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The Past Week in Action 17 September 2023: Luis Lopez Outpoints Joet Gonzalez; Zayas, Villa Win; Cardenas, Cuello, Rojas score wins in San Antonio; Valle Defeats Santiza, Zepeda Destroys Gesta in LA

Luis Lopez defeats Joet Gonzalez.

-Luis Lopez outpoints Joet Gonzalez in IBF featherweight title defence
-There are wins for Xander Zayas, Ruben Villa, Delante Johnson, Jamaine Ortiz, Julio Luna and Emiliano Vargas
-Ramon Cardenas, Mirco Cuello, and Freudis Rojas score wins in San Antonio
- Jerry Forrest and Dusty Hernandez Harrison return with wins
- Yokasta Valle successfully defends her IBF and WBO minimum titles and William Zepeda destroys Mercito Gesta in six rounds
-Kenshiro Teraji stops Hekkie Budler in the ninth round in defence of his WBA and WBC light flyweight titles
-Junto Nakatani floors Argi Cortes three times and outpoints him to retain the WBO super fly title.

World Title/Major Shows


Corpus Christi, TX, USA: Feather: Luis Lopez (29-2) W PTS 12 Joet Gonzalez (26-4). Light: Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1) W PTS 10 Antonio Moran (29-5-1). Super Welter: Xander Zayas (17-0) W TKO 5 Roberto Valenzuela (21-5). Welter: Julio Luna (21-1-2) W PTS 10 Omar Aguilar 25-2). Feather: Ruben Villa (21-1) W PTS 8 Brandon Valdes (15-4). Super Light: Delante Johnson (10-0) W PTS 8 Ricardo Quiroz (13-3). Light: Emiliano Vargas (7-0) W TKO 3 Alejandro Guardado (5-1). Welter: John Rincon (8-0) W PTS 6 Bryan Rodriguez (4-2-1).

Lopez vs. Gonzalez
Lopez successfully defends the IBF title with a unanimous decision over Gonzalez.
Round 1
Lopez made a fast start jabbing then moving in with a hook and uppercut. He complained about a low punch from Gonzalez but then again fired a burst of punches. Gonzalez tried to his get jab working and fired to the body with Lopez then forcing Gonzalez to the ropes and landing to head and body only for Gonzalez to bang back in a lively round that Lopez took
Score: 10-9 Lopez
Round 2
Lopez was on target again at the start of the round. Getting his punches off first and firing jabs and then hooks from both hands. Gonzalez forced Lopez to the ropes and they both connected with hard punches. Gonzalez kept forging forward but Lopez finished the round with a classy mixture of hooks and uppercuts. 
Score: 10-9 LopezLopez 20-18 
Round 3
Gonzalez showered Lopez with punches but Lopez blocked most of them and then fired a series of hooks. Every time Gonzalez threw a jab Lopez was stepping inside and landing shots and forcing Gonzalez back. Gonzalez was tending to throw one punch at a time whereas Lopez was holding his hands lower and looser and firing hooks in bunches.
Score: 10-9 Lopez Lopez 30-27
Round 4
Gonzalez upped the pace of his attacks. He was jabbing strongly then firing straight rights and adding in hooks. He was keeping Lopez under pressure blocking Lopez’s counters and Lopez was throwing less and with less accuracy.
Score: 10-9 GonzalezLopez 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Robert Hoyle 39-37 Lopez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 39-37 Lopez, Judge Ruben Carrion 39-37 Lopez.
Round 5
Lopez was on the back foot at the start of the round. He was using quick accurate jabs to keep Gonzalez off balance and again firing hooks. He was also jabbing to the body then shifting to fire a bust of punches to the head. Gonzalez just could not get on target with his jab.
