The Past Week in Action 25 October 2017 -- Part I
By Eric Armit
Thu, 26 Oct 2017
Burnett (R) tags Zhakiyanov.
-Ryan Burnett unifies the IBF and WBA bantam titles with win over Zhanat Zhakiyanov
-Murat Gassiev crushes Krzys Wlodarczyk to retain IBF cruiser title and move into the semi-finals of the WSSB
-Alberto Machado kayos Jezreel Corrales to win the vacant WBA Super Feather title after Jezreel Corrales fails to make the weight and loses the title on the scales
-A three world title fight card in Tokyo sees three Japanese winners as Ryota Murata wins secondary WBA middle title and Daigo Higa and Ken Shiro retain their WBC titles
-Josh Warrington wins IBF final eliminator with stoppage of Denis Ceylan
-Demetrius Andrade outpoints Alantez Fox at middleweight and then relinquishes the secondary WBA super welter title to move up
-Jack Catterall wins British Super Light title with victory over Tyrone Nurse
-Andrew Moloney wins Commonwealth title and becomes the first Australian boxer to win both a Commonwealth Games gold medal and the Commonwealth title as a pro
-Bastie Samir stops Briamah Kamoko in huge fight for Ghana
London, England: Welter: Heavy: Joe Joyce (1-0) W TKO 8 Ian Lewison (12-4-1). Joyce win his first pro fight over more experienced Lewison but shows there is work to be done. After a fairly even first round the 6-6? (198cm) Olympic silver medal winner dominated the fight. He had height, reach and mobility over the 36-year-old Lewison and was able to score with his jab from distance and mix hook and uppercuts inside. A jab in the fourth started a swelling over the right eye of Lewison which soon had the eye almost closed, Joyce was constantly forcing Lewison to the ropes and unloading shots but he seemed to lack the power to finish the job. Lewison survived a doctors inspection of the cut at the start of the fifth .Joyce had Lewison under pressure in the sixth and seventh and with Lewison not throwing anything back the referee stopped the fight in the eighth. The 32-year-old Joyce did not take up boxing until he was 22 and has left it late to turn pro. He has the amateur credentials having won gold medals at the European Games where he beat Tony Yoka, and the Commonwealth Games. He was English and British champion and a star turn for the Dolce and Gabbana Italian Thunder team in the WSB. He took the silver medal in Rio losing a very controversial decision to Yoka in the final. He has other talents such as a Fine Art degree and modelling work. Lewison 36 lost on a tenth round retirement against Dillian Whyte for the vacant British title in October so it was an ambitious first fight for Joyce.
Quilmes, Argentina: Super Light: Jeremias Ponce (13-0) W TKO 1Brian Chaves (11-1). Ponce crushes former top amateur Chaves in battle of unbeaten prospects. Southpaw Chaves tried a couple of straight lefts early. After a few more jabs were exchanged Ponce started throwing right crosses. The pro-Chaves crowd were still cheering a straight left from their man when Ponce nailed him with a right to the head. Chaves went back a couple of steps and then went down heavily on his rump against the ropes. He struggled to rise and although he made it to his feet he was staggering badly and in no condition to continue and the referee waived the fight over. Ponce, 21, the Argentinian No 6 super light, makes it 8 wins by KO/TKO. Chaves, 25, represented Argentina at both the World Youth and Pan American Youth championships and was considered a real hope for the future.
Saint-Nazaire, France: Super Middle: David Papot (20-0) W PTS 10 Barthelemy Lefebvre (16-9-1). Light Heavy: Pierre Hubert Diobombe (14-0-1) W PTS 10 Gabriel Lecrosnier (19-44-4).
Papot vs. Lefebvre
Papot makes it 20 wins and collects the vacant French title as he easily outpoints Lefebvre. The fight was untidy early as Lefebvre tried to hustle southpaw Papot out of his stride. Papot had his right jab working and that plus superior skill and hand speed saw him in charge. Lefebvre kept rolling forward but was walking forward in a straight line and his attacks were too predictable. Papot was keeping him out most times with his jab but when Lefebvre did get inside it was the uppercuts and hooks from Papot that were piling up the points. Under instructions from his corner Lefebvre tried to stage a storming finish but Papot stayed cool and countered his way to victory. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 all for 26-year-old local fighter Papot. The former French amateur champion is No 13 with the WBA but a more realistic rating sees him No 22 with the EBU/European Union and with two Frenchmen Joffrey Jacob and Maxime Beaussire fighting for the EU title on 10 November he is hoping to get a shot at the winner. Lefebvre, 29, the French No 2 was 8-1 in his last 9 fights.
