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The Past Week in Action 19 September 2017 -- Part II

Cebu City, Philippines: Light Fly: Milan Melindo (37-2) W PTS 12 Hekkie Budler (31-3). Super Fly: Jonas Sultan (14-3) W PTS 12 John Riel Casimero (24-4). Bantam: Arthur Villanueva (31-2) W RTD 4 Richie Mepranum (31-7-1). Welter: Jason Pagara (40-2-1) DREW 10 James Onyango (23-11-2).
Melindo vs. Budler
Melindo retains the IBF title with a split decision over South African Budler, Melindo was hampered by a cut from the fifth and a much worse one from the tenth but it was the speed and precision of Budler?s work that for me gave him the verdict. The judges decreed otherwise and a gutsy Melindo remains champion
Round 1
Both were throwing jabs early. Budler was showing good movement and hand speed. Melindo scored with a couple of hooks inside. He switched to southpaw a couple of time but Budler scored well with a couple of quick combinations and darted away from Melindo?s attack to take the round
Score 10-9 Budler
Round 2
Budler was again much quicker. He was fast and accurate with his jab and threw his right whenever he saw an opening. Melindo was going for hooks to the body. He scored with a couple and then just before the bell landed a disgracefully low punch put Budler down in agony. He was given time to recover and the bell went before the action could recommence but there should have been at least a warning to Melindo but it did not happen.
Score 10-9 Budler 18-20
Round 3
Budler was snapping out his jab and finding the target. Melindo landed a solid left hook that looked to have Budler hurt but the South African stuck with his clever boxing and did enough to take this one.
Score 10-9 Budler 27-30
Round 4
Melindo had a better round. He was finally letting his punches go particularly his trade mark left hook. Budler was sill sticking and moving but Melindo just did enough to pocket this one.
Score 10-9 Melindo 37-39
Round 5
Melindo was slowly warming to the task. He was letting his left hook loose and scoring with short powerful counters. Budler was showing some class movement and throwing plenty of quick combination but the power from Melindo won out.
Score 10-9 Melindo 47-48
Round 6
Budler maintained his frantic pace zipping around Melindo and slotting home jabs and quick rights. Melindo landed a couple of hooks but was waiting too long to fire off his shots. Melindo was now showing a cut over his left eye
Score 10-9 Budler 56-58
Round 7
I could not believe what happened at the start of this round. After the fighters had left their corners for the start of the round the referee took Melindo back to his corner so that the doctor could examine the cut over Melindo?s left eye. The doctor cleaned away the blood and seemed satisfied Melindo could continue. Nothing wrong with that except that Melindo?s corner man then began to treat Melindo?s cut using a swab and putting ointment on it which he should never have been allowed to do. The referee should have stopped it happening. How can a second be allowed to treat a cut once his man has left the corner. It was an untidy round with more missing than connecting from both fighters. Budler was bit more accurate and Melindo landed fewer but harder punches so I did what I don?t like to do and made this one level.
Score 10-10 Even 66-68
Round 8
Budler?s round. The speed and precision of his punches saw jab after jab pierce Melindo?s guard and he scored with a couple of cracking rights. Melindo also landed a hard right but was too slow with his counters and left swishing air.
Score 10-9 Budler 75-78
Round 9
Incredibly once again the referee escorted Melindo back to his corner. The doctor said it was OK to continue and Melindo?s corner man treated the cut. What?s going on here? Don?t the officials know you can?t allow this? Once a boxer has left his corner only the doctor should be allowed near the cut. Melindo took this one but only just. He was countering well, landing his left hook and although busier Budler was not as accurate as he had been in other rounds.
Score 10-9 Melindo 85-87
Round 10
Budler?s speed again took this one. Melindo had no answer to the jab Budler was constantly sliding past his leaky guard. The South African was also getting home rights. Melindo landed a good right and a left hook and as they traded a clash of heads sent Melindo staggering backwards. Blood was now running from a cut over the right eye of Melindo. He complained to the referee that is was a deliberate butt. The referee saw nothing wrong and in fact only warned Budler about a punch to the back of the head. Budler finished the round strongly to take it.
Score 10-9 Budler 94-97
Round 11
The cut on the right eyelid was a bad one and for a third time when the round began the referee took Melindo back to his corner and after the doctor had stopped examining the cut Melindo?s second used a swab and ointment on the cut. This was Budler?s round Melindo scored early with his best combination of punches in the fight but then Budler took over. He was banging jab after jab through Melindo?s guard and following that with straight rights as Melindo fired desperate counters which missed
Score 10-9 Budler 103-107
Round 12
Yet again the referee took Melindo back to his corner and once again when the doctor had finished his examination Melindo?s second treated the cut and the referee actually pulled Melindo away with the second still smearing ointment on the cut. It was streaming blood down the side of Melindo?s face and the two cuts must have been affecting Melindo?s vision. As they traded punches Melindo landed a couple of head shots and sent Budler sprawling to the canvas. The South African was up immediately and not hurt. Melindo let go some hard hooks and piled forward but Budler met him half way and they exchanged punches on level terms to the bell.
