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The Past Week in Action 29 August 2017 - Part II

Carson, CA, USA: Super Welter: Miguel Cotto (41-5) W PTS 12 Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2). Super Bantam: Rey Vargas (30-0) W PTS 12 Ronny Rios (28-2). Feather: Joet Gonzalez (17-0) W KO 5 Deivi Julio Bassa (19-3,1ND). Feather: Emilio Sanchez (15-0) W KO 5 Danny Flores (15-10-1). Welter: Alexis Rocha (9-0) W KO 1 Esau Herrera (18-10-1).
Cotto vs. Kamegai
Cotto wins the vacant WBO title with wide unanimous decision over the brave but very limited Kamegai in a fight where the pattern rarely varied and gave Cotto’s stamina a tough test.
Round 1
Kamegai made his expected aggressive start. He was walking forward behind a high guard and firing punches from both hands. Cotto was forced onto the defensive and although he blocked or slipped many of the punches from Kamegai the Japanese fighter did enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Kamegai
Round 2
Kamegai only knows how to fight one way and that is attack, attack and attack again. This time Cotto made him pay time and again as he scored with counter after counter. Kamegai has great stamina and an iron chin but he was near the back of the queue when they handed out defence and his nose was already bleeding heavily.
Score 10-9 Cotto 19-19
Round 3
Cotto was finding Kamegai an easy target as the Japanese fighter kept walking in on a straight line and was caught by jabs, hooks and uppercuts. Kamegai had some success when he was able to catch Cotto on the ropes but Cotto never lingered there for long. Cotto was warned after almost wrestling Kamegai through the ropes and almost out of the ring but again it was his round.
Score 10-9 Cotto 29-28
Round 4
Still no let up in the forward march of Kamegai. The sheer volume of his punches meant he was landing some hooks and uppercuts but not many. Cotto snapped Kamegai’s head sideward with a big right and later made him step back with a strong uppercut. Kamegai walked forward again and Cotto scored with an array of punches but Kamegai was unmoved.
Score 10-9 Cotto 39-37
Round 5
Kamegai was fighting the only way he knew how and never countenanced any Plan B approach. Cotto stayed off the ropes in the fifth which cut down on the inside work of Kamegai. The Puerto Rican was warned for pushing Kamegai off but on the credit side he blasted Kamegai with 5-6 punch combinations .
Score 10-9 Cotto 49-46
Round 6
Cotto landed more heavy rights in this round. A couple of those had Kamegai’s head snapping sideward again and although he was occasionally forced to take a step back he kept rebounding only to walk into more quality shots from Cotto.
Score 10-9 Cotto 59-55
Round 7
Kamegai’s only hope was that the 36-year-old legs of Cotto would give out so he had to continue to play the role of plank of wood to the Cotto buzz saw The tactics looked to have a chance in this round as he outscored Cotto landing short chopping punches with Cotto looking tired and letting his work rate drop.
Score 10-9 Kamegai 68-65
Round 8
Cotto was back in charge in the eighth. He moved more showed good upper body movement and fired rapid combinations through the porous guard of Kamegai and ended the round with a peach of a left hook to the head
Score 10-9 Cotto 78-74
Round 9
No sign of Cotto slowing as he moved and punched throughout the round. Kamegai kept pressing but also kept getting clobbered inexorably by booming counters from Cotto.
Score 10-9 Cotto 88-83
Round 10
Kamegai made a determined start to the tenth and matched Cotto early. When Cotto started to unload Kamegai actually dropped his hands and ducked and bobbed and weaved (too little defensive skill too late).Cotto pummelled him with head shots before the bell but ended the round showing a cut up on his forehead.
Score 10-9 Cotto 98-92
Round 11
The eleventh was a messy round as both fighters were tired. Kamegai continued to hunt Cotto and continued to get nailed with counters.
Score 10-9 Cotto 108-101
Round 12
Somehow Kamegai had the stamina to keep rumbling in the last but there was no snap left in his punches and his guard was still missing allowing Cotto to do enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Cotto 118-110
Official scores 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110
Kamegai proved to be the perfect comeback opponent for the 36-year-old four division champion who was having his first fight since losing to Saul Alvarez in November 2015. He was forced to go twelve rounds and fight for three minutes of every round. It was a real test of his fitness but Kamegai was too open and too predictable to test any other facet of Cotto’s work. Cotto has said he will have just one more fight and wants the winner of Saul Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin but he would be a loser against either. The 34-year-old Japanese warrior Kamegai showed a great chin, tremendous stamina and very little skill but his pressure made it an entertaining fight.
Vargas vs. Rios
