DAZN Boxing Report: Gill Blasts Out Dominguez; Riakporhe Stops McCarthy
By: Ste Rowen
Jordan Gill set Peterborough alight on Saturday with a stunning 3rd round stoppage of Emmanuel Dominguez and made time to call out the recently crowned WBA ‘Regular’ featherweight champion, Xu Can,
‘‘I want Kiko Martinez for the European. If not I want another big name in the top 15. What’s that Chinese fella’s name, who’s the WBA champ? Can Xu? He’d want it on DAZN, you’ve got DAZN, I’m gonna be in the DAZN. Let’s have it.’’
‘The Thrill’ Gill, who improved his record to 23-0 (7KOs), continues his run of victories and collecting minor titles, this time the WBA ‘International’ belt, and spoke with as much confidence as he fought with,
‘‘I really enjoyed tonight. The crowd lifted me, they boosted me. I heard them with every punch in there…I know if I hit someone with 8oz gloves, despite my record, I can actually punch.
Dave’s (Coldwell, Gill’s trainer) working on things in the gym that I’ve never even seen before. We’re starting on the basics and it’s gonna get bigger and better.’’
It was fast paced from the start as Dominguez looked to feint his way to an upset win, but the pressure was telling as Jordan, fighting in his home-town for the first time since 2014, proved the sharper man. He evaded much of what his Mexican opponent threw and by the end the 2nd round was looking very comfortable.
Then came the finish in round 3. With just over 60 seconds gone, Gill threw swift left and right hooks, landing each time to send Dominguez to the canvas for the first time. Emmanuel was clearly out of ideas from there. Jordan rushed in shortly after to drop his foe yet another classy right-left-right combination. The Mexican was allowed to stand and continue but as soon as Gill began to land once more, there was no need for it to continue and referee, Robert Williams called an end to the bout, handing Gill his third straight TKO win.
Richard Riakporhe vs. Tommy McCarthy
The big fight of the undercard saw Richard Riakporhe stop 13-1, Tommy McCarthy in four rounds.
Defending the WBA ‘Inter-Continental’ belt for the first time, Riakporhe in white shorts with a shock of red, Richard made the Irishman look a lot smaller than McCarthy actually is, but it didn’t seem to daunt Tommy from swinging forward. Both men cancelled the other’s attack through the opening rounds.
With a minute left of the 4th, Riakporhe landed a huge overhand right that wobbled McCarthy and had him in desperate need of a break. He got it when he dropped to the canvas and took an 8-count, but it clearly wasn’t enough. It was survival mode from there on, but Richard wasn’t letting up. With every punch he landed Tommy had no way out, no defensive instinct to recover in the moment. The referee stepped in as McCarthy was stuck on the ropes with 15 seconds left of the round and hand Riakporhe the stoppage victory.
The London native improves his record to 9-0 (8KOs) and spoke post-fight,
‘‘This is a big statement I’ve made. A lot of people think I just have power and not a boxing brain but just remember…I can go all the way to the top with a good team around me.
He (McCarthy) called me a novice, I took that really personal in the press conference but I wanted to show I could box, and I did.’’
Showtime Boxing Results: Eubank Defeats DeGale, Joyce Batters Stiverne
By: Ste Rowen
Chris Eubank Jr forced himself into the super-middleweight world scene tonight with a deserved unanimous decision victory over former world champion, James DeGale.
Now improving his record to 28-2 (21KOs), the victor spoke post-fight,
‘‘I knew he was gonna come in there and run and use his boxing skills. I’ve been working a lot on my jab…The game plan worked. Smart pressure. Not getting too ahead of myself.
I dominated pretty much every single round…A lot of people said I was gonna lose, and now I’m onto big and better things.’’
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
The defeated DeGale, now 25-3-1 (15KOs), sounding a little dazed also spoke, ‘‘I’ve left my mark in boxing…I didn’t do enough, but when you’re in there with someone like Chris on you; punches you don’t even see.
I’ve been to the heights of boxing. If I call it a day now…’’
It was cold in the O2 Arena, but not for long.
As James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr drew nearer, the atmosphere felt more claustrophobic. As though the crowd was inching their seats forwards every time the stewards looked away. By the time the main-event fighters were in the ring, the audience was practically breathing down their necks.
From the 1st round it was setup perfectly, DeGale in all-black, Eubank in all-white but both decided to size each other up through the first. DeGale, in the southpaw stance, allowed himself to become a little too susceptible to Eubank’s right hand which forced a small cut to James’ left eye early on.
The first minute of round 2 is where the action came alive. Eubank Jr landed a sharp left hook that unsteadied DeGale and, through a flurry of punches, eventually forced the referee into recognising that James had been knocked down. DeGale’s experience was telling as he survived the rest of the round, but it was obvious that Chris was well on top.
In the corner, the former IBF champion was complaining about something in his eye – it was a bad sign for a man already behind. But Eubank, like his opponent, sustained a cut this time under his right eye, it didn’t stop the Brighton-man from ending the 4th the stronger. Through to the 7th, Eubank stalked the perceived boxer across the ring whilst the former gold medallist did very little to reply.
