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The Past Week in Action 10 March 2020

Helenius drops Kownacki.
-Robert Helenius scores big upset as he stops unbeaten Adam Kownacki in four rounds and Efe Ajagba and Frank Sanchez score wins on the undercard
-Jonjo Carroll stops Scott Quigg and Quigg announces his retirement
-Zack Parker stops Rohan Murdock in eleven rounds
-Hughie Fury returns with stoppage of Pavel Sour
- Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov, Mark Urvanov and Magomed Kurbanov win on show in Ekaterinburg
-Norbelto Jimenez and Aliu Bamidele Lasisi draw in Dubai and on the undercard Ionut Baluta shocks former IBF champion TJ Doheny taking a unanimous decision
-Artur Szpilka gets hotly disputed decision over Serhiy Radchenko


March 7

New York, NY, USA: Heavy: Robert Helenius (30-3) W TKO 4 Adam Kownacki (20-1). Heavy: Frank Sanchez (15-0,1ND ) W PTS 10 Joey Dawejko (20-8-4). Heavy: Efe Ajagba (13-0) W TKO 9 Razvan Cojanu (17-7). Heavy: Carlos Negron (21-3) W TKO 1 Robert Alfonso (19-1-1) . Super Light: Zach Ochoa (21-1) W PTS 8 Angel Sarinana (11-9-3).

Helenius vs. Kownacki
Helenius, in some eyes a 25-1 outsider, floors and halts the previously unbeaten Kownacki. In the first Helenius tried to use his edges in height and reach to just jab and move but Kownacki was shortening the distance and scoring with jabs to the body and some overhand rights. Helenius was looking to smother Kownacki’s attacks by holding whenever he could. As usual Kownacki was walking through punches to get home his own but Helenius stopped him in his tracks in the second with some hard head punches. Kownacki regrouped and was out-jabbing and outscoring Helenius who was already looking tired and was on the ropes under pressure at the end of the round. Kownacki continued to roll forward throwing punches in the third and Helenius was not able to keep him out. By the end of the round an arm-weary Helenius looked on the way to an inside the distance loss. Kownacki, who was in front on all three cards started the fourth by forcing Helenius to the ropes. They were both throwing punches when a right from Helenius suddenly unhinged Kownacki’s legs and he dropped to one knee. He was up immediately but had to take an eight count. He looked apprehensive and Helenius landed a left and a right and another left, none of which looked too hard, and Kownacki went down. He was up quickly but looked unfocused and he floundered back as Helenius piled on the punches and with Kownacki against the ropes and under fire the referee stopped the fight. Massive win for the Swedish-born Finn. Losses to Johann Duhaupas and Dillian Whyte had derailed him and a eighth round kayo loss to Gerald Washington in July seemed to end his time in the big time. Right now in the heavyweights there is a logjam created by Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua which will not be cleared up until the end of this year at best but this win over Kownacki who was rated IBF 2(3)/WBO 3WBA 4 gives Helenius a strong bargaining chip. Kownacki seemed to fall apart. The right that put him down for the first time looked a genuine case for a knockdown and must have hurt Kownacki more than showed because the three punches that put him down for the seconds time were tamer than others Helenius had landed earlier in the fight and it will interesting see how such a crushing loss affects him.

Sanchez vs. Dawejko
Sanchez comfortably outpoints Dawejko. With Sanchez at 6’4” with a 78” reach to Dawejko’s 5’10” with a 70” reach it was pretty obvious how was this was going to play out. Sanchez was scoring with jabs and rights to the body. Dawejko tried to lunge inside but was not fast enough. Sanchez was finding the target with rights and together with his jab those punches put him in the driver’s seat. Dawejko has a good chin and although rocked and cut over his left eye in the fifth he never looked to be in trouble. Dawejko ploughed forward over the late rounds but he was just not quick enough or busier enough and lacked the punch to threaten Sanchez and in the end it was a flat performance from the Cuban. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Sanchez. He has been carefully steered away from any real tests and his No 11 ranking from the WBO is due to his winning their NABO title rather than any opposition he has faced. At 27 he has time to develop further. With his height Dawejko really needs to move down to cruiser or even light heavy but that would probably mean sacrificing one of his legs so he will continue to be used as a safe opponent for climbers such as Sanchez.

Ajagba vs. Cojanu
Nigerian hope Ajagba scores late stoppage over Romanian Cojanu. Although the 6’7 ½” Cojanu was taller Ajagba had the longer reach and his use of that reach to put him in control in a slow-paced fight. Luckily the pace picked up, a little, but only a little as the rounds progressed. Cojanu was able to connect with some good rights to the head but Ajagba was quicker and more accurate with his rights. Ajagba was throwing more and landing more than Cojanu but apart from a burst of punches in the sixth he was very predictable with a left jab being followed by a straight right with not a great deal of variety in his work. He was slowly breaking Cojanu down as the Romanian had no answer to Ajagba’s jab. By the seventh Ajagba was dealing out heavy punishment to a tiring Cojanu. In the eighth he was putting his punches together and Cojanu’s face was swollen with bruising around both eyes. As Cojanu tried to come forward Ajagba connected with a right to the head that first stopped Cojanu in his tracks and then saw him drop to one knee. He got up at nine and was allowed to continue. A left hook almost put him down again but he made it to the bell. Ajagba pounded on Cojanu in the ninth until a right to the head proved too much for the Romanian and he went down on one knee as the referee stopped the fight. Eleventh inside the distance win for the 25-year-old Texas-based Nigerian. He has wins over Michael Wallisch, Ali Eren Demirezen and Iago Kiladze which is about right at this stage of the 2016 Olympian’s career. California-based Cojanu has lost to Joseph Parker for the WBO title, Luis Ortiz, Nathan Gorman and Daniel Dubois.
Negron vs. Alfonso
Puerto Rican Negron breaks a two-fight losing streak as he kayos Cuban Alfonso in just 2:03 of the first round. Neither of these fighters could really afford a loss. Three in a row might have spelt the end for 33-year-old Negron. He turned pro in 2009 as a 6’6” 183lbs fighter before moving up to heavyweight and was 242lbs for this one so 59lbs heavier than when he turned pro. Moving to heavyweight did not look to be working for him after kayo losses to Dominic Breazeale and Brian Howard but this win over previously unbeaten Alonso gets him back on track. Alonso, also 33, had looked bad when only getting a split draw with Iago Kiladze last year. In the amateurs he beat Luis Ortiz, Andy Ruiz, Michael Hunter and Oscar Rivas but he will not hit the heights as a pro now.
Ochoa vs. Sarinana
Neighbourhood fighter Ochoa outpoints Mexican Sarinana. A slow start from Ochoa who was having his first fight for 18 months. In an entertaining contest Ochoa was in control when he was on the outside but Sarinana brought plenty of pressure. Sarinana was cut over his right eye in a clash of head in the third but kept coming and rocked Ochoa with a strong right in the fifth, Ochoa moved into a clear lead and it helped when Sarinana lost a point in the seventh for a butt. That point was cancelled out by a deduction from a tiring Ochoa for holding in the last. Scores 77-73 twice and 76-74 for Ochoa. His only defeat came by way of a decision against world rated Yves Ulysse back in 2017. Sarinana drops to 0-3-1 in his last 4 fights.

