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The Past Week in Action 20 May 2024: Big Day for Ukraine: Usyk Defeats Fury for Undisputed Heavyweight Title; Berinchyk Wins WBO Lightweight Title Over Navarrete; Papin, Chukhadzhian Victorious

-Oleksandr Usyk floors and wins a split decision over Tyson Fury to unify the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO titles to become undisputed heavyweight champion
-Australian Jai Opetaia scores a unanimous points victory over Mairis Breidis for the vacant IBF cruiserweight title
-IBO super featherweight champion Anthny Cacace stops IBF champion Joe Cordina to unify then titles.
-Denys Berinchyk wins unanimous decision against Emanuel Navarette for vacant WBO lightweight title
- Brian Norman floors Giovani Santillan twice and wins the interim WBO welterweight title
-German heavyweight Agit Kabayel stops unbeaten Frank Sanchez
-Robin Sirwan Safar floors and outpoints former light heavyweight title holder Sergey Kovalev
-Also, in Saudi Arabia there are wins for Mark Chamberlain, Moses Itauma and Isaac Lowe
-There are wins for Richard Torrez, Emilio Vargas, Alan Garcia and Jonathan Lopez on San Diego show
-Jin Sasaki halts Joe Noynay for the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles
-Karen Chukhadzhian scores points win over Harry Scarff in IBF welterweight eliminator
- Flavian Biea and Ronald Gavril score wins in Romania

World Title/Major Shows

May 18

Riyadh, Suadi Arabia: Heavy: Oleksandr Usyk (22-0) W PTS 12 Tyson Fury (34-1-1). Super Feather: Anthony Cacace (22-1) W TKO 8 Joe Cordina (17-1). Cruiser Jai Opetaia (25-0) W PTS 12 Mairis Breidis (28-3). Heavy: Agit Kabayel (25-0) W KO 7 Frank Sanchez (24-1,1ND). Cruiser: Robin Safar (17-0) W PTS 10 Sergey Kovalev (35-5-1). Light: Mark Chamberlain (16-0) W TKO 1 Joshua Wahab (23-2). Heavy: Moses Itauma (9-0) W TKO 2 Ilja Mezencev (25-3). Feather: Isaac Lowe (25-2-3) W PTS 10 Hasibullah Ahmadi (16-2). Light Heavy: Daniel Lapin (10-0) W KO 1 Octavio Pudivitr (9-2). Cruiser: David Nyika (9-0) W TKO 4 Michael Seitz (12-1).

Usyk vs Fury
Usyk becomes undisputed heavyweight champion as he floors Fury and stages a strong finish to overcome Fury’s lead and takes the split decision
 Round 1
Plenty of probing jabs with Fury on the back foot and southpaw Usyk aiming lefts to the body. Fury fired a right but Usyk landed a counter left. Usyk landed light shots to the body. When in a corner Fury spreads both arms along the ropes leaving himself open but Usyk sensed a trick and just backed off. Usyk threw a bunch of hooks but Fury dodged them. Not a lot of clear scoring but what little there was came from Usyk
Score: 10-9 Usyk
Round 2
Usyk landed a right early and kept the pressure on Fury but is short with his punches. Fury landed a right to the body and a couple of jabs. Usyk pinned Fury against the ropes and landed a right and left but Fury scored with another right to the body and worked his jab doing enough to win a close round.
Score: 10-9 FuryTIED 19-19
Round 3
Fury was jabbing well and landed a right to the body. Usyk was still coming forward and connected with a right and left. Plenty of jabs from Fury and he slid away from Usyk’s punches. Fury landed to the body then clinched before getting through with a couple of rights. Fury stopped Usyk in his tracks with a right 
Score: 10-9 FuryFury 29-28
Round 4
Fury upped his pace and was boxing cleverly on the back foot landing a couple of rights to the body. Usyk was still pressing but Fury countered and moved before Usyk could close the distance. Fury scored with a sneaky uppercut and Usyk was having trouble pinning Fury down. Fury again stood in a corner wide open with his arms spread along the top rope but Usyk was not quick enough to take advantage. Usyk has a small cut over his right eye.
Score: 10-9 FuryFury 39-37
Rouns 5
Fury was jabbing and moving with Usyk unable to cut off the ring. Usyk kept coming but Fury was landing jabs and sliding away. Fury got through with hooks to the body forcing Usyk back and landed a jab and straight right. Usyk kept pressing but Fury held him off with jabs and scored with a right to the body. Best round so far for Fury.
Score: 10-9 FuryFury 49-46
Round 6
With Fury against the ropes Usyk had some success with a couple of hooks. Usyk was having trouble getting past Fury’s jab and Fury was clinching to stop Usyk working inside. Fury bobbed and weaved around Usyk’s punches and connected with a hard right uppercut. Usyk just couldn’t get close and was sent back to the ropes by a right uppercut and Fury was coming forward and doing the scoring. 
Score: 10-9 FuryFury 59-55
Round 7
Usyk came forward again but was met by jabs and a right and Fury muscled him to the ropes. Fury stayed on the back foot with Usyk hunting him down but being picked off with jabs at distance. Usyk scored with a strong left then with Fury against the ropes landed a couple of good rights but Fury’s early work netted him the round.
Score: 10-9 FuryFury 69-64
Round 8
Usyk put in a big effort to change the course of the fight. He was coming forward with more purpose doing a better job of cutting off the ring. Fury landed a nice right uppercut but Usyk nailed him with a quick combination. Usyk was getting past Fury’s jab and scoring with short punches inside and landed a right hook. Usyk’s best found so far
Score: 10-9 UsykFury 78-74
Round 9
Fury had slowed and Usyk keep coming forward forcing Fury to the ropes and scoring with hooks. Fury was off target with his jabs and Usyk was scoring with sweeping hooks. Fury landed some good rights but then Usyk connected with a heavy right to the head that had Fury reeling into the ropes. Usyk followed up with a series of head punches and Fury staggered and was badly hurt. He stumbled along the ropes with Usyk in pursuit and flopped into a corner where he was held up by the ropes and was given a standing count and the bell went at the end of the count with Fury unsteady
Score: 10-8 UsykFury 86-84
Round 10
Usyk was looking to end this but Fury stuck close to the ropes and covered up. Usyk landed a couple of lefts to the head but then backed off looking to draw Fury forward but he was missing his chance to build on the ninth round. Fury had recovered and landed a good right. Usyk won the round but blew his chance of a stoppage.
Score: 10-9 UsykFury 95-94
Round 11
Usyk put Fury under pressure from the start throwing rights and lefts to the head but Fury moved inside and clinched. Usyk connected with a right to the body and a left to the head. Fury scored with a right hook counter and Usyk responded with a left before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Usyktied 104-104
Round 12
Usyk started the round well scoring with rights but Fury shook him with a right to the head. Usyk landed some right hooks but Fury got through with some rights. Usyk lands jabs and just does enough to edge a close round
Score: 10-9 UsykUsyk 114-113
Official Scores: 115-112 Usyk, 114-113 Usyk, 114-113 Fury
Great fight worthy of a decider for undisputed champion. The scores were so close that one round or even one punch could have been the changed the result. Usyk will now take a break to be with his family. The plan is for a return later in the year with Fury indicating he might take another fight before their return. Their reputations were high before this fight and both enhanced their standing even further.

