The Past Week in Action 12 September 2017 - Part II
By Eric Armit
Wed, 13 Sep 2017
Kempton Park, Johannesburg: Cruiser: Kevin Lerena (19-1) W PTS 12 Youri Kayembre Kalenga (23-4). Welter: Thulani Mbenge (12-0) W PTS 12 Mzoxolo Ndwayana (15-3-2). Super Welter: Nkululeko Mhlongo (12-0) W TKO 10 Brandon Thysse (9-1).
Lerena vs. Kalenga
Lerena wins the vacant IBO title with a split verdict over DRC fighter Kalenga with the decision proving controversial. Lerena wisely made a cautious start against the big punching Kalenga. He used his southpaw jab well and threaded home some sharp jabs. Kalenga was less controlled but landed some hefty body punches. Lerena worked his jab well and landed some nice counters. To be effective Kalenga needed to have Lerena trapped on the ropes because he was swinging wildly when at a distance. When he had Lerena on the ropes Kalenga opened up with both hands throwing hooks. It looked impressive but Lerena was doing a good job of blocking the punches and with Kalenga holding his hands low to throw hooks inevitably Lerena was scoring on an open target when he came off the ropes. Kalenga was always dangerous so Lerena was constantly on the back foot. When he had Lerena on the ropes Kalenga had more success when he threw uppercuts inside but too often he was swinging hooks which Lerena found easy to block. Lerena was cut over the left eye in a clash of heads in the third but it was never a factor. The South African scored with some quality counters in the fourth with a wild Kalenga missing with a big swing and falling to the canvas. Kalenga had a huge edge in power and kept marching forward and throwing spectacular volleys of vicious body punches. Lerena worked more consistently probing with his jab and slotting home left counters. His movement had Kalenga swishing air in every round but he lacked the power to stop Kalenga rumbling in. Despite those wild misses Kalenga stuck to his task and was focused on the body trying to slow the South African. The pattern never really changed as Kalenga could only fight one way and for Lerena to change his tactics and try to punch with Kalenga would have been stupid. How you saw the fight in the end came down to whether you were more impressed by the bursts of eye-catching attacks of Kalenga or the measured more subtle and clever jabbing and accurate countering from Lerena. For me the South African chose and executed the correct tactics and was a worthy winner. Scores 116-113 and 115-113 for Lerena and 117-111 for Kalenga. The 25-year-old from Johannesburg has reversed his sole loss which came against Johnny Muller and had won his last seven fights including an important victory over unbeaten Dane Miki Nielsen (22-0). He was rated WBO 2/IBF 3(2)/WBC 5/WBA 11 so there are chances for another title there but meantime he is IBO champion and he will want to take some time to enjoy that. Naturally former WBA interim champion Kalenga thought he had won and a protest to the IBO is inevitable. He was 2-2 going into this one with losses to Denis Lebedev and Yunier Dorticos in WBA title fights so this was a big setback.
Mbenge vs. Ndwayana
Mbenge given his sternest test so far by gutsy Ndwayana as he retains his title with a wide unanimous decision. Mbenge showed his power and almost ended this one inside the first three minutes. A huge right dumped Ndwayana on the floor in the opening round. It looked unlikely but somehow Ndwayana got up and survived to the bell. He went even further in taking the fight to Mbenge for much of the twelve rounds. It made Mbenge work hard but he is an outstanding talent and Ndwayana just did not have the power or skill to really pose any danger. However, he did make Mbenge work hard in his first title defence and took the champion past the eighth round for the first time in his relatively short career. Scores 119-108 for Mbenge from all three judges. Mbenge comes from Eastern Cape the area that produced former WBA super feather title challenger Nkosana “Happyboy” Mgxaji (only one loss in his first 74 pro fights!!) and former IBF champion Vuyani Bungu. Mbenge’s first punch bag was a garbage bag hanging from a tree at home but he is long way from there now and could go much further. Ndwayana, also from Eastern Cape was having his second shot at a national title and was rated No 2 by Boxing SA.
