The Past Week in Action 6 March 2018 - Part II
By Eric Armit
Wed, 07 Mar 2018
Sheffield, England: Super Welter: Kell Brook (37-2) W KO 2 Siarhei Rabchenko (29-3). Super Bantam: Gavin McDonnell (19-1-2) W PTS 12 Gamal Yafai (14-1). Heavy: Lenroy Thomas (22-4-1) TEC DRAW 1 David Allen (12-3-2): Feather: Kid Galahad (24-0) W KO 3 Irving Berry (23-8-2). Light: Atif Shafiq (19-2) W TKO 5 Lee Appleyard (12-4). Light Heavy: Rocky Fielding (26-1) W PTS 8 Karel Horejsek (11-8-3). Super Feather: Leigh Wood (20-1) W TKO 1 Rafael Castillo (14-41-3).
Brook vs. Rabchenko
Confident and impressive display from Brook on his return. He looked sharp and ended the fight with some brutal punches. Rabchenko came out throwing fast jabs putting Brook on then back foot. Brook stayed cool and banged home some sharp right counters. Rabchenko continued to work the jab and scored with a hard right. Brook got onto the front foot and scored with a straight right and a right uppercut before the bell. Rabchenko continued to come forward in the second but a peach of a right uppercut followed by a left from Brook sent him stumbling back. Brook moved in and they both threw a punch with Brooks right getting there first unhinging Rabchenko’s legs and he fell to the canvas. He tried to get up but struggled and although he just about made it the fight was over. Back-to-back losses to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence had left questions to be answered about Brook’s future but the move to super welter seemed to suit him and he finished in style with some eye-catching punching. Now he is looking to become a two division champion. Perhaps it is time for the 32-year-old Rabchenko to retire. He looked world class when he won the European title and went 25-0 but a disputed decision loss to Anthony Mundine seemed to take something out of him and he tumbled out of the ratings after being halted in nine rounds by Tony Harrison in 2016.
McDonnell vs. Yafai
It was anticipated that this would be a fast-paced close, entertaining contest between two very quick and very clever boxer and that is what was delivered most of the way. Yafai made a promising start. McDonnell just seemed to have the edge where jabs were concerned but Yafai was able to score with quick bursts of hooks when he moved inside. It was top quality boxing with good offence being matched by good defence in the case of both boxers. McDonnell just had the edge in accuracy and was the busier of the two but there was never much between from round to round or through the first five rounds but McDonnell looked to be getting on top after a good sixth in which he shook Yafai with a right. The rounds continued to be close but McDonnell was sharper and picking up the points with his jab and was more accurate with his hooks and uppercuts. He was building a winning lead and again rocked Yafai with a right just before the bell to end the ninth. By the tenth Yafai looked to be tiring and when he fell over he was slow to get up again and McDonnell stepped up the pressure. Yafai fell again in the eleventh as McDonnell pressed hard scoring with hard rights to the head and Yafai’s speed and work rate had dropped and his work was ragged. McDonnell deeper experience in six twelve round fights to Yafai’s one saw him pace the fight better. Yafai put everything into the last round but he was too often just putting his head down and swinging with McDonnell still controlled picking his punches and taking advantage of the gaps Yafai was leaving and McDonnell ran out a well deserved winner. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 all for McDonnell who wins the WBC International title. The classy 31-year-old Doncaster boxer, a former undefeated European and WBC Silver champion, lost a majority decision to Rey Vargas for the vacant WBC title and this win is his first major step back towards another title shot. At 26 Yafai, a former Commonwealth champion may have lost his WBC International title but has time to come again and he will.
Thomas vs. Allen
Unfortunately this one was over almost before it started as a clash of heads in the first round saw Allen suffer a deep cut over his right eye and the fight was stopped and declared a technical draw. Thomas had won the vacant Commonwealth title with a split verdict over Allen in May so the Jamaican southpaw retains the title with a third bout a possibility
Galahad vs. Berry
Galahad gets inside the distance win as he takes the first two rounds and then flattens Berry in the third. The unbeaten former British and Commonwealth champion took the first whilst really only finding out what Berry brought to the fight. From the second he was scoring well to the body and with straight rights. He ended it in spectacular style in the third rocking Berry with a left to the head and followed that immediately with a blistering left that sent Berry down on his back with his head resting on the bottom rope and the fight halted immediately. That makes it six wins by KO/TKO in a row since Galahad returned from a ban. He is No 5 with the IBF ( but the fourth rated boxer as the No 2 spot is vacant) so is looking to get a shot at the winner of Lee Selby’s defence against Josh Warrington in May. Last time out, in November, Berry, a former challenger for both the secondary and full WBA titles, had gone the full twelve rounds with Jhonny Gonzalez so an impressive victory for Galahad.
