The Past Week in Action 14 December 2020: Joshua Stops Pulev Paving the Way for Fury Fight
By Eric Armit
Tue, 15 Dec 2020
-Anthony Joshua retains the IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO titles with ninth round kayo of Kubrat Pulev
-Chris Colbert retains the WBA interim super featherweight title with stoppage of Jaime Arboleda
-Shakur Stevenson outclasses Toka Kahn Clary over ten rounds
-Masayoshi Nakatani climbs off the floor twice to stop Felix Verdejo
-Hughie Fury overcomes serious cut to decision Mariusz Wach and Martin Bakole takes unanimous decision over Sergey Kuzmin
-Lawrence Okolie overpowers substitute Nikodem Jezewski after his WBO title fight is cancelled due to Krzys Glowacki being ruled out by COVID-19
-Ronald Ellis gets injury victory over Mate Korobov and Edgar Berlanga makes it sixteen consecutive first round wins as he blows away Ulises Sierra
World Title/Major Shows
London. England: Heavy: Anthony Joshua (24-1) W KO 9 Kubrat Pulev (28-2). Cruiser: Lawrence Okolie (15-0) W TKO 2 Nikodem Jezewski (19-1-1,1ND). Heavy: Hughie Fury (25-3) W PTS 10 Mariusz Wach (36-7). Heavy: Martin Bakole (16-1) W PTS 10 Sergey Kuzmin (15-2). Super Welter: Kieron Conway (16-1-1) W PTS 10 Macaulay McGowan (14-2-1). Super Bantam: Qais Ashfaq (9-1) W TKO 4 Ashley Lane (14-10-2).
Joshua vs. Pulev
Joshua returns with a win as he knocks out Pulev in nine rounds to retain his four title belts and keep on course for a fight with Tyson Fury.
Plenty of caution and not much punching as both fighters were looking to counter leads that did not come. Joshua had the longer reach and the quicker hands and a few scoring jabs from him were enough to give him the round.
Score: 10-9 Joshua
Joshua was again finding gaps for his jab. He then burst into action with a quick series of hooks most of which landed. Pulev then came forward behind his jab but was just holding inside. Joshua continued to score with his jab.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Joshua 20-18
Pulev slung a few punches at the start of the round but then Joshua exploded with a right to the head that had Pulev staggering back. Joshua followed him throwing punches. Joshua connected with a couple of uppercuts and Pulev went staggering along the ropes and into a corner leaning on the ropes with his back to Joshua. The referee stepped in and gave Pulev a standing count. After the count Joshua landed more heavy punches and Pulev went crashing to the canvas. He was up at six and Joshua tried to finish it but Pulev held and survived.
Score: 10-7 Joshua Joshua 30-25
Joshua chose to box his way through the fourth. He stabbed jabs through Pulev’s guard and tried a couple of rights. Pulev just could not find a way past Joshua’s jab or his guard so resorted to lunging forward swinging wildly and Joshua had no trouble avoiding those shots.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Joshua 40-34
Official Scores: Judge Matteo Montella 40-34 Joshua, Judge Phil Edwards 40-34 Joshua, Judge Yordan Ezekiev 39-35 Joshua.
Not a great deal of action. Too many clinches. Pulev’s body language said he was firing himself up but that did not help him block Joshua’s jab. Joshua was jabbing to head and body and landed a good right. Pulev did the same with his being the best punch he had landed so far but Joshua just grinned and stuck Pulev with another jab.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Joshua 50-43
Another round with too many clinches. Joshua was winning the fight with his jab a-la-Ruiz II fashion and Pulev was throwing wild punches with no success. Pulev had been landing punches to the back of the head in every clinch and was warned twice for it in this round and continued to do so with ironically Joshua getting a warning for one punch there.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Joshua 60-52
In the first twenty seconds of the round Pulev landed three punches to the back of the head in clinches. That seemed to anger Joshua and he came forward unleashing a volley of punches including three neck-snapping uppercuts that had Pulev backing off. Pulev had some success inside (and continued to land punches to the back of the head) but Joshua’s hard accurate jabs gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Joshua 70-61
Joshua let hands go a bit more in this round. He was still dominating the action with his jab but he also put together a couple of combinations. Pulev connected with one right cross but was looking very tired.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Joshua 80-70
Official Scores: Judge Matteo Montella 80-70 Joshua, Judge Phil Edwards 79-71 Joshua, Judge Yordan Ezekiev 79-71 Joshua.
A right uppercut from Joshua had Pulev badly shaken. He tried to hold but Joshua landed two more uppercuts then shrugged him off and Pulev went down on his hands and knees. Pulev got up but then went walking around the ring. The referee counted to eight and then stopped Pulev’s stroll and made him go a corner then signalled they should box on. Joshua walked into Pulev and landed a booming right to the head that put Pulev on his back and he was counted out.