Mhlongo vs. Thysse
The old “Bulldog” has too much bite for the younger man as Mhlongo retains his national title with stoppage of unbeaten Thysse. This was a case of Mhlongo with ten years experience, nine title fights and 120 rounds of boxing against Thysse with two years, nine fights and less than thirty rounds of boxing behind him. The experience gap was too wide for Thysse to overcome. Mhlongo pressed hard from the start. Thysse was much quicker and slicker but Mhlongo just kept coming and landing hard accurate punches. He slowly broke down Thysse’s resistance and handed out a severe lesson before the referee stopped the fight in the tenth. Mhlongo suffered losses on the road last year to Rafael Bejaran on a technical decision for the vacant WBFederation title and on a close decision to Armenian Wanik Awdijan but he still rules the roost at home. Thysse can come again as this was a step too far at this stage of his career.
Astana, Kazakhstan: Super Welter: Kanat Islam (25-0) W TKO 9 Brandon Cook (18-1).Welter: Zhankhozh Turarov (22-0) W PTS 10 Bruno Romay (21-5).
Islam vs. Cook
Islam opens the door to a title shot as his corrosive punching erodes the resistance by a brave Cook and forces an inside the distance win. Nothing tentative here. Islam landed a hard right cross which stung Cook into launching a two-fisted attack scoring a right of his own and a quick burst of follow-up punches. Kanat landed a low left with Cook turning away in pain. The referee signalled a time out and Gave Cook some recovery time and gave Islam a stern warning. They both landed hard rights and Islam got away with another low left hook in an action-filled opener. There was quality work from both men in the second. Both landed heavy rights until Islam landed a left hook to the body that had Cook hurt and backing off. Another low left hook had Cook complaining to the referee who gave Islam another warning. In an exciting third Islam twice rocked Cook with booming head punches but was again given a warning for straying low. Cook then shook Islam with a right but when he tried to follow up a short right to the chin put him down on his hands and knees. He was badly hurt but the bell went when the eight count was completed. Islam handed out some heavy punishment in the fourth but was finally deducted a point for a low left hook. The confidence had gone out of Cook after that knockdown. Again Islam landed a low left hook but the referee took no action. Early in the fifth a huge left hook saw Cook slump down until he was held up by the bottom rope. He was up and ready continue after the eight count. He fought back hard and a clash of heads opened a cut over the left eye of Islam. Cook found his confidence again and clearly took the sixth. A strong finish gave Islam the seventh. A straight right sent Cook crashing to the floor just before the bell in the eighth. He was up at six and Islam did not have time to take advantage of the knockdown. A series of rights in the ninth saw the referee step in and save Cook from more punishment.
The 32-year-old Chinese-born Kazak move to 20 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated IBF 3(2)/WBA 2/WBC 19. He is a clever, aggressive boxer with real power who fights in the style of his more famous countryman Gennady Golovkin and is a dark horse danger man in this division. Under his birth name of Hanati Silamu he won bronze medals for China at the 2008 Olympics and the 2007 World Championships. He is of Kazak lineage and a Kazak millionaire convinced him to take Kazak citizenship which he was pleased to do and he and captained the "Astana Arlans” in the WSB. Ontario’s “Bad Boy” Cook gave it his best here. He showed good skills and some power of his own but Islam was just too quick and heavy-handed for him. He was coming off a career best win against Steven Butler in January and was rated IBF 5(4)/WBA 5/WBO 7.
Turarov vs. Romay
Turarov stays unbeaten as he takes unanimous decision over Argentinian southpaw Romay. After clearly taking the first three rounds Turarov suffered a break to his right hand in the fourth. The injury allowed the Argentinian to get into the fight and he pushed Turarov all the way but could not make up for that strong start by the Kazak boxer. “Da Kazak Kid” Turarov, 26, is a stable mate of Islam and is also based in Florida. He has done most of his fighting in the Dominican Republic and has yet to face a real test but is rated WBA 10/IBF 12(10). The 29-year-old Romay went 1-3 in his first 4 fights then 20-1 in his next 21but the opposition has been weak and he is not rated in the Argentinian ratings.
