Manchester, England: Light: John Murray (32-2) W TKO 4 Mike Escobar (7-11). Middle: Mark Heffron (8-0) W TKO 1 Achilles Szabo (11-5). Light Middle: Kilrain Kelly (9-0) W PTS 8 Ryan Toms (12-6-1).
Murray vs. Escobar
Murray take a couple of rounds to shed the rust and Spanish-based Nicaraguan was aggressive and competitive over these two rounds. In the third Murray was letting his hands go and a body punch put Escobar down. He made it to the bell but a right hook in the fourth put him down once more. Escobar got up again but a left hook put him down and he was finished. Back-to-back losses to Kevin Mitchell and to an overweight Brandon Rios in a WBA title fight in December 2011 saw Murray take almost two years out. Now the 28-year-old former undefeated British and European champion is back and he moves to 19 wins by KO/TKO. Now 9 losses in a row for Escobar.
Heffron vs. Szabo
All over in 30 seconds as a left hook to the body from Heffron puts Hungarian Szabo down and out. Now 7 wins by KO/TKO for Heffron and this was his 4th first round finish. Three losses by KO/TKO for Slovakian champion Szabo.
Kelly vs. Toms
Local fighter “Jimmy” Kelly, 21, uses his height advantage to good effect and just edges out more experienced southpaw Toms in a fight where the decision could have gone to either fighter. Referee’s score 78-76.
Tijuana, Mexico: Light Flyweight: Moises Fuentes (19-1-1) W TKO 7 Omar Salado (24-6-2,1ND). Bantam: Alejandro Gonzalez Jr (21-0-2) W KO 2 Jose C Vargas (13-8-1). Light Welter: Abner Lopez (16-3) W KO 3 Alejandro Alonso (2-19-2).
Fuentes vs. Salido
Fuentes, the better man inside or at a distance, but Salido uses his experience to take the fight into the seventh round. The former undefeated WBO strawweight champion was scoring with jabs and fast one-two’s in the first round. When Salido did manage to work his way inside he was being caught with hooks and uppercuts rocking his head on his shoulders. By the third the doctor was examining a cut and swelling on the left eye eyebrow of Salido but let the fight continue. In the fourth a clash of heads saw Salido cut over his right eye. Salido knew he was in trouble with the cut and raised his game in the fifth trying to chase down Fuentes. He had some success but also had to eat more uppercuts. The doctor examined him in his corner at the end of the fifth but again allowed to fight to continue. The pace dropped a bit in the sixth as Salido was using good head and lateral movement but was still catching punches. The facial damage suffered by Salido was worsening and the doctor was consulted again in the sixth and early in the seventh. When the referee asked the doctor to take a second look in the seventh the doctor finally agreed the fight should be stopped. Good win for 28-year-old “Moi” but even though he drew with Donnie Nietes for the WBO light fly title in March he has disappeared from the WBO ratings completely. Salido, 33, drew with Ulises Solis for the IBF title in 2006 but lost to Luis Concepcion for the interim WBA title and to Roman Gonzalez for the full title. He is on the slide being 3-6-1ND in his last 10 fights.
Gonzalez vs. Vargas
Young hope Gonzales, the son of former WBC featherweight champion, also Alejandro, disposes of Vargas with ease. He had Vargas hurt in the first before dropping him with a straight left to the chin in the second. Vargas got up only to run into a savage barrage finished off by a hard right from the 20-year-old “Little Cobra” and Vargas went down and out. Gonzalez, who turned pro just days after his 17th birthday, has 14 wins by KO/TKO. Vargas has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights.
Lopez vs. Alonso
After taking the first two rounds, during which Alonso lost a point for a blatant butt, Lopez landed a right uppercut to the chin of Alonso who fell face down on the canvas and needed medical attention before recovering. Lopez now has 15 wins by KO/TKO and had ended 7 of his last 8 fights that way. Alonso should not have been in the ring with a puncher like Lopez. He has 14 losses and a draw in his last 15 fights.
Ontario, CA, USA: Welter: Artemio Reyes (21-2) W KO 2 Francisco Reza (12-8). Light Welter: Giovanni Santillan (11-0) W TKO 2 Mike Balasi (10-3). Light: Jose Roman (15-1-1) W PTS 6 Miguel Zuniga (12-4).
Reyes vs. Reza
“King” Reyes makes it five wins in a row by KO/TKO and his fourth second round win in those five fights. After scoring well with rights in the first Reyes dropped Reza with a cracking left hook to the body in the second. A right to the body sunk Reza again and he was unable to beat the count. The 27-year-old Californian was crushed inside a round by Alan Sanchez in April last year, his only loss in his last 20 fights, but has rebounded with five wins. Mexican Reza had won his last two fights, but is 3-6 in his last 9.
Santillan vs. Balasi
Southpaw Balasi took the first round on the basis of his aggression and work rate, but fellow southpaw Santillan was also getting through with counters. Late in the second a volley from Santillan had Balasi rocking. Santillan jumped on him and was banging away with nothing coming back when the fight was halted. The 21-year-old “Gallo de Oro” has 7 wins by KO/TKO. Hawaiian Balasi, 32, had won 6 of his last 7.
