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The Past Week in Action 18 July 2023: Baumgardner Outpoints Linardatou; Martin Decisions Harutyunyan; Cuban Star Andy Cruz Wins First Pro Bout

-Alycia Baumgardner gains revenge for her only loss as she outpoints Christina Linardatou in defence of her IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC/WBO super feather belts.
-Frank Martin decisions Artem Harutyunyan in WBC lightweight title eliminator
-Andy Cruz, a former star of Cuban boxing, turns professional and outpoints former title challenger Juan Burgos over ten rounds
-Sandor Martin and Dan Azeez stay busy with wins in Italy
-Josh Kelly outpoints Argentinian Gabriel Corzo to keep alive his hopes of a title shot at super welter and Liam Dillon wins the vacant British super feather title with points victory over Qais Ashfaq
-Mexican super bantam 25-0-1 Alan Picasso stops South African Sabelo Ngebinyana in six rounds.
-There are wins for heavy Jermaine Franklin, Ja ’Rico Quinn, Elvis Rodriguez and Frejdis Rojas

World Title/Major Shows


Detroit, MI, USA: Super Feather: Alycia Baumgardner (15-1) W PTS 10 Christina Linardatou (14-3). Light: Andy Cruz (1-0) W PTS 10 Juan Burgos (35-8-3). Heavy: Jermaine Franklin (22-2) W PTS 10 Isaac Gutierrez (17-1-1). Super Bantam: Ja Rico O’Quinn (16-1-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Mujica (8-3).

Baumgardner vs. Linardatou
Baumgardner takes a wide unanimous decision over Linardatou to gets revenge for her sole defeat. Linardatou was looking to take the fight to Baumgardner in the first with Baumgardner on the back foot and just probing with her jab. Late in the round Baumgartner cut loose with a ferocious attack banging home hooks from both hands shaking Linardatou. Linardatou again went on the front foot in the second setting a fast pace with Baumgardner still content to box and counter. Baumgarner stood and traded a bit more in the third but Linardatou was again marching forward throwing punches and getting through with hard shots to head and body. Linardatou looked to be slowing in the fourth and fifth and Baumgardner was putting together some solid work showering Linardatou with hooks and uppercuts. in the sixth and in the seventh Baumgarner was switching guards and countering the ever aggressive Linardatou until gradually Baumgarner was the one coming forward landing heavily on a tiring Linardatou. Baumgarner kept up the pressure over the closing rounds with Linardatou refusing to crumble but soaking up lots of punishment. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 as Baumgardner successfully defends her IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC/WBO titles. She had lost a split decision against Linardatou back in 2018. Linardatou made Baumgardner fight hard just as she did with Katie Taylor in losing to her in 2019.

Cruz vs. Burgos
Former amateur star Cruz turns professional and immediately goes in at ten rounds level outpointing former title challenger Bustos. From the start Cruz showed slick movement and fast hands initially boxing on the back foot and countering. It seemed he was trying too hard to be entertaining and it was a bit embarrassing when he missed with a sweeping left hook and ended up on the canvas. He easily switched guards and threw flashing combinations but seemed to still be in that amateur mind set where because the fights are of shorter duration volume is important rather than loading up on punches. Burgos was never really able to put Cruz under sustained pressure and Cruz was able to slip and slide away when Burgos tried to pin him against the ropes. Cruz also chose to stand and brawl at times and handled the ten round distance with ease. No real highlights just a demonstration of Cruz’s impressive skills and the only thing missing was power but that may come as he settles into his career. Cruz, 27, won on scores of 100-90 twice and 98-92 which was generous to Burgos. In the amateurs Cruz won an Olympic gold, three World Championships gold and two Pan America Games gold. He was the nemesis of Keyshawn Davis beating him in the Olympic, World and Pan American gold medal bouts. Now 35 Burgos was at his best when he was a challenger in title fights losing against Hozumi Hasegawa and Mikey Garcia and drawing with Roman Martinez but he is well past that stage. He was used to test Davis over eight rounds in December losing 80-72 on all three cards and he can still boast he has never lost inside the distance.

Franklin vs. Munoz
Franklin wins a one-sided fight against a fleshy and slow Munoz. It was evident from the start that Franklin was sharper and more mobile than Munoz. Franklin found Munoz’s body an easy target and Munoz was too slow to pose any threat although showing a decent chin. The fight was too one-sided to be entertaining as Franklin goes back down a few rungs after high profile losses against Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua. Franklin won on scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91. Munoz 6’1” and 257 ½ lbs has done all of his fighting in Mexico against low level opposition.

O’Quinn vs. Mujica
Detroit’s O’Quinn sheds some rust as he gets ten rounds of work against Venezuelan Mujica. The visitor was putting O’Quinn under pressure from the start with O’Quinn boxing with skill, switching guards and countering. Mujica connected with a hard left in the first and kept up the pressure but was cut over his left eye by a punch in the third. Oquinn was making the fight harder than it needed to be by choosing to stand and trade with Mujica instead of using his better skills but he was still doing most of the scoring. Eventually he listened to his corner and boxed more in the late rounds but Mujica kept coming and O’Quinn lost his mouthguard as they traded punches in the tenth. There was a time out whilst the mouthguard was recovered and then O’Quinn landed heavily before the final bell. The scores were widely different at 100-90, 97-93 and 96-94 for O’Quinn depending on how impressed you were by Mujica’s aggression. First fight in fifteen months for O’Quinn to some extent throwing away the boost his win over rated Jobert Alvarez in Aril last year gave him. Mujica had scored a couple of wins over acceptable level opposition.

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Frank Martin (18-0) W PTS 12 Artem Harutyunyan (12-1) Super Light: Elvis Rodriguez (15-1-1) W TKO 7 Viktor Postol (31-5). Welter: Frejdis Rojas (11-0) W TKO 7 Diego Santiago (19-3). 

Martin vs. Harutyunyan
Martin needs a strong finish to overhaul Harutyunyan’s early lead and the decision was close enough to have gone either way .Harutyunyan made a good busy, busy start stabbing out plenty of jabs moving well and landing to the body with Martin a step behind in the exchanges and Harutyunyan landed some more body punchers before the bell. Harutyunyan was getting his punches off first and outworking Martin switching his attack from head to body and picking up the points looking to have swept the first three rounds. The fourth was more even with Martin just having the edge but Harutyunyan again outscored Martin in the fifth repeatedly finding the body with rights with Martin not throwing enough punches. Martin came to life in the sixth. He was on target with his jab and drove Harutyunyan around the ring with a succession of rights. After the sixth Harutyunyan was 58-56 in front on all three cards. Martin was hurt by a right to the body in the seventh, the best punch in the fight so far, and Harutyunyan might have taken that round. The eighth was also close but in the ninth Martin was throwing more and landing more as Harutyunyan seemed to be slowing. Martin was circling him changing angles and landing heavily. The tenth was one-sided with Martin driving Harutyunyan around the ring scoring with both hands with Harutyunyan scuttling backwards and covering up. Harutyunyan’s left eye was beginning to close. Martin won the eleventh with Harutyunyan stumbling and almost going down under the pressure. With Harutyunyan having made such a good start and remained competitive through the middle rounds this one could go either way. Martin chased Harutyunyan down in the twelfth and the critical moment came when Harutyunyan retreated from a volley of head punches and dropped briefly to one knee. He was up quickly and survived the last forty seconds. Martin won on scores of 115-112 twice and 115-113. It was a closer fight than expected and raised questions as to whether Martin is ready to challenge Devin Haney. Armenian-born German Harutyunyan, a bronze medal winner at the 2016 Olympics, came so close here and has the ability to be a factor in this division.

Rodriguez vs. Postol
Dominican southpaw Rodriguez puts on an impressive performance as he stops Postol in seven. Over the first two rounds Postol used his longer reach to back Rodriguez up and landed some long rights. He was piling up the points with Rodriguez struggling to land anything of consequence. Rodriguez began to find the target with his jab from the third getting through with some powerful combinations and he sent Postol back on his heels with a left. The fourth was a close round which Postol looked to have won it but Rodriguez was closing Postol down in the fifth. A series of punches had Postol staggering and he was under pressure at the bell. It was all Rodriguez now and as they swapped punches late in the sixth a right hook from Rodriguez had Postol stumbling and going down on his knees. Rodriguez was forcing Postol around the ring in the seventh and after a left to the head sent Postol tumbling into the ropes the referee stopped the fight. Fourth consecutive win over good level opposition for Rodriguez since his majority decision loss against Kenneth Sims Jr in May 2021. Former WBC title holder Postol, 39, was having his first fight since losing on points to Gary Antuanne Russel in February 2022.

Rojas vs. Santiago
Southpaw Rojas stops Mexican Santiago in the seventh round. The 6’2” southpaw was 7” taller than Santiago leaving Santiago with no choice but to march forward trying to get past the jab and work inside. Rojas fed Santiago a steady diet of jabs and straight lefts and Santiago’s left eye was already being affected by swelling by the second round. Santiago had some modest success in the fifth, the first time Rojas had gone past the fourth round in a fight. Rojas continued to rake the advancing Sanches with jabs and straight rights in the sixth with Sanchez’s corner warning that if he did not improve in the seventh they would pull him out of the fight. In the seventh Sanchez was still walking onto punches and his corner threw in the towel. Good step-up performance from 24-year-old Rojas. Santiago was inactive in 2020 and 2022 and this was his first fight for nineteen months.

Newcastle, England: Super Welter: Josh Kelly (14-1-1) W PTS 12 Gabriel Corzo (18-1). Super Feather: Liam Dillon (13-0-1) W PTS 12 Qais Ashfaq (12-2). Super Welter: Samuel Antwi (16-2) W TKO 3 Ruban Angulo (8-8-2). Super Welter: Troy Williamson (20-1-1) W PTS 6 Ramiro Blanco (19-24-3).
Kelly vs. Corzo
Kelly scores a comfortable if uninspiring win over Argentinian Corzo. The visitor made a good start scoring with left hooks and Kelly suffered a small cut over his left eye. Kelly started to take charge in the second and third and upped the pressure in the fourth with Corzo spending much of the round pinned to the ropes under fire but Kelly was cut again this time on the bridge of his nose. Kelly dominated the action from there switching guards and boxing with his hands down as he bombarded Corzo with punches from both hands and different angles. Kelly’s cuts had come from head clashes and the referee deducted a point from Corzo in the ninth for a butt. By then Corzo was in survival mode and despite Kelly ‘s best efforts Corzo made it to the final bell. Kelly won on scores of 120-107 twice and 117-110. Kelly was defending his WBO International belt and he is No 2 with that body. Like the other top rated fighters in the division, he will be watching what happens after the Saul Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo fight to see what doors that opens. Corzo was in over his head. His opposition had been modest and Box Rec have him rated No 208.
Dillon vs. Ashfaq
Dillon scores two knockdowns but has to settle for a split decision over Ashfaq. Dillon’s tactics were to march forward behind a high guard forcing Ashfaq to fight a defensive fight. Ashfaq showed good movement, a strong right jab and some sharp counters. The rounds were close with Dillon not a heavy puncher trying to overwhelm Ashfaq with volume and Ashfaq quick handed and accurate. After a sustained attack in the fourth Ashfaq tumbled forward and down. He made it to his feet and withstood a battery of punches to make it to the bell. Heads clashed in the fifth with Dillon cut over his right eye and Ashfaq was cut over his left eye in the sixth. There were some savage exchanges in the seventh and eighth but in the ninth Asfaq dropped to a knee under the sheer volume of Dillon’s punches. Dillon attacked relentlessly over the closing rounds just pouring out punches with Ashfaq standing his ground more and landing plenty of accurate, hurtful counters to make it a close fight. Two judges went for Dillon on scores of 117-110 and 115-112 whist the third saw it 115-112 for Ashfaq with Dillon winning the vacant British title. It had been an all-action gruelling battle which deserves a return.
Antwi vs. Angulo
Antwi stops Colombian Angulo in the third round. Second bounce-back win for Antwi after losing on points against Ekow Essuman for the British and Commonwealth titles in September. Angulo’s recent form is 0-7-1 
Williamson vs. Blanco
Just some ring time for former British champion Troy Williamson as he wins every round on the referee’s 60-54 card. First fight for Williamson since losing his British title to Josh Kelly in December. Nicaraguan Blanco in a losing groove with just one win in his last 21 fights. 


PLANT City, FL, USA: Super Middle: Lester Martinez (16-0) W TKO 4 Lucas de Abreu (14-3). Heavy: Najee Lopez (7-0) W KO 1 Chris Brooker (16-14).
Guatemala’s No 1 fighter Martinez gets another inside the distance win as he stops Brazilian de Abreu in the fourth round. Over the first two rounds de Abreu showed plenty of movement and plenty of jabs against the slower Martinez but there was no pop in his punches and Martinez was already beginning to connect with hooks from both hands and rocking de Abreu. de Abreu peppered Martinez with punches in the third but Martinez walked through them and landed a right to the head late in the round with de Abreu going down on one knee for a count. He was up at seven but went down again from a series of punches and was up again with the bell already having gone. A volley of punches from Martinez in the fourth saw de Abreu drop to a knee again and the referee waived the fight over without a count. That’s now 14 wins by KO/TKO for Martinez. He was one of Guatemala’s most successful amateurs winning a silver at the World Youth Championships and five gold medals at the Central American Championships. He also scored wins over Arlen Lopez, Tokyo gold medallist Herberto Conceicao, Alberto Puello and Carlos Adames. Third loss in a row for de Abreu.
Lopez vs. Brooker
Lopez gets count-out win over Brooker. Brooker threw a couple of hooks and was then sent back by jabs and a left hook to the body. Lopez then connected with a left hook and a right to the head that landed behind Brooker’s left ear. He went down to his knees and was counted out protesting the final punch was a foul. Sixth win by KO/TKO for 6’2” Georgia-born Puerto Rican Lopez. He won silver at the National Golden Gloves and competed at the US Trials for the Tokyo Olympics. Seventh loss by KO/TKO for Brooker.


Windham, NH, USA: Super Bantam: Hegly Mosqueda (25-0) W KO 6 Ernesto Guerrero (34-38). Welter: Kenny Larsen (7-0) W PTS 8 Brandon Higgins (10-3).
Mosqueda vs. Guerrero
Mosquera beats Guerrero in six rounds. Mosqueda took the first two rounds with his superior skills. Guerrero was doing better early in the third before being dropped but fought back well at the bell. Guerrero again started the fourth round well but was floored just before the bell. He arose and saw out the round then outboxed Mosquera in the fifth before a body shot finished him in the sixth. Tenth inside the distance win in his last eleven fights for Venezuelan Mosqueda and nineteen in total. Poor Mexican Guerrero has lost 8 of his last 9 fights. 
Larsen vs. Higgins
Larsen takes a split decision over Higgins. Higgins had a slight advantage in experience with Larsen’s first six fights being over in less then fourteen rounds. Higgins went in front early knocking Larsen into the ropes in the first which could have resulted in a count. He also edged the second before Larsen took control over the middle rounds with a higher work rate. Larson paid for the extra effort as he tired over the late rounds with Higgins fighting hard to make it very close with Larsen getting the verdict on scores of 77-75 twice and a 78-74 for Higgins.


Verbania, Italy: Super Light: Sandor Martin (41-3) W TKO 6 Arblin Kaba (15-4-1). Middle: Giovanni Sarchioto (8-0) W TKO 6 Fouad El Massoudi (18-21-1). Super Middle: Ivan Zucco (18-0) W KO 4 Baptiste Castegnaro (12-25).Super Feather: Francesco Grandelli (17-2-2) W PTS 6 Emiliano Salvini (19-43-2).
Martin vs. Kaba
Spanish southpaw Martin a class or two above brave Albanian-born Kaba and stops him in the sixth. Kaba took the fight to Martin in the first but without much success as Martin defended well and countered accurately. Kaba did a bit better in the second again attacking fiercely and pinning Martin to the ropes but Martin ended the round scoring with well-timed counters. Martin began to dominate over the third choosing to stand and trade punches with Kaba and his clever movement and hand speed saw him wearing Kaba down in the fourth and fifth. Martin wrapped it up in the sixth landing a series of hooks that saw Kaba forced to go down on one knee, When the action resumed Martin put Kaba down again with a right and the towel came in from Kaba’s corner. Martin is No 1 with the WBC and was calling out Regis Prograis although I guess he would be equally happy to get the chance at WBO champion Teo Lopez who beat Martin on a hotly disputed split decision in December. Former Italian champion Kaba is going through a rocky period being 3-4-1 in his last 8 fights.
Sarchioto vs. El Massoudi
Another power showing from Sarchioto as he beats experienced Frenchman El Massoudi. Sarchioto attacked hard from the start and El Massoud only survived the opening round with the aid of a standing count. Sarchioto continued to pound El Massoudi in the second and third and once again a standing count allowed El Massoud to see out the fourth round. The fight was stopped in the sixth due to a cut over El Massoudi’s left eye caused by a punch. The 25-year-old from Anzio gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. Just one win in his last twelve fights for El Massoudi
Zucco vs. Castegnaro
Home town boxer Zucco knocks out Frenchman Castegnaro in the fourth round. The heavy punching Zucco bossed the exchanges scoring well to head and body. Castegnaro tried to stand and swap punches but was getting the worst of the exchanges. In the fourth a southpaw right hook sent Castegnaro crashing to the canvas and he hit his head hard on the floor. He was stretchered from the ring to a hospital with a neck collar but no update available on his condition.
Grandelli vs. Salvini
Grandelli eases his way back into the winning column with a points victory over perennial loser Salvini. First fight for former Italian featherweight champion Grandelli since losing on a first round stoppage against Mauro Forte in a fight for the vacant European featherweight title in May. Seventeenth loss in a row for Salvini.

Mexico City, Mexico: Super Bantam: Alan Picasso (25-0-1) W TKO 6 Sabelo Ngebinyana (15-7-1). Feather: Rafael Espinoza (21-0) W TKO 2 Ally Mwerangi (12-7). Super Middle: Aaron Silva (13-0) W TKO 1 Hassam Valenzuela (20-5-2).
Picasso vs. Ngebinyana
Picasso wears down and stops a game Ngebinyana in the sixth A promising start from southpaw Ngebinyana as he found the target with some straight lefts and was piling forward throwing hooks. Picasso was having trouble finding the target but did better when Ngebinyana chose to stand and swap punches at short range. Ngebinyana then backed off and Picasso landed some body punches late but Ngebinyana had won the round. Picasso was walking Ngebinyana down throughout the second and third with Ngebinyana boxing well on the retreat scoring with left counters but Picasso was digging home rights to the head and fierce left hooks to the body with Ngebinyana under relentless pressure. Picasso took a little while to get into his stride in the fourth but he was soon scoring with scorching left hooks and straight rights and pounding Ngebinyana along the ropes with the South African firing back just enough for the referee to let the fight continue. Ngebinyana did well for the first two minutes of the fifth circling the perimeter of the ring sticking out punches and then diving inside to clinch. Over the last minute Picasso was again landing heavy shots with both hands and those left hooks were hurting Ngebinyana and a stoppage looked close. Picasso bombarded Ngebinyana with punches in the sixth until Ngebinyana’s corner threw in the towel. Picasso, 22, wins the WBC Silver title and is No 3 in the WBC ratings. This is his seventh inside the distance win in a row. Ngebinyana fought hard but did not have the power to hold off Picasso.
Espinoza vs. Mwerangi
Espinoza stops Tanzanian Mwerangi. This was a bizarre match as the 6’1” (185cm) tall Espinoza was facing the 5’0 ½” (154cm) Tanzanian Mwerangi. Initially Espinoza had difficult in punching down as Mwerangi was leaping inside with his head down throwing wild punches . Gradually Espinoza began to find the target with shots to head and body and Mwerangi was forced to go on the defensive. In the second Espinoza pounded Mwerangi with punches to head and body until Mwerangi finally dropped to his knees and the referee waived the fight over to save a brave Mwerangi from further punishment. Twentieth win by KO/TKO for Espinoza including 15 in his last 16 fights but this was farcical. Mwerangi had lost his last four fights.
Silva vs. Valenzuela
Silva blows away Valenzuela in 40 seconds. Valenzuela came out throwing punches and forcing Silva to the ropes. As they traded inside a left hook to the body saw Valenzuela freeze for a moment and then go down in agony. The referee counted to eight and with Valenzuela still writhing in pain he waived the fight over. On paper this was the first real test for 26-year-old Silva but it turned out to be his third first round finish. Valenzuela suffers his third inside the distance loss in a row.

Parana, Argentina: Light Fly: Junior Zarate (21-4) W PTS 10 Rodrigo Ramirez (16-1-1). Fly: Tobias Reyes (13-0) W KO 8 Jose Perez (13-4-1). Super Light: Anahi Sanchez (22-6) W PTS 10 Yamila Reynoso (13-14-3). 
Zarate vs. Ramirez
Zarate survives a late knockdown to win a split decision over Venezuelan Ramirez. It was the visitor who established a lead in the first three rounds with good use of his longer reach and some cool boxing. Zarate upped his pace from the fourth and Ramirez started to fade. By the end of the ninth Zarate was well in front and looking to box his way through the tenth but a right to the head put him down. He beat the count and survived to the bell. Two judges scored it 96-93 and 95-94 for Zarate and the third scored it 97-93 for Ramirez. Seventh win in a row for Zarate who was defending his IBF and WBC Latino titles. Zarate scored wins over Charlie Edwards and Nico Hernandez in the amateurs. After drawing his first fight Ramirez had then won 16 in a row but his opposition had been mediocre at best.
Reyes vs. Perez
Reyes stops Perez in the eighth. After a slow first round Reyes scored heavily in the second and the referee gave Perez a standing count. Perez recovered and from the third pressed hard with Reyes boxing and countering on the back foot. Perez looked to be tiring in the seventh and a series of punches finished-off with a left hook to the body sent Perez down and he was counted out. The 5’3” “Pitbull” , the South American fly champion, retained the IBF Latino title and won the vacant WBO Latino title in his twelfth inside the distance victory in a row. Mexican Perez was 2-0-1 in his last three fights.
Sanchez vs. Reynosa 
Sanchez wins the South American title with a victory over reigning champion Reynoso. Sanchez made good use of her advantages in reach and hight to control the fight from the centre of the ring. She outboxed Reynoso to move into a good lead and then matched Reynoso over the closing rounds. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92. Sanchez is a former IBF super feather and WBA light title holder.

Brisbane, Australia: Light Heavy: Conor Wallace (11-1) W KO 1 Mat Sheehan (10-2). Feather: Dana Coolwell (11-2) W PTS 10 Manuer Matat (5-5).
Wallace vs. Sheehan
In a clash of southpaws Wallace finishes Sheehan in the first round. Wallace put Sheehan down with a left and after Sheehan beat the count he was dropped again and counted out. Newry born Wallace retained his IBF Pan Pacific and WBA Oceania belts with his eighth win by KO/TKO. He lost his Australian title on a majority decision against Leti Leti but kayoed Leti Leti in WBA Oceanian title fight in November. Sheehan had won his last eight fights.
Coolwell vs. Matat
Mata used his longer reach to take the opening round but Coolwell scored strongly in the second shaking Matati. Coolwell outscored Matat over the next three rounds but was cut in the sixth and Matta looked to just have the edge in that round and the seventh was close. Coolwell’s better boxing gave him the advantage over the high work rate of Matat over the closing rounds. Coolwell wins an entertaining fight on scores of 98-92 twice and 97-93. Fourth win on the bounce for the former undefeated Australian champion. Good effort from the South Sudan-born Matat. 

Cali, Colombia: Heavy: Jesus Escalera (14-0) W Delvis Casseres (29-18-2). Super Middle: Antwan Jones (13-0) W RTD 7 Jose Torres (35-18). Welter: LaVonte Early(16-0) W KO 2 Oswaldo Miranda (11-7).
Escalera vs. Casseres
Escalera 43yo PR, SPW 5’11” 14 wins id vacant WBA Fedebol UBC Inter-Continental, WBC Fecarbox Colombian champion 11th fight this year
Southpaw Escalera retains two minor belts and picks up another as he stops fellow Colombian Casseres in two rounds. Escalera controlled the first round then put Casseres down with a body punch in the second and Casseres was counted out. Puerto Rican Escalera, 42, held on to the WBC Fecarbox and UBO Inter-Continental belts and won the vacant WBA Fedebol title in his eleventh fight this year. Twelfth loss inside the distance for Casseres. Escalera, 5’11” was 51lbs heavier than Casseres
Jones vs. Torres
Toledo’s Jones wins the vacant ABF Mid American title with seventh retirement by Torres. First fight outside of the USA for 33-year-old Jones
Early vs. Miranda
Early gets his tenth win by KO/TKO as he puts Miranda down and out in the second round. As with Jones this was Early’s first fight outside of the USA and his fourth consecutive inside the distance win. Only the third fight in the last ten years for Miranda

Landau, Germany: Light Heavy: Benjamin Gavazi (17-1) W TKO 3 Yasir Malik (8-2). 
Gavazi extends his run of victories with a third round stoppage of Malik in defence of his German International belt. After losing his first fight Landau’s Gavazi has won seventeen in a row eleven by KO/TKO. Second loss by KO/TKO for Pakistani Malik.

Neuwied, Germany: Howik Bebraham(21-3) W TKO 3 Heiber Rojas (20-10-2). Cruiser: Mohammed Bekdash (25-0) W KO 1 Deniz Altz (15-10). Cruiser: Ilies Iyyas (14-3) W TKO 4 Nabil Zaky (13-3).
Bebraham vs. Rojas
Bebraham overcomes the taller Venezuelan Rojas to win on a third round retirement. Seventh victory by KO/TKO for Bebraham and eighth defeat inside the distance for Rojas. 
Bekdash vs. Altz
Syrian-born southpaw Bekdash puts Altz down and out after just 52 seconds. Twenty-two inside the distance finishes for Bekdash including fourteen in the first round but his opposition has been abysmal. Eighth time Altz has been stopped early.
Iyyas vs. Zaky
Iyyas stops Egyptian Zaky in the fourth round and is 8-1 in his last nine fights. Zaky, 40, gets his tenth consecutive defeat seven of them by KO/TKO

Magdeburg, Germany: Julian Vogel (11-0-1) DREW 8 Mykyta Alistratov (8-0-2). Cruiser: Roman Fress (18-1) W KO 1 Edwin Mosquera (10-1-2). Heavy: Christian Demaj (5-2) W PTS 6 Ilja Mezencev (24-3,1ND).
Vogel vs. Alistratov
The WBO Youth title remains vacant after 20-year-old Vogel and Ukrainian Alistratov, 23, fight to a draw. In an entertaining fast-pace fight Vogel edged into the lead over the first half of the fight but Alistratov had Vogel under pressure and rocking in the fifth and finished strongly and looked unlucky to have to settle for a draw. Scores 77-75 for Vogel, 77-76 for Alistratov and 76-76.
Fress vs. Mosquera
Fress crushes Colombian Mosquera in the first round. One right to the head is all that Fress needed as Mosquera went down heavily and was counted out. Eleventh inside the distance win for Kazakh-born Fress and his third win since a shock loss to Armend Xhoxhaj. Mosquera was having his first fight outside of Colombia
Demaj vs. Mezencev 
Albanian Demaj upsets home team boxer Mezencev. Demaj proved too strong and too awkward for the limited Mezencev and deservedly took the split decision on scores of 59-55 and 57-56 and 57-56 for Mezencev. Kazakh-born Mezencev had lost only one of his last 16 fights.

Johannesburg, South Africa: Feather: Lerato Dlamini (19-2) W KO 3 Hamidu Kwata (13-6-2). Fly: DeeJay Kriel (18-2-1) W PTS 10 Jafet Amukwa (9-5-1). 
Dlamini vs. Kwata
Dlamini returns to the ring with a third round kayo of Tanzanian Kwata. Dlamini had 5” in height over Kwata and loads more power so the third round kayo was no surprise. First fight for Dlamini since losing a close unanimous decision against James Dickens in a fight for the vacant IBO title in Liverpool in October. The 5’0” Kwata has lost inside the distance in both of his fights in South Africa.
Kriel vs. Amukwa
Kriel is struggling to find the form he showed before COVID shut boxing down. He took a unanimous decision over Namibian Amukwa but it was tight with Kriel winning on scores of 96-94 twice and 98-92. The former IBF light flyweight title challenger had to settle for a majority decision over Thembelani Nxoshe in December but with a bit more activity he can be a threat at flyweight. Amukwa performed above expectation.

Kinesi. Tanzania: Super Feather: Nasibu Ramadhani (34-18-2) W PTS 10 Loren Japhet (16-6-3) . 
Ramadhani wins this clash of Tanzanian southpaws on points over Japhet. Ramadhani was quicker and had more variety in his work scoring regularly with right and left hooks whereas Japhet mainly stuck to his jab. Ramadhani’s punches sent Japhet’s mouthguard flying three times in the fight as he led all the way. He put the fight beyond Japhet’s reach dropping him with a left in the eighth and was a good winner. No scores available but it was a fast-paced entertaining fight.. 
Rotherham, England: Welter: Dom Hunt (13-0) W TKO 8 Cameron Kaihau (8-0)
Hunt halts Kaihau. Southpaw Hunt was finding the target with straight lefts from the start forcing Kaihau to box on the back foot. Kaihau was boxing well behind his jab but could not match Hunt for power. Hunt stepped up the pressure in round after round with Kaihau’s work becoming ragged. Hunt was breaking Kaihau over the sixth and seventh and Kaihau dropped to his knees under a battery of punches. He made it to his feet but when he was shaken by a right the referee stopped the fight. Hunt retains the BBB of C Central Area belt with his third inside the distance victory. Kaihau lacked the power to match Hunt. 

Fight of the week (Significance): Frank Martin’s win over Artem Harutyunyan adds another element in the lightweight title mix
Fight of the week: Martin vs. Harutyunyan was hard fought and entertaining with honorary mention to Liam Dillon vs. Qais Ashfaq
Fighter of the week: Alycia Baumgardner for her successful defence of her five belts
Punch of the week: Even though it did not put Martin down Harutyunyan’s body punch in the seventh even had the crowd wincing.
Upset of the week: Christian Demaj (4-2) was just supposed to be an easy night for house fighter 24-2-1 Ilja Mezencev but came away with a split decision win
Prospect watch: Mexican super middleweight Aaron Silva 13-0 (10) looks good


Rosette: No excitement just business as usual so no rosettes
Red Card: To whatever matchmaker thought that puttingthe 6’1” (185cm) tall Rafael Espinoza in against the 5’0 ½”(154cm) Ally Mwerangi would provide an acceptable fight for Mexican TV. I can imagine the promoter’s representatives at the airport saying “OK a jokes a joke-now where’s your Dad”. Or are there six more at home like you.
-I guess that German cruiserweight Mohammed Bekdash thought he might get the prize for the quickest win at the weekend when he finished Deniz Altz in 52 seconds, By comparison with Aaron Silva he dawdled. Thanks to a kamikaze attack by Hassam Valenzuela Silva’s left hook to the body landed just five seconds into the fight and the count was over after fifteen seconds.

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.”

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

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