Manchester, England: Super Feather: Jono Carroll (18-1-1) W TKO 11Scott Quigg (35-3-2). Super Middle: Zach Parker (19-0) W TKO 11 Rohan Murdock (24-2). Heavy: Hughie Fury (24-3) W TKO 3 Pavel Sour (11-3). Super Welter: Anthony Fowler (12-1) W TKO 1 Theo Tetteh (19-8-2).Middle: Jack Cullen (18-2) W TKO 2 Tomas Andres Reynoso (13-6-1). Super Light: Robbie Davies Jr (20-2) W PTS 8 Damian Yapur (16-17-3).

Carroll vs. Quigg
Carroll brings down the curtain on Quigg’s career with an important win that could earn him another world title shot. Carroll made a confident start. He was finding gaps for his jab and connecting with some strong uppercuts. Quigg dialled up the aggression in the second trying to hustle Carroll out of his game plan. He was targeting the body but some clever boxing from Carroll was frustrating Quigg’s attacks and Quigg’s timing was off. He was not quick enough to cut off the ring to limit Carroll’s punching space and was constantly getting set to launch a punch only for a quick shift by Carroll to leave him without a target. Carroll had also been scoring well to the body and that seemed to drain Quigg. He kept trying to press hard but Carroll’s defensive work was making Quigg struggle to get into the fight in a meaningful way. Carroll was cut by his right eye but was starting to dominate the action. He upped the pace from the seventh and Quigg had to absorb some heavy punishment in the eighth with a right counter rocking him badly and only a lack of real power in Carroll’s pinches kept Quigg in the fight at that stage. Quigg put in a big effort in the ninth but he could not dent Carroll’s dominance. Fearing the fight might be stopped Quigg dug deep in the tenth but Carroll just seemed to get stronger the longer the fight went on and there was no confidence or conviction in Quigg’s work. The end came in the eleventh. Carroll manoeuvred Quigg into a corner and would not let him out. He was unloading big punches. Quigg was ducking under some but not firing back and Quigg’s corner threw the towel into the ring. Carroll needed to find a way back into the big time after his wide points defeat against Tevin Farmer for the IBF super feather title in March last year. This victory did that for him. It is tough at the top of the super feather division right now but the 27-year-old Dubliner will have taken a huge confidence boost out of this victory. Quigg has had a great career and met some of the best in the world and been in some great fight and importantly he has announced his retirement at the right time.
Parker vs. Murdock
Parker over powers Australian Murdock late in their fight to lift the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title. The fight was close over the early rounds with Parker taking the first and Murdock the second and Murdock looked to have shaken Parker with a right in the fourth. Parker just had the edge with his strong jab and some good work to the body. He switched guard occasionally but he was never able to dominate completely. Murdock was clever and quick and had a useful punch in his right. He was also not averse to roughing Parker up on the inside. Parker started to pull away from the sixth outscoring Murdock in the round and then taking the seventh with Murdock’s accuracy dropping and Parker jabbed and hooked well to take the eighth. Murdock did enough to share the ninth but after Parker switched to southpaw in the tenth he began to break Murdock down with stiff body punches and Murdock was a very tired fighter by the end of the round. Somehow Murdock managed to come out full of energy for the eleventh and Parker was doing very little. Almost taking the round off. That change late in the round when a left to the head shook Murdock. He retreated to the ropes and Parker unloaded a series of head punches. As Murdoch came off the ropes a huge left hook sent him crashing to the floor. He was up at four but after completing the eight count and taking a close look at Murdock the referee stopped the fight. Murdoch protested but it was the right decision. Good to see the 25-year-old from Derbyshire back in action but this is only his second fight in the last sixteen months and he needs to be more active. With Murdock No 1 and Parker No 2 this was effectively a final eliminator for the WBO title but any challenge will have to wait until Billy Joe Saunders sorts out any business with Saul Alvarez. Murdock was on a 22-bout winning streak but there are no real gold star names on his record. He showed enough here to believe he can recover and work his way back into contention.
Fury vs. Sour
Fury blows away big Czech in three rounds. Sour came out swinging trying to take the pressure to Fury but Fury had the winning punch in his right cross. He shook Sour a couple of times in the first and floored him at the end of the second. Another knockdown in the third from a booming right sent Sour down for the second time and the fight was stopped, Fourteenth win by KO/TKO for 25-year-old Fury who was coming off a loss to Alex Povetkin in August. His losses have been to Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev and Povetkin-some career advice to Fury-don’t fight anyone whose name begins with the letter ‘P’. A first round loss against Filip Hrgovic is the Czech’s only other inside the distance defeat, and he was outpointed in October by Jermaine Franklin.
Fowler vs. Tetteh
This was a waste of everyone’s time. Fowler blitzed poor Tetteh putting him down four times before the fight was stopped just before the bell to end the first round. Third successive win for Fowler as he moves on from split decision loss to Scott Fitzgerald in March last year. Tetteh way out of his depth in this fiasco.
Cullen vs. Reynoso
Cullen crushes Argentinian Reynoso in two rounds. Reynoso held his own in the first and even managed to tag Cullen with a good right.. Cullen repaid him for that in the second with a booming right that sent Reynoso to the canvas. Reynoso managed to get up but the referee decided he was in no condition to continue. As with Fury and Fowler Cullen was coming back from a loss having been halted in eight rounds by Felix Cash in a Commonwealth title fight in November. Next for Cash could be a fight with Jason Quigley under the Dillian Whyte vs. Alex Povetkin contest on May 2. Reynoso drops to 1-4 in his last five fights.
Davies vs. Yapur
Davies eases his way back with a points victory over Yapur. Davies had far too many skills for the limited but tough Yapur. Davies was never threatened and got eight useful rounds of work as he boxed his way to winning every round. Referee’s score 80-72 for Davies. The 30-year-old from Liverpool is a former British and Commonwealth champion but was derailed by a points loss against Lewis Ritson in October that cost him his European title. Madrid-based Argentinian Yapur is 1-10 in his last 11 fights but usually goes the distance which made him a good choice for this exercise.

Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Feather: Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (16-0) W PTS 12 Tomas Rojas (51-19-1,1ND). Super Feather: Mark Urvanov (18-2-1) W KO 7 Akzhol Sulaimanbek (15-1). Super Welter: Magomed Kurbanov (19-0) W PTS 10 Ismail Iliev (12-2-1).Cruiser: Evgeny Tischenko (7-0) W TKO 3 Marcos Aumada (21-8).Super Feather: Vlad Krasnoshein (8-1-1) W PTS 8 Evgeny Chuprakov (21-3) .
Yaqubov vs. Rojas
Yaqubov retains the WBC International title with a wide unanimous decision over Mexican veteran Rojas. Although Rojas started out as a light flyweight he was always very tall for the weight and at 5’8” he actually had height and reach over Yaqubov. Unfortunately the edges that Yaqubov had were more important on the night. He was 15 years younger, was quicker and more able to stand the fast pace he set in the fight. Yaqubov was able to get inside to connect with a couple of punches then slip out before Riojas could counter. Rojas was on the front foot but finding Yaqubov a clever defensive fighter and Yaqubov was buzzing around the ring pining Rojas with jabs. Despite all of his experience Rojas had very little success in cutting the ring off. It was a frustrating fight for Rojas. He had some success when he could get Yaqubov to stand and trade and he could then score to the body. His punches were enough to start a swelling over the right eye of Yaqubov but in every exchange Rojas was taking more than he was giving and he had swelling under both eyes. They were both rocked by heavy punches in the ninth but it was Rojas taking heavy punishment in the tenth. Rojas continued to walk forward through the eleventh and twelfth but it was Yaqubov who was doing the scoring as he skated through the last round to victory. Scores 119-110, 118-110 and 117-111 all for Yaqubov. The 24-year-old Russian-based Tajik, the WBC No7, is a smart, quick boxer and is still improving. At 39 the former WBC super flyweight champion Rojas showed a high level of fitness to be still pressing forward after twelve fast-paced rounds. He suffers his third loss on the bounce but the other two losses were against top level opponents in Andres Gutierrez and Miguel Roman and he seems capable of going on for a few more years yet.
Urvanov vs. Sulaimanbek
Russia’s red-head “Canelo” Urvanov built on a couple of good level wins with stoppage of Kyrgyzstan’s Sulaimanbek. Urvanov chose to fight on the back foot using quick movement and accurate counters to outbox the aggressive Kyrgyzstan fighter. Sulaimanbek boxed as a southpaw and fought out of an awkward crouch which did not give Urvanov much of a target. Urvanov was circling Sulaimanbek but was using excellent footwork to stay off the ropes and was responding to Sulaimanbek’s attacks with some crisp counters. Urvanov cut loose in the seventh meeting the advancing Sulaimanbek with a series of heavy counters. Sulaimanbek just kept coming and as he did Urvanov threw a four punch combination. The first three missed but as Sulaimanbek ducked under the third he went head first into the fourth a thunderbolt of a left hook the sent him down flat on his back on the canvas. He tried to rise but then fell back into the arms of the referee. The 23--year-old Urvanov gets win No 10 by KO/TKO. He lost to Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in 2018 but in his last two fights had outpointed useful Filipino Marco Demecillo and stopped Evgeny Chuprakov and is rated WBO 13 and WBA 15. No names on Sulaimanbek’s record but for winning and defending the WBA Asian title four times he was rated No 6 by them.
Kurbanov vs. Iliev
World rated Kurbanov given all the trouble he can handle and then some by Iliev. Kurbanov had decided he was going to take Iliev out with one big right and as a result was outworked by Iliev in the first with Iliev’s jab continually in Kurbanov's face. Iliev was taking Kurbanov on in the second standing and trading punches and getting the better of the exchanges. He was doing too well and paid for his overconfidence. With just twenty seconds remaining in the round he once again took the fight to Kurbanov and walked onto a wicked right uppercut. Iliev sagged at the knees and a couple of cuffing punches to the head helped him on his way to the floor. He was up at three and when the eight count was over Kurbanov landed some more rights but the bell went before he could do any more damage. Over the next few rounds Kurbanov moved on to the front foot and threw more punches. Iliev came back into the fight in the seventh bouncing rights hands off the head of Kurbanov and again out working him with Kurbanov cut over his right eye. Kurbanov was in control in the eighth, the ninth was close and Iliev outpunched Kurbanov in the last of a real war. Scores 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94 for Kurbanov but for me Iliev deserved at least a draw. Kurbanov, 24, has wins over Charles Manyuchi, Juan Carlos Rodriguez and former interim WBA champion Diego Chavez. He is rated WBA5/WBO 7/WBC 10. He is strong but Iliev showed his defensive weaknesses. Iliev’s only other loss was on points against the now deceased Patrick Day in Texas in February last year. In an earlier fight he had come off the floor to outpoint former European champion and WBC Silver title holder Siarhei Rabchanka.
Tischenko vs. Aumada
Tischenko takes a couple of rounds to get into the fight against fellow-southpaw Aumada but ends the contest in the third round. Aumada started well taking the fight to Tischenko over the first two rounds switching guards, showing a sound defence and outscoring the Russian. Tischenko was tentative and mechanical not throwing his punches with any conviction. It was a case of right jab straight left then start again left jab etc. He was also having trouble dodging the wild, wide swings of Aumada. Tischenko upped the pace in the third. He began to put his punches together and put some snap into them. Aumada marched forward onto the end of a right jab and after hesitating went down on one knee. After the eight count he stormed forward but Tischenko was connecting with body punches and Aumada again dropped to one knee. He did not watch the referee during the count and when he did get up the referee ruled he was too late and had been counted out. Not an impressive display by the 6’5” 28-year-old southpaw but he gets his fourth quick win and retains the WBO Inter-Continental belt. The former European, World and Olympic champion will soon have to think about making an appearance in the USA to raise his profile but he also needs to be less predictable in his style. Aumada, 33, had lost back-to-back matches against Yamil Peralta in domestic action.
Krasnoshein vs. Chuprakov
Minor upset sees Krasnoshein score a majority decision over former world title challenger Chuprakov. Despite his lack of experience southpaw Krasnoshein waded into Chuprakov unsettling the more experienced fighter. He was quicker and more accurate and continually forced Chuprakov to the ropes. Both fighters were heavily marked under their eyes with Krasnoshein looking the worse for wear but Chuprakov sporting a cut over his left eye. Chuprakov had a big fifth as he rocked Krasnoshein with an uppercut and then floored him with a bunch of punches. Krasnoshein recovered well and outboxed Chuprakov over the closing rounds and looked a good winner. Scores 78-72 and 77-73 for Krasnoshein and 75-75. With Krasnoshein coming off a domestic loss he did not look a likely threat but he pulled off an important win. Chuprakov lost to Masayuki Ito in a challenge for the WBO super feather title in December 2018 and showed he was vulnerable when being stopped in three rounds by Mark Urvanov in November.