Joshua retains the IBF/WBA/WBO and IBO title belts in his first fight for twelve months. It was not a great fight with Joshua choosing to box more that in his pre-loss- to-Ruiz days and Pulev was crude and slow. Joshua showed he had lost none of his power. By beating Pulev he fulfilled his IBF obligations, and the WBA heavyweight picture is a chaotic mess with no mandatory opponent. The decision he will have to make is what to do about his mandatory WBO defence against Oleksandr Usyk. It is a case of whether he takes the risk of fighting Usyk and endangers the massive fight with Fury or surrenders the WBO belt. At 39 Pulev may decide he has done enough fighting but if he decides to continue there will be fights there for him
Okolie vs. Jezewski
With his WBO world title fight with Krzys Glowacki falling through due to Glowacki testing positive for COVID-19 Okolie found himself facing Pole Jezewski for the lesser vacant WBO International title and he obliterated the overmatched Jezewski in less than five minutes. Jezewski had no answer to Okolie’s jab. He was too slow to block it and too slow to counter. Okolie backed Jezewski to the ropes with a right then landed a right to the body. Jezewski dropped to one knee in agony. He arose at eight then a right turned his legs to jelly but somehow he stayed up. Jezewski tried to take the fight to Okolie but once again a right had him tottering and he dropped to his knees. He again got up at eight and was rocked by another right but made it to the bell. Jezewski lunged forward throwing punches in the second but Okolie had no problem dodging the rushes and a right sent Jezewski to the canvas. He just made it to his feet at nine but the referee wisely refused to let him continue. The 6’5” Londoner hardly broke into a sweat for this win, his twelfth by KO/TKO. Hopefully the Glowacki fight can be set up for early next year. Poor Jezewski was way out of his depth and was poor even for a very late substitute.
Fury vs. Wach
Fury overcomes a horrible gash over his left eye to outpoint Wach. In the first two rounds although Fury did most of the scoring Wach managed to look dangerous as he connected with rights and they exchanged blows after the bell in the second. Fury used his better movement and quicker hands to outbox the ponderous Wach in the third but a clash of heads in the fourth opened a big cut over the left eye of Fury which bled heavily. Fury survived a doctors examination in both the fourth and sixth and although boxing with more caution he continued to ram home hurtful jabs. Fury’s corner had done a great job of controlling his cut and Wach was too slow to really cause Fury any anxiety. Fury switched to southpaw in the eighth and was then landing some sharp rights as he eased his way through the ninth and tenth. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Fury. Losses to Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev and Alexander Povetkin have seen Fury drop out of the rating but once the cut heals he will be back in contention for a place. Fifth loss for Wach in his last eight fights.
Bakole vs. Kuzmin
Bakole boxes his way to a unanimous decision over Kuzmin. In the first Bakole made good use his faster hands and better movement to pepper Kuzmin with jabs and he also connected with a right cross to the head. There was plenty of action in the second as Bakole scored with jabs, hooks and uppercuts but over the last minute Kuzmin connected with some powerful head punches. Bakole continued to find the target with his punches but whilst plenty they were also light. It had been a hectic round and the worry was that Bakole was setting too fast a pace and would pay for it later as he had when losing to Mike Hunter. The pace slowed over the third as Bakole mainly used his longer reach to outscore Kuzmin at distance only for Kuzmin to get through with heavy rights in the fourth. The pace picked up a little in the fifth with both scoring well and the sixth was close. Kuzmin landed some heavy rights over the seventh and eighth but Bakole continued to spear the Russian with a stream of jabs. The pace had slowed and activity was low and what crowd there was gave vent to some criticism. Kuzmin connected with a booming right in the tenth but Bakole absorbed the shot and kept pinging Kuzmin with jabs. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Bakole. Kuzmin was disgusted with the result but Bakole’s early work and his constant and accurate jabbing gave him the edge. The Scottish-based Congolese boxer wins the vacant WBC International title. He has now racked up five victories since losing to Hunter and will be hoping for boost in his ranking as Kuzmin was No 13 with the WBA. Two losses in a row for Kuzmin as he lost a unanimous decision to Hunter in September last year.
Conway vs. McGowan
Conway wins every round and scores a knockdown in one-sided victory over McGowan. Conway boxed behind a tight guard as McGowan piled forward aggressively firing hooks. Conway stayed cool and his accurate jabbing and crisp right counters had McGowan marked up early with a bruising around his left eye and blood seeping from his nose. McGowan just kept coming and at times Conway was hard pressed to keep him out but he connected with a left hook in the eighth that put McGowan down and brought even more blood from McGowan’s nose. Conway handed out punishment in the ninth and tenth but McGowan stayed competitive to the end. Scores unanimous with the judges at 100-90 for Conway who retains the WBA Inter-Continental title. He is 6-0-1 in his last 7 outings with the draw being with Ted Cheeseman for the British title in June 2019. Second consecutive defeat for McGowan who lost on points to Kazakh prospect Tursynbay Kulakhmet last month.
Ashfaq vs. Lane
After losing his unbeaten tag in October Ashfaq gets back in the ring quickly and stops Lane in four rounds. Ashfaq never allowed Lane a chance to get into the fight flooring him in the first with a pair of punches late in the round. He continued to boss the action against the smaller but feisty Lane and a couple of rights in the third knocked Laine sideways and he put his gloves on the canvas to avoid going down resulting in another count. Ashfaq launched a ferocious attack at the start of the fourth driving Lane to the ropes and bombarding him with punches and the referee stopped the fight. Olympian Ashfaq is now looking for a return fight with Mark Leach who outpointed him in October. Former Commonwealth champion Lane lost on a twelfth round stoppage to unbeaten Brad Foster for the British and Commonwealth title in May last year.
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Feather: Chris Colbert (15-0) W TKO 11 Jaime Arboleda (16-2). Middle: Ronald Ellis (18-1-2) W TKO 5 Matvey Korobov (28-4-1). Super Light; Richard Hitchins (12-0) W PTS 12 Algenis Mendez (25-6-3,1ND).