As round 7 ended, DeGale stuck his tongue out to his opponent, which was an odd move considering Chris seemingly bossed the end of the round. DeGale kept switching between southpaw and orthodox, but neither was breaking through.
As the fight headed into the 10th Eubank seemed well on top. DeGale hit the canvas for the second time as Eubank landed a beauty of a left hook that shook up the former world champion, forced James onto the ropes and eventually the ground. DeGale survived, but it was clear he needed the KO, but it was Eubank Jr that came out swinging. By the end of the 11th, career-southpaw DeGale was orthodox and everywhere.
Both fighters raised their arms as the final bell rang but it seemed cleared who’d won. DeGale, the legitimate former world title holder had fallen well short.
Of course it’s never a chore to hear Jimmy Lennon Jr and it wasn’t this time as he read out the judge’s cards of, 114-112, 115-112, 117-109 all for Eubank Jr.
Joe Joyce vs. Bermane Stiverne
Joe ‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce took another step up in quality tonight as the British Olympian (2016 Silver) scored a 6th round stoppage of former world champion, Bermane Stiverne.
Dominant from beginning to end, the Commonwealth champion, now 8-0 (8KOs), spoke post-fight,
‘‘Big respect to Stiverne. He was very tough, still game, still tough. Only Wilder with that phenomenal power could take him out…My able condition in Big Bear.
Big things to come. Next one for the WBA ‘Regular’. Couple of weeks off and then back in the gym…I’ve barred all (The top heavyweights) bar Wilder, but I’m coming.’’
In a fight designated as a WBA eliminator Joyce had his chin checked at least twice in the 1st round but seemed unaffected and continued to pursue his prey. His shots may look slow, but Joe’s arms are long and thudding once landed and clearly leave an effect. Stiverne looked apprehensive as he stepped off his stool for the 2nd however he did begin to throw back, but only for a brief spell. The ‘Juggernaut’ fired clubbing shot after clubbing shot without reply for most of the round. Testament to the former world champion, Bermane for staying upright.
Round 3 brought the first knockdown as Joyce landed a lengthy right hook that sent the American into the ropes and forced the knockdown. Bermane continued but it felt pointless. Stiverne looked drunk as he tried to evade Joyce’s heavy combinations but survived into the 6th.
Joe dominated behind the left-hand jab until he seemed to switch flavour and fired hook and power shot continuously, forcing referee Howard Foster into stopping the fight midway through round six. There were no complaints from the away fighter.
Lee Selby vs. Omar Douglas
Fighting in his first lightweight bout, and for a minor title at 135lb, Lee ‘Lightning’ Selby bounced back from his May 2018 defeat to Josh Warrington to rough it out in a twelve round unanimous decision victory over American, Omar Douglas.
‘‘That was one of the toughest.’’ Selby said. ‘‘In the fight I kept on undoing their (His cut-men’s) good work.
Douglas was supposed to be a big puncher and I held his shots well…If my management says I’m fighting Anthony Joshua tomorrow, I wouldn’t turn it down.’’
In his signature white and gold shorts, Selby of Wales, forced an energetic start onto the American. Lee clearly wanted to make an early impression in what was a new division for him. Douglas’ dreads (white at the start but red by the end) were wrapped up much like his hands, so every time Selby landed a clean jab, Omar’s head fired back and made him look like Ridley Scott’s Alien.
But towards the end of round two a bloody cut on the eye of Lee Selby opened up, much like in his fight vs. Warrington. It didn’t stutter his performance for that round, but it did create a new element to the fight. The Welshman continued to fire off well, despite the cut, but it was clear Lee wasn’t as urgent in his offence as before the cut.
Omar has spent his career bouncing between 130-135 and as the rounds drew on he was giving Lee, who’d jumped 9lb in weight, a rough entry into the lightweight division. By the time of the final bell it was close as well as clear that ‘Lightning’ had taken the rough alleyway to enter 135lb.
Final scorecards were 116-112, 116-112, 115-114 all in favour of Lee Selby.
UFC 234 Results: Israel Adesanya Edges Anderson Silva
By: Jesse Donathan
Unfortunately for everyone involved, UFC 234 was marked with late news on Saturday, the day of the fight, that the much-anticipated main event, a 185-pound middleweight title fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whitaker was canceled due to the discovery of a hernia which forced the champion Robert Whitaker to withdraw from Saturday nights contest in Melbourne, Australia.
Sherdog.com’s Tristen Critchfield reported in his February 9, 2019 article titled, “Hernia Forces Robert Whittaker Out of Title Defense vs. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234” that, “UFC President Dana White confirmed the news to ESPN on Saturday. Whittaker experienced pain in his abdomen late last night and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a hernia.”
In a response released from Gastelum via his official Twitter account Saturday night, the challenger would go on to state, “With much sorrow I write that my fight for the middleweight title is off. I’m sorry to everyone that was expecting this great fight, Family, friends and followers around the world.” Kelvin Gastelum is a great fighter, he has earned this title shot and we can only hope he is able to maintain this number one contender position without penalty and get the title shot that is rightfully his.