Diobombe v. Lecrosnier
Diobombe wins the vacant French title with comfortable victory over Lecrosnier. It was Lecrosnier who tried to force the action to get inside the longer reach of Diobombe. He did not have much success as Diobombe used his jab to pick up points and showed good defensive moves to frustrate the attacks of Lecrosnier. Diobombe stayed in centre ring and refused to get involved in too much close work. Lecrosnier tried to force the fight over the closing rounds but all he did was to expose himself to accurate counters from Diobombe who ran out a clear winner. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 all for Diobombe a bronze medallist at the French championships in 2014 as Diobombe-Ekambi. The 25-year-old from Nantes was moving up to ten rounds for the first time. Now nine losses in a row for French No 7 Lecrosnier.
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Feather: Luis Montano (13-6) W PTS 10 Carlos Ruiz (15-4-1). Montano comes from behind to get majority decision over Ruiz. In a fight with two distinct halves Ruiz had the better of the first four rounds. He let Montano come to him and scored with sharp, accurate counters opening cuts on both cheeks of Montano. Montano came on strong in taking four of the next five rounds to leave the result in the balance but Montano took charge in the last round and that was enough to get the verdict. Scores 96-93 and 96-94 for Montano and 95-95.?The Wolf? Montano wins the vacant WBO Latino trinket and gets revenge for a split decision loss to Ruiz in 2014. He has now won 6 of his last 7 fight. Ruiz seems to be headed in the other direction as after winning his first 13 fights he is 2-4-1 in his last 7 fights
Bacolod City, Philippines: Light Fly: Merlito Sabillo (27-4-1) W PTS 12 Crison Omayao (22-15-4). Fly: Jayr Raquinel (8-0-1 W PTS 12 Richard Rosales (12-5-2).
Sabillo vs. Omayao
Sabillo keeps his title hopes alive as he retains his Asian Boxing Federation crown with unanimous decision over fellow-Filipino Omayao. The former WBO minimum champion put on a patchy show. He started well outpunching Omayao over the first eight rounds but then faded before finding his form again to sweep the last two rounds. Scores118-108, 117-108 and an out of line 114-112 all for Sabillo. Since losing his WBO title to Francisco Rodriguez in 2014 the 33-year-old southpaw has has struggled and is 4-3 in his last 7 fights against very ordinary opposition. Former Philippines Minimum champion Omayao is now 4-6-1 in his last 11 fights and is down at No 11 in the national ratings.
Raquinel vs. Rosales
Young southpaw Raquinel wins the vacant interim OPBF title with unanimous decision over Rosales. The 20-year-old prospect was having his first twelve round fight. Rosales was knocked out in six round by Thai Kwanpichit in September. Some strange ratings sees Raquinel No 15 super fly in the latest published Philippines ratings but No 6 flyweight by the OPBF and Rosales No 13 flyweight in the Philippines ratings but No 7 with the OPBF.
Singapore, Singapore: Super Feather: Muhamad Ridhwan (9-0) W PTS 12 Nataneal Sebastian (9-1). Super Welter: Tommy Browne (35-6-2) W PTS 12 Sirimongkol (92-4).
Ridhwan vs. Sebastian
Local hero Ridhwan wins the vacant IBO International title with razor thin unanimous verdict over Namibian Sebastian. This was a fast-paced fight all the way. Ridhwan rocked Sebastian with a right in the first but was forced to spend time in the third and fourth fighting with his back to the ropes under attacks from Sebastian. Both were happy to stand and trade with Ridhwan always dangerous with his right but Sebastian fired back all the way before tiring late. There was never much between them and the decision could have gone either way but Ridhwan had home advantage and that was the differentiator. In Namibia it would have gone to Sebastian but you get no favours when you travel. Scores 115-113 twice and 115-114 for Ridhwan. The 26-year-old ?The Chosen Wan? a three-time bronze medal winner at the South East Asia Games adds the IBO International title to the UBO world title he already holds but he rode his luck here. Sebastian came in as a late replacement for injured South African Koos Sibiya and had previously only fought over four and six rounds so did well .
Browne vs. Sirimongkol
Australian Browne continues his revival and gets his second title victory in two fights in Singapore. He took the unanimous decision to give the Thai oldie his second loss in his last three fights. Scores 99-91, 97-92 and 96-94 all for Browne. The 34-year-old Australian lost in world title fights to In-Jin Chi for the WBC feather title and Chris John for the WBA title. He retired in 2008 after a couple of domestic losses but returned to the ring five years later and is now 9-0-1 in ten fights. He won the vacant UBO title in May. Sirimongkol, 40, a former WBC super feather champ[ion lost his title in 2003 but then won 48 fights in a row before losing to Uzbek novice Azizbek Abdugofurov in February for the vacant IBO Asia Pacific title. I guess he might want to hang around to see if he can get to 100 wins.
Belfast, Northern Ireland: Bantam: Ryan Burnett (18-0) W PTS 12 Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-2). Light: Paul Hyland Jr (17-0) W PTS 12 Stephen Ormond (24-5). Super Light: Tyrone McKenna (15-0-1) W PTS 10 Renald Garrido (19-17-2). Super Feather: James Tennyson (20-2) W KO 3 Darren Traynor (14-2). Welter: Josh Kelly (4-0) W TKO 2 Jose Luis Zuniga (13-3-1). Super Welter: Anthony Fowler (4-0) W PTS 6 Laszlo Fazekas (31-28-1,1ND).