Colbert vs. Arboleda
Colbert outclasses a strong and determined Arboleda to retain the WBA interim title. Colbert was in the driver’s seat from the opening bell. He was much quicker than Arboleda and was sending flashing jabs through the Panamanian’s guard and putting together some spectacular combinations. He was also switching guard and dropping his hands to thigh level then shooting punches from different angles. Colbert’s confidence was high enough in the second for him to just stand against the ropes behind a high guard and let Arboleda fire punches before suddenly exploding with quick-fire counters. A fierce attack had Arboleda reeling at the end of the round. It was too easy for Colbert as in round after round he was able to score easily at distance and when he moved inside his bursts of punches had Arboleda confused and too slow to counter. Arboleda pressed hard enough to do some scoring and he took the fourth but too often the only way he had Colbert as a target in front of him was when Colbert just decided to stand against the ropes and let Arboleda throw punches. Colbert was ducking, bobbing and weaving and then banging home yet another burst of punches. Colbert was showboating continually as a frustrated Arboleda just could not find the target and Arboleda threw Colbert to the canvas in the seventh. Colbert went low twice with punches in the eighth and was deducted a point. The ninth was three minutes of war. Arboleda attacked strongly putting plenty of pressure on Colbert and connecting with some hard shots. Unfortunately he was leaving himself wide open and was rocked time and again by counters from Colbert. Arboleda walked through them forcing Colbert to the ropes and throwing punches. Again he was wide open and was caught with fierce counters until the cumulative effect and a powerful left hook saw Arboleda stumble back to the ropes and drop to his haunches. He was badly shaken but beat the count with the bell then going. Colbert stalked a still shaky Arboleda in the tenth without ever really doing any great damage. A series of head punches put Arboleda down in the eleventh. He made it to his feet and was allowed to continue. He was knocked down again and slowly and painfully got to his feet. It was pointless to let the fight continue. The referee decided Arboleda was fit to do so but when a series of punches from Colbert sent Arboleda to the ropes the referee stepped in to save Arboleda. The 24-year-old from Brooklyn was making the first defence of the title he won by beating Jezreel Corrales in January. Colbert has plenty of skill and plenty of showmanship (bright red hair and pink gloves) and whilst the super featherweight division is stacked with star talent it would be stupid to overlook Colbert. Panamanian Arboleda, the WBA No 4, had won his last six fights. He was the youngest of three brothers who all boxed but one ended up in jail and the other was killed in an accident.
Ellis vs. Korobov
Ellis gets a fortunate injury win over Korobov when behind in the scoring. Korobov boxed intelligently in the first two rounds. He was on the back foot scoring with southpaw jabs and then darting in to land punches and getting out. Ellis was not using his jab. He was looking for openings whilst Korobov was making them. Ellis upped his pace in the third and fourth and landed a couple of rights at range but his jab was under used and he was also throwing single shots whereas Korobov was firing his punches in bunches. Korobov had been moving easily in the fourth but when he returned to his corner he indicated he had injured his left ankle and could not continue. A win is a win so Ellis gets his second in a row as he re-establishes himself after losing a majority decision to DeAndre Ware in February last year. A cruel blow to 37-year-old Korobov. Losses to Jermall Charlo and Chris Eubank Jr in interim title fights made a win a necessity and he was comfortably in front on two cards but now has to start again.
Hitchins vs. Mendez
Good win in a step-up fight for Hitchins but although he looked to have won by a comfortable margin he had to settle for a split decision. Hitchins was the man in charge in the first two rounds as he slotted home jabs and connected with over hand rights. Mendez was not pressing hard enough or letting his punches go but they both landed a good punch late in the second. Mendez stepped up the pressure in the third and had the better of the exchanges. Mendez was scoring to the body when he managed to cut the ring off and get inside but too often was just following the quicker Hitchins around the ring. Hitchins took the fourth and the fifth still working the jab but putting together some sharp bursts of punches. Mendez managed to slow Hitchins in the sixth to drive home some body shots to take that round and the seventh was close with Hitchins just doing enough to edge it. Hitchins used his movement and jab to control the action in the eighth and ninth with Mendez too often allowing Hitchins to smother his work inside and then Hitchins settled for boxing his way through the last just looking to protect his lead. Scores 99-91 and 98-92 for Hitchins and 97-93 for Mendez. New Yorker Hitchins just lost out in the US Olympic Trials for Rio to Gary Antuanne Russell but used his Haitian antecedents to enter the World Olympic qualifier and made it to Rio-where he lost to Gary Antuanne Russell! He showed plenty of talent in this fight against a much more experienced opponent and is making good progress. Former IBF super feather champion Mendez was 2-2-2 in his previous six fights losing to Robert Easter and Luke Campbell, beating Ivan Redkach and Eddie Ramirez and drawing with Anthony Peterson and Juan Heraldez so still plenty of fights left in the 34-year-old Dominican.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Shakur Stevenson (15-0) W PTS 10 Toka Kahn Clary (28-3). Light: Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1) W TKO 9 Felix Verdejo (27-2). Light Fly: Jesse Rodriguez (13-0) W KO 2 Saul Juarez (25-13-2). Super Middle: Edgar Berlanga (16-0) W TKO 1 Ulises Sierra (15-2-2). Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (6-1) W TKO 6 Brandon Valdes (13-2).
Stevenson vs. Clary
Stevenson showcases his exciting skills as he outclasses Clary over ten rounds. Stevenson took charge of this fight in the first minute and stayed in control all the way. He rocked Clary with a right jab in the first and connected with some flashing combinations. Both are southpaws but there the resemblance ends as Stevenson’s skills are several levels above Clary’s. A Stevenson left hook staggered Clary in the second and he again put together some electrifying bursts of punches. Try as he might Clary just could not land a punch due to the speedy reflexes of Stevenson. The third and fourth both saw more classy attack and defence from Stevenson with Clary only occasionally managing to stop defending long enough to throw a punch. The fifth was a bit messy with Clary holding more but also having some success in close but Stevenson was raking Clary with punches to head and body. Clary came out throwing jabs in the sixth but was then driven onto the back foot as Stevenson scored with brutal body shots and complained about Clary holding. The action slowed in the seventh and eighth with Stevenson not putting his punches together as much as he had earlier but still doing the scoring. Clary was just looking to survive in the ninth and tenth and although Stevenson connected with solid lefts to the head in the last Clary made it to the bell. All three judges had Stevenson the winner at 100-90. Stevenson was naturally calling out all of the big names in the talent-rich super featherweight division and particularly the winner of Jamel Herring’s WBO title defence against Carl Frampton. There are some exciting things to look forward to in 2021 at 130lbs. Clary had won 9 of his previous 10 fights losing only to Kid Galahad but from bell to bell he was no threat to the Stevenson.
