other opponent of any consequence was Kosovon Arnold Gjergjaj who knocked out Arnold Redzovic in nine rounds.
Deines vs. Golebiewski
Southpaw hope Deines gets his third quick win in a row. A left put Pole Golebiewski down in the first round. Deines continued to hand out punishment in the second and floored Golebiewski again late in the third round and the fight was stopped. The 26-year-old German is being matched carefully at this stage. Golebiewski had won the GBA version of the German title in December but his opponent had a poor 3-4 record.
Szekesfehervar, Hungary: Cruiser: Imre Szello (17-0) W TKO 5 Tamas Toth (9-5-4). Cruiser: Jozsef Darmos (5-1-1) W TKO 7 Gyula Bozai (15-10-4). Welter: Balazs Torteli (12-1) W KO 1 Antal Racz (5-3).
Szello vs. Toth
Szello, probably Hungary?s outstanding boxer retains the WBO Inter-Continental and wins the national title with stoppage of Toth. Szello landed some hard punches in the first and in the second he busted Toth?s nose with a shot. The nose bled heavily and although Szello did not seem to put out his full effort by the fifth Toth?s face was covered in blood and he was clearly beaten with British referee Mickey Vann stopping the fight. Szello, 33, gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. It is a pity he did not turn pro earlier as he was a top flight amateur winning gold medals at a number of International Tournaments and fighting for the Milano Thunder team at the WSB from 2011 to 2015. His opposition has not been of sufficient quality to get him into the EBU ratings so a long way from a shot at any big title. Toth was making the second defence of the national title and was 3-0-2 in his last 5 fights but Szello was much too good for him.
Darmos vs. Bozai
Darmos wins the interim Hungarian title ?on the same show in which the champion Toth defends the full title-only in boxing! Darmos is finally finding his feet after a stuttering start as a pro. He had Gyula down twice on the way to a stoppage victory. The 32-year-old ?Gladiator? makes it 5 wins by KO/TKO. Darmos is another former top amateur who has left it late to turn pro. He was Hungarian champion eight times in a row and won bronze medals at three European championships. Bozai, 43, is a former interim champion.
Torteli vs. Racz
Torteli has no trouble holding onto his Hungarian title as he kayos teenager Racz inside a round. Now 5 wins by KO/TKO for Torteli who was making the first defence of his national title. Racz, 19, has had 5 of his fight end inside the first round. Unfortunately he has been the loser in three of those fights.
Osaka, Japan: Super Welter: Ratchasi (8-3) W TKO 12 Yutaka Oishi (14-6).
Thai Ratchasi (Niwat Kongkan) gets off the floor and comes from behind to get last round stoppage over OPBF champion Oishi. The local fighter put Ratchasi down in the second and proceeded to build a big lead going nine points in front on the cards after the eighth round.. The problem was that he was setting too fast a pace and the strong Thai was standing the pace better. In the last Oishi was totally exhausted and had nothing left and Ratchasi put him down. Oishi made it to his feet but was in no fit state to continue and the referee stopped the fight. Oishi was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and thence to hospital but the Japanese Commission advised that he had not required an operation. Ratchasi wins the OPBF title and makes it 6 wins by KO/TKO. Oishi was making the first defence of his title and drops to 4 losses by KO/TKO.
Rosarito, Mexico: Light: Alessandro Riguccini (17-0) W TKO 3 Jesus Rios (36-10-1,2ND). Light: Antonio Lozada Jr (37-2) W TKO2 Jesus Soto (10-2).
Riguccini vs. Rios
Mexican-based Italian wins the vacant WBFederation and IBF International title with stoppage of Mexican Rios. After a couple of even rounds the harder punching of Riguccini brought him the win. A series of punches to head and body drove Rios to the ropes and with Riguccini unloading more punches and Rios not fighting back the fight was stopped. The 29-year-old from Florence has now won 7 of his last 8 fights by KO/TKO. Rios was 5-1,1ND decision in his previous 7 fights including a loss in Italy and a No Decision in England against Ben Jones with all ten of his losses coming by way of KO/TKO.
Lozada vs. Soto
Lozada makes it three wins since returning to action. Lozada floored Soto in the second and then forced the stoppage. The tall boxer from Tijuana lost only one of his first 33 fights but after losing a points decision to Ramiro Alcaraz in 2013 was then inactive from May 2014 until returning with a win in July last year. He has 31 wins by KO/TKO so it will be interesting to see whether he can rebuild. Soto drops to 9 losses by KO/TKO.
