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The Past Week in Action 5 July 2020

Pedraza (R) connects at LesPierre.

-Two-division champion Jose Pedraza returns to action and outpoints Mikkel LesPierre
–Alex Saucedo continues to rebuild with win over Sonny Frederickson
-Albert Bell, Josue Vargas, John and Jose Enrique Durantes victorious in ten round action

30 June

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Alex Saucedo (30-1) W PTS 10 Sonny Fredrickson (21-3). Super Light: Josue Vargas (17-1) W PTS 10 Salvador Briceno (17-6). Super Light: John Bauza (14-0) W PTS 8 Larry Fryers (11-3).

Saucedo (L) cracks Fredrickson's face with a left.

Saucedo vs. Fredrickson
Saucedo gets wide unanimous decision as he dominates fight against Fredrickson. Saucedo was in control from the first and never let Fredrickson get a toehold in the fight. Saucedo shook off a hard right in the first to hurt Fredrickson with a left and then forced him to the ropes and had him rattled with a left. The pattern was the same in the second and third rounds with Saucedo’s aggression taking him past the taller Fredrickson’s jab. Fredrickson made a promising start to the fourth but then pressure from Saucedo again had him backing to the ropes and taking punishment. Saucedo was throwing more and landing more and although Frederickson had the longer reach he could not keep Saucedo out. Despite the occasional right hand counters from Fredrickson Saucedo was busier over the middle rounds. Saucedo had never gone past the eighth round in a fight whereas Fredrickson had gone ten in two of his last three fights but Saucedo had paced the fight well and finished the stronger to emerge a clear winner. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Saucedo who gets his second win since being stopped in seven rounds by Maurice Hooker in a WBO title challenge in November 2018. This was a competent performance from Saucedo but he has a lot of work to do before he gets anywhere near a title shot again. Second loss in a row for Fredrickson who had dropped a majority decision to unsung Samuel Teah in November. He does not look capable of progressing further.

Vargas connects at Briceno.

Vargas vs. Briceno
Puerto Rican southpaw Vargas extends his winning run to eleven as he outpoints a combative Briceno. The speed and accuracy of Vargas were just too much for Briceno as he constantly rocked the slower Mexican with rapid-fire combinations. Briceno pressed hard all the way and had some success when he worked his way inside or when Vargas chose to stand and trade but other than that it was one-sided. A clash of heads in the sixth opened a cut on the left eyelid of Vargas and in the eighth Briceno was cut over his right eye but neither cut was serious. Vargas continued to outscore a tiring Briseno in the ninth and then held off a desperate finish from the Mexican in the last. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Vargas. The 22-year-old “The Prodigy” has been matched sensible and was coming off a ten round win over Ireland’s Noel Murphy in December. His only loss was a disqualification. In the amateurs he won a bronze at the National PAL Junior Championships and silver at the USA Youth Championships so worth following. Briceno was 3-2 in his 2019 contests with the losses being on points against unbeaten fighters Gabriel Flores and Yomar Alamo.
Bauza vs. Fryers
Bauza made it a double for Puerto Rico as he took the points against Ireland’s Fryers. The young “El Terrible” had the better skills and boxed on the back foot spearing the aggressive Fryers with right jabs and counter lefts. Fryers did his best to drag Bauza into a brawl but had very little success as Bauza used clever lateral movement, well placed right jabs and sharp uppercuts to frustrate the Irishman’s attacks. Fryer was never able to apply enough pressure to throw Bauza off his game plan as Bauza showcased some excellent skills. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Bauza. Now based in New Bergen Bauza went one better than Josue Vargas by winning a gold medal at the USA Youth Championships. He has an abundance of skill but six points wins in a row indicate he needs to build more power. Fryers had considerable amateur experience but at 29 and after two losses in a row may have reached his ceiling.

