The Past Week in Action 19 September 2017 -- Part I
By Eric Armit
Wed, 20 Sep 2017
-Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez finish all even and may do it all over again
-Billy Joe Saunders retains WBO title with unanimous decision over Willie Monroe Jr
-Milan Melindo retains IBF title with split decision over unlucky Hekkie Budler
-Jesus Rojas knocks out Claudio Marrero to win interim WBA title
-Callum Smith moves into semi-finals of the World Super Series of Boxing with points victory over Erik Skoglund in the best fight of the weekend
-John Riel suffers upset loss against fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan
-Diego De La Hoya shows championship potential with easy win over former champion Randy Caballero
-Anthony Yarde and Daniel Dubois again put on impressive power shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Feather: Jesus M Rojas (26-1-2,1ND) W KO 7Claudio Marrero (22-2). Light: Ryan Garcia (11-0) W TKO 1 Miguel Carrizoza (10-3). Feather: Horacio Garcia (33-3-1) W TKO 4 Diuhl Olguin (12-7-3).
Rojas vs. Marrero
Marrero loses his interim WBA title as Rojas simply grinds Marrero down and finishes the fight with a spectacular left hook. Rojas tried to press the action early but Marrero showed fast hands and fired home some combinations. The fight was not even a minute old and Marrero was already taunting Rojas and he threw the Puerto Rican to the canvas for good measure. Rojas was warned for a few low punches and Marrero ended the opening round with another array of flashy but light punches-and some more arrogant taunting. Marrero’s combinations were lightning quick but he was sacrificing power for speed and Rojas kept rolling forward taking Marrero to the ropes and roughing him up inside. When he had room Marrero’s hands blurred with speed but as the fight progressed he was spending more and more time trapped on the ropes. Marrero tried to stay on the outside in the fourth. He needed it to be a trial of skill but Rojas was turning it into a trial of strength and soon Marrero was fighting with his backs to the ropes again. Rojas had to walk through a storm of punches in the fifth. They were coming thick and fast and his head was being jarred time and again. However he was now landing some heavy if crude punches of his own. In the sixth Rojas suddenly stepped back from the action complaining about a butt. Marrero saw an opening and then stormed forward driving Rojas across the ring. He was now chasing Rojas and throwing those quick shots then dropping his hands and taunting Rojas who was on the back foot for the rest of the round. Previously Marrero had been throwing burst of punches and then moving. Now in the seventh his arrogance hit its high point. He was standing in front of Rojas throwing punches and leaving himself open to counters. Rojas suckered him into continuing down that track by backing off and inviting Marrero to bring it on. Marrero began showboating and taunting Rojas again. As they came out of some action on the ropes and with only seconds left in the round Rojas landed a thunderous left hook and Marrero went down on his back. He immediately sat up shaking his head looking like he was about to get up but instead just turned and sat on his heels and the referee counted out the ten seconds. Puerto Rican Rojas, 30, won this one on strength and determination. He ground Marrero down with remorseless pressure. There was a Grand Canyon-wide difference in skills but Rojas just keep rolling forward wearing down Marrero and he took his chance with a real power punch. Dominican Marrero, 28, was making the first defence of his title. At times it seemed as though he was putting on an exhibition but in the end he paid the price for not giving the tough Riojas the respect he deserved so lost his title and suffered his first inside the distance defeat.
Garcia vs. Carrizoza
Garcia wipes out Carrizoza in quick time. After a couple of probing jabs Garcia fired a right down the middle and Carrizoza was on the floor just ten seconds into the round. He was up at four and after the eight count the referee actually asked Carrizoza what’s my name? He passed that test and was allowed to fight on. He walked forward a couple of paces and a stunning left hook to the chin put him on his backside and the referee stopped the fight with just 28 seconds gone in the round. Garcia, 19, gets his tenth win by KO/TKO including five first round finishes. He also wins the vacant NABF Junior title. The 5’10 ˝” Californian turned pro at 17 reportedly with a 215-15 record and was National Police Athletic League Junior champion. He competed at the 2013 US Junior National Selection Tournament where he lost to Shakur Stevenson in the semi-finals. It is difficult to judge how far he can go but he certainly impressed here. Mexican Carrizoza never knew what hit him as he suffers his first inside the distance loss.