Radom, Poland: Heavy: Joey Abell (34-9,2ND) W KO 3 Krzys Zimnoch (22-2-1) W. Heavy: Przemyslaw Runowski (16-0) W PTS 8 Twaha Kiduku (11-2). Heavy: Serglej Werwejko (7-1) W TKO 4 Nagy Aguilera (20-10). Heavy: Lukasz Rozanski (7-0) W KO 1 Albert Sosnowski (49-9-2).
Zimnoch vs. Abell
Abell forgets why he was imported and knocks out the local fighter. Abell was sharper from the outset scoring with some hefty southpaw lefts and Zimnoch was in trouble at the bell. Abel built on the strong start by again pressing in the second with Zimnoch forced to defend rather than attack. The Pole finally seemed to be getting into the fight in third but late in the round a left hook sent him staggering into the ropes and a thunderous right hook put him down heavily and the fight was over. Big win for the 36-year-old “Minnesota Ice” and he has 36 inside the distance finishes. Zimnoch’s other loss came in similar circumstances as intended victim Mike Mollo knocked Zimnoch out in two rounds in February last year. The Pole beat Mollo in a return and says he intends to continue fighting.
Runowski vs. Kiduku
Runowski has to climb off the floor to beat Tanzanian Kiduku. In an even first round Kiduku showed some good skills and looked dangerous with his right. In the second Kiduku lunged forward throwing rights and a retreating Runowski went down. He got up and made it to the bell despite some frantic attacks from Kiduku. In the third Runowski shook Kiduku with a right to the head and then chased the Tanzanian around the ring landing punch after punch to compensate for that second round knockdown. Kiduku did go down but it was ruled a slip. From there Runowski established control. He worked the jab well and found the target constantly with overhand rights and left hooks to the body Kiduku fought hard all of the way and was always dangerous with his rights but too often inaccurate. There were no more scares for Runowski and he took the unanimous decision. Scores 77-74 twice and 78-74 for the Polish fighter. The 23-year-old Runowski, a former Polish Youth champion and European Youth bronze medal winner is being sensibly matched and making good progress, Kiduku showed some good skills and a strong right hand. He had won his last three fights and fought hard here.
Werwejko vs. Aguilera
Werwejko gets controversial inside the distance win over Aguilera. Ukrainian Werwejko outboxed Aguilera in the first but things heated-up in the second. Werwejko staggered Aguilera with a right but then landed three punches which swung around to catch Aguilera on the back of the head. Aguilera then punched Werwejko on the back of the head. Werwejko took control again in the third but in the fourth as Aguilera forced him to the ropes he landed a tap to the back of Aguilera’s head. Aguilera went down on one knee holding the back of his head and remonstrating with the referee. The blow had been so light that it was an obvious overreaction and the referee just signalled for Aguilera to get up. Instead Aguilera took his “act” a step further slumping forward down on both knees with his head resting on the canvas. It was a disgraceful bit of acting and the referee ignored Aguilera’s complaint. When Aguilera showed no signs of getting up the referee stopped the fight and crowned Werwejko the winner. The 6’5” (195cm) 29-year-old Werwejko has a major job to do if he is to rebuild his reputation after being halted in five rounds by Brazilian Marcelo Nascimento in March. Aguilera had his day in the limelight back in 2009 when he halted former WBC champion Oleg Maskaev inside a round but he lost too many fights after that. He was brought to Poland in 2015 to be a victim of Marcin Rekowski but came from behind to stop Rekowski in the tenth and then the work dried up.
Rozanski vs. Sosnowski
Rozanski ends Sosnowski’s career as he blows him away inside a round. Rozanski came out firing taking the fight to Sosnowski and shook the veteran with a left hook just 15 seconds into the fight. Sosnowski tried to keep Rozanski out with his jab but another left hook had him hurt and a right uppercut drove him to the ropes. He held until his head cleared but was unsteady on his feet. Rozanski drove Sosnowski back to the ropes again and showered him with rights and Sosnowski slumped to the floor. He dragged himself up but just failed to beat the count. The 31-year-old Rozanski doesn’t hang around. This is his fifth win in the first round and his seven wins have taken him less than eleven round. Former undefeated European champion and WBC title challenger Sosnowski looked a very shot fighter. He did not manage to land a single punch and thankfully announced his retirement.