Roman vs. Zuniga
Roman bounces back from a couple of hiccups in the shape of a technical draw and a loss to Robert Osiobe, with a wide unanimous decision over Zuniga. After an even first round when both got in some licks the power of Roman put him in control. Zuniga was pressing but running onto hard counters. A right floored Zuniga at the end of the fourth but he survived. He was more defensive over the last two rounds and Roman ran out a clear winner. Scores 60-53 twice and 58-55.
Dover, DE, USA: Light Welter: Edgar Santana (29-4) W KO 1 Mike Clark (44-9-1). Super Feather: Omar Douglas (11-0) W TKO 3 Jean J Sotelo (18-12-2). Welter: Dusty Hernandez Henderson (19-0) W TKO 1 Marlon Lewis (6-3-2). Super Middle: Mike Tiberi (21-1) W PTS 6 Edgar Perez (5-7).
Santana vs. Clark
Puerto Rican “El Chamaco” ended this one early. Both fighters were trading hard shots but a couple of cracking punches from Santana sent Clark to the canvas. He struggled to rise but did not make it and was counted out. The 34-year-old Santana took 11 months out after losing a paper thin decision to Manuel Perez in February last year and this is his second win since his return. Santana has 20 wins a by KO/TKO and wins over Josesito Lopez, Meacher Major and Omri Lowther. The 40-year-old Clark is 3-3 in his last 6 and this is his sixth loss by KO/TKO.
Douglas vs. Sotelo
Impressive win by 22-year-old “Super O”. He has too much power for the experienced Mexican southpaw and Sotelo was put down by a left hook and a right in the second. He made it to the bell but was taking punishment again in the second when his corner threw in the towel. Douglas, a good class amateur who won 5 State Golden Gloves titles, has 9 wins by KO/TKO, the last five in a row. He wins the vacant NABF title. Colombian Sotelo, 38, was having his first fight since November and loses for the 9th time by KO/TKO.
Harrison vs. Lewis
Hernandez-Harrison massacres poor Lewis. After dropping him early he then floored Lewis twice more with the referee stopping the fight after just 140 seconds. Eleven wins by KO/TKO for the promising 19-year-old. First loss inside the distance for Lewis, 30, who had 3 wins and a draw in his last 4 fights.
Tiberi vs. Perez
Returning after almost 15 months Tiberi showed some rust. The fight was low key with very little action but with Tiberi using a sharp jab and good combinations to edge each round and Perez doing better than the scores suggest. Scores 60-54 from all three judges. Fifteen wins in a row for the 25-year-old local favourite. Seven losses in a row for Puerto Rican Perez.
Huntington, NY: USA: Heavy: Vinny Maddalone (37-8-1,1ND) DREW 8 Maurenzo Smith (12-7-3). Light Welter: Cletus Seldin (12-0) W PTS 8 Gilbert Venegas (12-12-4,1ND).
Maddalone vs. Smith
Local hero Maddalone held to an unexpected draw by Smith. Maddalone built a lead in the early rounds but in the sixth he suffered a bad cut over his left eye and swelling under the eye caused it to close. Smith took his chance and forced the fight over the last three rounds to get a majority draw. Scores 75-75 twice and 76-74 for Smith. The 39-year-old Queens fighter never made it to the top with recent losses to Jean Marc Mormeck, Tomasz Adamek and Tyson Fury, but he always gives value and draws big crowds locally. Texan “T Diddy” Smith, 36, had lost 5 of his last 6 fights so a return might be on the cards.
Seldin vs. Venegas
“The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin, 27, goes eight rounds for the first time and is given a tough night by Texan Venegas. Scores 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75. Brooklyn’s Seldin had won his last 9 fights by KO/TKO so a good performance by 36-year-old Venegas.
Lincoln, RI,USA: Super Middle: Peter Manfredo Jr (40-7) W TKO 8 Richard Gingras (13-4-1). Manfredo wins but given a hard fight by fellow-Contender competitor Gingras. Manfredo had to weather a storm in the first round but then had the edge in the second as they traded in the centre of the ring. Manfredo started the third well only to be nailed with a hard overhand right which sent him tumbling back to the ropes. He was seriously hurt and Gingras had the chance for a career best win. He failed to take it as Manfredo used his experience to weather the storm and last until the bell. There was plenty of action in the fourth and fifth with Manfredo shaking Gingras with right in the fifth but Gingras fighting back strongly. The sixth saw Manfredo get on top using his superior skills to find gaps in the defence of Gingras and open a bad cut over his left eye. The end came in the eighth with Manfredo scoring a hard combination on the inside that had Gingras rocking and reeling and the fight was halted. Manfredo, 32, had “retired “ in March but came back to fight in honour of his fellow Providence fighter Gary “Tiger” Balletto who retired in 2006 with a 31-3-2 record but was now paralysed after an accident. It remains to be seen whether the “Pride of Providence” decides to give it one more serious shot. Gingras, 32, had lost only one of his last 6 fights and fought a good draw with Vlasine Biosse in July.
La Plata, Argentina: Light Middle: Luciano L Cuello (33-3) W KO 4 Juan J Dias (16-13-6). “The Little Prince” hits too hard for Dias. A slow start saw Cuello not really get warmed-up until the latter half of the third round. From then he had his jab working and was scoring with good left hooks. Late in the fourth a right uppercut landed on the left eye of Dias. He went down with the eye visible damaged and although he dragged himself up the fight was stopped. Now 16 wins by KO/TKO for hometown fighter Cuello. He is No 1 challenger for the national. This was the third defence of his South American title and the first of his WBC Latino crown. Dias, the FAB No 6 welter, fails to last the distance for the first time.
