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The Past Week in Action 23 April 2024: King Ryan! Three Knockdowns Turn Haney's Dream Into a Nightmare


PhilBoxing.com





Highlights:
-Ryan Garcia floors Devin Haney three times and wins a majority decision. Garcia failed to make the weight so Haney remains WBC champion
- Bektemir Melikuziev beats Pierre Dibombe on a technical decision.
-Arnoldo Barboza gets a controversial split verdict over Sean McComb.
-David Jimenez wins the vacant WBA super fly title as he outpoints John Ramirez
-There are wins for Charles Conwell and Sergiy Derevyanchenko
-Sam Noakes decisions Yvon Mendy to win the vacant European lightweight title


World Title/Major Show

April 20

New York, NY, USA: Super Light: Ryan Garcia (25-1) W PTS 12 Devin Haney (31-1). Super Middle: Bektemir Melikuziev (13-1) W Pierre Dibombe (22-0-1). Super Light: Arnoldo Barboza (30-0) W PTS 10 Sean McComb (18-2). Super Fly: David Jimenez (16-1) W PTS 12 John Ramirez (13-1).Super Welter: Charles Conwell (19-0) W TKO 6 Nathaniel Gallimore (22-8-1). Super Middle: Sergiy Derevyanchenko (15-5) W PTS 10 Vaughan Alexander (18-11-1). Super Middle: Darius Fulghum (10-0) W Cristian Olivas (22-10). Middle: Amari Jones (11-0) W Armel Mbumba-Yassa (10-1-1).
Garcia vs. Haney 
Garcia floors Haney three times on the way to a majority decision but failed to make the weight so the WBC title is not on the line.
Round 1
Garcia is quickly into action forcing Haney back and firing hooks. As they move apart a left hook from Garia shakes Haney who is forced to hold. Garcia is letting his fist fly bombarding Haney with punches with Haney again forced to hold. Haney settles and gets on the front foot stabbing out jabs with Garcia backing off. 
Score: 10-9 Garcia
Round 2
Haney is on the front foot throwing jabs with Garcia very much on the defensive. Haney lands a good overhand right. Garcia is posing but not punching as if just looking to land one big punch. 
Score: 10-9 HaneyTIED 19-19
Round 3
Haney gets through with a long right then ducks punches from Garcia. Haney’s hand speed sees him getting past Garcia’s guard with a burst of punches and he then sends him back on his heels with a left hook. Garcia is just not throwing enough punches.
Score: 10-9 HaneyHaney 29-28
Round 4
Garcia starts the round with a flurry of hooks but Haney ducks away from them. There has been too much holding and the referee stops the action to hand out a lecture. Once again Haney is the only one throwing punches and doing what little scoring there is.
Score: 10-9 HaneyHaney 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 39-37 Haney, Judge Eric Marlinski 39-37 Haney, Judge Robin Taylor 39-37 Haney.
Round 5
Garcia throws a couple of rights but then backs off. Haney then hunts Garcia down for the rest of the round scoring on a couple of occasions when he manages he catch up to Garcia who is circling the perimeter of the ring throwing nothing.
Score: 10-9 HaveyHaney 49-46
Round 6
Finally some life from Garcia as he comes forward throwing a bunch of hooks all scoring shots. He then sets off around the ring again with Haney tracking him . The referee is again having to work hard to break-up the clinches. Haney chases in vain and that early burst of punches from Garcia are enough to give yet another low scoring round. 
Score: 10-9 GarciaHaney 58-56
Round 7
Garcia swings a couple of left hooks but Haney ducks inside them. Garcia is now coming forward finally throwing punches and he steps inside and connects with a left hook that sends Haney down. Haney is up at six but clearly shaken. After the count Garcia bombards Haney with punches as Haney dives inside to hold. The referee prizes them apart but Garcia throws a light punch, more of a tap, on the break and is deducted a point giving Haney a few more seconds recovery time. Garcia continues to bombard Haney with punches. Haney slide down Garcia to the floor a couple of times which again gives him a break and he makes it to the bell. 
Score: Garcia 9(point deduction)-8 Haney 66-65
Round 8
Garcia is now looking to capitalise on his success in the seventh and is throwing hooks from the start. That spell does not last and again Garcia is going back and not throwing punches. He is continually turning his back to Haney to avoid Haney’s left hooks and Haney landed five kidney punches. Haney keeps chasing and just lands enough to offset Garcia’s early success.
Score: 10-9 HaneyHaney 76-74
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 77-73 Haney, Judge Eric Marlinski 76-74 Haney. Judge Robin Taylor 75-75 Tied.



