Weekly Report

March 15 - 18 2013

March 15

Richmond, Canada: Light Middle: Dashon Johnson (14-10-3) W TKO 7 Adam Trupish (11-1). Major upset as Johnson floors unbeaten Canadian early and brings the fight to the end in the seventh. The 25-year-old Californian put Trupish down with an overhand right with just ten seconds left in the second rounds. From then on Johnson was coming forward and just walking through Trupish’s jab. With a minute left in the seventh Johnson landed two rights that drove Trupish  into a corner. A barrage of punches dropped the Canadian. He got up but the referee stopped the fight.  The 25-year-old “Fly Boy” Johnson had lost his last six fights coming in. “A-Bomb” Trupish, 34, was having his first fight for eleven months. He had been WBA No 11 before his inactivity, but his trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad recommended that Trupish retire, so his future is uncertain.

 

Kissimmee, Florida: Feather: Orlando Cruz (20-2-1) W TKO 6 Aalan Martinez (14-2-1). Super bantam: Alexei Collado (16-0) W TKO 1 Juan Jose Beltran (28-22-3).

Cruz vs. Martinez

“Phenomenon” Cruz landed with a long left in the first. The Mexican slumped into the ropes and although Martinez was being supported by the ropes the referee called it a knockdown. Cruz was proving too quick for the slower Martinez who was put over for genuine flooring from a barrage of punches in the fourth . A Cruz uppercut put Martinez on the canvas again in the fifth. When Martinez got up a low punch from Cruz caused a stoppage as the referee gave Martinez time to recover. Cruz floored Martinez again in the sixth and the Mexican was finished. Ten wins by KO/TKO for the 31-year-old former Puerto Rican Olympian. This was to be the second defence of his WBO Latino title, but Cruz failed to make the weight, so lost the title on the scales. Fourth win for Cruz since losing to Daniel Ponce De Leon in 2010. Somehow he has climbed to No 1 with the WBO (which just happens to be based in Puerto Rico) and is in line for a shot at Mikey Garcia.  First loss inside the distance for southpaw Martinez, who had won four in a row after losing on points to Evgeny Gradovich in 2011.

Collado vs. Beltran

Cuban “Hurricane” Collado blows away Mexican. The 25-year-old Collado wasted no time as he floored Beltran with a right just one minute into the fight. Beltran struggled up, but a volley of head and body punches saw the referee stop the fight after just 114 seconds. The promising Collado, a former World Youth champion at 48kg, has 15 wins by KO/TKO and six first round finishes. Beltran suffers his 15th loss by KO/TKO, so a poor match.

 

Lincoln, USA: Super Middle: Peter Manfredo Jr (39-7) W PTS 10 Walter Wright (14-4). After a slow first round both fighters stood and traded in the second. A clash of heads saw a swelling by the right eye of Wright. The handicap of that swelling, which left Wright with limited vision, ended any slim chance he had of winning. Manfredo now got his jab going and used his superior skills to pile up the points. Wright had a good eighth when he rocked Manfredo with a right, but his eye was almost shut by the swelling as Manfredo had made it a target from the second round. The fight might have been stopped in the ninth due to that injury, but it went into the last with Manfredo scoring at will against a Wright who could not see at all through his right eye. The difference in basic skills would have won Manfredo this fight anyway, but with the injury Wright, whilst showing courage to fight on with the handicap, was never going to win. Scores 100-90, 98-93 and 97-93. Second win for “The Prince of Providence” after taking a year out post his loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for the WBC title. Both fighters had adjusting to do. Manfredo, 32, had prepared for a fight with Joe Spina so had to adjust to Wright, who in turn had to shed the rust of almost three years of inactivity. Coincidentally Manfredo competed in the Contenders Season 1 and Wright Season 2.

 

Junin, Argentina: Middle: Matthew Veron (16-8-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Marcos Vergara (28-3). Feather: Sergio Medina (39-5-1) W PTS 6 Roberto Marin (10-26-1).

Veron vs. Vergara

Mild upset as Argentinian No 4 Veron outpoints No 2 Vergara on split decision. Although Vergara’s stats look far superior to those of Veron, the Argentinian No 4 had met a much better class of opponent, and the experience gained in those fights proved important. Veron boxed on the outside using his height and reach advantages to score, with Vergara forced to try to get inside to work. Veron took 3 of the first 4 rounds with Vergara coming straight in with no lateral movement making him an easy target. In the fifth the referee gave Veron a standing count, but it looked more of a slip than a knockdown. Veron bounced back and gave Vergara a boxing lesson in the sixth and seventh. It was only in the last two rounds as Veron tired that Vergara was on top, but he could not close the gap as two of the cards were for Veron. Scores 98-96, 96-93 and

95 ½-97 ½. “El Chino” Veron 23 had scored a good win over Carlos Herrera in December. “Prince” Vergara, 33, had won his last 15, 13 by KO/TKO.

Medina vs. Marin

Another split decision as “Rocky” Medina outscores Marin. On paper this should have been easy for the former WBO super bantam title challenger, but after taking the first three rounds Medina faded and it was close at the end. Scores 59-55 ½, 58-57 ½, and 57 ½ -58. The 31-year-old Medina started his career with 27 straight wins, but then the opposition got tougher. The 5’0” tall Marin is 10-3-1 in his last 14 fights.

 

Townsville, Australia: Middle: Les Sherrington (31-6) W TEC DEC 6 Esteban Ponce (20-9-2). Super Feather: Jack Asis (28-18-4) W PTS 8 Rivo Rengkung (29-14-5).

Sherrington vs. Ponce

Sherrington wins but bad cut may sideline him for a while. A clash of heads in the first round left Sherrington with a vertical gash on his forehead. Despite the severe cut Sherrington had little trouble with the limited Argentinian. The cut worsened and the fight was halted at the end of the fifth round and went to the scorecards with all three judges having Sherrington winning 50-45. The 30-year-old “Lock & Load “, who is No 8 with the WBO, has had bad luck with injuries with his only loss in his last 13 fights coming as the result of a broken leg. Ponce, 29, has lost two of his last three fights.

Asis vs. Rengkung

Former undefeated Australian light welter champion Asis, 29, had no trouble extending his current winning run with a unanimous verdict over poor Indonesian opponent. The Filipino has turned his career around. After five losses in a row he has now won seven straight. He relinquished the Australian title to move down to super feather where he is rated No 2. Six losses in the row for Rengkung.