March 6

Dubai, UAE: Super Fly: Norbelto Jimenez (29-9-5) DREW 10 Aliu Bamidele Lasisi (14-0-1). Feather: Ionut Baluta (13-2) W PTS 8 TJ Doheny (22-2). Super Feather: Nurtas Azhbenov (9-0) W TKO 1 JR Magboo (18-5-2). Super Middle: Cesar Tapia (12-0) W KO 1 Steve Collins Jr (14-4-1). Heavy: Zhan Kossobutskiy (13-0) W TKO 2 Abraham Tabul (17-4-1).
Jimenez vs. Lasisi
Lasisi holds on to the WBC International title with split draw against Jimenez. It was the longer reach, better skills and greater experience of Jimenez against the strength and aggression of Lasisi. Many of the rounds were close. Jimenez looked to have done enough to get the decision but just came up short of convincing all three officials. Scores 96-94 Jimenez. 96-94 Lasisi and 95-95. Dominican Jimenez was having his first fight since losing on points against Khalid Yafai for the WBA super fly title in June. Back in 2014 Jimenez fought a draw with Kohei Kono for the secondary WBA title so is campaigning for a third shot. For Dubai-based Nigerian Lasisi this was a huge step up in the level of his opposition and he showed he was not out of his depth. He has come quite some way from when he used to clean a local gym in Dubai.
Baluta vs. Doheny
Baluta continues his good form with an upset victory over former IBF champion Doheny. Baluta dominated in the early stages as Doheny took a while to get some traction. Doheny started to roll from the fourth but Baluta continued to box cleverly and to make good use of his much longer reach and his 5” edge in height. Doheny had been warned for throwing Baluta to the canvas in the seventh and when he did it again in the eighth the referee deducted a point from him. Doheny was unable to claw back the deficit with Baluta running out a clear winner. Scores 78-74 twice and 77-74 for Baluta. The 26-year-old Spanish-based Romanian was coming off a good win over Kyle Williams for the WBO European title where he failed to make the weight so was unable to claim the WBO belt. Australian/Irish Doheny, the former IBF super bantam champion was having his first fight since losing his title to Daniel Roman in April.
Azhbenov vs. Magboo
Kazak southpaw Azhbenov stops Filipino Magboo in the opening round. A right counter from Azhbenov had Magboo shaking his head as if he had an injury to his left eye. Azhbenov continued to press and another left again saw a reaction from Magboo indicating a concern over his vision out of that eye. Azhbenov overwhelmed Magboo with a storm of punches until Magboo turned away and lifted his arm in surrender. Fourth win by KO/TKO for 25-year-old Azhbenov who turned pro in Britain. Magboo is now 1-3 in his most recent outing with the other two being second round stoppage losses.
Tapia vs. Collins
Australian-based Mexican Tapia blitzes Collins in just 114 seconds. Tapia exploded on Collins driving him to the ropes with a series of punches. With Collins trapped on the ropes a big right had him out on his feet. His guard dropped and his neck muscle lost their rigidity and he had to take three or four hard punches before sliding to the floor with the referee a bit late in getting to the action. It was obvious that Collins was badly hurt and was not going to rise but the referee insisted on doling out the full count. Tapia, a 21-year-old from Tijuana had achieved a good win against Renold Quinlan to take the vacant Australian title in August. Second inside the distance loss in a row for Collins and this was a particularly brutal ending.
Kossobutskiy vs. Tabul
Kossobutskiy punches too hard for Ghanaian Tabul. The Ghanaian got through the first round with difficulty before two thudding body punches dropped him in the second and the fight was waived off. The 6’3” southpaw Kossobutskiy, a former Kazak amateur champion at 91kgs, has won 12 of his 13 fights by KO/TKO including seven first round finishes. Tabul gets crushed whenever he is matched with anyone who can fight having been stopped by both Evgeny Tischenko and Olan Durodola.

