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The Past Week in Action 19 August 2019

Navarrete stops De Vaca.

-Emanuel Navarrete crushes Francisco De Vaca to retain the WBO super bantam title
-Jessie Magdaleno continues his winning ways with technical victory over Rafael Rivera
-Tim Tszyu beats Dwight Ritchie to go to 14-0
-Johnny Gonzalez keeps alive his faint hopes of another title shot with victory over Nicaraguan Ramiro Blanco
-Vicente Feigenbutz stops Spaniard Cesar Nunez
-Ukashir Farooq retains British flyweight title with first round victory over Duane Winters
-Chris van Heerden, Arnold Barboza Jr and Janibek Alimkhanuly win on Los Angeles show


Los Angeles, CA, USA: Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (28-1) W KO 3 Francisco De Vaca (20-1). Feather: Jessie Magdaleno (27-1) W TEC DEC 9 Rafael Rivera (27-4-2,1ND). Super Light: Arnold Barboza Jr (22-0) W RTD 4 Ricky Sismundo (35-15-3).Middle; Janibek Alimkhanuly (7-0) W KO 5 Stuart McLellan (27-4-3,1ND). Welter: Chris van Heerden (28-2-1) W PTS 8 Aslanbek Kozaev (33-3-1).Super Light: Javier Molina (20-2) W PTS 8 Manuel Mendez (16-6-3). Welter: Brian Mendoza (18-0) W KO 1 Rosemberg Gomez (20-8-1).
Navarrete vs. De Vaca
Navarrete overpowers De Vac and stops him in three rounds in a WBO title defence.
Round 1
Over the first minute Navarrete was just prodding lightly with his jab but then began to fire long hooks and straight rights. De Vaca fired a series of hooks but Navarrete blocked them and countered with hooks of his own. Navarrete was already confident enough to be regularly switching guards and was using his longer reach to put De Vaca on the back foot and landed a crisp right uppercut before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete
Round 2
De Vaca made an aggressive start walking forward throwing hooks but he was either short or they were blocked and he was being caught with right counters. De Vaca continued to walk forward but was nailed by a perfectly timed right uppercut which stopped him in his tracks and was clipped on the chin with another right and dropped to the floor. He was up at three with blood trickling from his nose. At the end of the eight count there were less than twenty seconds remaining in the round. Navarrete was not in a hurry and although he landed a couple of body punches De Vaca had no trouble making it to the bell.

Navarrete puts on the finishing touches on De Vaca.

Score: 10-8 Navarrete Navarrete 20-17
Round 3
De Vaca came out throwing punches in the third but Navarrete was ignoring them and firing right crosses and sweeping hooks. De Vaca absorbed some heavy rights and kept firing but had his back to the ropes with Navarrete loading up on every punch. A gutsy De Vaca punched his way off the ropes a few times but every time he did Navarrete drove him back and unloaded with stunning rights and lefts until the referee stopped the fight.
The 24-year-old “Cowboy” from Mexico City was making the second defence of the WBO title and moves to 24 wins by KO/TKO. His No 1 contender is experienced Filipino Marlon Tapales but a unification fight with Daniel Roman would be worth seeing. Navarrete has a languid style which makes his power deceptive but it is there for sure. De Vaca, 24, was way out of his depth and despite his 20-0 record was untested against any quality opposition.

Magdaleno connects at Rivera.