The UFC released a video Sunday evening via Twitter of the still hospitalized champion Robert Whittaker apologizing for the fight cancellation and detailing a very serious emergency surgency he underwent for a collapsed bowel and internal hernia. According to Whittaker, the UFC spared no expense in his treatment and the champion sounded very grateful for their kindness. Fans around the world are wishing Whittaker good health and a speedy recovery. This man is a true warrior and a wonderful mixed martial arts champion.
As a result, the UFC 234 co-main event between Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya was promoted to the headlining contest, though curiously enough remained a three-round affair. This is significant because Jose Aldo is reported to have turned down headlining UFC Fight Night 144 on ESPN+ due to the then customary five round main event requirements at the time. It appears an exception has been made or reason has finally come upon the ears of the corporate fight world if only momentarily.
There are any number of potential hardships that can befall a fight camp when an event is cancelled last second, and depending on how a fighter’s contract is framed there may be little to no financial recourse for those who may have promised or invested in training partners and/or any number of coaches, experts, specialists etc. in their quest for a championship run. All of whom may be adversely affected financially by news of a fights complete removal from a card barring the good graces of the promotion themselves.
There is a lot of time, hard work and sacrifice involved in preparing for these fights and for something to go wrong where a fight is cancelled last second is truly a nightmare scenario. Barring a well written contract or the UFC’s mercy, fighters do not get paid if they do not fight. And the money lost by the promotion themselves in marketing the fight is simply unconscionable.
Depending on the event, last second cancellations can result in fans who had pre-ordered pay-per-view events, purchased tickets to the event itself or subscribed to channels which required additional billing becoming very dissatisfied customers with the last second change of plans. In other words, news of Robert Whitakers withdraw Saturday night was a complete catastrophe. And this coming off the heels of UFC 232, where Jon Jones was unable to secure a license to fight in the state of Nevada and the event was completely moved to a new venue in Inglewood, California virtually last second.
Aaron Bronsteter, UFC reporter and content editor for TSN Sports, reported via Twitter Saturday afternoon that ESPN analyst and former two-time UFC challenger to Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen, had obtained special permission from Scott Coker and the UFC’s rival promotion, Bellator, to step in to fight Anderson Silva on short notice should the UFC have wanted to make Israel Adesanya vs Kelvin Gastelum for an interim title fight. According to Sonnen, all he would have required was, “a mouthpiece, gloves and an XXXL size cup.” Unfortunately for the fans, this particular scenario did not materialize because it would have been an epic and exciting turn of events.
According to a February 8, 2019 sherdog.com article titled “Israel Adesanya Questions Anderson Silva’s Choice to Bring in Alex Pereira For Training” author Nathan Zur writes that Anderson Silva brought in top-tier training partners in preparation for Israel Adesanya:
“For this fight against the rising super star Adesanya, “The Spider” has brought in Brazilian world champion Glory kickboxer Alex Pereira who has beaten “The Last Stylebender” on two occasions, first when they met back in 2016 at the “Glory of Heroes” event with Pereira winning by unanimous decision and then again in 2017 at “Glory of Heroes 7” with the Brazilian Pereira knocking out the rising UFC star.”
The anticipation of the Adesanya vs. Silva fight may not have lived up to everyone’s expectations, but it was an entertaining fight nonetheless. There was plenty of showmanship throughout the fight from both fighters and the Melbourne, Australia crowd seemed genuinely entertained despite the last second cancellation of the previously scheduled main event. Adesanya’s strategy in the first appeared to be to attack low and go high, setting Silva up with a predominantly low strike-oriented attack to continuously draw Silva’s hands and attention low in order to set up a potentially game changing technique thrown high. Interestingly enough, Anderson Silva seemed to be well prepared for this game plan, even expecting it, likely the result of training with Alex Pereira. In what was likely Anderson Silva’s plan all along, round one was marked with Adesanya being the more active fighter in the cage and there is little question Israel took round one 10-9.
The second round was a different story however, as Anderson Silva came alive and was noticeably more active throughout. Silva had Adesanya on the run a handful of times, at one-point Silva even dropped his hands and met Adesanya in the middle of the cage with a very determined look on his face attempting to draw Adesanya into a brawl. This was an entertaining fight, though perhaps marked with too much showboating at times from both competitors which the enthusiastic Melbourne crowd seemed to have loved despite my objections. To the delight of many, Anderson Silva’s legendary head movement and reflexes returned in this fight, though if only briefly. Round two was a 10-9 round for Silva, who showed Adesanya there is a reason “The Spider” is a respected standup fighter in the UFC.
Under the 10-point must system, a round is rarely scored an even 10-10. Unfortunately, it must be ruled at least a 10-9 for a fighter despite the fact these contests are regularly marked with rounds which there was no decisive edge by either athlete in the ring or cage. Otherwise, I personally would have scored round three of Silva vs Adesanya a 10-10 because it wasn’t particularly eventful. Though both fighters had their moments, if I was absolutely forced to give the final five minutes to someone it would have been Adesanya for being the predictably more active, fresher fighter within the closing minute of the fight. The judges ultimately scored this contest 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for the winner Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision.