Mansfield, Australia: Cruiser: Lance Bryant (11-3) W TKO 2 Aaron Russell (10-4). Super Welter: Samuel Colomban (25-10-1) W PTS 10 Adrian Rodriguez (8-1-1). Super Feather: Brent Rice (7-0) W PTS 10 James Katz (4-3).
Bryant vs. Russell
New Zealander Bryant wins the vacant IBO Oceania title with stoppage of Russell. There was no shortage of incidents here as Bryant floored Russell three times in the second round. A body punch started the rot but Bryant was guilty of hitting Russell when he was down and was deducted a point. He also lost points for hitting Russell on the back of his head and for a low blow but after the third knockdown the fight was stopped. The 36-year-old New Zealand champion has turned his career around with seven wins in a row. Russell 28 had won his last six fights but this is his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Colomban vs. Rodriguez
Experience gets the job done for Colomban as he wins the vacant Australian title with unanimous decision over Rodriguez. Scores 99-91 twice and 96-94. The Cameroon-born Australian had failed in four previous attempts to win the national welter title. Better late than never to be a champion for 32-year-old Colomban. State champion Rodriguez was having his first ten round fight and Colomban’s big edge in experience was too much for him.
Rice vs. Katz
Rice retains the national title with a wide decision over former victim Katz. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. Rice had won a majority decision over Katz in his second pro fight.
Montreal, Canada: Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (17-0) W KO 2 Bernard Donfack (23-17-3). Light Heavy: Ryan Ford (13-0) W RTD 4 Joaquin Murrieta (5-6-2).Super Light: Roody Pierre Paul (16-3-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Jesus Rios (37-11-1,2ND).
Bazinyan vs. Donfack
Bazinyan moves to 17 wins in a row with kayo of Cameroon-born German-based Donfack. Bazinyan confidently jabbed his way through the first with the only threat coming from wild swings from Donfack. Bazinyan continued to work the jab in the second and then landed a long left which did not look too hard but knocked Donfack back. At first it looked as though he was just shaken by the punch and both Bazinyan and the referee showed surprise when Donfack went face down on the canvas in pain. He looked to have injured himself but was counted out. The 22-year-old Bazinyan was born in Armenia where he gained a reputation as a street fighter before putting on the gloves. His parents did not want Bazinyan to serve his compulsory military service so they moved to Quebec in 2011. He won numerous local titles before turning pro with the team run by Otis and Howard Grant and served as a sparring partner for Lucien Bute in his preparations for the James DeGale fight. Bazinyan is now rated No 14 by the WBO. Donfack, 37, a former WBFederation champion has lost 5 of his last 6 fights.
Ford vs. Murrieta
Ford bludgeons Murrieta to defeat. Ford walked in behind a high guard forcing Murrieta to the ropes and banging home body punches. Murrieta was throwing lots of counters but Ford was either blocking them or walking through them and attacking the body of the chubby-looking Murrieta. The pattern of the fight never varied except when Ford occasionally used a strong jab to open up Murrieta By the fourth Murrieta was spend more and more time on the ropes and Ford was landing big clubbing head punches and the Mexican retired at the end of the round. The 35-year-old Ford has useful wins over Sam Rapira and Robert Berridge in UBO title fights but he has now relinquished that title to look for a shot at the Commonwealth title. He came to boxing through martial arts where he won titles at the Aggression Fighting, Fight Club and World Series of Fighting all of the titles being at welterweight so he has bulked up since those days. Four losses in his last 5 fights for Murrieta.