Score: 10-9 LopezLopez 49-46
Round 6
Lopez darted forward firing burst of hooks from both hands with Gonzalez not quick enough to counter. After that early lively attack from Lopez Gonzalez managed to find the range with his jab and landed a great right cross, the best punch of the fight so far, and pinned Lopez on the ropes but Lopez worked his way off the ropes and was getting through with little busts of punches including three consecutive uppercuts and forcing Gonzalez back around the ring.
Score: 10-9 LopezLopez 59-55
Round 7
Lopez was simply out working Gonzalez. As Gonzalez was hesitating Lopes was plying him with fast if not powerful punches from both hands and different angles. Gonzlez drove forward but Lopez was dodging and countering and was too quick for Gonzalez.
Score: 10-9 LopezLopez 69-64
Round 8
Gonzalez attacked furiously at the start of the round pumping out punches with Lopez twice against the ropes. Lopez worked his way off the ropes on each occasion and was then once again firing bursts of light but scoring punches with Gonzalez forced to back off and cover up as Lopez fired more quick hooks and uppercuts. 
Score: 10-9 Lopez Lopez 79-73
Official Scores: Judge Robert Hoyle 79-73 Lopez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 79-73 Lopez, Judge Ruben Carrion 79-73 Lopez.
Round 9
A much better round for Gonzalez. He pressed harder threw more punches letting his hands go instead of standing static in front of Lopez. Lopez had slowed and his spectacular bunches of punches was missing. 
Score: 10-9 GonzalezLopez 88-83
Round 10
Another round for Gonzalez. He was hunting down the retreating Lopez forcing him to the ropes and keeping him there scoring with head punches and holding off an attempt from Lopez to turn the round his way which made it a close round. 
Score: 10-9 GonzalezLopez 97-93
Round 11
They stood and traded in mid ring until Gonzalez used strong jabs to force Lopez back to the ropes. Lopez worked his way off the ropes and was scoring with counters from both hands. Gonzalez kept up the pressure again forcing Lopez to the ropes and punching to the body and just doing enough to win another close round. 
Score: 10-9 GonzalezLopez 106-103
Round 12
Gonzalez was marching forward again. Lopez was back to firing quick bursts of punches lighter but plentiful. Gonzalez was throwing harder shots but Lopez was dodging them and throwing wide hooks but despite Lopez visibly tiring he kept hooking and moving and outscored Gonzalez. 
Score: 10-9 LopezLopez 116-112
Official Scores: Judge Robert Hoyle 118-110 Lopez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 117-111 Lopez, Judge Ruben Carrion 116-112 Lopez.
Second defence of the IBF title for Lopez and his twelfth win in a row since a points loss against Ruben Villa in 2019. The IBF may now insist he defends against No 1 Reiya Abe who has done nothing to warrant the No 1 spot except outpoint 37-year -old Kiko Martinez who was No 14 when Abe beat him but that’s sanctioning body business approach today. Gonzalez had lost a unanimous decision to Emanuel Navarrete for the WBO title in October 2021 and lost a split decision against Isaac Dogboe in July 2022 but had rebounded with a points win over 22-2 Enrique Vivas in April. He pushed Lopez all the way but started his surge too late.