Vargas retains the WBC title with unanimous decision over local hero Rios. This one was close over the early rounds. Rios made a good start getting past the long reach of Vargas to score with body punches. Vargas used his reach and some sharp body punches to show well in the second but in the third it was Rios impressing with left hooks to the body but overall Vargas was busier and more accurate. Good distance work and again some choice left hooks from Vargas put him well ahead after six but Rios came into the fight in the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds pressing hard and it seemed as if he might turn the fight his way. Vargas got back on top in the tenth slotting home jabs and peppering Rios with combinations. Rios was still dangerous with left hooks but not able to land as many as he had earlier in the fight. He was being outboxed and outscored and Vargas boxed his way through the last round knowing he already had the fight won. Despite some frantic last ditch efforts from Rios the champion was a clear winner. Scores 118-110 twice and 115-113. The first two scores looked too wide and the last two close. The 26-year-old Mexican “King” was making the first defence of the title he won on a majority decision over Gavin McDonnell for the vacant title in February. Santa Ana native Rios, 27, made Vargas fight hard here and he can rebuild and will challenge again for a title sometime in the future.
Gonzalez vs. Bassa
Gonzalez pressures all the way before halting Bassa in the fifth. In a quiet first round the best punch was a left hook from Gonzalez that threw southpaw Bass off balance but it was mainly a round of study by both fighters. Gonzalez was busy busy in the second pressing the fight working the jab and going to the body but not really able to land anything of consequence. Gonzalez stepped up the pace in the third and fourth taking Bass to the ropes and raking him with hard combinations with the Colombian showing signs of weakening. In the fifth a right from Gonzalez dumped Bass on the floor. He beat the count and tried to survive by running and holding but when two more rights sent him stumbling back to the ropes the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Californian was inspired to take up boxing by watching an Oscar De La Hoya fight and now he is one of the rising youngsters in the Golden Boy team. As an amateur he was US National Junior champion. He lost out at the US Olympic Trials for the 2012 Games but later in the year won a gold medal at the 2012 US National Championships beating Gervonta Davis in the first series on a disqualification. He has nine wins by KO/TKO. Colombian Bassa now has three losses by KO/TKO. He won his first 17 fights before being stopped in ten rounds by Kenichi Ogawa in 2015 and was 2-1,1ND going into this one. He competed at the World Championships, World Military Championships and Pan American Games and won a silver medal at the South American Championships before turning pro at 32.
Sanchez vs. Flores
Sanchez batters a game but out-gunned Flores to defeat. Sanchez was quicker and had the edge in power. He scored with some sparkling right uppercuts in the first as Flores marched forward. They traded punches throughout the second. Flores scored with some good head punches but Sanchez banged home a whole series of left hooks to the body and kept Flores pinned to the ropes for the last two minutes of the round pounding away with hooks and uppercuts. Flores battled back in the third as he pressed hard for three minutes and landed some hefty left hooks but over the closing 30 seconds Sanchez hammered home a series of right uppercuts. Sanchez started the fourth with more right uppercuts and late in the round landed a couple of crunching left hooks to the chin. There was some concern over the punishment Flores was taking and after Sanchez staggered him with a left hook and scored with some more lefts and rights the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Californian moves to 10 wins by KO/TKO. As an amateur he was both US National and National Golden Gloves Junior champion and competed at the US trials for the 2012 Olympic Team. Flores drops to 1-7-1 in his last 9 fights.
Rivera vs. Sanchez
This one did not start well for Rivera. Less than one minute into the fight he landed a low left hook which sent Sanchez down on his knees in agony. Sanchez was given time to recover and the referee deducted a point from Rivera. When the action resumed Sanchez was winging wild hooks and leaving himself open. Rivera suddenly switched to southpaw and his next punch, a thunderbolt of a left hook, put Sanchez down flat on his back and after starting the count the referee waived the fight off. The 25-year-old Puerto Rican was halted in three rounds by Adrian Hernandez in a challenge for the WBC light fly title in 2014. He is 6-0-1 since then and is No 5 with the WBO. This loss makes it two first round blow outs in a row for poor Mexican Sanchez.
Rocha vs. Herrera
Rocha was giving away a substantial amount in both weight and experience but it made no difference. Rocha was letting his southpaw straight lefts go from the outset. Herrera tried to hold on the inside to deny Rocha leverage and was given a warning. A few moments later a perfect southpaw right hook to the chin put Herrera down and he never looked like beating the count. The 20-year-old Californian followed his brother Ronny Rios into boxing and was an outstanding Junior winning a gold medal at the US Junior Olympics at just 14, reaching the quarter-finals of the World Junior Championships and winning six national titles. One to follow. Herrera, 33 falls to seven losses by KO/TKO.