Garcia vs. Olguin
Garcia gains revenge with stoppage of Olguin. When these two clashed in an eight round bout in July Olguin scored an upset victory flooring Garcia twice and winning the unanimous decision. “Violento” Garcia turned the tables completely flooring Olguin twice in the fourth round to force the stoppage. Garcia was loading up on his punches from the start with Olguin on the back foot and looking to counter. Garcia boxed in a more controlled manner in the second but was overreaching himself allowing the smaller Olguin to find gaps. A clash of heads saw Olguin cut over the left eye. Garcia continued to force the fight in the third and was landing some heavy rights but Olguin was sneaking home counters. Early in the fourth a sweeping left hook clipped Olguin on the temple and he tumbled sideward and down on one knee. He was up quickly but looked shaky. When the action resumed a series of hooks to the head from Garcia had Olguin dropping forward to his knees and the referee stopped the fight. Garcia, 27, has 24 wins by KO/TKO. His other two losses before the one to Olguin were against Hozumi Hasegawa and Joseph Diaz. He won his first 29 fights, 21 of them by KO/TKO so he has power but his technical skills let him down when he takes on quality opponents. Third loss by KO/TKO for Olguin.
Mashantucket, CT, USA: Heavy: Niall Kennedy (9-0) W PTS 10 Alexis Santos (18-2). Middle: Ievgen Khytrov (15-1) W PTS 8 Derrick Findley (27-22-1,1ND). Super Light: Ray Moylette (6-0) W PTS 6 Donte Bryant (1-3).
Kennedy vs. Santos
Kennedy gets split verdict over Santos but the decision was not popular with all. Kennedy was upright and using his jab well and scoring with impressive body punches. Santos was quicker and more mobile and preferred short hooks inside. It was a close, quite fast-paced, fight for heavyweights. Neither fighter was seriously shaken and both had good spells. Kennedy seemed to build a lead early only for Santos to up his pace in the middle rounds. Santos was strong early in the seventh then looked to tire as Kennedy finished the round strongly. The eighth could have gone either way but in the ninth Santos paid the price for having gone low once too often and was deducted a point. Santos put in a frantic effort in the last and won that one but in the end it was not enough. Scores 96-93 twice for Kennedy and 96-93 for Santos. Irishman Kennedy, 33, wins the New England title as he moves up to ten rounds for the first time. He was pretty ordinary in his time as an amateur but has made good progress under Paschal Collins. Some of his thoughts must have been of his prematurely-born son who is in hospital. The 28-year-old Santos will feel more than disappointed as this one could have been scored for him as it was that close. He has reversed his only other loss so will be hoping to get in the ring with Kennedy for a return.
Khytrov vs. Findley
Khytrov returns with a win. Khytrov was controlling the early action with a stiff jab and momentarily shook Findley in the first with a short right. Findley landed some good rights when he was able to get on the front foot but Khytrov was busier and more accurate. Findley was always competitive but the stiff jab and the high work rate of the Ukrainian meant Findley was under continuous pressure. Both traded hard punches in the sixth with Findley on top early and then Khytrov taking over and landing a combination of head punches and a right just before the bell that caused Findley’s legs to quiver. Khytrov landed some more thudding rights in the seventh and it looked as though a tiring Findley was ready to go but each time he covered up then punched back. Khytrov tried hard to finish it in the eighth again landing heavy rights but Findley was still there at the bell. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 all for Khytrov. The 29-year-old Ukrainian “Lion” was having his first fight since being put down twice and stopped in six rounds by Immanuwel Aleem for the vacant WBC Silver title in January. A former World Championship gold medal winner and Olympian gave a workman-like performance here and got in some useful ring time. Findley,33, has lost to a whole raft of top level boxers but had won his last three fights including a kayo of Donovan George in a fight for bragging rights in Illinois.
Moylette vs. Bryant
Irish prospect Moylette just avoids an embarrassing defeat as he gets off the floor to take split verdict over Michigan novice Bryant. Moylette edged the first but a right to the head put him down in the second. Moylette managed to last to the bell. Bryant probably took the third to build a good lead but Moylette fought back hard over the closing three rounds and just deserved his win. Scores 57-56 twice for Moylette and 58-55 for Bryant. The 27-year-old from County Mayo was the first Irish boxer to win a gold medal at the World Youth Championships and later added both the Irish title and a gold at the World Championships but Bryant gave him a score here. Three losses in a row for luckless Bryant with all three losses being split decisions.