Ortiz vs. Moran
Ortiz shakes off the dust from eleven months out of the ring with a unanimous decision over Moran. Both fighters had their jab working well from the start. Ortiz, whilst mostly on then back foot, was quicker and more accurate and mixed his attacks well doubling up on his jab and adding hooks and uppercuts. Moran stayed on the front foot but was being beaten to the punch and having difficulty connecting on the fast moving Ortiz. The trend did not change much. There were plenty of fierce exchanges with Moran having his best moments when he was able to trap Ortiz against the ropes and Ortiz occasionally switching to southpaw. Moran was cut on the bridge of his nose by a punch and Ortiz had a swelling under his right eye that eventually leaked blood. Moran almost tumbled out of the ring when avoiding an attack from Ortiz but no knockdown was called and Ortiz boxed his way to the decision on scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93. Ortiz, 27, had beaten Nahir Albright and Jamal Herring then lost on points against Vasyl Lomachenko in 2022. He impressed as he started to rebuild here. Mexican Moran had lost to Devin Haney and Arnold Barboza but last year scored useful wins over Michael Dutchover and Kendo Castaneda.

Zayas vs. Valenzuela
Zayas stops Valenzuela in the fifth as a cut on the bridge of Valenzuela’s nose rules him out. Both were probing with their jabs in the first when a stiff jab from Zayas sent Valenzuela down. He was up quickly but after a few more punches were exchanged he was down again. Whilst Zayas did land a left hook he also shoved Valenzuela who went down and the referee applied a count. Valenzuela marched forward taking the fight to Zayas in the second and third but was being caught with jabs and left hooks to the body and could not cut down the ring due to the quick, clever movement from Zayas. The fourth saw Zayas again on the back foot spearing Valenzuela with jabs and a punch dislodged Valenzuela’s mouthguard and another opened a bad cut on the bridge of his nose. The referee called for the doctor to examine the cut but the fight continued. Zayas now began to let his punches fly and the referee again stopped the action for the doctor to examine Valenzuela but the doctor okayed the fight continuing. Valenzuela piled forward punching knowing there was a possibility of the fight being stopped but a right hook from Zayas sent him flying into the ropes and he only stayed up by grasping the ropes. Zayas then landed more jabs and hooks and the doctor examined Valenzuela again during the interval. Just seconds into the fifth punches from Zayas had the blood flowing from the cut and the referee stopped the fight. In theory this was to be the first ten round fight for 21-year-old Zayas which would have been good experience for him. He continues to improve from fight to fight and but for the injury Valenzuela would have been a good test. Zayas was defending the NABF and WBO NABO belts. Four of Valenzuela’s losses have come against unbeaten fighters in Zayas, Alexis Rocha, Souleymane Cissokho and Bakhram Murtazaliev
Luna vs. Aguilar
Luna boxes his way to victory over Aguilar. Big punching Aguilar made an aggressive start with Luna using quick footwork to avoid getting involved in a brawl. Luna stayed busy and outboxed Aguilar over then first two rounds. Aguilar’s pressure began to pay in the third and fourth as Luna was forced to stand and trade. The fifth was close but with Luna making room to box as he had earlier and the sixth could have been scored for either fighter. In the seventh the boxer Luna had the puncher Aguilar shaken with an uppercut and took the round clearly then matched a tired Aguilar in the eight. Scores 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 for Luna. After being unbeaten in his first 22 fights Luna lost on points to 29-0 Giovani Santillan but had bounced back with a victory over 20-3-2 Hassam Valenzuela. He won the WBC USA title with this victory. Aguilar won his first 24 fights, 23 by KO/TKO, before losing on points to 15-0 Lindolfo Delgado in August last year. 
Villa vs. Valdes
Villa stays busy with a points wins over useful Valdes. Villa was sharper from the start finding the target with southpaw jabs and hooks from both hands. Villa had the better of the early action in the second and third but in both rounds Valdez was more competitive and ended the rounds strongly. Villa was putting his punches together in the fourth and scoring with hurtful combinations and shook Valdes with a series of hooks. Valdes was never totally subdued and had good spells in each round but the power and accuracy from Villa created a gap Valdez just could not bridge. Both scored well in the seventh but again Villa was bossing the exchanges but Valdes scored well to take the points from the last round. All three judges carded it 78-74. After his great fight against Emanuel Navarrete, it is ridiculous that the WBC are the only sanctioning body to rate Villa in their top ten but hopefully he will fight his way to another title shot in 2024. Colombian Valdes has been matched tough in his last few fights.
Johnson vs. Quiroz
Olympian Johnson wins but has to settle for a majority decision over a feisty Quiroz. Johnson showed his skill in the first boxing nicely and landing a sharp combination. In a close second Quiroz scored well to the body to even things up. Johnson had a good third where again his better skills gave him the edge as he avoided getting drawn into too much close quarters stuff and he outboxed Quiroz over the fourth. Quiroz worked hard trying to get inside in the fifth and had some success scoring with some useful rights but Johnson did the scoring in the sixth. A Quiroz punch had Johnson hurt in the seventh and looked to have edged the last but it was not enough to overtake Johson lead. Scores 78-74 twice for Johnson and 76-76. The 25-year-old from Cleveland is making steady progress. All three of Quiroz’s losses have come on points against unbeaten opposition.
Vargas vs. Guardado
Another sparkling show from powerful and talented Vargas as he brushes aside Guardado. It was clear from the start that Guardado was too much of a lightweight to pose any problems for Vargas. Body punches had Guardado on the retreat in the first and head punches had him rocking. Guardado tried to stand and swop punches in the second but some vicious body punches soon cured him of that idea. Vargas had Guardado reeling around the ring under a storm of punches in the third and after Vargas connected with a couple of wicked hooks to the head the referee stopped then fight. Only nineteen Vargas, the son of Fernando a former IBF and WBA secondary title holder at super welter/ light middle, shows tremendous potential with his mixture of skill and power with his seven wins taking him less than sixteen rounds. First fight outside Spain for Guardado who was in way over his head.
Rincon vs. Rodriguez
Home town southpaw Rincon boxes his way to victory over Rodriguez. Not much in the way of highlights in this one. Rincon was just too good for Rodriguez but seemed content to coast. Rodriguez had a couple of good moments but Rincon was a clear winner with two judges scoring it 60-54 and the third seeing it 58-56.


Tokyo, Japan: Light Fly: Kenshiro Teraji(22-1) W TKO 9 Hekkie Budler (35-5). Super Fly: Junto Nakatani (26-0) W PTS 12 Argi Cortes (25-4-2). 