Breuil le Sec, France: Light: Yvan Mendy (27-3-1,1ND) W TKO 8 Sebastien Benito (11-7). Mendy takes care of business as he halts FFB No 1 Benito to retain the national title. Mendy, 28 dominated the first six rounds before flooring Benito in the seventh with a shot to the body. Benito survived the round but was floored again in the eighth and the fight was stopped. First defence of his title for Mendy who has won 5 of his last 6, losing only to WBC No 1 Viktor Postol in that run. He meets his mandatory challenger Sylvain Chapellle on January 17. He has 13 wins by KO/TKO. Benito, 28, is going the other way with 3 losses in his last 4 fights.
Frontino, Italy: Cruiser: Mirko Larghetti (20-0) W PTS 12 Stjepan Vudgelija (7-2). Super Middle: Andrea Di Luisa (14-2) W PTS 6 Marko Benzon (6-5). Middle: Emanuele Blandamura (21-0) W PTS 6 Ruslans Pojonisevs (15-28-1).
Larghetti vs. Vudgelija
Fighting in his home town Larghetti retains his European Union (EU) title with unanimous decision over voluntary challenger Vudgelija. The scores were unkind to the Croatian as he fought on even terms in the first, got through with hard shots to take the second and finished the stronger having Larghetti struggling and in serious trouble in the eleventh and took the last. From the third to the end of the tenth Larghetti was dominant taking the centre of the ring and controlling the fight with his superior skills, left jabs and hooks and took every one of those rounds on all three cards. Unexpectedly despite his lack of experience it was the Croat who was stronger at the end winning both of the last two rounds on all cards, but left it too late. Scores 117-111 twice (too wide) and 118-114. The 31-year-old Larghetti had won his last 5 fights by KO/TKO but his stamina was suspect in this one. Vudgelija, 28, did better than could be expected from a guy who only slipped into the EU ratings at No 30.
Di Luisa vs. Benzon
Di Luisa wins one-sided points victory over smaller Croat. The Italian was too good for the inexperienced Benzon and handed put a lot of punishment with Benzon finishing with swellings around both eyes and a cut over his left eye. The 31-year-old Di Lusia has failed in two attempts at the EU title losing inside the distance to Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye and Chris Rebrasse and is No 15 in the current ratings. Benzon, 28, has yet to lose inside the distance
Blandamura vs. Pojonisevs
Blandamura continues to look capable of better things. The 33-year-old “Sioux” from Rome outclassed Latvian Pojonisevs and showed his full repertoire of punches. Pojonisevs stood up to the punishment well, but was never allowed a foothold in the fight. Blandamura, the EBU No 12, does not have time on his side and with just 5 wins by KO/TKO also lacks power. Pojonisevs, 30, is 2-11 in his last 13 fights.
Liepaja, Latvia: Cruiser: Mairis Breidis (11-0) W TKO 5 Lubos Suda (30-8-1). Breidis took a couple of rounds to get rolling and Suda was able to get through with some good shots to build a lead. In the fourth body punches from Breidis turned the fight around. Suda was down twice in the fifth and retired at the end of the round. The 28-year-old local fighter has 9 wins by KO/TKO and victories over Danny Williams and useful Frenchman Jeremy Ouanna. He was Latvian amateur champion in 2008 and 2009 but lost out in the European qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics. Suda, 37, is a former EU champion and had won his last 4 fights inside the distance.
Gijon, Spain: Welter: Altor Nieto (11-2) W PTS 10 Jose Del Rio (15-5). “El Diamante” Nieto, 29, wins the vacant Spanish title in a fight where the decision could have gone either way. It was the jabbing and speed of southpaw Del Rio against the hard one-twos of Nieto. Del Rio was hampered by damage by his left eye but his hand speed kept him very much in the fight. Nieto was fighting hard enough to take some of the close rounds and had Del Rio hurt in the eighth. Del Rio put in a big effort in the last, but Nieto matched him to win a close decision. Scores 97-94 twice and 96-95 with the latter being a better reflection of a close, hard fight. Hometown fighter Nieto ends a 30 year wait for another Spanish champion from Asturias. Mallorcan Del Rio, a former undefeated Spanish welter champion, has lost trough fights on the road to Jackson Osei Bonsu, Jussi Koivula and Sebastien Madani, and deserves a return.
London, England: Light Welter: Kasper Bruun (118-0-1) W PTS 8 Laszlo Fazekas (16-10-1) .Comfortable win for unbeaten Dane Bruun as he is too quick and skilful for durable Fazekas. Bruun takes every round and wins 80-72 on the referee’s score. The tall 26-year-old was having his first fight for 8 months. Hungarian Fazekas has lost 3 of his last 4 but always goes the distance.
Gateshead, England: Welter: Bradley Saunders (8-0) W TKO 4 Gyorgy Mizsei (16-8). Former top amateur pleases his local fans with a stoppage of young Hungarian. Saunders was in charge of this one. Mizsei tried to use his height and reach edges but Saunders was too slick for him. In the fourth Saunders went to the body and floored Mizsei twice. The Hungarian was allowed to continue but when he went down under another flurry of body punches the fight was stopped. The 27-year-old former ABA champion and World Championships bronze medal winner has 6 wins by KO/TKO. The 20-year-old Mizsei has been in with Scott Harrison, Tom Stalker and Steve Jamoye.