 

Yutz, France: Heavy: Fabrice Aurieng (7-4) W TEC DEC 5 Gregory Tony (18-4). Light Welter: Chaquib Fadli (11-3) W TKO 4 Salaheddine Sarhani (14-20-1).

Aurieng vs. Tony

Very late sub Aurieng takes his chance and wins vacant French title. Southpaw Aurieng gets the better start and looks to have edged ahead after two rounds. In the third Tony, the bigger and stronger man, started to boss the fight. It was the same in the fourth until the closing action when Aurieng scored with heavy hooks from both hands. In the early stages of the fifth round blood suddenly began to drip from one of Tony’s ear. The referee consulted the doctor who recommended the fight be stopped. It went to the cards and Aurieng won on scores of 49-47 and 48-47 for Aurieng and 48-47 for Tony. Aurieng saved the show by coming in at 48 hours notice . Defending champion Newfel Ouatah was pulled-out due to a recent arrest that only came to light two days before the fight. Aurieng,31, was coming off a loss in the annual French tournament but has won 5 of his last 6 now. Tony, 34, a former undefeated French champion, had lost inside the distance to Robert Helenius, Mike Perez in the 2011 Prizefighter and Richard Towers.

Fadli vs. Sarhani

Easy first defence of his national title for Fadli. He floors challenger in the third and a body punch in the fourth puts Sarhani down again. Sarhani makes it to his feet but the referee stops the fight. Now eight wins in a row for 31-year-ol Fadli. Tenth loss by KO/TKO for Sarhani

 

Cortona, Italy: Light Middle: Orlando Fiordigiglio (15-0) W PTS 10 Dominic Salvemini (8-2). Fiordigiglio wins vacant Italian title. It was the tall, long-armed Fiordigiglio against the aggressive Salvemini. The fight was close over the first five rounds but from then on lanky Fiordigiglio took over using his longer reach to control the fight. The decision was unanimous, but Salvemini has a good eighth round and made it close. Scores 97-93, 98-96 and 96-94.  First ten round bout for Fiordigiglio. Second unsuccessful shot at an Italian title for Salvemini.

 

Tokyo, Japan: Light: Jose Maxian (9-2) W KO 7 Tsukasa Saito (16-2). Filipino Maxian upsets the odds to win the full WBC Youth title. Sato was too quick for the slower Filipino and was confidently boxing his way top a points victory. Maxian ruined the plan by putting Sato down and out in the seventh. The 21-year-old Maxian gets upgraded from interim champion to full champion. He had lost 2 of his last 3 fights in poor performances. Big setback for 22-year-old Sato who’s only other loss had been a technical decision.

 

Mexicali, Mexico: Welter: Alvaro Robles (16-2) W TKO 7 Pablo Munguia (16-4).  Robles win Mexican title when a bad nose injury rules out champion Munguia. Robles took the early rounds, but “Gravedigger” Munguia was building some momentum in the fifth and sixth as Robles seemed to tire. Munguia was also getting through with shots in the seventh, but left himself open and a right from Robles split open the nose of Munguia. The doctor examined the damage at the end of the round and indicated that it was too severe for Munguia to continue. “Tyson” Robles makes it 14 wins by KO/TKO. Munguia was making the third defence of his national title. He had lost only one of his last 13 fights and naturally wants a return.

 

Managua, Nicaragua : Light Welter: Walter Castillo (21-2) W PTS 10 Cristian Ruiz (16-3-1). Super Feather: Marcos Mojica (9-0-2) W KO 8 Gonzalo Munguia (18-12-3). Feather: Rene Alvarado (18-2) W KO 1 Ariel Vasquez (11-7-2).

Castillo vs. Ruiz

Castillo continues his run of good form with a unanimous decision over Ruiz. Castillo was in charge all the way and handed out a steady beating. It looked as though he might get a win inside the distance but in the later rounds an injury to his right elbow cost him much of his power. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-93. The 24-year-old Castillo has lost only one of his last 22 fights, and that was a split decision against WBA No 7 Vicente Mosquera. Nicaraguan champion Ruiz is limited but has a good chin. His other losses have been to good opposition in Alberto Mosquera and Ramon Alvarez.

Mojica vs. Munguia

Dramatic victory for late substitute Mojica. A single left hook laid Munguia out flat on his back in the eighth round. Mojica had built a lead being younger and faster than veteran Munguia, but the finish was unexpected. Mojica only got the fight after the weigh-in. Munguia came in well over the poundage for a fight with Jimmy Aburto and due to the weight difference Aburto dropped out and Mojica came in. Six wins by KO/TKO for 27-year-old Mojica. Munguia ,33, lost to Roman Martinez for the WBO title in 2010. The only other time he has failed to last the distance.

Alvarado vs. Vasquez

Impressive power show from Alvarado. One devastating left hook flattens Vasquez and no need for a count as Vasquez is out cold. The 24-year-old, tipped as a future champion, has seven wins by KO/TKO, but he has rebuilding to do after loss to Jezreel Corrales in January. Vasquez no real test as he has won only one of his last eight fights.

 

Cleethorpes, England: Super Feather: Gary Sykes (23-3) W PTS 10 Kevin Hooper (13-1). Good, well contested fight, sees the experience of Sykes make the difference. Hooper was slow out of the blocks and Sykes swept the first three rounds. From the fourth Hooper was finally making his height and reach tell and scoring well with his jabs and uppercuts. The flow of the fight was interrupted on occasion as Hooper was warned three times for holding. From the seventh Sykes was pressurising Hooper constantly looking for an inside the distance win. Hooper stood up well despite being cut above the left eye in the ninth. Sykes was a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-94 and 96-95. Sykes wins vacant English title. Former British champion “Five Star “ Sykes, 29, has lost twice to Gary Buckland, one of those losses in one round at the 2010 Prizefighter, but he remains a force in the division. Local fighter Hooper had come down from lightweight for this contest and this was a good learning fight for him

 

London, England : Heavy: John McDermott (28-8) W PTS 10 Matt Skelton (28-8). Heavy: Gary Cornish (14-0) W TKO 4 Humberto Evora (3-11-2).

McDermott vs. Skelton

Although both fighters have dropped out of the big picture they nevertheless staged a good competitive fight. In the early rounds McDermott had trouble getting his jab to work and Skelton was able to score with hard rights. On the credit side the extra weight carried by McDermott allowed him to be the boss on the inside. Once McDermott got that jab working he took over the fight doubling and tripling his jab whilst still being in control inside. Skelton made a big effort over the last two rounds, but McDermott was a good winner and lifts the vacant English title. Scores 97-94 twice and 97-93. At 33 “Big Bad John”  has his best days behind him, but he can still give British heavyweights other than David Haye, Tyson Fury, David Price and Derek Chisora a tough night. Despite losing the 46-year-old Skelton also has some fights available in that same second league.