Round 9
A messy start to the round with Garcia again not looking to engage but grabbing Haney around the neck to stop Haney working and is given a warning. Haney just cannot get a clean shot at Garcia and Garcia ended the round with a series of hooks that were enough to give him then round.
Score: 10-9 GarciaHaney 85-84
Round 10
Garcia attacks hard at the start of the round driving forward landing hooks to Haney’s head. Haney is backed into a corner and goes down on one knee. He is up immediately. Garcia again throws a bunch of punches but then backs off . Another left hook unbalances Haney and Garica explodes again trying to get another knockdown but Haney #iss not badly hurt. 
Score: 10-8 GarciaGarcia 94-93
Round 11
Garcia is full of confidence taking the fight to Haney and landing with long rights. He then nails Haney with a peach of a left hook, the best punch of the fight. Haney is up quickly and Garcia is unable to repeat the success. 
Score: 10-8 GarciaGarcia 104-101
Round 12
Haney needs a big finish but he can’t produce it. Garcia does what clean scoring there is and then clowns his way through the closing seconds of the fight.
Score: 10-9 GarciaGarcia 114-110



Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 112-112 TIED , Judge Eric Marlinski 114-110 Garcia Judge Robin Taylor 115-109 Garcia.
As Garcia failed to make the weight it became a non-title fight so Haney, the champion, could not lose the title. Haney was 3.2lbs over the limit which reportedly cost him $1.5 million. Garcia was a huge outsider and failing to make the weight, which had been predictable had stacked the odds against him even more. His tactics were strange but in the end the result mattered more than the method. The knockdown and the five points the cost Haney lost him the fight but it was a poor performance from Haney who will have to work hard to get back the prestige he had before this loss.



Melikuziev vs. Dibombe
Uzbek southpaw Melikuziev wins a technical decision over Dibombe in the second defence of his WBA Inter-Continental belt. Melikuziev had Dibombe on the back foot in the first with some strong jabbing and a clash of heads saw Dibombe emerge with a cut on his right eyelid. The cut seemed to galvanise Dibombe and he was more aggressive over the second and third but the power of Melikuziev’s jab and his heavier punch saw the Uzbek taking the rounds. The fourth was close enough to go to either fighter. As heads collided at the start of the fifth Melikuziev suffered a bad cut over his left eye. Later in the round Melikuziev was credited with a knockdown from a left hook but it looked more a case of their legs getting tangled. With his cut worsening Melikuziev attacked ferociously in the sixth and seventh but at the start of the eighth a doctor ruled that Melikuziev’s cut was too severe for the fight to continue and it went to the scorecards with Melikuziev the winner on scores of 79-73 twice and 78-74. A third round kayo loss against Gabe Rosado in 2021 derailed Melikuziev’s drive to a title shot but a run of six wins has seen him climb to No 5 with the WBA and No 10 with the WBO. Frenchman Dibombe had been largely inactive with this only his fourth fight since October 2021.



Barboza vs. McComb
Barboza gets a hotly disputed split verdict over McComb with two of the judges coming up with scores at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Barboza had problems from the start with the height and southpaw style of McComb. He kept rumbling forward looking to get in close but McComb showed some nifty moves and was able to turn away and counter. Barboza was getting through with rights in the second and third and applying plenty of pressure but was being caught by plenty of quick but light counters from McComb, scoring if unspectacular punches. It was the fourth before Barboza’s pressure paid off as he pinned McComb against the ropes late in the round and scored well and he landed some good body shots in the fifth to reduce McComb’s lead. McComb had a good sixth. He was slotting home jabs with Barboza waiting too long to get his punches off, and McComb was confident enough to trade in the seventh and had the better of the exchanges. It was masterly boxing from McComb. He was quicker and more mobile with Barboza unable to really put McComb under strong pressure. With the fight seemingly in the balance Barboza put in a big effort in the eighth but McComb took the ninth firing long right jabs and straight lefts and then ghosting away from Barboza’s lunges. Barboza attacked with a bit more success in the last but it did not seem to be enough. One judge had it 97-93 for Barboza and another 96-94 with the dissenting judge seeing McComb the winner 98-92. The last score might have been a little harsh on Barboza and I saw it as 97-93 but for McComb. Barboza remains No 1 with the WBO and a formal protest from McComb’s management is unlikely to be successful. McComb had put together a seven-bout winning streak since losing to Gavin Gwynne in 2021 but he will have to get into another big fight next time out if he is to put this disappointment behind him and improve on his No 8 with the WBO