Cape Town, South Africa: Heavy: Elvis Moyo (4-5-2) W PTS 10 Osborne Machimana (18-7-2). Super Feather: Themba Tschicila (26-11-3) W PTS 10 Nkululeko Vengenayi (8-4). Cruiser: Kevin Lerena (9-0) W PTS 6 Marcell Mulumba (1-1).
Moyo vs. Machimana
Zimbabwean Moyo gets an upset win as he outpoints “Big Daddy” Machimana but some weird scoring. Judges see it for Moyo on a majority verdict of 99-91, 98-92 and a strange 95-95. Theses two had fought a draw in March-again a majority verdict. Moyo, who has done all of his fighting in South Africa, is better than his record shows as he has an early career draw with current South African light heavy champion Johnny Muller and in his first three fights was thrown in way over his head resulting in two losses to current WBA No 3 cruiser Ilunga Makabu and a defeat by DRC banger Flo Simba. Machimana, 35, a former South African champion came in at a disgusting 299 ½ lbs when losing to David Price in 2011 and the two Moyo fights are his only outings since then.
Tschicila vs. Vengenayi
Tschicila evens the score for South Africa with a split decision win over Zimbabwean Vengenayi, but only just. The Zimbabwean belied his lack of experience to run Tschicila close and deserved at least a draw. Scores 96-92, 95-93 and 94-96. The 37-year-old Tschicila has had five shots at winning a South African title but failed five times. He is currently No 7 in the BSA ratings so another title shot is some way off. First ten round fight for Vengenayi who has also done all of his fighting in South Africa.
Lerena vs. Mulumba
Prospect Lerena has to go the distance to decision DRC fighter Mulumba but at least stays unbeaten. The 21-year-old “Lean Mean” will have better nights. Mulumba may have had fights in the DCR but no record available.,
Torrejon, Spain: Bantam: Ivan Ruiz (11-2-1) W PTS 8 Alex Mora (5-3-5). “The Silent” wins a unanimous decision but has a tough second half of the fight. The southpaw Ruiz opened well using his right jab, good movement and superior technique against the slower Mora and had the Dominican on the defensive. However, after the half way mark Ruiz began to tire and Mora was cable to close the distance and almost close the points gap. They were both looking for a kayo over the closing two rounds, Ruiz with hard combinations and Mora with wild swings. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-75. Ruiz, 32 , has won 9 of his last 10 fights. Madrid-based Dominican Mora has only one win in his last seven fights.
Manchester, England: Super Middle: Carl Froch (32-2) W TKO 9 George Groves (19-1). Super Bantam: Scott Quigg (27-0-2) W TKO 2 Diego Oscar Silva (29-3-4). Light: Anthony Crolla (27-4-1) W TKO 6 Stephen Foster (31-4-1). Super Middle: Rocky Fielding(17-0) W TKO 1 Luke Blackledge (14-2-2). Super Feather: Steve Smith (18-1) W KO 8 Sergio M Medina (39-6-1). Bantam: Jamie McDonnell (22-2-1) W TKO 7 Bernard Inom (22-4-1). Middle: Andy Lee (31-2) W TKO 2 Ferenc Hafner (21-5). Light: Scott Cardle (13-0) W PTS 6 Krzys Szot (17-9-1). Light: Luke Campbell (4-0) W PTS 4 Chuck Jones (4-13-2).
Froch vs. Groves
Great fight, pity about the ending. Any doubts about Groves right to be in the ring with Froch disappeared in the first round and never returned. Groves was throwing fast rights over the low left of Froch. One of those shook the champion and he retreated to the ropes. As he came off punching Groves landed a crisp right and Froch went down heavily. Froch was up at four but was wobbling and took 2 or 3 more rights before the bell. Froch was still getting over that early shock in the second and again Groves was in command scoring with fast left-right combinations. Froch finally got into the fight in the third forcing Graves back and launching a fierce attack that saw Groves bruised under his left eye. The fourth saw Groves taking control again getting through with quick attacks and Froch was having trouble letting his hands go. Froch was on the front foot in the fifth and although Groves was still getting through with quick rights it was Froch’s round. Groves took back the initiative in the sixth and he tested Froch’s great chin with trademark rights before becoming careless and letting Froch get in some shots at the end of the round. The seventh saw Groves getting off first out-jabbing the champion and Froch was having trouble launching any concerted attacks. The eight saw the old Froch shrugging off any previous punishment and coming forward with fierce attacks from both hands. At the end of the eighth round the scores were 76-75 twice and 78-73, all for Groves. In the ninth Froch hurt Groves with a big right and suddenly the young challenger was in trouble. Froch got home with hard shots from both hands and surprisingly the referee grabbed Groves and signaled the fight was over. A highly controversial stoppage with Groves in trouble but angry at what seemed to be a premature stoppage. A pity that such an absorbing fight should end in controversy. Froch has indicated he would be willing to give Groves a return and there has been a mention of next May, but at this time it is just talk. Froch again showed that he is one tough warrior who can soak up punishment and then hand out plenty of his own. At 36 the “Cobra” retains his IBF and WBA titles and a return with Andre Ward is his dream. The 25-year-old Groves showed he is no young pretender but the real thing and is ready for any top super middle-preferably Froch again.