Cornish vs. Evora

There was no way that Cornish could look good in this fight. He literally stood head and shoulders above the 40-year-old Portuguese fighter and between having to push down with his jab and the head down, wild swinging and lunging attacks of Evora he was hesitant in his approach. One of Evora’s wild swings, a left, landed on the jaw of Cornish as “The Highlander” was going backwards and put the Scot down against the ropes. Cornish was hurt, but Evora was still just swinging wild shots and the crisis passed for Cornish. The second round saw no real change with Cornish trying to get his jab working and Evora lunging in with wild swings. In the third Cornish began to find the range with his jab and twice shook Evora with right crosses. The fourth again saw Cornish setting the crude Evora up with a jab and then getting through with right crosses and he rocked Evora with a chopping right. At the end of the minute interval we had the comic scene of Evora walking over to the referee indicating he had damaged his right hand whilst his second was persisting in trying to stick the mouthpiece in Evora’s mouth even while this “retirement” was going on. Six wins by KO/TKO for 25-year-old Cornish but it was worrying that a fighter so bereft of any skills such as Evora could floor and trouble the big Scot. Ten losses and two draws in his last 12 fights for Evora, and only his third fight since 2010.

 

Hollywood, USA: Cruiser: Yunieski Gonzalez (11-0) W KO 8 Rowland Bryant (16-3). Good scrap sees Cuban Gonzalez halt Bryant. Good start for the Cuban as after winning the first round a left opened a cut over Bryant’s right eye in the second. Despite the cut Bryant was pressing Gonzalez hard over the next four rounds with Gonzalez having to show he had a good chin. Gonzalez weathered those storms and took over in the seventh and had Bryant rocking. In the eighth a right from Gonzalez put Bryant down and the fight was over. Now seven wins by KO/TKO for the 27-year-old Gonzalez. He was one of the top amateurs in Cuba boxing getting a silver medal in the National Championships at 91kg, and beating guys such as Erislandy Savon. First loss inside the distance for Bryant who stopped Libardo Andrade in three rounds last April.

 

Tepeji, Mexico: Welter: Urbano Antillon (29-3) W TKO 2 Leonardo Resendiz (30-33). Low key return by Antillon as he floors and halts china chinned Resendiz. First fight for Antillon since losses in 2010 to Humberto Soto for the WBC lightweight title and July 2011 to Brandon Rios for the WBA lightweight title. He weighed 142lbs for this one so may be eyeing the light welters. Poor Resendiz has lost 30 times by KO/TKO.

 

Guadalajara, Mexico: Light: Oscar Cortes (23-1) W TKO 5 Isaac Bejerano (9-14-1). Body punches from 19-year-old Cortes first soften-up Bejerano and then finish him. Cortes, who turned pro at 16, is trying to reestablish himself after a shock stoppage loss to Carlos Jimenez in September. Bejerano no test as he now has lost twelve and drawn one of his last 13 fights.

 

Whippany, USA; Light Heavy: Elvir Muriqi (40-5) W PTS 8 Paul Vasquez (9-3-1). Tougher than expected night for Muriqi. The “Kosovo Kid” built an early lead but Vasquez staged a strong finish to make the fight too close for comfort.Vasquez was within reach of an upset. Scores 76-75 twice and 76-76. The 33-year-old Muriqi, who lost to Antonio Tarver on a majority decision for the IBO title in 2007, and to Clinton Woods in an IBF eliminator in 2009, was having his first fight since December 2011. First fight for 34-year-old Vasquez since May 2011, and his first eight rounder.

 

Valley Forge, USA: Light: Naim Nelson (10-0) W PTS 8 Georgi Kevlishvili (12-5  Light Middle: Harry Joe Yorgey (26-2-1) W PTS 6 Julius Kennedy (7-4-1,1ND).

Nelson vs. Kevlishvili

State champion Nelson outboxes Georgian for unanimous decision. Nelson had his jab working early and took the first round. Kevlishvili just could not get inside and as Nelson continued to build a lead the Georgian tried changing guards, but it made no difference. With an increasingly effective body attack Nelson was able to box his way to victory. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73. Good learning fight for the 22-year-old from Philadelphia. Kevlishvili, 31, has lost 5 of his last 6.

Yorgey vs. Kennedy

Yorgey may have been thrown out of his game plan when this fight was reduced from 8 rounds to 6, and Kennedy gave him a tough night with Yorgey only just scraping by on a split decision. Yorgey took the first round, but then the aggressive Kennedy made Yorgey fight his fight and looked to have built a good lead after four rounds. Yorgey tried to box on the outside in a hard fought fifth and after a close sixth the fight could have gone either way. Scores 60-54 and 58-56 for Yorgey and 58-56 for Kennedy. A 23 bout unbeaten streak and wins over Jason LeHoulier and Ronald Hearns had put Yorgey high in the ratings. That was as good as it got as in 2009 he was kayoed in three rounds by Alfred Angulo for the interim WBO title. A low key comeback was derailed in January when Jermell Charlo kayoed Yorgey in eight rounds. At 35 it is difficult to see him getting back into the picture. Three losses two draws and a no decision in his last six fights for Kennedy, but he has still not lost inside the distance.

 

Kolding, Denmark: Light Welter: Kasper Bruun (17-0-1) W KO 5 Robert Kiraly (7-5). Bruun given an uncomfortable night by the wild attacks of Hungarian but provides a clean finish. Over the first three rounds the Hungarian’s wild attacks and rough tactics caused Bruun some problems but the Dane was fast and accurate with his shots and winning the rounds. The unbeaten Dane was also hurt by a left counter from Kiraly, but was now in control as Kiraly faded. In the fifth a right- left combination put Kiraly down. The Hungarian tried to make it to his feet but was finished. Only four wins by KO/TKO for the light punching 26-year-old Dane. The draw on his record was a technical draw. First fight for Kirlay since being halted in one round by Ghislain Maduma in June.

 

Hinckley, USA: Middle: Cerresso Fort (16-0-1) W PTS 8 Dennis Sharpe (17-11-4).  Heavy: Aaron Green (11-0) W TKO 2 Ray Ochieng (24-17-3).