Rosemont, IL, USA: Light Heavy: Mike Lee (20-0) W TKO 1 Aaron Quattrocchi (10-2-1). Too easy for Lee as he dismantles Quattrocchi inside a round. Lee was loading up on his punches and throwing big stuff from the start. A couple of rights landed to the side of Quattrocchi’s head and just on the one minute mark as they traded punches a straight right from Lee put Quattrocchi down heavily. He made it to his feet and after the eight count tried to box and move but Lee was again catching him with head punches. Quattrocchi stood and tried some punches of his own but a series of head punches put him down again. He made it to the vertical and when the action resumed Lee stormed forward throwing punches and with Quattrocchi covering up on the ropes the referee stopped the fight. All over in 2:30 of the round. The 30-year-old Lee moves to 11 wins by KO/TKO. No names on his record yet but he won a majority verdict over 18-1 Justin Thomas in February. He is rated WBO 11/IBF 12(11)/WBA 13. It is time for some stiffer opposition. Two inside the distance losses in a row for Quattrocchi
Panabo City, Philippines: Super Bantam: Glenn Porras (30-6) W RTD 1 Dingdong Quinones (6-19-1). Southpaw Porras floors Quinones twice in the first and at the end of the round Quinones retires. Quinones was much the bigger man but Porras managed to drive him to the ropes and pounded him with hooks from both hands. Quinones tried to escape but each time Porras pushed him back to the ropes and a series of hooks and uppercuts saw Quinones drop to the canvas. He was up at seven but when the action resumed Porras again took him to the ropes and a hail of punches rounded off with left to the body saw Quinones down for the second time. He made it to his feet but the bell rang as the eight count was completed and Quinones wanted no more. Win No 18 by KO/TKO for the 31-year-old “Rock” and much needed after back-to-back losses. Porras climbed into the world ratings after a run of 15 wins but 3 losses in 4 fights has seen him drop to No 14 in the Philippines ratings. Now 17 losses by KO/TKO for Quinones. His real first names are Billy John but Dingdong is much more fun.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Middle: Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1) DREW 12 Saul Alvarez (49-1-2). Super Bantam: Diego De La Hoya (20-0) W PTS 10 Randy Caballero (24-1). Feather: Joseph Diaz (25-0) W PTS 12 Rafael Rivera (25-1-2). Light: Ryan Martin (20-0) W PTS 10 Francisco Rojo (20-3).
Golovkin vs. Alvarez
Golovkin retains his four world titles with draw against Alvarez in a fight that did not really come alight until the closing rounds. I saw Golovkin as the winner but there were howls of anger in the professional media and the social media over one judge seeing Alvarez the winner by eight points. Alvarez had a guarantee of a return bout clause in his contract and his promoters Golden Boy say they will enforce it.
Golovkin was walking after Alvarez who circled the perimeter of the ring. Golovkin landed a couple of shots but Alvarez was sharper and countered well to take a low action opener.
Score 10-9 Alvarez
Golovkin started the round with some sharp jabs and landed a long right to the head. Alvarez came off the back foot and scored with some stiff jabs and left hooks. He slipped some hard shots from Golovkin and just did enough to edge the round.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 18-20
Golovkin’s round by a long way. He controlled the action with his jab, got through with right crosses and landed left hooks to the body. Alvarez tried to stay in the ring centre and got through with a sharp left uppercut but the jabs from Golovkin had him on the back foot and circling the perimeter again.
Score 10-9 Golovkin 28-29
Once again Golovkin was getting through with his jabs. He was working hard for the three minutes constantly taking the fight to Alvarez and doing the scoring. He had Alvarez trapped on the ropes and landed a hard right with Alvarez shaking his head to show he was not hurt, but that only emphasised how good the punch was. Golovkin dropped in another right later in the round with Alvarez throwing nothing in return.
Score 10-9 Golovkin 38-38
Another round for Golovkin. He was taking the fight to Alvarez who was rarely leading ad instead looking to counter. He spent too much time on the ropes allowing Golovkin to bombard him with punches including a big right that crashed onto the chin of Alvarez. Alvarez was too slow with his counters which Golovkin evaded easily.
Score 10-9 Golovkin 48-47
Alvarez made a more positive start to this round using his jab and vaunted left hooks but then he went onto the back foot handing the initiative to Golovkin who dominated the last two minutes tracking Alvarez around the ring and scoring with jabs and rights.