Hurlingham, Argentina: Super Welter: Ricardo Villalba (18-3-1) W DISQ 8 Hector Saldivia (46-5). Home town fighter Villalba wins Argentinian title and retains WBO Latino title as Saldivia is disqualified for butting. Saldivia started in his usual aggressive manner but a right from Villalba started a swelling under the left eye of Saldivia. With his superior experience Saldivia quickly had Villalba spending time trapped on the ropes but Villalba was countering well. Villalba had a big fourth round this time taking Saldivia to the ropes and landed a series of punches which saw the referee stop the action and give Saldivia a standing count. With the swelling beginning to close his eye Saldivia increased his pace and took rounds five, six and seven. However in the seventh after he butted Villalba a couple of times and opened a cut over his left eye the referee deducted a point from Saldivar. Villalba survived a doctor’s inspection but in the eighth Saldivia was again guilty of a butt and this time the cut was worsened and with Villalba unable to continue the referee disqualified Saldivia. Now 6 wins in his last 7 fights Villalba. Saldivia, 33, lost to Kell Brook in an IBF title eliminator back in 2012 but had won 5 of his last 6.

Olavinlinna, Finland: Light Heavy: Niklas Rasanen (14-1-1) DREW 10 Patrick Mendy (17-13-3). Light Heavy: Sami Enbon (16-1) W TKO 4 Stanislav Eschner (5-4-1). Welter: Jussi Koivula (23-4-1) W DISQ 3 Pal Olah (7-10-1). Super Feather: Tuomo Eronen (19-4) W TKO 3 Giorgi Abuladze (9-2-1).
Rasanen vs. Mendy
Local southpaw Rasanen disappoints in draw with much travelled Mendy. The Finn made the better start putting himself in front by managing to box on the outside against Mendy who is really a natural middleweight. After that bright start Rasanen faded for a while as Mendy managed to get past the Finn’s reach and work inside roughing Rasanen up and rustling him out of his stride. There were some furious exchanges but over the seventh and eighth Rasanen slowed and his work rate dropped. The Finn rallied over the closing rounds as Mendy was the one tiring and the draw looked a fair decision. Scores 97-96 for Rasanen, 96-95 for Mendy and 95-95. The 30-year-old “ Drummer Boy” Rasanen won his first 13 fights before being knocked out in eleven rounds by Mariano Hilario for the European Union title in December but had returned to the winning column with a points victory over Argentinian Ricardo Ramallo. British-based Gambian Mendy, 26, is now 2-6-2 in his last 10 fights which have been in seven different countries and he can give anyone a tough night when in top condition.
Enbon vs. Eschner
Easy win for southpaw Enbon. He handed out punishment over the first three rounds before flooring Eschner twice in the fourth to force the stoppage. Enbon won his first 14 fights but then was halted in six rounds by world rated German Dominic Boesel in March. This is his second win by KO/TKO since then. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Czech Eschner.
Koivula vs. Olah
Koivula gets win in a scrappy fight. Koivula was a couple of classes better than the Hungarian. Olah was finally disqualified for constantly turning his back on Koivula. Koivula has lost tough fights in challenges for the European and European Union titles but has now won 4 of his last 5 fights. Four losses in a row for Olah.
Eronen vs. Abuladze
Southpaw Eronen has no trouble with Abuladze. The Finn floored the inexperienced young Georgian in the third and the fight was stopped. Fifth win in a row for the 36-year-old local. Two fights outside Georgia for Abuladze and two losses inside the distance.

Neu-Isenburg, Germany: Light Heavy: Denis Liebau (22-1) W Francisco Cordero (37-8). Super Welter: Gerome Quigley (18-0) W TKO 2 Orlen Padilla (23-7-1).
Liebau vs. Cordero
Liebau retains his WBU (German version) title as Colombian Cordero retires with a hand injury. This looked a total mismatch in the first. Liebau had big height and weight advantages over a vastly overweight and glacially slow Cordero. Liebau was able to box safely outside and pummel Cordero with jabs and hooks with Cordero only throwing occasional wide swipes. Cordero came to life in the second stabbing out jabs and letting go with both hands. Liebau suddenly found himself in a fight being forced onto the back foot as Cordero came in swinging. Fortunately for Liebau there was very little power in Cordero’s punches and he was wide open for counters. The effort of actually fighting for those three minutes seemed to have exhausted Cordero and he retired at the end of the round complaining of an injury to his left hand. The 36-year-old German Liebau, who promoted the show, lost to world rated Dominic Boesel on an eleventh round stoppage last year and this is his third win since then. Cordero was a super feather when he turned pro in 2007 now he is a light heavy. He is no taller than he was as a super feather but a lot fatter.
Quigley vs. Padilla
Quigley wins the vacant WBU (German Version) title with stoppage of Colombian. Padilla came to fight and had Quigley on the back foot in the first round as he stormed forward throwing hooks to the body. Quigley steadied himself and was scoring with hard counters by the end of the round. In the second Quigley went hunting. He trapped Padilla in a corner and staggered him. Padilla escaped only to be forced to the ropes again and a fusillade of punches from Quigley had him slumping to the canvas. He beat the count but as Quigley unloaded more punches the fight was stopped. The 33-year-old from Maryland makes it 16 wins by KO/TKO half of them one round finishes. He fought in Washington last month winning the vacant USBO title. Quigley was a good level amateur but walked away from the sport for six year before turning pro in 2013. Padilla 31 had won 7 of his last 8 fights but against very low grade opposition in Colombia with six of his victims having only 4 wins between them.

Vilnius. Lithuania: Light: Isa Chaniev (11-1) W PTS 12 Jean Pierre Bauwens (42-4-2). Super Welter: Virgilijus Stapulionis (29-5-1) W PTS 10 Pavel Mamontov (12-5-2). Light Heavy: Yoann Kongolo (9-0) W PTS 10 Salambek Baysangurov (8-1).
Chaniev vs. Bauwens
Chaniev gets a good win as he takes wide unanimous decision over former EU champion Bauwens. This was a one-sided fight with Chaniev in control from the start. He swept the first four rounds clearly. Bauwens looking worth a share of the fifth and looked to have edged the seventh but that was all. The Belgian was cut over the left eye in the eighth and was never in the fight after that. Scores 119-109 twice and 120-108 all for Chaniev. The 24-year-old Russian wins the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title at the second attempt having been outpointed Fedor Papazov (19-2) for the vacant title in May. Bauwens, 29, has been unimpressive in recent fights and was well beaten here. He was married on the Saturday previous to this fight and his new bride was in the audience.
Stapulionis vs. Mamontov
Local fighter Stapulionis has his first fight in his home country for two years but struggles to get by Mamontov. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93. The 31-year-old “Lithuanian Terminator” wins the vacant IBF Baltic title. He is working his way back after consecutive losses to Patrick Day and Magomed Kurbanov. Mamontov has lost 4 of his last 5 fights three of them to unbeaten fighters.
Kongolo vs. Baysangurov
Swiss fighter Kongolo wins the vacant WBC International Silver title but it is a close run thing. Baysangurov was quicker off the mark and looked to have taken three of the first four rounds. Kongolo did well in the middle rounds to get himself a small lead but the eighth and ninth were close and late in the last round he was nailed with a hard punch and was in deep trouble and only just made it to the bell. Scores 96-94 twice for Kongolo and 95-95 which shows how close this one was. The 29-year-old Swiss made a name for himself in kickboxing and Koshiki Karatedo a form of full contact karate before concentrating on boxing. Ukrainian-based Russian returned to action with a win last year after six years out of the sport.