Teraji vs. Budler
Teraji breaks down and stops a gutsy Budler in the ninth. Budler set Teraji some problems inn then first with his feints, changes of direction and quick attacks. Teraji was probing with his jab and looking for openings. Teraji upped the pressure inn the second, Budler landed a good right but Teraji was finding the target with jabs and landed a right that snapped Budler’s head back. Budler banged straight back and drove forward himself and connected with some good punches to head and body forcing Teraji back and having a good round. Teraji was working hard with his jab inn then third and scoring with some body punches. Budler was firing back every time Teraji threw a punch so the pace was quick. Teraji was beginning to get in the groove with his jab and straight rights and finished the round strongly. Teraji was in control in the fourth working the jab and drooping inn fast rights. Budler kept trying to get inside behind a high guard but was getting caught with jabs and counters . Teraji was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the fifth but he was putting Budler under more and more pressure and digging in some hurtful body punches. Budler tried to bang back but Teraji was quicker and putting together some flashing combinations. Teraji’s jab kept Budler on the back foot for much of the sixth and Teraji was landing jabs , hooks and straight rights. Budler manage to force Teraji to the ropes but could not keep him there but was fighting back hard. Teraji was in complete control inn the seventh . He was forcing Budler back with jabs and landing rights with Budler constantly on the retreat and only launching occasional attacks. Teraji was hunting Budler down in the eighth landing jabs and putting together some combinations. Budler had slowed but he drove forward at then d of the round. Suddenly in the ninth the cumulative effect of Ter5aji’spunches had their effect and with Budler pinned against the ropes and being bombarded with rights the referee stopped the fight. Teraji was defending the WBA and WBC title. Budler did well over the early rounds but the quicker and more accurate punching from Taraji just broke him down in the end.
Nakatani vs. Cortes
Nakatani outclasses Mexican Cortes in a WBO title defence. Southpaw Nakatani was able to use his height advantage (5’7 ½” to 5’2 ½”) and his longer reach to dominate the fight. He floored Cortes with a body punch in the fifth. Cortes was in real trouble but his mouthguard had come out and that gave him a little respite. When the action resumed Cortes was put down for the second time and although beating the count it was only the bell that saved him. Nakatani continued to his physical advantages to control the fight and floored Cortes with another body punch in the ninth. Cortes survived and made it to the final bell. Nakatani won on scores of 119-106 twice and 118-107.


Commerce, CA, USA: Minimum: Yokasta Valle (29-2) W PTS 10 Maria Santizo (11-4). Light: William Zepeda (28-0) W TKO 6 Mercito Gesta (34-4-3). Feather: Victor Morales (19-0-1)W PTS 10 Edwin Palomares (18-5-2).

Valle vs. Santizo
Valle retains her IBF and WBO belts as she outpoints Santizo. After some early swapping of punches Valle used her longer reach and height to outbox an always aggressive Santizo. The challenger just kept piling forward but was being outboxed and running into solid counters. She was making Valle work for her win but had nothing in her arsenal to threaten Valle’s superiority and there was very little change to the flow of the fight. Both tired late and Santizo looked to be happy to go the distance over the closing rounds. Valle won on scores of 99-91 twice and 100-90. Valle, 31, a Nicaraguan-born Costa Rican is a former IBF Atomweight champion and was making the ninth defence of the IBF belt and the third of the WBO belt and makes it sixteen consecutive victories. Guatemalan Santizo. 38, had failed in a previous challenge for the WBA minimum title.

Zepeda vs. Gesta
Zepeda pounds Gesta to defeat in six one-sided rounds. 
Zepeda was pressing from the opening round coming in behind his right jab looking to score to the body. Gesta was on the back foot dancing and prodding with his right jab. Zepeda seemed to shake Gesta with a left and he closed the distance and scored with body punches. In the second Gesta tried to stand and trade with Zepeda but Zepeda walked through the punches and drove Gesta around the ring pumping out hooks to the body from both hands with Gesta trying to clinch to stem the tide. A series of head punches sent Gesta to the ropes at the end of the round and Gesta was cut over his right eye. The pressure was unrelenting again in the third as Zepeda jarred and jolted Gesta with a storm of punches. He pinned Gesta against the ropes and worked him over with body punches until Gesta managed to escape. Gesta almost immediately found himself trapped against the ropes again with Zepeda ripping home body punches. Gesta was firing back bravely but being overwhelmed. Zepeda’s punch output was incredible and in the fourth Gesta’s defences were being battered down. Gesta couldn’t escape and was taking a beating circling the perimeter of the ring but never able to hold Zepeda off and he was being slowed by the ferocious body punches. In the fifth Zepeda was again driving Gesta before him. Gesta was firing back just enough to convince the referee to let the fight continue but he was soaking up a pile of serious punishment. The referee and the doctor both went to Gesta’s corner at the end of the round but Gesta was not ready to surrender. He came out for the sixth and managed to avoid trouble early but eventually Zepeda drove him to the ropes and bombarded him with punches until the referee stopped the fight. Zepeda is in the top seven with all four sanctioning bodies with his highest ranking being No 2 with the IBF so he was calling out Devin Haney but willing to tackle any of the top fighters. He has won 25 of his 29 fights inside the distance and with his work rate (he holds the record for the most punches thrown in a lightweight fight) and ferocious attacking style he will give anyone trouble. Filipino Gesta showed real guts to stand up to the punishment meted out by Zepeda. He lost to Miguel Vazquez for the WBC title in 2012 and to Jorge Linares for the WBA secondary title in 2018. He had been inactive in 2020 and 2021 but had scored wins over Joel Diaz and Joseph Diaz since returning. 