Score 10-9 Golovkin 58-56
Golovkin’s round. After exchanging punches early without much success Alvarez again went into retreat. Golovkin was consistently getting through with his jabs and landing some long rights with Alvarez throwing too little and mostly missing.
Score 10-9 Golovkin 68-65
Alvarez was more competitive in this round landing some power punches early but he was being outworked. Golovkin continued to find gaps for his jab and cracked home some rights and a peach of an uppercut. It is difficult to understand Alvarez’s tactics of spending so much time on the ropes. If there was a criticism of Golovkin’s work was that he was head hunting and rarely going to the body.
Score 10-9 Golovkin 78-74
This was probably the best round of the fight so far. Alvarez threw more punches. He was loading up with every punch and matching Golovkin. Then he went in retreat again allowing Golovkin to take control. Two rights to the head from Alvarez were the best punches of the round but he was spending too much time on the ropes just covering up and allowing Golovkin to tee-off on him.
Score 10-9 Golovkin 88-83
It was late but the fight had come alive. Alvarez stormed out throwing hooks and uppercuts in his most sustained attack so far momentarily shaking Golovkin with a right to the temple. Over the late part of the round Alvarez went on the back foot again and to the ropes but now he was throwing counters when he was there.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 97-93
Golovkin took this one by working hard for three minutes He was slotting home jabs and overhand rights. Alvarez was throwing some big punches but was on the back foot and only fighting in short bursts.
Score 10-9 Golovkin 107-102
Alvarez had his best round of the fight as he fired hooks and uppercuts, stayed off the ropes and although tiring clearly outpunched Golovkin landing more scoring punches than in any other round.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 117-112
Official scores: 115-113 Golovkin, 118-110 Alvarez and 114-114
Golovkin retains his IBF/WBA/WBC/IBO titles and his unbeaten record and in my view was a clear winner. He pressed the fight from the first bell and Alvarez spent too long on the ropes and did not throw or land enough punches or match the accuracy and work rate of Golovkin. This was an interesting rather than an exciting fight. Both fighters want a return and it is obviously the biggest payday out there for both of them with Miguel Cotto as the only other attractive option. The 118-110 scorecard from Adalaide Byrd has seen her stood down by the Nevada Commission. She has judged over 400 contests including many world title fights. I don’t believe there was any dishonesty involved and it is not the worst scoring I have ever seen. No one is going to endorse computer scoring except as an unofficial record of what occurred so because scoring is totally subjective these blips are always going to turn up.
Caballero vs. De La Hoya
De La Hoya outboxed Caballero in this one and came away with a wide unanimous decision. Caballero was constantly coming forward but De La Hoya was boxing well on the outside and more accurate with his punches. He rocked Caballero with an overhand right in the second and was raking Caballero with combination and getting out again before Caballero could counter. Those combinations were a big factor. De La Hoyas was putting together bunches of punches mainly hooks and uppercuts with Caballero rarely throwing more than two punches at a time. De La Hoya had the much quicker and more accurate jab and was going to the body more than Caballero. Despite that Caballero kept rumbling forward and had some success inside but had trouble with the constant moving and switching of angles by De La Hoya. Past the half way mark De La Hoya was standing and trading more and work the body digging in hooks from both hands and using his superior strength to push Caballero back. Caballero continued to try to keep the fight inside where the brawl at least meant De La Hoya was right in front of him. Caballero was hurt by a low punch in the seventh which saw him bent double and turn away but the referee had been unsighted so De La Hoya got away with it. De La Hoya’s work rate dropped a bit in the eighth which helped Caballero but De La Hoya came back with a vengeance in the ninth bombarding Caballero with left hooks to the body and whole series of rights crosses. De La Hoya was not looking to take any chances in the last. He boxed on the outside. Caballero landed two heavy rights but it was too late to make any difference. Scores 98-92 twice and 100-90 for De La Hoya, The 23-year-old Mexican has been carefully matched and is showing the benefits. He totally dominated Caballero and could be challenging for a title late next year. Poor Caballero, after winning the vacant IBF bantam title in 2014 nothing has gone right for him but he has not helped himself. He failed to make the weight for his defence against Lee Haskins in November 2015 and was stripped off the title. He had just one fight in 2016 in February and then did not fight again until March this year. The lack of activity showed but he is only 26 so hopefully he can find some form again.