Nakatani vs. Verdejo
Nakatani climbs off the floor twice to floor Verdejo twice on the way to a ninth rounds stoppage victory which nets him the WBO Inter-Continental title. No time wasted here as both Verdejo and Nakatani were letting their punches go from the start of the round. With just one minute gone Verdejo stepped in with a right to the head of the taller Nakatani that sent him sprawling on the canvas. He was up immediately and after the count he stood and traded punches with Verdejo. Nakatani was rocked by two left hooks but steadied himself and was firing back at the bell. Nakatani used his longer reach to score in the second but he looked vulnerable whenever Verdejo let fly with left hooks. The first punch in the third round was a right to the head that sent Nakatani staggering across the ring but the Japanese fighter recovered and boxed behind his jab for the rest of the round. Verdejo scored his second knockdown in the fourth round connecting with a short right inside that sent Nakatani down on one knee. Again Nakatani was up immediately and boxed his way through the round. They both landed good shots in a less frantic fifth and Verdejo was having problems getting past Nakatani’s jab in the sixth. There was plenty of fire in the seventh but now Nakatani was taking control coming forward and making Verdejo dip at the knees with a long right. Nakatani was in charge in the eighth scoring with long rights. Verdejo had run out of ideas on how to deal with the longer reach of Nakatani and was throwing very few punches. Verdejo was six points up on two cards and three on the other but that became irrelevant. In the ninth a powerful left jab from Nakatani sent Verdejo tumbling back to the ropes and down. Verdejo made it to his feet but Nakatani just walked across the ring and landed a right to the side of the head and as Verdejo went face down on the floor the referee immediately waived the fight over. Nakatani was having his first fight since absorbing a beating in losing on points to Teo Lopez in July last year. The 26-year-old former OPBF champion was rated at No 14 by the WBO but this win should certainly get him higher in the rankings and open the door to some other fights in the USA. Difficult to know where Verdejo goes from here. He is only 27 but has already had to rebuild once after his loss to Antonio Lozada and he no longer looks the class fighter he did in his early years.
Rodriguez vs. Juarez
Rodriguez just too big and too powerful for experienced Juarez. Plenty of movement from 5’ 0” tall Juarez at the start. As Rodriguez tracked him around the ring Juarez was scoring with quick jabs and straight rights but there was no power in the punches and Rodriguez landed a crisp uppercut and a right hook to the body. Rodriguez chased a slippery Juarez down in the second before landing a vicious left hook to the head that saw Juarez go down on his hands and knees and be counted out. Fifth inside the distance win in a row for the 20-year-old southpaw from Texas. Former WBC minimumweight title challenger Juarez, 30, suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO
Berlanga vs. Sierra
Berlanga makes it 16 first round wins in a row with stoppage of Sierra. Berlanga scored with a series of clubbing right to the head that forced Sierra to his knees. He got up but Berlanga then connected with rights and lefts to the head that sent Sierra stumbling across the ring into the ropes. As the ropes stopped him falling he was given a count. Berlanga then finished the job with a pair of brutal rights and as Sierra dropped to the floor the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old New Yorker shows explosive power in every fight and this is the first time that experienced Sierra has lost by KO/TKO.
Ramirez vs. Valdes
Sparkling display of exquisite skills from Ramirez on the way to a sixth round stoppage of Valdes. This was fast-paced boxing with Ramirez showing classic footwork and upper body movement and snapping out his punches. Valdes stayed right on top of Ramirez and was scoring well with hooks. From the third Valdes was finding it hard to lay a glove on Ramirez as the Cuban showed extraordinary defensive skills combined with rapid punching from a variety of angles. Over the fourth and fifth Valdes was swishing air and getting caught with sharp counters. In the sixth Ramirez sent Valdes into the ropes with lefts to the head and then piled on the punches and with Valdez trapped in a corner and not punching back the fight was stopped. Ramirez, 26, has world title level skills but he will face some stern tests that will prove whether he has the power to go all the way. Colombian Valdes had gone the full ten rounds with world title challenger Ricardo Espinoza in his last fight in August.
Tokyo Japan: Super Light: Daishi Nagata (15-2-2) TEC DRAW 7 Akihiro Kondo (32-9-2).
Nagata retains the Japanese title with technical draw against Kondo. After some hectic action over the first five rounds the youth and speed of southpaw Nagata had him up 48-47 on two cards and 49-46 on the third. Kondo was getting stronger and pressing hard but in the sixth a clash of heads opened a gash over Nagata’s left eye. In the seventh the injury was bleeding heavily and the fight was stopped with the result being decided on the score cards. One judge had Nagata in front 67-66 but the other two had them even at 67-67. First defence of the title for Nagata, 30, who was 61-25 as an amateur. Kondo, 35, a former Japanese lightweight champion. lost to Sergey Lipinets for the vacant IBF super light title in 2017
San Carlos, Mexico: Welter: Santiago Dominguez (24-0) W PTS 10 Ricardo Lara (22-9). Light: Luis Torres (10-) W KO 3 Juan Rodriguez (9-3).