In other news from UFC 234, Devonte “King Kage” Smith took Dong Hyun Ma (16-9) behind the wood shed, dispatching the veteran South Korean mixed martial artists by knockout at 3:53 in the first round. With Saturday nights victory Smith moves to a very impressive 10-1, with all of those victories but one coming by way of KO or TKO. In Tristen Critchfield’s February 9, 2019 sherdog.com article titled, “UFC 234 Bonuses: Israel Adesanya, Anderson Silva Garner ‘Fight of the Night’ Honors” Devonte Smith is quoted as having received a well-deserved $50,000 fight bonus for “Performance of the Night” honors along with Montana De La Rosa for her armbar submission victory over Nadia Kassem.
UFC Fight Night 144 on ESPN+ Results: Aldo Emerges Victorious
By: Jesse Donathan
There didn’t appear to be an empty seat in the house Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 144 in Fontaleza, Ceara, Brazil. The main event saw Raphael Assuncao (27-6) lose to the surging Marlon Moraes by submission in the first round of the 135-pound bantamweight division featured contest. “Magic” Moraes (22-5) has won four in a row, bringing an end to Assuncao’s own four fighting winning-streak, securing victory in front of the packed house with a mounted guillotine choke. The finish was set up by some vicious striking from Moraes, creating a scramble with Assuncao that culminated in the fight hitting the mat and Moraes wrapping up his opponent like an Anaconda, constricting his opponents will to fight. Resistance proved to be futile, coaxing the tap at 3:17 into the first round.
As reported in a cbssports.com article titled, “UFC Fight Night 144 results, highlights: Marlon Moraes makes quick work of Raphael Assuncao” by Brian Campbell, “Magic” went on to state after the bout, “You almost lost the main event. I had diarrhea all week bad.” According to Moraes, “I caught the mosquito here and it messed me up bad. “It was a very tough week for me. I was really tested and it was really God that made me come here tonight.”
Catching the mosquito, an apparent allusion to Malaria perhaps? Bringing into focus some of the hurdles professional fighters face beyond just having to worry about another trained killer attempting to separate them from consciousness in the ring or cage. If true, the fact Moraes was able to secure victory Saturday night is no small feat to have accomplished, bordering on the incredible in fact.
The Co-main event saw mixed martial arts legend Jose Aldo compete against Renato “Moicano” Carneiro in what was reported to have been the originally planned main event for UFC Fight Night 144 before Aldo is said to have declined to participate in the mandatory five round affair. Round one proved to be a feeling out process for Aldo, who remained rather disciplined in his approach, pumping the jab throughout the round in an attempt to control the distance against the lengthier “Moicano” who was the far more active fighter throughout the first five minutes.
Round two saw the former UFC champion turn up the volume. Ditching the more disciplined approach from round one, Aldo went right after Carneiro with a blitzkrieg style offensive barrage of punches and knees. “Moicano” was overwhelmed, unable to turn the tide of Aldo’s relentlessly high pace, referee Jerin Valel was forced to intervene and call an end to the contest at just 44 seconds into round two. The crowd was ecstatic with the victory, the atmosphere very reminiscent of a World Cup soccer event, with Aldo himself overwhelmed with joy as if a great burden had been lifted off his shoulders.
Leaping over the cage and into a sea of a thrilled spectators, shades of the UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov infamously taking flight up and over the chain link fence at UFC 229 flashed before my eyes. Only Aldo’s intentions were anything but nefarious, showing and receiving great love from those in attendance. This was the true main event at UFC Fight Night 144 and if the crowd’s reaction to Aldo’s TKO victory was any indication of success, the UFC knocked it out of the park with Saturday night’s co-main event.
In other news from UFC Fight Night 144, Demian Maia (26-9) proved to be too much for Lyman Good, who falls to 20-5 overall, succumbing to a rear naked choke at 2:38 into round number one to the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu master. In victory, the 41-year-old Maia snaps a three-fight losing streak, having lost to a deaths row of competitors in the welterweight division to include the champion Tyron Woodley, former interim champion Colby Covington and the divisions number one contender Kamaru Usman back-to-back-to-back.
An immense amount of recognition and respect needs to be given to an almost pure Brazilian Jiu-jitsu master for competing at the sports highest level in mixed martial arts competition with what is an almost purely submission-based plan of attack. In an era where conventional wisdom holds that the Royce Gracie’s of the world are a thing of the past, Demian exists to show the experts that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is sill a force to be reckoned with in the modern era. For this reason alone, Demian Maia is a modern-day Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts hero.
ShoBox Results: Ronald “Akeem” Ellis Upset by Ware
By: Ken Hissner
Super Middleweight Ronald “Akeem” Ellis lost a majority decision to DeAndre Ware for the vacant NABA, USBO and WBC Continental Americas Super Middleweight Titles. Vito Mielnicki’s GH3, Split-T Management and Greg Cohen Promotions promoted Friday night’s event over ShoBox at the Main Street Armory in Rochester, NY.
In the Main Event Super Middleweight Ronald “Reckless” Ellis, 15-1-2 (10), of Lynn, MASS, lost a majority decision to DeAndre “Axeman” Ware, 13-1-2 (8), of Toledo, OH, over 10 rounds.
