The Past Week in Action 23 November 2020: Fortuna Earns a Shot at Haney
By Eric Armit
Tue, 24 Nov 2020
Fortuna stops Lozada.
-Javier Fortuna stops Antonio Lozada as he waits for a shot at the WBC lightweight title
-Former light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud returns with a win
-Conor Benn outpoints Sebastian Formella in a war in London and heavyweights Fabio Wardley and Alen Babic score quick wins
-O’Shaquie Foster, William Zepeda and Eduardo Hernandez score wins in Los Angeles
-Yves Ulysse beats Mathieu Germain and Steve Claggett stops David Theroux in first round of super light tournament in Montreal
London, England: Welter: Conor Benn (17-0) W PTS 10 Sebastian Formella (22-2).Heavy: Fabio Wardley (10-0) W TKO 2 Richard Lartey (14-4). Bantam: Liam Davies (8-0) W RTD 6 Sean Cairns (7-3).Heavy: Alen Babic (6-0) W TKO 3 Tom Little (10-9).
Benn vs. Formella
A maturing and improving Benn outpoints Formella in a great scrap. Benn made an impressive start as he forced Formella back with his jab and was then stepping inside Formella’s jab to land left hooks to the body. Formella tried to establish his own jab but Benn was quicker and also connected with a right cross that had Formella blinking. Formella connected with a straight right just before the bell but Benn shook it off. Formella stood and traded with Benn in the second looking to land a chopping right over Benn’s low left but again Benn was quicker and although a bit wild at times he was doing most of the scoring particularly with left hooks to the body. Formella started the third jabbing and moving and had some success but he had no answer to the snappy jabbing by Benn. A clash of heads saw Formella turn away from the action but there was no cut. When the action resumed they stood and traded punches in what was proving to be an entertaining fight. Plenty of action in the fourth as Formella tried to force Benn onto the back foot. They both landed plenty of punches but Benn was landing more and harder shots with a couple of straight rights forcing Formella to back off. Benn unloaded with a whole series of slashing left hooks in the fifth and Formella looked to be in trouble but he regrouped and came right back at Benn. In the sixth Benn drove Formella around the ring with a succession of rights but Formella refused to crumble and fought back hard. A brutal seventh saw them both take and give punishment and it seemed that Formella was willing to walk through Benn’s punches making Benn work hard to test the English fighters stamina which had been questioned in the past. Benn welcomed Formella to the eighth round with vicarious rights as they went to war. Formella was fighting in slow motion as the frantic pace began to take its toll but by the end of the round he had Benn under fire. Benn rattled off some impressive combinations at the start of the ninth and later connected with clubbing rights. It seemed surprising Formella was still standing but he was and he was fighting back. Benn staggered Formella with a huge left hook in the last but the German survived that and seemed to just be focusing on going the distance which he did. Scores 100-91, 99-91 and 99-92 for Benn. A greatly improved and mature performance from Benn who has sharpened his skills without sacrificing any of his power. Formella was a big step up in the level of opposition and Benn showed he was ready for this level. Despite the scores this was a cracking, entertaining contest and the scores do not do justice the fighting heart of Formella whose determination to stand and punch with a noted puncher played a large part in making this such a good fight. A former undefeated IBO champion Formella’s only loss was on points against Shawn Porter for the vacant WBC Silver title in August.
Wardley vs. Lartey
Whilst Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce are grabbing the headlines Wardley is growing as a threat to them both. The Ipswich heavyweight again showed his power with a second round single punch destruction of Lartey. Wardley took the first round to study Lartey allowing the Ghanaian to apply some pressure and land some shots. In the second Lartey made the mistake of letting his left hand stray away from his chin for a split second to block a left from Wardley and Wardley launched a thudding right into the gap which dropped Lartey in a heap and no count was needed. The 25-year-old 6’5” English champion makes in nine inside the distant finishes in a row and with his tactical awareness and his punch he is a great prospect (Lartey was knocked out in four rounds by Dubois and took Nathan Gorman the full ten rounds). Lartey is just not in the same class as the British prospects.
Davies vs. Cairns
Davies beats Cairns in an entertaining fast-paced contest for the English title. Davies took the first round as he made life difficult for southpaw Cairns with some high volume punching. Cairns steadied things with a better second round getting through with some hard lefts. Davies upped his work rate and Cairns struggled to compete and the harder he tried the more gaps he left for Davies to exploit. Davies dominated the fight from the fourth and was finding the target consistently with jabs and left hooks. He handed out steady punishment in the fifth and sixth and Cairns was retired by his corner at the end of the sixth. Only the third quick win for Davies and his first opponent with a positive record but importantly it is his first title and at 24 there is time to build slowly. BBB of C Central Area champion Cairns had been victorious in his last four fights.
Babic vs. Little
Babic steam rollers Little into defeat in three rounds. Babic had forecast a first round win and he went out looking to do just that. He gave the much bigger and heavier Little a torrid time but Little came though it and was punching back at the end of the round. Babic went on to the attack again in the second forcing Little to the ropes and just throwing punches. Some connected some didn’t. Little managed to score with his jab and some counters but Babic just walked through them and kept punching. Little survived that onslaught but Babic ended it in the third. He was loading up on every punch and it looked as though he was in danger of punch fatigue. Finally he unloaded a clubbing right that had Little falling and Babic landed a couple more shots as Little was on his way down. Little made it to his feet and tried to counter the storm of punches from Babic but in the end he was overpowered and bludgeoned to the canvas and the referee waived the fight over. There is nothing fancy about “The Savage” the 30-year-old Croat has taken less than thirteen rounds for his six wins. Powerful but wild and wide-open at times. Fifth inside the distance defeat for Little, all inside five rounds and he also suffered a burst ear-drum in the first round.