Jimenez vs. Ramirez 
Jimenez wins the vacant interim WBA belt with unanimous decision. Ramirez was down before a punch had been thrown. As they came together their bodies collided and Ramirez went down from a push but no harm done. Ramirez tried to use his longer reach to box on the outside and had some success over the first two rounds. The busier Jimenez over the third and fourth hustled and bustled his way inside scoring well to the body and outworking Ramirez. After four rounds Jimenez was 39-37 in front on two card with the third reading 38-38. Jimenez continued to take the fight to Ramirez working away at Ramirez’s body pumping out punches with Ramirez being forced to stand and trade and no longer using his jab. By the end of the eighth Jimenez had taken the lead on all three cards with scores of 78-74, 77-74 and 77-75. Jimenez had turned the fight into a brawl forcing Ramirez to the ropes and landing hooks inside from both hands with Ramirez having to withstand a torrid time in the tenth but doing enough to make the eleventh close. Jimenez connected with uppercuts and hooks as they battled inside in the twelfth and his head crashed into Ramirez’s face in the closing seconds of the fight opening a cut over the right eye of Ramirez. Jimenez won on scores of 117-111 twice and 116-112. Costa Rican Jimenez had broken through with a win over 20-1 Ricardo Sandoval in 2022 but lost a very close decision to Artem Dalakian for the WBA flyweight title in January last year. He had moved up to super flyweight and was No 5 with the WBA. Ramirez was No 1 with the WBA but had never faced a rated opponent which is yet another WBA manipulation story.



Conwell vs. Gallimore
Conwell batters a sliding Gallimore to defeat in six rounds. From the first Conwell was forging forward scoring with clubbing hooks from both hands. Gallimore was trying to hide behind a high guard but Conwell was curving hooks around Gallimore’s guard and there was very little coming back from Gallimore. Conwell had Gallimore hurt with body punches in the third. Gallimore rallied briefly in the fourth and Conwell had swelling around his left eye The referee look poised to stop the fight in the fifth as Gallimore was spending time pinned against the ropes and bleeding from the nose but Gallimore made it to the bell. In the sixth as Conwell continued to batter a static Gallimore the referee finally came in and stopped the fight. Conwell was US Junior and Youth champion and won a gold medal at the 2015 National Golden Gloves,. He qualified for the 2016 Olympics by winning the US Trials but failed to medal in Rio. Jamaican-born Gallimore hit a peak when beating Jeison Rosario and Justin DeLoach inside the distance but is 2=-7 in his nine fights since then. 
Derevyanchenko vs. Alexander
Derevyanchenko floors and gets big margin unanimous decision against Alezander. Over the first two rounds Derevyanchenko was content to box on the outside against the taller, slower Alexander. Derevyanchenko then picked up the pace in the third. He wasn’t loading up on his punches but putting together quick, neat combinations and switching from head to body. Alexander just lacked the footwork to close Derevyanchenko down and was being outscored in every round but because Derevyanchenko was going for quantity not power Alexander was able to just keep marching forward. He connected with a great right uppercut in the fifth but had very little success other than that. Derevyanchenko put Alexander down with a body punch just before the bell to end the eighth and boxed his way through the ninth and tenth to win on scores of 100-89 on the judge’s cards. Now 38 Derevyanchenko had been through a series of top level / title fights losing to Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin beating Jack Culcay and losing to Jermall Charlo, Carlos Aadames and, on a very close verdict, Jaime Munguia. His only current rating is No 7 with the WBC so it may be too late for another title shot. Fifth defeat in his last six fights for Alexander.
 Fulghum vs. Olivas
Fulghum halts Olivas in four rounds. Olivas had no answer to the speed and accuracy of Fulghum’s jab and Fulghum dealt easily with the lunging attacks of Olivas. Fulghum continued to dominate the exchanges in the second and third with Olivas being forced to fight on the back foot and clinching often as Fulghum slowly took him apart. In the fourth with Olivas against the ropes and Fulghum teeing off on him the referee stopped the fight. Texan Fulghum, who won the 2018 National Golden Gloves and the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, won his first nine fights by KOL/TKO but was given a real test in January in scoring a majority decision over Alantez Fox. Third loss in a row for Mexican Olivas.
Jones vs. Mbumba-Yassa
Jones has too much class for Mbumba-Yassa who was matching forward throughout the fight looking to getting inside to work to the body of Jones. As he came forward Jones was feeding him a diet of jabs connecting with body shots from both hands and then using slick footwork to change angles and score with more counters. Jones kept switching guards and his counters were making Mbumba-Yassa pay a heavy price for his aggression and the referee had the doctor examine Mbumba-Yassa before the start of the fifth. Jones landed heavily in the fifth and then floored Mbumba-Yassa at the start of the sixth. Mbumba-Yassa made it to his feet but after Jones connected with a couple of head punches the referee stopped the fight. The 21-year-old Jones, a former US Youth champion who is trained by Bill Haney, gets his eleventh inside the distance victory. Gherman-based Congolese fighter Mbumba-Yassa was kayoed in seven rounds by Austin Williams in February. 