Benidorm, Spain: Feather: Kiko Martinez (38-8-1) W KO 3 Lorenzo Parra (32-13-2). Martinez beats an over the hill Parra in four rounds. Martinez floored Parra in both the first and second rounds before putting the Venezuelan down twice more in the third to end the fight. Second win for the former IBF super bantam champion as he rebuilds after losing a majority verdict to Josh Warrington in May. Parra, 39, a former WBA fly champion was floored four times in losing to Brit Sam Bowen in July so that is now 9 losses on the bounce and 8 knockdowns in his last two fights.

Mashantucket, CT, USA: Welter: Jimmy Williams (14-0-1) W KO 4 Issouf Kinda (18-5). Controversy and near riot as Williams gets win over Kinda. Both landed some heavy stuff in the first. A left hook from Williams looked to have put Kinda down but the referee ruled it a slip. They continued to trade hard punches and in the fourth as they exchanged shots the referee stepped in trying to break them. Despite the referee’s efforts they both kept punching and a shot from Williams put Kinda down. The referee counted Kinda out but the loser’s corner felt that the punch was landed after the break was called and was illegal and they invaded the ring sparking ugly scenes inside and outside the ring. The result stood and Williams makes it 6 wins by KO/TKO and retains his WBC USNBC title Kinda, 29, from Burkina Faso, won his first 16 fights but is now 2-5 in his last 7.

Uthai Thani, Thailand: Fly: Amnat Ruenroeng (18-1) W TKO 3 Thongchai Kunram (6-13). Former IBF champion Ruenroeng eases his way back with third round stoppage of Thongchai in a poor bit of matching. First fight for Ruenroeng since being floored four times when losing his IBF title to John Riel Casimero in May last year. Thongchai now 9 losses in a row 7 of them by KO/TKO.
August 27
Ashikita-gun, Japan: Minimum: Ryuya Yamanaka (15-2) W PTS 12 Tatsuta Fukuhara (19-5-6). Yamanaka wins the WBO title with victory over the champion Fukuhara. Local fighter Fukuhara made his usual aggressive start rumbling forward trying to pin down the stylish Yamanaka. He had success with those tactics over the first three rounds but from the fourth the clever boxing and accurate counters from Yamanaka turned the fight his way. Fukuyama kept going to the body trying to slow the challenger but it was Yamanaka who was picking up the points. Knowing he was behind Fukuhara staged a strong finish but just came up short. Scores 115-113 twice and 116-112 all for Yamanaka. An indication of how close the fight and the rounds were is that the rounds were all scored 10-9 by the judges scored but they differed in their round by round scores only being unanimous in their scoring of the seventh and ninth rounds. Yamanaka, 22, makes it eight wins in a row. Southpaw Fukuhara, 28, won the interim title on a split decision over Mexican Moises Calleros in February and was subsequently upgraded from interim to full champion so lost the title in his first defence.

Fight of the week: Mayweather vs. McGregor-only joking folks! Nothing really stood out. Kamegai’s relentless pressure meant the Cotto fight was twelve rounds of action but I go for Rey Vargas vs. Ronny Rios which was more competitive
Fighter of the week: Serhiy Derevyanchenko for his crushing victory over Tureano Johnson with honourable mention to Badou Jack now a two division champion
Punch of the week: The left hook from Hugo Centeno which flattened Immanuel Aleem with honourable mentions for one punch finisjhes to Janiel Rivera and Alexis Rocha
Upset of the week: None
One to watch: Alexis Rocha 9-0

Click here for Part I.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eric Armit.

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