Diaz vs. Rivera
After a slow start Diaz outscores late substitute Rivera. A cagey, cautious first round saw both fighters just prodding out their jab. In the only real action Rivera drew Diaz’s southpaw lead and then darted forward scoring with lefts hooks a straight right and did enough to take the round. That was almost as good as it got for Rivera. From there Diaz was spearing Rivera with southpaw jabs and following with straight lefts. He was able to anticipate the lunging attacks of Rivera and step back and then counter. With Rivera waiting to counter and Diaz not wanting to waste a punch It took the fight a while to heat up Diaz stepped up the pace in the fifth both leading and countering with lefts . Rivera was just relying on bursting forward flailing punches with no accuracy. That was the pattern the rest of the way. Diaz had the much superior skill set and had no trouble dealing with the wild attacks of Rivera who was too slow to get out of the way of Diaz’s jabs and straight rights and only having occasional success in close as Diaz boxed his way to an easy victory. Scores 119-109 twice and 120-108 for Diaz. The 24-year-old Californian southpaw is No 1 with the WBO so the mandatory challenger to Oscar Valdez but if that fight can’t be made for any reason then he sits at No 2 behind Carl Frampton in the WBC rankings and is the third highest rated fighter in the IBF list with the No 1 slot vacant and Scott Quigg and Frampton in front of him. One way or another a title fight in 2018 looks certain. Rivera was a late replacement and failed to make the weight. The 23-year-old Mexican had been fighting a good level of opposition with his best win being a points victory over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
Martin vs. Rojo
A contrast in styles here splits the judges as Martin struggles to get past the small, aggressive Rojo. The Tall, 5’11” (180cm) quick-stepping Martin used his reach advantage and speed to keep Rojo on the outside. Rojo kept barrelling forward not trying to match jabs but throwing wide rights around Martin’s guard and left hooks to the body. Over the early rounds Martin was spearing Rojo with jabs and then firing straight rights and left hooks to the body. The problem was that although he was doing most of the scoring he did not seem to have the power to keep Rojo out and the tough Mexican was able to get close and bang some crunching left hooks downstairs. Martin’s skills helped him build an lead over the first half of the fight but over the second half Rojo was continually walking through whatever Martin threw and clubbing away with body punches and swings to the head. Martin did have a good seventh but the pressure was building. He was warned twice for low punches in the eighth and when he repeated the offence in the ninth he was finally deducted a point. Martin fired off some impressive combinations and did enough to have won the round so that instead of a 10-8 round for Rojo it was in effect a 9-9 round. They traded punches throughout the last and it was a microcosm of the fight with Martin landing more but lighter punches and Rojo loading up and getting in some heavy licks. Scores 96-93 and 95-94 for Martin and 98-91 for Rojo. A big difference in how the officials viewed the fight something that goes without serious questioning in a less important ten round fight but gets magnified in a huge main event. The 24-year-old “Blue Chip” Martin was making the second defence of his WBC Continental Americas title and wins the vacant WBA International title. He is rated IBF 9(8)/WBO 14. Rojo had won eight in a row going in including a kayo of world rated Dante Jardon.
London, England: Middle: Billy Joe Saunders (25-0) W PTS 12 Willie Monroe Jr (21-2). Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (13-0) W RTD 3 Norbert Nemesapati (25-7). Heavy: Daniel Dubois (5-0) W TKO 1 A J Carter (8-4).
Saunders vs. Monroe
Saunders retains his WBO title with unanimous decision over Monroe in a fight that never really caught alight but allowed Saunders to get in to some serious action and back into winning ways as he hopes to move into bigger fights.
Good opening round for Saunders. He was getting his right jab through to the body and landed a couple of good lefts. Monroe was just that bit slower.
Score 10-9 Saunders
The second round was cagier than the first. After starting to use his jab Monroe spent the rest of the round just feinting punches and throwing nothing with Saunders landing a few jabs and again taking the round.
Score 10-9 Saunders 20-18
By feinting and feinting without actually throwing punches Monroe was handing the initiative to Saunders and after another cagey start Saunders attacked hard at the end of the round. He scored with a number of chopping lefts and sent Monroe scrambling along the ropes with a right.
Score 10-9 Saunders 30-27
Monroe finally woke up and started throwing punches. He was darting out his jab and scoring with quick lefts and this time it was Saunders being too hesitant. When Saunders did let his punches flow he caught Monroe with some chopping lefts to the head but Monroe just edged the round. Saunders was showing a small cut over his right eye.
Score 10-9 Monroe 39-37
Monroe started the fifth brightly jabbing away but then he closed down again and went into a holding pattern doing nothing much. Saunders worked him over on the ropes and although Monroe came alive again late in the round Sunders had taken it.
Score 10-9 Saunders 49-46
If you were looking for a thrill-a-minute fight you were in the wrong place. This was very much a tactical battle. The side-on leaning forward style of Monroe together with his preference to counter punch was limiting action from both fighters. They were still playing cat and mouse even after five rounds. There was very little action in this one but Monroe worked his jab a little better.
Score 10-9 Monroe 58-56
Saunders brought some fire into this round. He attacked from the start. He was able to score well with his jab and a few lefts with Monroe just looking to defend. One of the problems for Saunders is that as Monroe stands very side on leaning this body to his left and whenever he bent over he was almost presenting his back to Saunders and making it difficult for Saunders to make use of his left to deliver power punches.
Score 10-9 Saunders 68-65
There was a lot more action in this one because Saunders made it that way. He was landing jolting jabs and throwing long rights and lefts and finished the round strongly with Monroe trapped on the ropes.
Score 10-9 Saunders 78-74
Monroe looked as though he was auditioning for Strictly Come Dancing in this one. He showed some slick quick footwork. The only problem was that he was not throwing punches. Saunders was and was scoring with them.
Score 10-9 Saunders 88-83
Saunders took this round by default as once again Monroe did almost no offensive work at all. Saunders did not land much himself but he was throwing some punches and landing a few. There was no sign that Monroe felt he had to put in a big effort. Even if he thought he was in front he should not have been giving away rounds this way.
Score 10-9 Saunders 98-92
Finally Monroe seemed to realise he needed to put in some effort. He took the fight to Saunders scored well with his right jabbed and landed some good left hooks to take the round.
Score 10-9 Monroe 107-102
Monroe took this one. He threw more and landed more including a hard long left cross but even now he was at times standing motionless trying to draw the lead instead of storming forward trying to swing things his way.
Score 10-9 Monroe 117-112
Official scores: 117-111, 117-112 and 115-113 all for Saunders.
Saunders retains his WBO title and importantly gets in some ring time. This was the first fight for nine months for Saunders and only the second in almost two years. With Gennady Golovkin holding the three other versions of the middleweight title and a return with Saul Alvarez a strong possibility that route seems closed. It all depends on the view that the WBO take. Since winning the title from Andy Lee in December 2015 Saunders has yet to make a mandatory defence. His No 1 challenger is David Lemieux and by rights he should be the next opponent for Saunders but who knows with the WBO. Monroe did not win and did not deserve to win. He did not fight like a challenger desperate to become a champion and after being stopped by Golovkin for the WBA and interim WBC in 2015 it is going to be difficult to sell him as a challenger again.
Yarde vs. Nemesapati
Yarde brutalises a game Nemesapati for another quick win. Nemesapati was quite willing to take the fight to Yarde in the opener but had a taste of things to come when a sharp right uppercut had him backing off. Nemesapati showed a nice jab but once Yarde began to let his punches go the Hungarian was getting caught with some powerful shots and his confidence drained away. Yarde boxed patiently at the start of the second stalking the retreating Nemesapati and using his stiff jab as a range finder for straight rights. Yarde landed a couple of sharp right uppercuts to take Nemesapati to a corner and then unleashed six consecutive rights to the head that saw Nemesapati drop to his knees. He was up quickly but when the action resumed he just tried to cover up and then dropped to his knees after three thudding rights from Yarde. Again Nemesapati was up quickly and after the count Yarde was looking to finish it but the bell went. Nemesapati’s corner should have retired their man then but instead he came out for the third. He was in total survival mode going backwards at speed and holding when he could. He looked to be on the point of going down a couple of times under heavy rights from Yarde and sensible retired in his corner at the end of the round. The 26-year-old Yarde was making the first defence of his WBO European title and wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title. This is victory No 12 by KO/TKO and he is already rated WBO No 8. He looks awesome in these fights and really needs to move up to tackling some of the fringe contenders where he hopefully will find someone able to take his power. Nemesapati is being thrown away. He is now 22. He turned pro at 16 and won his first 14 fights but is being thrown in way over his head. He was no match for Yarde just as he was no match for Callum Smith, Umar Salamov and Anthony Dirrell
Dubois vs. Carter
Dubois destroys Carter inside a minute. After a couple of probing jabs from Dubois a short right to the side of the head put Carter down within the first ten seconds of the fight. Carter climbed up immediately and marched forward when the eight count was completed. Dubois met him with a shower of punches and Carter fell forward to the floor again. Carter listened to the count whilst kneeling on both knees and got up ready to continue. A short right from Dubois saw him pitch face first to the canvas with the referee immediately ending the fight. All over in 48 seconds. Carter was down for quite some time and was given oxygen to aid his recovery and taken to hospital as a precaution. The 20-year-old 6’5” powerhouse Dubois collects the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title. He has taken less than seven rounds to register his five wins. He needs more ring time but it is difficult balancing act with someone as destructive as Dubois to find an opponent to give him that experience without overmatching him. Third loss by KO/TKO for Carter.