Fort vs. Sharpe

Fort wins unanimous decision over experienced Sharpe. A good fight sees Fort being just too sharp for Sharpe. The St. Paul fighter worked behind a fast jab to set Sharpe up for the right and he had success with these two punches in every round. Sharpe was competitive, but just not quick enough. Scores 80-72 from all three judges. The 26-year-old Fort has won five in a row since being held to a draw by Marcus Upshaw in 2011. Sharpe, 38, has eleven losses and three draws in his last 14 fights, but most of opponents in that sequence have been world rated with only Peter Quillin and James Kirkland beating him inside the distance in those 14 fights.

Green vs. Ochieng

Green overwhelms Kenya for quick win. Green shook Ochieng with a right in the first. In the second Green scored three knockdowns and the fight is stopped. Nine wins by KO/TKO for 30-year-old “Gorilla” Green. All of those nine wins have come in either round one or two. At 6’4” and 278lbs the “Gorilla” nickname seems apt. Not so the “King Kong” nickname of 36-year-old Ochieng. He is 3-9 in his last 12 fights (the 3 wins in Kenya) and he has lost twice in one round and twice in two rounds in his last four defeats.

 

Maehongson, Thailand: Light Welter: Patomsuk (23-1-1) W KO 11 Ruben Kennedy (6-7). Patomsuk makes hard work of the sixth defence of his IBF Pan Pacific title. Kennedy floored the Thai in the fourth. The Australian began to tire in the late rounds and a punch to the body ended the fight in the eleventh. Now 16 wins in a row for 29-year-old Patomsuk. Not a single real test in his list of victims, but his Pan Asian title gets him a No 9 rating with the IBF. Going into this fight Kennedy, rated No 9 in Australia, had had only one fight since July 2010.

 

March 16

Carson, USA: Welter: Tim Bradley (30-0,1ND) W PTS 12 Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2). Welter: Jessie Vargas (22-0) W PTS 10 Wale Omotoso (23-1,1ND). Super Bantam: Jesse Magdaleno (14-0) W KO 3 Carlos Fulgencio (19-10-1). Heavy: Andy Ruiz (178-0) W KO 1 Matt Greer (15-10). Feather: Oscar Valdez (3-0) W TKO 4 Carlos Gonzalez (1-3).

Bradley vs. Provodnikov

Bradley retains his WBO title in a dramatic contest which has to be in the running for fight of the year. This was not a fight, it was a war, with neither boxer bothering to jab but just exchange toe-to-toe with Bradley, rocked and reeling on numerous occasions from hard punches from Provodnikov, battling back and landing more, if less potent shots. A critical moment came in the first round when Provodnikov landed a hard right. Although Bradley went down on his hands and knees the referee did not rule it a knockdown. That decision would eventually cost Provodnikov a draw as it should have been a 10-8 round and not 10-9. Bradley showed champion courage and calmness and began to outbox the challenger scoring with jabs and hooks and going to the body. Those tactics were enough to allow Bradley to build a lead, but the Russian still looked dangerous and he had Bradley rocked in the sixth. Bradley had a big round in the ninth as he forced Provodnikov to fight with his back to the ropes for most of the round and also opened a bad cut over the challengers left eye with a hard right. Provodnikov was unfazed by the cut and was also bringing some pain to Bradley whose own face was showing the signs of battle. The eleventh saw Bradley staggered again by the Russian but the champion rallied. The last was all Provodnikov as Bradley was floored and looked certain to fold as Provodnikov had him reeling around the ring. Somehow Bradley made it to the bell. He retained his title on scores of 114-113 twice and 115-112. If the ”knockdown” in the first round had been registered Provodnikov would have got a draw, but neither fighter deserved to lose in this dramatic war. Bradley retains his title and Provodnikov puts himself right up there with the best in the division. Bradley lost any “boring” tag he might have had. There were times when you felt he was on the edge of disaster but he chose to fight his way out of those situations. Provodnikov showed that he belonged in this class and came within one punch of a victory in the last round. A great fight.

Vargas vs. Omotoso

Vargas stays unbeaten and takes unanimous verdict, but some cries of robbery. Omotoso made the better start and looked to have put the first four rounds in the bag. He was landing the heavier shots and floored Vargas with a right in the second. Omotoso came apart in the fifth and was reeling around the ring with Vargas just not able to find the finishing punch. Omotoso recovered, and with Vargas cut by his left eye, looked to have  had the better of the remaining rounds, but the judges gave it to Vargas on scores of 96-93 twice and a ridiculous 97-92. This was a brave fight for 23-year-old Vargas to take against the hard punching Nigerian and, whether a controversial decision or not, the win should see Vargas climb from his No 5 with the WBA and No 9 with the WBC. Nigerian Omotoso, 27, will bounce back from this and remains a hot talent.

Magdaleno vs. Fulgencio

Magdaleno just rolls over Dominican. The hot southpaw prospect put Fulgencio down in each of the first two rounds and than ended the fight early in the third. The sparkling 21-year-old southpaw has won 5 of his last 6 inside the distance, all within the first three rounds. He needs to tighten his defence, but has speed, poise and power. So far not a single opponent has won a round against him. The only time he has failed to get maximum scores in a distance fight is when he lost a point for a low blow. Fulgencio has lost his last five, but to fighters with combined records of 90-2.

Ruiz vs. Greer

Ruiz marches on. The 23-year-old “Destroyer” put Greer down three times and the fight was over with just seven seconds left in the first round. The 6’2” Mexican has 12 wins by KO/TKO, the last four in a row. “Gator” Greer,35, has lost 4 of his last 5, but all to unbeaten fighters.

Valdez vs. Gonzalez

Double Olympian Valdez slowly broke down the resistance of novice Gonzalez. After three rounds of handing out punishment Valdez settled the fight in the fourth when he staggered Gonzalez and then battered away until the referee stopped the fight. All three of the 22-year-old’s fights have ended inside the distance. Valdez was a Pan American Games silver medal winner and represented Mexico at both the Beijing and London Olympics, losing to John Joe Nevin in the London quarter-finals.

 

Panama City, Panama: Light Fly: John Riel Casimero (18-2) W PTS 12 Luis A Rios (18-2-1). Bantam: Roberto Vasquez (32-5-2) DRAW 121 John Mark Apolinario (17-2-3). Light Middle: Azael Cosio (16-2-2,1ND) W TKO 9 Jose D Mosquera (14-3-1). Feather: Oscar Escandon (22-0) W TKO 1 Javier Coronado (7-12-2). Super Middle: Julius Jackson (15-0) W TKO 2 Jhonatan Ricar (9-6).