Quigg vs. Silva
Predictably easy win for Quigg over modest Argentinian. Quigg had Silva backing up in the first and got through with some hard body punches. In the second a body shot followed by a right uppercut put Silva down. He arose at seven but after Quigg got through with more uppercuts he sent Silva crashing to the floor with a right, and the fight was over. First defence of the secondary WBA title for 25-year-old Quigg and win No 20 by KO/TKO. Thirty-year-old Silva’s only other loss inside the distance was to Fernando Montiel for the WBO bantam title in 2009. He was slipped in at No 14 by the WBO but was only rated No 4 by the FAB!
Crolla vs. Foster
Crolla retains his WBO Inter-Continental title with inside the distance win over late substitute Foster. It was the body attack from Crolla that dominated the action. Foster made a fight of it over the first four rounds but then seemed to tire. Crolla was getting his hands off and getting in with quick shots and out before Foster could fashion any meaningful counters. Foster seemed to launch a final effort in the sixth, but Crolla banged back and had Foster wincing from body shots. At the end of the round Foster retired due to injury. The 27-year-old “Million Dollar” had drawn with Derry Matthews and beaten Gavin Rees in his last two outings and is WBO No 8. Former EBU super feather champion Foster, 33, gave it a go but was not 100% for such a relatively short notice fight.
Fielding vs. Blackledge
Fielding retains his Commonwealth title with devastating kayo of Blackledge. The challenger was trying to press the action. They tangled on the ropes and a short left hook crashed into Blackledge’s jaw and he went down heavily on his back and the fight was over. First defence of his Commonwealth title for 26-year-old Fielding and tenth win by KO/TKO. Blackledge, 23, came in at very short notice but never had a chance to show anything. He has a career ending win over Mads Larsen and lost a close decision to Erik Skogland. This is his first loss by KO/TKO.
Smith vs. Medina
Smith wins but “Rocky” Medina gives him a hard time for five rounds. The Argentinian was aggressive and throwing bombs early making things uncomfortable for Smith and edging the first round. Smith was working the body and bounced back to take the second and third rounds being more accurate with his punches. The fourth and fifth saw both fighters landing with good punches but Smith got on top in the sixth. Medina was tiring and spitting out his mouthpiece to get some respite. Smith continued the pressure in the seventh with Medina losing a point for a head butt. “Swifty” closed the fight in the eighth with a left hook to the body which sent Medina down and he could not get up. Smith,28, wins the vacant WBC International Silver title and makes it 6 wins in a row, 5 inside the distance, since moving up to super feather, and those wins have seen him rise to WBC 11 and WBO 13. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for 31-year-old Argentinian Medina rated No 4 feather by the FAB. He had also lost inside the distance in high profile fights against Daniel Ponce De Leon and Juan Manuel Lopez-a 98 seconds blowout in a challenge for the WBO super bantam title.
McDonnell vs. Inom
McDonnell just too young, bigger, stronger and quicker than veteran Inom. The former undefeated IBF champion, having his first fight since being stripped off his title, was in charge in every round. He was able to score easily with his longer reach and Inom just soaked up punishment. McDonnell mixed jabs with right and left hooks and pummeled the body. He slowly broke the French veteran down and Inom finally just stopped fighting and the referee halted the one-sided bout. He is rated No 3 by the IBF behind Vusi Malinga (the No 1 spot is vacant) so is in position to take on the winner of the fight for the vacant title between Malinga and Stuart Hall. Inom, 40, a former European flyweight champion, lost to Omar Narvaez for the WBO title in 2005. He was unrated by the FFB as a six round win he registered last year was his first fight for two years.
Lee vs. Hafner
Easy night for Lee against overmatched Hungarian fellow-southpaw. A southpaw left to the body from Lee floored Hafner in the first. Hafner made it to the bell but was dropped again in the second from a left. When he recovered his feet he was put down for a third time by a right hook. Again he made it to his feet but the fight was stopped. The 29-year-old Irishman has 21 wins by KO/TKO. He has won 15 of his last 16 fights but the loss was the important one-a stoppage against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for the WBC title-and is WBC 7/WBA 12,WBO 14, so some way from being assured of another title fight. Hafner, 37, was stopped in one round by Rocky Fielding in July last year.
Cardle vs. Szot
Predictably this one goes the distance and predictably Cardle wins on points. The 24-year-old “Scotty” again displayed his skills as he won every round against the Polish veteran. Szot managed to score with right hand counters but not enough to make any difference. Referee’s score 60-54. Cardle has only two wins by KO/TKO and Szot, 35, has only lost once inside the distance so this was always going the full six. Szot has now lost 7 of his last 8 fights.
Campbell vs. Jones
Olympic gold medallist Campbell goes the distance for the first time. Welshman Jones showed a good chin but was never in the fight against the classy prospect but also was never really in trouble. Scores 40-36 from all three judges. The 26-year-old Hull southpaw is a great prospect and will make it to the top. Jones, 23, and also a southpaw has lost his last 5 but has only failed to go the distance once.
Bamberg, Germany: Cruiser: Yoan Pablo Hernandez (28-1) W KO 10 Alex Alekseev (24-3-1). Light Heavy: Dmitry Sukhotsky (21-2) W TKO 5 Eduard Gutknecht (25-3). Heavy: Alex Leapai (29-4-3) W PTS 10 Denis Boystov (33-0).