Burnett vs. Zhakiyanov
Burnett unifies the WBA and IBF titles with win over Zhakiyanov.
The first round was dire. Zhakiyanov as usual came forward strongly looking to get inside and nullify the physical advantages of Burnett. Burnett was determined not to let Zhakiyanov work inside and every time Zhakiyanov came inside Burnett grabbed him and stopped him working. The referee warned the fighters against holding in the first 30 seconds of the round but Burnett continued to hold and the referee warned them again later in the round. There was not much clear scoring but Zhakiyanov just edged it.
Score 10-9 Zhakiyanov
There was more fighting in the second but also more clinching. Zhakiyanov managed to work inside but. Burnett was scoring on the WBA champion on the way in and just did enough to take a close round.
Score 10-9 Burnett 19-19
The early part of this round saw the fighters standing close and brawling both trying to score to the body. Burnett did better inside and again was able to score when he could find room. Zhakiyanov was able to land some hooks inside but Burnett again took the round
Score 10-9 Burnett 29-28
It was more of the same in this round. Most of the fight was fought on the inside where Burnett used his physical advantages to force Zhakiyanov onto the back foot and he was landing more when in there. The local fighter was boxing with both hands down when he found some space and scoring with jabs and straight rights. Zhakiyanov landed some hooks but not enough of them.
Score 10-09 Burnett 39-37
Official scores: 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37 all for Burnett
It was almost all close-quarters stuff in this one. Zhakiyanov was inside where he needed to be but Burnett was outworking him there and at one stage when Zhakiyanov stepped out of the inside Burnett beckoned him to come back. When there was some space Burnett was using quicker hands and a longer reach to score. With all of the inside work heads were clashing and Burnett was cut above his right eye.
Score 10-9 Burnett 49-36
Zhakiyanov took this one. Whilst they were working in close Burnett stepped away from the action indicating that their entangled arms had resulted in Burnett suffering some sort of injury to the left side of his neck. Spurred on by that Zhakiyanov stepped up his pace and had Burnett on the defensive. The Kazak fighter was finding space to score with hooks. Burnett was given a severe warning for use the head and Zhakiyanov kept pressing to take the round.
Score 10-9 Zhakiyanov 58-56
It was a tough, gruelling fight now with lots of mauling as each fighter tried to get the upper hand inside. Burnett was again outworking Zhakiyanov and again doing the scoring with his quick jab and straight rights when he stepped out of the close work.
Score 10-9 Burnett 68-65
There was less holding and more working inside in this one. Zhakiyanov continued to land hooks inside but with that little bit more space it allowed Burnett to get home with uppercuts and hooks of his own to take the round.
Score 10-9 Burnett 78-74 Official scores: 79-73, 79-73 and 77-75 all for Burnett
Burnett took this one. He worked well on the outside with both hands at thigh level using upper body movement to dodge Zhakiyanov?s punches and allowing him to spear Zhakiyanov with jabs and score with hooks and a couple of sharp uppercuts. Zhakiyanov continued to get inside and land some hooks but not enough.
Score 10-9 Burnett 88-83
Again Burnett used a mixture of sharp boxing on the outside and outworking Zhakiyanov on the inside to take this one. The little Kazak never stopped ploughing forward firing short hooks but Burnett was tying him up inside and smothering much of Zhakiyanov?s work
Score 10-9 Burnett 98-92
The referee warned both boxer at the start of the round to be careful with their heads as they had been banging together regularly. Over the first two minutes of the round Burnett again alternated between boxing on the back foot and finding a home for his jab and rights and then he outmuscled Zhakiyanov on the inside. Over the last minute Zhakiyanov came on strong forcing Burnett to the ropes and getting through with left and right hooks but the early work from Burnett gave him the round.
Score 10-9 Burnett 108-101
Zhakiyanov just took this one. Both fighters were tired but Zhakiyanov worked hard pumping out hooks with Burnett just being outworked to the bell.
Score 10-9 Zhakiyanov 117-111
Official scores: 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112 all for Burnett
This was never a pretty fight but then Zhakiyanov doesn?t do pretty fights. He is a tireless aggressive fighter who gets inside and works away wearing down his opponent on pressure and work rate. Burnett had the right tactics here. He was able to score with leads and counters at distance and smother and outwork Zhakiyanov on the inside. Now the 25-year-old from Belfast is in position to try to collect all four versions of the bantam title. He does not have a mandatory challenger as the first two positions in the IBF ratings are vacant. However WBO champion Zolani Tete may have to face his mandatory challenger Omar Narvaez first and there is a question over WBC champion Luis Nery after his positive test. Jamie McDonnell the holder of the secondary WBA title would be good choice but McDonnell has been ordered to give Liborio Solis a return so the picture is unlikely to become clear until early 2018. Zhakiyanov, 33, gave it everything here but never managed to dominate the inside work as he needed to do. He waited a long time for his title winning effort against Rau?shee Warren so it was a pity he was not able to enjoy the title for long. He deserves praise for tackling Burnett on his home turf and hopefully he will find a route back to another title shot.