April 19

Atlanta, GA, USA: Super Welter: Brandon Adams (24-3) W KO 3 Ismael Villarreal (13-2). Super Welter: Dakota Linger (14-6-3) W TKO 6 Kurt Scoby (13-1). Super Welter: Francisco Veron (14-0-1) W PTS 10 Angel Ruiz (18-3-1).
Adams vs. Villarreal
Adams returns to the ring and finishes Villarreal with a body punch in the third round. Adams came forward behind a strong jab in the first and dug in some hurtful left hooks to the body forcing Villarreal to give ground. It was the same for most of the second as Adams walked Villarreal down ramming home jabs. Villarreal come to life at the end of the round forcing Adams to a corner and firing hooks but he lacked the power to shake Adams. Villarreal landed a bunch of light punches at the start of the third and then stayed inside as they traded hooks and uppercuts. It was punch for punch until Adams unloaded a series of left hooks to the body that had Villarreal sagging to the canvas. He half arose a couple of times but could not make it and was counted out. Adams lost a wide points decision to Jermall Charlo for the WBC middleweight title in June 2019. He was then out for 18 months and in the second fight since returning stopped top rated 18-0 Serhii Bohachuk in eight rounds in March 2021 and was then out again until this fight. Villarreal had lost to unbeaten fighters Ardreal Holmes and Callum Walsh.
Linger vbs. Scoby
Outsider Linger springs an upset as he stops previously unbeaten Scoby. Scoby made a confident start in the first jabbing well and catching Linger with counters. He was quicker than the fleshy-looking Linger and landed some hefty rights. Linger came out swinging in the second Scoby continued to be quicker and more accurate but was hustled out of his stride and dragged into a brawl. Linger continued to walk through counters in the third and fourth landing bludgeoning swings with Scoby looking to hold but not able to shut down Linger’s attacks. Scoby had a better fifth as he continually countered the crude Linger but Linger was relentless and Scoby was tiring and his punch output had faded away. A sustained series of rights in the sixth had Scoby reeling and the referee came in to save him. Linger was a wide outsider in the fight. He was 1-3-1 in his last 5 fights with two of those losses by KO/TKO but his determination, strength and aggression proved too much for Scoby who was on a run of eight consecutive inside the distance victories.
Veron vs. Ruiz
Argentinian Veron outworks Ruiz for unanimous decision.Veron put Mexican southpaw Ruiz under plenty of pressure from the start with a much higher work rate. Ruiz had some success and Veron was already showing damage around his left eye. Ruiz finally began to roll from the fourth upping his own output and he shook Veron a couple of times in the fifth. Veron’s left eye was closing but he was still fighting at a challenging pace. Ruiz looked to be tiring and Veron was back in control in the sixth. He dominated the action and only Veron’s lack of power was keeping Ruiz in with any kind of chance. Ruiz struggled to survive helped by Veron also tiring with Veron a clear winner. Widely different scores at 100-90, 99-91 and 96-94 but all for Veron. Veron will go on to face Adams in the semi-final of this short tournament. In his last fight in April last year Ruiz had ended Luis Collazo’s career with a sixth round kayo.

Buenos Aires: Argentine: Super Welter: Jonatha Sanchez (25-6-1) W TKO 4 Jose Vargas (10-7). Super Light: Alan Crenz (12-1) W TKO 1 Jhan Camacho (9-2-1).
Sanchez vs. Vargas
Sanchez wins the vacant WBC Latin belt with stoppage of Vargas. Sanchez dominated all the way. He put Vargas down with a body punch in the second and continued to punish Vargas in the third and his corner threw in the towel in fourth to save Vargas. Seventh victory in his last 8 fights for Sanchez. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Vargas.
Crenz vs. Camacho 
Crenz wipes out Camacho in the first round. He put Camacho down with a right in the first minute of the fight and when another right floored Camacho the referee stopped the fight. Ninth inside the distance win in a row for Crenz who was defending the WBO Youth title. Venezuelan teenager Camacho was having the second shot at a WBO Youth title.

Rome, Italy: Cruiser: Claudio Squeo (16-0) W PTS 10 Niklas Rasanen (17-3-1). 
Former undefeated Italian champion Squeo picks up the vacant IBF European title with a unanimous decision over Finn Rasanen, It took plenty of aggression from Squeo to overcame the height and reach edges enjoyed by Rasanen. Squeo had better skills and had been more active than Rasanen and he staged the stronger finish to win on scores of 96-93 twice and 97-92. Rasanen was having only his fifth fight in almost seven years.