Score 10-8 Melindo 113-115
Official scores 117-110 and 115-112 for Melindo and 115-113 for Budler.
Melindo had struggled to make the weight for this one. He failed on the first try and had to strip naked to make it on attempt No 2 and appeared sluggish at times. The 29-year-old ?Method Man? had won the IBF title with a spectacular one round win over Akira Yaegashi in Japan and was making the first defence of his title. Melindo does not have a mandatory challenger as the top two positions in the IBF ratings are both vacant but it will be quite some time before these two cuts heal so he will be on the sidelines for a while. I though the Budler won this one. His hand speed and accuracy gave him the edge in most rounds but you get no favours on the road even with neutral officials. He is unlikely to want or get a return but he has the skills to challenge any of the other three title holders.
On the matter of the cuts being treated. Even if the bell to start a new round had not sounded you cannot allow a fighter?s corner to take advantage of the doctor?s inspection to work on a cut. Their one minute is up-the referee can get them to wipe excess ointment off yes-but swab the cut and put on more ointment-no.
Sultan Casimero
Sultan gets massive win as he take well deserved unanimous decision over former undefeated IBF flyweight champion Casimero. Sultan bossed the bout most of the way. He used some sharp jabbing and hefty hooks and Casimero was having trouble finding his range and getting into gear. Sultan swept the early rounds and rocked Casimero with a strong combination in the fifth. That seemed to awaken Casimero who attacked hard in the sixth and seventh but Sultan showed some classy defensive work and he dictated the pace of the fight over the following rounds to build a winning lead. Casimero tried hard for a knockout in the last but to no avail and Sultan was a clear winner. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 all for Sultan. The 25-year-old ?Zorro? from the ALA Gym and a former undefeated Philippines title holder has turned his career around with 10 wins in his last 11 fights. Casimero was rated No 3 by the IBF but position No 1 was vacant and Rau?shee Warren was No 2. Since Warren has not beaten a fighter in the current IBF ratings he cannot go to No 1 but as Sultan, rated No 7, beat No 3 Casimero he can go to that top spot. A fight with champion Jerwin Ancajas would be the first world title fight between two Filipino?s since 1925 when Pancho Villa defended the flyweight title against Clever Sencio. The fly in the ointment could be WBO champion Naoya Inoue who may be eyeing a unification fight with Ancajas. As for Casimero he had looked imperious in defeating British challenger Charlie Edwards in September but has some hard work to do after being a clear loser here.
Villanueva vs. Mepranum
Villanueva returns to the winning column as Mepranum has had enough after four rounds. A focused body attack proved too much for the clever but light punching Mepranum. although Villanueva also landed some excellent straight rights and lefts to the head through the first three rounds it was the barrage of hooks to the body from both hands that undid Mepranum. He showed some classy skills but by the fourth he was fighting out of a half crouch trying to protect his body from Villanueva?s body punches. He did not look like a finished fighter but at the end of the fourth he retired. ?King Arthur? was having his first fight since being floored and losing a very wide unanimous decision against Zolani Tete for the interim WBO bantam title in April. His other loss was also in a fight for a vacant title when he was beaten on a technical decision by McJoe Arroyo for the IBF super fly title in 2015. He is rated WBC 10 so another title shot is a distant hope. As with Villanueva Mepranum has been beaten twice in world title fights with his losses coming against Julio Cesar Miranda and Juan Francisco Estrada. This loss to Villanueva is his third inside the distance defeat in a row but you don?t get much tougher opposition than Carlos Cuadras, Luis Nery and Villanueva
Pagara vs. Onyango
Pagara almost steps on a banana skin here as he only just scrapes a split draw where a loss would have cost him his WBO No 3 rating. It was very much a fight of two halves. Pagara swept the first five rounds and floored Onyango in the second and fifth rounds. However the Kenyan stayed in the fight and Pagara faded badly over the last five rounds. Pagara was being caught with hard punches from both hands and looked close to going down a couple of times. A cut over his left eye suffered in the eighth just added to his problems and he had to fight hard to still be there to the last bell. Scores 95-93 Pagara, 94-93 for Onyango and 94-94. When you realise that Pagara had the benefit in his scoring of two 10-8 rounds it shows how close Onyango came to a major upset. Home town fighter Pagara, 29, was having his first fight for 10 months and there were questions before the fight about his preparation and those fears were confirmed. He may also have seen Onyango as an easy opponent. The 34-year-old Kenyan has been in with some high class opposition in David Avanesyan, Denis Shafikov and Julius Indongo and ten of his losses have been in the other guy?s town and he can feel unlucky that he did not get the win here.