Los Angeles, CA, US: Light: Javier Fortuna (36-2-1,1ND) W TKO 6 Antonio Lozada (40-5-1). Light: Austin Dulay (14-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Jose Gallegos (19-10).
Fortuna vs. Lozada
Fortuna too quick and mobile for the tall, ungainly Lozada and stops him in three rounds. Lozada was much the taller man and had a big edge in reach. In the first Fontana was content to circle Lozada looking for an opening. He leapt in with a left that staggered Lozada. Fortuna then drove Lozada around the ring before dropping the Mexican with a left. Lozada was up quickly and survived the round due to Fortuna throwing wild and inaccurate punches and a clash of heads saw Fortuna cut over his right eye. Fortuna was looking to end it with one big punch in the second but again was missing widely at times and was warned for a low punch. Fortuna looked to have scored a knockdown at the start of the third but it was ruled a slip. Lozada was trying to work with his jab but there was no snap in the punch. Fortuna attacked the body throughout the fourth with Lozada not having the power or the footwork to keep Fortuna out. The pace dropped in the fifth. Lozada was trying to draw a bead on Fortuna with his jab and had a little success whereas Fortuna hardly threw a punch in the whole three minutes. Fortuna came to life in the sixth. He staggered Lozada with a series of punches then trapped him in a corner and blazed away with punch after punch and when a left snapped Lozada’s head back the referee stopped the fight. A former holder of the WBA secondary title Fortuna had a good 2019 beating Sharif Bogere and Jesus Cuellar and is No 2 behind Vasyl Lomachenko but is not in the top 10 with any of the other sanctioning bodies so may struggle to force his way into a title fight. Lozada was 40-2 in 2018 but a run of 0-3-1 indicates he is past his best.
Dulay vs. Gallegos
Dulay puts a loss in February to Diego Maldonado behind him and starts again with a unanimous decision over Gallegos. Dulay was into his stride in the first quickly spearing Gallegos with right jabs and rocking him with a left. Dulay continued to use his longer reach to land his jab in the second and was firing strong lefts. Gallegos got into the fight with some quick attacks but was shaken by a left uppercut. Dulay’s higher work rate, strong jab and clever movement made it difficult for Gallegos to get into the fight in any meaningful way. Both were marked up in head clashes in the middle rounds as Dulay continued to boss the action with Gallegos always looking to come forward and having some success as he pumped out hooks inside. By the end of the seventh Gallegos was way behind and had a growing bump under his left eye from that earlier clash of heads but he had a good eighth finding the target with rights and getting inside to score with hooks from both hands. Dulay was on top again in the ninth and took the tenth. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Dulay. The Nashville fighter had lost a unanimous decision to Diego Maldonado in February so a good return to action. Gallegos came in as a substitute but had fought in September so was in some form of shape. He was 2-4 going into this contest with all four losses to unbeaten fighters with combined records of 74-0-1 so matched tough.
Los Angeles: CA US: Super Feather O’Shaquie Foster (18-2) W KO 9 Miguel Roman (62-14). Light William Zepeda (22-0) W KO 5 Roberto Ramirez (23-3-1). Super Feather: Eduardo Hernandez (30-1) W KO 3 Eduardo Garza (15-3-1).
Foster vs. Roman
Notable win for Foster as he imposes himself on Roman beating the experienced Mexican on the inside and outside. Great start for Foster as at just around the half way mark in the opening round he cracked Roman with a powerful straight right that had Roman stumbling and then dropping to his hands and knees. Roman got up the count of eight and then survived some punishment from Foster to make it through the round. Roman then went back to rolling forward trying to get inside to work to the body. He did not have much success as Foster used plenty of classy movement and fast, accurate counters to make Roman pay for every step. When he did get inside Roman did some good work to the body but even inside Foster’s hand speed gave him the edge and as Foster constantly switched guards Roman was getting caught with punches from a number of different directions. Roman had a good fifth as Foster chose to go toe-to-toe allowing Roman to spend useful time inside but when Foster went back to his boxing in the sixth he was in charge again. Roman has a great chin and relies on work rate and attrition to wear his opponents down. At 35 and after 75 fights those tactics were not working but it looked as though Foster would have to settle for a points victory. Early in the ninth as Roman left himself wide-open Foster hit him with a right and then a left hook which dropped Roman on his back. Roman was up at six but looked unsteady. When the action resumed Foster trapped Roman on the ropes and unloaded punches until the referee stopped the fight. Foster retains the WBC Silver title with his eleventh victory by KO/TKO. The 27-year-old “Ice Water” already has useful wins over Frank De Alba, Jon Fernandez and Alberto Mercado and is No 8 with the WBC. As Roman was No 6 Foster should be in line for a promotion. Roman is showing the effects of a long, gruelling career. He has had three shots at winning a world title and this is only his fifth loss by KO/TKO but the only way for him from here is down which is a pity as I like him as a fighter and he has the heart of a lion.