Dubai, UAE: Jadier Herrera (14-0) W TKO 4 Mariano Bertola (8-1-1). Super Light: Helmand Alekozal (13-0) W PTS 8 Digari Mahesh (9-4-1). Super Light: Khalid Nasir(16-1) W TK0 3 Aekkawee Kaewmanee (30-23).
Herrera vs. Bertola
Cuban southpaw Herrera racked up his twelfth win by KO/TKO as he stopped Argentinian Bertola in the fourth. The young Cuban was several levels above the overmatched Bertola and slowly broke him down with body punches. In the fourth Herrera landed two rights to the head the second of which landed behind Bertola‘s head. He went down complaining about the punch and the referee gave him a few seconds of recovery time. Herrera then drove Bertola to the canvas right on the bell. Bertola managed to get up and Herrera landed some more punches before the referee stepped in to signal the end of the round-26 seconds late. The official result was a fourth round stoppage win for Herrera! Sixth KO/TKO win for Herrera. Bertola just a four/six round novice.
Alekozal vs. Mahesh
Canadian Alekozal continued unbeaten as he outpointed Indian Maheshi on scores of 77-73 twice and 79-71. Alekozal has fought in Canada, Czech Republic, UK, China and Mexico.
Nasir vs. Kaewmanee 
Dubai-born Pakistani Nasir wins the WBC Asian Silver title with fourth round kayo of Thai Kaewmanee. Nasir just punched too, hard for the Thaim and a vicious left hook to the body had Kaewmanee kneeling in agony on the canvas and counted out.

APRIL 20

Atlanta, GA, USA: Super Welter: Brandon Adams (24-3) W KO 3 Ismael Villarreal (13-2). Super Welter: Dakota Linger (14-6-3) W TKO 6 Kurt Scoby (13-1). Super Welter: Francisco Veron (14-0-1) W PTS 10 Angel Ruiz (18-3-1).
Adams vs. Villarreal
Adams returns to the ring and finishes Villarreal with a body punch in the third round. Adams came forward behind a strong jab in the first and dug in some hurtful left hooks to the body forcing Villarreal to give ground. It was the same for most of the second as Adams walked Villarreal down ramming home jabs. Villarreal come to life at the end of the round forcing Adams to a corner and firing hooks but he lacked the power to shake Adams. Villarreal landed a bunch of light punches at the start of the third and then stayed inside as they traded hooks and uppercuts. It was punch for punch until Adams unloaded a series of left hooks to the body that had Villarreal sagging to the canvas. He half arose a couple of times but could not make it and was counted out. Adams lost a wide points decision to Jermall Charlo for the WBC middleweight title in June 2019. He was then out for 18 months and in the second fight since returning stopped top rated 18-0 Serhii Bohachuk in eight rounds in March 2021 and was then out again until this fight. Villarreal had lost to unbeaten fighters Ardreal Holmes and Callum Walsh.
Linger vbs. Scoby
Outsider Linger springs an upset as he stops previously unbeaten Scoby. Scoby made a confident start in the first jabbing well and catching Linger with counters. He was quicker than the fleshy-looking Linger and landed some hefty rights. Linger came out swinging in the second Scoby continued to be quicker and more accurate but was hustled out of his stride and dragged into a brawl. Linger continued to walk through counters in the third and fourth landing bludgeoning swings with Scoby looking to hold but not able to shut down Linger’s attacks. Scoby had a better fifth as he continually countered the crude Linger but Linger was relentless and Scoby was tiring and his punch output had faded away. A sustained series of rights in the sixth had Scoby reeling and the referee came in to save him. Linger was a wide outsider in the fight. He was 1-3-1 in his last 5 fights with two of those losses by KO/TKO but his determination, strength and aggression proved too much for Scoby who was on a run of eight consecutive inside the distance victories.
Veron vs. Ruiz
Argentinian Veron outworks Ruiz for unanimous decision.Veron put Mexican southpaw Ruiz under plenty of pressure from the start with a much higher work rate. Ruiz had some success and Veron was already showing damage around his left eye. Ruiz finally began to roll from the fourth upping his own output and he shook Veron a couple of times in the fifth. Veron’s left eye was closing but he was still fighting at a challenging pace. Ruiz looked to be tiring and Veron was back in control in the sixth. He dominated the action and only Veron’s lack of power was keeping Ruiz in with any kind of chance. Ruiz struggled to survive helped by Veron also tiring with Veron a clear winner. Widely different scores at 100-90, 99-91 and 96-94 but all for Veron. Veron will go on to face Adams in the semi-final of this short tournament. In his last fight in April last year Ruiz had ended Luis Collazo’s career with a sixth round kayo.

Cordoba, Argentina: Super Welter: Freudis Rojas (14-0) W PTS 10 Walter Cordoba (9-3).
Rojas notches another win as he decisions Argentinian Cordoba. Rojas, an American of Cuban antecedents, outclassed Cordoba. The 6’2” Rojas made full use of his height, longer reach and superior skills to outbox a limited Cordoba. The local fighter tried to take the fight to Rojas but was constantly running onto counters and Rojas had no problems in sliding away from Cordoba’s attacks. Rojas took no risks, boxed well within himself and won 100-90 on all three cards. The 25-year-old southpaw wins the vacant WBO Latino title. He is a former US Amateur champion but lost out to Delante Johnson for a slot at the Tokyo Olympics. Small consolation for Cordoba is that he lasted the distance.

Vienna, Austria: Light Heavy: Carlos Lamela (8-3)W KO 12 Mansur Elsaev (18-1). Light Heavy: Driton Isenaj (7-0) W Lucas Miller (11-5-2). Super Welter: Dilara Yucel (14-0) W Judy Waguthil (17-10-4).
Lamela vs. Elsaev
Cuban-born Spaniard Lamel obviously did not know that imported fighters are brought in to boost the home fighter’s record not ruin it. Elsaev attacked strongly at the start but Lamela boxed well and kept the fight close. Elsaev was warned a couple of times for being careless with his head which opened a cut on Lamela’s cheek bone. The fight began to change late, Both had tired from the fast pace but Lamela had more left. He dropped Elsaev twice in the eleventh and finished him with a punch that sent Elsaev down and out early in the twelfth. Fifth win in a row by KO/TKO for Lamela who was 3-3 in his first six fights. On paper he did not look a threat to Russian-born Elsaev who had won his last four fights in the first round and had eleven first round wins in total. Lamela is now EBU Silver champion.
Isenaj vs. Miller
Austrian Isenaj wins the national title with a unanimous decision over Australian southpaw Miller. The tactics in this fight were set from the start. The taller Isenaj was on the back foot circling the ring using plenty of movement and spearing Miller with jabs at distance. Miller came forward from bell to bell hunting Isenaj trying to cut off the ring. Isenaj did not have the artillery to keep Miller out but he had good defensive skills and Miller found it hard to pin Isenaj down. How you saw this depended on how you viewed clever boxing against all-out aggression and it made for a fast-paced fight but with few extended trading. In the end two judges saw it narrowly for Isenaj at 96-94 but the third had it 98-92 for Isenaj who was in his first ten round fight. Australia champion Miller had won and defended the Australian title twice in his last three fights.
Yucel vs. Waguthil
“She Wolf” Yucel scored a fifth round stoppage of Kenyan Waguthil to win the WBF belt. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the 20-year-old Turkish southpaw who is also a former UBO title holder. Waguthil, 39, a former IBO and WBC title challenger, was having her first fight since 2021

Louvain La Neuve, Belgium: Super Light: Antoine Vanackere (22-1) W PTS 12 Arblin Kaba (17-5-1).Super Feather: Miko Khatchatryan (17-1) W TKO 4 Edinso Torres (17-11). 
Vanackere vs. Kaba
Vanackere wins the vacant IBF European title as he outpoints former Italian champion Kaba. The first three rounds were close but then Vanackere used strong right jabs and plenty of aggression to take over the fight. Kaba tried hard but could not change the flow of the fight and Vanackere emerged as winner on a unanimous decision. Two judges saw 98-92 for the home fighter with the third having it closer at 96-94. That makes it fourteen wins in a row for Vanackere. 
Khatchatryan vs. Torres
Khatchatryan gets a fourth round win over Torres. Khatchatryan had Torres down in the second and looked on his way to a win when after just a few seconds of the fourth round Torrez stepped away claiming a shoulder injury and was unable to continue. Fourth victory for Khatchatryan losing on points to Joe Cordina in 2021.Venezuelan Torres drops to 2-7 in his last 9 outings.

Zagreb, Croatia: Welter: Ivana Habazin (22-5) W Kinga Magyar (14-4). 
Croatian Habazin wins the vacant WBC and interim WBA titles with a points victory over Hungarian Magyar. Habazin found Magyar and easy target in the early rounds as Magyar just walked in with a leaky defence. Her aggression paid in the fourth as she shook Habazin right but the local fighter was back in charge in the fifth. A close seventh saw both investing in some body punches and the eighth was close but with Magyar probably edging. Habazin then wrapped up the decision with a strong finish over the ninth and tenth winning on scores 99-92, 98-92 and 97-93. Habazin is a former IBF and IBO title holder. The scores looked a little harsh on Magyar who had won her last 13 contests.
Ringkobing, Denmark: Super Middle: Jacob Bank (13-0) W PTS 8 Hernan Perez (9-10).
Unbeaten Dane Bank floors and outpoints Perez. Bank led from the start working behind his jab and reaching Perez with rights. Perez defended well and made Bank work but the home fighter dropped the Argentinian with a right and by the end of the fight Perez’s right eye was almost closed. Bank won on scores of 80-71 from all three judges. 