Magdaleno vs. Rivera
Magdaleno continues his march towards a title fight with technical verdict over for WBA super feather belt challenger Rivera. It was Rivera who was in charge over the first round as he hustled and bustled the more skilful Magdaleno taking him out of his stride and connecting with rights. Magdaleno settled in the second and third rounds scoring with left jabs and quick rights and matching Rivera inside. Rivera was on the rampage again in the fourth and a clash of head saw Magdaleno cut on the bridge of his nose. Rivera was on the attack for the rest of the round as Magdaleno just tried to stay out of trouble until his corner could work on the cut. Rivera continued to press in the fifth but was being countered by right jabs and straight lefts and some good defensive work was making Rivera miss wildly but he kept attacking to make the round close. Magdaleno boxed beautifully in the sixth. Confusing Rivera with constant movement, changing angles and slotting punches through gaps in Rivera’s defence. Magdaleno had a big seventh. After outboxing Rivera early he stopped him in his tracks with a left hook. Rivera was hurt and Magdaleno switched to the attack with Rivera in trouble but he managed to cling his way to the bell. Magdaleno boxed on the retreat in the eighth. A frustrated Rivera was lunging wildly and after side-stepping a couple of Rivera's rushes Magdaleno mimicked a bull fighter with his cape and just kept threading his punches through Rivera’s defence. Rivera pinned Magdaleno in a corner in the ninth but was caught by a left counter that knocked him back and he had to put his glove on the canvas to avoid going down. When the action resumed Rivera went after Magdaleno and had some success but was still eating jabs. Just before bell as Rivera attacked his elbow opened a deep cut over the right eye of Magdaleno and after examining the cut the doctor advised the fight be stopped and it went to the cards with Magdaleno in front 89-81 on two cards and 88-82 on the other. Good win for the former WBC super bantamweight champion. He was coming off a useful victory over Rico Ramos and having moved up to featherweight he should be fighting for a version of a title in that division in 2020. Rivera proved a tough opponent but that was as expected. Rivera put together a 25-0-2 run at the start of his career but has since lost to Joseph Diaz, Joet Gonzalez and in a WBA title challenge against Leo Santa Cruz. A rough ride for any fighter.
Barboza vs. Sismundo
Whilst a galaxy of former amateur stars are making the headlines Barboza continues to do his destructive work under the radar. He was too big and too strong for the seasoned Filipino. Sismundo tried to punch with Barboza but was quickly dismantled. After punishing Sismundo over the first two rounds in the third Barboza drove Sismundo back across the ring and then sent him down with a left hook. Sismundo survived but not for long. Barboza pounded on him in the fourth trapping Sismundo in a corner and beating on him for much of the round. After the bell Sismundo went down on his haunches holding on to the ropes and looking out into the crowd. When the referee bent over to talk to Sismundo he said he did not want to continue. Barboza, a 27-year-old from Los Angeles, has beaten both Mike Reed and Mike Alvarado. He is No 4 with the WBO and No 15 with the WBC and could be fighting for the title in 2020. Japan-based Sismundo, 32, has been a good pro but at 5’5” and a former featherweight he was just too small to pose any threat to Barboza
Alimkhanuly vs. McLellan