Pierre-Paul vs. Rios
Paul extends his current unbeaten run to eight fights as he overwhelms Mexican Rios inside two rounds. Pierre-Paul almost ended it in the first putting Rios down but not being able to get him out of there. In the second he drove Rios to a corner and kept punching until Rios dropped to the canvas on his rump. Rios got as far as kneeling on the canvas but showed no inclination to get up and the referee waived the fight off. The 33-year-old local southpaw gets his sixth win by KO/TKO and is now 7-0-1 in his last 8 fights. Rios has now been beaten inside the distance in all eleven of his losses.
Szekesfehervar, Hungary: Heavy: Zsolt Bogdan (13-0) W TKO 3 Jasmine Hasic (9-6). Middle: Istvan Szili (21-2-2) W TKO 1 Darko Knezevic (12-23).
Bogdan vs. Hasic
Bogdan retains the UBO title with stoppage of Hasic. First defence of the title for the 37-year-old Hungarian-based Romanian and ninth win by KO/TKO. Hasic from Bosnia has lost five of his last 6 fights.
Szili vs. Knezevic
Szili blows away poor Knezevic with knockout late in the first round. The 34-year-old Swiss-based Hungarian “Prince” gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. After ten years in the amateurs where he had over 200 fights and won a gold medal at the European Union championships Szili was undefeated in his first 20 fights he then lost to Antoine Douglas and Nuhu Lawal. The loss to Douglas ended any hope Szili had of finding success in America. Fifteen losses by KO/TKO for Knezevic.
Windhoek, Namibia: Light: Paulus Moses (40-3,1ND) W TKO 5 Saidi Mundi (19-4-1). Feather: Sakaria Lukas (20-0) W TKO 3 Mudde Ntambi Rabison (22-5-1). Super Feather: Jeremiah Nakathila (13-1) W TKO 3 Said Chino (13-6-2).
Moses vs. Mundi
Moses is much too good for Tanzanian Mundi as he retains his WBO African title. Mundi was down three times before the stoppage. Moses found the negative tactics of Mundi frustrating but he ended the fight in the fifth. A right uppercut put Mundi down. He made it to his feet but was floored again by a right. Once again he got up but the referee stopped the fight. Easy night’s work for the 39-year-old “Hitman” a former holder of the secondary WBA title. He is still No 4 with the WBO. Mundi, 28, was down four times and stopped in one round by Turk Siar Ozgul in England in June last year but had scored five inside the distance in local fights since then.
Lukas vs. Rabison
“Desert Storm” Lukas has no trouble with overmatched Rabison. The visitor from Uganda was competitive in the first but Lukas was landing heavily in the second bringing blood from Rabision’s nose. Lukas continued to hand out punishment in the third and he put Rabison down with a right to the body to force the stoppage. The WBO No 5 retains his WBO African title and goes to 14 wins by KO/TKO. He is No 5 with the WBO. Injuries hampered him as an amateur but he won a gold medal at the African Zone 6 Championships and was a quarter-finalist at the Commonwealth Games. Rabison, a former undefeated UBO champion, was having his first fight for 21 months.
Nakathila vs. Chino
Nakathila makes it 3-0 for the locals over Tanzanians as he halts Chino in three rounds. Nakathila was landing some vicious body shots in the first but Chino survived and managed to stay out of trouble until the third when he was trapped in a corner and being bombarded with punches as the referee stopped the fight. The former Namibian amateur champion has eight victories by KO/TKO and his only loss was on a majority decision against unbeaten Evgeny Chuprakov in Russia. Chino 20 suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Polomolok, Philippines: Bantam: Ben Mananquil (15-1-2) W PTS 10 Jess Rhey Waminal (11-2-1). Super Fly: Jade Bornea (9-0) W TKO 4 Samuthra (4-2). (19-2). Fly: Randy Petalcorin (27-2-1) W TKO 6 Jetly Purisima (21-24-4). Super Feather: Jaime Barcelona (40-61-1) W PTS 6 Eden Sonsona (36-8-2).
