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The Past Week in Action 12 December 2017 -- Part I


-Vasyl Lomachenko beats Guillermo Rigondeaux on a sixth round retirement to move to the top of the Pound for Pound list
-Caleb Truax wins the IBF title with upset victory over a disappointing James DeGale
Lee Selby retains his IBF title with convincing win over unbeaten 20-0-3 Eduardo Ramirez who fails to make the weight
-Luis Ortiz massacres poor Daniel Martz and looks towards Deontay Wilder
-Kenichi Ogawa wins the vacant IBF Super feather title with hotly disputed decision over Tevin Farmer
Miguel Roman halts Orlando Salido and brings the curtain down on Salido’s career
Francisco Vargas wins technical decision over Stephen Smith when Smith suffers a horrific injury to his left ear
-Jean Pascal bows out with a win
-Filipino Aston Palicte impresses in win over Jose Alfredo Rodriguez
-Fedor Chudinov and Mikhail Aloyan win in Russia
-Hot prospects Anthony Yarde and Daniel Dubois continue their winning ways in Britain and Michael Conlan and Shakur Stevenson win in New York

December 7

Montreal, Canada: Super Middle: Ramon Aguinaga 12-0) W PTS 8 Shakeel Phinn (16-2). Super Welter: Mikael Zewski (29-1) W TKO 2 Martin Escobar (17-4,1ND).
Aguinaga vs. Phinn
Aguinaga gets surprise win over Phinn. The Mexican was quicker to his punch and scored throughout with left hooks to the body. Phinn just could not find his rhythm. Aguinaga fired good combinations both going in and on the back foot. Phinn rumbled forward and landed some useful body punches of his own but was outlanded and despite the majority decision he was a clear loser. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Aguinaga and 76-76. Aguinaga was a good level amateur and won the WBC Fecombox title in October so figured to be a good test for Phinn but he exceeded expectations. Phinn, “The Jamaican Juggernaut” had a 15 bout winning streak snapped and it was a double blow as it was also his first fight under the Yvon Michel banner.
Zewski vs. Escobar
Zewski overpowers Escobar. Zewski landed a couple of heavy combinations in the first. Escobar was dumb enough to signal for Zewski to bring in on. He did taking Escobar to the ropes and landing a hard series finished off with a left to the body which put Escobar down. Escobar made it to the bell but was floored twice in the second with body punches and the referee waived the fight off. The 28-year-old from Trois Rivieres won his first 26 fights before losing a unanimous decision to Konstantin Ponomarev in May 2015. He had one win in October 2015 and was then inactive until returning with a win in June this year. Argentinian Escobar had lost only one of his last 14 fights but they had all been in prelim fights and he is not in the Argentinian ratings.

December 8

Hialeah, FL, USA: Light Heavy: Jean Pascal (32-5-1,1ND) TKO 6 Ahmed Elbiali (16-1). Heavy: Luis Ortiz (28-0) W KO 2 Daniel Martz (16-6-1).Welter: Bryant Perrella (15-1) W PTS 8 Alex Martin (13-23).
Elbiali vs. Pascal
Pascal brings the curtain down on his career with a win. Elbiali came out strongly in the first. He was forcing Pascal back with a stiff jab and firing overhand rights and left hooks to the body. He seemed to shake Pascal with a right cross to the jaw but Pascal stepped inside and held. Pascal threw less but he was landing some hard rights of his own. Elbiali continued to come forward in the second. Pascal was tying him up inside trying to slow the pace and at the end of the round he had Elbiali pinned to the ropes and landed some lefts and rights to the head. It was a similar pattern in the third with Pascal doing a lot of holding and blunting Elbiali’s attacks but finding the target with big swinging punches of his own. Again in the fourth there was too much holding and the referee warned both fighters. Elbiali kept walking forward but Pascal was catching him with heavy counters. Pascal went to town in the fifth. He was still scoring with the overhand rights but also attacking the body. Suddenly Elbiali had nothing left he was standing against the ropes hardly able to lift his hands and he looked a beaten fighter at the bell. He came out and threw a few tired punches in the sixth but then Pascal opened up. He drove Elbiali into a corner and kept pounding away until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. This is supposed to be the last fight for the 35-year-old former WBC and IBO champion. He lost a majority decision to Eleider Alvarez in June but he goes out on a win. Egyptian-born Elbiali, he came to the USA when he was five, had scored quick wins over Jackson Junior and Chris Brooker but Pascal was too experienced for him.
Ortiz vs. Martz
A farce of a fight but that’s the money to pay for the derisory WBC fine paid off. Ortiz padded after Martz who tried a couple of attacks but spent most of the time circling the ring trying to stay out of trouble . Near the end of the round a couple of lefts to the body dropped him to his knees. He beat the count and survived the remaining time. Ortiz finished it in style in the second as he threw a big left to the chin and Martz went face down on the canvas with the referee immediately waiving the fight over. Win No 24 by KO/TKO for the 38-year-old Cuban. The appearance of Deontay Wilder in the ring after the fight exchanging words with Ortiz were obviously a bit of foreplay to get us excited for a Wilder vs. Ortiz fight early next year. It will be the biggest test either has faced and one of the biggest fights of the year. Dillian White is the WBC No 1 so he might have something to say if he is by-passed but of course as the WBC had Bermane Stiverne, who had not fight for almost two years as their No 1 by beating him Wilder might now be able to claim a voluntary fight with Ortiz. With Martz having lost in one round to Joseph Parker and two rounds to Bryant Jennings this win was nothing to get excited about.
Perrella vs. Martin
Perrella returns to the winning column with a victory over fellow southpaw Martin. Perrella made a good start flooring Martin with a right in the first and pressing the fight the rest of the way. Martin stayed in the fight with some clever boxing and countering but Perrella was throwing more and scoring more and was a clear winner. Scores 79-72 twice and 77-74. After winning his first 14 fights Perrella was halted in four rounds by Cuban Yordenis Ugas in his last fight in September. Martin was in need of a win after consecutive losses to Miguel Cruz.

Round Rock, TX, USA: Super Fly: Aston Palicte (24-2) W TKO 5 Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (32-7). Light Heavy: Ali Akhmedov (10-0) W PTS 10 DeShon Webster (9-1).
Palicte vs. Rodriguez
Yet another Filipino prospect to keep an eye on as Palicte stops Rodriguez in five rounds. Palicte had big edges in height and reach and in the first was slotting home powerful jabs and lefts to the body. The experienced Rodriguez was marching forward behind a high guard and letting fly to the body when he could get inside. He landed a good left hook to the chin but was having trouble getting past Palicte’s jab and Palicte scored with a good left hook of his own just before the bell. Palicte kept working the jab in the second but was now landing rights to the head and left uppercuts which were stopping Rodriguez in his tracks and shaking him up. Rodriguez did a bit better in the third getting close and driving punches to the body but he was also taking more punishment form the rights to the head and uppercuts. Rodriguez took the fourth. He was attacking relentlessly able to get close and work away with hooks from both hands. Palicte was neither throwing so many punches or throwing them with the same accuracy. Early in the fifth Palicte landed a right hook to the side of Rodriguez’s head and it looked as though it injured Rodriguez jaw. He backed off with Palicte in pursuit but Palicte was unable to land anything else before Rodriguez went down in a corner in some distress. He climbed to his feet just as the referee reached ten and the fight was stopped. The 26-year-old “Mighty Atom” has 20 wins by KO/TKO and is rated WBO 3/IBF 6/WBC 9/WBA 12. He has won 14 of his last 15 fights 12 by KO/TKO and retained his NABF title here. The loss was a split decision against Junior Granados in March 2016. He had good amateur credentials having competed at the 2008 World Junior Championships and the Kings Cup. He has to keep looking over his shoulder as brother Vince represented the Philippines at the World Junior Championships and brother James won a gold medal at the Asian Junior Championships. Mexican Rodriguez, 28, is a former interim WBA light fly champion and he lost to Jerwin Ancajas in a challenge for the IBF super fly title in January.
Akhmedov vs. Webster
Akhmedov gets win over a reluctant Webster. Akhmedov was coming forward throwing jabs and rights to the body over the first two rounds. Webster was just trying to keep Akhmedov out and when Akhmedov got past Webster’s weak jab Webster was clinching. He was given a couple of warnings and then had a point deducted at the start of the third round. Immediately afterwards Webster landed a big right but then went back on the defensive. Webster continued to fall into clinches too often in the fourth and lost another point. It was a messy fight with
Akhmedov trying his best but being frustrated by the negative tactics of Webster. What clean work there was coming from Akhmedov. He was able to score with his left jab and some left hooks but there were no real exchange of punches as Webster just dived in and held. The pattern did not change much. Webster did little more work the last three rounds but not much and a frustrated Akhmedov must have been glad when the final bell went. Scores 100-88 twice and 99-89 for Akhmedov. The 22-year-old Kazak is based in Las Vegas. He retains his WBC Youth and NABF Junior titles but this is one he will want to forget. Webster will struggle to get fights if continues to perform like this.

Woden, Australia: Light Heavy: Steve Lovett (17-2) W PTS 8 Steve Moxon (5-5).
Lovett gets second win as he prepares to return to the USA to try his hand there. The 32-year-old won the unanimous decision in a low key affair against novice Moxon. Lovett went 8-0,1ND in 2014 and 2015 in the USA before suffering back-to-back losses to Craig Baker and Lionell; Thompson but returned home and to the winning column in September. After winning his first five fights Moxon has now lost his last five.

Sydney, Australia: Super Light: Darragh Foley (14-2) W PTS 8 Ernie Sanchez (17-11-1). Light Heavy: Bilal Akkawy (16-0-1) W TKO 2 Rogerio Damasco (16-8-1).
Foley vs. Sanchez
British southpaw Foley makes it six wins in a row but is pushed hard and has to settle for a majority verdict over Filipino Sanchez. Foley, born in Kent, England, residing in Japan and fighting in Australia is No 11 with the WBA. A much travelled Sanchez is now 2-5 in his last 7 fights and has fought in seven different countries in his last eight fights. He is No 5 in the Philippines.
Akkawy vs. Damasco
Akkawy again shows his power with second round stoppage of Brazilian Damasco. Akkawy ended in the second. He drove Damasco to the ropes and a barrage of punches to head and body had Damasco slumping to the canvas. He got and tried to punch his way out of trouble but was dropped again and the fight was stopped. The big punching local now has 14 wins by KO/TKO including 5 inside the distance wins in his last six fights. Hall of Fame trainer Johnny Lewis described Akkawy’s father as one of the biggest punches he ever saw. An injury put paid to Akkawy Seniors hopes but his son seems to have inherited his power. Brazilian super middle champion Damasco suffers his seventh loss by KO/TKO.

Melbourne, Australia: Super Welter: Dwight Ritchie (16-1,4ND) W PTS 10 Shay Brock (12-1-1). Local fighter Ritchie wins the vacant IBF Youth title with points victory over New Zealand prospect Brock. The 25-year-old “Fighting Cowboy”, a former OPBF champion, lost his OPBF title and his unbeaten record when being beaten by Koki Tyson in Osaka in November. He has actually won 20 fights but his first four wins came when he was under age so they are registered as No Decision. Brock, also 25, was coming off a creditable draw with more experienced Gunnar Jackson.

Edmonton, Canada; Heavy: Adam Braidwood (11-1) W TKO 4 Misael Sanchez (10-4-4). Braidwood makes it ten wins in a row nine of them by KO/TKO. Braidwood put a fat Sanchez down twice in the first round and Sanchez’s corner threw in the towel early in the second. Sanchez came in at 282lbs and that was 30lbs heavier than in his last fight in July. Braidwood has had to put behind him the tragic death of his opponent Tim Hague after their fight in June. This is his third fight since then. Braidwood played football for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian pro football in league and competed in MMA tournaments before taking up boxing. He turned pro in 2009 but a spell in prison halted him in his tracks and he did not fight again until 2015. Sanchez’s record deceptively good as his ten victims had just six wins between them.

Montichiari, Italy: Welter: Dario Morello (10-0) W PTS 10 Gaetano Gutta (9-4-1).
Morello has to fight hard to hold on to his national title but he gets the job done. Gutta came forward from the first bell and just kept coming for the full ten rounds. A clash of heads in the second saw Gutta cut but it did not affect the fight, Morello had no problems with the southpaw style of Gutta. He boxed cleverly on the outside and smothered most of Gutta’s attacks on the inside. Neither fighter is a big puncher so it was always going to be decided on the cards and Morello was in front on all three with scores at 98-92, 97-91and 97-93. “Spartan” Morello, 24, was making the first defence of the Italian title. Gutta, 30, was having his first shot at the title. He had won his last two fights but is really just a prelim level fighter.

Christchurch, New Zealand: Welter: Bowyn Morgan (14-1) W KO 3 Stevie Ferdinandus (25-14-1,1ND). Morgan ends the year with his fifth win in the past twelve months. After bringing out a big swelling on the right cheek of southpaw Ferdinandus with a left hook in the second round Morgan then used another left hook to put the Indonesian down for a second time in the round. Ferdinandus beat the count and made it to the bell In the third Morgan switched to southpaw and floored Ferdinandus with a straight left and this time the visitor was counted out. Morgan retains the IBO Asia Pacific title and gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. He was a four-time New Zealand champion in the amateurs and a quarter-finalist at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. His only loss as a pro was against the current Commonwealth champion Kris George in July last year and this is his seventh win since then. Indonesian champion Ferdinandus, 37, had won 5 of his last 6 fights.

Buzau, Romania: Welter: Valentyn Golovko (24-2,2ND) W TKO 12 Flavius Biea (12-1) . Heavy: Bogdan Dinu (18-0) W TKO 3 Marcelo Nascimento (18-16).
Golovko vs. Biea
Ukrainian Golovko proves too strong for local boxer Biea and relieves him off his WBA Continental title. Things started badly for the Romanian when he was cut on the left eyebrow in the first round by a punch from Golovkin. In the end the cut did make any difference to the outcome of the fight. Golovkin dominated the action with Biea fading badly in the late rounds. It looked as though the judges might be needed but after eleven rounds Biea had nothing left and was exhausted from Golovko’s pressure. In the twelfth Golovkin landed a powerful right that sent Biea flying into the ropes. He was already falling when Golovkin nailed him with another right . Biea made it his feet but was unsteady on his legs and the referee stopped the fight. “The Sabre” Golovkin, 30, was unbeaten in his first 22 fights then suffered two losses in 2016 to Jerry Belmontes and Sandor Martin. Two hard marches, He was out for 11 months before returning in October with a win. Biea was an outstanding amateur at Cadet and Junior level winning gold at the European Union and World Cadets and silver at the European Cadets and gold at the European Union Championships. He was making the first defence of the WBA Continental title and this is a big setback for his prospects.
Dinu vs. Nascimento
Dinu goes some way towards salvaging the night for Romania as he halts travelling loser Nascimento in three rounds. The 31-year-old 6’6” (196cm) Dinu, a former Romanian amateur champion and World Championships participant has won his last eight fights by KO/TKO against a list of the usual suspects. Nascimento is one of those fighters who seem to be on the bucket list of European heavyweights on their way up or just looking for a win on their record. He has now lost 11 of his last 12 fights.

East London, South Africa: Bantam: Mzuvukile Magwaca (20-0-3) W PTS 12 Immanuel Naidjala (23-4-1). Super Bantam: Lodumo Lamati W PTS 12 (13-0-1) W PTS 12 Alexis Kabore (27-3). Fly: Nhlanhia Ngamntwini (14-1) W PTS 10 Thembelani Nxoshe (16-8-1). Minimum: Xolisa Magusha (10-2-1) W PTS 12Siphamandla Baleni (12-01-1).
Magwaca vs. Naidjala
Magwaca continues undefeated as he takes wide unanimous verdict over Namibian Naidjala. Magwaca dominated the fight with his superior skills and cemented the win by flooring Naidjala in the ninth round. Scores 118-110 for Magwaca from all three judges. “Old Bones” Magwaca, a former World Boxing Federation champion, was making the first defence of his IBF International title and is rated No 11(9) by the IBF. “Prince” Naidjala, 33, lost on points to Tomoki Kameda for the WBO bantam title in 2013. This is his second loss in a row to a South African boxer.
Lamati vs. Kabore
Prospect Lamati outclasses experienced Kabore. The young South African had too much skill for the game Burkina Faso boxer and clearly took every round. He put Kabore down in the seventh but Kabore used his experience to take the fight the distance. Scores 120-107 for Lamati from all three judges The 25-year-old “9mm” Lamati was a top rank amateur competing at the World Championships and All African Games. Kabore lost his first pro fight so going into this one was 27-1 in his last 28 with the loss being on points against Rey Vargas in June last year.
Ngamntwini vs. Nxoshe
Ngamntwini takes a unanimous decision over South African champion Nxoshe in a disappointing messy non-title fight. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 97-94 for Ngamntwini. Ngamntwini showed promise in winning his first nine fights but was outclassed and knocked out by Simphiwe Khonco in December 2014. He has rebuilt with five wins. Nxoshe had won his last three fights.
Magusha vs. Baleni
Magusha wins the South African title with unanimous decision over champion Baleni who had won his last six fights and was the favourite here but southpaw Magusha upset the odds to take a deserved decision. Scores 118-111, 117-111 and 116-112 for Magusha. The South African No 2 lost a very close decision to prospect DJ Kriel in April. Baleni had won his last six fights including a victory that gave him the national title and two successful defences

December 9

New York, NY, USA: Super Feather: Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1) W RTD 6 Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-1,1ND). Super Feather: Chris Diaz (22-0) W TKO 3 Bryant Cruz (18-3).Heavy: Bryant Jennings (21-2) W TKO 3 Don Haynesworth (13-2-1). Feather: Michael Conlan (5-0) W PTS 6 Luis Molina (7-7-1). Feather: Shakur Stevenson (4-0) W TKO 2 Oscar Mendoza (4-3).
Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux
Only eleven fights and Lomachenko already looks on the way to legendary status. The hugely talented Ukrainian brushes aside Rigondeaux who retires in his corner citing an injury having failed to win even one round.
Round 1
Early it is Rigondeaux coming forward poking out his right jab and trying a long right. Lomachenko shows plenty of quick movement but both are really just probing with neither committing himself.
Score 10-10 even
Round 2
Clearly Lomachenko’s round. He is just too quick for Rigondeaux. He is getting through with jabs and when Rigondeaux tries to come in low he is catching the Cuban with left hooks. Rigondeaux is known to not like fighting inside so when Lomachenko gets inside he is cleverly exaggerating the holding being done by Rigondeaux so the referee will be forced to pat them and Rigondeaux gets a warning from the referee for holding.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 20-19
Round 3
Lomachenko’s round again. He is constantly moving with Rigondeaux waiting and waiting looking for a target but he is too slow as Lomachenko buzzes around him then stepping in behind his right jab and scoring with quick left hooks. Again Rigondeaux is warned for holding. I can’t help feeling we could even get a “no mas” here with Rigondeaux being outclassed. Lomachenko has not landed anything heavy but Rigondeaux has not landed anything at all.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 30-28
Round 4
Lomachenko is positively boxing rings around Rigondeaux. He is constantly changing angles and when Rigondeaux bends in half to get under Lomachenko’s punches Lomachenko is catching him with right hooks. Lomachenko is not loading up on his punches but his movement is too fast for Rigondeaux to find the target
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 40-37
Round 5
Lomachenko is walking Rigondeaux down for the whole three minutes. He is still going for speed rather than power but is scoring with his jab and quick hooks. Rigondeaux is constantly ducking low to make himself a difficult target but not scoring with any punches and gets another warning for holding.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 50-46
Round 6
Lomachenko continues to give Rigondeaux a boxing lesson. Rigondeaux is again bending in half under the attacks form Lomachenko. It makes it almost impossible for Lomachenko to land anything solid but you don’t get points for bending over double. Rigondeaux again tries to hold whenever they come together and this time the referee deducts a point from Rigondeaux
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 60-54
Rigondeaux retires in his corner citing a hand injury suffered in the second round. His corner seems angry with his decision to retire.
Official scores: Lomachenko in front 59-54 twice and 60-53
This fight promised so much but Lomachenko turned it into a boxing class with Rigondeaux never getting into the fight being too slow, one-paced and tactically inept. The 29-year-old Ukrainian was making the fourth defence of his WBO title and he turned what was supposed to be his toughest test into an exhibition of his talents. Rigondeaux, 37, did not have his WBA super bantam title on the line but certainly had his reputation there and that has been severely and perhaps permanently damaged.
Diaz vs. Cruz
Diaz shows impressive power as he floors Cruz four times for the win. Cruz was talking the fight to Diaz early. Diaz took his time and then exploded with a right cross over the top of Cruz’s left that dumped Cruz on his rump. Cruz was up quickly and when the action resumed he boxed competitively to the bell. Diaz was looking to land the right again in the second. Cruz boxed cautiously in the second but late in the round a left from Diaz which curved around to the back of his head had his legs flying in different directions as he fell to the canvas on his hands and knees. He was up at eight and Diaz took him to the ropes and unloaded to head and body with Cruz dropping to his knees. He was again up at eight and the bell went . After a doctor’s examination of Cruz early in the third a head punch from Diaz again had Cruz’s legs doing a dance and when he dropped to the floor the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Puerto Rican wins the vacant WBO NABO title and now has 14 wins by KO/TKO. Cruz came in over the contract weight so could not win the title. He suffers his third loss by KO/TKO.
Jennings vs. Haynesworth
Jennings continues his comeback with stoppage of inexperienced Haynesworth. Jennings forced the stoppage late in the third. This is his second win since returning to action in August. Back-to-back losses in 2015 to Wlad Klitschko for the heavyweight title and Luis Ortiz saw him inactive for 20 months. He is No 12 with the WBA. This was too big a step up for Haynesworth who had been fighting on the Carolina’s circuit against low level opposition.
Conlan vs. Molina
Conlan wins but has to go past the third round for the first time as a pro. The classy Belfast boxer was just too good for Molina but the Argentinian did his job by extending Conlan as he did. Conlan was constantly switching guards and raking Molina with left hooks to the body in the first and rocked Molina with a counter in the second. He continued to land quick bursts of punches from both hands in the third and fourth with hurtful hooks to the body. The doctor checked Molina at the start of the fifth but decided he was able to continue. The Argentinian had occasional success with rights but was being outclassed, Conlan tried to hard to finish it in the sixth but a gutsy Molina stayed there to the bell. Scores 60-54 for Conlan from all three judges. The former World Amateur champion will be back in action at the MSG Theatre in March. Molina just a prelim fighter and out of his class here.
Stevenson vs. Mendoza
Too easy for Stevenson. After a few seconds of study he was forcing Mendoza back with flashing combinations to head and body and it was obvious this was going to be over quickly. In the second Stevenson was putting his punches together landing long punches to the body. Mendoza was just too slow to block the punches and as Stevenson continued to bewilder him with his hand speed the referee had seen enough of the mismatch and stopped the fight. The 20-year-old former amateur star is on another planet to fighters like this and needs something better than this in front of him. Two wins inside the distance for Stevenson and first loss by KO/TKO for Mendoza.

London, England: Feather: Lee Selby (26-1) W PTS 12 Eduard Ramirez (20-1-3). Super Middle: Caleb Truax (29-3-2) W PTS 12 James DeGale (23-2-1). Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (14-0) W TKO 4 Nikola Sjekloca (32-5-1). Middle: Joe Mullender (11-2) W TKO 11 Lee Churcher (13-4-1). Welter: Johnny Garton (21-1-1) W TKO 10 Mihail Orlov (12-7-1). Heavy: Daniel Dubois (6-0) W TKO 2 Dorian Darch (12-5-1).
Selby vs. Ramirez
Selby retains the IBF title with ease against Mexican Ramirez but some of the interest in the fight dissipated when Ramirez came in 2 ½ lbs over the weight meaning he could not win the title.
Round 1
Southpaw Ramirez made an aggressive start coming forward looking to cut off the ring. He landed a couple of head punches but over the last minute Selby was the one coming forward and he landed a good left hook to the head.
Score 10-9 Selby
Round 2
Ramirez rushed Selby at the start of this one throwing lost of punches but was walking onto some crisp counters. Selby then took charge firing jabs and hooks through the loose guard of Ramirez. Ramirez tried switching guard but Selby still found gaps and Ramirez was swinging wildly at times.
Score 10-9 Selby 20-18
Round 3
Ramirez rolled forward in this one with Selby mainly happy to box on the back foot slotting home his jab and straight rights. Selby stayed in the pocket a little more but wrapped up the round with a couple of flashing accurate combinations.
Score 10-9 Selby 30-27
Round 4
Ramirez worked hard in this one constantly pursuing Selby. He took plenty of counters but pumped out his punches when he managed to pin Selby on the ropes and did enough to just edge it.
Score 10-9 Ramirez 39-37
Round 5
Ramirez did enough to make this one close but it was Selby’s round. He was raking the oncoming Ramirez with hooks and uppercuts and spearing him with jabs on the outside. Sheer persistence got Ramirez close enough to score with his hooks but took more than he gave.
Score 10-9 Selby 49-46
Round 6
Selby’s round and his best one so far. He gave an example of box/fighting at its best. Slick movement fast hands and immaculate accuracy as he scored with jabs hooks and uppercuts. He stood and traded at the end of the round and outscored Ramirez there also.
Score 10-9 Selby 59-55
Round 7
Selby just edged this one. Ramirez pressed hard throwing piles of hooks but Selby was showing excellent defensive work and getting through with left jabs, straight rights and uppercuts and did enough to shade the round.
Score 10-9 Selby 69-64
Round 8
Ramirez’s round. He was relentlessly chugging forward pumping out punches. They were not hard but they were numerous and numerous enough to amount to more than those landed by Selby.
Score 10-9 Ramirez 78-74
Round 9
Selby completely outboxed Ramirez. He was constantly moving around Ramirez changing angles threading though punches singly and in combinations. Ramirez had some success when Selby stopped to punch with him but it was Selby’s round.
Score 10-9 Selby 88-83
Round 10
Another round for Selby. He was showing Ramirez the jab and then throwing straight rights behind it. He looked to have slowed a little and Ramirez kept marching after him but was mostly left punching the spot where Selby had been and not where he was.
Score 10-9 Selby 98-92
Round 11
Some good action. Selby outboxed Ramirez over the first half of the round and in the second they each took turns of having the other pinned to the ropes but the accuracy of Selby’s punching made the difference and Ramirez was looking a very tired fighter.
Score 10-9 Selby 108-101
Round 12
Selby dominated the round. He was looking for a stoppage with Ramirez having very little left. He rocked Ramirez with a left hook and piled on the punches. Ramirez survived and found the energy to punch back for a short spell but was catching some heavy punches to the bell.
Score 10-9 Selby 118-110
Official scores: 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112 all for Selby.
The brilliant 30-year-old Welshman was making the fourth defence of his IBF title and has now won his last 22 fights. He is a brilliant boxer great skills, fast hand and quick movement. His next fight is almost certainly going to be a mandatory defence against his No 1 challenger Josh Warrington in what will be yet another huge fight for the British scene. Selby is in the unique position of having UK fighters in the first three positions in his division with Scott Quigg at No 2 behind Warrington and Carl Frampton at No 3. Real strong division for the UK as Kid Galahad is No 5. Ramirez’s failure to make the weight was a big disappointment. The 24-year-old IBF No 11 never really threatened Selby but his pressure made for an open fast-paced fight with the referee almost a spectator.
Truax vs. DeGale
Underdog Truax pulls off a massive upset as he takes majority decision over a very subdued DeGale to lift the IBF title.
Round 1
DeGale made a good start. He established his right jab early and scored with some hard left hooks. Truax was on the front foot for most of the round but landed nothing of consequence.
Score 10-9 DeGale
Round 2
The second round was more even. DeGale was using his longer reach to score early but then allowed himself to get forced onto the back foot. Truax was able to pin DeGale to the ropes and score with hooks to the body but DeGale scored with the better shots.
Score 10-9 DeGale 20-18
Round 3
DeGale spent too long against the ropes at the start of the round and Truax landed a couple of hard head punches. Once DeGale moved into centre ring he was using his jab and long lefts and outboxing Truax and edged the round.
Score 10-9 DeGale 30-27
Round 4
Truax’s round. He had DeGale pinned against the ropes for much of the round whilst he dug away with hooks to the body. DeGale seemed to voluntarily allow himself to be trapped there where his longer reach was of no use to him. DeGale rallied late in the round but the best punches were an uppercut and a right hook from Truax
Score 10-9 Truax 39-37
Round 5
The round started badly for DeGale and did not get any better. Truax took him to the ropes and shook DeGale with two uppercuts and an overhand right. He continued to walk DeGale around the ropes getting through with body punches with nothing coming back from DeGale. Truax just kept digging in his punches with DeGale seeming to urge him to keep coming but when Truax did come inside DeGale was just covering up. He threw a bunch of punches over the last thirty seconds but the tactics were similar to those that saw him almost lose to Badou Jack.
Score 10-9 Truax 48-47
Round 6
Truax round. He was not having to take any punishment moving in because DeGale was backing to the ropes and not even attempting any counters. Truax was able to land to head and body as he just followed the retreating DeGale from corner to corner. DeGale was making Truax look like a poor man’s Gennady Golovkin and I hate to think what George Groves, Chris Eubank Jr and Callum Smith would do against so negative and passive DeGale who now had a small cut outside his left eye.
Score 10-9 Truax 57-57
Round 7
DeGale did better in this one. He used his jab more and even when pinned to the ropes he was at last throwing counters. Truax was still the one coming forward but DeGale was more accurate with his shots.
Score 10-9 DeGale 67-66
Round 8
A close round as neither really scored with much. DeGale was slotting home crafty counters and blocking much of Truax’.s work. Truax was getting through with some body shots but DeGale just shaded the round.
Score 10-9 DeGale 77-75
Round 9
A close round. The both had their moments. DeGale countered well but Truax worked harder and did enough to deserve to take the round.
Score 10-9 Truax 86-85
Round 10
Truax round. He was pressing all the way. He had DeGale pinned to the ropes for a period and banged home a whole series of short shots inside to head and body. DeGale looked to have hurt Truax with a body punch late in the round but it was Truax round
Score 10-9 Truax 95-95
Round 11
DeGale handed this one to Truax. He kept going to the ropes. Truax was not forcing him or driving him there DeGale was choosing to go there. Inside all of the work was being done by Truax, DeGale had short, good spell in the centre of the ring but was outworked.
Score 10-9 Truax 104-105
Round 12
DeGale took the last. He stayed off the ropes and found the target with his jab and straight lefts. Truax just did not press hard enough as he seemed to think he already had the fight won and after the final bell he dropped to his knees in tears anticipating the result
Score 10-9 DeGale 114-114
Official scores: 116-112 and 115-112 for Truax and 114-114
The 34-year-old “Golden” from Minnesota wins the IBF title. This seemed very unlikely after he was stopped in twelve rounds by Daniel Jacobs for the secondary WBA middle title in 2015 and even more so after he was stopped inside two minutes by Anthony Dirrell in April last year. He owed his title shot to the IBF slipping him into the ratings at No 15 in their November ratings even though he had not fought since August! He took his chance and I would not argue over the result as many rounds were close. DeGale fought a dumb fight. When you have a big edge in reach it seems stupid to spend so long deliberately choosing to stand against the ropes and not even countering your opponent coming in. Injuries and ten months out of the ring did not help and it may be a struggle to get back into the picture but that is what he is aiming to do.
Yarde vs. Sjekloca
A cagey first round saw both fighters probing with their jab. Yarde was looking dangerous with right crosses and looked to have the stronger jab. At the start of the second Sjekloca scored with a sharp left hook and an over hand right which had him coming forward looking to build on that start. He landed some quick jabs and a couple of head punches than pinned Yarde to the ropes and scored with punches to head and body. Yarde stayed calm looking for openings then pushed Sjekloca off and landed an uppercut and a thudding right to the head that dropped Sjekloca to his knees. He was up quickly but when the action resumed another right sent him staggering and the bell went just in time for Sjekloca. He took the fight to Yarde in the third and made good use of his jab and scored with overhand rights to the head. Yarde was digging some heavy rights to the body and anytime Yarde fired back Sjekloca looked uncomfortable. At the start of the fourth a right to the head from Yarde rocked Sjekloca. He tried to hang on but another right sent him tumbling to the canvas. He was up too quickly and after the eight count hooks and uppercuts from Yarde had him staggering on wobbly legs and the referee made a good stoppage. Another power punching performance by the 26-year-old Yarde. He has now won his last twelve fights by KO/TKO in a total of less than 23 rounds. The 39-year-old Sjekloca had gone the distance with Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham, Callum Smith and Tyron Zeuge and was coming off a split draw with Robert Stieglitz for the European title in March so a remarkable achievement by Yarde to overpower Sjekloca inside four rounds.
Mullender vs. Churcher
Mullender wears Churcher down for a late stoppage in a gruelling battle. Mullender was the one marching forward behind a high guard and Churcher the one on the back foot but landing crisp counters . Mullender was willing to take those counters to get inside where he could bang to the body and bring through uppercuts. That was the problem for Churcher nothing he threw could keep Mullender from walking forward neither could he match the work rate of Mullender. Churcher was scoring with some crisp hooks and uppercuts and matching Mullender in quality of punch but Mullender was working the body hard and eventually that and the constant pressure began to tell and Churcher tired. In the fifth Churcher was determined not to take a step back and they stood and traded some heavy shots. Mullender’s strength told and he put Churcher down with a right to the head although it seemed more from exhaustion than a punch. Churcher made it to his feet but dropped to the canvas again near the end of the round and the bell went during the count . To add to his trouble Churcher also had a bruising under his left eye that was leaking blood. Despite the horror of the fifth Churcher kept fighting and landing some hard counters but his punch output continued to drop. He looked out on his feet in the eighth and went down twice with one of those being counted and by the end of the tenth he was having trouble lifting his hands. At the start of the eleventh they clashed heads and Churcher was cut over his left eye. The cut was a bad one in a bad place. The blood was dripping into Churcher’s eye and he walked away from the action. The referee asked if he wanted to continue and he did but a left to the head put him down and the referee stopped the fight. English champion Mullender wins the vacant IBF East/West Europe title. He had two wars with Lee Markham in his last two fights and this was another tough one here. Welshman Churcher had won his last seven fights and was too game here and showed a great dollop of guts.
Garton vs. Orlov
Garton goes from being the fighter of choice for the small hall shows at the legendary York Hall in Bethnal Green to winning an International title. In some ways Garton brought the York Hall with him as this was a typical East End battle. They were well matched and French based Moldovan Orlov having won 5 of his last 6 fights fancied his chances here. His accurate jabbing caused bruising under the left eye of Garton. They fought on even terms until the ninth when Garton began to dominate and he shook Orlov with a left in the tenth and then kept up the pressure with the referee stopping the fight to save an exhausted Orlov. Garton, “The “Pexican” (he lives in Peckham and fights like a Mexican) suffered his only loss when he fought Sam Eggington in the 2014 Prizefighter Tournament and is 10-0-1 since then. First loss inside the distance for Orlov. Five of his losses have been to undefeated fighters.
Dubois vs. Darch
Dubois again shows his destructive power as he floors Darch four times and wins in round two. Darch started by scoring with some sharp jabs and trying some rights. Dubois was hunting him down but just missed with some overhand rights. Late in the round Dubois connected with some heavy rights and Darch buckled at the knees. He tried to hang on but two more rights to the head sent him back towards the ropes and he dropped to one knee. He made to his feet and the bell saved him. A series of rights put Darch down early in the second. He was up at nine but a right to the head put him down again. Again he just beat the count but a thunderous straight right put him down for the third time in the round and the referee waived the fight over. The 20-year-old Londoner is well nicknamed as “Dynamite”. His six wins have taken him a total of less than nine rounds. He is much too good for opponents such as Darch but it would be foolish to rush him. He needs ring time but it is a case of finding the right level opponent to stand up to his power. Welshman Darch was 4-1-1 in his last six fights but this is loss No 4 by KO/TKO.

Click here for Part II.

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

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