Metepec, Mexico: Super Fly: Felipe Orucuta (34-4) W TKO 5 Juan Jimenez (23-12). Orucuta continues his quest for a third world title shot with a win. He had the fight under control and ended it in the fifth. A vicious body punch put Jimenez down in agony. Jimenez managed to make it to his feet but the follow-up attack from Orucuta had him taking heavy punishment and the referee stopped the fight. Orucuta, 31, lost a split decision and then a majority decision against Omar Narvaez for the WBO super fly title in Argentina. He suffered a third loss when he retired after six rounds against Jose Cayetano in December 2015. He took nine months out and this is his third win inside the distance against reasonable level opposition since returning. Jimenez suffered back-to-back inside the distance losses to Arthur Villanueva last year so now gets his third inside the distance loss in his last four fights.
Legionowo, Poland: Heavy: Krzys Zimnoch (22-1-1) W KO 2 Michael Grant (48-7). Light Heavy: Viktor Polyakov (12-1-1) W PTS 8 Dariusz Sek (26-3-2). Middle: Kamil Szeremeta (16-0) W PTS 8 Sebastian Skrzypczynski (12-15-2). Super Light: Michal Syrowatka (18-1) W PTS 6 Krzys Szot (20-21-2).
Zimnoch vs. Grant
Zimnoch blows away veteran Grant inside two rounds. In the first after initially going to the body Zimnoch landed a heavy right to Grant?s head. The visitor seemed to indicate the blow gave him trouble with his left eye but lasted to the bell. In the second a series of head shots saw a passive Grant drop to his knees. He got up but immediately the eight count was finished Zimnoch landed a long right cross that dumped Grant on the canvas against the ropes. Grant was counted out with no attempt to rise. The 6?3? (190cm) 33-year-old Zimnoch is getting his career back on track after a shock kayo loss to Mike Mollo last year. He now has 15 wins by KO/TKO and had his revenge in February when he forced Mollo to retire after six rounds. Grant, now 44, lost to Lennox Lewis for the WBC/IBF/IBO titles way back in 2000 as is way over the hill.
Polyakov vs. Sek
Polyakov fails to read the script and spoils the evening for the local fans with a deserved split decision over Sek. They fought on even terms over the early rounds but the pressure from Polyakov and his accuracy in placing his punches saw him edge in front. A left from Polyakov shook Sek badly in the sixth and he staged a strong finish in the seventh landing some hard left hooks. Sek took the last round getting through with a series of punches but it was not enough. Scores 77-75 and 77-76 for Polyakov and 77-75 for Sek. The German-based 35-year-old Polyakov was inactive for five years before returning to the ring in February when he lost to former amateur star Spas Genov and then drew with Toni Kraft both of whom were unbeaten. Southpaw Sek,30, lost to Robert Woge and Robin Krasniqi but was 5-0-1 in his last six fights.
Szeremeta vs. Skrzypczynski
Szeremeta much too good for fellow Pole Skrzypczynski. Szeremeta had Skrzypczynski on the floor in the first from a left hook and outboxed him comfortably all the way. Skrzypczynski tried hard to get into the fight but a counter right cross stopped him in his tracks in the second and from there left hooks and straight rights from Szeremeta dominated the action. At times it seemed a second knockdown was imminent but Skrzypczynski managed to stay on his feet. Scores 80-70 from all, three judges. Szeremeta, 27, is the mandatory challenger for the European title held by Emanuele Blandamura so will fight for the title in the second half of the year. He is No 15 with the WBO. Skrzypczynski has lost 7 of his last 8 fights.
Syrowatka vs. Szot
Syrowatka takes unanimous decision over veteran loser Sek. A strong right in the first saw Sek shaken and from there he fought mainly on the defensive. It was six rounds of work for Syrowatka and he took the decision on scores of 59-55 twice and 60-54. The EBU NO 8 has reversed his only loss in a run of 5 wins in a row. Szot, 38, gets plenty of work as a travelling loser and an extensive and as a quite successful ammeter and over 40 pro bouts he knows how to survive with only three losses by KO/TKO.
