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The Past Week in Action 19 July 2020

Verdejo connects at Madera.

-Felix Verdejo returns in style as he stops unbeaten Will Madera inside a round
- In his first fight for sixteen months former undefeated European heavyweight champion Agit Kabayel comfortably outpoints Greek Evgenios in front of a live audience in Magdeburg
-Boxing returns in Japan as Olympian Satoshi Shimizu retains OPBF featherweight title with stoppage of Kyohei Tonomoto and Daishi Nagata halts unbeaten Koki Inoue to win the Japanese super light title
-Heavyweight prospects Jared Anderson and Peter Kadiru get quick wins

16 July

Tokyo, Japan: Feather: Satoshi Shimizu (9-1) W TKO 7 Kyohei Tonomoto (9-3-1). Super Light: Daishi Nagata (15-2-1) W TKO 7 Koki Inoue (15-1).
Shimizu vs. Tonomoto
Shimizu almost ended this one in the opening round. A left put Tonomoto down and although he beat the count he was down again from a right. After surviving that disaster Tonomoto worked his way back into the fight but he continued to take punishment from taller southpaw Shimizu. In the seventh Shimizu broke through again and had Tonomoto badly shaken and ready to go and the referee stopped the fight. The 34-year-old double Olympian (He competed in 2008 and won a bronze medal in 2012 losing to Luke Campbell) was making the fourth defence of the OPBF title. He has some rebuilding to do after suffering a shock stoppage loss against Joe Noynay in his last fight a year ago. Japanese Youth champion Tonomoto was 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights but only rated No 14 by the OPBF.
Nagata vs. Inoue
A major upset as unfancied Nagata wins this all-southpaw scrap with stoppage of Inoue. Nagata took the fight to Inoue from the start and was getting through with right jabs and lefts to the head. A clash of heads saw Inoue badly cut over his right and there was also a growing swelling around the eye. Inoue’s timing was out and he seemed to have lost some of the power that had given him twelve inside the distance victories. After five rounds two judges had it close at 48-47 but the third saw it wider at 49-46 for Nagata. Inoue fought back hard in the sixth but his injuries were worsening and when the referee asked the doctor to examine Inoue in the seventh the doctor advised the fight be stopped. Nagata, 30, was 61-25 in his time as an amateur and is now 7-1 in his last 8 fights. This win earned him the Japanese title. Inoue, the cousin of Naoya Inoue, announced his retirement after the fight. He is just 25 and it is expected that his retirement may be short lived

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Felix Verdejo (27-1) W TKO 1 Will Madera (15-1-3). Heavy: Jared Anderson (5-0) W TKO 1 Hector Perez (7-3).Feather: Martino Jules (10-0) W PTS 8 Aleem Jumakhonov (8-3-2).

Verdejo drops Madera.

Verdejo vs. Madera
Verdejo blows away unbeaten Madera inside a round. After the initial sparring Madera began coming forward trying to get inside against the jab of taller Verdejo. There were just twenty seconds to go in the round when Verdejo staggered Madera with a counter right. Madera was on unsteady legs and Verdejo unleashed a barrage of punches forcing Madera to a corner and two thudding rights and a left hook sent Madera down where he sprawled with his upper trunk out under the bottom rope. Madera tried to rise but fell back and the fight was stopped. Good to see the 27-year-old Puerto Rican back in form. A 2012 Olympian (he lost to Vasiliy Lomachenko in the quarter-finals) had his career interrupted by injuries received in a motorcycle accident and then blew his chance of a fight with Terry Flanagan for the WBO light title when he was stopped in ten rounds by Antonio Lozada in what was meant to be a warm-up for the Flanagan fight. A title shot sometime in 2021 looks a very real possibility. Perhaps even against Lomachenko. Madera,29, was unbeaten with a couple of useful wins and had good amateur experience behind him including New York Golden Gloves and Empire State titles but Verdejo just punched too hard for him.
Anderson vs. Perez
Perez feels the destructive power of Anderson and is floored and stopped in 105 seconds. Anderson jabbed strongly and then rocked Perez before connecting with an overhead right that dropped Perez to his knees and the fight was stopped. Still only twenty Anderson has won each of his five contests in the first round with only one opponent lasting more than two minutes. The 6’-4””Big Baby” was US National champion at 200lbs (91kg) in both 2017 and 2018 and is a star of the future. It had been hoped that Puerto Rican Perez, who had won his last four fights, might give Anderson some ring time but Anderson simply obliterated him.
Jules vs. Jumakhonov
The only really competitive fight on the show saw Jules remain unbeaten by outboxing Californian-based Tajik Jumakhonov to take a majority decision. Southpaw “Titan” Jules had skill and speed on his side and he outboxed the aggressive Jumakhonov out-throwing and out-landing him over the first three rounds. Jules lacked the power to keep Jumakhonov outside permanently and hooks from Jumakhonov on the inside had blood dripping from Jules’ nose from the fourth round and the Tajik was working well to the body and connecting with clubbing head shots over the fifth and sixth. It looked as though Jumakhonov might take control but Jules used some excellent footwork to reassert himself as he boxed his way to victory. Scores 78-74 twice for Jules and 76-76. The 23-year-old from Allentown was moving up to eight rounds for the first time. He turned pro after losing out at the US Olympic Trials for a spot on the team for Rio and he still have work to do as a pro. Jumakhonov was 7-1-1 going in and has an entertaining style.

