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The Past Week in Action 5 December 2017 -- Part I

Clarey (R) tags Moralde.


-A loser in his last fight or not Miguel Cotto says goodbye with his legacy carved in stone
-Rey Vargas retains the WBC super bantam title in easy win over Oscar Negrete
-Angel Acosta wins the vacant WBO light fly title with kayo of Juan Alejo
-Anthony Yigit retains the European title after great little scarp with Joe Hughes
-Luke Watkins defends his Commonwealth title with win over Mike Stafford
-Igor Mikhalkin retains the IBO light heavy title with win over Doudou Ngumbu
-Toka Khan Clary and unbeaten Italian prospect Fabio Turchi get inside the distance wins

November 30

Oxon Hill, MD, USA: Super Feather: Avery Sparrow (9-1) W PTS 10 Jose Lopez (19-2-1). Light: Lamont Roach (16-0) W PTS 10 Rey Perez (21-9). Feather: Manuel Avila (23-1) W PTS 8 Diuhl Olguin (12-8-3).
Sparrow vs. Lopez
Sparrow comes in as a late substitute and upsets favourite Lopez. Despite the scores Sparrow was a clear winner here. He boxed an intelligent fight confounding Lopez with the speed and angle of his attacks and was getting his punches off first. Lopez made a good start putting Sparrow under pressure but Sparrow showed smart defensive work and the harder punch and gradually took over the fight and emerged a good winner. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 all for Sparrow. The 23-year-old Philadelphian overcame the experience gap even though he took the fight at just eleven day’s notice and extended his winning run to five. Puerto Rican “Wonder Boy” Lopez, 23 had crashed the WBO ratings with a win over Orlando Cruz which had him at No 5 so this was a big setback for him.
Roach vs. Perez
Roach continues to look an outstanding prospect as he takes wide unanimous verdict over experienced Filipino Perez. After a first round which Roach just edged Perez showed real power in his body punching in the second. The body work had Roach momentarily in trouble but he kept his boxing together and by the third was in control. Perez tried to focus on the body but his focus slipped a bit and he was given the first of three warnings for low punches. Roach rocked Perez with a right in the third and never looked back. He was taking the fight to Perez pressing forward throwing more and landing more and showed real class. Scores 99-91 for Roach from all three judges. The 22-year-old from Maryland was making the first defence of his WBC Youth Silver title. A former National Golden Gloves Junior champion and US National Youth champion. He also won gold at successive Ringside World Championships and at National Golden Gloves Senior level. He shows signs of being able to reach the top as a pro. Perez, 27, a former Philippines super fly champion, has mixed in good company losing on points to world champions Nobuo Nashiro and Hugo Cazares but being knocked out by Jessie Magdaleno. One of his only two losses by KO/TKO.
Avila vs. Olguin
Avila returns to the winning column with points victory over Olguin. This was a tough, competitive fight. Avila won on the basis of his higher work rate and accuracy as they put on an entertaining eight rounds. Avila was stronger over the late rounds but Olguin had his moments and with a bit more effort might have taken a share of the points. Scores 78-74 twice and 77-75 all for Avila. Last time out in May Avila dropped a wide decision to unbeaten 23-0 Joseph Diaz. Prior to that had scored useful wins over Yoandris Salinas, Rene Alvarado and Jose Ramirez. Mexican Olguin has now lost his last four fights.
Panama City, Panama: Super Fly: Leosdan Nunez (6-0) W PTS 8 Jonathan Arias (17-14). Nunez wins unanimous decision over Arias at a show to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Panama Boxing Commission. Arias pressed hard hoping he could set too fast a pace for Nunez who had never gone past four rounds before. Cuban Nunez coped with the pressure and was stronger at the finish. Any chance Arias had disappeared in the seventh when he was deducted a point for illegal punches and Nunez ended the fight on a high note dropping Arias just as the final bell rang. Scores 78-73 twice and 77-74 all for 23-year-old Nunez. He was twice a bronze medallist at the Cuban National Championships but has done all of his pro fighting in Panama. Dominican Arias, 35, has now lost his last four fights. A Cuban vs. a Dominican seems a strange pairing for the celebrations of the birth of the Panamanian Commission!

December 1

Ghent, Belgium: Light: Ruddy Encarnacion (38-26-4) W PTS 12Jean Pierre Bauwens (42-5-2). Welter: Meriton Karaxha (16-4-1) W PTS 10 Jean Pierre Habimana (7-12-3).
Encarnacion vs. Bauwens
Encarnacion gets an away win as he beats home fighter Bauwens on a unanimous decision. Bauwens took control early as he pressed the fight. Encarnacion had a better second round with some cute counters but Bauwens upped the pace in the third. The Belgian was doing well early in the fourth but then Encarnacion scored with some heavy punches and Bauwens was in trouble. Encarnacion was spurred on by that success and opened a gash on Bauwens left cheek with some accurate rights. Bauwens just kept coming trying to turn the fight back his way but the strong jab of Encarnacion and body punches saw him build a winning lead and his punches worsened the injury to Bauwens cheek. Bauwens tried to find a big punch in the twelfth but Encarnacion matched him and was a good winner. Scores 116-112 twice and 116-113 all for Encarnacion. The 38-year-old Dominican-born former Spanish and European Union champion “Black Wolf Encarnacion was considering retirement after losing to Guillaume Frenois in June but will probably continue as this victory gets him the vacant World Boxing Federation Inter-Continental title. Former EU champion Bauwens 29 has faded badly and going in was 3-1-1 against very modest opposition and had not looked good in the three wins.
Karaxha vs. Habimana
Karaxha retains the Belgium title with unanimous decision over Habimana. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 98-93. The 25-year-old Albanian-born Karaxha failed in two challenges for the Belgian super light title but moved up to welter and was making the first defence of the title. He has won his last five fights. Rwandan-born Habimana has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights.

Niagara Falls, Canada: Heavy: Mladen Miljas (8-0) W TKO 2 Dillon Carman (12-3). Miljas wins the Canadian title with second round kayo of champion Carman. The first round featured one of those rare occasions where both fighters simultaneous landed a punch and both went down. Neither was badly hurt and they both got up and saw out the round. In the second Miljas floored Carman with a left hook. Carman made it to his feet but when the action restarted a left-right combination put Carman down again and the referee stopped the fight. The new champion a 6’6” (198cm) 25-year-old known as “The Croatian Monster” has won all of his fights by KO/TKO and has yet to go past three rounds for a win. The 31-year-old Carman was making the second defence of the national title he won back in 2014. He had won his last seven fights, all by KO/TKO.

Tokyo, Japan: Feather: Takenori Ohashi (15-4-2) W KO 5 Kosuke Saka (16-4).
Ohashi gets important win as he scores an upset kayo of Saka to win the Japanese title. Both were scoring with left hooks to the body in early action with Saka just having the edge over the first three rounds. Ohashi fired back strongly in the fourth he was getting through with both hands to head and body with Sake trying to match him. In the fifth a strange ending saw Ohashi scoring heavily and when the ten second signal was sounded Saka turned to start walking to his corner. Ohashi stepped around the retreating Saka and landed a right hook that floored Sake and he could not beat the count. The 28-eight-year-old Ohashi, the Japanese No 7, was 6-1-2 in his last 9 fights and was going up to ten rounds for the first time. Saka was making the first defence of the national title and was rated No 10 by the IBF.

Birmingham, England: Light Heavy: Liam Conroy (15-3-1) W TKO 9 Chris Hobbs (6-3-1). Conroy keeps his English title with late stoppage of Hobbs. The fight was close over the first half of the contest but then Conroy took control. Hobbs problems were made worse by a cut by his left eye and the referee stopped the fight in the ninth round with Hobbs having a dislocated shoulder. Now eight wins on the bounce for Conroy and his seventh win by KO/TKO. He won the English title with an impressive stoppage of Joel McIntyre in September. Hobbs is now 1-3-1 in his last 5 fights but he took Anthony Yarde into the fourth round being only one of two fighters to have done that so far.

Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Welter: Tyrone Brunson (26-6-2) W RTD 8 Manny Woods (16-7-1). Super Middle: Brandon Robinson (8-1) W PTS 8 Chris Brooker (12-5). Light: Omar Douglas (18-2) W KO 1 Martin Cardona (22-10). Welter: Jaron Ennis (17-0) W KO 2 George Sosa (15-11-1). Heavy: Joe Hanks (22-2) W PTS 6 Joel Caudle (7-`1-1).
Brunson vs. Woods
Brunson gets another inside the distance win and collects the vacant UBF International title. Brunson just hit too hard for the prelim fighter from Florida. After taking the first six rounds Brunson finally began to get to the gutsy Woods. Brunson punished Woods in the seventh and eighth and had him in deep trouble at the end of the eighth with Woods retiring in his corner. Now 24 wins by KO/TKO for the 32-year-old From Philadelphia who holds the record for the most consecutive first round wins at the start of a career as he won 19 on the bounce. He is a more modest 7-6-2 since that run ended. Woods suffers his second loss by KO/TKO.
Robinson vs. Brooker
Robinson extends his winning run with decision over Brooker. There was plenty of action in the fight with Robinson dominating most of it and running out a clear winner. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 all for Robinson. After losing his first pro fight the 29-year-old from Upper Darby has now on eight in a row six by KO/TKO. Brooker has lost 4 of his last 5
Douglas vs. Cardona (Gonzales)
“Super O” ends this one in quick time. Douglas floored experienced Cardona twice with the referee counting Cardona out on the second knockdown. The 26-year-old Douglas won his first 17 fights scoring good wins over Frank De Alba and 19-1 Alexei Collado. He then suffered consecutive losses to Javier Fortuna and Edner Cherry and this is his first fight since the Cherry loss in April. Tucson-based Mexican Cardona won his first 17 fights so has slipped a long way. This is his eighth loss by KO/TKO.
Ennis vs. Sosa
Ennis continues to progress. The unbeaten Philadelphian is keeping the Ennis family name in the frame and could be the best of the three brothers. He let an early storm from Sosa blow itself out and then he blew Sosa out. Early in the second he closed the fight with a thundering combination that put Sosa down and out. The 20-year-old “Boots” has 15 wins by KO/TKO including eight first round finishes and this is his seventh win in a row by KO/TKO. The brother of Derrick and Farah he was US Youth champion and won a silver medal at the 2014 National Golden Gloves. He lost out to Gary Antuanne Russell at the US Olympic Trials where he beat Russell in the opening bout but lost to Russell twice in deciders. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Sosa who is 0-3-1 in 2017.
Hanks vs. Caudle
The lack of activity shows as Hanks return with a win. Not an impressive show from Hanks. He put in an indifferent performance against an inexperienced and much shorter foe but got the win. Scores 60-54 twice and 58-56 for Hanks. This is the first fight since May 2014 for the 34-year-old from Newark. After 21 wins in a row he lost back-to-back fights to Andy Ruiz and Derric Rossy and drifted away. Hanks too big for Caudle.

Philadelphia, PA, USA: Heavy: Joey Dawejko (19-4-4) W PTS 8 Kelvin Nunez (15-1-0). Bantam: Chris Carto (13-0) W PTS 8 Luis Saavedra (7-4).
Dawejko vs. Nunez
Dawejko made a positive start throwing lost of punches trying to overwhelm Nunez. The young Puerto Rican did not really get into the fight until the third round when the pace slowed and he outscored Dawejko. Nunez kept switching guards and focused his attacks on the body with Dawejko catching the eye with his left hooks upstairs. In the seventh Nunez forgot the cardinal rule and turned his head away to complain about an infringement and Dawejko landed a hard left hook and battered Nunez for the rest of the round. Nunez did enough to take the eighth but it was not enough. Scores 77-74 twice and 76-75 all for former World Junior champion Dawejko who wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox title. The 27-year-old Dawejko is now 4-0-2 in his last 6 fights. Nunez, 23, came in at 260lbs for this. A lot less than the 342lbs he weighed before he started to box.
Carto vs. Saavedra
Carto floors and outpoints Saavedra. Carto had too much skill for the young Mexican and was busier and more accurate with his jarring jabs. A Carto left hook floored Saavedra in the second and despite Saavedra often changing guard Carto constantly found gaps for his rights. Whether going forward or on the back foot Carto was always the one doing the scoring and over the last couple of rounds Saavedra was in survival mode. Scores 80-71 for Carto from all three judges. The 20-year-old Carto from Philadelphia is a former National Golden Gloves champion at 49kgs and won his first 11 pro fights by KO/TKO. Saavedra, 21, is 1-2 in bouts in the US but has not yet failed to go the distance.

Providence, RI, USA: Feather: Toka Kahn Clary (24-1,1ND) W RTD 7 John Moralde (19-1). Cruiser: Fabio Turchi (13-0) W RTD 4 Demetrius Banks (9-4). Super Light: Nick DeLomba (12-2) W PTS 8 Louis Cruz (12-4).
Kahn Clary vs. Moralde
This looked an even match on paper. Moralde was competitive over the first two rounds but then the southpaw style, pressure, hand speed and accuracy of Kahn Clary put him in control. Left jabs hooks to the body and sharp uppercuts broke Moralde down and had him fighting backed up to the ropes most of the way. The body punches eventually took their toll and a well beaten Moralde retired at the end of the seventh round. The 25-year-old Liberian-born “Too Nice “Kahn Clary was fighting in his home town for the first time since his first pro fight. He moves to 17 wins by KO/TKO. He is No 14 with the WBA. Filipino Moralde just out of his depth in this one.
Turchi vs. Banks
Italian hope “Stone Crusher” Turchi wins his first fight in the US with victory over Banks. Southpaw Turchi was forcing the fight and had Banks on the back foot over the first round. A right to the body from Turchi in the second took a lot of the fight out of Banks but he managed to back Turchi up briefly with a right in the third but Turchi continued to pound Banks over the fourth and at the end of the round his corner pulled Banks out of the fight. The 24-year-old former Italian champion was national amateur champion four years in a row. He won a gold medal at the Mediterranean Games and silver medals at the World Youth Olympics and World Military Championships in an amateur record of 106-9. Fourth loss in a row for Banks and fist loss by KO/TKO.
DeLomba vs. Cruz
DeLomba outworks Cruz for decision. DeLomba won this on the basis of a higher work rate. Cruz tried to match him over the opening rounds but suffered the deduction of a point for a low punch in the fourth and faded badly after that as DeLomba bossed the action to the final bell. Scores 78-73 twice and 79-72 for DeLomba. The 27-year-old local wins the UBF All American title and gets back on track after losing on points to unbeaten Jimmy Williams in April. Bronx-based Cruz has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights.

December 2

Vicente Lopez, Argentina: Light Heavy: Walter Sequeira (20-4) W TKO 5 Pablo Curbelo (7-9-2). Argentinian champion Sequeira forces Curbelo out of the fifth in the round of a non-title fight. Sequeira was smaller and quicker and outboxed Curbelo over the first two rounds. In the third and fourth he attacked the body with Curbelo quickly fading. A series of punches had Curbelo on the verge of a knock out in the fifth and the referee gave him a standing count. As the count was going on Curbelo looked appealingly at his corner and they took the hint and threw in the towel. In 2016 Sequeira suffered back-to-back losses to Avni Yildirim and Ezequiel Maderna but had won and defended the Argentinian title in bouts this year. Curbelo is 3-4-1 in his last 8 fight.

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Middle: Marcelo Caceres (17-3) W PTS 12 Jonathan Wilson Sanchez (12-1-1). Caceres retains the South American title with disputed win over Sanchez. Fast, accurate punching and good defensive work saw Caceres build a lead which was accentuated by a knockdown in the third round when he landed a couple of stiff jabs and then put Sanchez down with a straight right. Sanchez was up immediately and slowly got into the fight. From the sixth onwards Sanchez was taking over and things looked to be going his way. In the tenth a right counter from Caceres put Sanchez down again. Despite those two knockdowns some thought that Sanchez had done enough to win. Scores 117 ½-110 ½, 114-112 and 115-114 all for Caceres so those two knockdowns were the deciding factor and Sanchez wants a return. Caceres has turned his career around with nine wins in a row and was making the first defence of the South American title. Sanchez deserves a return.

Moncton, Canada: Middle: Nathan Miller (11-2-2) W RTD 7 Adam Green (14-8).
Local fighter Miller wins the Canadian title with victory over reigning champion Green. The 26-year-old Miller had lost in a challenge for the vacant light heavy title in April but succeeded here despite never having weighed less than 165lbs for any previous fight. He gets his eighth win by KO/TKO. Green, 36, from Montreal won the title in April and is now 2-6 in his last 8 fights.

Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic: Middle: Devaun Lee (10-2-1) W KO 3Carlos Cruz (17-2). Super Light: Mikkel LesPierre (18-0-1) W TKO 6 Mario Beltre (16-4). Super Feather: Yohan Vasquez (20-2) W TKO 6 Edward Diaz (12-2).
Lee vs. Cruz
Lee gets his second Dominican scalp as he knocks out Cruz. Lee’s left jab was the punch that dominated the fight. It kept Cruz on the back foot and jarred Cruz each time it landed in the first. Cruz excited the local crowd with furious attacks in the second but he was inaccurate and flapping with some of his punches although he did stop Lee in his tracks with a left just before the bell. It was all over in the first ten seconds of the third. Cruz came out swinging wildly and Lee nailed him with a right to the head that sent him down heavily and he could not even get close to getting up in the allotted ten seconds. Lee, a 30-year-old from Queens wins the vacant WBA Fedecaribe title. He is now 6-0-1 in his last seven fights with a total of five wins by KO/TKO including a fourth round stoppage of former IBF and WBA title challenger Dominican Giovanni Lorenzo. Cruz has a typical Dominican record with nine of his victims never having won a fight and the other eight only managing sixteen wins between them. Rubbish.
LesPierre vs. Beltre
LesPierre stops local fighter Beltre. The inside the distance win is the eighth for New Yorker LesPierre and reportedly won him the vacant WBC Fecarbox title. After an early career draw LesPierre, 32, has now put together a 17 bout winning streak but against very low level opposition. Former national light champion Beltre was 1-2 going into this one but the losses were to Joel Diaz and Javier Fortuna.
Vasquez vs. Diaz
Vasquez found Diaz a tough opponent over the early rounds but came through with a win. A right hook in the sixth had Diaz staggering badly and the referee jumped in to stop the fight. Vazquez, 23, now goes to 17 wins by KO/TKO. He had a 14 bout winning run broken in May when he lost a close points decision to Venezuelan Jose Luis Graterol. Diaz was to have fought South African Chris van Heerden but the South African was not on the show so Diaz was switched to fight Vazquez and suffered his second loss in a row by KO/TKO.

Urheilutalo, Finland: Super Light: Jarkko Putkonen (15-3-2) W PTS 8 Ivan Njegac (10-4). Putkonen gets comfortable win over Croat Njegac. Putkonen used a strong jab to control the fight. He rocked Njegac with a right in the first and scored with some hefty left hooks to the body throughout the fight. Njegac was competitive trying to take the fight to Putkonen but lacked the power to really threaten the Finn. Putkonen pressed hard in the seventh with Njegac being deducted a point for a punch to the back of the head and two very tired fighters fought toe-to-toe in the last. Scores 80-72, 80-73 and 78-74 all for Putkonen. Former Finnish amateur champion Putkonen, 37, is now 3-3-2 in his last 8 fight including losses in tough matches against Jack Catterall and Robbie Davies. Four losses on points on the road for Njegac including losing a decision to Scott Cardle last year.