Hernandez vs. Alekseev
Hernandez retains IBF title with kayo of Alekseev. Hernandez had his jab working and was scoring early with his southpaw straight lefts and body punches. Late in the second round a left hook put Alekseev down. He survived and in the fourth got some encouragement as Hernandez was cut over his right eye. However Hernandez ended the round strongly. The fifth almost saw Hernandez finish the fight as he floored Alekseev with a hard combination. The Russian made it to his feet but was in deep trouble and saved by the bell. In the next round things changed as Hernandez seemed to tire and Alekseev had him staggering in the seventh. Hernandez had to find the finish before exhaustion overtook him and he produced it in the tenth with a left hook that put Alekseev down for the third and last time. The 29-year-old Cuban “Iron Man” was returning after 14 months out due to hand injuries and retains his IBF title for the third time. Fellow southpaw Andreev, a Uzbek-born Russian, 32, has lost his big fights inside the distance retiring after nine rounds against Victor Ramirez for the interim WBO title and suffering a second round kayo against Denis Lebedev.
Gutknetch vs. Sukhotsky
This started ok for Gutknecht the former EBU champion as he found the distance in the first and took the round scoring with some good rights. In the second a couple of hard punches from Sukhotsky put Gutknecht on the back foot. In third a right from Sukhotsky crashed into the left eye of Gutknecht. The former EBU champion tried to take the fight to Sukhotsky but the flesh around his left eye was quickly swelling and with Sukhotsky concentrating on landing punches there by the end of the fourth round it was completely closed and Gutknecht was not allowed to come out for the fifth. The 32-year-old Russian is hoping that with Gutknecht rated IBF 3 and himslef No 5 he has put himself in line for a shot at Bernard Hopkins. He lost his first title shot when beaten by Juergen Braehmer for the WBO title in 2009. He was knocked back by a loss to Cornelius White in July last year but is now back in the picture. Kazak-born Gutknecht, 31, had lost his EBU title to Braehmer in February but was still No 3 with the IBF so unluckily blows the chance for a title shot.
Boystov vs. Leapai
Huge upset as Samoan beats WBO No 1 Boystov. The unbeaten Russian did ok in the first round but hooks from Leapai in the second had him shaky. Boystov edged the third scoring well with his own left hook. Boystov was making the mistake of brawling with Leapai instead of using his superior skills and in the seventh a hard combination from Leapai topped-off by a left hook put Boystov on the floor for the first time in career. Leapai reportedly suffered a torn calf muscle in this round but he cemented the win by flooring Boystov again in the eighth. Boystov tried to turn things around in the last two rounds but had little success. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-92 as 34-year-old Leapai wins the WBO Asia Pacific title and jumps from the No 8 WBO spot to put himself in the mix as an unlikely challenger to Wlad Klitschko. The 27-year-old Boystov’s No 1 rating was ridiculous as he has never met a rated fighter, but Leapai profits from that.
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina: Light Welter: Rene Cesar Cuenca (46-0,2ND) W PTS 8 Patricio Pedrero (29-4-1). “The Different” Cuenca extends his unbeaten run with unanimous decision over Pedrero. The 32-year-old southpaw showed his full repertoire of skills out boxing Pedrero from the outset. His hand speed and lateral movement were too much for Pedrero and luckily for him Cuenca is no puncher. It did not help that Pedrero lost a point in the sixth for a punch landed after the bell to end the round. It was worse in the sixth when a left from “non puncher” Cuenca put him down. Cuenca took no risks and coasted to victory. Scores 79 ½-76, 79-74 and 78-76. Cuenca is rated IBF 6 (5)/WBO 6/WBC 12. “El Rey” Pedrero, 29, is rated No 4 by the FAB and had won 8 of his last 9 fights.
Campbon, France: Welter: Sebastien Allais (16-8-4) W PTS 12 Rachamongkol (14-7). Super Middle: Shamir Ismailov (10-1) W TKO 2 Armand Andre (8-7-2).
Allais vs. Rachamongkol
Hometown fighter Allais wins but his Thai opponent comes to fight. Allais started well but it was rocky for him in the middle rounds. He regrouped and finished strongly to get the deserved unanimous decision. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113. The 32-year-old FFB No 2 was coming off back-to-back losses to Frank Haroche Horta for the French title and former IBF champion Jan Zaveck, but now wins the vacant UBO Intercontinental title. Thai southpaw Rachamongkol, 30, has lost 4 of his last 5 fights but on the road against good class opposition.
Ismailov vs. Andre
Ismailov crushes Cameroon-born Andre. After taking the first round Ismailov rocked Andre with a right hook then put him down with straight right and the fight was ended. The 26-year-old, who moved to France from Dagestan, now has six wins in a row by KO/TKO. To keep busy he also competes in Mixed Martial Arts, and does well there also. Seven losses in a row for Andre.
Hamburg, Germany: Cruiser: Juan Carlos Gomez (53-3,1ND) W PTS 8 Jindrich Velecky (19-26). Successful low key second win on his return for Gomez. The 40-year-old Cuban had no trouble outboxing the much shorter Czech who was intent on survival from first to last. Gomez won the unanimous decision. The 40-year-old “Black Panther” still has the silky skills but it remains to be seen whether he has the stamina. Nine losses in a row for Velecky.