Cacace vs. Cordina
Cacace springs a surprise as he halts Cordina to unify the IBF and IBO titles. 
Round 1
Cordina scored with a right to the body at the start of the round and was doubling up on his jab looking quicker than Cacace. Cordina again landed a left hook to the body and Cacace responded with two body shots. Slick footwork took Cordina away from Cacace’s attacks and he again connected with a hook to the body
Score: 10-9 Cordina
Round 2
Cordina was boxing well snapping out jabs and dancing away from Cacace’s attacks. Cordina used his jab to keep Cacace on the back foot. Cacace came forward and landed with hooks up and down but Cordina forced him back and landed a pair of hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 CordinaCordina 20-18
Round 3
Cacace banged home a couple of left hooks to the body and continued forward throwing a series of punches then went to the left hook again and landed some rights. They exchanged punches and it seemed as though Cordina anticipated the referee’s call to break and dropped his guard with Cacace landing a hard right and left hook that shook Cordina. The referee took Cacace aside warning him over the right as if to indicate it had come after the call to break. Cordina seemed thrown by the two punches and when the action restarted Cacace landed a couple of punches and then a left hook that staggered Cordina and piled on the punches until a left hook and a right uppercut dropped Cordina to his hands and knees. He beat the count and was then wrestled down but no count. Cordina was then pinned against the ropes as Cacace unloaded on him until the bell 
Score: 10-8 CacaceTIED 28-28
Round 4
Cacace came out firing punches looking to build on his success and was able to score with left hooks to head and body with Cordina just covering up and throwing nothing back. Cordina did get on to the front foot but his punches now lacked any snap and he was flat-footed. 
Score: 10-9 CacaceCacace 38-37
Round 5
Cordina tried to up his pace and take the fight to Cacace but his work was laboured without the speed or confidence he had shown over the first two rounds. Cacace also looked to have slowed and Cordina found the target with jabs. He landed a good left hook but was rocked by a right and lost his mouthguard. Cacace ended the round with a fierce attack landing a sharp left hook.
Score: 10-9 CacaceCacace 48-46
Round 6
The round started with a messy brawl which favoured Cacace and he forced Cordina back with hooks inside. Cordina had some success with jabs but was again under fire from a series of hooks and uppercuts from Cacace. The fire had gone out of Cordina and he was taking a beating inside and was shaken by a right to the head. Cacace continued to be in control and Cordina took heavy punishment as the round ended.
Score: 10-9 CacaceCacace 58-55
Round 7
Cordina took more punishment at the start of the round and was throwing very little back. With Cordina trapped against the ropes the referee looked poised to stop the fight and could have done so without any complaint. Cordina came off the ropes pumping out arm punches with no power but did enough to make the round close.
Score: 10-9 CacaceCacace 68-64
Round 8
A right from Cacace had Cordina backing to the ropes and as Cacace bombarded him with punches the referee stopped the fight.
Cordina was a big favourite to win here and he looked to be in control and was much the superior fighter until that incident with the confusion over the break call and the knockdown that followed. After that round Cordina was never in the fight. Huge win for Cacace but hopefully Cordina will get a return.