Shafiq vs. Appleyard
Shafiq uses body punches for victory in contest between two Rotherham boxers for the neighbourhood title. Appleyard started the slight favourite and tried to use his height and longer reach as a platform for victory. Shafiq worked the body and eventually that was the winning strategy. A left hook to the ribs in the fourth put Appleyard down for the first time and after two more falls from body punches in the fifth Appleyard’s corner threw in the towel to save their man any further punishment. Shafiq’s losses have both come in low level fights that he was expected to win but hopefully he can build on this victory. English champion and former Commonwealth title challenger Appleyard had won 4 of his last 5 but must start all over again.
Fielding vs. Horejsek
With the talk of a title fight against WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez Fielding could not afford any slip ups here. He got the win and some ring time but had trouble subduing tough Czech Horejsek who fought hard all the way. Referee’s score 79-74 for Fielding. Since his loss to Callum Smith in 2015 Fielding has scored split decisions over Chris Rebrasse and John Ryder but halted Dave Brophy inside a round to win the Commonwealth title. He is No 3 with the WBO. Although his record is unimpressive Horejsek has drawn with unbeaten fighters Adam Deines and Lennox Clarke so can be useful on his night.
Wood vs. Castillo
Wood blows away poor Nicaraguan Castillo inside a round. The Nottingham fight put Castillo down twice with the referee waiving the fight off on the second knockdown. Leigh’s only loss was a stoppage against world title challenger Gavin McDonnell in 2014 and this is his ninth win since then. Castillo now has 15 losses by KO/TKO.
Kempton Park, South Africa; Cruiser: Kevin Lerena (20-1) W PTS 12 Dymtro Kucher (24-3-1). Welter; Thulani Mbenge (13-0) W PTS 12 Diego Cruz (18-6-2). Minimumweight: DeeJay Kriel (14-1-1) W PTS 12 Xolisa Magusha (10-3-1)
Lerena vs. Kucher
Kucher come out on top in hard-fought IBO title defence against Kucher.Kucher had edges in height and reach in this one but made too cautious a start posing and allowing Lerena to score with jabs and long rights to the body. Southpaw Lerena had a good second round. He was making openings whilst Kucher was still looking for them and he stung the Ukrainian with a right to the head and drove Kucher back with a cluster of punches. Lerena scored with a good left to the chin at the start of the third and fourth but Kucher had good rounds using his longer reach to land jabs and right crosses. The fifth was a close round. Kucher worked well with the jab and straight right but Lerena was getting past the jab and landing hooks and long lefts and edged it. Kucher was scoring well early in the sixth and seventh and eighth. Nothing spectacular just jab, straight right but he was winning the rounds in each case until Lerena staged a storming finish to turn each of them his way. But they could just as easily have been scored for Kucher. Lerena used his jab more in the ninth and he was the one landing the more eye-catching shots with Kucher pinging Lerena with jabs and straight rights but being rocked by some of Lerena’s punches, despite having the shorter reach Lerena used his jab to take this one. He was beating Kucher to the punch and adding some thumping lefts and rights with both fighters looking tired. Lerena was stronger in the eleventh. Kucher kept pumping out the punches but Lerena was using his jab well and landing less but heavier. Lerena took the last. He had more left and although on the back foot was getting home with sharp right uppercuts and left hooks on the advancing Kucher as the fought their way to the bell after twelve hard gruelling rounds. Scores 119-109 twice and 117-111 for Lerena. I could not agree with the first two scores as I thought Kucher did much better than that and the 117-111 looked a better reflection. The South African was making the first defence of the IBO title he won with a points victory over Youri Kayembre Kalenga in September and he was made to fight hard all the way making this win that much more meaningful. The cruiser division has been in limbo for a while as the WBSS tournament has tied up the four titles. Lerena is No 4with the IBF (3) and 6 and 8 respectively with the WBC and WBA so very much in the picture once the smoke clears. Kucher, 33, is a former WBC Silver title holder and knocked Enzo Maccarinelli inside a round to win the European title in June 2016. He lost on points to Marco Huck for this same IBO title in November 2016 which was his last fight before this one.