Morales vs. Palomares
Morales extends his unbeaten run to twenty fights as he decisions Palomares. This was a battle between the skills of Morales and the fierce aggression of Palomares. Morales boxed cleverly over the first two rounds jabbing well and moving well and scoring with accurate counters. Palomares upped the pressure in the third forcing Morales onto the retreat and Morales was often fighting with his back against the ropes. Morales used good footwork to create some space for his skills in the fourth. Palomares was back on the hunt in the fifth landing hard body punches and outworking Morales. In the sixth a clash of heads opened a cut under the left eye of Morales. The doctor took a look at the injury before the start of the seventh and Morales used movement and counters to edge the seventh and eighth with Palomares struggling to land anything of note. The ninth was a tight round with Morales left eye almost closed. Palomares need a big tenth but it was Morales who landed the big punches and had Palomares in trouble at the bell. Scores 100-900. 99-91 and 96-94 for Morales with a better picture being somewhere between the second and third score. Morales gets his second good win this year having knocked out Diego De La Hoya inn two rounds in April. Palomares was 6-1-1 in his last eight fights.


Tijuana, Mexico: Light: Angel Fierro (22-1-2) W PTS 10 Brayan Zamarripa (13-1). Feather: Christian Olivo (21-1-1) W PTS 10 Kevin Barron (12-1). Super Feather: Erika Cruz (16-2) W PTS 10 Melissa Oddessa (6-2). Feather: Skye Nicolson (8-0) W PTS 10 Sabrina Perez (18-2-1) . 

Fierro vs. Zamarripa
Fierro has to work hard to get a split decision over Zamarripa. Southpaw Zamarripa attacked from the start but Fierro used his superior power to get the better of the exchanges and looked to take the first three rounds. Zamarripa boxed well and looked to have edge the fourth with accurate punching. He was visibly hurt by a body shot in the fifth but came back to take the sixth despite a cut. Zamarripa was having a good seventh until Fierro connected with a strength-sapping body punch. Zamarripa edged a close eighth and took the ninth. That run had made the fight close but Fierro landed a crunching right in the tenth and came close to finishing Zamarripa. Scores 96-94 and 96-95 for Fierro and 96-94 for Zamarripa. On this showing Fierro’s No 5 rating from the WBO flatters him and Box Rec’s No 41 is a more accurate measure of his progress so far and the level of his opposition. Zamarripa had put together a run of ten wins.
Olivo vs. Barron
Olivo won a well-deserved unanimous decision over local hope Barron. In the first two rounds Olivo was jabbing strongly and coming in behind the jab with strong rights. Barron upped his pace over the third and fourth to even things up in what was turning out to be a fast-paced very even battle. Both invested in some focused body punching over the second half of the fight. Barrion was boxing well in the seventh when a left hook to the head from Olivo rocked him badly and he had to run and hold to survive. Olivo seemed to kick on from there and although the closing rounds were close he had done enough to take the decision on scores of 97-93 twice and 96-94. Olivo rebounds from losing his unbeaten record in a points defeat against 18-0 Luis Reynaldo in April. Barron, 21, can come again.
Cruz vs. Oddessa
Cruz used pure aggression to overcome the neater boxing from the smaller Oddessa. Nothing fancy from Cruz. She just kept marching forward throwing punches. It was often head down and swing but the sheer volume was beating down Oddessa’s attempts to counter. Oddessa managed to work on the outside in the fourth but after that she was unable to keep Cruz out. Cruz had to survive a doctor’s examination of a bed cut over her right eye in the eighth but other than that it was a routine win for Cruz. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92. After an early defeat Cruz put together a fourteen-bout winning run and won the WBA feather belt. She lost that WBA title when outpointed by Amanda Serrano in February with her belt and Serrano’s four on the line. Second loss in a row for Oddessa
Nicolson vs. Perez 
Nicolson too good for Perez. Nicolson used her edge in height and reach to score with right jabs against a crude novice Perez. Her quicker hands and nifty foot work had Perez lunging and missing leaving herself open for counters. Nicolson trapped Perez against the ropes in the second and landed plenty of good punches but she is not a big puncher. There was no way into the fight for Perez as Nicolson was comfortable enough to drop her hands spearing Perez with jabs and short hooks then dancing away before Perez could counter. Nicolson attacked hard in the ninth and tenth but is still looking for her first inside the distance win. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Nicolson which looked too kind to Perez. Nicolson wins the WBC interim title.