Zepeda vs. Ramirez
Zepeda breaks down and halts Ramirez in five rounds. Ramirez used his longer reach and good movement to outbox Zepeda in the first. Zepeda upped the pressure in the second and Ramirez did not have the punch to keep Zepeda at bay. He was getting past Ramirez’s jab and scoring with southpaw lefts although Ramirez finished the round with a strong attack. Zepeda was connecting with lefts throughout the third and Ramirez’s was starting to unravel as he was throwing wild and inaccurate punches and getting caught with counters. Zepeda hounded Ramirez for the whole three minutes of the fourth putting together some hurtful combinations and Ramirez was reeling at the bell. Zepeda picked up where he left off in the fifth driving Ramirez around the ropes. Strangely it was Zepeda who lost his mouthguard but when that was replaced he drove Ramirez to a corner and was bombarding Ramirez with punches and with Ramirez not punching back Ramirez’s corner waived a towel to get the referee to stop the fight. The 24-year-old Zepeda is on an impressive twelve-bout streak of inside the distance finishes but is not yet rated as his opposition has been very ordinary but he is ready to step up. Ramirez was having his first fight for a year. He was competitive, probably edging the first two rounds, but then his lack of power let him down.
Hernandez vs. Garza
Hernandez blasts a gutsy Garza to defeat in three rounds. Some crunching left hooks from big puncher Hernandez quickly had Garza on the retreat and Hernandez was ramming home strong lefts and rights as hr dominated the first round with Garza already cut under the left eye from a punch. Garza tried to take the fight to Hernandez in the second but a couple of neck-snapping uppercuts had him backing off. Hernandez was putting together powerful combinations and he rocked Garza with a series of punches at the bell. Garza was now cut under his right eye. Hernandez staggered Garza with a right in the third then Garza chose to try to punch with Hernandez. He had some success but was eventually overpowered and a ripping left hook to the body saw him drop to one knee and he was counted out. Hernandez was 28-0 with 26 wins by KO/TKO before he was surprisingly stopped inside a round by Roger Gutierrez in July last year. He was close to a title fight before that loss and is still No 9 with the WBC but will now have to battle his way back into contention. He turned pro at 16 and is still only 22 so has plenty of time but needs to work on his defence. Garza was 9-0-1 going in with his only loos being on points against future WBO title challenger Tramaine Williams so was a reasonable level opponent for Hernandez as he rebuilds.
San Carlos, Mexico: Super Middle: Juan Jose Barajas (11-0-1) DREW 10 Gabriel Lopez (10-4-1).
The WBC Latino title remains vacant after Barajas and Lopez fight to a split draw. This was a lively fights as Barajas tried to use his much longer reach and his 6’3” height to work at distance with Lopez rumbling forward pumping out hooks and uppercuts. Barajas rocked Lopez with a left hook in the third and his accurate jabs had a swelling growing under the left eye of Lopez. Barajas continued to outscore Lopez and the lump under the left eye of Lopez continued to grow. However Barajas was bleeding heavily from the mouth and it was subsequently revealed he had suffered two fractures to his jaw. Barajas continued to pick up the points with his jab but it looked as though he had a serious jaw injury. The fight became untidy as they both tired. Lopez was walking onto more and more punches but handing out plenty of stick himself to make it close although Barajas looked the winner. Scores 97-95 Barajas, 96-94 Lopez and 95-95. Disappointment for 24-year-old Californian Barajas who had scored wins over useful tests in Lanell Bellows and Fidel Hernandez. Mexican Lopez had lost his last three so he stops that from becoming a habit.
Dayton Beach, FL, USA: Light Heavy: Tavoris Cloud (25-3) W TKO 3 Ryan Soft (4-12-1,1ND). Super Light: Jeremy Hill W TKO 3Travis Castellon (16-4-1).
Cloud vs. Soft
Cloud given an easy win (I resisted the temptation to say a soft touch) as he returns to action for the first time in four years. Cloud took a round to shift any rust and then pounded on Soft in the second. A strong attack punctuated with a right to the head floored Soft in the third. He managed to get to his feet but was unsteady and the referee waived the fight over. The time when he was IBF light heavy champion and made four successful title defences must seem a life time ago for Cloud who lost his title to Bernard Hopkins and then suffered crushing losses against Adonis Stevenson and Artur Beterbiev before retiring in 2014. He will find it tough to get back to the top.
Hill vs. Castellon
Hill continues to carry the banner for New Orleans as he continues his winning ways with stoppage of southpaw Castellon. Hill took charge of the fight in the first and then dropped Castellon at the end of the second. Hill continued to score heavily in the third before flooring Castellon with a right. Castellon made it to his feet but another volley of hard punches saw the referee leap between the two fighters to stop the action -just as the two fighters stepped apart-and the referee finished up on the floor. Nine inside the route wins for the 6’2” Hill. He was an Elite level amateur winning a gold medal at the Ringside World Championships tournament but failed to get through the US Team Qualifiers for Rio. Castellon hasn’t just fallen away he has nosedived in going from 16-0-1 to four inside the distance defeats on the bounce.
Mimi, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (24-1) W RTD 1 Jesus Martinez (27-12). Welter: Jameson Bacon (25-4) W KO 2 Roque Junco (10-7-1). Super Bantam: Jorge de Jesus Romero (19-0-1) W TKO 7 Facundo Ased (9-4). Super Welter: Mekhrubon Sanginov (8-0-1) W TKO 7 Cleotis Pendarvis (21-7-2). Cruiser: Serik Musadilov (8-0) W KO 1 Daniel Najera (9-6-1).
Lopez vs. Martinez
Lopez gets his second first round win in a row as substitute Martinez retires after being down twice in the opening round. Lopez established his jab early and then landed a swift combination of body punches. Martinez was sloppy with his work and left himself open and two hooks to the body saw him drop to one knee. He got up at eight but a left hook to the ribs sent him down for the second time. He made it his feet as the bell went. Martinez was finished and he retired in his corner. Lopez, 23, continues his rebuilding project with his third win since upset stoppage loss against Chilean Jose Velasquez in October last year. Florida-based Colombian Martinez, 39, came in at short notice and was really pitiful.