Tijuana, Mexico: Light Fly: Abraham Rodriguez (26-2) W PTS 8 German Valenzuela (13-1). Rodriguez overcomes an early cut to outpoint competitive Valenzuela . After comfortably taking the first round Rodriguez was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the second. From there Rodriguez’s greater experience just gave him a narrow edge and he took the majority decision. Scores 77-75 twice for Rodriguez and 76-76. Third win for the 25-year-old local since losing on a second round kayo against Angel Acosta in a challenge for the WBO light fly title in 2018. Valenzuela had won his last four fights but against very modest opposition,
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Armando Torres (26-18) W PTS 10 Juan Alejo (25-7-1). Seasoned warrior Torres picks up his fifth consecutive victory with a unanimous verdict over Alejo. Both are good punchers but it was Torres who was landing the better punches as he tried to blow Alejo away early. Alejo was hard pressed to stay in the fight and after four rounds Torres was in front 40-36 on two cards and 39-37 on the third. Alejo put in a big effort in the fifth and sixth but again it was Torres who was landing more and after eight rounds he had built a winning lead at 78-74 twice and 79-73. There was nothing Alejo could do to pull this one out of the fire and it was Torres who finished stronger. Scores 99-92 twice and 98-93 for 39-year-old Torres in his first defence of the WBC Latino belt. Torres won the belt with an upset first round kayo of former WBC light flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez which earned him a No 6 light flyweight rating from the WBC. Alejo was knocked in ten rounds by Angel Acosta in a fight for the vacant WBO light fly title in 2017 but he had only one fight in 2018 and one in 2019.

March 7

Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Troy O’Meley (11-0) W PTS 10Adrian Rodriguez (12-2-2)
State champion O’Meley takes the next step up as he decisions champion Rodriguez to lift the Australian title. This was a tough contest with both being better at attack than defence. It started out badly for O’Meley as was knocked down in the first round, which O’Meley attributed to a punch to the back of his head, and also cut over his left eye. Her recovered from that and they traded hard punches the rest of the way with O’Meley just the busier and more accurate but being forced to fight hard to the end. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-91 for O’Meley. “The Rooster” was in his first ten round fight. Queenslander Rodriguez fought hard trying to hold on to his title but was beaten by a better man on the night.
Top of Form

Brisbane. Australia: Heavy: Demsey McKean (18-0) W TKO 10 Jonathan Rice (13-5-1). Super Light: Liam Paro (19-0) W TKO 8 James Chereji (17-1).
McKean vs. Rica
After a close testing fight McKean finds the punch to end it just seconds before the final bell. Rice tested McKean severely finding the range early and landing some heavy punches that had McKean rocking at times particularly in the sixth. McKean came though that period and with Rice only having gone past six rounds once the visitor tired and McKean took control. In the last round despite blood dripping from his nose he trapped an exhausted Rice in a corner and connected with a sequence of head punches. Rice stumbled forward and went down heavily. The referee decided it was not a punch that had put Rice down. He urged Rice to get up. Rice stood on shaky legs looking out onto the crowed. The referee turned him around and surprisingly indicated the fight should continue but luckily before McKean could land another punch the referee stepped in and stopped the fight which made a mockery of his decision to let the fight continue when Rice got up. McKean, 29, a 6’6” southpaw , gets his twelfth inside the distance victory and collects the vacant WBO Asian Pacific and IBF Inter-Continental belts. Let’s not get too excited as his last four opponents have been ranked by BoxRec as Nos. 313, 240 and 471 with Rice an improvement at No 134. Rice, 33, suffers his second inside the distance loss.
Paro vs. Chereji
Brisbane southpaw Paro retains the WBO Global title with stoppage of Romanian . Paro was just too strong and punched too hard for Chereji who lacked the power to threaten Paro. The Romanian did well to stay around as long as he did but Paro gradually broke him down. In the eighth Chereji was being driven around the ring by hooks and uppercuts. He was staggered and then taken to the ropes where a left to the body dropped him to his knees and the referee waived the fight over. The 23-year-old Paro was rated No 3 in the most recent IBF ratings but with No 2 Subriel Matias having just been beaten he will edge closer to a challenge to Josh Taylor but can’t move into the No 1 spot as he has not yet beaten a rated opponent. Spanish-based Chereji has been well protected and Paro was just too big a step up form him

Melbourne, Australia: Feather: Jai Alexander (12-0) W PTS 10 Presco Carcosia (8-1-1). Light: Kayne Clarke (10-0) W KO 6 Rodynie Rafol (14-8-2).
Alexander vs. Carcosia
Local fighter “The Fire” Alexander needed that fire to take the split decision over Filipino Carcosia. Alexander made the better start in a close contest with both fighters scoring well to the body. Once Carcosia got into his stride he cut into Alexander’s lead making the fight close but Alexander held on to get the decision with the three judges coming nowhere near agreeing on what they had seen. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Alexander and 98-92 for Carcosia. Alexander picks up the vacant IBO Asia Pacific title. Alexander turned pro in 2012after winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games but was inactive in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Carcosia, 23, the Philippines No 13 super bantam, was having his first fight outside of his home country and made this one close enough to deserve a return or some more work in Australia.
Clarke vs. Rafol
Clarke is now the IBO Asian Pacific champion after knocking out Australian-based Filipino Rafol. The Filipino fought a very aggressive fight but was frustrated by the clever boxing of switch-hitter Clarke. The fight was fairly even until the sixth when an advancing Rafol was nailed by a left hook that put him down out cold. Fifth inside the distance finish in a row for Clarke. Rafol, 33, has been largely inactive being out of the ring from 2015 until, 2017 and with only one fight in 2018 and 2019
Sint Truiden, Belgium : Light: Hedi Slimani (33-6-1) TEC DRAW 2 Rafik Harutjunjan (13-3-1).
This contest was over almost before it started as a clash of heads in the second round saw Silimani suffer a bad cut and the fight was stopped and declared a technical draw. No satisfaction for Tunisian-born Belgian Slimani or Armenian-born, Ditch-based Harutjunjan.