San Antonio, Tx, USA: Super Bantam: Ramon Cardenas (23-1) W TKO 2 Rafael Pedroza (15-1). Feather: Mirco Cuello (13-0) W PTS 10 Rudy Garcia (13-2-1). Welter: Freudis Rojas (12-0) W PTS 8 Saul Bustos (15-1-1,1ND). 
Cardenas vs. Pedroza
Cardenas crushes unbeaten Pedroza inn two rounds. Pedraza jabbed well in the first but Cardenas was catching him with counters and took the opening round. In the second a perfect left hook dropped Pedroza heavily. He made it to his feet and although shaken with rights fought back until another left hook floored him and the referee immediately waived the fight over. Eleventh win in a row and twelfth inside the distance finish for local Cardenas who was defending his WBA Continental Americas belt. Pedroza was ranked No 5 by the WBA so a crushing loss for him.
Cuello vs. Garcia
Argentinian hope Cuello marches on with a unanimous verdict over Garcia in a clash of unbeaten fighters. Garcia made a fast start going straight after Cuello and outworking him in the first round. Cuell took control from the second stopping Garcia in his tracks with a hook to the body and slicing open a cut over Garcia’s left eye with a punch. Garcia looked to have scored a knockdown in the third but Cuello bounced up so quickly the referee did not apply a count. A punch from Cuello opened a cut on the bridge of Garcia’s nose in the same round. Cuello put Garcia down in the fifth and continued to boss the action as Garcia slowed. He was hampered by blood from the cut over his left eye but Cuello was also showing marks of the fight with lumps under both eyes. Cuello won on scores of 99-90 from all three judges. The 22-year-old Cuello, the South American champion who represented Argentina at the Tokyo Olympics, was defending his WBA International title. Garcia was having his first fight for fifteen months.
Rojas vs. Bustos
Tall southpaw Rojas maintains his 100% record with comfortable points win over Bustos. Rojas set a fast pace from the start. He had his jab working well from the first piercing the guard of Bustos and connecting with left hooks to the body. He scored with counters over the charging Bustos in the second and landed heavily in the third. By the fourth Bustos had a swelling around his left eye and he took more punishment in the fifth. When southpaws and orthodox stance fighters clash it is not unusual for them to get their feet mixed and in the sixth when Bustos was finally having some success he twisted his left ankle after stepping on Rojas’ foot. Bustos was examined by the doctor but continued and became the first fighter to take Rojas the distancer. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Rojas. The 6’2” Rojas was US National champion in 2016 and 2018 and is making steady progress. Freddie Roach trained Bustos was 15-0-1 but has now lost two tough fights in a row having been defeated on a majority decision by Alan Sanchez in October.

Richmond, VA, USA: Heavy: Jerry Forrest (27-6-2) W PTS 8 Robert Hall (14-2). Light Heavy: Dusty Hernandez Harrison (35-0-1) W KO 3 Ronald Montes (19-19-1). Bantam: Glenn Dezurn (17-3-1) W TKO 5 Ernesto Guerrero (34-39).
Forrest vs. Hall
Southpaw Forrest gets back to winning ways with unanimous decision over Hall. Forrest used his greater experience to overcome the physical edges of Hall and won on scores of 79-73 twice and 77-75. Forrest has been in some tough fights. In his last five he has lost to Carlos Takam and Kubrat Pulev on points and Jared Anderson on a stoppage whilst also drawing with Zhilei Zhang and Michael Hunter. Hall had won his last three fights.
Harrison vs, Montes
Harrison shakes some dust as he beats Montes in three round. First fight for Harrison for nineteen months and he ended it with a body punch. Once world rated Harrison has fought only twice in three years. He was 11lbs heavier than his fight in February last year so he has work to do if he wants to get back to super middleweight. Sixteenth loss by KO/TKO for Colombian Montes.
Dezurn vs. Guerrero
Dezurn stops Guerrero in in five rounds. Dezurn controlled the action before dropping Guerrero twice in the fifth. Dezurn, the husband of super middleweight champion Franchon Crews Dezurn, has won eight of his last nine fights whilst Guerrero is headed in the opposite direction being 1-9 in his last 10.