Opetaia vs. Breidis
Opetaia builds a big lead and then holds off a late surge to win the vacant IBF title.
Round 1
Very cautious start from both boxers. Breidis was boxing on the retreat. Opetaia landed a southpaw left to the body which was the only punch landed in the first two minutes and he then followed with another left to the body. Breidis was short with a pair of rights.
Score: 10-9 Opetaia
Round 2
They both looked livelier. Breidis threw a bunch of shots but Opetaia blocked them. They had a quick, confused exchange with both landing. Breidis was trapped in a corner and Opetaia connected with a series of punches then a left hook.
Score: 10-9 OpetaiaOpetaia 20-18
Round 3
Opetaia continued to take the fight to Breidis and connected with two lefts. Opetaia has quicker hands and better footwork and again landed a left. Breidis was throwing enough punches but was short with most of them and too slow to counter an Opetaia left. Both landed punches to the back of the head.
Score: 10-9 OpetaiaOpetaia 30-27
Round 4
There was a quick exchange of punchers with Opetaia landing the better shots. Breidis was still on the back foot just occasionally lunging in with a punch. Opetaia connected with a couple of body punchers. Breidis lunged forward and Opetaia landed a right counter.
Score: 10-9 OpetaiaOpetaia 40-36
Round 5
Opetaia was stalking the retreating Breidis but neither was throwing much leather. Opetaia landed some jabs and Breidis threw himself forward into the attack but was wild with his punches and Opetaia just took a low scoring round.
Score: 10-9 OpetaiaOpetaia 50-45
Round 6
Opetaia made a promising start connecting with two left hooks and a long right then they traded hooks. Breidis landed a clubbing right but Opetaia drove a left to the head through the guard of Briedis. Things livened up as they stood and exchanged punches. Breidis connected with a couple of rights but Opetaia was again quicker and more accurate and he landed with hooks just before the bell. 
Score: 10-9 OpetaiaOpetaia 60-54
Round 7
Breidis tried to take the fight to Opetaia but was met with two counters. Breidis landed a short right. They both scored in a quick exchange. Breidis was a bit livelier and it was a close round but with Opetaia still having the edge. 
Score: 10-9 OpetaiaOpetaia 70-63
Round 8
Breidis had success with lead rights but Opetaia evened things up landing a couple of lefts. Breidis connected with counter rights and was tying Opetaia up inside and did the cleaner work.
Score: 10-9 BreidisOpetaia 79-73
Round 9
Opetaia upped his pace and landed some good punches early. Breidis landed a right but Opetaia clipped him with a right hook. In a change of roles Breidis went onto the front foot and was tracking Opetaia putting on some pressure but Opetaia was catching him with some shots at distance. 
Score: 10-9 OpetaiaOpetaia 89-82
Round 10
Breidis was standing his ground more and was more accurate with his punching and finally throwing some combinations. Both scored in an exchange of hooks and Opetaia connected with a left to the head, the best punch of the round, but was caught by a right hook as he moved inside.
Score: 10-9 BreidisOpetaia 98-92
Round 11
Breidis opened up in this round getting inside and firing hooks from both hands with Opetaia on the retreat as Breidis scored with a right. Opetaia looked tired and was clinching to smother the attacks of Breidis. Opetaia landed a couple of lefts but was on the retreat and Briedis pinned him to the ropes and bombarded him with punches with Opetaia forced to hold. Breidis scored with a left and a straight right. 
Score: 10-9 BreidisOpetaia 107-102
Round 12 
Breidis went for broke firing lefts and rights with Opetaia holding to stem the punches. Breidis was hounding Opetaia clubbing him with rights . Opetaia landed a couple of hooks to the body but a jab and a right had him backing off. Opetaia was jabbing and moving trying to avoid getting trapped against the ropes and countered Bridies with a left and then stayed out of trouble. 
Score: 10-9 BreidisOpetaia 116-112
Official Scores: 116-112 twice and 117-111 for Opetaia
Opetaia had lost the IBF title when he was sidelined by a broken jaw suffered in winning the title from Breidis in July 2022. He boxed well in this fight showing speed and skill bunt tired badly. The Nos 1 and 2 spots in the IBF ratings were vacant with Breidis Non 3 and Opetaia No 4 the division is wide open. At 39 time is running out for Breidis but he can point with pride to have only lost on a majority decision against Usyk when they were both cruiserweights.. 

Kabayel vs. Sanchez 
Kabayel batters Sanchez to defeat in eight rounds. Kabayel was taking the fight to Sanchez with Sanchez circling the ring looking to counter. Kabayel was having success with his jab on the way in and landing rights to the body. Kabayel continued to hunt Sanchez around the ropes in the second scoring with jabs and hefty body shots with Sanchez not throwing much in return. Sanchez was doing a lot of holding whilst Kabayel continued to land body punches. Kabayel continued to track Sanchez in the third and fourth scoring with hooks inside with Sanchez unable to keep him out and doing more holding than punching. Sanchez was already tiring by the fifth and throwing just single sweeping punches and spending most of the time against the ropes with Kabayel teeing off on him with left hooks to the body and overhand rights. The occasional counter from Sanchez really held no danger for Kabayel and the constant pressure was wearing Sanchez down. Kabayel connected with two big rights in the sixth but Sanchez shook them off but offered very little in return as he again spent almost the round with his back against the ropes whilst Kabayel bombarded him with punches. The seventh was more of the same until a couple of body shots saw Sanchez drop to his haunches not actually down but given a count. He stood up at seven then dropped again from a left jab to the body and was counted out. Kabayel throws himself into the heavyweight mix in a big way. Sanchez was No 2 with the WBC and Kabayel No 3 and as Sanchez was also in the top six with the other bodies Kabayel will be positioned across the four bodies for any chance that comes. Sanchez was a huge disappointment and faces some hard work if he is to rebound.