Sundsvall, Sweden: Heavy: Otto Wallin (18-0) W TKO 5 Gianluca Mandras (12-5). Super Middle: Oscar Ahlin (14-2) W TKO 3 Ermin Avdic (10-3).
Wallin vs. Mandras
Wallin gets stoppage over Italian. At 6?5 ?? (197cm) Wallin towered over the squat and slow Italian. Mandras kept rumbling forward and landed the occasional swing but the tall Swede was able to control the action with his jab and tie Mandras up inside. Late in the fourth Wallin put Mandras down with a short hook. Mandras was up before the eight and when the fight resumed he forced Wallin to the ropes but a right and left to the head had him staggering back and going down again. The bell went just after he made it to his feet. Mandras tried to roll forward again at the start of the fifth but another short hook put him down. He was up at nine and tried to move inside but a couple of counters saw him slump to the floor and the referee stopped the fight without counting. No real test for the 26-year-old Swede as he wins the vacant WBA Continental title and makes it 12 wins by KO/TKO. His record is littered with the usual collection of serial losers. He is No 13 with the EBU but we will have to wait until he faces better opposition to assess his potential. Italian champion Mandras 33 lost twice on disqualification in attempts to win the Italian title but finally made it at the third try. He is very limited
Ahlin vs. Avdic
Ahlin returns from inactivity to halt Bosnian Avdic. Ahlin took the first round and then floored Avdic in the second. Avdic was badly shaken by the knockdown but more significantly a rapid swelling closed his right eye. He came out for the third round but before the action could continue the referee asked the doctor to look at the injury and it was decided that Avdic could not continue. The 27-year-old Swedish ?Golden Boy? flirted briefly with a move down to super middle but losses to Bernard Donfack and Patrick Mendy made him think again and after a year out he was 178 ? for this one his twelfth win by KO/TKO. Now three losses in a row for Avdic.
Kiev, Ukraine: Feather: Oleg Yefimovych (29-2-1) W KO 7 Urbano Giuliani (9-2). Super Bantam: Olek Yegorov (18-1-1) W TKO 3 Lucas Baez (30-16-4). Fly: Artem Dalakian (15-0) W KO 6 Luis Macias (9-5-2).
Yefimovych vs. Giuliani
Yefimovych hits too hard for inexperienced Belgian. Yefimovych was working everything off the jab. He had a slight reach advantage and he used a solid jab to keep Giuliani on the retreat and scored with some rights to the body. When Giuliani did get past the jab he was being caught with hooks and uppercuts and was not getting the opportunity to do much scoring. Giuliani was spending more and more time on the ropes and in corners and in the fifth a left hook to the body put him down just before the bell. The sixth was one-sided as Yefimovych rammed home seven left jabs through the Belgian?s guard and then in his hurry to get thing over threw a wild right which missed completely and left an embarrassed Yefimovych on the floor. The Ukrainian continued to pound away at Giuliani to the bell with the referee warning the Belgian that he might soon stop the fight. Yefimovych took the decision out of the referee?s hands as in the seventh a searing left hook to the body put Giuliani on his hands and knees and he was unable to make any effort to beat the count. ?The Doctor? makes a fourth successful defence of his WBA Continental title and make it 16 wins by KO/TKO. The 36-year-old former European champion is 11-0-1 in his last 12 fights including some good level European opposition. He is No 6 with the EBU but seems to have no real ambition to work his way to a title shot either at European or world level. Belgian champion Giuliani showed some good skills and guts to last as long as he did against a far more experienced fighter.
Yegorov vs. Baez
Yegorov retains his WBC Continental title with cut eye stoppage win over Baez. Yegorov, a quick compact fighter, was using a fast accurate jab to keep Baez on the back foot and landing some wicked left hooks to the body. Baez showed a reasonable level of skill but by the end of the second round Yegorov was banging jabs though the visitors guard and was giving Baez a torrid time. Yegorov continued to press in the third but a clash of heads opened a cut over the left eye of Baez. The referee had the doctor examine the cut but it was too bad for Baez to continue and Yegorov was given a stoppage win. The Russian-born Ukrainian suffered his only loss when he was beaten on points for the vacant European title by world rated Gavin McDonnell in 2015. This is his fifth win in a row and he is No 6 with the EBU in a very tough division and could reasonable hope to get another shot at the title. Argentinian Baez might have expected this to be a No Decision but you get no favours on the road. He had won his last three fights.