Dominguez vs. Lara
Dominguez marches on but needs a strong finish to get a split decision over Lara. Dominguez made a good start over the first two rounds coming in behind his jab with powerful rights with Lara on the back foot and under pressure. Lara was jabbing well and countering and landed well to the body over the third and fourth although Dominguez connected with some heavy rights. Dominguez dominated the fifth and sixth with his surging attacks. Lara was still very much in the fight and he outboxed Dominguez in the seventh and eighth connecting with accurate counters. Dominguez was looking tired and his work rate dropped. The ninth was another round for Lara but Dominguez was not using his right at all which was throwing his work off balance. Dominguez put in a big effort in the last and outlanded a tiring Lara which was just enough to get him the win. Scores 96-95 twice for Dominguez and 96-94 for Lara. A tough night for the 29-year-old WBC No 13. Third loss in a row for Lara but as the other two were against Tony Luis and unbeaten Batyrzhan Jukembayev he has been riding a hard road.
Torres vs. Rodriguez
Teenager Torres scores brutal kayo. Over the first two rounds Rodriguez just walked forward throwing punches. He was crude and wild. Torres was quicker and was countering strongly but at times it looked as though Torres might be overwhelmed by Rodriguez’s aggression. In the third as Rodriguez stormed forward Torres hit him with four successive booming head punches that sent Rodriguez crashing to the floor with the fight being waived off immediately. Seventh inside the distance win for the 18-year-old southpaw. First loss by KO/TKO for Rodriguez.
Redditch, England: Super Welter: Sam Eggington (29-7) W TKO 6 Ashley Theophane (48-9-1,1ND). Welter: Kaisee Benjamin (11-1-1) W PTS 10 Ben Fields (10-9-2).
Eggington vs. Theophane
Eggington hands out a one-sided beating to veteran Theophane. Eggington was 4” taller, had a big edge in reach and was thirteen years younger. From the first bell he was stalking Theophane around the ring scoring with vicious hooks to the body and thumping rights to the head. Theophane spent most of the fight with his back against the ropes with Eggington practically having sessions of target practice. Theophane just threw enough punches to convince the referee to let him continue but he was never competitive. A right seconds before the bell in the third sent Theophane flying back into the ropes which held him up and he was given a count. Eggington continued to batter Theophane over the fifth and in the sixth a right to the body put Theophane on the floor. He dragged himself slowly and painfully to his feet and the fight was stopped. Former European champion Eggington scored a big win when he knocked out 31-2 Orlando Fiordigiglio in September last year but then lost to Ted Cheeseman in August. Former British champion Theophane, 40, lost to Adrien Broner for the WBA secondary super lightweight title in 2016 and has travelled the world before and since then with this his first fight in Britain since 2012.
Benjamin vs. Fields
Impressive performance for Benjamin as he retains the BBB of Central Area title for the third time in a battle between two fighters from Birmingham. This was a tough fight with Fields competitive all the way. Benjamin tended to get his punches off first and carried more power but Fields was willing to stand and trade and both had their chin tested. Benjamin was particularly effective with uppercuts and although many rounds were close he was a good winner. Referee’s score 97-95 for Benjamin, 35, who is unbeaten with six wins and a draw in his last seven fights. Fields had won the Central Area super light title in September
Sheffield, England: Fly: Rosendo Guarneros (18-4-2) W RTD 8 Tommy Frank (13-1). Super Feather: Kane Slavin (6-0) W PTS 10 Sufyaan Ahmed (5-1). Heavy: Kash Ali (18-1) W RTD 3 Phil Williams(3-27-1).
Guarneros vs. Frank
Frank loses his unbeaten record as an injury forces his retirement. In the early action Frank handled the aggressive Guarneros with ease. He was finding gaps for his jab and following rights, Frank reportedly injured his shoulder in the third but he continued to outbox Guarneros in the fourth and fifth with the Mexican tiring. The injury began to catch up with Frank from the sixth and in the seventh Guarneros was getting through with rights. Frank was under pressure and taking punishment in the eighth and over his protests his corner pulled him out of the fight. Guarneros wins the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title. Local fighter Frank will wait for the injury to heal and will soon be back in his winning ways.
Slavin vs. Ahmed
Slavin wins the vacant BBB of C Central Area title with victory over Ahmed in a battle for local bragging rights. Slavin took the early rounds as he forced his way forward taking the fight inside and landed some choice body punches. He was comfortable there where he was able to deny space to the skilful Ahmed. As the fight moved past the fifth round Ahmed began to connect with some useful hooks and uppercuts. As Slavin slowed from his early exertions Ahmed began to eat into Slavin’s lead but finally ran out of rounds. Referee’s score 97-94 for Slavin. It was reported that the boxers put their purse into the pot for winner takes all scrap. Both Slavin, 20, and Ahmed 27 hail from Sheffield and were both jumping from four rounds to ten so useful experiences for them.
Ali vs. Williams
Ali has an easy night against Williams. Ali was too big and too strong for a passive Williams. Ali was able to walk Williams down landing stiff jabs and clubbing body punches. Williams was more interested in clinching and after absorbing some heavy hits in the third Williams retired at the end of the round. Fourth win for 28-year-old Ali since being disqualified for taking a bite out of David Price in March last year. Ali had stopped Williams in six rounds in October 2018. Eleven consecutive losses for Williams.
Garin, Argentina: Middle: Lucas Bastida (15-1) W TKO 1 Sergio Lopez (12-4). Cruiser: Yamil Peralta (8-0) W KO 4 Angel Schmitt (6-12-1).