Mbenge vs. Cruz
Mbenge wins the vacant WBC International title but Cruz comes in at 152.5lbs so 5.5lbs over the limit. Most of that extra weight was around the Mexican’s waist and understandably Mbenge focused his attacks on the body in early action. The overweight and slow Cruz stood up well to the attacks and did enough to steal a round here and there as Mbenge tended to fight in bursts. It made things easier for Cruz when Mbenge abandoned his body work and went upstairs as he showed a solid chin. Mbenge was a clear winner but it was not one of his best performances. Cruz had scored good wins over Ivan Cano and Jose Lopez and fought a draw with the 35-1-1 Roberto Ortiz in July but he showed disgraceful lack of dedication here with his weight.
Kriel vs. Magusha
Kriel holds on to his WBC International title with unanimous decision over southpaw Magusha. It was Magusha, the South African champion who made the stronger start. He was able to use his edge in reach to work on the outside with Kriel boxing on the back foot. Magusha was in front after three rounds but Kriel wound up his game and began to use his speed and skill to work openings and upped his work rate. Magusha remained competitive but Kriel was edging the rounds and in the end ran out a clear winner although the scores were a little harsh on Magusha. Scores 118-110, 118-112 and 116-113 for Kriel. The 22-year-old Kriel lost his first pro fight but is now 14-0-1 in his last 15 including an eight rounds points victory over Magusha in April last year. He is rated WBA 11 and WBC 12. That April loss to Kriel was Magusha’s only defeat in his last nine fights.
Glasgow, Scotland; Super Light: Josh Taylor (12-0) W TKO 3 Winston Campos (30-4-5). Super Light: Glenn Foot (22-3) W TKO 11 Jason Easton (11-1).
Taylor vs. Campos
Taylor overwhelms substitute Campos to retain WBC International title. Campos, like Taylor a southpaw, looked confident initially as he circled the ring prodding out jabs. The confidence did not last too long, just as long as it took southpaw Taylor to start firing hooks to the body. Campos did not relish the punishment. In the second Taylor again scored with body punches before switching to the head. He had Campos tumbling down with a clubbing left to the side of the head but landed a punch on the back the Nicaraguan’s head as he was his way down. Campos beat the count but was floored again with a series of punches before the bell and he went back to his corner shaking his head and looking like a fighter who did not want to be there. He came out for the third and tried to punch with Taylor. Taylor drove him back with right hooks and put him down again and although he managed to get up the referee stopped the fight. The 27-year-old “Tartan Terror” now has eleven wins by KO/TKO and was making the second defence of his WBC International title. He is No 6 with the WBC and obviously has a chance of landing a fight with the winner of the fight between Amir Imam and Juan Carlos Ramirez for the vacant title. Campos came in as a late substitute and suffered his third loss by KO/TKO. He was 13-0-1 in his last 14 fights so a good level replacement.
Foot vs. Easton
Foot halts Easton late in a fight for the vacant Commonwealth title in a real war. This was a contests of contrasting styles with Foot the aggressor with a big punch and Easton an upright boxer with excellent skills and some power. Foot came out fast and was getting past Easton’s jab and unsettling the Scot. Easton tried to get on the front foot in the second and was boxing well until a right drove him back to the ropes and another one put him down. He was up quickly and managed to stay to the bell. Easton began to steady himself and box and counter. Foot was a bit right hand happy but remained dangerous. Neither fighter wanted the other to have the last punch in any exchanges so as one would land the other would punch straight back. As long as Easton could make space he was able to score with long jabs and right crosses but Foot was in his face the whole time. The eighth was a candidate for round of the year. First Foot shook Easton with yet another overhand right and Easton came back with a vicious left hook and a right to the head. Suddenly Foot was in deep trouble fighting to stay on his feet as Easton battered away trying to find the punch to finish things. Foot survived and found a big right to have Easton in trouble only for Easton to land a huge right of his own at the end of a round that had the crowd on its feet for the full three minutes. Easton boxed well in the ninth and most of the tenth as they again traded heavy stuff but late in the round Easton looked exhausted and was now cut over his left eye. Easton put in a big effort at the start of the eleventh but really had nothing left. Foot drove him to the ropes with two heavy rights to the head and Easton slid down to the canvas and the referee waived the fight over. Easton went to hospital after the fight as a precaution but was not in danger. A great fight and Foot wins the vacant Commonwealth title at his second attempt. Easton fought a brave fight but the constant pressure and big rights from Foot proved too much for him.
Weissenfels, Germany: Light Heavy: Dominic Boesel (27-1) W PTS 12 Serhiy Demchenko (18-12-1). Light Heavy: Adam Deines (14-0-1) W PTS 12 Stefan Haertel (15-1). Light Heavy: Enrico Koelling (25-2) W TKO 1 Giorgi Beroshvili (30-22-3).
Boesel vs. Demchenko
Boesel wins the vacant European title at the second attempt as he outscores a strong but limited Demchenko. Boesel boxed well on the back foot over the early rounds letting Demchenko come forward and countering. He used a strong, quick jab to set Demchenko up for straight rights with Demchenko pressing and going to the body but not having much success as the hand speed and movement of Boesel was piling up the points. The scores after four rounds were 40-36 twice and 39-37 for Boesel. He continued to control the fight. Demchenko was just not pressing hard enough and not throwing enough punches. Boesel was able to score easily with counters and when he stepped in with a burst of punches Demchenko was too slow to be able to land anything of his own. To make matters worse he was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads in the sixth. That seemed to spur Demchenko who had a bit more success in the seventh but Boesel took the eighth moving and jabbing and was in front on scores 80-73, 78-74 and 77-75. The pace slowed in the ninth allowing Demchenko some measure of success when he could trap Boesel on the ropes but in the tenth Boesel was moving and finding plenty of gaps for quick jabs and combinations. In the eleventh Boesel took no chances really just trying to avoid any trouble which allowed Demchenko to take the round and Demchenko took the last also as Boesel spent most of the three minutes on the ropes covering up with Demchenko trying to land the big punch he needed but he never really managed to shake Boesel. Scores 116-112 twice and 118-111 all for Boesel. The 28-year-old German was halted in eleven rounds by Karo Murat for the vacant title in July last year. He has good wins over Balazs Kelemen and Tony Averlant and is a quick, clever boxer but not really a power punches. Italian-based Ukrainian Demchenko, 38, had a 1-4 spell against good level European fighters. He won the European Union title with a technical decision over Hakim Zoulikha in May but was too one-paced here.
Deines vs. Haertel
Deines wins this battle of unbeaten German hopes. It was Haertel with the smoother boxing skills and Deines the stronger and more aggressive. Southpaw Deines made a quick start coming forward throwing bunches off hooks with Haertel unsettled by the quirky style of Deines. Haertel settled from the second. He used his longer reach and faster hands to get through with jabs and landed some good left hooks to the body. Deines was more effective in close and he tried to distract Haertel with some showboating but Haertel stuck to his task. A strange fourth saw then just stand with their heads touching and not really working to the body and they kept returning to that position throughout the round. Deines scored well to the body and Haertel did not help himself by choosing to stand and trade when he was faster and more accurate on the outside. The rounds were close with neither fighter really dominating the action. It looked as though the cleaner work came from Haertel but the decision went to Deines. Scores 96-94 and 96-95 to Deines and 96-94 to Haertel. Deines wins the vacant German title and Haertel loses his unbeaten tag.
Koelling vs. Beroshvili
Koelling gets this one over quickly against late choice Beroshvili. Koelling was shadowing Beroshvili around the ring scoring with a couple of left hooks and a right to the head. Beroshvili sent out a couple of prodding jabs as he retreated. Half way through the round a right to the body dropped Beroshvili to his knees. He was up at eight but went down again before Koelling could land another punch of any significance and although he again made it to his feet the referee stopped the fight. First fight for Koelling since leaving Sauerland and joining SES and his second win since losing on a twelfth round kayo against Artur Beterbiev for the vacant IBO title in November. Beroshvili’s twelfth loss by KO/TKO.
Cologne, Germany: Super Middle: Avni Yildirim (18-1) W PTS 12 Derek Edwards (27-8-1).Light: Robert Tlatlik (22-1) W TKO 7 Marek Jedrzejewski (13-1). Super Middle: Yusuf Kanguel (15-2-1) W TKO 5 Sladan Janjanin (23-2). Super Feather: Yavuz Erturk (26-1) W KO 2 Giorgi Abuladze (11-5-1).
Yildirim vs. Edwards
Yildirim gets unanimous verdict over experienced Edwards in an entertaining and competitive contest. Yildirim adopted a more cautious approach than in the past. He has been focusing on improving his defence and was working his opening rather than trying to batter the door down. There were plenty of spirited exchanges with both scoring well with right hooks. A right from Yildirim shook Edwards in the second but the American took it well and despite having to absorb another right and a hurtful left hook Edwards was firing back with hooks and uppercuts inside. Yildirim continued to ramp up the pressure scoring with left hooks to the body and heavy rights to the head. Edwards was taking the punches well and finding gaps for his jab and landing quick two-handed flurries in an entertaining fight. Yildirim had an impressive fifth as he mixed up his punches landing stiff jabs crunching rights to the head and then going to the body. Edwards had the better of some furious exchanges in the sixth and they both had successes in the seventh and eighth but with Yildirim landing the heavier punches in the seventh and Edwards getting through with jabs an uppercuts in the eighth. The ninth and tenth saw Edwards scoring with bursts of quick light punches and Yildirim landing less but landing heavier. Yildirim had built a solid lead but both tired over the last two rounds and Edwards was finding gaps for his jab and short hooks as Yildirim abandoned his boxing for a while but Yildirim had a strong last round to emerge a good winner. Scores 116-112 twice and 118-110 all for Yildirim. The 26-year-old Turkish “Mr Robot” retains his WBC International title in his second win since his disastrous three round loss to Chris Eubank Jr in October. He is obviously working on the faults that loss exposed and is still in the top ten of both the WBA and WBC so still very much a force. At 38 Edwards is still a classy boxer and as he showed in knocking out Badou jack in 61 seconds is dangerous but that is now five losses in a row. They have all been to world rated opponents but at 38 no one is going to invest any money in rebuilding his career.
Tlatlik vs. Jedrzejewski
Tlatlik wins the vacant WBC International Silver title with stoppage of fellow Pole Jedrzejewski. Tlatlik won this one more easily than expected. Jedrzejewski seemed flat and never really made any impression and a big left from Tlatlik in the seventh had him in deep water and the referee stopped the fight. German-based Pole Tlatlik gets win No 16 by KO/TKO as he rebuilds after losing his unbeaten record against Lukasz Wierzbicki in June. Jedrzejewski had won 12 of his previous 13 fights by KO/TKO.
Kanguel vs. Janjanin
Kanguel wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean title with stoppage of Bosnian Janjanin. Now 8 wins in a row for the 34-year-old Kanguel the last seven by KO/TKO. Janjanin had won his last nine fights with his other loss being to Canadian Steven Butler.
Erturk vs. Abuladze
Erturk alias “Jonathan English” makes it 20 wins by KO/TKO with second round victory over Georgian Abuladze. The 30-year-old former undefeated World Boxing Union and World Boxing Federation champion had only one fight in 2016 and one in 2017 but hopefully be more active now. Third loss by KO/TKO for Abuladze.
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; Super Feather: Jayson Velez (26-4-1) W TKO 12 Juan Manuel Lopez (35-6). Super Feather: Alberto Mercado (14-1-1) W PTS 8 Jose Nieves (22-4-3).
Velez vs. Lopez
Velez continues his rebuilding process with a late stoppage of Lopez. After some cautious sparring in the first Velez rocked Lopez with a right and Lopez banged back with a southpaw left but Velez showed the faster hand speed. Lopez tried take the fight to Velez over the next few rounds but again Velez was quicker and jolted Lopez with jabs and landed sharp rights and his punches had a bump growing under the left eye of Lopez. Velez continued to outscore Lopez who was dreadfully slow on his feet and the only time he was able to land any significant punches was when he could pin Velez to the ropes or when Velez chose to stand and trade. It was on those occasions that the strength of Lopez allowed him to bull Velez on the inside with Velez ducking too low and doing too much holding making the fight untidy at times. As long as Velez stayed on the outside and boxed he was doing fine but gradually he was letting himself be drawn into a brawl and Lopez was finding the target with clubbing lefts. Lopez had to survive a couple of examinations by the ringside physician due to a vertical cut on his forehead above his nose. The end came in the last round. Once again Lopez had to pass an inspection of the vertical gash and when the action resumed Velez landed a blistering right uppercut and then a straight right that put Lopez down on one knee. After the eight count Lopez wobbled but tried to punch his way out of trouble until a series of head punches had him staggering badly and about to go down and the referee stopped the fight. “La Maravilla” Velez had looked to be on the road to nowhere after four straight losses in 2015/2016 but he scored two wins last year and this battle for local bragging rights is a big win for him. Now 32 Juanma” is looking a bit worn around the edges. The former WBO super bantam and feather champion has been on a switchback ride recently with losses to Mikey Garcia, Francisco Vargas and Jesus Cuellar and a wins over Daniel Ponce De Leon and in his last fight in October 2016 over Wilfredo Vazquez.
Mercado vs. Nieves
In his first fight for a year Mercado makes a slow start. Nieves edged the first two rounds in this all-southpaw contest but then Mercado began to roll and took over the fight. Nieves remained competitive but at 37 and in his first fight for almost five years he is not the force he was and Mercado was a clear winner. Scores 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 all for Mercado. First fight for Mercado since losing his unbeaten tag against Velez in March last year. First fight for Nieves since his first round kayo loss to Shinsuke Yamanaka for the WBC bantam title in 2013.
Arroyo Seco, Argentina: light: Miguel Acosta (11-6-1) W PTS 10 Luis Rueda (17-1). Big surprise here as modest non-puncher Acosta floors unbeaten Rueda three times in their all-southpaw contest and wins by a large margin on all cards. Acosta made a great start putting Rueda down with a left to the head in the very first round. Rueda fought back strongly but a right to the chin floored him again in the third. Rueda got back into the fight over the fourth, where Acosta flirted with disqualification by holding too much, and fifth but was dropped again by a right in the sixth. They both landed some heavy punches and after more clinching Acosta was docked a point in the eighth but he took the ninth and tenth to wrap up victory. Scores 95-91 twice and 97-89 for Acosta who takes Rueda’s IBF Latino title. Acosta, 26, had lost on points to Rueda in 2016 being floored and having to take a standing count so this was sweet revenge and gives him his fifth win in a row. Rueda, 31, was ranked No 1 challenger for the Argentinian title so a big setback.
Carentan, France; Super Feather: Matthieu Lehot (11-8-1) W PTS 10 Dame Seck (11-19-2). Lehot wins the vacant French title with decision over Seck. Neither of these fighters will get past domestic level but they put on a spirited contest. Fighting in his hometown Lehot was in control most of the way but Seck fought hard and many of the rounds were close. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Lehot. Lehot moves to 5-1-1 and Seck has now lost 7 of his last 8 fights. There are better French super feathers than these two but the others are looking towards European titles.
Dublin, Ireland: Super Welter; Craig O’Brien (8-0) W PTS 10 Jay Byrne (6-4).
O’Brien wins the vacant Irish title as he outboxes Byrne. O’Brien just got the better of the first two rounds but Byrne had a good third catching O’Brien with a big left. From there the superior skills of O’Brien saw him sweep the middle rounds which featured a number of fierce exchanges. Byrne took the ninth as O’Brien’s work rate dropped and he attacked strongly in the tenth but O’Brien was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-92 for O’Brien who is still seeking his first inside the distance win. All of Byrne’s losses have come against unbeaten fighters
Tokyo, Japan: Light: Masayuki Ito (23-1-1) W TKO 9 Vergil Puton (17-10).
Former OPBF champion Ito keeps busy with stoppage of Filipino Puton. Ito was looking to make this an early night and had Puton badly hurt with a right in the first and only the bell saved Puton. The Filipino’s nickname is “Strong Man” and he lived up to that as Ito continually landed heavy rights and Ito had him badly shaken again in the third. Again Puton survived and fought back hard and landed some good punches in the seventh. However a stream of straight rights and uppercuts from Ito slowly broke the game Filipino down and the referee stepped in to save him in the ninth. Now 12 wins by KO/TKO for the 27-year-old from Tokyo who has won seven in a row and is rated IBF 9(7)/WBC 8/ WBA 9. Puton the Philippines No 10 drops to 3-7 in his last 10 fights.
Kawasaki, Japan: Fly: Masayuki Kuroda (29-7-3) W PTS 10 Katsunori Nagamine (14-2-1). This one was close all the way as Kuroda makes a successful third defence of the national title. Kuroda’s edge in reach saw him take the first round but Nagamine came back with some hard rights and left hooks and the third, fourth and fifth were very close as reflected in the scores at the half way mark of 48-47 twice for Kuroda and 48-48. Nagamine edged the sixth only for Kuroda to take the seventh with strong rights. Nagamine looked to be tiring but rebounded to take the eighth with Kuroda pocketing the ninth. Nagamine scored with a heavy right in the last as they fought to the bell. Scores 96-93, 96-94 and 95-94 for Kuroda. A former Japanese light fly champion Kuroda lost to Juan Reveco in a challenge for the secondary WBA fly title in 2013. He is rated WBA 5/IBF 8(7)/WBC 9/WBO 10. Nagamine was 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights but this was his first move up to ten rounds so he did better than expected
Brentwood, England; Super Welter: Billy Bird (17-1) W PTS 10 Matt McCarthy (18-2). Yet another excellent BBB of C Southern Area title fight saw the title change hands as Bird outpoints champion McCarthy in an all-Essex scrap. It was a back and forwards battle over the first four rounds with Bird probably just having a small edge. The fifth was the round that decided the fight, McCarthy shook Bird with a left but as he moved in to capitalise on that a left hook from Bird knocked him off balance and he touch the floor with his glove which led to a count. McCarthy went straight back to war and a left sent Bird’s mouthguard flying only for Bird to again slam back with a left that put McCarthy down for the second time in the round. Bird also did enough to take the sixth but McCarthy fought back hard and skilfully in the closing rounds trying to close the gap in the points but just failed to do so. Referee’s score 96-95 for Bird showing how the fifth round was so critical. Bird, 24, moves to seven wins in a row. McCarthy had won his last nine and was making the first defence of the Southern Area title and deserves a return.
Clearwater, FA, USA: Light: William Silva (24-1) W Rogelio Casarez (13-6).
Silva becomes a “world” champion as he easily outpoints Casarez in a ridiculous match up. The 6’1” (185cm) Silva had no problems handling the 5’4” (163cm) Casarez. He was able to stay on the outside slotting home jabs and straight rights. With Casarez having to try to get inside he was an easy target for uppercuts and hooks. Casarez never stopped trying but he absorbed quite a beating and lost every round. Scores 100-90 from all three judges. Brazilian Silva wins both the National Boxing Association world title and the IBO Continental title. He lost a wide decision to Felix Verdejo in February 2016 and was then out of action for 21 months and gets his second win on his return. Casarez, a former NABF Junior champion will always struggle physically at lightweight.
Fight of the week: Glenn Foot vs. Jason Easton a war all the way
Fighter of the week: Deontay Wilder not his best fight but he showed he could come back from the precipice and win. Honourable mentions to Kell Brook, Dmitry Bivol and Jose Uzcategui for impressive wins
Punch of the week: The right from Dmitry Bivol that put Sullivan Barrera down for the first time with honourable mentions to Wilder’s right that unhinged Ortiz’s legs and effectively ended the fight and the punch from Kell Brook that ended the fight with Sergey Rabchenko
Upset of the week: Miguel Acosta (10-6-1) beating (17-0) Luis Rueda
One to watch: No one really stood out this week.
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