Kazak’s Alimkhanuly (are there any fighters left at home in Kazakhstan?) proves too strong for Canadian McLellan. Southpaw Alimkhanuly used his right jab and some hefty lefts to establish control and then put McLellan down with a well-timed left uppercut in the second. McLellan was up quickly and saw out the round. Alimkhanuly continued to boss the fight with McLellan unable to avoid Alimkhanuly’s accurate jabs or match the Kazak’s power. In the fifth after stabbing home a couple of jabs Alimkhanuly connected with an overhand right and a left hook to the jaw that sent McLellan down. The punches spun McLellan around so that he landed face first on the canvas. He was up at eight but Alimkhanuly pinned him to the ropes and landed some thumping hooks to the head and the referee stopped the fight as McLellan’s corner threw the towel into the ring. Alimkhanuly retains the WBC Continental Americas title and is already No 15 with the WBO. He was an outstanding amateur beating Anthony Fowler and Jason Quigley on the way to a gold medal in the 2013 World Championships and beat Fowler again at the 2016 Olympics but was eliminated at the quarter-final stage. He also won gold medals at the Asian Championships and Asian Games and was a very successful member of the Astana Arlans in the World Series of Boxing being designated Global Champion. McLellan lost to Carl Crowley for the Canadian title in February but had scored two wins in Mexico since then.
van Heerden vs. Kozaev
van Heerden outpoints Kozaev in an entertaining but bloody match. It was the aggression of Kozaev against the skill and movement of van Heerden with the Russian piling forward and van Heerden looking to fight on the outside but also scoring with some telling body punches. A clash of heads saw van Heerden cut over his left eye in the first round which was a contributing factor in his tactics but he got some measure of success by opening a cut on the bridge of Kozaev’s nose in the third and opening a cut over the Russian’s left eye in the fifth with a punch. Unfortunately Kozaev continued to press and when their heads clashed in the same fifth round van Heerden was cut over his right eye. The doctor cleared van Heerden to continue With blood dripping from those cuts Kozaev was inspired to attack furiously but the body punches that van Heerden had applied in the earlier rounds slowed Kozaev and van Heerden was able to box his way to victory. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for van Heerden. The 32-year-old southpaw has lost only one of his last fifteen fights and that was a stoppage against Errol Spencer in 2015. After scoring two wins in 2016 he was then inactive in 2017 and had only one fight in 2018. This is his second fight this year but he has some work to do to get back in the ratings. Kozaev, 31, lost crucial fights against Ray Robinson and Taras Shelestyuk and although he had scored seven wins going into this fight he said he was now retiring.
Molina vs. Mendez
Molina much too good for Californian Mendez. Molina made a steady start boxing on the back foot with Mendez storming forward looking to cut off the ring and fight inside. Molina was moving cleverly and countering with crisp hooks and uppercuts. Mendez kept rolling but as the fight progressed Molina was standing and trading more and loading up on his punches but with this only his third fight in over three years he was probably happy to get in eight rounds of work. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74. Molina represented the USA at the 2008 Olympics and turned pro the following year, After winning 17 of his first 18 fights he then lost to Jamal James in January 2016 and was then inactive until June last year. This is his third win over decent level opposition since then. Mendez going the other way with four losses in a row.
Mendoza vs. Gomez
Mendoza extends his winning run to 18 with first round kayo of Gomez. Mendoza put Gomez down late in the round and the Nicaraguan was counted out. The 25-year-old from New Mexico has 13 wins by KO/TKO but the opposition has been mediocre at best so no real tests yet. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Gomez who was having his first fight for eighteen months.