Liverpool, England: Super Middle: Callum Smith (23-0) W PTS 12 Erik Skoglund (26-1). Super Middle: Martin Murray (36-4-1) W KO 4 Arman Torosyan (18-4-1).Super Middle: Zach Parker (13-0) W TKO 1 Luke Blackledge (23-5-2). Super Light: Adam Little (18-2) W TKO 4 Reece MacMillan (7-0).
Smith vs. Skoglund
Smith gets unanimous decision in a fight that shows the best of the sport in both skill and the mutual respect between the two boxers. Skoglund was very much in the fight most of the way until Smith surged over the last third to get the deserved victory and move on to the next round of the World Boxing Super Series.
Smith vs. Skoglund
As they started with the usual exchange of jabs Skoglund scored with a sharp right to the chin. After that there were some quality punches thrown by both fighters with Smith using his longer reach to score with his jab and looking dangerous with rights and Skoglund countering well. Smith just took it.
Score 10-9 Smith
Smith’s jab and the danger from his right hand kept Skoglund on the back foot. Smith was able to slot the jab home and land with a left hooks to the body with Skoglund boxing intelligently and countering when he saw a chance to do so but again it was Smith’s round
Score 10-9 Smith 20-18
This was a much closer round. Both scored heavily in early exchanges and Skoglund used plenty of movement and quick attacks and just outworked Smith
Score 10-9 Skoglund 29-28
This was turning into a great fight. Both were trying to take centre ring by out-jabbing the other. Smith’s reach gave him the advantage and he landed a cracking right to the chin and was able to trap Skoglund on the ropes and score inside. Skoglund fought back late in the round but it was Smith’s.
Score 10-9 Smith 39-37
Skoglund’s round. The Swede worked his jab on overtime for the whole three minutes. He out jabbed Smith and slotted home some hurtful rights with Smith looking uncomfortable and on the back foot for the entire round. Smith was bleeding from the nose.
Score 10-9 Skoglund 48-47
Skoglund did the better work in this one as well. Again he was quicker to the jab and was darting in scoring and getting out before Smith could unload his heavy rights.
Score 10-9 Skoglund 57-57
This one was much closer and Smith just edged it. Skoglund again showed his quick jabbing early but Smith began to throw some heavier stuff later in the round and just took it.
Score 10-9 Smith 67-66
Another close round. Skoglund started well using plenty of movement and hand speed to put Smith on the back foot. From the middle of the round Smith was on the front foot scoring with his jab and landing some good rights to take the round.
Score 10-9 Smith 77-75
Another round for Smith. He started the round on the back foot with his jab more accurate than Skoglund’s and ended with a right/left to the head in a series of good head punches.
Score 10-9 Smith 87-84
Another round for Smith this one more decisive. He was scoring freely with a strong jab and long rights and also digging in some hurtful body punches. Skoglund was still very mobile but his punches were falling short as he could not get past Smith’s jab. Smith seemed to have paced the fight well.
Score 10-9 Smith 97-93
Smith upped his work rate and let some heavy stuff fly. A big right cross to the head saw Skoglund badly shaken and as Smith followed up on that success with a couple more head punches Skoglund dropped to one knee. He was up at four and after the eight count Smith strode forward scoring with rights and left hooks. Skoglund used good movement to frustrate Smith’s efforts to put him away and was even firing back at the bell but it was a huge round for Smith.