1 July

Kiev, Ukraine: Super Welter: Stanyslav Skorokhod (20-2) W TKO 5 Vlad Tantsiura (2-6). Super Light: Aram Fanilan (17-1) W TKO 1 Nadzir Bakhshyieu (5-10-3). Heavy: Igor Shevadzutskiy (4-0) W TKO 1 Igor Pylypenko (5-50-2)
Skorokhod vs. Tantsiura
Skorokhod racks up his third inside the distance win on the bounce as he stops inexperienced Tantsiura in five rounds. Skorokhod had won every round before the fight was halted in the fifth with Tantsiura’s face a mask of blood from cuts. The 31-year-ols US-based Ukrainian had two fights in Canada last year winning both and collecting the interim NABA title. Southpaw Tantsiura has lost his last five contests.
Fanilan vs. Bakhshyieu
Fanilan gets only his second inside the distance win as a body punch finishes overmatched Bakhshyieu in the opening round. The left hook almost cut Bakhshyieu in half. The Ukrainian’s only defeat is a points loss against Mexican Rene Tellez for the WBC Youth title in 2018 and he has now rebuilt with four wins. Third TKO loss in a row for Bakhshyieu.
Shevadzutskiy vs. Pylypenko
Shevadzutskiy gets his third first round win as floors and halts poor Pylypenko. Shevadzutskiy is a Ukrainian version of Andy Ruiz. He plodded after the reluctant Pylypenko before knocking him off balance with one left hook and putting him down with a second. Pylypenko managed to drag himself to his feet but the towel had come in and the referee waived the fight off. The 30-year-old South African-based Shevadzutskiy is 6’3” but weighed in at 293lbs for this his fourth win by KO/TKO. He is a former Ukrainian champion and European Championships quarter-finalist. The 6’5 ½” Pylypenko has now lost 27 in a row including all ten of his fights last year.

2 July

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Jose Pedraza (27-3) W PTS 10 Mikkel LesPierre (22-2-1). Light: Albert Bell (17-0) W PTS 10 Mark Bernaldez (20-4). Feather: Jose Enrique Durantes (19-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Jackson (16-1).Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (4-1) W PTS 6 Adan Gonzalez (5-3-2). Super Light: Elvis Rodriguez (7-0-1) W TKO 1 Danny Murray (5-4,1ND).

Pedraza knocks down LesPierre.

Pedraza vs. LesPierre
Masterful first round from Pedraza as his movement and hand speed saw him piercing the slower LesPierre’s defence with flashing combinations. Pedroza kept changing guards in the second. He pinned Les Pierre against the ropes bombarding him with punches. LesPierre managed to get off the ropes but Pedraza continued to find gaps for hooks and uppercuts until Les Pierre rallied at the end of the round. The early part of the third was fairly even but Pedraza shook Les Pierre with an overhand left and finished the round with a series of quick, accurate shots. The fourth was a better round for LesPierre. He was on the front foot putting pressure on Pedraza who was off target with many of his punches. Pedraza looked comfortably in charge in the fifth until a straight left to the body from LesPierre dumped him on his butt. He was up quickly and later in the round put LesPierre down with a solid right and a left hook to the head. Les Pierre easily beat the count and boxed his way to the bell. At the start of the sixth the referee sent both fighters to a neutral corner after he was asked to review the knockdown of Pedraza. Replays showed LesPierre landing a punch and as Pedraza moved back he tripped over Les Pierre’s foot and went down. It was decided that it was a trip and not a knockdown making it a 10-8 round for Pedraza. The sixth, seven and eighth rounds saw Pedraza’s punch output drop but he outboxed a plodding LesPierre without really dominating the action. Pedraza upped his pace in the ninth shaking Les Pierre with a left hook and letting fly with some sharp combinations. Early in the tenth Pedraza dropped LesPierre with a counter left. LesPierre made it to his feet and Pedraza tried to finish it but then backed off and settled for going the distance. Scores 99-89 twice and 100-88 for Pedraza. The two-division world champion was having his first fight since losing on points to Jose Zepeda in September. He has dropped out of the ratings but is of course still a very marketable fighter so a shot at a third world title is a possibility. Trinidadian LesPierre lost heavily to Maurice Hooker in a challenge for the WBO title in March last year but was coming off a win over a reasonable level opponent in Canadian Roody Pierre Paul.