Casimero vs. Rios

Casimero retains the IBF title with comfortable points win over local boxer Rios. This one was eminently forgettable. Casimero won by the proverbial mile as he was just too quick for Rios. The Panamanian had both height and reach over the Filipino, but could not make use of either, and it was Casimero who showed the best jab. There was only spasmodic exchanges. With neither boxer really in trouble at any time, the crowd were restive during the fight and booed both boxers at the end. Scores 119-109 twice and 118-108. Casimero, 23, did what he had to do, but will look better in future fights. Panamanian Rios, 23, had won his last seven fights inside the distance, but the opposition was poor, and his  rating at No 1 with the WBA was just what you would expect from them.

Vasquez vs. Apolinario

The interim WBA title remains vacant after these two fought the second draw in four months. The fight in November had two judges scoring the fight as a draw. This time each of the three judges came up with a different decision. “Spider” Vasquez looked unlucky as he seemed to have the better of the exchanges and had done enough to win. However, the judges scored it 116-112 for Vasquez 116 ½-112 for Apolinario  and 115-115. They will have to do it all over again.

Cosio vs. Mosquera

Surprising that Cosio did not end this earlier as he was on top in every round and had Mosquera down twice. It went to the ninth and when a right from Cosio put Mosquera down again the fight was stopped. The 31-year-old Cosio has 13 wins by KO/TKO. Colombian Mosquera had won 7 of his last 8 fights but don’t look too closely at the opposition.

Escandon vs. Coronado

The 28-year-old Colombian continues to swim in the backwaters. He destroyed Coronado in just 101 seconds for his 15th win by KO/TKO, including 9 quick finishes in his last 10 fights. He wins the vacant WBC Latino title, but since a big win down in Argentina when he halted unbeaten Jesus Cuellar, he has gone back to standing still fights. Coronado is 3-3 in his last six fights and was in way over his head.

Jackson vs. Ricar

Still don’t know whether the son of Julian Jackson can fight or not. He was given another guaranteed win and finished soft-chinned Colombian. The 25-year-old Olympian has 11 wins by KO/TKO and has finished each of his last five fights inside two rounds against abysmal opposition. In one bout he won the WBC United States title by beating a guy with a 1-5 record. Congratulations to the WBC for devaluing their own title. Ricar has lost 4 of his last 5 fights, all by KO/TKO

 

Callao, Peru: Light Fly: Alberto Rossel (30-8,1ND) W PTS 12 Walter Tello (18-7). Light Middle: David Zegarra (23-0) W TKO 4 Ubiraci Borges dos Santos (4-3). Light: Carlos Zambrano (19-0) W PTS 8 Edilson Rio (9-15).

Rossel vs. Tello

Local hero Rossel retains interim WBA title with unanimous decision over limited Panamanian Tello. Despite giving away a little in height and reach Rossel always had the fight in hand. Tello was crude and wild with his work and Rossel found an easy target for his right jab and hard hooks and uppercuts. Tello was down briefly in the third as Rossel boxed his way to a comfortable victory. Scores 118-113 ½, 118-114 ½ and 117-111. The 35-year-old Chiquito” was making the second defence of his WBA title and this was his sixth win in a row. Tello, 26, had lost to Giovani Segura in three rounds for the full WBA title in 2010, and had done nothing of note since, so the WBA had to slip him into their ratings to suit the promoter. The bout was well handled by female referee Romina Arroyo.

Zegarra vs. dos Santos

“Pantera” Zegarra beat up on poor Brazilian for three rounds before dos Santos decided to retire in the fourth. The 28-year-old Peruvian has 17 wins by KO/TKO. He holds the WBA Fedlatin title. Despite the abysmal quality of his opposition is rated No 8 by them. The 35-year-old Brazilian is just a prelim fighter, and not much of one.

Zambrano vs. Rio

US-based Peruvian Zambrano wins every round against another no hope Brazilian. Despite having Rio rocking on a number of occasions Zambrano could not put him away and had to settle for a points victory. Scores 80-71 twice and 80-72. Zambrano is rated by three of the four major sanctioning bodies but has yet to face a real test. The 37-year-old Brazilian has lost six of his last seven fights, but has only failed to last the distance once.

Thackerville, USA: Super Bantam: Robert Marroquin (23-2) W TKO 3 Antonio Escalante (28-6). Light Middle: Abraham Han (19-0) W PTS 8 Brandon Baue (12-10).

Marroquin vs. Escalante

Texan Marroquin gets good win in his first fight since losing on points to Memo Rigondeaux for the WBA title in September. The taller man, Marroquin used his jab well against the smaller Escalante, but the Mexican is dangerous. He was going to the body and had to be respected. After taking the first round Marroquin landed a body punch in the second that looked to have registered a knockdown, but was ruled a slip by the referee. Floored or not Escalante was hurt. Early in the third an overhand right from Marroquin landed and took all of the fight out of Escalante. Now 16 wins by KO/TKO for the 23-year-old Marroquin, who will almost certainly get another title fight in the future. Escalante, 27, loses the big ones. He was stopped in eight rounds by Rocky Juarez in October and in 2011 and previously lost successive fights on kayo against Daniel Ponce De Leon and Alejandro Perez.

Han vs. Baue

The lanky Han wins every round and takes a wide unanimous decision over Baue. The former top amateur had Baue down in the third from a body punch but Baue survived and was still there at the final bell-but a big loser on the cards. Scores 80-71 from all three judges. El Paso’s Albie is ready for better opposition. Six losses in a row now for Baue.

 

Cancun, Mexico:Light: Juan Pablo Sanchez (24-11,1ND) W KO 7 Jorge Ibarra (13-10-2). Super Middle: Marco Periban (20-0) W KO 2 Sam Miller (25-7). Light: Jorge Linares (33-3) W TKO 8 David Rodela (16-8-3). Bantam: Alberto Guevara (17-1) W PTS 10 Jose A Tirado (27-13).

Sanchez vs. Ibarra

Sanchez looks to be on his way to a comfortable points victory, but then lands an overhand left in the seventh and Ibarra is down and out. “The Lizard” retains his WBC Mundo Hispano title. He goes to ten wins by KO/TKO and has won 4 of his last 5 fights. ”Poison” Ibarra is 2-3-1 in his last six.