Bourgoin Jailieu, France: Welter: Yanis Mehah (16-1) W PTS 10 Cedrick Peynaud (10-4).
Local fighter Mehah makes a successful first defence of the national title as he outscores Peynaud. The challenger had won a few minor titles and gone the distance with Conor Benn and Ekow Essuman and he gave Mehah a tough night but the better boxing of Mehah saw him win on scores of 96-93 twice and 99-91. Mahah’s lone loss was a split decision against 17-1 Italian Pietro Rossetti for the EU belt last year. 

Munich, Germany: Light Heavy: Ralfs Vilcans (17-1) W TKO 3 Shefat Isufi (38-5-2). Cruiser: Juergen Uldedaj (17-1) W PTS 10 Damir Beljo (27-2). Super Middle: Willi Knorpp (5-0) W PTS 8 Dimitar Tilev (16-2-1). Light Heavy: Yehor Velikovskyi (11-0) W TKO 8 Petro Lakotskyi (3-5). 
Vilcans (Vilciens on his shorts) vs. Isufi
Vilcans score big upset as he floors and kayos Isufi. Plenty of left hand work from Vilcans in the first. He kept his jab in Isufi’s face with Isufi darting in to score with rights to the body. Vilcans quickly went back to his jabbing in the second then began to find the target with straight rights. As they traded a short driven right to the head from Vilcans sent Isufi down. He was up at six but looked unsteady. After the count Vilcan’s scored with a couple of rights. Isufi fired back but was under pressure at the bell. Early in the third a right from Vilcans dropped Isufi to his hands and Knees. He knelt on the canvas shaking his head until the referee tolled off the ten. Latvian Vilcans wins the WBA Continental title with his seventh victory by KO/TKO. He lost his unbeaten tag in June last year when he was outclassed by unbeaten Dane Jacob Bank so he needed a win like this to get back on track. Isufi suffered his first defeat sine losing on points to Billy Joe Saunders for the vacant WBO middle title in 2019. He had an eleven-bout winning streak going into this fight but this was a crushing defeat.
Uldedaj vs. Beljo
Uldedaj wins unanimous verdict over Bosnian Beljo. It looked an easy fight for Uldedaj as he outboxed Beljo over the first two rounds but Beljo improved and came back with some good shots to take the third. That success was short-lived for Beljo as Uldedaj swept the middle round being busier and more accurate. Uldedaj seemed to take a breather over the seventh and eighth letting Beljo back into the fights but then edged the last two rounds to emerge a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-93 and 97-93 for Albanian Uldedaj who wins the WBA Continental title. Uldedaj was 15-0 then lost on points to 8-3 Benoit Huber a year ago. Beljo, 39, had been very carefully protected going 26-0 before being stopped in two rounds by Aleksei Papin in October 2022 and this is only his second fight since then. 
Knorpp vs. Tilev 
Knorpp takes split decision over Tilev. This was a close, competitive fight all the way. Tilev was giving away a bit of height but was on the front foot constantly pressing Knorpp who jabbed well on the back foot and countered effectively. Knorpp was not so effective when he tried to take the fight to Tilev who showed some smart defensive work. Knorpp tended to rely on single heavier punches with Tilev putting together some smart sequences of hooks. Knorpp reached over the referee’s shoulder to land a punch after the bell and was given a stern warning. All of the rounds were close with Tilev’s higher volume and variety in his punches looking to giving him the edge over the single harder punches from Knorpp but the judges awarded Knorpp the split decision. No scores available. German Knorpp had won his other four fights by KO/TKO. A bad patch for Tilev who after going 15-0 is 1-2-1 in his four most recent contests.
 Velikovskyi vs. Lakotskyi
 Velikovskyi halts Lakotskyi in the eighth round.Velikovskyi had huge advantages inn height and reach over the 5’11” Lakotskyi in this all-Ukrainian fight but he is strictly an arm puncher. He was able to catch Lakotskyi with jabs and long rights but had problems keeping the Lakotskyi out. A left hook inn the second sent Velikovskyi flying into the ropes and he grabbed the middle ropes to avoid going all the way down which should have resulted in a count but didn’t. Lakotskyi continued to march forward and scored well in the fourth and fifth. Velikovskyi outboxed Lakotskyi in then sixth and then hammered with punches in the seventh with Lakotskyi out on his feet at the bell. As Velikovskyi drove Lakotskyi across the ring with a succession of punches in the eighth the referee came in to save Lakotskyi.