Escobar, Argentina: Light: Elias Araujo (17-0) W PTS 10 German Benitez (19-2,1ND). Araujo wins the interim WBC Latino title with split verdict over Benitez. There was a complete difference in styles here. Araujo lived up to his ?Macho? nickname with constant wild attacks with Benitez forced to box on the back foot and counter. They both had enough success for this to be a tough one to call. The first three rounds were fairly even but Benitez boxed better over the middle round. He looked to have built a lead by the end of the eighth but threw that away when he was deducted a point for a number of low punches in the ninth. Araujo just did enough to edge the last to take the division. Scores 96-93 and 95-94 for Araujo and 96-93 for Benitez so the deduction cost Benitez a draw. The 30-year-old Araujo is the Argentinian No 5. Benitez who was rated No 4 had won his last three fights.

Hobart, Australia: Feather: Luke Jackson (15-0) W PTS 10 Humberto de Santiago (14-4-1). Jackson moves on with unanimous verdict over Mexican de Santiago. After a couple of even rounds Jackson got into his stride in the third with some stiff jabs and a right to the head of de Santiago. He also had the better of the fourth with a succession of good hooks. de Santiago had a better fifth bringing blood from Jackson?s nose with a hook but Jackson was back in control from the seventh shaking the Mexican with a big right and taking the eighth and ninth and also opening a cut on de Santiago?s lip. They both finished strongly in the last. Scores 100-91, 98-92 and 97-94 with the first two scores a little harsh on de Santiago. ?Action? Jackson, 32, retains his WBO Oriental title in his first defence and protects his WBO No 10 rating. de Santiago was a very live opponent. He had won 13 of his last 14 fights, 10 of those wins by KO/TKO admittedly against very modest opposition.

Vaasa, Finland: Heavy: Johann Duhaupas (36-4) W TKO 4 Evgeny Orlov (17-16-1). Just a keep busy fight for Duhaupas. He had outpointed Orlov way back in 2009 and has come far since then. This time the fight did not go the distance. After spearing Orlov with jabs over the first two rounds Duhaupas ended it in the third. He had Orlov in a corner and just unloaded with both hands until the referee halted the action. The 36-year-old Frenchman, the WBC No 10, won two big fights beating Manuel Charr and knocking out Robert Helenius but lost three biggies to Erkan Teper, Deontay Wilder for the WBC title and Alex Povetkin. He will try to keep busy hoping to get another chance at the world title. The 39-year-old 6?9 ?? (207cm) Orlov weighed 307lbs (139kgs) and was every bit as slow as that indicates.

Kiev, Ukraine: Welter: Karen Chukhadzhyan (10-1) W KO 5 Steve Suppan (7-1-1). Super Light: Viktor Postol (29-1) W PTS 10 Jamshidbek Najmiddinov (14-1). Light: Denys Berinchyk (7-0) W TKO 6 Ismael Garcia (8-2). Feather: Oleg Malynovskyi (21-0) W PTS 8 Alex Cazares (15-10). Welter: Mishiko Beselia (16-0) W PTS 8 Aristides Quintero (20-9-1).
Chukhadzhyan vs. Suppan
Kiev boxer Chukhadzhyan wins the vacant WBO Youth title with savage kayo of Dutchman Suppan. The taller Chukhadzhyan bossed most of the rounds but Suppan showed some nice skills and was competitive all the way. The end came in the fifth. Chukhadzhyan landed a heavy right to the chin that sent Suppan into the ropes. Chukhadzhyan forced Suppan off the ropes with a right to the body and the sent him staggering back with another right before landing a crushing left hook that put Suppan down flat on his back and it was some time before he recovered. The 21-year-old Chukhadzhyan lost his first pro fight so that is now 10 wins in a row, 5 by KO/TKO. Suppan came into this fight with only two week?s notice and did well considering that handicap
Postol vs. Najmiddinov
Postol was too experienced and too big for the Uzbek novice but had a couple of shaky moments on the way to the win. He was outboxing Najmiddinov in the first but when a punch brushed across his chin and landed on his shoulder Postol staggered back and put his right glove on the canvas to stop himself going over which was technically a knockdown but it was ignored. Later in the opening round even more clearly a left hook landed on Postol?s chin and again he tumbled back and put his glove firmly on the floor so two knockdowns but no count and no points lost. Postol had no trouble outboxing the crude Uzbek southpaw over the next three rounds but was having trouble landing anything heavy and still getting caught on occasion by some wild lefts. In the fifth Najmiddinov finally got a knockdown that was registered. He launched a rushing attack and landed what did not look a heavy left but Postol went down. When he got up his legs were wobbling. After the count a frantic Najmiddinov threw Postol to the canvas which gave Postol some small respite. Najmiddinov was too wild in his attacks and Postol managed to hold and wrestle to the bell. It had been a near thing but Najmiddinov?s chance had gone. Postol controlled the rest of the fight with his jab and straight rights. Najmiddinov was still dangerous with occasional wild lefts but he tired badly and Postol was a clear winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 98-92 all for Postol. First fight for Postol since losing his WBC title to Terrence Crawford in July last year and he did not impress in a messy fight with a relative novice. This was a huge step up in the level of opposition for the Uzbek but he gave Postol a very uncomfortable ride.
Berinchyk vs. Garcia
Berinchyk is just too quick and too skilful for brave Spaniard Garcia. The local fighter confused Garcia with constant movement and as the Spaniard continued to roll bravely forward Berinchyk was catching him with jabs and stinging counters. Garcia kept coming but Berinchyk was making him pay and landed a scorching tight uppercut in the second. As Garcia pressed hard Berinchyk went down in the third but it was ruled a slip and Berinchyk went back to banging home shots from both hands and not being there when Garcia tried to land his own punches. Hooks, uppercuts, right crosses Berinchyk used them all and Garcia took them all and punched back. It was exhibition stuff from Berinchyk and by the end of the fifth Garcia?s face was heavily smeared with blood. In the sixth the referee had the doctor examine Garcia?s nose which was pouring blood. He survived that examinations but more punishment from Berinchyk had Garcia?s face a mask of blood and the as the referee asked the doctor to examine him again the towel had come in from Garcia?s corner. The 29-year-old Berinchyk came into the ring in a prison jump suit with shackles on both his hands and feet but I have no idea what that was about. As an amateur he won silver medals for Ukraine at the World Championships and the 2012 Olympics with a win over Jeff Horn in the London games. He is brilliant boxer but at 29 he needs to start working his way up to top level opponents. Garcia showed guts, almost too much and he lacked the skill and experience to match someone as good as Berinchyk.
Malynovskyi vs. Cazares
Southpaw Malynovskyi had a good deal of height and reach over Mexican Cazares but found the little Mexican a difficult opponent. Malynovskyi was able to slot home jabs and straight rights with Cazares looking to draw the lead and then dart forward head down throwing punches and by the end of the second round Malynovskyi was showing a swelling over his left eye from a punch. From the third Malynovskyi had figured Cazares out and was dropping in his own punches and anticipating the Mexican?s rushes. Malynovskyi kept up the pressure and Cazares indulged in some clowning which Malynovskyi just ignored and got on with the job but the little Mexican was never an easy target and was never in trouble. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 all for Malynovskyi. The 29-year-old from Kiev has an inflated No 6 rating with the WBO due having won their European title (over a guy with 11-5 record). He is a very orthodox stand up stylish fighter but lacks any real power. Cazares has never lost by KO/TKO and has gone the distance in fights in Europe against Karim Guerfi, Paul Butler and Sofiane Takoucht.
Beselia vs. Quintero
Beselia gets comfortable victory over Spanish-based Panamanian Quintero. This time it was the visitor who had height and reach on his side. Luckily for Beselia Quintero had no idea of how to put those to use. In the second Beselia landed a right cross to the chin. Quintero took a couple of steps back and then went down on one knee. After the eight count he just covered up until late in the round when he suddenly rocked Beselia with a big left hook. From there Quintero decided to just walk forward behind a high guard allowing Beselia to score with hooks and uppercuts and too often when he got close Quintero was swishing air. He improved in the fourth and fifth firing home some hard head punches and some swinging hooks but was being outpunched. Beselia was cut over his left eye and during a time out for tape on Quintero?s gloves to be fixed Beselia was allowed to go back to his corner where his corner worked on the cut-no way that should have been allowed. Quintero continued to march forward with Beselia picking him off with body punches but the Panamanian remained competitive to the end. Scores 80-71, 80-72 and 79-72 all for Beselia. The 25-year-old Georgian-born Beselia had won 8 of his last 10 fights by KO/TKO but despite the knockdown he never looked like putting Quintero away. Now four losses in a row for Quintero.