Bacon vs. Junco
Bacon rescues a poor start with a thunderous left hook that flattens Junco. Not an impressive start by Bacon as he allowed the light punching Junco to come forward and put him under pressure and when Bacon did throw punches they were pretty wild. It was the same in the second with Bacon letting Junco control the fight. That made Junco overconfident and as he stood exchanging punches with Bacon a tremendous left hook to the chin rendered him virtually unconscious so that he was out cold when he hit the floor and it was six or seven minutes before Junco recovered. Second quick win in five weeks for former Philippines champion Bacon and his seventeenth win by KO/TKO. Junco was having his first fight outside of Argentina and is really just prelim level being 3-5 in his last 8 contests.
Romero vs. Ased
Romero floors Argentinian Ased in the second round but then seems to lose interest allowing Ased to last until the seventh. Romero was on target with body punches in the first with Ased already looking to be focusing on survival. A solid left to the body floored Ased in the second but he beat the count and despite absorbing more body punches made it to the bell. Ased boxed and moved over the next three rounds to stay out of trouble as Romero seemed to go off the boil allowing Ased to get a toe-hold in the fight. Romero finally woke up in the sixth pressurising Ased and putting together some sharp attacks. Romero ended it in the seventh with a straight right to the body that had Ased on the floor gasping in agony and although he made it to his feet he signalled to his corner he had enough and the fight was stopped. Cuban Romero, 26, was a disappointment in both a draw with Daniel Lozano in August and a points win over modest Luis Valdes in October and he let Ased hang around too long in this fight. Fourth inside the distance loss in a row for Ased since leaving Argentina with his two previous of the four contests having resulted in first round defeats.
Sanginov vs., Pendarvis
Nevada-based Tajik Sanginov finishes more experienced southpaw Pendarvis in four rounds. Sanginov was able to use his height and reach to keep the much smaller Pendarvis under pressure with Pendarvis rarely venturing far from the ropes. Pendarvis was looking to draw Sanginov’s lead and counter but had difficulty doing that with the physical advantages Sanginov had (Sanginov had boxed at 81kgs in the amateurs) and Pendarvis was taking punishment when Sanginov was able to trap him on the ropes. Sanginov finally caught up with Pendarvis in the fourth dropping him to his knees with a right to the head. Pendarvis made it to his feet but two lefts dropped him again. Sanginov jumped up on the ropes to celebrate but Pendarvis arose again and it took another series of punches flooring Pendarvis for the third time to force the finish. Sanginov, 24, had stumbled last time out only getting a draw against novice Fred Wilson but looked much better here. The unattached Sanginov was a bronze medallist at the Asian Youth Championships and competed at both the World Youth and World Olympic qualifier way up at 81kgs but lost out on a chance to compete in Rio. Pendarvis, 34, fought in an IBF title eliminator back in 2013 and was then inactive for four years. He has now lost his last three fights.
Musadilov vs. Najera
Musadilov massacres poor Najera inside a minute. The hard-punching Kazak came out fired up. He drove Najera to the ropes and then worked him into a corner and unloaded with clubbing shots to head and body until Najera crashed to his knees and was counted out after only 43 seconds. The 26-year-old “Panda” Musadilov has won all of his fights inside the distance needing less than 13 rounds to finish eight very low level opponents. He was runner-up in the Kazakhstan Championships in 2016 and won tournaments at both 91kgs and +91kgs. Fifth inside the distance loss for Najera.
Minsk, Belarus: Light Heavy: Ali Izmailov (5-0) W TKO 9 Ruslan Fayer (25-3). Super Light: Nadzir Bakhshyieu (6-11-3) W PTS 6 Sean Fennell (7-1).
Big win for Izmailov as he stops former world rated Fayer. It was obvious from the start that Izmailov had the harder punch and it looked as though he had put Fayer down in the second but the referee decided it was a push. Fayer slowly worked his way into the fight but Izmailov’s power was always a factor. From the seventh Izmailov began to land more power shots and Fayer began to crumble. Izmailov looked to have punched himself out in the eighth but he came back with a vengeance in the ninth. Fayer was already stumbling when Izmailov launches a brutal attack. Two left hooks to the body were followed by a series of head punches that had Fayer tottered forward trying to hold. Izmailov turned Fayer onto the ropes and then landed more heavy head punches before the referee came in to save Fayer. The 27-year-old Izmailov was in his first ten round fight. He had won a bronze medal at the Russian championships and after turning pro in August last year had already beaten former WBC light heavyweight title challenger Dmitry Sukhotsky and 18-1 Sergei Ekimov so very quick progress. Fayer had been on the verge of a world title fight when he entered the WBSS cruiserweight tournament. He was 23-0 but lost to Andrew Tabiti and in his last fight in August was halted by Aleksi Papin.
Bakhshyieu vs. Fennell
Something of an upset here as local low level prelim fighter Bakhshyieu takes a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten British hope Fennell. Scores 59-57 twice and 59-58 for Bakhshyieu who had lost his last four fights. Setback for 21-year-old Fennell but plenty of time to regroup.
Dubai, UAE: Cruiser: Lambert Fogoum (9-1-1) W TKO 5 Hany Atiyu (15-4).