Hyland vs. Ormond
Hyland gets very controversial split decision over Ormond to retain his IBF East/West Europe title. Ormond was looking to take charge of the action early. Hyland boxed well only for Ormond to come storming forward digging hooks to the body and giving Hyland a torrid time. Hyland stood and punched with Ormond in the second as they traded hooks. Hyland outboxed Ormond early in the third and then near the end of the round he floored Ormond with a right. Ormond was badly shaken but beat the count and made it to the bell. Ormond recommenced his forward march in the fourth and over the next few rounds was again working to the body and setting a frantic pace, Hyland tried to stick to his boxing and was still catching Ormond with counters but could not stop the forward march of the Dubliner. Ormond was warned for a butt in the seventh but had a good eighth. It emerged later that a clash in the eighth which saw Ormond?s head collide with the face of Hyland resulted in a broken jaw for Hyland. Despite that Hyland matched Ormond in the ninth and started the tenth well but Ormond staged a strong finish to take the round with a clash of heads at the end of the having Hyland grimacing in pain. Ormond looked the stronger over the last two rounds but Hyland fought hard all the way and Ormond lost his mouthguard twice as both fighters put everything into the finish. Scores 117-110 and 114-113 for Hyland and 115-112 for Ormond. The stronger finish seemed to have given Ormond the edge but the officials saw it differently. A return would be a big draw but Hyland will need time for his jaw to heal. The 27-yeart-old from Belfast was making the first defence of his IBF title and was going past eight rounds for the first time.?The Rock? Ormond, 34, gets his second loss in a row have been floored twice and outpointed by Craig Evans for the WBO European title in June. He deserves another shot at Hyland.
McKenna vs. Garrido
Garrido is a much better fighter than his record indicates and McKenna only just got past the Frenchman on a very close decision. Southpaw McKenna with edges in height and reach was landing some good body shots in the first but Garrido was ignoring them and piling in going after the body. It was a similar situation in the second with McKenna scoring on the outside but Garrido scoring with thumping shots inside. The third was close but better boxing gave McKenna the fourth and fifth although he face was showing a few facial bumps. The pace dropped in the sixth which was a close round. McKenna was being forced to fight on the inside due to the relentless pressure from Garrido but he was matching the Frenchman and had a lead. In the ninth McKenna lost his mouthguard-for the fourth time in the fight-and was docked a point with Garrido ending the round with some hard head shots. Garrido seemed to have unlimited stamina and he finished the tenth strongly to make the fight very close. Referee?s score 96-94 for McKenna. The draw on the record of the 27-year-old McKenna was a technical one and he has won six in a row now. ?Le Lion? Garrido, 34, a former French champion is always capable of giving an opponent a tough fight but too often his jobs have been as a late substitute and in the other guys backyard and in July he held unbeaten Faith Keles to a draw for the vacant WBO European title.
Tennyson vs. Traynor
Tennyson?s power wins in the end but these two put on three exciting rounds of quality action. Traynor boxed tidily at the start of the first but already Tennyson the bigger man was looking threatening with long rights to the head. Traynor continued to jab well and they both fired some sharp combinations later in the round. Early in the second a straight right from Tennyson put Traynor down. He was up immediately and did not look badly hurt but Tennyson was trying to finish the fight and firing hard punches with both hands. He drove Traynor back with a series of hooks but had dropped his guard and a left hook from Traynor wobbled him badly and now it was Traynor looking for the finish. Tennyson was clinging on desperately and Traynor threw him off and on the floor. Traynor was on top for a spell with Tennyson just covering up but then Tennyson began to land some rib bending left hooks and swung the fight back his way after a real humdinger of a round. A left to the body had Traynor backing off in pain early in the third but he fired back and they again traded some fierce punches until a left to the body and a right to the head floored Traynor heavily and he just failed to beat the count. Tennyson, the 24-year-old Belfast ?Assassin? move to 16 victories by KO/TKO and he has won 11 of his last 12 fights with the loss coming in a challenge for the British feather title against Ryan Walsh. He retains his WBA International title. Traynor, from my old stamping grounds of Aberdeen, also lost inside the distance to Walsh for the British title but had won his last three fights.
Kelly vs. Zuniga
Sunderland ?Pretty Boy? way above Zuniga?s pay grade and terrorises the Mexican for two rounds. Kelly made a quick start. Holding his hands low in the first 30 seconds he landed a right uppercut that sent Zuniga staggering back to the ropes. Kelly unloaded with both hands but Zuniga fought his way off the ropes. Kelly kept up the assault staggering Zuniga with a left and then knocking his mouthguard out and he sent Zuniga stumbling into the ropes as the bell went. Kelly continued to stalk Zuniga in the second hurting the Mexican with every punch he landed and after a couple more hard shots landed the referee just stopped the fight. Kelly, 23, is a prodigious talent with a style all of his own. He rarely lifts his hands above waist level using upper body movement and quick reflexes and he has real power but the jury has to be out until he faces much better opposition. Zuniga is the Mexican champion and had not previously lost by KO/TKO.