Mananquil vs. Waminal
Mananquil wins the interim OPBF title with majority decision over Waminal in a close hard-fought scrap. He won mainly due to his sound defence and excellent countering as Waminal pressed the fight hard. A clash of heads in the eighth saw Waminal cut over his right eye but it was not a big factor in the fight which was close to the final bell. Scores 96-94 twice for Mananquil and 95-95. Mananquil, a 25-year-old southpaw gets his fifth win in a row including a victory over experienced Glenn Porras. His loss and two draws came in fights in China. Wamina, 22, had won his last 5 and his performance here only added to his prestige.
Bornea vs. Samuthra
Former amateur star Bornea punches too hard for late replacement Samuthra. Bornea dominated the fight before flooring the Thai twice with body punches in the fourth with the referee stopped the fight. Bornea, 22, was making the first defence of his IBF Youth title. He had an excellent amateur career, having won a bronze medal at the AIBA World Youth tournament and is a two-time Asian Youth gold medallist. He owns the distinction of beating future WBO world champ Kosei Tanaka in lifting his Asian Youth title in 2013. Samuthra in over his head.
Petalcorin vs. Purisima
Just a keep busy outing for Petalcorin as he halts veteran Purisima in all-southpaw contest. The 25-year-old former interim WBA light fly champion suffered an upset loss to Omar Kimweri last year but has won four on the bounce since then and is rated No 3 by the IBF. With the first two berths vacant that makes him their highest rated light fly but not the mandatory challenger as he has not beaten a fighter in the IBF ratings. Purisima drops to 11 losses in his last 12 fights.
Barcelona vs. Sonsona
This fight was supposed to get Sonsona a win after he had been stopped by unbeaten Russian Evgeny Chuprakov in May. The 39-year-old 20 years a pro Barcelona was in fight No 102. Having lost 11 of his last 12 fights he looked the perfect victim but instead walked away with the majority decision. A shock for the man who wiped out unbeaten Adrian Estrella in two rounds back in 2015 but the danger signs were there from when he just edged out Barcelona on a majority decision in December.
London, England: Light Heavy: Liam Conroy (14-3-1) W TKO 2 Joel McIntyre (16-2). Super Middle: Cello Renda (29-12-2) W TKO 9 Leon McKenzie (8-2-1).
Conroy vs. McIntyre
Conroy brings the English belt to Barrow with an upset stoppage of champion McIntyre. Half way through the first round a right from Conroy put McIntyre down. He made it to his feet but was badly shaken and when the action restarted he was taking punishment and the referee gave him a standing count before the bell ended a horrendous round for McIntyre. A sustained attack from Conroy in the second saw the referee stop the fight. The 25-year-old Cumbrian, the BBB of C Northern Area champion, gets his sixth win in a row and his sixth win by KO/TKO and will be looking to get some nice pay days after this win. McIntyre was making the first defence of the English title. He had reversed his only other loss but will take a while to get over this one.
Renda vs. McKenzie
Another upset here as Cello cancels out McKenzie’s points advantage with a ninth round stoppage. Southpaw McKenzie was in front and on his way to victory until a barrage of punches put him down and out in the ninth. McKenzie was on the canvas for quite a while and oxygen was administered to him. He was able to leave the ring unaided and went back to his dressing room before being taken to a local hospital as a precaution. The 32-year-old Renda’s nickname is “Dangerous” so he lived up to that here. Although the younger man Renda had a big edge in experience and has scored wins over Liam Conroy and world rated Jack Arnfield. McKenzie, 39, a former professional footballer, did not turn pro until he was 35 and after this second loss in a row in title fights he announced his retirement
Tacoma, WA, USA: Super Middle: Mike Gavronski (24-2-1) W KO 6 Brian Vera (26-12) Gavronski gets a career best victory as he beats Texan Vera. After some feeling out in the first Vera was more active and accurate in the second but Gavronski worked well to the body inside. In the third a clash of heads saw Vera suffer a cut over his right which affected Vera’s tactics from there. He passed a doctor’s inspection and was strong in the fourth clearly taking the round. Gavronski began to focus on Vera’s injury with sharp jabs in the fifth and Vera moved into defensive mode. Gavronski fired off a series of body punches which had Vera hurt and then switched to the head with another set of punches and Vera dropped down to rest on one knee. Vera looked up at the referee whilst pointing to his injury and then made no move to beat the count. The 31-year-old “Imagine Me” Gavronski is boxing in Tacoma His two losses have been to the unpredictable Dashon Johnson and is now 10-1 in his last 11 fights. Vera’s best days are behind him. The 35-year-ol Vera had a spell of five losses in a row but they were all against high level opposition in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr twice, Willie Monroe Jr, Rocky Fielding and Matt Korobov but came into this fight on the back of three wins against modest opposition.