18 July

Wiesbaden, Germany: Super Middle; Shefat Isufi (30-4-2,1ND) W TKO 3 Bosko Misic (20-13).Middle: Uensal Arik (31-2) W TKO 4 Dustin Amman (4-2). Super Middle: Arben Shemallari (8-0) W PTS 8 Istvan Zeller (38-30).Light Heavy: Marko Stankovic (5-0) W KO 3 Ericles Torres Martin (20-15-1)
Isufi vs. Misic
Isufi gets active again with stoppage of Bosnian Misic in three rounds. He scores win No 22 by KO/TKO and collects the German interim title. The Serbian-born German lost widely against Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO super middle title in May last year. Eleventh inside the distance loss for southpaw Misic.
Arik vs. Amman
Arik halts horribly overmatched Ammann in four rounds in a fight for the interim German title. The 39-year-old German-born Turk has won thirteen on the bounce but his opposition has been somewhat less than moderate and the 22-year-old Ammann fits into that category.
Shemallari vs. Zeller
In a night of rubbish titles Shemallari wins the vacant Universal Boxing Federation belt by outpointing consistent loser Zeller over eight rounds. This is the first time German Shemallari had had to go the distance for victory with his seven previous victims lasting less then thirteen rounds between them and naturally none of them had positive records. Now 32 Shemallari did not turn professional until he was 31. Hungarian Zeller suffers his tenth defeat in a row
Stankovic vs. Torres
Stankovic (Stark) makes it a double for Serb/German fighters with kayo of ancient Cuban southpaw Torres and is now the proud owner of the UBF European title. First fight for Stark for two years and fourth victory by KO/TKO. Five consecutive losses for 43-year-old Torres

Cologne, Germany: Heavy: Hussein Muhamed (15-0) W TKO 2 Frank Bluemle (16-8-2).
Muhamed marches on with second round stoppage of Bluemle. The 6’5” Muhamed was too big and punched too hard for Bluemle who has spent most of his career fighting at cruiserweight and the fight was halted in the second round. Of Syrian parentage the 29-year-old German has scored 13 of his wins by KO/TKO and another by disqualification with only the experienced, but elderly, Yakup Saglam lasting the distance. Muhamed started working as a sparring partner for Anthony Joshua before the Klitschko fight and has continued to be used by Joshua but without a name promoter behind him he has a low profile. Bluemle is 2-6in his last 8 fights.

Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy: Agit Kabayel (20-0) W PTS 10 Evgenios Lazaridis (16-3). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (8-0) W RTD 3 Eugen Buchmuller (16-6). Super Middle: Artur Henrik (1-0) W PTS 4 Miguel Aguilar) 11-66-1).
Kabayel vs. Lazaridis
Kabayel shakes the dust from sixteen months without a fight and wins wide unanimous decision over Lazaridis. Kabayel found the range early and was connecting with stiff jabs and long rights. The 6’6” Lazaridis was taller and heavier but slower and from the second round Kabayel was able to control the fight with his jab. Lazaridis had to soak up some hefty right crosses but he did so and punched back when he could showing a willingness to trade punches with Kabayel. From the fifth the fight was very one-sided. Kabayel was just pacing forward firing his jab and following that with a right cross. He did hurt Lazaridis in the seventh with a left hook to the body but he was one-paced. There was very little variety in his work and he threw very few body punches. Lazaridis had a good eighth round but Kabayel dominated the ninth and tenth as he put in a big effort trying for a stoppage but Lazaridis stopped him in his tracks with a right just before the final bell and never really looked to be in any trouble. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Kabayel. The 27-year-old Kabayel, a German of Kurdish descent wins the vacant WBA Continental title. A former undefeated European champion who has a win over Dereck Chisora Kabayel will now be hoping to land some big fights through Top Rank in the USA after this fight was carried by ESPN. Right now he does not figure in the top 10 with any of the four sanctioning bodies but there are plenty of good fights out there for him. His trainer stated that Kabayel had suffered a hand injury in training before the fight but did not advise his trainer until the injury caused some pain during the fight but it was never a factor. “Achilles” Lazaridis did the job he was there to do. The 32-year-old Greek, an elite level amateur, went the full ten rounds and found the target often enough to remind Kabayel he was in a fight. Lazaridis would make a useful test for the many of the young heavyweights coming through now.
Kadiru vs. Buchmuller
Kadiru gets injury win over Buchmueller. Kadiru had big advantages in height, reach and weight and used his longer reach to stab home fast jabs in the first round with Buchmueller too slow to counter. Kadiru continued to use his longer reach to score in the second with Buchmueller trying some wild lunges. After missing with a wild right Buchmueller suddenly gripped his right shoulder and dropped to one knee. He flinches badly when the referee had the doctor examine his shoulder but Buchmueller chose to box on and Kadiru failed to apply any pressure so Buchmueller made it to the bell. Kadiru spent the first part of the third on the back foot just jabbing and not looking to take advantage of Buchmueller’s injury. He opened up over the second half of the round finally firing some rights. At the bell Buchmueller walked back to his corner shaking his head and his team pulled him out of the fight. Third inside the distance win in a row for Kadiru but it was a very insipid performance. The 23-year-old 6’4 ½” prospect won gold medals at both the Youth Olympic Games and the European Under-22 Championships. He is quick with good movement but still has a long way to go and much to learn particularly in what he does with his left hand after throwing a jab as he seems to leave himself wide open to counters. Ironic that 39-year-old Kazak-born Buchmueller should have to retire with a shoulder injury as he came in at very short notice when Ruben Wolf pulled out with an arm injury. Buchmueller is 0-4 in contests against unbeaten fighters.
Henrik vs. Aguilar
Former German amateur champion Henrik turns pro with a win over Nicaraguan journeyman Aguilar. Really just a workout for Henrik. He showed nice movement, good hand speed and put together some flashing combinations. As always Aguilar did just enough to avoid a stoppage and gave Henrik a peaceful entry into the professional ranks. Scores 40-36 for Henrik on the three cards. The 22-year-old from Bremen fought as Artur Ohanyan-Beck in the amateurs and was German champion at Under-18, Under-19, Under 21 and elite level. He did not want to carry the hyphenated Ohanyan-beck name as a professional so chose the fight under his father’s Christian name of Henrik. Spanish-based Nicaraguan Aguilar is certainly consistent-as a loser. He is 0-53-1 in his last 54 fights.

Fight of the week (Significance): With his quick destruction of Will Madera Felix Verdejo has put himself very much in the title scene.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Not much to chose from with Martino Jules and Aleem Jumakhonov the only really close fight
Fighter of the week: Felix Verdejo at his explosive best
Punch of the week: The right from Jared Anderson
Upset of the week: Daishi Nagata for his win over unbeaten Koki Inoue
Prospect watch: None that I have not already named

Top Rank is doing a great job of staging boxing matches under very strict circumstances but it is about time they caught a break. In earlier shows injuries and COVID-19 tests have forced late changes and their show in Las Vegas last Tuesday was hard hit when Filipino Mark John Yap came in almost 9lbs over the contract weight and fellow Filipino John Vincent Moralde tested positive for COVID-19 decimating the show-but they went ahead anyway in the best tradition of the entertainment business.
The SES show in Magdeburg saw a sensible approach to social distancing with estimates of between 600 and 1000 attending.
It was held in an open air setting with a beautiful lake as a backdrop.
To look forward to:
Top Rank offering on Tuesday will feature Oscar Valdez against Jeyson Velez as Valdez works towards a shot at WBO champion Jamel Herring- with former WBO super bantam champion Isaac Dogboe, Edgar Berlanga, Guido Vianello and Elvis Rodriguez in eight round fights
In Tokyo on Wednesday champion Kenta Nakagawa defends the national super fly title against Yuta Matsuo.
On Friday Vergil Ortiz and Sammy Vargas clash at welter in Indio with Hector Tanajara vs. Mercito Gesta also on the bill.
Also on Friday in Miami former WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales faces Jeno Tonte, Melvin Lopez tackles Szilveszter Kanalas, and Reymart Gaballo vs. Szilveszter Ajtal with John Vincent Moralde also listed if he clears the virus testing.
Saturday sees a Queensberry show in London with Joe Joyce against Michael Wallisch.

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

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