Sanchez Cuban 6’4” 78” reach 17 wins id low level opposition lost 5 times to Lenier Pero
Safar vs. Kovalev
Safar scores a late knockdown on the way to a unanimous decision over a faded Kovalev. Safar took the fight to Kovalev in the first scoring to the body. Kovalev landed some good jabs. The round was close but Safar’s body punches gave him the edge and he outscored Kovalev in the second. Safar maintained a fast pace with Kovalev landing jabs but looking sluggish. In the fourth Kovalev went to them body looking to slow the younger man down but was rocked by a right and there was a swelling under his left eye. Kovalev had a better fifth landing one of his trademark uppercuts to edge the round but he was slowing and both fighters looked tired with Safar losing his mouthguard in the sixth. Carrying extra poundage from his move to cruiserweight Kovalev continued to struggle with the pace and Safar closed the seventh with a series of punches and connected with a hard right. Safar also outlanded Kovalev in the eighth getting through with rights late in the round. He clearly took the ninth scoring with hooks from both hands and although Kovalev landed some counters his once vaunted power was missing. Safar put the result beyond doubt by flooring Kovalev with a huge right just before the bell to end the fight. Kovalev made it to his feet but was a well beaten man. Scores 99-90. 97-92 and a too close 95-94 for Swede Safar who was having his first fight for thirteen months and only his second in almost two years. His opposition has been modest but this win should land him some higher level fights. At 41 Kovalev was having his first fight for two years and is just a shadow of the fighter who held the IBF, WBA and WBO belts at light heavyweight so hopefully this will be his last fight.
Chamberlain vs. Wahab
Southpaw Chamberlian blows away useful Wahab in the first round. Chamberlain immediately took control firing strong right jabs with Wahab looking to duck inside. Late in the round Chamberlain followed his jab with a thunderous straight left that floored Wahab. Wahab made it to his feet and after the eight count Chamberlain landed a left that drove Wahab into a corner and two more lefts sent him crashing to the floor on his side and the referee waived the fight over with Wahab needing some medical attention before fully recovering. The 25-year-old Chamberlain makes it twelve wins by KO/TKO and wins the vacant WBC Silver title. Nigerian Wahab had won his first 22 fights before losing a majority decision to Liam Dillon.
Itauma vs. Mezencev
Itauma destroys Mezencev in the first. Itauma was tracking Mezencev and landed a thudding left to the head that had Mezencev falling back into the ropes. Itauma followed up landing another couple of punches but then pushed Mezencev and the German boxer almost fell out through the ropes. The referee halted the action until Mezencev righted himself as the bell went. Itauma ended it early in the second flooring Mezencev with a left and a right that put Mezencev down on his back. Mezencev made it to his feet but was stumbling and the referee stopped the fight. Itauma, 19, had won his last four fights in the first round and this victory nets him the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title. Kazakh-born German Mezencev drops to his third loss by KO/TKO. 
Lowe vs. Amadi
Lowe wins a unanimous verdict over a competitive Amadi Lowe had big advantages in reach and height and was scoring well with his jab and straight rights. Amadi was coming forward crouching low and firing hooks but was finding it hard to score against Lowe. Amadi kept coming but was having to take punches to get close and was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads in the third. Lowe was boxing cleverly scoring with jabs and straight shots and occasionally switching guards. Amadi was walking through punishment to get close where he was firing bunches of hooks putting Lowe under pressure and Lowe was finding it difficult at times to punch with accuracy against the crouching Amadi. His willingness to walk in forced Lowe to work hard and made for an interesting contest with Lowe also cut over his left eye. Amadi had a good sixth and continued to force the pace. A left hook from Lowe saw Amadi drop to one knee and put his glove on the canvas but he bounced up immediately. He was shaken by another left hook but lasted out the round and continued to march forward over the ninth and tenth. Lowe is rebuilding after losses against Luis Lopez and Nick Ball and has now run up four wins. At 5’4” Afghan’s Amadi was always going to struggle but he made Lowe fight hard.
Lapin vs. Pudivitr
Reed-thin southpaw Lapin was seven inches taller than the 5’11” Pudivitr and easily stepped away from Pudivitr’s attempts to get inside. He speared Pudivitr with a couple of jabs then landed a right that sent Pudivitr backwards into a corner and then drove a cringing Pudivitr down under a shower of punches and Pudivitr made no attempt to beat the count. Polish-born Ukrainian Lapin gets his fourth win by KO/TKO. First inside the distance defeat for Pudivitr.
Nyika vs. Seitz
The power of Nyika proves too much for Seitz. Seitz made a fast start driving forward over the first two rounds hustling the taller New Zealander out of his stride and landing some good shots to take those rounds. Nyika went to work in the third driving home left hooks to the body and landing clubbing head shots. It was over in the fourth as Nyika again targeted Seitz’s body and a sustained attack had Seitz dipping at the knees in a corner held up by the ropes. He was given a standing count but was in no condition to continue after eight so the referee stopped the fight. The 6’6” New Zealander won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics and a gold st the Commonwealth Games where he beat Cheavon Clarke. Sietz just could not handle Nyika’s power.