In the first round Ware forced the action with Ellis looking over anxious not as busy. The shorter Ware seemed to use his jab better than Ellis. In the second round Ellis settled down more using his reach to an advantage. Ellis never backed up jabbing and using body punching. Ellis landed a long right to the chin just prior to the bell having a better round.
In the third round Ellis landed a chopping right to the head. Into a minute of the round Ellis landed a combination to the head. Ware landed several jabs followed by a right to the chin. Ellis landed a counter right to the chin.
Inside a minute left in the round Ware landed a solid right to the chin. Ware landed a double left hook to the body.
In the fourth round Ellis used a good jab. Ware landed a solid right to the chin. Ellis landed several jabs followed by a right to the chin. Too many clinches in the round for referee Michael Griffin.
Ellis had a better round using his jab. In the fifth round Ellis finally took the lead with Ware backing up for the first minute before Ware once again started moving forward. Ware walked into a right uppercut from Ellis. Ellis landed a solid right uppercut with half a minute left in the round. Ware with less of a reach seemed to land as many jabs.
In the sixth round more movement than punches landed for the first half of the round with Ware chasing Ellis. Finally getting inside Ware landed a right uppercut. Ware walked into a right uppercut. In the seventh round both went toe to toe for half a minute at the start of the round. Halfway through the round Ware landed a good uppercut. With less than a minute left in the round Ware landed a flurry having Ellis against the ropes. Ellis kept moving working his jab. Ware finished strong landing a flurry at the bell.
In the eighth round Ware came out throwing but Ellis matched him punch for punch. Halfway through the round Ware landed a flurry of punches to the head. Ware never stops coming forward. Ellis landed a combination. He kept using his jab but Wade landed several solid punches up to the bell.
In the ninth round Ellis is using his jab moving backwards. Ellis came into this fight recovering from a right hand injury and has only been using it sparingly. Ware punched Ellis to the ropes but got countered well from Ellis. Inside Ware landed a chopping right to the head of Ellis who was leaning in. Ware drove Ellis into the ropes with body shots.
In the tenth and final round with Ware pressing in Ellis landed a flurry of punches to the head. Inside Ellis landed a left hook to the chin. Ellis flurried to the body. Halfway through the round Ware and Ellis mixed it up inside. In the final minute Ware bullied his way in but was not throwing punches as Ellis had him walking into punches.
Scores were 96-94 twice and 95-95 as did this writer have it.
In the Co-Feature Lightweight Thomas “Gunna Man” Mattice, 13-1-1 (10), of Cleveland, OH, lost a mild upset to “Ill” Will Medera, 13-0-2 (6), of Albany, NY, over 8 rounds of action.
In the first round Medera pushed the action with several body shots. After a minute of mostly jabs Mattice opened up with a combination. Halfway through the round Medera landed a lead right to tht chin of Mattice. Mattice came back seconds later with a right of his own to the chin. Mattice used a good steady jab while Medera threw more heavier punches.
In the second round Mattice landed a good left hook to the head of Medera. Medera continued coming forward working the body. After a minute of action Medera landed a solid right to the head of Mattice. Mattice came back with a right uppercut to the chin of Medera. Medera missed with a right that was countered by a Mattice left hook on the chin. Medera landed a 3-punch combination ending with a right to the chin. Medera landed a solid left hook to the chin of Mattice just prior to the bell.
In the third round both fighters landed rights to the chin of one another. Mattice landed a flurry of four punches. Mattice finally stayed in the middle of the ring landing a solid right to the chin. Then he started moving once again. Inside a minute left in the round Medera landed several good body shots. With less than half a minute to go referee Charley Fitch had to break up the first clinch.
In the fifth round Medera kept coming forward working the body until he was countered by a right from Mattice on the chin. Mattice landed a lead right to the chin. Mattice landed a double left hook to the body and head. Medera landed a flurry of body punches but was countered with a left hook to the chin at the bell.
In the sixth round Mattice landed a double left hook ending with a right to the chin. Mattice landed his best punch of the fight a right after a lead jab to the chin of Medera. Mattice landed half a dozen punches without return to the head of Medera.
In the seventh round both fighters opened up with power punches with Medera still working the body while Mattice landed a good uppercut after a variety of jabs. Medera continued working the body with Mattice jabbing and landing counter rights. This was the closest round of the fight.
In the eighth and final round Medera continued going mostly to the body while Mattice landed jab after jab. Neither fighter seemed to go all out in a very close fight being it was the final round. Mattice landed a flurry at the bell.
Scores were 78-74 and 77-75 twice. This writer had it 76-76.
Middleweight Dominic Wade, 19-1 (13), of Largo, MD, returned to action since losing a title fight to GGG scoring a knockout over Martin Fidel Rios, 23-19-4 (13), of Parea, LaPampa, ARG, at 1:48 of the first round.
Ring announcer was Thomas Treiber.
Showtime PPV Boxing Results: Oubaali, Ruiz, and Browne Win Decisions
By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s pay per view offering by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
Several title fights were on this card in addition to the main event of Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner.
The first bout of the night was between <strong>Hugo Ruiz (38-4) and Alberto Guevara (27-3)</strong> in the featherweight division.
Ruiz was the taller and longer fighter of the two, and he had to face Guevara who had to step in as a last minute replacement, and his body looked like he hasn’t been training heavily in the past few weeks.
Ruiz was able to land two short right hands followed by two short left hooks in the first round that sent Guevara down to the mat, but he was unable to follow up on that and finish the fight early.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Ruiz was throwing a little more power into his shots in the second round, and was able to do good work to the body. Ruiz continued to walk Guevara down in the third and fourth rounds, but he wasn’t throwing enough combinations to seriously hurt or threaten Guevara.
Ruiz was warned for a low blow in the fifth round, but still landed more shots than Guevara despite the action slowing down. Guevara was able to land some counters in the seventh round, but was fighting off his back foot in the eight round and was not throwing enough punches to win an otherwise winnable round.
It looked like Guevara is fighting to just survive and not go for the win. He has to know he’s behind on the scorecards but he didn’t take any risks in the final two rounds of the bout.
Ruiz wins a lackluster decision with scores of 100-89, 99-90, and 99-90.
The next fight of the night was between <strong>Nordine Oubaali (14-0) and Rau’shee Warren (16-2) (</strong> for the WBC Bantamweight title.
Both Oubaali and Warren fought as southpaws, and they previously met in the Olympics when Oubaali was able to defeat Warren.
Warren showed good hand speed early on and Oubaali was a little short with his punches. Warren’s jab was accurate early, and he may have had Oubaali a little hurt in the third round.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Oubaali began to turn the tide of the fight in his favor in the fourth round when he landed a counter left hand near the end of the round, and he had a strong fifth round with some check right hooks and lead right hands.
The sixth round was a close one, but Oubaali may have hurt Warren at the end of the round with a good left hand. Warren unwisely got in a firefight with Oubaali in the seventh round and may have lost the round as a result. Warren, to his credit, continued to exchange with Oubaali in the eighth round.
Warren pressed the pace in the ninth round but got tagged with some good power shots, and Oubaali was more accurate with his counter shots in the tenth round.
Warren likely stole the eleventh round with his activity and pressure, but it appeared to many he needed a knockout in the last round in order to pull out a win.
That knockout didn’t come, but overall there were many close rounds.
The judges scored the fight 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111 for Nordine Ouaali.
The co-main event of the night was between <strong> Badou Jack (22-1-3) and Marcus Browne (22-0) </strong>for the WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Championship.
Browne had the slight height and reach advantage on Jack and was able to use it to his advantage early on. He pressed the pace more in the opening two rounds and kept control of the center of the ring.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
Browne was able to land some good shots to the body in the third and fourth round, while Jack was unable to land any notable punches on Browne’s body or head.
Marcus Browne had a very good fifth round, he was able to land a strong left hook that had Jack hurt, but Browne didn’t press the pace and go for the knockdown. Browne looked very confident going into the sixth round, and wasn’t bothered by Jack’s power at all
Browne opened up a cut in the middle of Jack’s forehead after a headbutt and was later deducted a point in the seventh round. Browne was landing clean combinations in the eighth and ninth rounds, as the blood dripped from Jack’s forehead and he appeared to be losing his energy.
Badou Jack was able to make a brief comeback in the tenth round with a flurry of punches on Browne by the corner. Bit he wasn’t able to follow that up with any effective offense.
Jack looked like a defeated fighter going into the final two rounds of the fight, as Browne looked confident he was going to walk away the winner. Browne went in for the kill in the final round as the blood was pouring out of Jack’s cut. The ringside doctor came out to check Jack’s cut, but allowed him to continue. Jack was able to finish out the fight, but he had a crimson mask of blood.
The final scores of the fight were 117-110, 116-111, and 119-108 for Marcus Browne.
Edwards dominates Granados, Skeete’s comeback scuppered – BT Sport & ESPN+ Review
By: Oliver McManus
A veritable curtain-raiser for the next Saturday’s show-stopper at the 02, Frank Warren promoted at the Brentwood Centre tonight (15th December) with a whole host of fighters looking to set up a huge 2019. Sam Bowen was scheduled to defend his British title against Ronnie Clark and Daniel Dubois was due to face Razvan Cojanu but both fights were pushed back due to injury / illness.
Headlining instead were a pair of WBO International title fights with Bradley Skeete taking on Diego Ramirez and Sunny Edwards facing Junior Granados. Both men were ranked 13th with the WBO prior to fight night – in the super-fly and welterweight divisions, respectively – and looked to build on this ahead of next year.
Edwards, fresh off the back of a dominant victory over Ryan Farrag, was originally slated to contest the WBC International belt against his Mexican counterpart but opted to strengthen his reputation with the WBO, instead.
Granados returned to British Isles for the first time since 2015 when he took on Jamie Conlan – that particular contest held in Dublin. A thrilling fight over 10 rounds, Granados dropped Conlan twice in the seventh round before narrowly losing on points. A classic display of Mexican grit and, you suspected, the blueprint for Granados’ fight at Brentwood.