Chelyabinsk, Russia: Light: Shavkat Rakhimov (12-0) W PTS 12 Emanuel Lopez (27-7-1).Light; Mikhail Alekseev (11-0) W PTS 12 Malcolm Klassen (33-7-2). Super Feather: Magomed Kurbanov (12-0) W PTS 12 Stephan Horvath (18-6).
Rakhimov vs. Lopez
Rakhimov wins the vacant IBO title with unanimous decision over Mexican Lopez. The Russian southpaw swept the first four rounds before Lopez found his footing. Lopez came in as a late substitute and was competitive over the middle rounds. Rakhimov boxed conservatively over that period and proved he had paced his first twelve round fight well by being the stronger over the closing rounds. Scores 116-112 twice and 118-110 all for Rakhimov. The 23-yerar-old Tajikistan-born Rakhimov had won his last six fights by KO/TKO so got some very useful experience here. Lopez, 27, a former interim WBA champion, came into this on the back of seven wins including some good quality opposition in his victims.
Alekseev vs. Klassen
Russian Alekseev wins the vacant WBA Asia East title with very close decision over South African veteran Klassen. This one could have gone either way. Alekseev built and early lead but then a swelling began to affect the vision from his left eye which was almost closed by the end of the fight. Scores 95-94 twice and 96-93 all for Alekseev. The 22-year-old also holds the WBO Youth title. Former IBO and IBF champion Klassen, 35, looked unlucky to lose this one but that’s what happens on the road. He had conveniently relinquished his IBO super feather title that Rakhimov fought for.
Kurbanov vs. Horvath
Russian Kurbanov wins the vacant WBO International title with close decision over Czech Horvath. This was an entertaining close fight between two well matched fighters. Kurbanov was generally the one pressing the fight but Horvath showed a nice line in counters and there were plenty of furious exchanges. Scores 116-111, 115-112 and 115-113 all for Kurbanov but it was close enough to have been called a draw without too much complaint. The 22-year-old “Black Lion” wins the vacant WBO International title. Horvath lost inside the distance to Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams but was coming off a good win over London-based Kazak Arthur Herrman for the vacant WBO European title and was rated No WBO 5(4) so a big win for Kurbanov.
San Isidro, Argentina: Super Middle: Sebastian Papeschi (12-0) W TKO 2 Francisco Torres (8-3). Super Bantam: Claudio Echegaray (19-0-1) W PTS 6 Oreste Nieva (16-9-2). Super Feather: Jose Romero (16-0) W PTS 8 Guillermo Soloppi (22-18-2,1ND).Super Welter: Alberto Palmetta (6-0) W PTS 6 Guillermo de Jesus Paz (25-33-4).
Papeschi vs. Torres
Papeschi retains the WBC Latina title with stoppage of Torres. In the first round the much taller Torres was able to use his jab to box on the outside and score with rights to the head of southpaw Papeschi and clearly took the round. In the first exchange of punches in the second a booming right from Papeschi sent Torres tumbling back and down. He made it to his feet but was unsteady and staggered back to the ropes. The referee had seen that and after completing the eight count he waived the fight off despite protests from Torres. The 26-year-old “La Promesa” Papeschi, the Argentinian No 1, makes it six wins by KO/TKO. First loss inside the distance for Torres.