Fogoum retains the UBO African title with stoppage of Egyptian Atiyu. Fogoum was just too strong and aggressive for Atiyu who tried to use his longer reach to work at distance but just could not keep Fogoum out. It ended in the fifth when Fogoum pinned Atiyu against the ropes and landed a series of body punches. The referee came in and gave Atiyu a standing count. It did not help Atiyu and he went down again under an attack from Fogoum and the towel came in from Atiyu’s corner. Seven wins in a row for the 31-year-old from Cameroon who is based in Dubai and his eighth inside the distance finish. First fight for four years for Atiyu who back in 2014 was knocked out in 75 seconds by Roy Jones in a fight for the WBU (German version) cruiserweight title.
Rimouski, Canada: Super Light: Yves Ulysse (19-2) W TKO 7 Mathieu Germain (18-2-1). Super Light Steve Claggett (29-6-2) W RTD 6 David Theroux (16-4).
Ulysse vs. Germain
Ulysse batters Germaine to defeat in a grudge match with the bad blood starting before the pre-fight press conference and continuing through the fight and beyond the post-fight press conference. Although Ulysse had a slight edge Germain was in the fight over the first two rounds but then Ulysse took over and dominated the action. The dirty stuff soon broke out with a deliberate butt and an elbow used as a punch from Germain and Ulysse repeatedly rubbing German’s face with his glove bindings. In the legal action Ulysse was handing out more and more punishment with Germain fading out of the fight. In the seventh two rights to the head sent Germain sprawling on the canvas twisting his ankle as he went down. After the count Germain tried to hold but Ulysse shrugged him off and Germain fell to his knees. As there had been no punch there was no count but Germain was badly shaken. After another right to the head dropped him and the referee stopped the fight. Lots of rumours surrounded Ulysse before the fight that he was not training hard and his mind set was not right. He certainly showed he is still a dangerous fighter but even post the win he was very subdued. This was Ulysse’s first fight since losing a close decision to Ismael Barros in December when a win could have led to a world title shot. He collects the WBC Francophone and NABF belts. Second inside the distance defeat for Germain. There were a couple of bumps in the road for Germain last year as after 16 straight wins he fought a draw with Steve Claggett and was knocked out by Mexican Uriel Perez.
Claggett vs. Theroux
Claggett just proves to strong for Theroux. Over the first two rounds Theroux was marching forward behind a high guard trying to take the fight to Claggett and being willing to stand and trade. In the third Claggett’s left hooks to the body began to drain the resistance out of Theroux. By the sixth Theroux had nothing left and he spent much of the round against the ropes and took a sustained beating with his corner pulling their man out of the fight at the end of the round. The 31-year-old winner from Calgary wins the vacant NABA title with his nineteenth inside the distance victory. Theroux is an entertaining fighter but two losses against Mexican imports and this crushing defeat shows his limitations.
These two fights are part of a round-robin tournament where all four fighters will fight each other at least once with points being awarded for a win, a loss or a draw in a league format and the fighter who tops the leagues will get a $50,000 prize but the with the beatings Germain and Theroux took it seems a pointless exercise (no pun intended)
General Santos City, Philippines: Super Feather: Marlon Tapales (34-3) W TKO 2 Eden Sonsona (36-11-2). Bantam: Aston Palicte (26-4-1) W RTD 2 Reymark Taday (10-12-1). Fly: David Apolinario (13-0) W Bonjun Loperez (12-13-1).
Tapales vs. Sonsona
Tapales returns with a win as he floors Sonsona three times for victory. It was obvious this was not going to be a long fight as Tapales dropped Sonsona twice in the first with hooks to the head. Sonsona decided attack was the best defence and stood and traded punches at the start of the second. He pinned Tapales to the ropes and landed with hooks to head and body until Tapales forced his way off the ropes and then it was bombs away as they just stood and threw punches before Tapales rocked Sonsona with a right hook and dropped him with a left. Sonsona went down but although he beat the count he just turned away and the referee waived the fight over. Southpaw Tapales, 28, is a former WBO bantam champion but he was stripped off the title when he failed to make the weight for his first defence. He moved up to super bantam but was stopped in eleven rounds by Ryosuke Iwasa in December last year in a fight for the interim IBF title. The IBF have him at No 4(2) so a title shot in 2021 is a real possibility. Sonsona, 31, challenged for the IBO bantam title way back in 2008 and made it to a high position in the ratings in 2015 when he blasted out 22-0 Adrian Estrella in two rounds but that was yesteryear as this is his sixth consecutive loss.
Palicte vs. Taday
It was like man against boy here as Palicte put in some ring time against the smaller and lighter Taday. Palicte picked Taday off with jabs connected with left ho0oks to the body and straight rights but never really pressed his attacks allowing Taday to launch some wild windmilling attacks. Palicte upped his pace in the second round handing out some severe punishment and Taday decided he had taken enough and dropped out of the fight at the end of the round. Palicte will be hoping it will be third time lucky for him. The 29-year-old Filipino turned in a great performance in fighting to a draw with Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO super fly title in 2018 but was stopped in ten rounds by Kazuto Ioka for the same title in June last year. He is still No 10 with the WBO so a third title shot might be in his future. Eight defeats in his last nine fights for Taday.
Apolinario vs. Loperez
Southpaw Apolinario floored Loperez in the first and had him in deep trouble later in the round with the referee jumping in and giving Loperez a standing count which helped him to survive the round. Loperez had to withstand a body bettering in the second and took more punishment in the third. Loperez attacked fiercely at the start of the fourth but Apolinario rocked him with a right hook and landed heavily to the body. Loperez was finished and retired at the end the round. Now nine wins by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old local prospect. Poor Loperez is 2-9 in his recent outings.