Bell connects with a straight left at Bernaldez.

Bell vs. Bernaldez
These two were mismatched physically and also in talent and Bell did pretty well whatever he liked on the way to winning every round on the cards. Bell had a 6” edge in height and a much longer reach forcing a determined but limited Bernaldez to chase the fight. For a fighter with the boxing skills of Bell he has somehow managed to make progress under the radar but that can’t go on much longer. In a faultless display he picked Bernaldez apart at distance and slipped and slid around Bernaldez punches to score with strong rights inside. Bernaldez applied continuous pressure but Bell was threading punches through the brave Filipino’s guard and raking him with long rights. The only downer for Bell came in the ninth round. He clouted Bernaldez with a straight right and then stepped back from the action shaking his right hand which he had injured when landing the punch. Despite the injury he was able to outbox a tiring Bernaldez in the last round. Three scores of 100-90 for Bell. A former National Golden Gloves and National Police Athletic League gold medal winner the 27-year-old from Toledo had scored good wins over 22-0-1 Andy Vences and useful Frankie De Alba last year and is rated No 13 by the WBC. This was literally too big an ask for Bernaldez but the only guys to have beaten him are all high quality fighters.
Ramirez vs. Gonzalez
Ramirez gets revenge win over Gonzalez who ruined the former amateur star’s pro debut with a points victory in August. The brilliant Cuban southpaw had been floored in the first round of their previous fight but took no chances in this one. He used his superior skills and speed to control the action. Gonzalez pressed hard and was busier but not as accurate with his punches in this bad tempered match. The Cuban southpaw never quite subdued Gonzalez who swung desperately in the last trying to find a winning punch but the tight guard and precision work from Ramirez saw him take every round. Scores 60-54 for Ramirez from all of the judges. Revenge was important for the 26-year-old Ramirez and now he can continue to build his career. The two-time Olympic champion scored victories over Shakur Stevenson, Michael Conlan, Andrew Selby and Tugstsogt Nyambayan in international competitions and world leaders Lazaro Alvarez and Andy Cruz in Cuban national tournaments and has immense potential. Gonzalez goes back to bread-and–butter fights but no one can erase his win over Ramirez from the records.
Rodriguez vs. Murray
Dominican prospect Rodriguez pulverises Murray in the first round. Murray flitted around the ring circling Rodriguez pushing out tentative jabs and rights that fell short. Rodriguez was stalking Murray and suddenly uncorked an explosive southpaw jab that sent Murray back and down out through the bottom rope. Murray struggled back in to the ring but was on his back pawing at what might have been an orbital bone injury and the fight was stopped. The 24-year-old Rodriguez looked impressive. The draw on his record was a technical draw and his seven wins have all come by KO/TKO. Murray way out of his league.
Durantes vs. Jackson
“Executioner” Durantes gave a good solid performance in decisioning Jackson. The young Californian-based Mexican had to work hard for his win but was clearly the better fighter. Scores 97-93 for Durantes on all three cards. The only loss for this Mexican Championships silver medallist is a unanimous decision against unbeaten Ruben Villa which snapped a seventeen bout winning start for Durantes. Jackson has a couple of decent wins but has done most of his fighting in the Dominican Republic where the matching making is pretty horrible. To put it into context if it was a dating agency you could end up having dinner with Quasimodo’s twin sister.