Echegaray vs. Nieva
Echevarria remains unbeaten with unanimous decision over Nieva. The 27-year-old from Cordova is No 2 in the Argentinian ratings after an impressive ninth round kayo of 23-1 Diego Santillan in July. . His story of how he got into boxing is one you hear occasionally. He did well in local amateur fights then moved to the big city to continue his career but did not have the money to pay for the gym charges so he cleaned the gym each day to pay his way. Six losses in a row for Nieva as he is being matched way above his pay grade.
Romero vs. Soloppi
Unbeaten young local fighter Romero easily gets past the experienced Soloppi in a dull match. Romero had a big edge in reach but did not use it well with Soloppi too often getting inside but holding instead of working. The referee was the busiest of the three people in the ring and after one butt too many he deducted a point from Soloppi in the sixth. A poor fight but Romero gets the win. Scores 80-71 twice and 79 ½-73 ½. The 21-year-old Romero, the Argentinian No 2, has yet to move up to ten round class. Five losses on the bounce for Soloppi.
Palmetta vs. de Jesus Paz
Palmetta wins but this one was monotonous and one-sided as Olympian Palmetta won every round but had trouble with the southpaw bustle of de Jesus Paz and did not impress. Scores 60-54 for Palmetta on all three cards. The 27-year-old former elite level amateur won bronze medals at the Pan American Championships and the South American Games and competed at the 2016 Olympics and the Pan American Games. He also fought for three seasons in the WSB for the Argentina Condors team. He will have to do better than this if he is going to succeed as a pro. The 36-year-old de Jesus Paz usually goes the distance and this is his sixth loss on points in a row.
Nakagami, Okinawa, Japan: Light Fly: Edward Heno (11-0-5) W TKO 7 Selta Ogido (11-3-3) Super Feather: Masatoshi Kotani (22-2) W TKO 5 Jason Egera (23-18-1).
Heno vs. Ogido
Filipino Heno halts Ogido in seven rounds of a battle between two southpaws to win the vacant OPBF title. After a draw in their previous fight Heno took no chances and went straight after the home town fighter. Heno scored with some choice uppercuts and left hooks to clearly take the first. Ogido was more competitive in the second and third but the superior strength of Heno was causing Ogido problems by the fourth and to add to his troubles he was deducted a point for a low punch. Despite his apparent dominance and the one point deduction two of the judges had the local fighter ahead and one had them even after six rounds. Heno continued to pressure a rapidly tiring Ogido and the Japanese fighter went down in the seventh. He made it to his feet but was finished and another series of punches from Heno saw the referee step in to save Ogido. The 24-year-old Heno thought he had won their first fight in May as he was originally declared the winner only to have the decision changed to a majority draw. Strangely all five of Heno’s draws have been by majority decision. Ogido, 24, was 5-0-2 going into this one.
Kotani vs. Egera
Kotani continues his impressive run with fifth round stoppage poor Egera. Fighting in his home location Kotani moves to 15 wins by KO/TKO including eleven in a row. He has lost only one of his last nineteen fights but is yet to move up from the eight round class and is Rated No 9 with the Japanese Commission. Egera was coming off two low level domestic wins but even with these two wins counted in he is now a poor 2-8-1 in his last 11 fights.
Fight of the week: Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Carlos Cuadras an exciting scrap between two world class fighters with honourable mention to David Benavidez vs. Ronald Gavril and Juan Carlos Reveco vs. Komgrich
Fighter of the week: Srisaket as he made Roman Gonzalez an old man overnight. Great performances by Olek Usyk and Naoya Inoue but their victims were not out of the top level of the pound-for-pound rankings
Punch of the week: Either of the two rights from Srisaket that put Gonzalez down. Kanat Islam’s right that scored his first knockdown of Brandon Cook was special as was Joey Abell’s finisher of Krzys Zimnoch
Upset of the week: Joey Abell’s win over Zimnoch was not supposed to happen and let’s give a nod to Jaime Barcelona for upsetting favourite Eden Sonsona in fight No 102.
One to watch: 9-0 Former top amateur Jack Bornea from the Philippines
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