Glasgow, Scotland: Light: Lee McGregor (13-1-1) W TKO 2 Jorge Moya (15-6-1).
Former British, European and Commonwealth champion McGregor makes a winning return as he stops young Colombian Moya in the second round. McGregor showed no sign of rust as he put Moya down with a body punch in the second. Moya made it to his feet but was in no condition to continue. First fight for McGregor since his upset loss against Erik Robles in July last year and he will be looking to work his way back to the top. Moya, 21, had an unbeaten run of 13 fights but the road has become tougher as the opposition has got better. 

San Diego, CA, USA: Light: Denys Berinchyk (19-0) W PTS 12 Emanuel Navarrete (38-2-1). Welter: Brian Norman (26-0,2ND) W KO 10 Giovani Santillan (32-0). Heavy: Richard Torrez (10-0) W TKO 5 Brandon Moore (14-1,1ND). Light Alan Garcia (13-0) W PTS 8 Wilfredo Flores (10-3-1). Feather: Jonathan Lopez (15-0) W TKO 8 Edgar Ortega (14-3-2). Super Light: Emiliano Vargas (10-0) W KO 6 Angel Varela (10-3). 

Berinchyk vs. Navarrete
Berinchyk proves too quick and too busy for Mexican Navarette and wins the vacant WBO lightweight belt with a split decision. 
Round 1
A busy start from Berinchyk as he buzzed around Navarette then darted in with a quick burst of punches. Navarette was just pushing out languid jabs and was out of range. Berinchyk chased Navarette across the ring throwing hooks and then backed off before Navarette could counter.
Score: 10-9 Berinchyk
Round 2
Navarette fly go with some of his trade mark swinging punches and landed a heavy rights and dug home a left hook to the body. Berinchyk had some success with jabs but Navarette landed a left hook to the body and they exchanged punches at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 NavaretteTIED 19-19
Round 3
Berinchyk was buzzing again. Bouncing around firing punches landing light lefts and rights and bobbing under shots from Navarette. A left hook from Navarette stemmed Berinchyk’s attack but Berinchyk darted back in with short hooks and was setting too fast a pace for Navarette. 
Score: 10-9 BerinchykBerinchyk 29-28
Round 4
Berinchyk was short with a right and Navarette chased him across the ring scoring with rights. Berinchyk was having trouble getting inside and Navarette clouted him with a right. Navarette kept the pressure on Berinchyk with some jabs and swinging hooks. 
Score: 10-9 NavaretteTIED 38-38
Round 5
Berinchyk scored with a batch of hooks and ducked away from Navarette’s counters. Navarette was way off target with his swings and Berinchyk was landing quick, short punches inside and dancing away from Navarette’s punches. Straight rights and lefts got through Navarette’s guard and the Mexican was too slow to get in range and Berinchyk was able to connect with hooks.
Score: 10-9 BerinchykBerinchyk 48-47
Round 6
Berinchyk was getting inside and landing punches then getting out before Navarrete’s ponderous counters could land. He was just too quick and changing angles so much that Navarette was just swishing air with his punches. Berinchyk was switching from head to body and was gone before Navarette could land anything.
Score: 10-9 BerinchykBerinchyk 58-56
Round 7
Navarrete scored with a couple of rights but then Berinchyk was getting through with right jabs and left hooks and dodging Navarette’s telegraphed swings. He was outworking Navarette who was chucking single punches and mostly missing wildly.
Score: 10-9 BerinchykBerinchyk 68-65
Round 8
Berinchyk was dancing around Navarette pinging him with quick jabs and hooks and changing angles and Navarette was too often off balance and unable to close Berinchyk down. Navarette did land some good hooks to the body but Berinchyk kept moving and punching with Navarette usually a step or two behind. They traded punches which allowed Navarette some success but he then walked into a series of counters from Berinchyk.
Score: 10-9 BerinchykBerinchyk 78-74
Round 9
Navarette tried to put Berinchyk under pressure but was wide of the target with crude swings. Berinchyk kept working scoring with jabs and hooks sometimes singly sometimes in bunches. Nothing was working for Navarette and he was being outscored and even outmuscled.
Score: 10-9 BerinchykBerinchyk 88-83
Round 10
A clash of heads saw Navarette cut over his right eye although it looked a lot like a butt as Berinchyk is a fine exponent of dirty fighting. An angry Navarette stormed forward throwing punches and landed some hefty swipes. Unfortunately, Navarette again resorted to wild swipes and Berinchyk was able to pick him off with counters and outscored Navarette.
Score:10-9 BerinchykBerinchyk 98-92
Round 11
Navarette was having problems with vision out of his right eye but attacked but with a tad more control in this round. He was landing some body punches and Berinchyk threw himself off his feet when he missed with a punch. Navarette landed a couple of hooks and Berinchyk was tiring and his work was sloppy and he was being outworked. Berinchyk was warned for some dirty tactics with the referee following him back to his corner to repeat the warning.
Score: 10-9 NavaretteBerinchyk 107-102
Round 12
Again, Navarette attacked with purpose landing some short hooks and even getting some of his long looping punches on target. Berinchyk had slowed and Navarette had him stumbling with a burst of punches and then a couple of rights and ended the round scoring with a pair of hooks.
Score: 10-9 NavaretteBerinchyk 116-112
Official Scores:116-112 and 115-113 for Berinchyk and 116-112 for Navarette
Ukrainian Berinchyk was totally the wrong kind of opponent for Navarette as movers have always given Navarette problems and Berinchyk was just too quick and smart in a dirty way. He will be a difficult opponent tom beat but only 19 fights in 9 years is not a busy enough schedule. I like watching Navarette and he still has plenty to give.

Norman vs. Santillan
Norman vs. Santillan
An outsider inn the betting Norman wins the interim WBO title as he beats down Santillan.
Round 1
Norman prodded and probed with his jab then landed a straight right. Santillan took Norman to the ropes and landed some hooks but Norman responded with a sharp uppercuts inside. Norman used his jab to score at distance and tied Santillan up inside and outscored Santillan as they traded punches at the bell. 
Score: 10-9 Norman
Round 2
Santillan powered forward throwing hooks from both hands looking to overwhelm Norman and got the better of the exchange. Santillan was trying to work inside to deny Norman punching room but Norman was pushing him off and landing little combinations. Santillan took Norman to the ropes but Norman was scoring with hooks inside then pushed Santillan off again and again he did the scoring then landed four unanswered punches.
Score: 10-9 NormanNorman 20-18
Round 3
Norman landed a counter right that sent Santillan back on his heels then landed a series of lefts and rights before pushing Santillan away. Santillan was cut over his right eye as heads banged together. Santillan scored with a bunch of shots as he came forward but was caught by counter hooks then he pinned Norman against the ropes firing hooks with Norman holding inside. When they moved to the centre of the ring Norman connected with a left and right.
Score: 10-9 Norman`Norman 30-27
Round 4
Santillan continued to swarm forward but Norman was scoring with counters and staying off the ropes. Santillan did eventually managed to push Norman to the ropes twice and land some hooks but on each occasion Norman spun away and scored with some straight shots. They traded against the ropes with both landing hooks and uppercuts 
Score: 10-9 NormanNorman 40-36
Round 5
Santillan was being picked off at distance and Norman was clinching when Santillan did get close. Santillan did land some hooks and uppercuts and Norman was warned for holding. Santilla wrestled Norman to the ropes and this time outpunched Norman inside
Score: 10-9 SantillanNorman 49-46
Round 6
More pressure from Santillan who was scoring with sweeping hooks as he moved inside. Norman was countering but also doing a lot more holding as thought the relentless pressure and body punching from Santillan was tiring him and his accuracy had gone. They spent the whole round in close which suited Santillan. 
Score: 10-9 SantillanNorman 58-56
Round 7
It was phone box distance stuff again with Norman doing lots of holding and trying to smother Santillan’s short inside work but finding the target with little bursts of punches. Santillan continued to come forward throwing hooks to the body but even he was looking to be tiring. A clash of heads saw Norman cut over his left eye and Santillan looked to have edged a close round.
Score: 10-9 SantillanNorman 67-66
Round 8
Both fighters were bleeding from cuts over an eye and Santillan also from the nose but Santillan had swung the fight his way turning it into a battle of attrition. Santillan continued to churn out the body punches. Norman began to get through with rights and suddenly nailed Santillan with right and Santillan reeled back dipping at the knees. From there Norman was banging home hooks and uppercuts driving a badly shaken Santillan back.
Score: 10-9 NormanNorman 77-75
Round 9
That right looked to have added something to Norman and taken away something from Santillan. Norman was the one coming forward throwing punches with Santillan holding. Norman was back to firing straight accurate shots through Santillan’s guard and was landed thumping rights to Santillan’s head. Santillan was making no attempt to take the fight inside. When he did get Norman against the ropes Norman punched his way off and walked after the retreating Santillan with his hands down throwing single, hard punches and Santillan was forced to hold again. 
Score: 10-9 NormanNorman 87-84
Round 10
A confident Norman was bouncing on his toes and was forcing Santillan back with a series of shots from both hands. Santillan tried to fire back but a right uppercut dropped him to his knees. Santillan climbed to his feet but was also bleeding heavily from the nose. He followed the referee’s instructions and the referee let the fight continue but followed the action closely and when a brutal left uppercut dropped Santillan heavily he immediately stopped the fight. 
Norman was a revelation. He had scored a win over useful Janelson Figueroa but there was nothing in his record that indicated he was a dangerous pick as an opponent for WBO No 1 Santillan. Now in theory he is a mandatory challenger to Terrence Crawford but interim titles often prove a blind alley to nowhere. Santillan had taken almost twelve years to get to Non 1 now he has some rebuilding to do.