Bastida vs. Lopez
Bastida blasts out Lopez in the first round. Lopez sought to blow Bastida away with a fierce attack. Bastida stayed cool boxing behind his jab. He rocked Lopez with an uppercut then hurt him with two body punches before connecting with a overhand right that floored Lopez heavily. Lopez struggled to his feet but staggered badly and the referee stopped the fight after 103 seconds. Bastida, 23, was defending the South American title and moves to twelve wins in a row. Fourth inside the distance loss for Lopez
Peralta vs. Schmitt
Peralta kayos Schmitt with a right in the fourth. Peralta used his longer reach to force Schmitt to retreat. He had him in trouble from a left hook in the first and punished him with jabs and body shots in the second. Schmitt relied on some wild swipes hoping to get lucky. Schmitt changed to southpaw in the third and landed one good right but Peralta was connecting with long rights to the head and had Schmitt backing away with a body punch. In the fourth as Schmitt plunged forward Peralta met him with a perfectly executed right cross that sent Schmitt crashing to the floor and he was counted out. The 6’ 3 ½” Peralta was also defending the South American title. The Argentinian No 1 is a former bronze medallist from the World Championships and the Pan American Games. Schmitt, 40, is now 2-5-1 in his recent form.
Buenos, Aires, Argentina: Super Light: Jeremias Ponce (27-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Eniz (25-14-1,1ND). Bantam: Fernando Martinez (21-0) W PTS 10 Angel Aquino (7-4-1). Heavy: Lenier Pero (4-0) W KO 2 Jorge Arias (9-2-1). Super Welter: Brian Arregui (1-0) W TKO 2 Max Recalde (0-2).
Ponce vs. Eniz
Ponce stays unbeaten but has to climb off the canvas before winning. After two fairly even rounds Ponce found himself on the floor in the third. As they swapped punches a short left hook from southpaw Eniz put Ponce on the floor. He beat the count and only just survived. He then recovered and scored heavily over the fourth and fifth rounds. Eniz battled back hard over the seventh and eighth but a strong finish when he had Eniz holding on earned Ponce the decision. Scores 96-92, 96-93 ½ and 95-94 for Ponce. The 24-year-old IBO champion is trained by the sons of Santos Zacarias who trained Santos Laciar and Juan Martin Coggi and Jeremias is married to Argentinian Female bantamweight champion Iara Altamirano. It has been a switchback ride for Eniz lately. He scored wins over former IBF champion Cesar Cuenca former IBF champion and won in Denmark over 21-1 Deniz Ilbay but that was flowed by defeats against Gustavo Lemos and Subriel Matias.
Martinez vs. Aquino
Martinez, the WBC Silver champion and Argentinian No 1 was a heavy favourite here against inexperienced Aquino but had a much tougher test than he expected and had to settle for a split decision. Scores 97-92 and 95-94 for Martinez and 95-94 for Aquino. . The former amateur star scored a win over Andrew Moloney and competed at the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics but he was disappointing in this fight.
Like Ponce Martinez also had to struggle against unfancied Aquino. Aquino had won only two of his last six fights and was going ten rounds for the first time.
Pero vs. Arias
Cuban southpaw Pero crushes Arias. Pero had Arias in trouble from the start but Arias managed to survive the first three minutes. In the second Round Pero clubbed Arias to the floor twice for the kayo. The 28-year-old 6’ 3 ½” Pero turned pro in Germany last year. In the amateurs he was Cuban champion and won gold medals at the Youth World Championships, Youth Olympics and in the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games. Arias had won his last five fights.
Arregui vs. Ricalde
Down the card but of great local interest as Arregui wins his first pro fight. He floored Recalde with a right in the first and again with two rights in the second. The 20-year-old Arregui won a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games, a bronze at the Pan American Youth Championships and was a quarter-finalist at the World Youth Championships losing to the eventual gold medal list. Big thing expected from him. Recalde no hope novice.
Canberra, Australia: Feather: Brock Jarvis (18-0) W KO 5 Mark Schleibs (12-1). Light: Jacob Ng (14-0) W TKO 5 Hunter Ioane (8-1-1).
Jarvis vs. Schleibs
Jarvis just too much for smaller and less experienced Schleibs. Jarvis used his trade mark body attacks to wear down Schleibs. It was silly of Schleibs to come in at 121 ½ lbs giving away 4lbs to the bigger and stronger Jarvis. Schleibs did well to last as long as he did as he was being weakened from the start by body punches and it was over in the fifth when a left hook dropped him to his hands and knees. First fight at featherweight for 23-year-old Jarvis who collects the IBF Pan Pacific and WBO Global belts with his sixteenth win by KO/TKO. The Jeff Fenech-trained fighter is emerging as one of the best young fighters in Australia and is ready to move onto the world stage. Jarvis much too big an ask for former Australian bantam champion Schleibs
Ng vs. Ione
Ng gets off the floor to stop Ioane in a terrific scrap. The feeling was that as with Schleibs Ioane was trying to take too big a step up. It did not look that way in the first round when Ioane connected with a huge right cross that dumped Ng on the floor on his back. Somehow Ng just climbed straight up to his feet and after the count took the fight to Ioane. From there the two just knocked lumps off each other in round after round of terrific action. Ng repaid Ioane by flooring him twice with rights and after Ioane was sent staggering back by a series of head punches in the fifth the referee stopped the fight. The 26-year-old 5’ 11 ½” tall Gold Coast fighter was defending the IBF International and WBO Oriental titles. He has eleven wins by KO/TKO and is No 10 with the IBF. Ioane has five wins by KO/TKO and he almost made it six with that right in the first round.
Budapest, Hungary: Super Welter: Balazs Bacskai (14-0) W TKO 2 Nick Klappert (28-4). Super Middle: Istvan Szili (25-2-2) W TKO 7 Mate Kis (17-1-2).