The fight began with Edwards, newly a father, beating Granados to the jab as both men looked get it popping. Circling in the middle of the ring, it was a tepid opening three minutes but Edwards landed the more meaningful punches.
Having found his range in the first round, Edwards looked lighter on his feet in the second and registered some accurate right hands to signal his intentions. Having pawed out with the left hand, he left himself open to a clubbing right hand from Granados. The first punch of significance from the Mexican sent the home fighter to the canvas, bolt from the blue, but a flash-knockdown rather than anything serious.
Edwards seemed to regain composure quickly and the 22 year old showed maturity to stick to his gameplan, not letting the adrenaline alter his mindset. As with his fight against Farrag, Edwards was showcasing his fluid footwork that marks him out as a technical threat – capable of fighting in the pocket and on the back foot.
The Croydon-man was easing through the rounds, staying alert to Granados’ attempted aggression, and began to tee off when up close. Granados, if we’re honest, showed a fraction of the heart we had expected and, for the most part, was being out-boxed by his younger counterpart. Less of an explosive performance than against Ryan Farrag but, still, an impressive body of work from Edwards.
An argument could be made for an increased work rate as the fight rattled into the final third as Edwards, up on the scorecards, could have looked to force the case. All being said, there was no real need to do so but it would have been good to see how much he had left in the tank. A switch-hitter, Edwards was predominantly impressing from the southpaw stance and looked comfortable throughout.
A rhythm emerged throughout the rounds as Edwards continued to walk down his opponent, out-boxing the South American, with bursts of trading occurring periodically. A cruising night of work for the super-flyweight, Edwards added the WBO International strap to his collection via scorecards of 99-91, 97-92 and 98-91. But surely, surely, Jay Harris and the British title await in 2019?
Bradley Skeete was attempting to capture the first new title of his career since he won both the British and Commonwealth belts from Sam Eggington in March 2016 – though, of course, he defended the British belt three times thereafter. Against Diego Ramirez he faced a former WBO Latino champion who had amassed 48 rounds in the last 12 months.
Ramirez was fighting in his trademark camouflage shorts, Skeete in a coral blue. The opening bell rang and Skeete took to the centre of the ring, keeping his hands around the midriff and looking to work an opening. In his last fight, against Demian Fernandez, the Argentine was guilty of him planting his feet a little too firmly and Skeete was clearly the lighter-mover through the opening phases.
A confident left jab opened up the body of Ramirez, allowing Skeete to land a couple of hooks to the exposed region. Ramirez offered little resistance, keeping his head tucked behind the guard and simply trying to evade the shots of Skeete. With a minute to go of the second round, the Argentine suddenly sprung to life with a looping left hook landing plumb to the face of Skeete – good timing, more than anything.
The Brit hit the floor heavily, seemingly dazed, and sought to hold on for dear life having beat the count. Ramirez continued his onslaught but with Skeete in the corner, Bob Williams was forced to intervene as Skeete struggled to find his bearings. A freakish recreation of his bout against Kerman Lejarraga, almost shot-for-shot.
Diego Ramirez pulled out a performance of a lifetime as scars remain from Skeete’s contest with Lejarraga. A rebuild mission for 2019 but the remaining question is, how much does he want it?
For Sunny Edwards it is onwards and upwards, the super-flyweight looks technically world class but will do well to get experience before pushing on. Skeete, on the other hand, his future is up in the air. For such a nice guy it would be an awful shame were this to be his final memories in the ring. Who said boxing was a simple sport?
HBO Boxing Results: Braekhus, Shields, and Estrada Win on Final Show
By: Hans Themistode
It was a clean sweep as Cecilia Braekhus (35-0, 8 KOs) and Claressa Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) both retained their titles with relative ease tonight.
For Claressa it was a dominant showing against the current Super Middleweight champion Fenke Hermans (9-2, 3 KOs). Fenke showed tremendous heart in finishing the bout upright but it was a clear victory for Claressa.
From the very beginning there was absolutely no feel out rounds for the reigning unified Middleweight champion. She came out of the gates fast looking to inflict damage on her opponent. Every round looked exactly the same as Claressa made her opponent miss while landing monstrous shots of own. It was the kind of performance from Claressa that showed exactly why she is a super star with only eight pro bouts.
For as dominant as Claressa was she takes a back seat to the current pound-for-pound queen and unified Welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus.
The aforementioned Braekhus put on an absolute clinic. Her opponent Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes (18-5-3, 1 KO) kept fighting until the end but just didn’t have the skill necessary to dethrone the champion.
To demonstrate just how dominate Braekhus was tonight she only lost one total round according to one judge.
Yes one. That is not a miss print.
The two female headliners absolutely showed out tonight but let’s not forget about Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26 KOs) who made a statement of his own tonight by stopping the tough Victor Mendez (28-4-2, 20 KOs). For Mendez it was the first stoppage loss in his career. The reason this is significant is because Mendez has shared the ring with several great fighters, most notably former WBC champion Luis Nery.
Estrada punished Mendez all fight long until he was forced to throw in the towel. Estrada has been itching for a rematch with current champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. With a performance like he had tonight there is no doubt he will be getting his wish very soon.