Galapa, Colombia: Super Light: Roiman Villa (21-1) W RTD 4 Nestor Armas (22-6-1). Villa wins an all-Venezuelan contest as he bludgeons Armas to defeat in four rounds. With Armas moving up from lightweight Villa was naturally the bigger man and he used his strength to keep Armas on the back foot. Armas showed some nice skills but despite his 21 wins by KO/TKO showed very little power. Villa was stalking Armas behind a high guard and only throwing punches when he was able to cut off the ring but he showed his power in hooks from both hands with Armas not looking to trade punches at all. Villa handed out a tremendous beating to Armas in the fourth. Three times Armas was sent flying back by hooks and uppercuts. On each occasion the ropes stopped him going down but no count was applied. Villa had Armas under heavy fire at the bell and Armas did not come out for the fifth round. All of the 26-year-old Villa’s win have come by KO/TKO including 19 in his first 19 fights. His only loss was a very disputed decision against Marcos Villasana Jr in Mexico when Villa looked a clear winner. Armas, 24, has impressive looking figures but his record is so heavily padded he would probably bounce if he was knocked down. His 22 victims had 9 wins between them!

Accra, Ghana. Super Feather: Felix Ajom (15-2-1) W TKO 5 Abdul Malik Jabir (21-17). Cruiser: Lambert Fogoum (6-1-1) W RTD 5 Stephen Abbey (15-18). Feather: Alfred Lamptey (6-0) W PTS 6 Ray Commey (19-11).
Ajom vs. Jabir
Ajom, 25, makes a successful first defence of the National title with stoppage of veteran Jabir. Ajom won all the way flooring Jabir in the second, fourth and fifth rounds before the fight was stopped. Ajom won the National title at the third attempt and is in good form with 7 wins in his last 8 outings. Jabir is a former Ghanaian and ABU champion who lost on points to Craig Docherty for the Commonwealth title way back in 2003 and is in his nineteenth season as a pro.
Fogoum vs. Abbey
Easy night for Fogoum as he halts perennial loser Abbey. The Cameroon-born, Dubai-based Fogoum put Abbey down twice with Abbey retiring at the end of the fourth round.. Fourth inside the distance win on the trot for Fogoum who lifts the vacant UBO African title. Abbey,40, has won only two of his last eleven contests.
Lamptey vs. Commey
Excellent learning fight for young Lamptey as he has to work hard for six rounds to get by experienced Commey,. Scores 59-53 for Lamptey on all three cards. The promising 17-year-old is in his first year as a pro and this is just the kind of fight he needs. Commey, a former Ghanaian and WBA Pan African champion, is 15 years older than Lamptey.

Parral, Mexico: Super Light: Luis Alberto Hernandez (21-0) W TKO 3 Placido Ramirez (17-2). Light: Oscar Duarte (19-1-1) W KO 5 Andres Garcia (13-3-1). Light: William Zepeda (21-0) W TKO 6 Brayam Rico (13-3).
Hernandez vs. Ramirez
The strength and aggression of Hernandez are too much for Ramirez. In the first Ramirez boxed neatly on the back foot sliding jabs into Hernandez face and connecting with left hooks to the body. Hernandez was walking through the punches and was a bit wild with his own but his strength and power was evident. He was hunting Ramirez down in the second but without success and he was throwing wide, wild punches. Ramirez kept moving and jabbing and even stood and traded a couple of times but his punches lacked leverage. Hernandez launched a ferocious attack in the third trapping Ramirez in a corner and sending him down with a series of punches. Ramirez sat on the canvas and shook his head and reluctantly got up,. He was walking away from the referee who stopped him and just signalled for the fight to continue. A sledgehammer of an overhand right sent Ramirez down heavily with his body half out under the ropes. The 23-year-old “Matador” from Chihuahua lifts the vacant WBC Continental Americas belt with win No 19 by KO/TKO. His nickname is all wrong. With his style it should be “Toro” not “Matador”. He has scored a couple of useful wins but his is a wide open and at times crude style. Ramirez was allowed to take too much punishment. He was down for quite a while after that big right flattened him and the fight should have been stopped before then, He had won his last seven fights but the opposition had been weak.
Duarte vs. Garcia
Duarte breaks down an over-courageous Garcia. A lively start with plenty of exchanges in the first with Duarte exerting most of the pressure but Garcia connecting with hooks to the body. Garcia tried to box in the centre of the ring in the second but a big right from Duarte knocked him to the ropes and Duarte cut loose with a storm of punches. Garcia was shaken twice and then driven to the ropes and went down under a succession of punches a couple of which landed when Garcia was technically down. He beat the count and made it to the bell by trading punches with Duarte. Garcia was dropped by a right late in the third. Again he made it to his feet but was driven to a corner and down. He arose and when the eight count ended the bell had already gone. Duarte put Garcia on the floor again late in the fourth. When Garcia got up there were only ten seconds left in the round but the tape was flapping on Garcia’s glove so he got and extra minute recovery time as that was fixed and survived. Duarte finally ended it in the fifth,. He pinned Garcia to the ropes and crashed home a series on vicious left hooks to the body. Garcia dropped to his knees and was counted out. Local fighter Duarte wins the vacant NABF title with his fourteenth victory by KO/TKO. His loss was a split decision to a sliding but more experienced Adrian Estrella. Garcia was as gutsy as hell, No matter how much punishment Duarte laid on him he just kept punching back . He was down five times but never gave up fighting.
Zepeda vs. Rico
Rico was much taller with a big edge in reach but southpaw Zepeda was able to walk through the Colombian’s jab and work to the body. He was digging in with solid lefts with Rico having trouble staying off the ropes. Rico had nothing to stop the pressure from Zepeda. He was in trouble at the end of the fourth but survived. The one-sided fifth was brutal. Zepeda bombarded Rico with punches before dropping him with a left hook to the body. Rico got up and continued showing courage far beyond whatever he was being paid. In the sixth Zepeda continued to batter away at Rico’s body with the Colombian managing to throw an occasional punch. He was taking a savage beating and both the referee and his corner should have saved him long before the referee finally stepped in as Rico was trapped on the ropes under fire. Eleven inside the distance wins on the bounce for the 23-year-old Zepeda. Rico, 25, came in with 8 wins in his last 9 fights but had been knocked inside a round by Placido Ramirez who lost to Hernandez on this show.