Periban vs. Miller

Periban just punches too hard for Colombian Miller. From the start both fighters were trading hard shots. By the end of the first Periban was getting through with body punches and Miller was unable to match the Mexican’s power. In the second round body shots forced Miller to go down on his knees. He got up but was put down again and the fight was halted. The 28-year-old Mexican has 13 wins by KO/TKO and wins the vacant NABF title. Miller, 33, had won 22 fights by KO/TKO but against very poor opposition.

Linares vs. Rodela

Venezuelan “Golden Boy” Linares continued his rebuilding with a stoppage of Rodela. No knockdowns, but the former WBC feather and WBA super feather champ simply broke the gutsy Rodela down until the fight was halted in the eighth round. Second win for 27-year-old Linares after back-to-back losses to Antonio DeMarco and Sergio Thompson. He will be ok as long as he avoids Mexican’s as his other loss was to Juan Carlos Salgado. Once a prospect Rodela is 2-6-1 in his last nine fights but his losses  have all been to top fighters.

Guevara vs. Tirado

Former IBF bantam challenger Guevara boxes his way to victory over gutsy Tirado. Guevara had the skill and Tirado knew he could not match the young fighter’s in that area. Instead Tirado was throwing bombs and giving Guevara some uncomfortable moments. Guevara was busier and Tirado was wild with some of his attacks, but kept coming with the crowd roaring him on. In the end Guevara won a deserved unanimous decision. First fight for 22-year-old Guevara since losing his unbeaten status in a challenge to Leo Santa Cruz in December. Despite his modest record, Tirado, 33, has a great chin and had won 4 of his last 5 fights.

 

Noginsk, Russia: Light: Denis Shafikov (32-0-1) W DISQ 11 Alisher Rahimov (25-2). Welter: Aslanbek Kozaev (23-0-1) DREW 12 David Avanesyan (13-1-1). Super Bantam: Rauf Aghayev (11-1) W PTS 10 Yuriy Voronin (27-19-2). Light Middle: Konstantin Ponomarev (19-0) W TKO 7 Fariz Kasimov (13-3-1).

Shafikov vs. Rahimov

The tank rolls over Rahimov. Shafikov’s official surname is Djingis Khan but “Tank” suits him better. The tough little Russian southpaw usually starts slowly and then just keeps coming. He gets inside and throws punch after punch to head and body with seemingly limitless stamina. That was the case here as Rahimov took the first two rounds as Shafikov was warming up his engine. In the third and fourth rounds Shafikov was more in the fight, but not yet in full flow, so Rahimov still had a small lead. From the fifth it was all Shafikov as Rahimov was unable to keep Shafikov off and was not finding punching room. The seventh and eighth went to Shafikov. Rahimov made a vain attempt to turn the tide in the ninth, and when that failed seemed to decide to foul his way out of the fight. He lost a point for low punches and when he persisted the referee disqualified him. The 27-year-old Shafikov wins both the WBC Baltic lightweight title and the vacant WBC CISBB title(won’t bother explaining that one as I can’t believe anyone is interested). He is top rated light welter with the IBF (the No 1 spot is vacant) and No 5 lightweight with the WBC. Uzbek Rahimov, 35, had beaten Sergio Thompson and Saddam Kietyongyuth (23-0), but a loss to Ji-Hoon Kim in May dented his ambitions, but he was still No 4 with the WBO.

Kozaev vs. Avanesyan

Draw seems a fair result in this hard fought contest for Kozaev’s WBC Baltic and CISBB titles. The fight swung from one fighter to the other and the styles made for a good fight. Kozaev was his usually aggressive self with Avanesyan being forced to fight on the back foot. Kozaev was busier, but 24-year-old Avanesyan was picking his punches better and scoring with good counters. Kozaev, 25, built himself a small lead in the first four rounds, but Avanesyan took over in the middle rounds as Kozaev seemed to tire. They fought hard over the closing rounds with Kozaev being hampered by a cut over his left eyen. In the end a draw seemed just right ,but the scoring was weird, but then a lot of rounds were close. Scores 118-111 to Kozaev, 117-112 to Avanesyan and 114-114.

Aghayev vs. Voronin

Aghayev wins every round against veteran Voronin. The 29-year-old Azeri just could not miss his smaller and slower opponent. Voronin took a beating in every round, but kept coming. Eventually Aghayev’s work rate dropped, but he was still too good for Voronin. Scores 100-90 twice and 100-91. Aghayev retains his WBC Baltic title and makes it nine wins in a row, but he lacks a punch. Ten losses in a row for Voronin. He put Aghayev on the floor when they fought in November, but also lost then by a wide decision.

Ponomarev vs. Kasimov

Prospect Ponomarev wears down limited Kasimov for late stoppage. The 20-year-old “Talant” allowed an initial series of attacks from Kasimov to ease, and then went to work. He allowed Kasimov to come forward and then scored with sharp, hard counters that had Kasimov marked and bloody. Ponomarev is not a big puncher, but the sheer volume of punches had Kasimov struggling and when Ponomarev got through with a series of shots in the seventh the fight was halted. Ponomarev is no hometown fighter, this was his fourth different country in his last four fights. He is a talent, but lacks real punching power. First fight for 25-year-old Kasimov since December 2011 and he did not look to be in good condition. He holds a very controversial points win over DeMarcus Corley scored back in 2009.

 

Kiev, Ukraine: Light Heavy: Doudou Ngumbu (31-4) W PTS 12 Vyacheslav Uzelkov (28-2). Heavy: Andriy Rudenko (24-0,1ND) W TKO 1 Adnan Buharalija (26-16-2). Light Middle: Oleksandr Spyrko (16-0) W PTS 8 Laszlo Fazekas (13-7-1). Welter: Viktor Plotnykov (30-2,1ND) W PTS 8 Beka Sutidze (10-7-1). Heavy: Vlad Tereshkin (16-0-1) W PTS 6 Yuri Byhovtsev (6-5-1).

Ngumbu vs. Uzelkov

Frenchman Ngumbu came in as a late substitute but got off to a good start winning the first three rounds ands showing his advantages over Uzelkov in speed and technique. Uzelkov starting putting his punches together from the fourth, but Ngumbu was still doing the cleaner work. In the seventh a short right from Ngumbu knocked out Uzelkov’s mouthpiece. Uzelkov had some success in the eighth when he had the Frenchman badly hurt, but Ngumbu survived. In the closing rounds with Uzelkov hampered by a bad cut over right eye Ngumbu was able to maintain his early lead and get a well deserved unanimous decision. Scores 115-112 twice and 116-112. Ngumbu looked to have won by even larger margins. Big win for the 31-year-old Congolese born fighter. He had won the WBFederation title by beating Aleksy Kuziemski in Poland, but then had been knocked back by a stoppage loss to Nadjib Mohammedi in June, which cost him his WBF title. Former WBA title challenger Uzelkov, 33, was rated in the top five by the IBF, WBA and WBO, but this loss puts a big dent in any hopes he had of another title shot.