Fowler vs. Fazekas
Olympian Fowler is much too good for import Fazekas. The Liverpool fighter was able to use a considerable edge in reach to score on the outside and dug in hurtful body shots in close. The downside for Fowler was a clash of heads in the first round that had blood dripping from a cut high on the left side of his forehead, Despite that he controlled the bout. He had Fazekas hurt with left hooks to the body in every round but the Hungarian ?bulldog? is an experienced survivor and he used his whole bag of tricks to be there at the bell. Referee?s score 60-54 for Fowler. The 26-year-old Fowler competed for Britain in Rio and won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze medal at the World Championships. He also competed in the WSB. He is a cousin of former Liverpool star striker Robbie Fowler.
Fazekas has only lost three times by KO/TKO.
Verona, NY, USA: Super Feather: Alberto Machado (19-0) KO 8 Jezreel Corrales (22-2,2ND) W. Middle: Demetrius Andrade (25-0) W PTS 12 Alantez Fox (23-1-1). Super Feather: Lamont Roach (15-0) W TKO 1 Luis Hinojosa (30-13,2ND). Super Middle: D?Mitrius Ballard (18-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Jaime Solorio (11-3-2).
Machado vs. Corrales
Machado gets off the floor to kayo Corrales in an all-southpaw contest. The WBA title became vacant when Corrales was a disgusting 4lbs over the limit so only Machado could win the title
Both were letting their hands go early. Machado had the edge in reach but Corrales looked quicker. Machado scored with some good left counters but Corrales found enough gaps to just take the round.
Score 10-9 Corrales
Corrales landed a cracking southpaw left early in the round that had Machado holding on. Corrales followed that with another left and a straight right to keep Machado under pressure. Corrales continued to score well cracking Machado with a right and after landing another left he moved inside and drove Machado back with a succession of short punches.
Score 10-9 Corrales 20-18
Machado did better in this one. He was anticipating the lunges from Corrales and stepping back and countering with his left. Corrales continued to lunge in but was having less success and Machado scored with some sharp left counters as the round closed.
Score 10-9 Machado 29-28
This was a close round. Corrales was not jumping in as much and Machado was finding the quick movement and excessive upper body movement from Corrales was making it difficult for him to land with any power. A very strange incident saw Corrales lose his mouthguard as he came forward and it spun in the air and Machado caught it in his glove-never seen that before. Corrales launched a furious attack at the end of the round showering Machado with punches and having the Puerto Rican ducking and diving under pressure. Corrales?s round.
Score 10-9 Corrales 39-37
Machado was looking confident and trying to close Corrales down and as Machado moved in Corrales threw an overhand left that crashed into the side of Machado?s head. A stunned Machado tried to hold on but Corrales wrested himself loose and Machado dropped to the floor. Machado made it to his feet but looked shaken. When the eight count was over Corrales was too inaccurate with his punching and Machado was able to make it to the bell without further trouble.
Score 10-8 Corrales 49-45
The best round of the fight so far. Over most of the round Corrales was using lots of side to side movement and jumping in with his jab. With just over 40 seconds left in the round as Corrales jumped in and landed a left Machado landed a right and suddenly Corrales was in trouble. He grabbed Machado and wrestled them both to the ground and when they got up Corrales stood in front of Machado trading punches and Machado nailed him with another big right and luckily for Corrales the bell went.
Score 10-9 Machado 58-55
Both were throwing heavy stuff and this time it was a right from Corrales that had Machado holding on. In what could have been a controversial moment as Corrales moved in a short right jab from Machado knocked him off balance and his right glove touched the canvas. Since it was due to a punch it should have counted as a knockdown but the referee ruled it a slip. The round was untidy with neither really dominating but Corrales just edged it.
Score 10-9 Corrales 68-64
From the early rounds Freddie Roach had been telling Machado to use the double jab. For the first time Machado did just that and Corrales was stuck on the end of the jab not able to get inside. Finally he jumped in and threw a right which missed and then landed a good left but Machado stepped inside it and landed a hammer-like left to the chin of Corrales who fell forward grasping the legs of Machado as he slid to the floor with Machado having to shake his right leg loose. Corrales just made it to his feet at nine but was unsteady and the referee counted him out.
The 27-year-old Machado lived up to his ?El Explosive? nickname as he wins the WBA title and gets victory No 16 by KO/TKO. At 5?10? (178cm) he is tall for his division and one of those curious fighters who is right handed but boxes southpaw. The 16 wins by KO/TKO shows it works for him. Corrales displayed a lack of discipline coming in 4lbs over the limit and he also failed to show enough respect for the power of Machado. His quick and quirky style will give opponents plenty of problems and he will be a threat at lightweight.