Cuernavaca, Mexico: Fly: Julian Rivera (13-8-1) W PTS 12 Ulises Lara (13-14-2). Rivera wins the Mexican title with a split decision over champion Lara. Over the first three rounds “Little Mouse” Lara piled up the points. From the fourth Rivera was in charge. Both were going toe-to-toe and chucking bombs but “Chicano” Rivera was getting the better of the action and looked a clear winner. Scores 116-111 twice and 112-115. Both fighters had lost to Juan Carlos Reveco in WBA title fights. Rivera in November for the interim secondary WBA fly title and Lara in June for the full secondary title.
Monterrey, Mexico: Super Feather: Adrian Estrella (15-0) W KO 3 Jose Maxian (9-3). Super Feather: Nery Saguilan (27-3-1) W PTS 12 Sergio Puente (12-1).
Estrella vs. Maxian
Estrella was coming forward and making the fight in this one. Maxian had no real answer to the attacks of the Mexican hometown fighter. Maxian tried to force Estrella back in the third but was nailed with a left hook and went down and did not get up. “Diamante” Estrella retains the WBC Fecarbox title for the third time. All of his 15 wins have come by TKO/KO. Maxian, 22, the GAB No 2 lightweight, loses inside the distance for the second time.
Saguilan vs. Puente
Saguilan came out firing trying to overwhelm the inexperienced Puente .The hometown fighter lived up to his “Dandy” nickname and was able to box well on the back foot constantly catching Saguilan with hard counters. Saguilan kept up the pressure and the fight was close all the way. Saguilan went all out in the ninth in an attempt to beat down Puente but with desperate defence Puente battled back and the great little fight was in the balance until the last bell. Scores 117-111 and 115-113 for Saguilan and 116-112 for Puente. The 25-year-old Saguilan wins the interim WBC Silver title and makes it three wins since consecutive losses last year to Alberto Garza and Alejandro Sanabria. This was a big step up for Puente and he can come again.
Managua, Nicaragua: Light Welter: Walter Castillo (23-2) W TKO 2 Oscar Arenas (26-9). Castillo continued his good form with a second round stoppage of Mexican Arenas. Castillo had Arenas hurt in the first but the Mexican continued to walk into trouble. Castillo floored Arenas twice in the second and was dishing out more hurt when the referee halted the fight. The WBA 7 (6) now has 16 wins by KO/TKO and the only loss in his last 23 fights was a split decision against Vicente Mosquera in February 2012. Arenas, 22, had been kayoed in one round by Colombian Eric Bone in August for the South American title.
Jastrzebie Zdroj, Poland: Light Middle: Damian Jonak (37-0-1) W PTS 10 Kris Carslaw(18-5). Cruiser: Pavel Kolodziej (33-0) W TKO 7 Prince Anthony Ikeji (14-8-1). Light Heavy: Vincent Feigenbutz (8-1) W TKO 3 Maciej Miszkin (15-1).
Jonak vs. Carslaw
Southpaw Carslaw gave Jonak some early problems with his boxing on the back foot and using good footwork and a probing jab to keep the smaller Pole chasing. From the second although Carslaw was still using fast footwork and quick counters Jonak began to get through with good left hooks and as the fight progressed Carslaw was increasingly fighting with his back to the ropes. The Scot used a high guard to block some of the punches and withstood a big effort by Jonak over the last two rounds but the Pole got the deserved decision by a wide margin. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-93. The 30-year-old Pole is rated IBF 3(1)/WBC 7/WBA 8/WBO 11. Carslaw, 29, is 3-5 in his last 8 fights but the losses have all been on points to good opponents.
Kolodziej vs. Ikeji
No real test for Kolodziej as the Pole warms-up for his interim WBA title fight with Ilunga Makabu in February. The German-based Nigerian was dangerous with occasional counters but being forced on the defensive most of the fight. Kolodziej kept up the pressure and Ikeji’s work rate dropped. Finally in the seventh a right put Ikeji down. He got up only to run into a storm of punches from Kolodziej and the referee stopped the fight. The 33-year-old WBA and IBF No 2 makes it 18 wins by KO/TKO. The 24-year-old Nigerian is 2-5 in his last 7 fights.
Feigenbutz vs. Miszkin
Eighteen-year-old Feigenbutz upsets the odds with stoppage of Polish hope. Miszkin started with his usual aggression but ran into a series of good counters from the young German. Miszkin tried the same tactics in the second but was continually rocked by quick shots as he marched in. Early in the third a hard combination floored Miszkin. He got up too quickly and was sent back down again almost immediately. This time when he got up he was on shaking legs and the fight was stopped. Now 8 wins in a row, 7 by KO/TKO, for Feigenbutz. Miszkin was stepping up to eight rounds for the first time but has some rethinking to do.
Macao, Macao SAR China: Welter: Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2) W PTS 12 Brandon Rios (31-2-1). Feather; Evgeny Gradovich (18-0) W TKO 9 Billy Dib (36-3). Heavy : Andy Ruiz Jr (21-0) W TKO 3 Tor Hamer (21-3). Fly: Zou Shiming (3-0) W PTS 6 Juan Tozcano (4-1).Light: Ik Yang (14-0,1ND) W PTS 6 Hero Tito (7-3). Super Feather: Felix Verdejo (9-0) W PTS 6 Petchsamuthr (8-1). Super Fly: Rex Tso (11-0) W TKO 1 W Susu Sithjadaeng (7-4). Super Feather: Harmonito Dela Torre (11-0) W KO 3 Jason Butar Butar (15-12-1).