Dalakian vs. Macias
Dalakian outclasses Mexican novice Macias. Dalakian is very quick both going forward and in defence,. He has fast hands and great movement-not in Lomachenko?s class but very talented. He was in and out with some savage shots to head and body with Macias unable to block or counter and when Macias did come forward he was met with sweeping hooks and uppercuts. The Mexican southpaw kept padding forward and had occasional success but not a lot. As the fight progressed it became messy with too many clinches and Dalakian?s work became untidy. Dalakian was loading up his punches in the sixth scoring with a succession of body punches and then driving Macias back with a volley of head punches with Macias dropping to the canvas face first and then being counted out as he tried to rise. The Azeri-born Dalakian was making the fourth defence of his WBA Continental title and has 11 wins by KO/TKO. A former World Military and Ukrainian champion Dalakian has a win over former world title challenger Silvio Olteanu but has yet to fight outside of the Ukraine. He is No 2 with the EBU so could fight for the European title later this year. Macias had just the basic technique and never really troubled Dalakian
Phoenix, AZ, USA: Super Middle: Artur Akavov (17-2) W PTS 8 Josue Ovando (14-14-1). Super Middle: James McGirt (26-3-1) W PTS 6 Roberto Yong (5-13-2). Super Bantam: Carlos Castro (18-0) W PTS 8 Juan Palacios (29-8-2).
Akavov vs. Ovando
Akavov comes back to the real world as he gets split decision over Ovando. In December Akavov lost a close decision to Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO title but here he struggled to get past Ovando. The Russian ?Wolverine? found the tall Ovando an awkward opponent and it was aggression and higher work rate that finally saw him come out the winner. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74 for Akavov. This is Akovov?s first fight since losing to Saunders and he is dropped from No 10 to nowhere by the WBO for losing to the world champion. Mexican Ovando had lost his last 6 fights.
Castro vs. Palacios
Castro gets easy win over a way over the hill Palacios. Castro had lots of height and reach over Palacios and was able to handle the Nicaraguan?s rushes with sharp counters. Palacios suffered a cut on his forehead in the second round but continued to plough forward into punishment and lost every round. Score 80-72 from all three judges for Castro. The 23-year-old from Phoenix has a couple of good wins but his problem is a lack of power. The 36-year-old Palacios is a former interim WBA champion down at minimum weight and does not carry the extra weight well. He drops to four losses in a row.
McGirt vs. Yong
McGirt climbs back between the ropes and gets a win. Local fighter Yong gave McGirt six good rounds of work and managed to win a couple to keep it interesting. Scores 58-56 for McGirt from all three judges. First fight for McGirt in 30 months. Yong is 0-9-1 in his last 10 fights.
Osaka, Japan: Bantam: Marlon Tapales (30-2) W TKO 11 Shohei Omori (18-2). Fly: Kazuto Ioka (22-1) W PTS 12 Noknoi (62-5).
Tapales vs. Omori.
After Tapales failed to make the weight coming in 2lbs over the limit the Japanese fighter was the only one who could win the now vacant WBO title. This fight was close right up until the end. Southpaw Omori had an edge in reach and had slightly the better of the first four rounds with two of the judges seeing him in front 39-37 and the other having it even at 38-38. Additionally Tapales suffered a cut over his right eye in the fourth. Despite this the Filipino stepped up the pace over the middle rounds and things were all even after eight rounds at 76-76 from all three judges and Omori suffering a cut over his left eye in the seventh. Tapales continued to batter at the body of Omori. The local fighter edged in front by taking the ninth but he was rapidly tiring and was put on the floor late in the tenth. He had nothing left and a furious attack from Tapales in the eleventh saw the fight stopped. The 25-year-old ?Maranding Nightmare? should have been making the first defence of his WBO title but threw it away here. He has lost only one of his last 23 fights and this is his ninth victory in a row but that became meaningless when he failed to make the weight. He had stopped Omori in two rounds in December 2015. Former undefeated Japanese champion Omori had scored three inside the distance win against good standard opposition but just ran out of gas here.
Ioka vs. Noknoi
Ioka outboxes Thai challenger to retain his WBA title. Again this fight was close most of the way. The clever boxing Ioka had slight physical edges but his hand speed, good upper body movement and quick feet were more important in this one. These are two good technical boxers so there was no wild swinging and Noknoi had a good jab and was very effective with overhand rights. Ioka lost a point in the third for a low left hook that was only marginally low. Ioka was slightly ahead on two cards after four rounds and had increased that lead slightly by the end of the eighth. Ioka shook Noknoi with a right in the ninth. Ioka really took over in the tenth landing a left hook following that later with a long right and then a left uppercut with Noknoi tiring noticeably. Ioka kept up the pressure over the last two rounds and was a clear winner. Scores 117-110 twice and 116-111 all for Ioka. Fifth defence of his WBA title for Ioka and nine wins in a row since losing to Thai Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF fly title in 2014. Noknoi started his career by going 1-5 in his first 6 fights and had then won 61 in a row but there was not a single rated fighter in those 61 victims. Despite that the 30-year-old Thai had good skills and great punch resistance.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Welter: Thulani Mbenge (10-0) W TKO 7 Shaun Ness (10-2-2). Cruiser: Kevin Lerena (18-1) W PTS 8 Sergio Ramirez (14-3). Super Feather: Lucky Monyebane (5-1) W TKO 9 Ashley Dlamini (16-6-2). Light Fly: DeeJay Kriel (11-1-1) W PTS 8 Xolisa Magusha (7-2-1).
Mbenge vs. Ness
Mbenge again shows his potential as he floor champion Ness three times on the way to winning the national title. Mbenge put Ness down with a right in the first. Ness was down again in the third but he was not about to give up his title and fought back hard. His southpaw style gave Mbenge some problems and Mbenge also had to contend with a cut under his right eye as Ness battled to hold on to his title. Body punches from Mbenge eventually took their toll and Ness was put down again in the seventh. Ness looked willing to continue but his trainer Colin Nathan threw in the towel. Ness might have been able to continue but there were five more rounds to go and as he showed when pulling Warren Joubert out against Josh Taylor Nathan gets these decisions right. Mbenge has won all 10 of his fights by KO/TKO. He had 121 fights as an amateur winning 93. He competed for South Africa at the World Championships and took home a bronze medal from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He has to be one of the top prospects in the country. Ness was making the first defence of his national title and was 9-0-1 going into the fight and is probably a match for any other domestic welter except Mbenge.
Lerena vs. Ramirez
Lerena gets wide unanimous points victory over Mexican Ramirez. There was no question of Ramirez being a threat and that was not what he was there for. Although coming complete with an ample waistline he was there to press Lerena and give him as many rounds of work as possible and did his job even managing to win a round or two. Lerena was eventually satisfied to go the distance. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 all for Lerena. The 24-year-old South African southpaw has reversed his only pro loss and scored recent wins over Dane Micki Nielsen (22-0) and experienced Vikapita Meroro. He has a 12 August date to fight Maxim Maslov (19-1-1) for the vacant IBO title. Ramirez had won his last two fights and earned his pay.
Monyebane vs. Dlamini
Southpaw prospect Monyebane wins the local State title with stoppage of the more experienced Dlamini. Monyebane showed maturity in the way he paced the fight as he had never gone past four rounds whereas Dlamini had gone both ten and twelve rounds in the past. Monyebane pressed hard and landed often. Finally a tiring Dlamini was stunned by a left in the ninth and the fight was stopped. Monyebane, the South African No 7 moves to four wins in a row. At one time Dlamini was 17-2-1 but since then he has lost four fights in a row.
Kriel vs. Magusha
Kriel extends his unbeaten streak to 11 with unanimous decision over Magusha. The southpaw style helped Magusha keep the fight close but the busy style and good work on the body saw Kriel win the decision. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74 all for Kriel. After losing his first pro fight the 21-year-old Kriel, the South African No 3, is now 10-0-1in his last 11. Magusha was 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights.
Fight of the week: Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga with honourable mention to Jorge Heiland vs. Mateo Veron
Fighter of the week: Zolani Tete for his brilliant display against Arthur Villanueva with honourable mention to Jesse Magdaleno for destroying Dos Santos
Punch of the week: The brutal punch from Jermell Charlo that knocked Charles Hatley out cold and honourable mention to the punch from Jorge Heiland that finished Mateo Veron
Upset of the week: Nearest thing to an upset was Avtandil Khurtsidze stoppage of unbeaten Tommy Langford
One to watch: Shakur Stevenson but I could have picked any one of a dozen more who fought over the weekend.
Click here for Part I.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eric Armit.
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