Georgetown, Guyana: Super Fly: Elton Dharry (28-6-1) W KO 3 Dexter Marques (18-4). Super Fly: Nataly Delgado (14-7-2) W PTS 10 Johana Zuniga (17-7-1). Super Feather: Keevin Allicok (1-0) W TKO 3 Ju-Sean Shepherd (0-1).
Dharry vs. Marques
Dharry wins the vacant WBO Gold title with kayo of Marques. Dharry forced the pace from the start with Marques fighting with his back to the ropes over much of the first two rounds but getting through with occasional counters. In the third Dharry cornered Marques and put him down with a right uppercut. Marques beat the count and tried to punch with Dharry but was put down again and counted out. Dharry lost to Andrew Moloney in a fight for the WBA interim super flyweight title in 2019. He won the vacant WBC International super fly title in 2022 and will be hoping the WBO Gold belt might land him a title shot. Dharry had knocked out Marques in seven rounds back in 2011. Marques was having only his third fight in six years.
Delgado vs. Zuniga
Panamanian Delgado wins the vacant WBA Fedelatin title as she takes a unanimous decision over Venezuelan Zuniga on scores of 96-94 twice and 97-93. Former IBF title challenger Delgado moves to 4-0-1 in her last 5 fights but looked lucky to get the nod. Experienced Zuniga, a former WBA light-fly title challenger, falls to 1-7-1 over her last 9 bouts.
Allicock vs. Shepherd
Some encouragement for local fans as 2020 Olympian Allicock turned pro with a third round stoppage of Barbadian Shepherd. Allicock won bronze medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games and the South American Games and also represented Guyana at the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, World Championships and Tokyo Olympics and is one of the most promising Guyanese fighters to turn pro recently.

Osaka, Japan: Super Feather: Tsubasa Naral (13-3) W TKO 5 Yuna Hara (14-3-1).
Narai got off to a great start in the first round scoring with rights over Hara's left jab. In the second and third Narai was getting through with jabs to the body and landing rights. In the fourth he put Hara down with a left hook and by the fifth there was swelling around Hara’s right eye. Narai scored two more knockdowns in the fifth and the fight was stopped. Narai had lost on a stoppage against the then champion Kosuke Saka for this title in 2022 but had battled back with a run of four wins. Hara was making the second defence of the belt.

Fight of the week: (Significance): Devin Haney keeps the WBC super-light title but may now move up to welterweight leaving a vacant title and Ryan Garcia’s win will lead to some big fights for him
Fight of the week: (Entertainment) Nothing stood out
Fighter of the week: Ryan Garcia for upsetting the odds against Devin Haney
Punch of the week: The straight right from Ralfs Vilcans that finished Shefat Isufi was a great shot 
Upset of the week: Carlos Lamela (7-3) was not supposed to beat 18-0 Mansur Elsaev but the honour goes to Ryan Garcia for overcoming his mental problems to beat Devin Haney.
Prospect watch: Super Middle Darius Fulghum 11-0 (10) looks good.

Observations

Rosette: To Golden Boy/Matchroom for the only big show of the weekend
Red Card: WBA ratings. Only they know how John Ramirez went from No 11 super flyweight in May 2022 to No 2 by 31 July 2022 even though he had not boxed for two months and then all the way up to No 1 without ever facing a rated fighter. His fight with David Jimenez was for the vacant interim title-how in any sensible world can an interim title be vacant ?-it’s not even a real title and there is an active champion.

  • For me the 10-8 for any knockdown irrespective of what has gone on over the three minutes is an abomination. Ryan Garcia made good use of it. When he knocked Devin Haney down he tried briefly to capitalise on that but when he saw he was not going to stop Haney he just ran away safe in the knowledge that no matter how many punches Haney scored after that as long as Garcia stayed on his feet he already had the round in the bag at 10-8. Scoring a round with a knockdown 10-8 is not mandatory but it is a brave judge who will score it to the guy who was knocked down even if he scored 20 or 30 more punches in the round. It is also an easy out for the judges. A knockdown! Great means I don’t really have to use my judgement I can put it down as 10-8 and then check my text messages on my mobile phone and everybody is happy. When was the last time you saw a judge not score a 10-8 round for a knockdown? We make judges go through all sorts of tests to make sure they are competent but then don’t trust them to use their judgement.



  • There are lies, dammed lies and boxing statistics. Take the case of Venezuelan Juan Diaz brought in to face world rated Michal Cieslak. He had a 10-0 record which was not too impressive but might pose some risk as all ten wins had come by KO/TKO. But don’t look closely or you might see that 5 of his 10 opponents had never previously had a fight and four had never won a fight leaving his best win over a guy with a 4-2-1 record.



  • -It is interesting to see how some bodies value their titles. I didn’t have enough time to cover it but there was a fight at which two “prestigious” sanctioning body titles the IBF European and WBO Global were at stake. One fighter had an 11-0 record and was in his first ten round fight and his imported opponent’s record was 12-3. Winning either of those titles brings the promise of a slot in the world’s top 15 of that sanctioning body. What a farce.



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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