3 July

Moscow, Russia: Middle: Magomed Madiev (14-0-2) DREW 10 Artur Osipov (16-2-1). Super Middle: Pavel Silyagin (3-0) W TKO 7 Artysh Lopsan (2-1-1). Welter: Shakhabas Makhmudov (7-0) W TKO 1 Fedor Glazkov (4-1-1). Super Feather: Albert Batyrgaziev (1-0) W RTD 8 Armen Ataev (5-2-1). Welter: Sergey Vorobyov (10-1) W TKO 5 Pavel Mamontov (12-10-2). Cruiser: Shigabudin Aliev (9-0) W TKO 2 Artush Sarkisyan (6-8),
Madiev vs. Osipov
Madiev retains the Russian title with draw against Osipov. It was a difficult fight to score with Madiev the aggressor but not really working hard enough when he got inside. Osipov was more accurate and the harder punches and he had Madiev rocking badly in the sixth. One judge had it 96-95 for Osipov, one scored it 95-95 and the third was on another planet giving it to Madrimov 100-90. The 25-year-old Madiev’s other draw was against useful Argentinian Guido Pitto. In the amateurs Madiev, twice Russian Youth champion, won silver medals at the European and World Youth Championships and a bronze at the World Military Championships but was not impressive here. Osipov lost in domestic matches in his two fights in 2019 but had registered a low level win in March.
Silyagin vs. Lopsan
Former outstanding amateur Silyagin was a few classes above novice Lopsan. All Lopsan had going for him was his 6’2” height but he was dropped in the first, down twice in the fourth and after a further knockdown in the seventh the fight was stopped. Silyagin, 27, was Russian champion and won bronze medals at the European Games and the World Championships. He was a regular member of the Russian Patriotic Boxing Team in the WBS putting together a 11-1 score and registering a win over currently unbeaten Joshua Buatsi. This win nets him the WBA Asian title. Lopsan just cannon fodder.
Makhmudov vs. Glazkov
Heavy-handed Makhmudov blows away Glazkov in two rounds. Glazkov managed to survive the first round but a wicked left hook to the body forced him to go down on one knee in the second. He managed to get up but was driven to the ropes and a crushing right to the head sent him tumbling to the canvas and the fight was over. The 23-year-old Makhmudov makes it six wins by KO/TKO. He turned pro in May 2018 but also continued to box in amateur competitions and won the Russian national title in 2019. A university student he is another former member of the Russian Patriotic Boxing Team. Glazkov was never in with a remote chance.
Batyrgaziev vs. Ataev
Batyrgaziev collects a title in his first pro fight as he beats Ataev in seven rounds. A star in the amateurs Batyrgaziev took his time and broke down fellow southpaw Ataev with powerful jabs and straight lefts. He varied his attack and was equally comfortable on offence and defence. Ataev absorbed a solid beating until finally with their man bloody and just soaking up punishment his corner pulled him out before the start of the eighth. The 22-year-old Batyrgaziev started out in kick boxing and did not turn to boxing until after watching the 2016 Olympics and deciding he wanted to try to qualify for Tokyo. He was Russian champion in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and was a quarter-finalist at the World Championships. The rescheduling of the Tokyo Olympics has seen him turn pro. Ataev had won his last three fights by KO/TKO but all he showed here was courage.
Vorobyov vs. Mamontov
Vorobyov overcomes Kazak Mamontov. Vorobyov won every round and it was really just a case of how long it would take him to catch up with a reluctant Mamontov. The end came in the fifth when a body punch sent Mamontov down on one knee. He managed to clamber to his feet but the fight was stopped. Russian champion Vorobyov gets win No 7 by KO/TKO. He broke through in 2018 with a victory over 34-0 Konstantin Ponomarev. Mamontov is now 1-8 in his most recent outing but usually goes the distance.
Aliev vs. Sarkisyan
Tall cruiser Aliev uses the punch of the night to flatten Sarkisyan in the sixth round. Aliev took Sarkisyan to the ropes and then exploded a right cross to the jaw that sent Sarkisyan to the canvas and it took a long time before Sarkisyan was in any condition to get up. In his last fight in July last year Aliev outpointed oldie Kevin Johnson. Sarkisyan was coming off a kayo win over 9-0 Ualikan Bissengulov.