Pacquiao vs. Rios
“Pac Man” returns to top form as he outclasses a slow and static Rios. The Filipino had his jab working from the start and found Rios an easy target for his southpaw straight lefts. Rios had no answer to the hand a foot speed of Pacquiao. It looked as though Pacquiao had scored a knockdown in the first but it was not counted. Rios was strong and kept plodding forward but the fast counters from Pacquiao had him off balance and unable to launch any serious attacks. Throughout the middle rounds Pacquiao was confusing Rios with lateral movement and able to score with quick combinations and avoid any attempts from Rios to get his own punches home. Rios, cut over the left eye in the sixth, and with swelling and around both eyes, was taking a beating. Despite this he showed his strength and made a couple of rounds close. The punishment seemed to catch up with Rios in the last and it looked as though Pacquiao could have forced a stoppage but instead he deliberately wound down allowing Rios to last the distance. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110. The 34-year-old Filipino looked back to his best, but at the same time Rios was made for him and that was a factor in how good Pacquiao looked. After losses to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez Pacquiao has restored his reputation and is ready for more big fights with Ruslan Provodnikov being mentioned for February and some efforts to drum up interest in a Floyd Mayweather Jr fight. Rios, 27, will do better against opposition without the speed and movement of Pacquiao and is good enough to give any other rated welters a tough night.
Gradovich vs. Dib
“El Ruso Mexicano” put to bed any doubts about his split decision victory in their first fight in March as he gradually broke down former champion Dib. The Russian was too fast and despite suffering a cut on his head in a clash of heads in the first set too high a work rate as Dib gradually faded out of the fight. Gradovich is a bit mechanical but his style works The Australian had no success trying to work on the outside and did no better inside which in fact suited Gradovich better. Dib was competitive in rounds 4 and 5 but was floored in the sixth and with the Australian looking tired his corner was warning him they might stop the fight. They let it continue with Dib trying to confuse Gradovich by turning southpaw in the eighth. That did not work either and Gradovich drove Dib to a corner and threw a barrage of hard punches with Dib using all of his skill to try to minimize the damage. In the ninth with Dib trapped in a corner and Gradovich unleashing hard shots and with nothing coming back from Dib his corner signals the referee to stop the fight. Second defence of his IBF title for 27-year-old Gradovich who seems to be improving with each fight. First loss inside the distance for Dib, 28, who had beaten Mike Oliver in July. He is now 1-3 in fights outside Australia.
Ruiz vs. Hamer
For a round and a half Hamer was more than competitive getting the better of it as both exchanged hard shots. However with Ruiz still barreling forward Hamer’s resistance began to crumble. Ruiz dominated the third landing at will throughout the round and Hamer retired after the bell. Now 15 wins by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old WBO No 6 and seven wins in a row by the short route. He retains his WBO Inter-Continental title and wins the vacant NABF crown. Hamer 30, a winner of the 2012 Prizefighter, gets his second loss inside the distance having been halted by Vyacheslav Glazkov in December.
Shiming vs. Tozcano
Shiming again showcases his classy skills but also his lack of power. The former amateur star outboxed the Mexican novice in every round, rocking him on occasions causing a swelling and opening up a bad cut on Tozcano’s right cheek in the third. He took every round but never looked like ending it early. Scores 60-54 twice and 60-52. The 32-year-old Chinese star is still to be really tested but will have to make a significant move next year as age is not on his side.
Yang vs. Tito
Yang just gets majority decision but it should have been unanimous. He was too quick and skilful for his limited Indonesian opponent getting through with fast combinations in each round. The Freddie Roach trained Chinese fighter won on scores of 60-54, 59-55 and a strange 57-57. The no decision on Yang YT’s record was caused by a shoulder injury stoppage. His IBF 12 and WBO 15 ratings are stupid. Tito had won his last 4 fights.
Verdejo vs. Petchsamuthr
As in the main event this was the quicker, more skilful and more accurate fighter handing out a solid beating, but his opponent showing a good chin and going the distance. Verdejo was landing with fast, accurate shots in every round but the dogged Thai refused to crumble and stayed there taking a beating for all six rounds. Scores 60-53 from all three judges with the Thai losing a point in the last round for low punches. The 20-year-old Puerto Rican, a Pan American Youth champion who lost to Vasyl Lomachenko in the quarter-finals of the 2012 Olympics, is a prospect to watch. Petchsamuthr had won his last six fights.
Tso vs. Sithjadaeng
The Hong Kong “Wonder Kid” gets an early night. The unbeaten southpaw had Sithjadaeng down inside the first ten seconds. The Thai got up but Tso jumped on him and his onslaught saw the referee wave the fight off. Now 6 wins by KO/TKO for the promising southpaw.
Dela Torre vs. Butar Butar
Young Filipino Dela Torre shows impressive power against experienced Indonesian. After winning the first two rounds he put Butar Butar down and out with a ferocious right uppercut. Six wins by KO/TKO for the 19-year-old from Pacquiao’s home city of General Santos City. Butar Butar has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights.