Philippines, 20 Mar 2018
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Mark F. Villanueva


The Past Week in Action 20 February 2018 -- Part II

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Danny Garcia (34-1) W TKO 9 Brandon Rios (34-4-1). Super Middle: David Benavidez (20-0) W PTS 12 Ronald Gavril (18-3). Welter: Yordenis Ugas (21-3) W TKO 7 Ray Robinson (24-3) . Light Heavy: Edwin Rodriguez (30-2) W PTS 10 Lionell Thompson (19-5). Light: Ladarius Miller (15-1) W TKO 2 Carlos Padilla (16-7-1).
Garcia vs. Rios

Garcia halts Rios in the ninth round to keep on track for a return with Keith Thurman. It was not difficult to anticipate the tactics here. Rios was going to press and crowd Garcia and Garcia was going move, box on the outside and counter Rios. Garcia was cautious over the first two rounds with Rios coming forward but not finding Garcia presenting much of a target. Rios continue his forward march in the third but now Garcia was letting his punches flow and landing heavily to head and body. Rios just kept coming and did some good work when he had Garcia with his back to the ropes but the cleaner and harder shots were coming from Garcia. They both landed heavy punches in the fifth Garcia a left hook and Rios a clubbing right and things warmed up as they faced up to each other at the bell. Rios had his best round in the sixth as he managed to work on the inside and connected with some good rights. Garcia was moving and scoring again in the seventh and eighth with Rios defence leaking badly and leaving Garcia plenty of opportunity to counter with left hooks. In the ninth whilst on the ropes Garcia landed a left and right to the head. They moved back to mid ring and as Rios moved forward a thunderbolt of a straight right crashed into his jaw and he went down on his back. He sat up watching the count and got to his feet at eight. The referee asked him to take some steps forward but he was unsteady on his feet and the fight was stopped. This was the first fight for Garcia since his split decision loss to Keith Thurman in March last year in a unification fight which cost Garcia his WBC welter title. He is No 2 with the WBC and Shawn Porter, the WBC No 1 was on hand to issue a challenge to Garcia. However Garcia was No 2 with the WBA and as the No 1 Teerachai lost to Lucas Matthysse for the secondary WBA title that puts Garcia in the No 1 spot so the mandatory challenger for Thurman. For 31-year-old Rios there was every indication he will fight on. He was upset about being stopped when he was on his feet and there are fights there for him but probably as an “opponent” rather than as being matched to win.
Benavidez vs. Gavril
Benavidez retains the WBC title as he outboxes and outpunches a game but one-paced Gavril in a return contest.
Round 1
With his big physical advantages Benavidez is comfortable on the back foot early in the round spearing Gavril with jabs and left hooks to the body. Gavril is trying to walk Benavidez down behind a high guard but is not pressing hard enough or throwing much. Benavidez opens up at the end of the round with a burst of punches.
Score 10-9 Benavidez
Round 2
Benavidez is being given the time and space to pick his punches and he slots home jabs and mixes in left hooks to the body and clubbing rights to the head. Gavril has some success jabbing to the body but he is not cutting the ring off allowing Benavidez to tee-off on him with jabs and left hooks.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 20-18
Round 3
Gavril throws more punches in this round but Benavidez can’t miss him with his jabs and left hooks behind Gavril’s tucked in elbows. Gavril is just not aggressive enough and Benavidez drives him back with the perennial jabs and right crosses.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 30-27
Round 4
Big round for Benavidez. After again landing his jab he lands a right uppercut and a left hook with the combination sending Gavril tottering backward across the ring. Benavidez follows up with a series of hooks and uppercuts. Gavril is badly shaken but fights his way out of trouble only to be showered with more hooks and uppercuts before the bell.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 40-36
Round 5
Gavril has some success in this round. He continues to march forward but is throwing more punches. Benavidez is in ring centre with plenty of space to move and punch and he rattles jabs off Gavril’s head still finding lots of gaps in the Romanian’s guard. Gavril continues to chug forward and although outscored it is his best round so far.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 50-45
Round 6
Gavril shows no variation in his tactics and as a result is walking into punishment. Benavidez is landing a variety of shots and even finds time for a bit of showboating. He finish the round with an impressive combination of two jabs, a left hook and a right cross.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 60-54
Round 7
Gavril continues to advance in straight lines and at time is standing static in front of Benavidez. It seems like a walk in the park for Benavidez who lands a series of left hooks then covers up before firing off another burst of punches. Gavril is just not pressing hard enough or throwing enough to make the fight competitive.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 70-63
Round 8
Benavidez took a breather for much of this round allowing Gavril to take him to the ropes and work inside. There is no real power in Gavril’s punches. Benavidez comes to life over the last 40 seconds of the round driving Gavril back and getting home with some eye-catching rights to take the round.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 80-72
Round 9
In contrast to the previous round Benavidez comes out firing looking to end the fight. For two minutes he bombards Gavril with hurtful shots from both hands snapping Gavril’s head back with jabs and uppercuts. When Gavril did not fold Benavidez dials back his attacks but ends the round handing out another bundle of punishment.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 90-81
Round 10
When these two met for the vacant title in September Benavidez had faded badly late in the fight being floored in the last. As a result he looked to be trying to save something for the last two rounds and did not put in much of an effort in this round. He was on the back foot only throwing one punch at a time. That allowed Gavril some success as he was able to get close and land some hooks. Benavidez was still finding plenty of gaps and he scored with enough counters to win a close round.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 100-90
Round 11
After the punishment he had taken the ringside physician examined Gavril before the start of the round but allowed the fight to continue. This was another close one as Benavidez’s work rate again dropped allowing Gavril some degree of success when he could take Benavidez to the ropes. Benavidez was throwing one punch at a time but loading up on those including some thudding rights to the head. Close but the cleaner shots came from Benavidez.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 110-99
Round 12
Benavidez used only his jab in this round. He moved plenty to frustrate Gavril’s attempts to stage a big last round. Gavril was ignoring defence trying to repeat his success in the first fight of flooring Benavidez but he never looked like achieving that and it was Benavidez round.
Score 10-9 Benavidez 120-108
Official score: 120-108, 120-108 and 119-109
When these two clashed for the vacant title in September Benavidez had to settle for a split decision. This time the 21-year-old “Red Flag” made it look too easy and it was. You have to wonder how far Benavidez can go. He had only 15 amateur fights and is the youngest fighter to win the super middleweight title. Unlike the cruiser division when the smoke clears from the WSBB tournament there will still be four super middleweight champions and there are much tougher tests than Gavril around so it will be interesting to see where he goes next. Gavril was never really in the fight. He made it easy for Benavidez by coming forward in a straight line and never really managed to get Benavidez to the ropes which is where he needed him. He was never really in the fight from first to last.
Ugas vs. Robinson
Cuban Ugas has the power here and in the end that is enough for him to get an important win that could get him a title shot down the line. After some cautious sparring in the first Ugas launched a long right cross that landed on Robinson’s temple and dumped Robinson on his rump, He was up at four and after the count both fighters just stood and traded punches with Robinson getting the better of the exchanges. Both fighters stuck mainly to the jab in the second with Ugas on the front foot looking to draw Robinson’s right jab and step inside and they both scored with a hook just before the bell. Ugas landed a series of rights to the head in the third and got through with a combination late in the round. Robinson started the fourth with a nice combination and landed some more through the round but Ugas rocked him late and Robinson landed a punch after the bell that cost him a point. The fifth was the best round so far as both fighters attempted to dominate. There were plenty of fiery exchanges but it was the rights from Ugas that carried the power. The sixth again saw both fighters looking to take charge. Robinson was tending to lean in with his punches losing some leverage and Ugas was again dangerous with his rights. One of those rights put Robinson down on his back early in the seventh. He got up at four and after the count Ugas drove him stumbling around the ring. With Robinson trapped in a corner Ugas just pumped out punches and then the referee jumped in and stopped the fight just as Robinson started throwing punches back but it was a good stoppage as Ugas had landed six or seven head punches immediately before the stoppage. The 31-year-old former Cuban amateur star, he won gold at the World Championships and the Pan American Games and bronze at the 2008 Olympics, had only moderate success early as a pro and after losing back-to- back fights against Emmanuel Rodriguez and Amir Imam he was inactive for over two years. Since returning in 2016 he has scored good wins over Jamal James, Bryant Perrella and Thomas Dulorme. Going into this fight his best rating was No 14(12) by the IBF. Robinson was rated WBC 7/WBO 10/IBF 11(9) so Ugas can expect more recognition. Robinson, 32, also had back-to-back losses. His were against Brad Solomon and Shawn Porter. He had rebuilt with 13 wins but has to start all over again.
Rodriguez vs. Thompson
Rodriguez gets narrow unanimous decision against slippery Thompson and he has some way to go before he can get back into the title picture. Rodriguez pressed the fight but Thompson was not looking to trade punches with “La Bomba”. Thompson moved plenty and slotted home quick punches. That made for a frustrating time for Rodriguez as he was unable to find the target with anything heavy and Thompson was landing enough to make the fight close. It was only in the late rounds as Thompson slowed that Rodriguez was able to land anything of consequence and he did enough to earn the decision but it was not an impressive performance. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Rodriguez. The Dominican-born Rodriguez won his first 24 fights before losing a decision to Andre Ward in a challenge for the WBA super middle title in 2013. His rebuilding was rudely interrupted by second round knockout by Thomas Williams in 2016 which led to 15 months on the sidelines. This is his second win since returning. Thompson has good wins over Ryan Coyne, Donovan George and Steve Lovett and three of his losses have been split decisions
Miller vs. Padilla
Miller gets win as he stops late substitute Padilla. Miller bossed the first round and then put Padilla over with a southpaw straight left in the second. Padilla struggled but managed to rise but the referee saw he was shaky and waived the fight over. The 24-year-old from Memphis gets his sixth win in a row and his fifth win by KO/TKO. Last time out he beat Olympian Jamel Herring so is coming along nicely. Colombian Padilla has lost 6 of his last 7.

El Paso, TX, USA: Welter: Devon Alexander (27-4-1) DREW 12 Victor Ortiz (32-6-2). Super Middle: Caleb Plant (17-0) W PTS 12 Rogelio Medina (38-9) Light Heavy: Humberto Velasco (19-1-1) W KO 4 Thomas Williams (20-4). Super Welter: Tony Harrison (26-2) W TKO 5 George Sosa (15-12-1). Super Welter: Austin Trout (31-4) W PTS 8 Juan de Angel (20-8-1). Light: Carlos Balderas (4-0) W PTS 4 Jorge Rojas (4-3-1).
Alexander vs. Ortiz
This contest between two former champions ends up all even although Alexander seem to have done enough to win it. As expected the tactics for Ortiz were to march forward closing down space and making Alexander stand and engage. Alexander was using his superior hand and foot speed to work on the outside and counter Ortiz as he marched forward. Alexander was getting home with those fast counters over the first two rounds and by the third Alexander’s right jab had landed enough to cause a swelling that had Ortiz’s left eye almost closed. Alexander continued his classy boxing in the fourth but in the fifth Ortiz had upped his work rate and Alexander whilst still landing plenty was have to stand and swop punches more. Despite that after six rounds Alexander had built a good lead. Ortiz just kept pressing and started to get into the fight more from the midpoint. The seventh saw Alexander starting to go toe-to-toe with Ortiz and although he was still scoring with sharp hooks Ortiz was getting home with some hefty body punches and dragging Alexander into a brawl. The closer quarters stuff continued in the eighth. Ortiz left eye was virtually closed but working inside it was not so much of a handicap to him. Alexander went back to stick and move at the start of the ninth and then outfought Ortiz on the inside. The pace dropped in the tenth but they were up top speed again in the eleventh. Alexander rocked Ortiz with a left hook but then the fatigue kicked in again and they mauled and brawled with too much clinching and neither landing cleanly and Ortiz just did enough to take the last in a tough, gruelling contest. Scores 114-114 twice and 115-113 for Ortiz so a majority draw. Alexander looked unlucky as his work over the early rounds seemed to leave Ortiz with a hill to climb but the judges saw it differently. Former WBC and IBF super light and IBF welter champion Alexander, 31, had walked away in 2015 after losses to Shawn Porter, Amir Khan and Aaron Martinez but returned in November last year and is determined to give it another shot. Former WBC welter champion Ortiz also took time off after a 2-4 run but like Alexander returned last year with a win. The welterweight division is pretty crowded right now with Keith Thurman, Errol Spence, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Terrence Crawford, Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn all jostling for position and Alexander and Ortiz will find it tough to make any impact.
Plant vs. Medina
Plant outboxes Medina to put himself in with a chance of a challenge to IBF champion Caleb Truax. Plant had a game plan and he stuck to it. He was not looking to lock horns with the tough Mexican but to use his faster feet and hands to stay on the outside and pick up the rounds. The plan worked all the way as Plant was able to slot home his jab come across with straight rights and land left hooks to the body. Medina had no choice but to chug forward trying to cut off the ring and work on the quicker man on the ropes and in the corners, By the third blood was already flowing from Medina’s nose and at times it was really an exercise in target practice for Plant. Plant never really tried to cash in on his dominance allowing Medina to stay in the fight and the Mexican threw everything into the last three rounds having some success but never enough to threaten Plant’s victory stroll. Scores 120-108, 119-110 and 117-111 showing Plants clear superiority. The 25-year-old “Sweethands” Plant, a former National Golden Gloves champion, was No 6 with the IBF going in (the No 1 and 2 spots are vacant) and with his win over Medina, who was No 11, he qualifies to go to the No 2 spot. He is calling for a shot at champion Truax although interim champion Andre Dirrell should be first in line. “Porky” Medina broke through with a kayo of J’Leon Love in 2014 and that led to a title challenge loss against IBF champion James DeGale in 2016 and in May last year he was halted in eight rounds by David Benavidez.
Velasco vs. Williams
Huge upset as Velasco climbs off the floor to kayo Williams. Williams was a big favourite here and that looked a sound call as he floored the unknown Velasco late in the first round. From there it was downhill all the way for Williams. A heavy right floored him in the second and although he beat the count and fought his way out of trouble he still looked shaky. In the third he looked to be steadying the ship until late in the round when he was put down again. He made it to the bell but was down again in the fourth and counted out. Mexican Velasco, 30, was having his first fight outside Mexico. His loss was on a disqualification in a fight for the Mexican middleweight title. He had scored only two minor wins in 2017 so did not look too dangerous but now he has 13wins by KO/TKO and probably a world rating. Disaster for Williams as he suffers his third loss in a row inside the distance. He had recorded good wins over Umberto Savigne and Edwin Rodriguez but those wins were followed by kayo defeat against Adonis Stevenson for the WBC title and in his last fight in February last year a sixth round knockout against Marcus Brown. The Stevenson and Browne losses were understandable but this puts a big question mark over his future.
Harrison vs. Sosa
Detroit hope Harrison continues to reconstruct his career after losing to Jarrett Hurd for the vacant IBF super welter title last year. He had too much class for Sosa and was in control most of the way. Sosa was erratic with his tactics but Harrison stuck to the job and apart from a shaky moment in the third round when he was buzzed by a right from Sosa he was slowly dismantling the Newark fighter. The task was completed in the fifth as he put Sosa down twice with body punches. Although he beat the count there was too much time left in the round for Sosa to escape and after a pair of rights put him down for the third time the fight was stopped. The 27-year-old Harrison will be hoping to get another title shot in a chance to go further than granddad Henry Hank who despite beating some big names in a 96 fight career never landed a tile shot and dad Ali Salaam who managed only an 11-7 record. Currently he in No 11 with the IBF so some way to go yet. Sosa is 0-4-1 in his last 5 outings but against a good level of opposituion.
Trout vs. De Angel
After suffering back-to-back losses in big fights all Trout really wanted here was a win. In fact he showed well. He took a round to get into his stride and then beat De Angel with a mixture of fast, accurate Jabs, quick combinations, body punches and a higher work rate. He rocked De Angel in the third and dominated the fight all the way looking sharp as he took every round on the cards at 80-72 thrice. It must seem like it was in another space at another time when he beat Miguel Cotto by 6, 6 and ten points when defending his WBA super welter title in 2012. It was downhill from there as in 2013 he lost WBA title to WBC champion Saul Alvarez in a unification match and was outpointed by Erislandy Lara for the interim WBA title. He rebuilt with four wins but losses to Jermall Charlo and Jarrett Hurd, both fights for the IBF title, have left him with a lot to do to get back into contention and at 32 he can’t afford any more setbacks. De Angel falls to 2-5 in his last 7 fights.
Balderas vs. Rojas
Balderas could almost claim for overtime payment as he goes past the opening round for the first time. The former Olympian looked as though he was going to make it four first round finishes when he rocked Rojas early in the opening round but Rojas got through the round and was never again in serious trouble. Balderas settled down to outbox the Mexican novice and get in some ring time. Scores 40-36 on all three score cards. Then 31-year-old from Santa Maria won two National PAL tournament silver medals and gold and went as far as the quarter-final in Rio before losing to the Pan American and World champion Cuban Lazaro Alvarez. Rojas no test really but earned his money by making Balderas go four rounds.

Ludwigsburg, Germany; Super Middle: Vincent Feigenbutz (28-2) W TKO 6 Ryno Liebenberg (18-6). Super Middle: Denis Radovan (8-0) W TKO 4 Mattia Scaccia (6-4). Light Heavy: Leon Bunn (8-0) W PTS 8 Maurice Possiti (17-14).
Feigenbutz vs. Liebenberg
Feigenbutz gets stoppage win but the result does not tell the story of how lucky the German fighter was to get anything out of a fight he was losing. Liebenberg made a confident start using a stiff jab to put Feigenbutz on the back foot. He forced Feigenbutz to the ropes and landed a couple of good body punches. Feigenbutz attacked strongly at the end of the round. It was close but Liebenberg probably shaded it. The second followed a similar pattern. Liebenberg’s jab was the dominant punch and Feigenbutz was having trouble getting past it. Liebenberg staggered Feigenbutz with a punch late in the round and Feigenbutz put in the tradition late burst to try to sway the judges his way. It was close but Liebenberg looked to be in front still. Both had some success early in the third but then Liebenberg started to get on top taking Feigenbutz to the ropes and landing clubbing rights. Feigenbutz fired back but late in the round Liebenberg took over completely shaking Feigenbutz badly with an uppercut and driving the German back with rights to the head. No doubt about it a big round for Liebenberg. The action continued at a fast pace in the fourth. Again Liebenberg was forcing Feigenbutz back with his jab and working Feigenbutz over on the ropes. When he could find space Feigenbutz was firing back with quick combinations but was being outworked. Feigenbutz tried to get on the front foot in the fifth but was again forced to the ropes and Liebenberg landed some hurtful body punches and kept Feigenbutz on the retreat and worked him over on the ropes. Near the end of the round Liebenberg suffered a cut on his forehead from a clash of heads but it was not signalled as such. Liebenberg was in control again in the sixth rocking Feigenbutz’s head back with an uppercut and continuing to back the German up. The referee stopped the action to look at the cut, a vertical one on Liebenberg’s forehead over his nose. The fight continued with the two fighters just going toe-to-toe trading punches. Liebenberg was getting on top. He shook Feigenbutz with an uppercut and drove him back with a right to the head. With only seconds to go in the round the referee halted the action and examined Liebenberg’s cut and stopped the fight. It was a wrong decision the least he should have done was called the ringside physician to examine the cut or at least waited those few seconds to give Liebenberg’s corner the chance to work on the injury. Liebenberg looked to be well in front and although it is impossible to say how the fight would have developed over the remaining six rounds he looked the stronger and the body punching he had been doing might have proved decisive. Feigenbutz retains his IBF Inter-Continental title and his IBF 4(2) but was lucky here. After suffering five losses in big fights there had to be a question over whether Liebenberg was on the slide but he showed here is a long way from finished and after recovering from the injury can come back strongly.
Radovan vs. Scaccia
Radovan much too good for Italian Scaccia. The German prospect took the first two rounds and then floored novice Scaccia in the third. The Italian survived the round but was put down twice more in the fourth and the fight was halted. The 25-year-old from Cologne was German amateur champion in 2011 and 2012 and runner-up in 2010, 2013 and 2014. He also won a bronze medal at the World Youth Championships and a silver medal at the European Under 22 Championships. With some recent defections from the Sauerland banner Radovan is one of their best prospects. Scaccia had won 4 of his last 5 fights but was too crude and too open to pose a threat to Radovan.
Bunn vs. Possiti
Bunn wins his second fight in 14 days with victory over Possiti. Although not rated in the French top 20 Possiti came to fight and Bunn had to work hard for his victory. The young German was the better technical boxer and was a clear winner but Possiti was competitive all the way. Scores 78-74 from all three judges for Bunn. The 25-year-old from Frankfurt is being guided well with about the right type and level of opposition as he develops as a pro. Now 5 losses in his last 6 fights for Possiti who rarely fails to go the distance.

Waterford, Ireland: Cruiser: Mike Perez (23-3-1) W KO 1 Pablo Magrini (19-4-1). Feather: Eric Donovan (7-0) W TKO 2 Ignac Kassai (22-56-2).
Perez vs. Magrini
Perez gets this mismatch over early. He hunted down the elderly Argentinian before putting him down and out at the end of the first round. The 32-year-old Cuban southpaw is still capable of being a force at cruiser having given Mairis Breidis a good fight in losing to the Latvian for the WBC title in September. He is No 10 with the WBC. The 39-year-old Magrini was knocked out in four rounds by Australian Mark Flanagan in November.
Donovan vs. Kassai
Former top amateur Donovan was given an easy one here against Hungarian loser Kassai. “Lilywhite Lightning” dropped Kassai with a southpaw left in the first and ended the massacre with an uppercut in the second. The 32-year-old Irishman was Irish amateur champion , competed at the World Championships and the European Union and European Championships winning a bronze medal at both of those last tournaments. Only the sixth loss by KO/TKO for 37-year-old Hungarian southpaw.

Bacolod City, Philippines: Light Fly: Edward Heno (12-0-5) W PTS 12 Merlito Sabillo (27-5-1). Light Fly: Rey Loreto (24-14) W KO 6 Arnold Garde (8-6-3).
Heno vs. Sabillo
Heno comes through with upset victory on a split decision that should have been unanimous, over former WBO minimumweight champion Sabillo in an all-southpaw clash. Despite his meagre pro experience Heno had a good game plan and stuck to it. Sabillo was the one forcing the fight but Heno kept cool and boxed his way to victory in front of Sabillo’s home fans. He made excellent use of his right jab and body punches working on the outside. Sabillo had some success when he was able to cut down Heno’s space and work him over on the ropes but those successes were rare and Heno was a clear winner, Scores 119-109 and 118-110 for Heno and a disgracefully biased 116-112 for Sabillo. Heno, 25, retained the OPBF title in his first defence. He is rated IBF 12 (11)/WBA 13/WBC 14/WBO 15. All five of his draws were majority verdicts which is a very unique record. Sabillo, 34, the WBO No 12, was lined up for a world title shot against Angel Acosta but blew that here.
Loreto vs. Garde
Former undefeated IBO champion Loreto just hits too hard for overmatched Garde. He bounced Garde on the canvas six times on his way to a sixth round kayo. The 27-year-old southpaw makes it to 16 wins by KO/TKO. He broke through in a big way as he ripped the IBO light flyweight crown off the head of South African Nkosinathi Joyi with a third round stoppage and showed it was no fluke by stopping Joyi in one round in the only defence of the title. He moved down to minimumweight to challenge Knockout CP Freshmart for the WBA title in July last year but was floored and outpointed. Garde is now 1-3-1 in his last 5 fights but his three losses have been against world rated opposition

Fajardo, Puerto Rico: Light: Alfredo Santiago (9-0) W PTS 10 Juan Jose Montes (25-7-2). Super Light: Subriel Matias (8-0) Daulis Prescott (31-6).
Santiago vs. Montes
Dominican Santiago has too much skill and speed and has no trouble with a fading and chubby Montes. A natural super feather/ light Santiago had height and reach over the smaller Mexican, The Dominican handed out plenty of punishment with Montes soaking it up but constantly trying to take the fight to Santiago only to take stick on the way in. Santiago dominated every round but just did not have the power to stop the experienced Mexican. Scores 100-90 for Santiago from all three of the judges. Santiago, a former Dominican Youth champion, was a good level amateur and has wins over useful pro opposition in Jayson Velez and former Olympian Arturo Santos. Montes had his best days at super fly where he scored some good wins before losing to Tomas Rojas in a challenge for the WBC title. He has slipped to 2-5-1 in his last 8 fights.
Matias vs. Prescott
Matias reinforced his credentials as a top prospect by brushing aside former world title challenger Prescott. The local hope dominated the first round and almost ended it with two knockdowns in the second. Prescott survived that but Matias came out to finish it in the third. He drove Prescott to the ropes and landed a hard right to the body that saw Prescott slump to the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight. The 25-year-old “Browny” has won all of his fights by KO/TKO in less than 21 rounds with the last six being good level and experienced. Prescott, 31, the brother of Breidis, was 26-1,1ND before being stopped in seven rounds by Nicholas Walters for the vacant WBA feather title in 2012 but he has gone downhill from there with five inside the distance losses in his last six fights.

La Coruna, Spain: Fly: Juan Hinostroza (7-8-1) W KO 8 Moncho Miras (9-1-1).
Hinostroza comes in at three days notice and wins the vacant Spanish title. Miras, the national bantam champion had prepared for fighting Aramis Torres who he had fought a draw with for this title in October. Instead he found himself facing an aggressive southpaw. He never really got to grips with the style of Hinostroza and was behind on points when he was initially floored in the seventh and then knocked out on the eighth. The 32-year-old Peruvian-born Hinostroza has four wins by KO/TKO. He had lost to both Charlie Edwards and Paddy Barnes getting off the floor in both fights and going the distance. Miras just could not cope with the pressure tactics of Hinostroza.

Orlando, FL, USA: Middle: Vitali Kopylenko (27-1) W RSF 3 Jonathan Batista (16-12). Super Middle: Craig Duncan (10-1-1) W RTD 2 Daniel Najera (7-2-1).
Kopylenko vs. Batista
Kopylenko returns to action and halts poor Batista. The tall Ukrainian was having his first fight for 13 months and hopefully will now get serious about his career as at 34 time is not on his side. His only loss was against Willie Monroe Jr in the semi-final of the Boxcino tournament in 2014. He then had just one more fight in 2014, one in 2015, one in 2016 and one in 2017. Boxing in Europe he won the WB Federation world title and the European External title. Bautista was 13-1 at one stage but is now 2-11 with seven of those eleven losses by KO/TKO
Duncan vs. Najera
It was win/win for the promoter here as Duncan pulled in a good sized crowd for his own promotion and also won in the joint main event. After being pounded and pummelled for two rounds Najera was finished and did not come out for the third round. Duncan has seven wins by KO/TKO and has now won his last four fights but the opposition has been low grade. Najera really just a prelim fighter who was in over his head.

San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile: Super Fly: Miguel Gonzalez (26-1) W KO 3 Sammy Reyes (20-16-1). Super Bantam: Jose Velasquez (18-6-2) W RTD 4 Salvador Hernandez (16-7-1).
Gonzalez vs. Reyes
Local hero Gonzalez gets kayo victory over late substitute Reyes. “The Needle” used a focused body attack to win this one. After hurting Reyes with body punches in the first he put the Mexican on the floor with a body punch in the second round and twice more in the third with Reyes being counted out, The 28-year-old Gonzalez was making the third defence of his WBA Fedelatin title and now has ten wins in a row since losing to Paul Butler in 3013. Gonzalez was to have fought Roberto Rodriguez but the Mexican was involved in a car accident on his way to the airport and suffered a broken collar bone so Reyes was hurriedly stuck on a plane to replace him and gets loss No 13 by KO/TKO for his trouble.
Velasquez vs. Hernandez
Velasquez makes it a Chilean double over Mexican opposition as he beats Hernandez. Velasquez was in charge of this one from the opening bell and landed heavily to head and body over the first three rounds with only the bell saving Hernandez from defeat in the third. That was enough for the Mexican’s corner and they did not let their man come out for the fourth. Velasquez was defending his WBO Latino title and he now has ten wins in a row nine of them by KO/TKO. Second inside the distance defeat for Hernandez.

Drancy, France: Super Light: Renald Garrido (20-18-2) W PTS 10 Jean Moraiti (17-12-4). Light Heavy: Hakim Zoulikha (25-10) W TKO 3 Giorgi Beroshvili (29-22-3).
Garrido is again French champion after getting a wide unanimous decision over Moriti for the vacant title. Garrido went all out in the first looking for a quick win but Moraiti resisted strongly. Garrido then took the second round off to recover and won every round from there. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-91 for Garrido on all cards. Despite his uninspiring record the 29-year-old from Marseilles, who held this title briefly back in 2016, is a tough customer who can give any fighter trouble on his night. Moraiti had won 5 of his last 6 fights and in his previous fight in December won the Universal Boxing Organisation title so came into this one as a “world champion”.
Zoulikha vs. Beroshvili
Just a pay day and a needed win for Zoulikha. He floored the Georgian in the first round with a combination and then floored him twice more in the second. Beroshvili beat the count on the second knockdown but the referee stopped the fight. The former French and European Union champion Zoulikha was 0-2 in 2017 losing tough asks against Serhiy Demchenko and Nadjib Mohammedi. Beroshvili is 1-8-1 in his last 10 fights

Cormeilles-en-Parisi, France: Cruiser: Taylor Mabika (18-2-1) W KO 2 Jevgenijs Stamburskis (7-32-2). Mabika returns to action and eases his way back with a win over Stamburskis. Mabika, 39, put the Latvian down and out in the second round for his tenth win by KO/TKO. The 39-year-old French-based Gabonese boxer has held a variety of title such as Luxembourg, ABU, IBU world, WBFederation world and WBC Mediterranean. He lost to Arsen Goulamirian and Krzys Glowacki in 2013 but is 9-0-1 since then. Too old to go much further but he is a hero in Gabon. Stamburskis, 41, is now 0-8-2 in his last 10 fights.

Fight of the week: George Groves vs. Chris Eubank with honourable mentions to Ray Beltran vs. Paulus Moses and Ryan Walsh vs. Isaac Lowe
Fighter of the week: Ray Beltran as he wins the WBO title at the fourth time of asking
Punch of the week: The right from Danny Garcia that put Brandon Rios over
Upset of the week: Humberto Torres victory over Thomas Williams and special mention to Edward Heno for beating former world champion Merlito Sabillo
One to watch: Puerto Rican Subriel Macias 9-0 with 9 wins by KO/TKO

Click here for Part I.

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

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