Rudenko vs. Buharalija

Rudenko puts Buharalija down within the first minute of the bout. Two more knockdowns and the referee stopped the fight. The 29-year-old Ukrainian has 16 wins by KO/TKO, and has ended 11 of his last 12 fights that way. He is still largely untested with no names of any consequence on his record. All 16 of Bosnian Buharalija’s losses have come by KO/TKO.

Spyrko vs. Fazekas

Spyrko had the height and reach advantages and superior skills so Hungarian “Bulldog” Fazekas was never really able to get into the fight. Spyrko made good use of the jab and right cross to keep Fazekas in line and also scored a knockdown in the third with a right. Spyrko staggered Fazekas again in the fourth, but the Hungarian showed a good chin. Scores 80-71 from all three judges for the WBO European champion. Fazekas has lost 5 of his last 6 fights, but has never failed to last the distance.

Plotnykov vs. Sutidze

Routine win for Plotnykov. He was in charge for the whole fight but despite having the Georgian rocking on a couple of occasions he had to settle for a unanimous decision. Scores 80-71 twice and 80-72. After losing to Jackson Osei Bonsu for the European title in 2008 Plotnykov won nine in a row, but a loss to journeyman Igor Fanian in December dented his reputation. Young Georgian Sutidze,21, had gone the distance with Spyrko in March last year and has not lost inside the distance.

Tereshkin vs. Byhovtsev

Tereshkin remains unbeaten but again fails to impress. The 6’6”  Russian tried to use his jab to keep Byhovtsev out but it was not always effective. Tereshkin was winning but not as convincingly as he should against this level of opponent. The 25-year-old southpaw is not a hard puncher with only seven wins by KO/TKO. Scores 60-55, 59-55 and 58-57. Only one win in his last seven bouts for the Belarus fighter who was halted in three rounds by Richard Towers in 2011.

 

Lowell, USA: Middle: Osumanu Adama (21-3) W PTS 10 Grady Brewer (30-15). Super Middle: Joe McCreedy (14-6-2) W PTS 8 Mike Walchuk (9-9).

Adama vs. Brewer

Adama did not make the weight, but he did get the win, just. It was the better technical skills of the Ghanaian against the aggression of veteran Brewer. The fight was close all the way with Adama just edging the decision. First fight for Adama since points loss to Daniel Geale for the IBF title in March last year. Scores 97-93, 96-94 and 94-96. The vacant IBO Inter-Continental and WBC Continental Americas titles were on the line, but only for Brewer due to Adama failing to make the weight. The 42-year-old Brewer was up for this one, and when he is in the mood he is a handful for anyone as his wins over Fernando Guerrero, Cornelius Bundrage and Albert Onolunose show.

McCreedy vs. Walchuk

“Irish Joey” works hard for a majority decision over Canadian Walchuk. An overhand almost put Walchuk down in the first. In the second a clash of heads leaves McCreedy with a cut over his right eye. From then it is a tough fight for both with very little in it, but McCreedy putting in a big effort in the late rounds to just deserve the decision. Scores 78-74, 77-75 and 76-76. Only the second fight since October 2011 for local fighter McCreedy. Now six losses in a row for Walchuk.

 

Thackerville, USA: Super Bantam: Robert Marroquin (23-2) W TKO 3 Antonio Escalante (28-6). Light Middle: Abraham Han (19-0) W PTS 8 Brandon Baue (12-10).

Marroquin vs. Escalante

Texan Marroquin gets good win in his first fight since losing on points to Memo Rigondeaux for the WBA title in September. The taller man, Marroquin used his jab well against the smaller Escalante, but the Mexican is dangerous. He was going to the body and had to be respected. After taking the first round Marroquin landed a body punch in the second that looked to have registered a knockdown, but was ruled a slip by the referee. Floored or not Escalante was hurt. Early in the third an overhand right from Marroquin landed and took all of the fight out of Escalante. Now 16 wins by KO/TKO for the 23-year-old Marroquin, who will almost certainly get another title fight in the future. Escalante, 27, loses the big ones. He was stopped in eight rounds by Rocky Juarez in October and in 2011 and previously lost successive fights on kayo against Daniel Ponce De Leon and Alejandro Perez.

Han vs. Baue

The lanky Han wins every round and takes a wide unanimous decision over Baue. The former top amateur had Baue down in the third from a body punch but Baue survived and was still there at the final bell-but a big loser on the cards. Scores 80-71 from all three judges. El Paso’s Albie is ready for better opposition. Six losses in a row now for Baue.

 

Alice, South Africa: Super Middle: Balimo Weliya (11-4) W PTS 12 Charles Oosthuizen (5-1). Light Middle: Nkululeko Mhlongo (14-3) W TKO 3 Yanga Phetani(6-1-1).

Weliya vs. Oosthuizen

Weliya retains South African title. First defence for Weliya, and first fight since winning the title in October 2011, as he takes unanimous decision over his No 4 rated challenger. Oosthuizen also had rust to shed as his last fight was also in October 2011. Since Weliya hails from the DCR it is a puzzle that he is South African champion as it is my understanding that foreign fighters are not allowed to fight for South African titles.

Mhlongo vs. Phetani

More rust as Mhlongo retains his title with third round stoppage of No 4 challenger Phetani. First defence for Mhlongo, who won the title in August 2011, and had been inactive since then. Eleven wins by KO/TKO for Mhlongo who made his mark back in 2010 by giving former IBF welter champion Isaac Hlatshwayo a tough fight.

 

Mansfield, Australia: Middle: Nat Carroll (9-1-1) W KO 1 Kurt Bahram (11-4-1). Light Heavy: Trent Broadhurst (10-1) W KO 1 Dechapon (5-23).

Carroll vs. Bahram

Carroll destroys Bahram to win the vacant Australian title. This fight between the No's 4 and 5 contenders was all over in 72 seconds as Carroll, not a noted puncher, put Bahram down twice. The 30-year-old has won four in a row now. Bahram had been unbeaten in three fights since being blown away inside a round by Steve Moxon in 2011.