Bacskai vs. Klappert
Bacskai gets this one over quickly and collects his first international title. The former amateur star put German Klappert on the floor three times each caused by a right to the head forcing Klappert’s corner to throw in the towel in the second round. The 32-year-old “Benji” makes it eight inside the distance wins as he lifts the WBO Inter-Continental title. In the amateurs Bacskai scored victories over Alex Besputin, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Scott Cardle and Abass Baraou. Klappert had gone into the fight with 8 victories in his last 9 outings.
Szili vs. Kis
Szili wins the vacant IBO Inter-Continental title with stoppage of Kis. Szili was the one forcing the fight always coming forward working on the body of the younger man. In the second a low punch cost Szili a point. Kis seemed to settle and boxed well to establish a lead. In the sixth Szili looked to have scored a knockdown with a hard right but the referee ruled Szili had pushed Kis to the canvas although Kis was visibly shaken. Kis appeared to have recovered at the start of the seventh but a succession of punches from Szili dropped him. He beat the count but was swaying badly and the referee stopped the fight. The 37-year-old Swiss-based Hungarian Szili had lost a split decision to Jayde Mitchell in Australia in his last fight. Kis, 27, had won his last ten fights, seven by KO/TKO.
Cape Town, South Africa: Heavy: Tian Fick (9-0) W PTS 12 Joshua Pretorius (7-5). Welter: Antonio Mayala (9-3-1) W PTS 10 Henriques Lando (5-2).
Fick vs. Pretorius
Fick finally wins the vacant South African title after overcoming a few bumps in the road. The 6’7” Fick towered over Pretorius and was able to use his long reach to pick off Pretorius at range and drop in right crosses. Pretorius kept marching forward but even when he managed to get inside Pretorius was finding his work smothered by the huge Fick and he never really posed any threat as Fick won a unanimous decision. Scores 118-110 twice and 119-109. The 36-year-old Fick was to challenge Ruann Visser for the title but Visser fell through the ropes and injured himself before the fight and when a drugs ban took Visser out of the equation the fight with Pretorius was then delayed by COVID-19 and then an illness to Fick. Pretorius had been outpointed by Fick in June last year but had won his last two fights.
Mayala vs. Lando
In a clash of two South African-based Angolans Mayala used his better skills to decision the aggressive Lando in an entertaining contests. Mayala always had the edge and clearly outpointed Lando to take the unanimous verdict. Scores 99-90. 98-91 and 97-92 for Mayala. The 40-year-old winner was making the third defence of the WBFederation African title and is now on a good run of 8-0-1. Two defeats in a row for Lando.
Hurlingham, Argentina: Fly: Agustin Gauto (16-0) W TKO 1 Juan Jurado (15-3-3). Light Heavy: Braian Suarez (13-0) W TKO 9 Cesar Reynoso (16-15-4).
Gauto vs. Jurado
Gauto despatches Jurado inside a round. Gauto was taller and quicker and Jurado was forced to come forward trying to get inside. Gauto rattled him early with a left uppercut and then put together a devastating combination rounded-off by a powerful straight right that sent Jurado crashing to the canvas. Jurado’s corner threw the towel in as soon as that right landed. The 22-year-old Gauto, a former undefeated South American champion and Argentinian No 1 light fly has eleven inside the distance victories including ten in his last eleven fights. He looks a very good prospect and is aiming to follow in the footsteps of his idol Omar Narvaez. First inside the distance loss for former Argentinian champion Jurado.
Suarez vs. Reynoso
Local boxer Suarez batters a gutsy Reynoso to defeat. Suarez used his left jab to boss this one from the start. Reynosa was rarely able to get on his front foot and spent much of the time pinned to the ropes as Suarez worked him over to head and body. A left to the body dropped Reynoso to his knees in the fourth. He survived the round but only the bell saved him at the end of the fifth. He showed guts to stay in the fight but took plenty of punishment. He was given a count at the end of the eighth when punches from Suarez drove him into the ropes and when he was floored by two rights in the ninth immediately halted the fight. Argentinian champion Suarez collects the WBA Fedebol belt with his twelfth win by KO/TKO. Former South American champion Reynoso drops to 2-8-1 in his eleven most recent contests.
Maraussan, France: Bastien Ballesta (22-0-1,1ND) W TKO 3 Achiko Odikadze (22-16-1).
Southpaw Ballesta halts Georgian Odikadze in three rounds. With the amount of reach he was giving away Odikadze had no choice but to steam forward trying to hustle Ballesta out of his stride. He had some success over the first two rounds but was walking through too much punishment. That caught up with him in the third when a series of body punches dropped him twice. He made it to his feet but a left to the head put him down for the third time and the fight was stopped. Only the third inside the distance win for French champion Ballesta who has won his last 19 fights. Tenth loss by KO/TKO for Odikadze
Montpellier, France: Welter: Mohamed Kani (18-2) W PTS 10 Sirak Hakobyan (20-5-1).
Kani holds on to the French title with split verdict over Hakobyan. The aggressive Hakobyan gave Kani plenty of trouble early but in the end the better skills of the southpaw champion just gave him the edge. Scores 97-92 and 96-93 for Kani and 95-94 for Hakobyan. The 30-year-old local fighter was making the first defence of the title which he won with a victory over 18-1 Mehdi Mouhib in January and is now aiming for a shot at the European title. Armenian-born Hakobyan was in good form having won 12 of his last 13 fights
Magdeburg, Germany: Cruiser: Roman Fress (12-0) W KO 4 Erdogan Kadrija (16-3). Light Heavy: Tom Dzemski (16-0) W PTS 8 Jihad Nasif (12-2-1). Cruiser: Juergen Uldedaj (13-0) W RTD 3 Bojan Cestic (2-5).