Tampa, FL, USA: Welter: Harold Calderon (23-0) W KO 4
Gustavo Vittori (23-7-1). Light Heavy: Radivoje Kalajdzic (25-2) W PTS 8 Denis Grachev (20-11-1). Welter: Mark Reyes (14-0) W KO 1 Diego Perez (13-11-1).
Calderon vs. Vittori
In a battle of southpaws Calderon topples Vittori in four rounds. It was Calderon’s fight from the first. He easily slotted punches through the Argentinian’s guard in the first and then floored him in the second. Vittorio sparked briefly at the begging of the third but Calderon quickly took control again and by the end of the round Vittori was unsteady on his feet and cut. Calderon applied the finishing touch putting Vittori down just before the bell and Vittori was counted out. Sixth inside the distance win in a row for the 33-year-old Miami-Based Honduran who has yet to be put in a fight that will give a measure of how far he can go-and time is running out. Fourth fight outside of Argentina for Vittori and fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Kalajdzic vs. Grachev
Routine win for Kalajdzic as he outboxes a very much fading Grachev. Kalajdzic won all the way but left his attempt to end it inside the distance too late. With the points already in the bag he floored Grachev just as the bell went to end the eighth round. Scores 80-71 twice and 79-72 for Kalajdzic. After winning his first 21 fights Bosnian Kalajdzic dropped a split verdict to Marcus Brown in a fight in 2016 that saw both fighters on the floor. After three modest wins he was given a shot at Artur Beterbiev for the IBF light heavy title in May last year but was stopped in five rounds and this is his return to the ring. Russian Grachev is 38 and his recent fights have seen him go 8-11 so his future is behind him.
Reyes vs. Perez
Quick victory for home town fighter Reyes as he stops Perez in the first round. Reyes put Perez on the retreat with some sharp jabbing and then stepped in with a brutal left hook to the body. Perez went down in pain. He dragged himself up but was bent double and dropped again and the referee halted the fight. All over in 42 seconds. Now twelve victories by KO/TKO for 24-year-old Reyes including nine in his last nine fights. Third time in his last three fights that Perez has fallen in the first round.
Ecatepec, Mexico: Light: Francisco Vargas (27-2-2) W TKO 3 Otto Gamez (19-4). Welter: Luis Montelongo (14-8) W PTS 12 Luis Vidales (16-7). Super Welter: Ricardo Banuelos (13-51) W PTS 12 Diego Cruz (21-9-2).
Vargas vs., Gamez
Former WBC super feather champion “Bandito” Vargas returns to action with a third round stoppage of Gamez. After taking the first two rounds Vargas nailed Gamez with a left hook followed by a straight right flooring Gamez. The fight was stopped without a count and it was a good few minutes before Gamez was able to get up and leave the ring. Vargas lost his WBC title to Miguel Berchelt in 2017 and was beaten Berchelt again in a return match in May last year. Venezuelan Gamez has gone from 18-1 to 19-4 after three consecutive defeats.
Montelongo vs. Vidales
With his seventh win in his last eight fights “Little Wolf” Montelongo, 25, wins the Mexican title with split verdict over champion Vidales. Scores 116-112 and 115-114 for Montelongo and 116-112 for Vidales. Vidales, 21, was making the first defence of his national title.
Banuelos vs. Cruz
In the best fight of the night Banuelos lifts the vacant Mexican title with a unanimous decision over Cruz. Success at the third attempt for Banuelos who had lost and drawn in previous title fights. Cruz falls to 2-6-1 in his last nine outings.
La Calera, Argentina: Light: Jose Romero (24-0) WPTS 12 Javier Clavero (27-8).
Romero wins the interim South American title with convincing victory over seasoned pro Clavero. Romero used his better skills and clever movement to frustrate the ever pressing Clavero. Fighting mainly on the back foot Romero piled up the points with fast, accurate jabs and stinging counters. Clavero had some success when he managed to get inside or pinned Romero against the ropes but those moments were rare and Romero took a clear unanimous verdict. Scores 19-110 ½, 117 ½ -114 ½, 116-114 ½ all for unbeaten Romero. The 24-year-old former undefeated Argentinian champion should really be looking to move up to face some international level opposition now. Clavero, a former South American champion, had high hopes when he went 19-1 in his opening 20 fights but 8-7 tells a different story.
Rome, Italy: Light Heavy: Adriano Sperandio (12-1) W PTS 10 Luca Spadaccini (6-1-3).
In his first fight for 18 months local favourite Sperandio collects the vacant Italian title with a unanimous decision over Spadaccini. Sperandio proved too quick and too mobile for Spadaccini. He was much the better technical boxer working well with his jab and being quick enough to land accurate shots inside and get out before Spadaccini could counter. Spadaccini’s sheer aggression was enough to earn him a couple of rounds but generally he was playing catch-up against the fleeter Sperandio and never really threatened Sperandino’s dominance. Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 97-93 for the new champion. Sperandio, 32, rebounds with this win after losing a very close decision to 23-0 Marko Nikolic for the WBC Mediterranean title in May 2019. Spadaccini, 31, was in his first ten round fight. The two draws on his record were technical draws and he will look to regroup and challenge for the title again next year.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Light: Rikki Naito (23-2) W RTD 9 Yusuke Konno (16-5).