Torrez vs. Moore
Torrez beats Moore in five rounds. Torrez was his usual ultra-aggressive self. He was fighting out of a crouch ducking under Moore’s punches throwing dangerous looping lefts and rights. Moore tried to box behind his southpaw jabs but lacked the punch to stem Torrez’s swarming attacks. Moore was having a good spell in the fifth but as he threw a right a left hook from Torrez sent him careering across the ring. Torrez followed Moore and then unleashed a barrage of punches that dropped him. Moore only just beat the count and was stumbling and dazed under a fierce attack and the referee came in to end the fight. That is ten wins requiring less than twenty rounds for the Olympic gold medallist. Torrez wins the NABF junior heavyweight title (this title is unique to the NABF it has lower limits but the maximum weight for this division is unlimited (200+ lbs, 90.9+ kg, 14 stone 4 lbs+). At 6’2” and around 230lbs Torrez is a heavyweight power house and has a win over Jared Anderson from his amateur days but I am not sure if he is big enough for some of the heavyweight giants around. Moore was 6’6” but his opposition had been modest at best. 
Garcia vs. Flores
Garcia was quicker and had more skills and dominated the action. He hurt Flores with a left hook to the body in the fourth but Flores took it and fought back. Garcia was getting through with hard punches in the sixth and seventh but just could not get a tough Flores out of there. All three cards read 80-72 for Garcia. The 21-year-old from Kansas is a good prospect. Puerto Rican-born Flores has now lost his last three fights all against unbeaten opponents.
Lopez vs. Ortega
Southpaw Lopez gets another win as he stops Ortega in the eighth round. Lopez boxed well at distance finding the target with snappy jabs and long lefts to the body. Ortega kept trying to force his way inside but Lopez was meeting him with accurate counters. Ortega came through with rights in the late rounds padding forward putting Lopez undern plenty of pressure but Lopez stayed cool jabbing and countering. A left shook Ortega in the eighth and Lopez drove him to a corner and just kept blasting away until the referee came in to save Ortega. Lopez, 20, showed skill and power and has a win over useful Eduardo Baez . Ortega had won his last four contests.
Vargas vs. Varela
Vargas was looking to end this one early and landed heavily over the first two rounds. In the third body shots had Varela hurt but he rebounded and was more competitive in the fourth. Vargas handed out heavy punishment over the fifth and was beating up Varela in the sixth when the referee stopped the fight. Eighth KO/TKO victory for Vargas. 
MAY 16 

Montreal, Canada: Super Light: Mazium Akdeniz (20-0) W PTS 10 Sebastian Aguirre (19-5). Light Fly: Kim Clavel (19-2) W PTS 10 Katherine Lindenmuth (6-2).
Akdeniz vs. Aguirre
Canadian southpaw Akdeniz outboxes the aggressive Aguirre. Akdeniz, who is of Kurdish descent, used his strong and precise right jab to control the fight. He had injured his left bicep when sparring with Josh Taylor and was not looking to get involved in a war. It helped that Aguirre had no jab of his own but drove forward throwing hooks and uppercuts so Akdeniz was able to box his way through the fight and despite losing a point in the eighth for a headbutt was relaxed enough to fit in some fancy dancing as he won 99-90 on all three cards. Akdeniz is making steady progress having registered a good win against Sebastien Bouchard in October. Argentinian Aguirre, also a southpaw, had lost to Steve Claggett in Canada in 2022.
Clavel vs. Lindenmuth
Clavel continues her rebuilding as she takes a unanimous decision over Albuquerque’s Lindenmuth. Although only 5’1” Clavel found herself up against a much smaller Lindenmuth and took a little while to adjust. Lindenmuth stormed forward from the start but Clavel settled into boxing on the back foot and from the half way mark dominated the action. Lindenmuth faded out of the fight and although she had a good last round never really threatened Clavel’s lead. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Clavel. The former WBC light fly champion lost her title against WBA title holder Yesica Nery in January 2023 and in October was beaten by Evelin Bermudez in a challenge for the IBF and WBO titles.

Tokyo, Japan: Welter: Jin Sasaki (17-1-1)W TKO 5 Joe Noynay (23-4-2).
Sasaki gets an important win as he stops dangerous Filipino southpaw Noynay in the fifth round. A left hook from Sasaki rocked Noynay late in the first and a strong attack had Noynay pinned against the ropes in the second with Sasaki already taunting Noynay to stand and fight. Noynay had a good third landing a hurtful left uppercut and some good body shots but Sasaki came through in the fourth using left hooks. After the fourth two judges had it 40-36 for Sasaki and the other 39-37 for Noynay. In the fifth a huge right followed by a left hook had Noynay staggering another right and a left hook saw Noynay heading for the floor and the referee caught him and stopped the fight. The 22-year-old Sasaki, the WBO No 4, retains the WBO Asia Pacific title and wins the vacant OPBF. Noynay scored a big win when stopping then unbeaten Liam Wilson but in the return he came in 8 ¾ lbs over the weight and was stopped. Wilson went on to give Emanuel Navarette a scare and not surprisingly Noynay jumped from super feather up to welterweight.

MAY 17

Nykoebing Falster: Denmark: Heavy: Kem Ljungquist (18-0) W KO 7 Awadh Tamim (16-10,1ND).
Ljungquist grinds down Tanzanian Tamim. The Dane was six inches taller than Tamim and was able to score at distance and avoid any danger from Tamim’s counter rights. By the end of the fifth Tamim was tiring badly and was floored in the seventh. He beat the count but was put down and out by a right. Now eleven wins by KO/TKO for southpaw Ljungquist but he is yet to be put to the test. Swedish champion Tamim is 0-5 in his last 5 fights.