Andrade vs. Fox
Andrade moves up to middleweight with comfortable win over Fox. It was anticipated that the height and reach of Fox(6?4? 193cm) might give Andrade problems but that did not happen. Andrade made this fight his immediately rocking Fox with a left in the first round. He was a bit too anxious to get the fight over and although he landed some more hard punches Fox managed to hold and spoil his way to the bell. Andrade took the second slipping past Fox?s jab and scoring well with body punches. With the speed and accuracy of his work Andrade never really let Fox get any sort of toehold in the fight. He was quicker to the punch and the first round shock seemed to make Fox overcautious and he was not willing to take chances and was outboxed in round after round. In the seventh Fox was credited with a very questionable knockdown which looked more like a slip. It made no difference to the pattern of the fight. Andrade continued to outbox and outscore Fox who was throwing too little and landing too little to be competitive and Andrade ran out an easy winner. Scores 118-109, 118-110 and 116-111 all for Andrade who announced that he was relinquishing his secondary WBA title and moving up to middleweight permanently. The 29-year-old Rhode Island southpaw never defended the title he won with a split decision over Jack Culcay in March. There are certainly big fights to be had at middle so he makes an intriguing addition to the mix. Fox, 25, had won 7 of his last 9 fights by KO/TKO but there were no top flight names in the list of his victims. He will continue to give opponents problems with his height and reach but Andrade exposed his limitations.
Roach vs. Hinojosa
Roach gets a quick win but it is due to injury. Roach had the better of the first couple of minutes of the fight until Hinojosa slipped on the canvas and went down awkwardly. He had injured his left foot and was unable to continue so the fight was stopped with Roach declared the winner. The 22-year-old from Maryland is rated WBO 9/IBF 10(9) but will be looking to get another fight soon to make up for the ring time lost here. Former Dominican champion Hinojosa was facing his third unbeaten fight in a row.
Ballard vs. Solorio
Ballard makes heavy work of decisioning Mexican Solorio. Ballard had much the better skill set and should have been able to handle Solorio with ease. However the portly Mexican just kept rolling forward throwing punches, many being inaccurate, but Ballard was not able to keep him out and although winning the rounds he had to take some bumps and bruises. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92, for Ballard but not one of his best efforts. Solorio, really just a prelim fighter proved tougher than he looked.
Newark, NJ, USA: Cruiser: Murat Gassiev (25-0,1ND) W KO 3 Krzys Wlodarczyk (53-4-1). Super Welter: Maciej Sulecki (26-0) W PTS 10 Jack Culcay (22-3). Cruiser: Mateusz Masternak (40-4) W RTD 7 Stivens Bujaj (16-2-1).
Gassiev vs. Wlodarczyk
Gassiev retains the IBF title and moves to semi-finals of the WSSB with kayo of Pole Wlodarczyk.
Gassiev was on the front foot with Wlodarczyk retreating and trying some jabs. Gassiev got home two right crosses and did enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Gassiev
Gassiev continued to stalk Wlodarczyk in the second. The challenger threw more jabs and a couple of body punches but a left hook to the chin and another to the ribs had Wlodarczyk looking worried.
Score 10-9 Gassiev 20-18
Wlodarczyk was a bit more adventurous early in the third but Gassiev was soon coming forward and he shook Wlodarczyk with a left uppercut. He continued to put on pressure and took Wlodarczyk to the ropes and landed two left hooks one to the chin and one to the body and Wlodarczyk collapsed forward and face down on the canvas. Wlodarczyk writhed in agony and tried to get up but got no further than to his hands and knees as the referee complete the count
Impressive job by the 24-year-old Russian ?Iron? who was making the first defence of his IBF title. He now has18 wins by KO/TKO and his semi-final match with Yunier Dorticos should be explosive. Not sure where the 36-year-old Wlodarczyk goes from here. The former IBF and WBC champion suffered his first loss by KO/TKO. He said his plan was to take Gassiev past six rounds and expected his greater experience to count then. He has said he does not plan to retire.