Wolverhampton, England: Super Feather: Kirsty Hill (5-1) W PTS 10 Vicky Wilkinson (5-2-1). 
Hill wins the vacant Commonwealth title with a points victory over Wilkinson on scores of 98-92, 98-93 and 97-93. First ten round fight for Hill. Wilkinson was moving down to super feather after losing in a fight for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title in March.

Philadelphia, PA, USA: Heavy: Joey Dawejko (26-10-4) W PTS 8 Colby Madison (11-6-2).
Local heavyweight Joey Dawejko repeated an earlier win as he outpointed Madison over eight rounds. When these two met in May it was a wild slug fest with Dawejko getting the unanimous decision. That fight was tough and entertaining and a return look a good idea but Dawejko had other ideas. Madison was down in the third but it was ruled the punch that put him down landed at the back of Madison’s head. Dawejko was on his way to a point win and he put that beyond any doubt by flooring Madison twice in the last round. Dawejko won on scores of 80-70, 79-71 and 78-72 and collects the WBC USA Silver belt with his fifth win in a row Madison is 2-4 in his last 6 outings.

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Welter: Fabian Maidana (21-2) W TKO 2 Helach Rodriguez (9-6-2). Light: Alan Chaves (14-0) W RTD 4 Orlando Morales (8-1). Welter: Jonathan Hernandez (12-0) W TKO3 Alan Baleta (7-1-1).
Maidana vs. Rodriguez
Maidana crushes Rodriguez in two rounds. A body punch dropped Nicaraguan Rodriguez just before the bell to end the first round. Maidana floored Rodriguez with a left to the head in the second and although Rodriguez made it to his feet he was shipping more punishment and the fight was stopped. Now 16 wins by KO/TKO for Maidana who was making the first defence of the WBC Latino belt. First inside the distance defeat for Rodriguez.
Chaves vs. Morales
Chaves makes it seven inside the distance wins in a row as he beats Venezuelan teenager Morales on a fourth round retirement. Chavez controlled the fight all the way. Morales had no answer to the accuracy of Chaves’ jab and his heavy rights. Only the ropes saved Morales from a knockdown in the third and he took severed punishment in the fourth with his team retiring him before the start of the fifth. Second defence of the WBC Youth title by Chaves. Morales, 18, had scored five first round wins but those five victims had only seven wins between them.
Hernandez vs. Baleta
Argentinian-based Venezuelan Hernandez floors and stops Colombian Baleta. Hernandez worked well on the back foot in the first and although doing most of the scoring had to contend with a heavy nose bleed in the second. In the third a right cross from Hernandez sent Baleta down and although Baleta beat the count Hernandez continued to land heavily and the referee stopped the fight late in the round. Second defence of the WBA Fedelatin belt and eighth quick win for Hernandez. Baleta was Colombian champion.

Milan, Italy: Feather: Alessio Lorusso (22-5-2) W PTS 10 Ricardo Martinez (10-10,1ND).
Local favourite Lorusso gets a hotly disputed unanimous decision over Martinez. The visitor took the fight to Lorusso for the whole ten rounds. Lorusso boxed cleverly but as usual spent lots of time showboating and Martinez looked to be winning the fight with his aggression. In the tenth a long right from Martinez flying back and down against the ropes. He climbed up quickly complaining that he had slipped on the wet canvas and the referee agreed and did not apply a count . There had been problems with water on the canvas but the punch Martinez landed was a solid right to the head that sent Lorusso flying back and it looked a genuine knockdown. That decision proved vital as three judges scored the fight 96-94 for Lorusso. A vital win for Lorusso having lost his European bantam title in a points defeat by Thamas Essomba in May. A win would have been a huge boost for Spanish-based Nicaraguan Martinez as he had outpointed former WBC bantam champion Nordine Oubaali in April.

San Frisco del Rincon, Mexico: Alan Sandoval (19-0-1) W RTD 3 Luis Castillo (22-11).
Sandoval extends his unbeaten run to twenty as he beats Castillo. Sandoval consistently pierced Castillo’s guard over the three rounds and Castillo’s corner did not send their man out for the fourth. Ninth inside the distance victory for Sandoval. Castillo heading in the other direction being 1-6 in his last 7 fights with all of the six losses coming early.

Managua, Nicaragua: Light: Bryan Jimenez (13-1) W PTS 10 Franco Gutierrez (12-9-2).
Jimenez outpoints Gutierrez. Southpaw Jimenez had little trouble handling the uncoordinated attack of Gutierrez. He was able to score with his jab at distance and work inside and Gutierrez was too slow to cut off the ring. Gutierrez suffered a cut over his left eye in the fifth and the cut worsened as the fight went on. Jimenez put in a big effort in the eighth and ninth trying to end the fight early but he lacked the power. Gutierrez threw everything into the last round and knocked Jimenez off balance with a right but was too slow and inaccurate when he tried to land again, Jimenez won on scores of 99-91 twice and 98-92. He was defending the WBA Fedecaribe belt but with his lack of power and limited skills he is unlikely to progress far. Gutierrez has only the most basic skills.

Bolton, England: Middle: Dan Catlin (10-1) W TKO 3 Jack Kilgannon (13-2).
Catlin wins the vacant BBB of C Central Area belt with a spectacular third round victory over Kilgannon. Catlin just had the edge over the first two rounds before ending the fight in the third. Just seconds into the round Catlin landed a booming right to the head. It sent Kilgannon flying across the ring and out through the third and fourth ropes and off the ring apron. Fifth win by KO/TKO for Catlin. Kilgannon, a former undefeated Central Area champion, had lost on a sixth round kayo against Zak Chelli in 2022 but rebounded with two wins.

Liverpool, England: Super Light: Jack Rafferty (21-0) W TKO 9 Ben Fields (12-14-4). 
Rafferty wins this British title eliminator and the vacant Commonwealth Silver belt with ninth round stoppage of Fields. Rafferty outboxed Fields early to build a lead. Fields finally started having some success in the fifth but was on the floor from a left hook to the body in the sixth. Fields did well to get up from that punch. He fought hard but had lost his momentum. A left to the head in the ninth put Fields down again. After the count Rafferty drove Fields to the ropes and was unloading with heavy punches when the referee stopped the fight. Rafferty, 27, was in his first fight schedule for ten rounds but ended up with his twelfth win by KO/TKO. Only the second time Fields had failed to last the distance.

Fight of the week: (Significance): Luis Lopez successful defence of his IBF featherweight title might now lead to a mandatory defence.
Fight of the week: (Entertainment): I go for Lopez vs. Gonzalez with an entertaining clash of styles
Fighter of the week: Luis Lopez for his successful title defence against an always competitive Joet Gonzalez
Punch of the week: The right from Dan Catlin that sent Jack Kilgannon flying out of the ring was spectacular. Honourable mention to the left hook from Ramon Cardenas that floored unbeaten Rafael Pedroza
Upset of the week: Everything stuck to the script this week
Prospect watch: Argentinian lightweight Alan Chaves 14-0 (12) looks good.


Rosette: Top Rank. A title show and five of their top talents taken the distance for their wins.
Red Card: No one did too badly this week
-Boxing is important but sometimes something happens to put it in perspective. Sabrina Perez lost on points to Skye Nicolson in Tijuana on Friday. It was for the interim WBC featherweight title. He husband and trainer Diego Arrua suffered a heart attack at ringside and was taken to hospital on a stretcher but died. I send my sincerest condolences to Sabrina.
-The scores in the Victor Morales vs. Edwin Palomares fight were strange with all three judges having Morales the winner 100-90 99-91 and a totally different 96-94. I am surprised Palomares did not demand a recount. In his previous fight against Sebastian Tinoco Tinoco was declared the winner. During the next fight on the show the local Commission said there had been an error and Palomares was declared the winner. The Commission later announced it was a draw. Come on Mr Supervisor you only had one job to do. If it helps you:
10 + 10= 20, 20+10-=30 30+10=40 
9+9-18, 18+9=27, 27+9 =36 got it?

In the aftermath, there was a medical emergency outside of the ring when the trainer and husband of Perez fainted and collapsed. He was taken on a stretcher to a local hospital.
“ With deep sorrow we have been informed of the sudden death of the Argentine coach Diego Arrúa who suffered a sudden heart attack during the Sabrina Pérez fight in Tijuana. The medical services did their best and died in the general hospital ”, Sulaiman confirmed in his X account.

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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