Hamburg, Germany: Welter: Karen Chukhadzhian (24-2) W PTS 12 Harry Scarff (13-3). Super Middle: Simon Zachenhuber (24-0) W PTS 8 Roberto Arriaza (19-11). Heavy: Viktor Jurk (8-0) W PTS 8 Mirko Tintor (16-9-1).
Chukhadzhian vs. Scarff
Chukhadzhian outpoints Scarff in an IBF eliminator. Scarff made a good start switching guards and putting Chukhadzhian under pressure. Chukhadzhian used speed and skill to outbox Scarff over the second and third but even at this stage the rounds were close. Scarff did much of his better work inside nullifying the cleaner and more accurate work that Chukhadzhian did at distance. Scarff made the pressure tell over the fourth, fifth and sixth. Chukhadzhian got back into the fight with a big effort in the seventh working with body shots as it turned into a war. Despite dealing with a cut Chukhadzhian just looked to have done enough to take the eighth but Scarff banged back in the ninth although again there was little between them. Scarff seemed to switch off at the start of the tenth but came to life over the second part of the round making the fight too close to call at that point. Chukhadzhian had that bit more left in the tank and he staged the stronger finish to emerge the winner on scores 0f 116-112 on the cards of each of the three judges. So many rounds were close that it could have been called the other way with no grounds for complaint. Ukrainian Chukhadzhian lost every round when beaten by Jaron Ennis for the IBF interim title in January 2023 and although rated just ahead of Scarff at No 7 may now get a shot at Ennis for the full title. With the No 1 and No 2 positions vacant and Ennis defending against No 3 Crowley with No 4 Giovanni Santillan losing to Brian Norman and No 5 Errol Spence perhaps looking for alternative route to titles Chukhadzhian has a chance of a shot-but very little chance of winning. Scarff was coming off a win over unbeaten Ekow Essuman in which he collected the British, Commonwealth and IBF European belts so he has the chance to rebound in defending any of those titles.
Zachenhuber vs. Arriaza
German southpaw Zachenhuber outpoints Arriaza. Zachenhuber struggled with Arriaza early. Arriaza started well in the opening rounds looking dangerous showing plenty of clever movement and finding gaps for rights. Zachenhuber upped his pace from the third and by the fourth he was scoring well with jabs at distance and his southpaw lefts to the body had Arriaza looking tired. Arriaza was a bit more competitive in the fifth but Zachenhuber was on the front foot in the sixth and doing most of the scoring. Arriaza found some energy and managed to get inside to work over the seventh and eighth and Zachenhuber had to fight hard and take some shots but just edged both rounds. Scores 80-73, 79-73 and 78-74 for Zachenhuber. He holds the IBF European title and is No 10 with the IBF with his best result being a sixth round stoppage of 20-2-1 Emre Cukur but Box Rec have him at No 34. Arriaza, a Spanish-based Nicaraguan, won 18 of his first 19 fights but lost to Sebastian Formella for the IBO welter title in 2020. It has been all downhill since then and he has lost his last eight bouts.
Jurk vs. Tintor
German heavyweight champion Jurk has to go the distance for victory against fellow southpaw Tintor. The 6’8 ½” Jurk had some problems with the clever but fragile Bosnian southpaw journeyman and failed to impress in a low key performance not using his height and reach edges effectively enough. The judges all scored the fight 80-72 but Jurk will struggle if matched against better opposition. Eight of Tintor’s nine defeats have come by KO/TKO and all eight losses inside five rounds.

San Juan de loss Lagos, Mexico: Bantam: Christian Medina (23-4) W TKO 7 Victor Trejo (7-8-2). 
Medina halts Trejo in the seventh round. Medina dominated the opening sessions. He was on the front foot landing left hooks to the body and straight rights. Trejo went on the offensive over the fifth storming forward and putting Medina under pressure. Trejo was still attacking in the seventh until a succession of uppercuts staggered him and as Medina poured on the punches the referee stopped the fight. Now 14 wins in his last 15 fights for Medina. First time Trejo has failed to last the distance. 

Chetumal, Mexico: Super Bantam: Celex Castro (16-0) W KO 1 Nicolas Botelli (16-9). Fly: Yesenia Gomez (20-6-5) DREW 10 Cecilia Nino (12-1-2). Feather: Aaron Alameda (29-2) W TKO 6 Jesus Gomez (6-2)
Castro vs. Botelli
Castro takes out Botelli in the first round. Botelli tried to walk through Castro’s punches and paid the price. The Argentinian was shaken in the first exchange and two rights to the head had him going down on one knee. He made no attempt to rise and was counted out after just 76 seconds. In theory Castro was moving up to ten rounds but instead gets win No 12 inside the distance. Botelli had gone ten rounds with Peter McGrail in March last year.
Gomez vs. Nino
Gomez and Nino fight to a draw. The result was controversial. Gomez dictated over the first five round. Nino finished the strong but did not seem to have done enough to overcome Gomez’s lead. Former WBC light fly champion Gomez now has a win and two draws since losing her title to Canadian Kim Clavel in 2022. Good result for less experienced Nino. No scores available 
Alameda vs. Gomez
Former title challenger Alameda wears down and stops prelim fighter Gomez in the sixth. Alameda was 25-0 before losing to Luis Nery in a challenge for the WBC super bantam title in 2020 and then dropping a decision against Angelo Leo in 2021. Fourth win in a row since the Leo defeat but only the fourth fight in four years for Alameda.

Pionki, Poland: Middle: Kamil Kuzdzien (12-0) W TEC DEC 8 Victor Ionascu (12-5). Middle: Lukasz Maciec (29-7-1) W PTS 8 Pablo Sosa (12-8-3). 
Kuzdzien vs. Ionascu
Kuzdzien keeps his 100% record with a majority technical decision over Ionascu. The local fighter had things well under control until late in the third. As Kuzdzien moved in heads collided and Kuzdzien suffered a bad cut on his eyebrow, The fight continued with Ionascu more competitive but Kuzdzien just doing enough to protect his lead. The cut worsened and in the eighth round when the referee asked the doctor to take a look at the injury it was decided the cut was too bad for Kuzdzien to continue. The result was decided on the scorecards with two judges giving it to Kuzdzien 77-75 and the third seeing it 76-76. It was scheduled to be a ten round test for Kuzdzien. Moldovan Ionascu drops to 1-4 in his last 5 fights.
Maciec vs. Sosa
“Crazy Cat” Maciec gets back on the winning trail as he outpoints Spanish-based Argentinian Sosa on scores of 79-73 twice and 80-72. Maciec had lost his last three fights including defeats against Caoimhin Agyarko and Danny Dignum. Sosa had a five-bout winning streak but against mediocre opposition.