Bergen, Norway: Tim Robin Lihaug (20-4) W PTS 12 Vartan Avetisyan (18-3-1). Fighting in his home city for the first time as a pro Lihaug wins the vacant WBFederation title with unanimous decision over Avetisyan. This was a real war with both fighters in trouble at various times. Avetisyan was down but the referee ruled it a push. They both had to soak some heavy right hands as the fight swung back and forth with Lihaug just doing enough to win the decision. Scores 117-111 twice and 116-112 the last which looked a better reflection of the fight. It was the first bout in almost a year for the 27-year-old former undefeated WBO European champion. After being 18-0-1 it is now three losses in a row for German-based Armenian Avetisyan.

Dzierzoniow, Poland: Light: Damian Wrzesinski (18-1-2,1ND) W Sergio Puente (28-9). Wrzesinski retains the Polish International title by outpointing Mexican Puente. No real problems here for former Polish amateur champion Wrzesinski as he easily outscores tough but limited Puente. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 99-92 for Wrzesinski .He is 7-0- 1 in his last 8 fights all of which have gone the distance. Puente headed in the other direction as his run of one win in his last nine fights illustrates.

Lomza, Poland: Heavy: Artur Szpilka (24-4) W PTS 10 Serhiy Radchenko (7-6). Middle: Fiodor Czerkaszyn (16-0) W TKO 7 Patrick Mendy (18-16-3). Light Heavy: Pawel Stepien (13-0-1m) W PTS 8 Geard Ajetovic (31-24-2).
Szpilka vs. Radchenko
Szpilka is on the floor twice and gets a very unpopular majority verdict over Radchenko. Szpilka did enough to edge the first two rounds but a right hook from Radchenko floored him in the third. It was not a heavy knockdown and Szpilka did enough to make the fourth close. The fifth saw Szpilka on the canvas again under a succession of punches from Radchenko. The visitor looked to have taken the sixth, seventh and eighth but lost a point in the ninth for using his elbow as a third glove. Szpilka put in a strong last round with Radchenko holding to survive but looking to have done enough with the two knockdowns to take the decision-but no. The scores 95-92 and 95-93 for Szpilka and 94-94 have been loudly criticised in Poland. The 30-year-old “Pin” has lost inside the distance to Deontay Wilder, Adam Kownacki and Dereck Chisora but here he was looking to build on a good victory over Fabio Turchi in October so that he could get back into some big fights. He was lucky in this one so not an impressive showing. Radchenko can’t catch a break. He has won only one of his last seven fights including four losses in Poland in one of which he put current WBO No 1 Krzys Glowacki on the canvas.
Czerkaszyn vs. Mendy
Ukrainian Czerkaszyn is starting to attract rave notices over his performances. The speed and the accuracy of his punches saw him collect the early rounds but Mendy is tough and after six rounds it looked as though Mendy would make it through the seventh and eighth as Callum Smith has been the only fighter to stop him. That hope for Mendy disappeared in the seventh as a savage left hook put the Gambian down heavily. He managed to climb to his feet but the referee stopped the fight. The 24-year-old Czerkaszyn already has useful wins over Wes Capper and Guido Pitto. As usual Mendy came in as a late substitute and is now 1-5-2 in his last 8 fights but is never an easy opponent.
Stepien vs. Ajetovic
After eight month out of the ring due to some health problems Stepien eases his way back with a unanimous decision over Ajetovic. The local boxer used a strong, accurate jab to work at distance and scored well with straight rights. Ajetovic was constantly looking to attack but was outboxed all the way by Stepien. Scores 80-72 for Stepien from all three judges. He has a win over former WBC light heavyweight title challenger Daniel Sukhotsky. Serbian Ajetovic, 39, has long since accepted the role of travelling loser and is now 0-8-1 in his last nine fights.

Pathum Thani, Thailand: Super Welter: Tommy Browne (43-7-2) W TKO 4 Yodkhunpol (20-9). Browne adds another title to his collection as he stops Yodkhunpol to win the vacant Thai title. The 36-year-old Australian has already won the UBF, UBO and WBFederation titles in the past and fought for the WBA featherweight title losing to Chris John back in 2005. Since moving down the scale in opposition he is now 16-1-1 in his last 18 fights. Southpaw Yodkhunpol (real name Uthit Punsen) has lost six in a row. At 5’4” to the 5’10” Browne he was never in with much of a chance.

Brentwood, England: Middle: Danny Dignum (13-0) W TKO 9 Alfredo Meli (17-1-1). Welter: Sam Gilley (11-0) W PTS 10 Curtis Felix Jr (10-2) Welter: Kaisee Benjamin (10-1-1) W PTS 10 Shaquille Day (10-1).
Dignum vs. Meli
Dignum retains the WBO European title with a power show that overwhelms brave Belfast boxer Meli. Dignum clearly took the first round in the all-southpaw contest before Meli fought his way in front with some clever boxing. After a close fourth Dignum’s heavier punching saw him pull away and in the seventh he put Meli down with a vicious body punch. Meli did well to beat the count and continue but he was floored again late in the eighth. Dignum ended it in the ninth with another body punch and the referee stopped the fight just as the towel came in from Meli’s corner. The 27-year-old from Essex moves to seven inside the distance victories. There are some interesting domestic fight there for Meli as he rebuilds
Gilley vs. Felix
In another well-matched BBB of C Southern Area title fight Gilley decisions useful Felix. The fight was tight and entertaining with plenty of heated exchanges. Gilley rocked Felix a coup[le of times but Felix was always ready and able to stand and trade. Gilley scored a late knockdown and that proved a decider as he finished strongly. Referee’s score 96-93. Tall Londoner Gilley was in his first ten round fight and paced it well. Second tough assignment in a row for Felix and second loss.
Benjamin vs. Day
Benjamin comes out on top in the clash of BBB of C Area champions. The hand speed and movement were the winning factors for Benjamin. Day pressed the fight hard but too often left himself wide open and when he did Benjamin made him pay with rapid-fire combinations. The power and aggression of Day kept him in the fight but Benjamin was a clear winner. The referee scored the fight 97-94 for Benjamin. The 24-year-old from Birmingham is the Midlands Area champion and Day, from one of my old stamping grounds Bexley, is Southern Area champion.

Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Super Middle: Gabriel Pham (12-2) W PTS Derrick Webster (28-3) .Revenge is sweet no matter how long it takes to achieve so Pham had a satisfying night as he outpointed Webster. The fight went Pham’s way early. He scored a flash knock down in the first and a much more stated knockdown in the fourth. Webster survived but was never able to really turn the fight his way and Pham was a clear winner. Scores 78-72 twice and 77-73 for Pham. He had lost to Webster in the amateurs so he gets the win when it counts. Webster lost on points to Lennox Allen in his last fight in February 2019 and the inactivity did not help his cause.

Irving, TX, USA: Light Heavy: Israel Duffus (20-6) TKO 2 Samuel Clarkson (22-6).
Duffus destroys local fighter Clarkson. Duffus looked close to ending this in the first as he drove southpaw Clarkson around the ring belting him with right hands. Clarkson came roaring out for the second firing punches and it was Duffus who was being driven back. That storm blew itself out and Duffus took charge again dropping Clarkson twice. Clarkson made it to his feet but the referee waived the fight over. Now 17 inside the distance wins for Panamanian-born Duffus. Clarkson was stopped in four round by Dmitry Bivol in a fight for the interim WBA light heavy title in 2017 and knocked out in four rounds by Ryad Merhy in December 2018.

March 8

East London, South Africa: Bantam: Ronald Malindi (18-0) W PTS 12 Lwandile Sityatha (24-4-1). Super Fly: Yanga Sigqibo (14-1-1) W KO 7 Cris Paulino (21-5). Feather: Loreto Dlamini (14-1) W KO 5 Jeremiah Mhere (5-3). Light Fly: Sivenathi Nontshinga (9-0) W KO 5 Ivan Soriano (20-4-1). Feather: Asanda Ginggi (6-0) W PTS 10 Thato Bonokoane (9-3-3).
Malindi vs. Sityatha
This was always going to be a close fight as Malindi put his National title on the line against former undefeated IBO champion Sityatha who had won his last eight fights against a higher level of opposition. There was , never much between them in a tight battle with Malindi’s stronger finish just making the difference. Scores 116-112, 116-114 and 115-113. The 25-year-old Malindi was making the third defence of the South African title. His trainer felt he could have stopped Sityatha late but that never seemed likely as Malindi’s last five fights had gone the distance. Sityatha was the favourite here after past wins over Michael Dasmarinas the current IBF No 1 bantam, Gideon Buthelezi and IBF super bantam title challenger Ernie Saulong but this is only the third fight in over four years for Sityatha and with more activity he will be a much harder opponent for Malindi
Sigqibo vs. Paulino
Local hope Sigqibo impresses in a seventh round kayo of Filipino southpaw Paulino. The visitor tried to hustle Sigqibo out of his stride but “The Show Stopper” refused to be bullied and Philippines champion Paulino lost a point for punches to the back of the head. Sigqibo put Paulino down in the sixth and then flattened him with right in the seventh Sigqibo extends his winning run to eleven and retains the WBO Inter-Continental title in his second defence. He is rated No 4 by the WBO. Paulino was 7-1 before this one with the loss coming against Jason Moloney.
Dlamini vs. Mhere
Dlamini was to have defended his WBC Silver title on this night but his opponent dropped out and Zimbabwean Mhere came in as a late replacement with no title on the line. Dlamini ended it with a body punch in the fifth for win No 7 inside the distance. Mhere had won his last three fights but was no match for Dlamini.
Nontshinga vs. Soriano
The difference in experience was meaningless here as “The Special One” Nontshinga made in nine inside the distance victories in nine fights by putting away Soriano in the fifth round. There was concern over a rapid swelling around Nontshinga’s left eye showing in the third round. He also made that meaningless by flooring Soriano in the fifth and finishing him with a right in the fifth. The 21-year-old from East London, who is jus 4’11” tall, was defending his IBF International belt and they rate him No 7. He certainly looks a prospect but he will need some more fights before stepping up to a world title shot. First inside the distance loss for Soriano.
Ginggi vs. Bonokoane
East Cape fighter Ginggi win the vacant ABU title with victory over fellow-South African Bonokoane. Ginggi already had the fight won when he floored Bonokoane in the last round but just could not find the punch to end it then. Scores 98-91, 98-92 and 97-92 for Ginggi. The 26-year-old Ginggi had taken just seven round in total to beat his other six opponents so he almost doubled his career ring total in this fight. Former South African title challenger Bonokoane did well to give Ginggi some needed work.

Luis Guillon, Argentina: Super Feather: Kevin Leonel Acevedo (20-3-3) W PTS 10 Javier Herrera (16-4-1). Light: Jose Matias Romero (23-0) W TKO 5 Gabriel Ovejero (15-13).
Acevedo vs. Herrera
Acevedo wins the vacant Argentinian title with close unanimous decision over Herrera. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-94 ½ . Acevedo is 5-1-1 in his 7 most recent contests. Herrera was having his third shot at the title.
Romero vs. Ovejero
Romero drops Ovejero in the first round and again in the fifth on the way to a stoppage victory. The 23-year-old from Neuquen breaks a run of seven points victories in a row including two over Javier Herrera in Argentinian title fights. Poor Ovejero has won only two of his last thirteen fights.

Fight of the week (Significance): Robert Helenius’ win over Adam Kownacki has shaken up the heavyweights somewhat
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Magomed Kurbanov vs. Ismail Iliev was a war
Fighter of the week: Has to be Helenius
Punch of the week: The right from Luis Alberto Hernandez that flattened Placido Ramirez was a biggie but it has to be the hook Mark Urvanov used to lay out Akzhol Sulaimanbek
Upset of the week: A tie between Helenius battening Kownacki and Ionut Baluta beating TJ Doheny,
Prospect watch: Early days but little South African light flyweight Sivenathi Nontshinga 9-0 9 wins KO/TKO could be one to watch.

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. Last year (2019), Armit has been nominated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame 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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