Lincoln, RI, USA: Welter: Jimmy Williams (15-0-1) W PTS 10 Juan Rodriguez (13-5). Williams scores an early knockdown but has to work hard for ten rounds to finally get the Verdict. Williams was off to a flying start putting Rodriguez down with a right in the second round. Southpaw Rodriguez did not fold but got up and fought back hard over the middle rounds. Williams stuck to his boxing and ran out a deserving winner. Scores 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93 for Williams who was making the second defence of his WBC USNBC title. He gets his second win in three weeks having knocked out Issouf Kinda in four rounds in another WBC USNBC title defence on 26 August. Now 4 losses in his last 5 fights for Rodriguez.

Fight of the week: Callum Smith vs. Erik Skoglund. Golovkin vs. Alvarez was a bigger event but not a great fight
Fighter of the week: Gennady Golovkin-for me he won the fight
Punch of the week: The Jesus Rojas left hook that ended his fight with Claudio Marrero with honourable mentions to Karen Chukhadzhyan?s left hook that flattened Steve Suppan and Daniel Dubois right that ended the fight with AJ Carter
Upset of the week: Jonas Sultan?s win over John Riel Casimero with honourable mentions to Jesus Rojas who was the underdog against Claudio Marrero and Zach Parker?s one round win over Luke Blackledge and James Onyango was brought to the Philippines just to give Jason Pagara some work but instead nearly ruined Pagara?s world title hopes.
One to watch: Has to be Anthony Yarde

Click here for Part I.

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

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