Craiova, Romania: Middle: Flavius Biea (24-1) W RTD 7 Jonathan Eniz (33-20-1,1ND). Light Heavy: Ronald Gavril 25-3) W RTD 7 Carlos Gallego (10-6). Super Feather: James Chereji (20-4) W KO 1 Cesar Paredes (17-7-1). 
Biea vs. Eniz
IBA champion Biea wins the vacant WBC Latino title with victory over Argentinian southpaw Eniz. The visitor showed some good defensive moves and was happy to stand in front of Biera with his hands down and just bob and weave around Biea’s punches. Biea did most of the scoring but Eniz played his part in some good exchanges before retiring at the end of the seventh round due to an injury to his right shoulder. Twelfth inside the distance win for Biea. Well-travelled Eniz usually loses on the road but also entertains.
Gavril vs. Gallego
Former WBC super-middle challenger Gavril makes it seven consecutive wins as he beats Mexican Gallego. Gavril dropped Gallego in the seventh and Gallego did not come out for the eighth. Now 37, Gavril lost a split decision against David Benavidez for the vacant WBC title in 2017, the only fight Benavidez has not won inside the distance or on a unanimous decision, but Gavril did lose a wide unanimous decision in a return fight in 2018. Gallego is now 2-5 in his last 7 bouts.
Chereji vs. Paredes
Chereji scores his eighth win by KO/TKO with first round stoppage of Peruvian Paredes. Chereji was 17-0 before losing to unbeaten Liam Paro who fights for the IBF title next month. Fourth loss on the bounce for Paredes

MAY 18

Washington DC, USA: Super Feather: Jordan White (17-1) W TKO 1 Jonathan Oquendo (31-9).
White blasts out former title challenger Oquendo in the first round. As the smaller Oquendo piled forward White caught him with a left hook that sent him down Oquendo got up but was rocked by another left hook and was taking punishment against the ropes when the referee stopped the fight. Now 13 wins in a row for White. Oquuendo,40, had shots at the WBA feather and WBO super feather belts but this was only his second fight in almost four years. 

Maracaibo, Venezuela: Light: Roger Gutierrez (28-6-1) W PTS 10 Alan Ayala (11-4). Super Fly: Geremy Vera (7-0) W PTS 10 Carlos Diaz (8-4). Super Welter: Alessandro Riguccini (29-0) W TKO 1 Rordani Flores (12-6). 
Gutierrez vs. Ayala
Former WBA super feather champion Gutierrez picks up the vacant WBA Fedecentro belt as he decisions Mexican Ayala. When Ayala proved more durable than expected Gutierrez settled for boxing his way to the win. The three judges all had it 100-90 for “The Kid” who was due an easy night after consecutive losses against Otar Eranosyan and Zaur Abdullaev. Ayala no threat as he is just a six and eight round prelim fighter.
Vera vs. Diaz
Joy for the locals as teenager Vera wins the vacant national title with the judges all agreeing at 100-90. At 19 Vera is the second youngest ever national champion. Diaz had lost in a fight for the vacant national flyweight title in December. 
Riguccini vs. Flores
Italian Riguccini gets another win on what seems a long road to nowhere. Riguccini finished Venezuelan Flores late in the first round. He wins the vacant WBA Fedecentro title with win No 25 by KO/TKO. At 36 and after twelve years as a pro he has flitted from country to country without really advancing his career. Flores has a very inflated record as eleven of his twelve victims had never won a fight. 

Fight of the week: (Significance): Usyk’s win over Fury gives the heavyweight an undisputed champion.
Fight of the week: (Entertainment): Usyk vs. Fury not only lived up to but probably exceeded expectations 
Fighter of the week: Usyk for his historic victory with honourable mention to Fury for his part in the great fight
Punch of the week: The Usyk right that shook Fury so badly in the ninth was a thunderbolt with honorary mentions to the uppercut from Brian Norman that finished Giovani Santillan and the straight right from Mark Chamberlain that sent Joseph Wahab down for the first time.
Upset of the week: Brian Norman did not look a danger to WBO No 1 Santillan. 
Prospect watch: New Zealand Cruiserweight David Nyika 9-0 is one to watch


Rosette: Usyk and Fury for rising to the occasion and honourable mention to the guys whom gave us big shows in Saudi Arabia and San Diago four competitive world title fights

Red Card: In advance to the IBF who it is anticipated will soon strip Usyk of their title for not fighting mandatory challenge Filip Hrgovic
-One long unbeaten run had to go. As far as I know the last time Usyk lost a fight was way back in 2009 when he was outpointed by Egor Mekhontsev in the semi-finals of the World Championships and Fury in 2007 by Maxim Babanin in the final at the European Youth Championships- but I could be wrong! 
- What a good night for Ukraine. Usyk wins the heavyweight title, Berinchyk wins the WBO lightweight title, light heavyweight Daniel Papin scores a first round kayo and welterweight Karen Chukhadzhian wins an IBF eliminator 
-The sanctioning bodies continue to ignore all commonsense and plain English. The acceptance that only one fighter in a Latino title fight has to be a Latino is stupid. Can you imagine a Mexican fighting for the European title. Of course, not that would be just plain stupid but the main sanctioning bodies see nothing stupid in it. Stupid is as stupid does. Then you have a “ vacant interim title”. for a title to become vacant it has to have existed and someone has to have held it but in most cases that is not true. Also, how can you have someone filling a post in the interim if the real guy in the post is active. The correct title would be temporary champion but that is not sexy enough and don’t get me started on why when a contest takes place but is ended before the end of the fourth round by a cut and no one wins or loses and it is not a draw which means there is no decision it is called No Contest but it appears on the fighters record of his contests. You could argue that you should get the sanctioning fee back if the sanction body says it was no contest and why should you have to pay the sanctioning body a fee for a contest if there is no contest. More sanctioning body sanction fee twisted speak.

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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