August 14

Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Tim Tszyu (14-0) W PTS 10 Dwight Ritchie (19-2). Middle: Aidos Yerbossynuly (12-0) W PTS 10 Rocky Jerkic (17-2). Welter: Nursultan Zhangabayev (8-0) W PTS 10 Steve Gago (11-0). Super Middle: Cesar Tapia (11-0) W PTS 10 Renold Quinlan (12-5) W Welter: Jack Brubaker (16-2-2) W TKO Danny Kennedy (8-1-1).
Tszyu vs. Ritchie
Tszyu continues to progress as he scores unanimous decision over Ritchie. It was probably the toughest test so far for Tszyu. The first two rounds were close but in the third Ritchie was cut over the left eye and rocked by a big right. Ritchie’s cut was examined by the doctor but he was allowed to continue. Tszyu was able to land with left hooks and straight rights with Ritchie struggling with the cut and Tszyu was always in control. Ritchie fought hard to the bell but was always second best as Tszyu boxed his way to victory, Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 97-93 for Tszyu. The 24-year-old Tszyu lifts Ritchie’s IBF Australasian title and wins the vacant WBO Global belt. This win moves him closer to a fight with Jeff Horn. “Fighting Cowboy” Ritchie, 27, is a former Australian and OPBF champion who had four wins chopped off his record for boxing as a pro whilst below the age limit. He has had a tough time with boxing lifting him out of a bad life path and having to twice fight off cancer.
Yerbossynuly vs. Jerkic
Yerbossynuly retains the WBA Asian and WBA International titles with points victory over Australian Jerkic. The former top amateur from Kazakhstan was quicker, stronger, busier and more skilful than Jerkic and dominated the fight. Jerkic had success with some heavy punches late but was never really a threat to the Kazak’s control of the tactics and the contest and Yerbossynuly emerged a comfortable winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91. The 27-year-old Yerbossynuly. The WBA’s No 6 super middle, retains the WBA International and WBC Asian Boxing Council titles. He was a member of the Astana Arlans team in the WSB. Jerkic took 20 months out of the ring after losing a split decision to Anthony Buttigieg for the Commonwealth title in 2017 but had returned with two wins .
Zhangabayev vs. Gago
Zhangabayev makes it a double for Kazakhstan as he wins this three-title match with unanimous verdict over Perth southpaw Gago. Zhangabayev made thins difficult for himself on the way to winning this one against the taller Gago. He needed two attempts to make the weight and then lost three points for low blows and was lucky to avoid disqualification. Zhangabayev is a tigerish aggressive fighter and he was just too good for the inexperienced Gago and won on scores of 95-92 twice and 96-91. The 26-year-old Kazak retains the WBA Inter-Continental title and collects the vacant IBF International and WBO Oriental belts. Gago, who has won fights in Beijing and Macao, showed some nice skills but just could not stem the attacks of Zhangabayev.
Tapia vs. Quinlan
Minor upset as unbeaten young Australian-based Mexican Tapia
outpoints once world rated Quinlan. Tapia used a higher work rate to win this one. Quinlan never really got into the fight until staging a storming finish in the last but that was too little too late. Tapia flirted with disqualification for hitting Quinlan on the break twice but that was as close as Quinlan came to a chance of victory. Scores 99-92, 98-92 and 97-93 for Tapia. The 21-year-old from Tijuana who emigrated to Australia and turned pro there was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and wins the vacant Australian title. Quinlan, 30, broke into the world ratings with a second round kayo of Daniel Geale back in 2016 but then lost important fights inside the distance against Chris Eubank Jr, Damien Hooper and John Buatsi.
Brubaker vs. Kennedy
Brubaker beats a game Kennedy when the fight is stopped due to a cut. It was an entertaining fight with Kennedy using his speed to match the more experienced Brubaker early but Brubaker’s superior power winning out in the end, From the sixth Kennedy was being forced to trade punches more. A punch opened a cut over his right eye and in the eighth round the doctor decided the cut was too bad for Kennedy to continue. The 27-year-old Brubaker , a former OPBF champion who holds a win over Tyrone Nurse, has lost only one of his last 13 fights and that was on a stoppage in 2017 in a Commonwealth title fight against Kris George. Kennedy, 36, was born on the Channel Island of Jersey and has had five fights in Australia and five in England.

August 16

Kansas City, KS, USA: Middle: Shane Mosley Jr (15-3) W PTS 10 Calvin Metcalf (9-3-1). Heavy; James Morrison (16-0-2) W KO 2 Sam Shewmaker (5-1).
Mosley vs. Metcalf
Mosley gets the win but is forced to fight hard by local hope Metcalf. This one was close with Mosley just having the edge but he does not have the soundest defence and the aggressive Metcalf was able to land his share of punches in an entertaining scrap. Mosley has won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss coming against Brandon Adams. This was a big step up in opposition for Metcalf who had been fighting in prelims before this bout.
Morrison vs. Shewmaker
A farce this one as Morrison crushes former Bare-Knuckle contestant Shewmaker. Morrison floored Shewmaker in the first and twice in the second for the win. Morrison, the son of Tommy, has 14 wins by KO/TKO including 6 in his last 7 fights but this was rubbish. Shewmaker was pathetic and hardly threw a punch.
August 17

Ludwigshafen, Germany: Super Middle: Vincent Feigenbutz (31-2) W TKO 8 Cesar Nunez (16-1-1). Super Welter: Ahmad Ali (15-0-1) W PTS 12 Armen Torosyan (19-7-1).
Feigenbutz vs. Nunez
Feigenbutz brushes aside Spaniard Nunez to win the vacant IBO International title and retain the GBU world title. Feigenbutz is improving little by little and he showed a more skilful approach at times. Nunez was willing to stand and trade but lacked the power to really trouble Feigenbutz and after a steady start Feigenbutz pushed the pace more from the third. He was connecting with straight rights but it was the hooks to the body that were breaking Nunez down. The Spaniard lost a point in the fifth for too many low punches. He traded punches with Feigenbutz bravely in the sixth and seventh but the strength and power of Feigenbutz were just too much for Nunez and he was hurt by a body punch at the end of the seventh. In the eighth a right to the body from Feigenbutz put Nunez down. He made it to his feet only to be floored again. After the eighth count Feigenbutz took Nunez to the ropes and pounded him as he slid along the ropes to a corner. Feigenbutz was bombing Nunez with lefts and rights and the referee stopped the fight. The former interim WBA champion has won ten in a row nine by KO/TKO. In some ways he has achieved too much too early as he is still developing and is only 23. There are good domestic fights for him against European champion Stefan Haertel and Tyron Zeuge if they can be made. Former Spanish middleweight champion Nunez just did not have the power to compete here.
Ali vs. Torosyan
Ali retains the Global Boxing Union title as he takes unanimous verdict over Torosyan in a poor fight. The German was giving away a lot of height to the 5’11 ½” Armenian but to offset that he was much quicker with both hands and feet. He used his hand speed to get his punches off first and his movement to dodge the attacks of Torosyan. The Armenian tried to turn the fight into a brawl and there was too much clinching for the fight to be entertaining with Ali blaming a cold for a disappointing performance but he was always a step ahead of Torosyan. Scores 117-109 twice and 115-113 all for Ali. He was making the first defence of the GBU title. He lost a bit out of his boxing career due to suffering a broken ankle playing football and he may struggle against better opposition. Torosyan, 35, has now dropped to 4 losses in his last 5 fights.

Mazatlan, Mexico: Bantam: Ruben Vega (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Gonzalo Garcia (17-21-2). Super Light: Miguel Parra (18-1-1) W PTS 8 Emmanuel Herrera (6-8).
Vega vs. Garcia
Vega continues unbeaten with confident display against more experienced Garcia. Vega had a much longer reach and a much bigger bag of skills and outboxed Garcia. Vega used stiff, accurate jabs and strong counters to control the action. Garcia kept trundling forward but time and again counters from Vega stopped him in his tracks. Vega’s quicker hands saw him firing bunches of combinations and getting plenty of variety in his work. Garcia kept coming and showed a strong chin and with Vega not being a big puncher he never looked in trouble but Vega was a clear winner. The 19-year-old Vega probably needs a couple more wins before he is ready to move up. With 7 losses in his last 8 fights obviously Garcia is not going anywhere but he usually goes the distance
Parra vs. Herrera
Now nine wins in a row for Parra but generally the level of his opposition has been very low. Here Herrera showed that the thing he does best is soak up punishment. Parra’s height and reach allowed him to control the action on the outside. Herrera’s crude attacks left plenty of gaps and Parra was connecting with hooks and straight rights and bouncing Herrera around the ring but Herrera took the blows and never looked in serious trouble. Parra not really tested yet. Herrera occasionally puts in a good performance having beaten 16-1 Diego Eligio and in November 15-0 Bryan Figueroa.

Fresnillo, Mexico: Jhonny Gonzalez (68-11) W PTS 12 Ramiro Blanco (18-6-3). Gonzalez has his hands full with Nicaraguan Blanco but wins wide verdict. Blanco was aggressive in the first trying to get past or under Gonzalez’s jab and work the body. Gonzalez stuck to the jab until late in the round when he began to land left hooks to the body. The second and third followed a similar pattern. Blanco was busier with Gonzalez still staying with the jab and was more accurate. Over the fourth and fifth the strong jabbing from Gonzalez was proving more and more of a barrier for Blanco and he was also being caught with left hooks and straight rights. Blanco switched to southpaw in the seventh and jolted Gonzalez with a right but Gonzalez was stepping up his work rate and going to the body more. The pace slowed in the eighth with the more accurate shots from Gonzalez giving him the edge but Blanco kept firing back and making life uncomfortable for the former champion. Blanco slowed in the ninth and tenth as Gonzalez began to connect with some hefty rights to the head and then using almost exclusively his jab Gonzalez outscored Blanco fighting off a strong finish from the Nicaraguan to emerge the winner. Scores 119-109 twice and 118-110 all for Gonzalez who retains the WBC Fecarbox Silver title. The 37-year-old former WBO bantam and WBC feather champion has been in 16 world title fights and is close to 80 fights in his career and although he is rated No 11 by the WBC he is by no means the force he was. The scores do not reflect how hard a time the 23-year-old Nicaraguan gave him. Blanco has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights but the other three losses have come against 28-2 Patrick Kinigamazi in Switzerland and against Andres Gutierrez and Miguel Roman.

Singapore: Super Welter: Stevie Ferdinandus (20-17-1) W TKO 5 Theerawat (21-11). Feather: Muhamad Ridhwan (13-2) W TKO 3 Tommy Seran (30-18).
Ferdinandus vs. Theerawat
Indonesian oldie Ferdinandus gets his third inside the distance win in a row as he punches too hard for Thai Theerawat. Ferdinandus was much the bigger man and he was able to use his strength to keep Theerawat pinned to the ropes for much of the fight. Southpaw right hooks caused three knockdowns before the fight was stopped in the fifth round. The 38-year-old Ferdinandus collects the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title with his seventeenth win by KO/TKO. Eighth inside the distance defeat for Theerawat.
Ridhwan vs. Seran
Ridhwan was the boxer on who sparked the revival of the sport in Singapore but he is on a rebuilding exercise now after a couple of losses. He had no trouble in coping with Seran who is way down the slippery slope to register his ninth win by KO/TKO. The 31-year-old Ridhwan managed to win the UBO world title but lost a split decision against Paulus Ambunda for the vacant IBO title in September last year and then slipped up badly by losing a split verdict to Filipino Landy Cris Leon in March with Landy having a 11-18-5 record at the time. This is his second win over Indonesian opposition since then. Somehow Seran has gone from 23-2 run at the start of his career to 7-16 now.

Bang Phun, Thailand: Light: Apache Petchmanee (5-0) W PTS 10 Chonlatarn (61-5). Youth will be served-but only just as Petchmanee gets very close unanimous decision over Chonlatarn in their second meeting. In the early rounds it looked too easy for Petchmanee as he used his height and reach to work Chonlatarn over with jabs right crosses and some sharp uppercuts. Chonlatarn used his vast experience to find a way into the fight. He padded forward blocking or ducking many of Petchmanee’s punches and then connecting with hooks rattling Petchmanee with rights. Petchmanee tried to box but more and more he was being dragged into a brawl. He was still the more accurate and landing some snappy hooks and uppercuts as Chonlatarn came forward but his work became ragged under pressure from Chonlatarn. Petchmanee found the energy to move and box throughout the last and that probably was the round that won him the fight. Scores 96-94 for Petchmanee on all three cards. The 29-year-old Petchmanee wins the WBC Asian Boxing Council title. He was an elite level amateur and competed for the Bangkok Elephants in the World Series of Boxing. He had scored a close decision over Chonlatarn in an eight round fight in June so that is two tough tests in a row for him. Chonlatarn, 34, at 5’5 ½” is too small for a lightweight. At one time he was 43-0 but in world title shots he lost to Chris John, Vasyl Lomachenko and Miguel Berchelt with Berchelt the only fighter to beat him inside the distance so a big ask for Petchmanee at this stage of his career.

Glasgow, Scotland: Ukashir Farooq (13-0) W KO 1Duane Winters (11-2). Farooq gets this British title defence over early. The champion was spearing Winters with jabs and then landing quick left hooks to the body. Winters was on the retreat and Farooq was finding gaps and pinging the challenger with punches. Farooq moved Winters to the ropes and then dug in a wicked left hook to the body and Winters went down on his knees and was counted out. The 23-year-old Pakistani-born Glaswegian gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. This is his third title defence so he is now the proud owner of the beautiful Lonsdale belt. He is ready for much better opposition and will be a real threat in this division with fellow-Scot Commonwealth champion Lee McGregor an obvious target. Southern Area champion Winters was in way over his head.

Springfield.MA, USA: Light Heavy: Charles Foster (19-0) W PTS 10 Denis Grachev (19-8-1). Heavy: Devin Vargas (21-5) W TKO 5 Nail Kennedy (13-1-1).
Foster vs. Grachev
Connecticut southpaw Foster comes through a good test with unanimous decision over seasoned pro Grachev. The tall southpaw outboxed Grachev and was too young and too quick for the Russian, A cut from a clash of heads in the second round made Foster a little more cautious but he stuck to his boxing. Despite his pressure tactics giving Grachev some success Foster was always in control. Score 100-90, 97-91 and 97-93 for Foster. He retains the WBA NABA title and is No 8 with that organisation. Over 2018 and now 2019 he has scored five wins over good if not high level opposition. Grachev, 37, looked on his way to a world title chance after wins over 17-0 Ismayl Sillah and 33-0 Zsolt Erdei-being the only fighter to beat the former WBO and WBC champion-but then lost four in a row against top level opposition and has faded badly.
Vargas vs. Kennedy
Vargas gets shock win as he comes from behind to halt Kennedy. This was a tough scrap between two big men. The pace was slow with both landing heavy punches. Kennedy was outworking Vargas who spent much of the time pinned to the ropes whilst Kennedy banged away trying to find a way past the guard of Vargas. Kennedy had a big third landing some powerful rights but he was leaving himself open and Vargas was landing counters in the fourth. Vargas turned the fight around in the fifth. He landed heavily driving Kennedy to the ropes and then unleashed a series of neck-jerking head punches until the referee jumped in a stopped the fight. A big win for Vargas but at 37 it is a bit late for him to be fulfilling the promise he showed as an amateur. He dominated the heavyweight division in the US amateur ranks in the early 2000’s before Captaining the US Team at the 2004 Olympics and turned pro the same year. He won his first 17 fights before losing to then unbeaten Kevin Johnson and only boxed spasmodically being inactive in 2015 and 2016. His only loss since returning in 2017 was a first round kayo by Andy Ruiz in March last year. Kennedy was already 30 before he turned pro and this is a huge setback for him.

Ormoc City, Philippines: Feather: Albert Pagara (32-1) W TKO 1 Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-4). Feather: Jeo Santisima (18-2) W KO 1 Alvius Maufani (6-4-2). Fly: Melvin Jerusalem (15-2) W RTD 7 Reymark Taday (9-10-1). Super Fly: Jonas Sultan (16-5) W TKO 7 Salatiel Amit (11-7-2).
Pagara vs. Sawangsoda
Pagara destroys over matched Thai Sawangsoda flooring the Thai four times before the fight is stopped, The 25-year-old Filipino was on his way to a world title shot until suffering a shock kayo loss against Cesar Juarez in 2016. He has battled his way back to No 3 with the WBO and with fellow-Filipinos Marlon Tapales and Juan Miguel Elorde Nos 1 and 2 with the WBO it is a domestic line up waiting for Emanuel Navarrete-best of luck guys! Poor Sawangsoda gets his third inside the distance loss in a row,
Santisima vs. Maufani
Another very poor match was over even quicker than Pagara’s win as WBO No 7 Santisima knocked out Indonesian novice in 109 seconds. After going 2-2 in his first 4 fights the 23-year-old Santisima now has 16 wins in a row. Maufani is 0-3-1 in his last 4 fights.
Jerusalem vs. Taday
Former WBC title challenger Jerusalem halts Taday in yet another one-sided fight. Jerusalem came as close as anyone has to snapping the unbeaten streak of Wanheng. When Jerusalem lost to Wanheng in a challenge for the WBC minimum title two judges had Wanheng winning by just one point and the third judge had Wanheng up 115-113 and that fight was in Thailand! Unfortunately before he could land a return Jerusalem was beaten by fellow-Filipino Joey Canoy so this is his fourth win on a campaign to get back into a position to face Wanheng again. Taday falls to 1-8-1 in his last 10 outings.
Sultan vs. Amit
Sultan, another former title challenger, halts Amit in seven. Sultan scored a win over John Riel Casimero which landed him a shot at IBF super fly champion Jerwin Ancajas but he lost a wide unanimous decision. As with Jerusalem he also then suffered a surprise defeat being outpointed by South African Athenkosi Dumezweni in April this year. Amit slips to 1-5 in his last 6 fights.

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Fly: Junior Zarate (11-2) W PT 10 Juan Jurado (15-2-3). Zarate gets revenge over Jurado and wins the national title with wide decision. Zarate was too slick and quick for the aggressive but smaller Jurado. Zarate was boxing on the back foot spearing Jurado with jabs and countering him with hooks from both hands. It was Zarate’s fight all the way. Jurado probably took the fourth when a clash of heads opened a cut on the left cheek of Zarate but other than that he was never really able to pin Zarate down and chased in vain. Jurado tried to rough Zarate up on the inside but again it was not enough as Zarate confidently boxed his way to victory. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Zarate. The 29-year-old “Demon” was the top little man in Argentinian amateur ranks for many years. He was National champion and competed at the World Championships and Pan American Games as well as being a mainstay of the Argentina Condors in the World Series of Boxing. He did not turn pro until he was 29 but with the victory over Jurado has now revenged both of his professional losses. Before losing in a very disappointing performance in a non-title fight against Luciano Baldor in June last year Jurado, 32, was 15-0-3, including a successful title defence against Zarate so has now suffered two losses in a row.

Shenzhen, China: Minimum: Jing Xiang (17-4-2) W TEC DEC 9 Jomar Caindog (10-2-1). Super Feather: Xiao Tao Su (11-1) W TKO 1 Shota Yukawa (11-6-3). Xiang Li (5-0) W TKO 7 Do Jin Lee (6-3-3).
Xiang vs. Caindog
Xiang gets technical decision over Filipino Caindog. Xiang was the better boxer but Caindog exerted enough pressure to make the fight very close. Xizang could have been more dominant if he had not decided to do so much showboating. Caindog stuck to his task and the fight was in the balance when a clash of heads saw Xiang badly cut over his right eye. The fight was halted and was decided on the cards with Xiang getting the decision on scores of 77-75 twice and 79-73.Xiang, 29, wins the vacant WBO International title. It is now nine wins in a row for Xiang including victories over former WBO minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo and an aging former WBC light fly champion Kompayak. Caindog, the Philippines No 6, had gone 5-0-1 in his previous six fights.
Su vs. Yukawa
Su wins the vacant WBO Oriental titles with blast out of mediocre Japanese opponent Yukawa. Su rocked Yukawa early sending the Japanese fighter tumbling into the ropes with the ropes holding Yukawa up-but not for long. A thunderous left hook to the chin from Su put Yukawa flat on his back on the canvas and the referee just waived the fight over. At 5’5” Su is small for a super feather but he showed power in claiming his sixth inside the distance victory. Yukawa really just a prelim level opponent.
Li vs. Lee
Li halts Korean Lee in seven. Li looked to be on his way to a routine points win until the seventh round. He staggered Lee with a straight right and connected with two more rights that sent Lee down heavily and after counting to three the referee saw Lee was not going to get up and the waived the rest of the count. Li wins the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title and the WBO China belt. Poor Lee is 1-3-2 in his six most recent fights.

Albuquerque, NM, USA: Super Light: Fidel Maldonado (27-4-1,1ND) W KO 1 Juan Santiago (16-17-2). Maldonado finds his punch again. After two points wins in a row Maldonado blasted out Santiago inside a round. Fighting in his home city Maldonado ended this one with just two seconds left in the opening round. The 28-year-old southpaw gets his third win of the year after being out of the ring for fifteen months following a kayo loss to former WBA secondary title holder Ishmael Barroso. Ninth defeat by KO/TKO for Santiago and his first fight for two years.

Fight of the week (Significance): Emanuel Navarrete’s win over Francisco De Vaca was the only world title fight so has to be the choice
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Jack Brubaker vs. Danny Kennedy and Chris van Heerden vs. Aslanbek Kozaev pleased the crowds
Fighter of the week: Emanuel Navarrete with honourable mention to Jessie Magdaleno
Punch of the week: Xiao Tao Su’s left hook the flattened Shota Yukawa was special but so was the left hook to the body from Ukashir Farooq that ended his fight with Duane Winters
Upset of the week: No biggies although Devin Vargas stopping Nail Kennedy was unexpected
Prospect watch: Super Light Arnold Barboza Jr 21-0 is breaking through in a big way.

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

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