Sulecki vs. Culcay
Sulecki gets huge win as he takes unanimous verdict over Culcay. Sulecki had height and reach over the much smaller Culcay and boxed well on the outside jabbing accurately and scoring with chopping rights. Sulecki was able to keep Culcay on the back foot for much of the early action. Culcay was quick and was able to get past the jab often and score with some hard rights to the head but was not always accurate as he was leaping in and needed to get those punches off and get out. Sulecki handed out a good bit of punishment in the sixth as Culcay tried to work his way inside. Despite a cut over his left eye Culcay had a big seventh. He immediately launches a ferocious attack banging home a series of rights to the head to have Sulecki retreating in confusion. Sulecki tried running and holding but neither helped much as Culcay pursued and punched. At one point Sulecki bent double with his hands hanging down and almost touching the canvas as Culcay continued to bombard the Pole with punches. For a few moments it looked as though Culcay was one punch away from victory. That furious spell of action lasted for a minute and then Culcay looked to have punched himself out and Sulecki dominated the rest of the round. Culcay could not repeat that fierce attacking approach and Sulecki was able to box his way through the last three rounds to win the decision. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Sulecki. He looked a clear winner although there were shouts of robbery from Germany but they were not justified. The 28-year-old Sulecki is No 5 with the WBC and this obviously puts him in the picture for a title shot next year. He had won his previous seven fight by KO/TKO including a stoppage of 24-0 Hugo Centeno so deserves consideration. Culcay, 32, was having his first fight since losing his secondary WBA title to Demetrius Andrade in March and was rated WBA 3/IBF 6(5)/WBC 8/WBO11 but all of those ratings have to be in danger and it remains to be seen whether he can regroup and get back into title contention.
Masternak vs. Bujaj
Polish ?Master? Masternak outclasses Bujaj and halts him in seven rounds. The experienced Pole bossed this one with his jab and Bujaj never really found an answer to it. Masternak landed some good left hooks to the body to take the first and shook Bujaj with a right just before the bell in the second. A series of rights in the fourth had Bujaj hurt and he was strangely passive rarely throwing much. Masternak was landing big rights in the fifth and sixth and dropped Bujaj with a right in the seventh. Bujaj got up but was unsteady on his feet but managed to survive to the bell and then retired in his corner. The 30-year-old Masternak lost a split decision to Johnny Muller in South Africa and was beaten on a close decision by Youri Kayembre Kalenga for interim WBA title. In 2015 he again lost a close decision this time to Tony Bellew for the vacant European title. This is his fourth win since then and as he is rated WBA 2/WBO 5/IBF 8 and WBC 9 somewhere in there he might land a title shot next year. Two losses in a row for New York-based Bujaj, 27, who just did not turn up here and put in a lethargic showing.
Leeds, England: Feather: Josh Warrington (26-0) W TKO 10 Dennis Ceylan (18-1-2). Super Light: Jack Catterall (19-0) W PTS 12 Tyrone Nurse (35-3-2). Super Feather: Leon Woodstock (10-0) W PTS 10 Craig Poxton (13-5). Super Welter: James Metcalf (17-0) W TKO 6 Damon Jones (15-2,1ND). Super Feather: Zelfa Barrett (19-0) W KO 4 Chris Conwell (9-3). Middle: Tommy Langford (19-1) W PTS 6 Miguel Aguilar (11-37-1).
Warrington vs. Ceylan
Warrington gets important win over Ceylan in IBF final eliminator which makes him the mandatory challenger to Lee Selby. There was plenty of action in the first three rounds. Ceylan was using his slight advantage in reach coming in behind a stiff jab and throwing punches from both hands. Warrington did some good work when he moved inside and scored with a good right cross over Ceylan?s low left in the first. Ceylan was on the front foot for most of the second but Warrington was scoring well with his right. Neither really took control although Ceylan probably built a small lead getting his punches off first in those two rounds. Ceylan was still on the front foot in the third but Warrington scored with a hurtful right and ended the round strongly. Warrington was finding the range in the fourth scoring with a pair of left hooks and again a right cross. Ceylan did some good work in close but Warrington again landed a couple of rights at the end of the round. Ceylan started the fifth on the front foot but Warrington came on hard as the round closed rocking Ceylan with a right. All of the rounds had been close but Warrington looked to be getting stronger. Warrington began to take the fight over in the sixth. His right found the target regularly and Ceylan was having trouble keeping his game together under the pressure. The pace dropped early in the seventh as Ceylon boxed nicely scoring with a sharp uppercut and keeping Warrington on the outside and the Dane took the round. Warrington shook Ceylan with a right half way through the eighth and then fired left hooks to the body with Ceylan under real pressure at the bell. Ceylan fought back hard in the ninth but his punches had lost their snap. The harder punches were coming from Warrington and Ceylan was not able to keep Warrington out and was fading rapidly. In the tenth after Ceylan complained about a punch to the back of the neck Warrington landed two left hooks and then drove Ceylan back to the ropes with a series of head punches and the Dane went down on his back. He was badly hurt but made it his feet at the count of eight. He moved to Warrington but was again forced back and down by punches from Warrington and although he climbed to his feet at nine he was counted out. Warrington will now be waiting for a date for a fight with Selby in what will be a huge fight for Cardiff or Leeds in an Wales vs. England clash. If Warrington wins he will be the first world champion from Leeds but it will certainly be yet another big all-British clash. Ceylan. 28 relinquished the European title to take this opportunity and although he boxed well and showed plenty of skill he could not match the power or the pace of Warrington.
Catterall vs. Nurse
Catterall wins the British title with unanimous verdict over champion Nurse. Although the first round was close southpaw Catterall seemed to just take it with a sustained attack before the bell and he continued that impetus into the second round which was also close. Nurse was not working his jab on the outside in his normal manner but was choosing to take the fight to Catterall instead of using his superior height and reach and that helped Catterall build a good lead over the third and fourth. Catterall was getting careless with his head and was warned by the referee in the fourth and Nurse was shown to be cut under his left eye. Their styles did not mix well and the fight was untidy at times but Catterall was picking his punches well and continued to outscore the champion. The greater experience of Nurse came into play in the eighth and ninth as Catterall was suddenly tiring and there had been suggestions that he had struggled to make the weight which might have drained him. It was a crucial time in the fight but Catterall found another gear in the tenth landing some crisp lefts to the head. The eleventh was a close round but Catterall finished the last stronger to take the decision. Scores 118-111, 116-113 and 115-114 all for Catterall. The 24-year-old ?El Gato? is No 3 with the WBO so when Terrence Crawford moves up he could find himself in line for a shot at the vacant title or as the mandatory challenger to whoever lifts the vacant WBO title. Nurse was one win away from winning the Lonsdale Belt outright so that adds to the pain of losing his British title and he will have to rebuild on the domestic scene.
Woodstock vs. Poxton
Woodstock decisions Poxton to win the vacant WBO European title. This was an excellent scrap with action all the way. Both fighters were determined to command this one from the start so stood and traded with neither willing to back down. Poxton was cut on his right eyebrow in the second round but it never became a factor. Woodstock started to pull away over the middle rounds with his hard counters and more accurate punching. Poxton kept coming forward ensuring that Woodstock had to fight hard to hold on to his advantage and the action continued for all three minutes of each round with Poxton never completely out of the fight but Woodstock continually doing the cleaner and more impressive work. Scores 98-93, 97-93 and 97-95 all for Woodstock. The 24-year-old from Leicester was going past six rounds for the first time and he paced the fight well and finished strongly. Southern Area champion Poxton had recovered from a 2-2 start to his career by winning 12 of his next 14 fights including a good win over unbeaten Boy Jones.
Metcalf vs. Jones
Metcalf made an aggressive start against Jones. He needed to get past the much longer reach of the Leeds southpaw and was walking Jones down in the first. He had Jones stumbling with a right but although Jones was down in the round it was from a push. The fight was untidy for much of the second with Metcalf wrestling Jones to the canvas but Jones was having trouble containing the fierce attacks of Metcalf. Just seconds after the bell to start the third Metcalf took Jones to the ropes and landed a right to the head that dropped Jones to his knees and started blood dripping from his nose. After the eight count Jones tried to punch his way out of trouble but was put down again by a combination. Jones survived the round helped in part by a time out after a low punch from Metcalf and he was fighting back at the bell. Metcalf continued to march forward in the fourth but Jones was landing some hefty left counters. Metcalf scored with some good uppercuts in the fifth but was warned for another very low punch and deducted a point. Metcalf ended in the sixth putting Jones down twice. Jones beat the count both times but after the eight count for the second knockdown the referee stopped the fight. Metcalf, 29, gets his ninth win by KO/TKO. Jones lost in six round to Nick Blackwell for the British title in 2015. He had only one fight in 2016 before scoring a win in March.
Barrett vs. Conwell
Barrett again shows impressive skills and power as he survives some considerable pressure from Conwell before ending the fight with a body punch. Conwell tried to pressure Barrett early and had some success when he could take Barrett to the ropes but Barrett was comfortable on the back foot slotting quick jabs through the guard of Conwell and firing quick left hooks to the body. Conwell continued to come forward in the second but good footwork and upper body movement from Barrett was making him an elusive target. Despite that Conwell continued to take the fight to Barrett and had a good spell shaking Barrett with a straight right and scoring with good punches before Barrett fired back with a series of powerful left hooks to the ribs and uppercuts to the chin. Conwell was willing to take punches to get inside in the fourth and Barrett was landing more left hooks and sneaky uppercuts but also having to take straight rights and hooks to the body from Conwell. Barrett was firing rapid combinations of five and six punches and the punches were all landing but Conwell still marched in until a clubbing right to the head put him down on one knee. He was up at seven and after the eight count walked forward punching but a vicious left to the body sent him to his hands and knees in pain and he was counted out. Barrett, the 24-year-old ?Black Flash? wins the vacant English title. He has now won 9 of his last 10 fights by KO/TKO and continues to impress and is ready for tougher tests. Conwell gave Barrett plenty of trouble but in the end Barrett?s power was too much for him. He has now challenged twice for the English title and in his last fight in November he was stopped in two rounds for the title by Andy Townend.
Langford vs. Aguilar
Langford eases back with six rounds of work against Spanish-based Nicaraguan Aguilar. Referee?s score 60-54 for Langford who was having his first fight since losing in five rounds to Avtandil Khurtsidze in April for the interim WBO title. Late choice Aguilar is now 0-24-1 in his last 25 fights but losing is what he engaged to do and a win might make it harder for him to get fights.
Click here for Part II.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eric Armit.
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