4 July

Mexico City, Mexico: Super Feather: Mauricio Lara (19-2) W TKO 1 Alejandro Palmero (8-6-1). Super Feather: Irving Turrubiartes (23-0) W TKO 5 Hector Colin (9-13). Bantam: Joel Cordova (12-5-2) W PTS 8 Martin Tecuapetla (15-13-4).
Lara vs. Palmero
Lara continues his good run as he stops Palmero late in the first round. A left hook from Lara unhinged Palmero’s legs and a burst of head punches had Palmero turning away and staggering on stiff legs into a neutral corner with the referee stopping the fight. The 22-year-old “Bronco” makes it eight wins in a row seven inside the distance. Only the third fight in four years for Palmero.
Turrubiartes vs. Colin
Turrubiartes marches on with fifth round stoppage of Colin but it was not smooth all the way. Both fighters were on the floor in the first three rounds before Turrubiartes power proved the differences and he forced the stoppage in the fifth. No names on the record of the 22-year-old from Monterrey so real test yet to come. Former Mexican title challenger Colin suffers his seventh inside the distance defeat.
Cordova vs. Tecuapetla
In the best fight of the night Cordova and Tecuapetla went to war over eight rounds. It was back-and-forth action with a decision that could have gone either way with the three judges favouring Cordova. Scores 77-75 twice and 79-74. Cordova is now 6-0-2 in his last 8 bouts and turning his career around with wins over 20-2-3 Jose Quirino and former WBC flyweight champion Juan Hernandez. Tecuapetla is capable of giving anyone trouble on a good night. He has wins over Saul Juarez and Dwayne Beamon and only lost on a split verdict when he challenged Akira Yaegashi for the for the IBF light fly title in Japan.

Fight of the week (Significance): Jose Pedraza’s win over Mikkel LesPierre adds another factor to a talent-heavy super light division
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Only eight rounds but Joel Cordova vs. Martin Tecuapetla was action all the way.
Fighter of the week: Albert Bell’s classy display against Mark Bernaldez impressed
Punch of the week: The right from Shigabudin Aliev that blasted out Artush Sarkisyan was tops just ahead of the right jab from Elvis Rodriguez that finished Danny Murray and the body punch from Aram Fanilan that left Nadzir Bakhshyieu writhing on the canvas in agony.
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: Dominican super lightweight Elvis Rodriguez looks good.

Top Rank is showing the way for shows in this time of COVID-19 with their “bubble” formula and protocols with those involved tested and then “quarantined” on the designated hotel floor. Two weeks ago the positive test for Mikkel LesPierre’s manager saw the fight against Jose Pedraza cancelled and all of LesPierre’s team having to leave the bubble and when the father of Josue Vargas exited quarantine to stroll around the MGM Grand on Tuesday he was not allowed back in and could not work his son’s corner.
The use of action replay to review the “knockdown” suffered by Jose Pedraza in the fifth round of his fight with Mikkel LesPierre is an innovation that may well now become standard for fights in Las Vegas-and perhaps elsewhere. For me not reviewing the replay until the start of the sixth round raises some questions. Referee Kenny Bayliss sent both boxers to a neutral corner and then left the ring to view the replay which took two minutes and resulted in a three minute break between the end of the fifth and the start of the sixth. It might have been better if Bayliss had left the ring during the regulation one minute break as an extra one or two minutes recovery time could be vital in a fight.

About the Author

Born in Scotland, Eric Armit started working with Boxing News magazine in the UK in the late 1960’s initially doing records for their Boxing News Annual and compiling World, European and Commonwealth ratings for the magazine. He wrote his first feature article for Boxing News in 1973 and wrote a “World Scene” weekly column for the magazine from the late 1970’s until 2004. Armit wrote a monthly column for Boxing Digest in the USA and contributed pieces to magazines in Mexico, Italy, Australia, Spain, Argentina and other countries. Armit now writes a Weekly Report covering every major fight around the world and a bi-weekly Snips & Snipes column plus occasional general interest articles with these being taken up by boxing sites around the world. He was a member of the inaugural WBC Ratings Committee and a technical advisor to the EBU Ratings Committee and was consulted by John McCain’s research team when they were drafting the Ali Act. He is a Director and former Chairman of the Commonwealth Boxing Council. Last year (2019), Armit has been nominated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame to which he said, “Being on the list is an unbelievably huge honour.”

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

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