Score 10-8 Smith 107-101
Skoglund outworked Smith in the last round. He was quick and throwing lots of jabs with Smith mainly on the back foot and firing an occasional power shot but it looked as though Smith knew he had the win and was coasting and taking no chance.
Score 10-9 Skoglund 116-111
Official scores: 117-110, 117-111 and 116-112 all for Smith
Smith, 27, now goes on to the semi-finals of an incredibly tough super middle Worlds Boxing Super Series tournament where he will meet the winner of the Juergen Brahmer vs. Rob Bryant. You would not expect Smith and Skoglund to fight each other unless there was a world title to be won but this tournament is breaking down these barriers as the ultimate prize in money and prestige is worth taking the risk. There were times when the hand and foot speed of Skoglund had Smith looking hesitant and apprehensive and it was strange to see him out-jabbed. However he had a big edge in power, was more accurate and paced the fight better. Skoglund, 28, gained many admirers after this display of classy boxing-me for one-and it said everything about his skill that he constantly out-jabbed Smith and was very much in the fight until the late rounds when he flagged a bit and Smith took over. Really boxing was also a winner here as this was a fast-paced action filled high quality fight between two excellent boxers with the referee almost surplus to requirements and the mutual respect was illustrated in the way that the embraced before the bell to start the last round.
Murray vs. Torosyan
Murray too strong and hits too hard for Armenian Torosyan. Murray had the more powerful jab and had Torosyan on the back foot in the first He landed some good body punches and a hard right just before the bell. Torosyan showed quick hands but very little power. He tried to get on the front foot in the second but again Murray’s jab was too strong. Murray was able to crowd Torosyan and score well to the body and Torosyan was hurt by a body punch just before the bell. Murray was stalking Torosyan throughout the third. He was landing meaty hooks to the body from both hands and clubbing rights to the head. Torosyan landed a hard counter that momentarily had Murray backing off but the British fighter again took control. Murray was landing some vicious body punches in the fourth. He drove Torosyan to a corner with two of them and then landed a right to the body and Torosyan went down showing considerable pain and he stayed there and was counted out. The 34-year-old from St Helens has had four world title shots looking unlucky not to get something out of three of them and taking Gennady Golovkin into the eleventh round. He is rated No 6 with the WBA but a fifth title shot looks unlikely. German-based Torosyan was coming off an upset victory over Danish hope Abdul Khattab in January but he had no answer to the power of Murray.
Parker vs. Blackledge
Parker blasts out the more experienced Blackledge in the first round. Parker had height and reach over Blackledge who struggled to find a way past Parker’s jab. He was darting in but getting caught with counters. Parker scored a lovely double hook to body then head and then switched to southpaw. At first he did not look comfortable but after missing with a couple of punches he landed a left to the chin that sent Blackledge flying back and down heavily. He struggled to get up and when he did he staggered into a corner and the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old from Derbyshire now has 10 wins by KO/TKO including 7 in his last 8 fights. This was supposed to be his first ten round fight and Blackledge was a much higher class of opponent than he had met previously but he showed impressive power and is one to watch. Blackledge, 27 a former undefeated Commonwealth champion has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights with Callum Smith and Lolenga Mock beating him but he gave Mock a tough fight in Denmark in June.
Little vs. MacMillan
No feeling out here these two went at it hammer and tongs from the bell. Both were landing some choice punches. MacMillan was coming forward for much of the round with Little scoring with left hooks to the body and rights to the head and both landing uppercuts. MacMillan shook Little with a sharp combination but Little just had the edge in accuracy. They set off at the same fast pace in the second. Both fighters were firing quality shots inside and at a distance. MacMillan’s mouthguard came out twice as Little continued to dig to the body and the referee warned MacMillan not to let it happen again. Despite that a body punch from Little in the third saw the mouthguard pop out again and it was obvious they were hurting MacMillan badly. MacMillan continued to plough forward but yet another body punch saw MacMillan’s mouthguard out and this time the referee deducted a point. MacMillan continued to take the fight to Little in the fourth but he was receiving more than he was giving and a crunching right to the body saw him drop to one knee. He got up but after the eight count a left to the body saw him go down on both knees. MacMillan’s corner threw in the towel and the referee stopped the fight when he completed the eight count. The 26-year-old Little, a former undefeated English champion, had scored a big win with a kayo of Martin Gethin in September last year but then lost to Glenn Foot in December. MacMillan came in as a very late replacement and did his bit in making this a stirring scrap.
Click here for Part II
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