Broadhurst vs. Dechapon

Broadhurst wins in almost mirror image of Carroll’s success. The former top amateur put Thai down twice and out in 99 seconds. The 24-year-old Queenslander, the Australian No 7, has seven wins by KO/TKO. Broadhurst was Australian champion at Schools, Cadet and Junior level and competed at the World Junior Championships in 2006. Now 8 losses in his last 9 fights for Dechapon with 6 of those losses by KO/TKO.

 

Nadi, Fiji: Light Middle: Rey Anton Olarte (17-22-8) W PTS 10 Opeti Tagi (16-9). Australian-based Filipino Olarte came in as a last substitute after original opponent Junior Fazan Ali pulled out claiming an injured wrist. Unfortunately. although Olarte saved the show, he then went on to beat local fighter on a split decision. The soaking

wet canvas made it hazardous for both fighters. Olarte’s jab was the punch which was dictating the outcome and the Australian-based Filipino put “Prince” Tagi down three times in the fight. Good result for Olarte after failing to win any of his last four fights. First fight since December 2011 for former Fijian welter champion Tagi.

 

Kobe, Japan: Super Bantam: Kohei Ohba (33-2-1) W PTS 10 Zerofit Jerope (25-4-3). Ohba regained the Japanese title with unanimous verdict over Zerofit Jerope. Ohba made the fight from the start with Japanese-based Filipino Jerope following his usual counter punching style. One of those counter punches put Ohba down in the third, but the referee ruled it a slip. Ohba was forcing the pace and letting his punches go whereas Jerope was just not busy enough. Scores 98-93, 97-93 and 96-94. The 28-year-old Ohba had given up the title in 2010 to chase a world title shot but a points loss to Malcolm Tunacao and a stoppage by Rolly (Lunas) Matsushita were big setbacks. He has done nothing of import since the Lunas loss, but still finds himself No 8 with the WBC. Jerope (Mercado), 33, does not seem to like fighting for titles. His four losses have come in two shots at the Japanese title and once each for the Philippines and OPBF titles. 

 

Zacatecas, Mexico: Super Feather: John Carlo Aparicio (25-5) W TKO 7 Salvador Carreon (7-11). Aparicio uses relentless body attack to beat Carreon. A hook to the body put Carreon down in the first. Carreon did not fold, but spent most of the rounds with his back to the ropes trying to counter the attacks of Aparicio. In the sixth more body punches put Carreon down twice. It was more of the same in the seventh as Carreon again went down twice. That was enough and Carreon retired at the end of the round. Local hero Aparicio wins the vacant WBC Mundo Hispano title, and has 19 wins by KO/TKO. He has won 5 of his last 6 fights, with the loss being on points to unbeaten WBC No 2 Roberto Ortiz in October for the WBC Silver title way up at light welterweight. He also went the distance with current WBC champion Gamaliel Diaz last May. “Poison” Carreon has lost nine times by KO/TKO.

 

March 17

Mdantsane, South Africa: Super Bantam: Thabo Sonjica (17-2) W PTS 12 Macbute Sinyabi (20-3). Feather: Aphiwe Mboyiya (8-0) W PTS 12 Lucky Kwaza (7-2-1).

Sonjica vs. Sinyabi

A couple of old sayings sum this fight up- “if at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again”- and –“all good things must come to an end”. For Sonjica this was his third attempt to wrest the South African title for Sinyabi, and for Sinyabi it was his tenth title defence. For Sonjica, two previous title fights against Sinyabi had resulted in losses in one round and five rounds respectively. This time Sonjica refused to get into a slugging match with the harder puncher and used southpaw jab to keep Sinyabi out. In the fight it was not so much a case of who was best, but who was the least worst. It was a messy, untidy fight filled with clinching, wrestling and crude swings rather than clean punching. Sonjica did his share of spoiling and also chose to clown on occasion, but when he did decide to mix it with Sinyabi he was scoring with ease and was a clear winner. Scores 118-114, 117-112 and 117-113. Neither fighter emerged with much credit, but 23-year-old Sonjica emerged with the national title at his third attempt, and gained revenge for the two losses on his record.. After twelve wins in a row by KO/TKO the 26-year-old Sinyabi blew his big chance by losing in ten rounds to Thai Thangthong in an IBF eliminator in May. He had  made two title defences since then, and the IBF still had him rated No 13, but this loss will cost him that rating.

Mboyiya vs. Kwaza

Southpaw Mboyiya, 21, retains his national title in a clash of novices. After two even rounds Mboyiya built a lead over the middle rounds as the busier fighter. The constant stream of punches had Kwaza, also a southpaw, leaking blood from his nose and his face swelling. However over the late rounds Mboyiya partially from the pace he had set and partially from the heat in the hall tired badly. Despite the injuries Kwaza staged a very strong finish to make it very close, but could not close the gap. Mboyiya won a unanimous decision. Scores 115-114 twice and 116-114.

 

Kempton Park, South Africa: Light: Jasper Seroka (22-4) W TKO 8 Joey Stiglingh (15-3). Seroka wins the vacant ABU title with convincing stoppage of fellow South African Stiglingh. These two had met back in 2011 with Seroka winning a close unanimous decision. This time Seroka found the going easier. A left jab put an off balance Stiglingh down in the first. The younger fighter bounced back but Seroka was in charge. A right dropped Stiglingh in the seventh. Stiglingh was put down again in the eighth and, although he beat the count, his corner threw in the towel and the fight was halted. Former South African champion Seroka had lost 3 of his last 4 fights, but all to good opposition. This was his first fight since November 2011. Stiglingh has some rebuilding to do after losses to Sipho Taliwe and Seroka.

 

March 18

Tokyo, Japan: Welter: Akinori Watanabe (28-4) W TKO 6 Cobra Suwa (12-10-2). Southpaw Watanabe retains OPBF title with stoppage of Suwa. The champion floored Suwa in the first round but then made hard work of finishing his challenger. Watanabe had failed to make the weight at the first attempt and it could be that the effort of getting down to the welter poundage in such a short time affected his performance. He was scoring heavily throughout the fight but still  struggled to overcome Suwa. Finally in the sixth the referee was forced to stop the fight to save Suwa further punishment. Fifth defence of his OPBF title for Watanabe. The 27-year-old is WBC No 12 and has won his last nine fights. Suwa, 32, is No 7 with the OPBF, but only No 10 in the Japanese ratings.