Fress vs. Kadrija
Fress brushes aside Kadrija to retain the German title. After a slow two rounds Fress picked up the pace in the third and began to get through with some punishing rights. In the fourth as they traded punches Fress connected with a devastating right uppercut on the inside. Kadrija never saw it coming and it put him flat on his back on the canvas and the fight was over. The 26-year-old Kazakh-born Fress, a German champion at Under-17, Youth and Under 21 level, registers his seventh inside the distance victory. He is trained by former IBF super middle champion Robert Stieglitz. Kosovon-born Kadrija was knocked out in two rounds by Juergen Brahmer in June last year but had bounced back with five wins.
Dzemski vs. Nasif
Dzemski outpoints Nasif. Dzemski boxed cleverly being quicker and more accurate than Nasif. He jabbed well and connected regularly with left hooks to the body. He was never able to subdued Nasif who staged a strong finish as Dzemski’s output declined over the last two rounds to make it a fair test for Dzemski who is showing steady improvement. Scores 78-74 on all cards for Dzemski. This was the 23-year-old Dzemski’s first defence of his IBF Youth title. He is trained by his father Dirk who was 22-0 as a pro and is now one of the top trainers in Germany. Nasif, also German, had won his last two fights.
Uldedaj vs. Cestic
Albanian Uldedaj has no problems with young Bosnian Cestic. Uldedaj controlled the action and handed Cestic a solid beating for three rounds with Cestic retiring before the start of the fourth. Uldedaj, 23, competed for Albania at both the World and European Junior and Youth Championships and is also trained by Dirk Dzemski. Third loss by KO/TKO for 20-year-old Cestic
Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua: Feather: Marcio Soza (21-6-2) W PTS 11 Robin Zamora (16-8,1ND).
Soza wins the vacant WBA Fedelatin title with split decision over fellow-Nicaraguan Zamora, Scores 107-103 and 107 102 for Soza and 107-103 for Zamora. Now eleven consecutive wins for Soza who had beaten Zamora on a majority decision in 2017. Zamora was coming off wins over a couple of experienced domestic opponents.
Windhoek, Namibia: Welter: Brendon Denes (8-0) W KO 6 Mikka Shonena (16-1). Super Feather: Jeremiah Nakathila (21-1) W KO 2 Emmanuel Amos (15-5-1). Harry Simon Jr (13-0) W TKO 2 Person Mutengwa (1-4)
Denes vs. Shonena
A real upset here as in his first fight for 15 months Zimbabwean novice Denes wipes out unbeaten Shonena in six rounds. Denes outboxed Shonena over the first two rounds and then dropped him three times in the third. Shonena managed to get through the round but in the sixth a right and a left hook put Shonena down and he was counted out. Fifth inside the distance victory for the 23-year-old from Zimbabwe. Shonena was rated No 8 in the world by the WBO (No 112 by BoxRec). He was high for the simple reason that he won the WBO African title by beating someone who is No 593 in the Box Rec ratings. Now the WBO will be faced with either rating novice Denes at No 8 above such as David Avanesyan and Keith Thurman or pretending the result never happened.
Nakathila vs. Amos
Easy night for Nakathila. He almost ended it in the first round as he floored Amos with a punch to the temple and Amos was saved by the bell. A right uppercut from Nakathila put Amos down and out in the second. Now 17 wins by KO/TKO for Nakathila who was defending his WBO Global title. He is No 3 in the WBO rankings which puts him above Carl Frampton. Box Rec has him at No 39 but that is based on the low quality of opposition he has faced and not on some spurious title he holds. The WBO gave up using quality of opposition as a reason for ranking a long time ago. Tanzanian Amos (No 678 in the world) fails to go the distance for the first time.
Simon vs. Mutengwa
Simon Jr remains unbeaten with a second round stoppage of Zimbabwean Mutengwa. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the son of the former WBO champion. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Mutengwa.
Fight of the week (Significance): Anthony Joshua’s win over Kubrat Pulev keeps alive the possibility of the richest fight in heavyweight history against Tyson Fury.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Jacob Ng against Hunter Ione proved thrills all the way and almost lived up to Ng’s ring walk (see observations)
Fighter of the week: Anthony Joshua with an honourable mention to the brilliant Chris Colbert
Punch of the week: The rights from Anthony Joshua and Yamil Peralta were both fight finishers but I just go with Joshua.
Upset of the week: Hard to top seven fight Zimbabwean novice Brendon Denes knocking out WBO No 8 Mikka Shonena
Prospect watch: Argentinian flyweight Agustin Gauto 16-0 11wins by KO/TKO is progressing well.
Jacob (Flamingo) Ng certainly set a new standard for a ring walk in Canberra. He sashayed down the cat walk wearing a cloak of pink feathers and pausing a few times to do some fancy dancing and pelvic thrusts (I would say it reminded me more of a strip club but I can’t say that as obviously I would never frequent such a place). Once Ng put his cloak of feathers away he and opponent Hunter Ione put on a great fight-but then you would have to after an entrance like that.
Chris Colbert mirrored Ng in some ways with his dyed red hair and pink gloves complete with a skirt-like apron to his shorts and tassels on his boots-and to think some people though Muhammad Ali was showy with his shuffle. In Ali’s day it was all sepia now it is Technicolor everywhere.
There were too many back of the neck punches on show at the weekend. Kubrat Pulev was landing them in every round and it is a favourite of Filip Hrgovic. There was supposed to be an attempt to rid the game of them but all that happens now for rabbit punches is a mild finger wagging. There is a great danger that if a fighter suffers a serious injury from those punches then some smart lawyer is going to going after the referee and everyone else involved.
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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