Le Cannet, France: Light Heavy: Igor Mikhalkin (21-1) W PTS 12 Doudou Ngumbu (37-8). Super Welter: Michel Soro (31-2-1) W KO 3 Ivan Montero (20-3). Cruiser: Arsen Goulamirian (22-0) W KO 3 Hamilton Ventura (15-5-1). Welter: Mohammed Rabii (4-0) W KO 1 Laszlo Szilvai (7-2). Light Heavy: Louis Toutin (9-0) W KO 1 Ahmed El Ghoulbzouri (12-11-1).
Mikhalkin vs. Ngumbu
Mikhalkin makes a successful defence of his IBO title with unanimous decision over old foe Ngumbu. The first round was close with Ngumbu just doing enough to take it but then Mikhalkin’s skills saw him build a winning lead. He is a very accomplished technician. He was working well behind his southpaw right jab and driving straight lefts through Ngumbu’s guard. Ngumbu had problems getting past Mikhalkin’s jab and tended to lunge forward with his attacks sometimes leading with a right. He pressed hard and constantly pressured Mikhalkin but the Russian stayed cool and kept the jab working and moved around Ngumbu changing angles and getting home left hooks. Although wild at time with his punches Ngumbu was always dangerous and he won a few rounds on aggression getting through with some heavy swinging rights. The pace slowed a little in the ninth and tenth and knowing he must be behind Ngumbu tried to stage a strong finish but Mikhalkin matched him on the inside and stole the points with his clever boxing on the outside to take the unanimous verdict. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 all for Mikhalkin. The 32-year-old Russian had his European title taken away and was given a one year ban from fighting for the European title after testing positive for Melodonium after his European title defence against Patrick Bois in March 2016. He won the IBO title with a points victory over Thomas Oosthuizen in May and is rated WBC 6/IBF 7(6). This is his third win over Ngumbu having collected a majority decision and a split decision in their two previous fights. DRC-born Ngumbu, a former WBC International and ABU champion, lost big fights to Andrejs Fonfara and Umar Salamov but had won the WBC Francophone title with a victory over 20-0-2 Bilal Laggoune and defended against former French champion Jonathan Profichet this year.
Soro vs. Montero
Soro eases his way back after the disappointment of his defeat by Brian Chaves for the interim WBA title in July. Soro had spent nine months in the US training under Abe Sanchez but did not rush to victory here. Soro worked behind a solid jab in the first and used a tight, high guard to block body punches from Mexican Montero. In some ways it was almost too studied an approach and Soro lacked his normal fluidity. He rocked Montero with a right in the second and opened a cut over the right eyebrow of Montero. He ended it in the third landing a left-right combination and then a body punch that dropped Montero for the count. The Ivory Coast-born Frenchman lost to Zaurbek Baysangurov for the WBO title back in 2012 and the loss to Chaves was a split decision so Soro will be hoping he does not have to wait another five years for a title shot. Montero made a great start to his career winning his first 19 fights but against tougher opposition is now 1-3.
Goulamirian vs. Ventura
Goulamirian bludgeons Brazilian Ventura to defeat for another inside the distance win. Goulamirian was just too strong for the taller Ventura. The Brazilian survived a couple of rounds of punishment but in the third Goulamirian took him to the ropes and landed two clubbing overhand rights that sent Ventura sliding down onto his back and he was counted out. The 30-year-old Armenian-born Goulamirian now has 14 wins by KO/TKO and has won 8 of his last 11 fights inside the distance. He has never faced a fighter anywhere near the ratings but somehow the WBA have him rated No 1which is ridiculous. Ventura has been seriously overmatched and is 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Rabii vs. Szilvai
Rabii gets this one over fast as he puts Hungarian Szilvai down and out in just 86 seconds. The 24-year-old Rabii a gold medallist at the World Championships and Rio bronze medal winner has three inside the distance wins all coming in the first round. Hungarian champion Szilvai a no hoper here.
Toutin vs. El Ghoulbzouri
Toutin is getting some rave review in France and it is easy to see why. He stormed out of his corner and drove El Ghoulbzouri to and along the ropes landing a couple of body punches and then flooring him with fourth head-snapping uppercuts putting him down and also splitting open a cut on El Ghoulbzouri nose. All over inside ten seconds. The 20-year-old French champion has 8 wins by KO/TKO and this is his fifth inside a round including a blast out of experienced Hugo Kasperski inside three minutes. Belgian El Ghoulbzouri is 2-8 in his last 10 fights.

Click here for Part II.

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

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