Naito retains the OPBF title with injury victory over Konno. This was expected to be a classic boxer vs. puncher contest with southpaw Naito having the skills and Konno trying to impose himself with constant aggression. The first two rounds followed that expectation with clever boxing from Naito taking the opening round but successful pressure tactics from Konno giving him the second. Naito boxed smartly over the third and fourth and was up on all cards at 40-36 twice and 39-37. Naito increased his lead in the fifth connecting with a series of jabs and hooks. Konno suddenly came back into the fight in the sixth as he was able to get inside and pound away at Naito’s body and looked capable of springing a surprise. Konno had a poor seventh and it was apparent that he had damaged his left arm and was effectively fighting with just one hand and although he fought bravely through the eighth and ninth he was forced to retire. Fourth successful defence of the OPBF title for Naito. Naito was 59-9 as an amateur. He is the son of Junichi “Cassius” Naito who was also an OPBF champion. Naito’s two losses have been to Kenichi Ogawa who went on to beat Tevin Farmer for the IBF title but tested positive for a banned substance. Konno, a former Japanese super light champion, had won his last five fights and after the injury deserves another shot at the title.
Tijuana, Mexico: Welter: Alessandro Riguccini (25-0) W TKO 3 Ivan Alvarez (29-11-1). Super Welter: Damian Sosa (16-1) W RTD 6 Ernesto Olvera (11-5-1), Super Feather: Manuel Jaimes (11-0) W PTS 8 Cristian Santiago Vazquez (15-1-1).
Riguccini vs. Alvarez
Riguccini gets repeat win against Alvarez. Over the first two rounds Alvarez was able to use his longer reach to keep the smaller Italian out but it was tame stuff with very little fire on show from either boxer and with neither putting any snap into their punches. It looked like some mild sparring with a “you don’t hurt me and I won’t hurt you pact”. Riguccini broke the pact early in the third as Alvarez walked in Riguccini buried a right into the oncoming Mexican’s body. Alvarez went down face first on the canvas and the referee did not bother to count. Riguccini had knocked Alvarez out in one round when the Mexican travelled to Riguccini’s home town of Florence in April last year, one of only two fights Riguccini has had in Italy. At 5’5” Riguccini is small for a welterweight which could count against when he steps up to better opposition. He is a former world kickboxing and full contact champion. He holds the WBC Silver interim title and is rated No 24 by them. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Alvarez whose recent record reads 2-4-1
Sosa vs. Olvera
Local fighter “Samurai “Sosa gets his ninth win by KO/TKO as he stops Olvera in seven rounds. Sosa had the better skills with Olvera just swinging wide punches and getting caught with counters. His sheer aggression made him competitive but he was soaking up punishment. A diet of body shots weakened Olvera in the sixth and a series of head punches had him staggering and he retired in his corner at the end of the round. Sosa has scored five wins since losing his unbeaten tag when being outpointed to Russian Artem Oganesyan in March 2019. All four of Olvera’s losses have been to unbeaten fighters including visits to Canada and France.
Jaimes vs. Vazquez
Good win for Jaimes as he decisions Vazquez to collect the vacant WBC Youth title. Vazquez threw plenty of punches but mostly they were just arm punches with no power and Jaimes was also able to block most that Vazquez threw. Jaimes had a lower work rate but a higher success rate with his punches and although never looking like stopping Vazquez he was a clear winner. The young Californian won on scores of 78-74 twice and 80-72. The 20-year-old Jaimes was in his first eight round bout and this is only the second time he has had to go the distance having beaten 9 of his previous 10 opponents by KO/TKO. Vazquez, 19, was coming off a useful win over 24-2-1 Russell Fiore.
Cambridge, New Zealand: Cruiser: Joshua Francis (10-1-1) W TKO 1 Kyle Mereweather (1.1).
Francis again shows his power as he finishes poor Mereweather inside a round. After some sparring one huge right cross from Francis floored Mereweather heavily and the fight was over. After a 1-1-1 start to his career Francis is now 9-0 with 7 wins by KO/TKO four of them inside the opening round. He was defending the ANBF Australasian title. Mereweather’s previous pro experience was just one four round bout.
Valencia, Spain: Super Welter: Dylan Moran (15-1,1ND) W PTS 8 David Bency (14-18-1). Light: Juan felix Gomez (9-0) W PTS 8 Izan Dura (3-6).
Moran vs. Bency
Useful eight rounds of work for Irish hope Moran. Spaniish-based Nicaraguan Bency was typical of the Nicas based in Spain in that he tried hard, kept pressing but lacked the power and skill to pose any threat to the talented 5’ 11” tall southpaw Moran. All three cards read 79-73 for Moran. The 25-year-old from Waterford gets his fifth win on the bounce. He suffered an upset loss when he was stopped in three rounds by novice Denis Okoth in Catskills, NY, in June last year. Now eight losses in a row for Bency which is another trait the Nicas share.
Gomez vs. Dura
Both of these fighters are from Valencia but that was the only thing they shared, “Juanfe” Gomez is a southpaw and a much better boxer. In his first fight for 13 months after a slow opening round Gomez brought his better skills into play and he dominated the fight with only his lack of power making it possible for Dura to go the full eight rounds. Scores 79-73 for Gomez on all three scorecards. He will be looking to fight for the national title next year. Dura keeps his record of not losing inside the distance.
Gniew, Poland: Light Heavy: Pawel Augustynik (12-0) W PTS 10 Dariusz Sek (28-7-3). Super Middle: Bartlomiej Grafka (23-38-4) W PTS 6 Rafal Jackiewicz (51-28-3). Heavy: Kamil Mroczkowski (1-0) W TKO 2 Mateusz Rybarski (1-12).
Augustynik vs. Sek
On the first Queensberry Polska show Augustynik wins wide unanimous points decision over veteran Sek. Augustynik was looking to get inside and work on the body with Sek trying to work at distance with his right jabs. Augustynik piled on the pressure and Sek found himself fighting with his back against the ropes and spent much of the fourth round trapped in a corner. Augustynik continued to dominate the action in the fifth and sixth with Sek landing occasional counters and lefts from Augustynik rocked Sek in the seventh. In the eighth a right hook dropped Sek. He beat the count then Augustynik piled on the punches with Sek responding enough to convince the referee he was still able to compete. The pace dropped in the ninth and then they fought hard through the tenth with Augustynik getting the better of the exchanges. Scores 100-89 twice and 97-92 for Augustynik who lifts the WBC International Silver belt. Hopefully that will lead to some international level fights for Augustynik. Sek, 34, had lost 3 of his last 4 fights by KO/TKO so he steadied his slide but the only way for him now is down.
Grafka vs. Jackiewicz
Plenty of pride on show here as these two seasoned pros battle to settle the argument over who should have been give the verdict in their drawn fight in September. Grafka tried to use his physical advantages to bully Jackiewicz but the former European champion used his better skills to stay off the ropes and in the centre of the ring where he had space to work. The rounds were close with some powerful rights from Grafka just giving his the edge. They traded punches throughout the fifth but Grafka’s hard rights had Jackiewicz under pressure in the sixth. Scores 58-56 twice and 59-55 for Grafka. These two have reached this point by very different routes with Jackiewicz, now 43, winning a European title and challenging for the IBF title and Grafka, 32, spending much of his career as a travelling loser with few highlights.
Mroczkowski vs. Rybarski
Some interest here in the first pro fight of heavyweight Mroczkowski who scored wins over both Daniel Dubois and Peter Kadiru in the amateurs. He stalked Rybarski in the first then floored him with a body punch at the start of the second. Rybarski made it to his feet but a clubbing right to the head put him down again and the fight was stopped. It will be interesting to see how Mroczkowski develops as a pro. He weighed 120kgs for this fight-down from 150kgs! He aims to get to 110kgs in the future. Seventh loss by KO/TKO for Rybarski.
Szydlowiec, Poland: Light: Damian Wrzesinski (21-1-2) W PTS Luis Viedas (26-10-1). Middle: Lukasz Maciec (25-3-1) W PTS 8 Marek Andrysek (5-1).
Wrzesinski vs. Viedas
Comfortable win for Polish International champion Wrzesinski. Not a big puncher he collected the points round by round with plenty of left jabs and quick but light combinations. Viedas, just 5’3”, spent much of the fight on the end of Wrzesinski’s jab and mainly confined himself to occasional attacking bursts. Wrzesinski was lucky he was fighting at home as he landed too many low punches which might have lead to a disqualification elsewhere. Viedas never really threatened and Wrzesinski took the decision on scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. He is hoping to challenge for the EU or EBU titles next year. Viedas had won his last 14 fights but really just against prelim fighters of very modest ability.
Maciec vs. Andrysek
Former EU title challenger Maciec returned to the ring for the first time since October 2018 with a split points victory over newcomer Andrysek. Maciec showed plenty of rust and Czech Andrysek was able to keep the fight close over the first six rounds. Maciec began to find the range and paced the fight better than Andrysek which proved the difference in the end. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Maciec and 77-75 for Andrysek. The 31-year-opld pole had won 8 of his last 9 fights before retiring with the loss being against Hugo Centeno in 2015. Andrysek, the Czech super middle champion had dropped 8lbs since his fight in February and would do better going back to super middle.
Tokyo, Japan: Welter: Jin Sasaki (9-0) W TKO 1 Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-14-1).
Another “Monster”? Much too early to say but teenager Tsutomu (Jin) Sasaki has been getting plenty of attention as he stacks up the inside the distance wins. He dropped Miyazaki to his knees with a thumping right to the head. Miyazaki got to his feet but was then battered from all angles before left uppercut dumped him on to the ropes and then down to the floor. The 19-year old East Japan Rookie of the Year turned pro at 17 after only being 1-3 in amateur fights but has scored eight wins inside the distance with this being his third opening round win in a row. Much too early to say how far he can go but worth watching. Poor Miyazaki has won just one of his last eleven fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Javier Fortuna’s win over Antonio Lozada keeps him in place for a shot at the WBC title.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Conor Benn and Sebastian Formella went to war for ten rounds.
Fighter of the week: Conor Benn for his much improved performance
Punch of the week: The brutal left hook from Jameson Bacon that had Roque Junco out cold the moment it landed and honourable mention for the right to the head from Fabio Wardley that finished Richard Lartey
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: O’Shaquie Foster 18-2 looked good in stopping Miguel Roman
A memory of Antonio Margarito as O’Shaquie Fosters’ trainer examined the gloves Miguel Roman was to use and found some padding had been removed. New gloves and the fight went on but some questions need answering.
Strange. Two shows scheduled for Tijuana on Saturday. Once postponed on the advice of the local Health Authorities-and the other one goes ahead!
Two shows floored by COVID-19 as the card in Belgium to feature 17-0 Jessy Petitjean was cancelled and a Kings’ Promotions card in Philadelphia cancelled
Tough for fighters everywhere. In Quebec they have a thoroughly sanitised and private gym with great facilities but Public Health forbids its use so they have to train in their backyards which is happening all over.
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. Armit has been nominated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame the past two years (2019 and 2020) to which he said, “Being on the list is an unbelievably huge honour.”
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