All of the fights were entertaining tonight. Those who were supposed to win did so and in dominant fashion. As much as I would love to continue to heap praise on these fighters, the attention should be placed on something much more important at the moment. Let’s acknowledge HBO here.
The network has officially left the world of boxing after 45 plus years of coverage. Of course the sport of boxing will go on but something will forever seem as though it’s missing. Some of the very best to lace them up both past and present have graced that platform. From Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran to current great fighters in Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol. It is a sad day in boxing but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Farewell HBO, you will be missed.
Showtime PPV Undercard Results: Hurd, Ortiz, and Joyce Stomp their Competition
By: William Holmes
The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California was the host site for tonight’s Showtime PPV offering between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
The opening bout of the night was between Joe Joyce (6-0) and Joe Hanks (23-2) in the heavyweight division.
Joe Joyce was a silver medalist in the 2016 Summer Olympics and has stopped every opponent he has faced as a professional.
Joyce was the taller fighter, but looked a little awkward around the ring and was stunned with some decent combinations by Hanks early on. However, when Joyce connected with a straight right hand it hurt Hanks and had him momentarily stunned. Joyce was able to follow that up with a jab and a left hook to the chin that sent Hanks crashing to the mat.
Hanks struggled to get up by the count of ten and protested when the referee waived the fight off, but he looked badly hurt at the time of the stoppage.
Joe Joyce wins by way of knockout at 2:25 of round one.
The next fight of the night was between Luis Ortiz(29-1) and Travis Kauffman (32-2) in the heavyweight division.
Ortiz is an elite fighter with a deep amateur background and the difference in talent was evident early on. Ortiz had Kauffman backing up early on with a stead streak of jabs and kept it up throughout most of the fight.
Kauffman got hit with a low blow in the third round and got some time to recover, but got tagged with a good combination by Ortiz after his break in what may have been the best shots of the night at that point.
Kauffman continued to get moved corner to corner in the fourth and fifth rounds as he was backwards. Ortiz landed a vicious straight left hand in the sixth round that sent Kauffman to the mat and Ortiz celebrating jumping in the corner. But it may have ben premature as Kauffman got back to his feet.
Ortiz picked Kauffman apart for the remainder of the sixth round and landed some solid straight right hands but wasn’t able to finish Kauffman off.
Ortiz had Kauffman backing up in the seventh round and sent him to the mat again in the eighth round with an overhand right to the temple. Kauffman got back to his feet again and took several more hard shots, including a left uppercut, but was able to survive the round.
Ortiz went for the stoppage in the final two rounds, an landed a low blow and a near knockdown in the ninth round that was ruled a push. He did land a left hand in the tenth and final round to score his third knockdown of the fight, but Kauffman got up to his feet again, only to get tagged with another left hook that had him badly hurt before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Louis Ortiz at wins by TKO at 1:58 of the tenth and final round.
The final fight on the undercard was between Jarrett Hurd (22-0) and Jason Welborn (24-6) in the super welterweight division.
Welborn was pressing the pace in the opening round and kept his head in the chest of Hurd and fought the fight in close and appeared to do well.
Hurd pressed behind his jab in the second round and appeared to throw a large number of left jabs and hooks. Hurd was rolling well with the punches of Welborn in the third round, but Welborn may have stolen that round with a flurry at the end.
Welborn opened up the fourth round with some heavy shots on Hurd by the ropes and connected with some clean hooks to the head while Hurd’s back was against the ropes. Hurd covered up and took the shots of Welborn before unloading a right uppercut to the body that sent Welborn to the canvas.
Hurd took some heavy shots in the process, but wins by knockout at 1:55 of the fourth round.
Rd 4: Weblron landed some heavy shots on Hurd by the ropes. Some hard combos. Hurt taking on some good shots. Hurd fighting back. Body shot sends him down. For ten. KO!!
HBO Boxing Results: Bivol Dominates Pascal, Akhmadaliev Stops Zarate
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey was the host site for tonight’s HBO Boxing card, one of the last ones before HBO closes the door in boxing.
The opening bout of the night was between Isaac Zarate (16-3-3) and Murodjon Akhmadaliev (4-0) in the junior featherweight division.
Akhmadaliev is a high level prospect with a deep amateur background, and was considered a heavy favorite despite only having four professional fights in comparison to the 22 of Zarate.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Akhmadaliev showed good movement in the opening two rounds and was able to land the heavier and harder power shots. Akhmadaliev was getting a little reckless in the second round and was victim to some uppercuts from Zarate, but still likely won the rounds.
Akhmadaliev landed some heavy body shots in the third round and had a left hook that had Zarate seeing stars, but he managed to survive the round.
Zarate made a better showing in the fifth round, but Akhmadaliev was landing some heavy body shots this round. Akhmadaliev continued to press forward in the sixth round and had Zarate retreating to safety in the corner multiple times.
Zarate appeared to have no power in the seventh round and was badly hurt from a body shot. Akhmadaliev continued to land heavy blows in the eighth round that looked like it would have stopped several fighters from the past.
By the ninth round the main question was could Zarate last all ten rounds? The answer was no, as Akhmadaliev landed a vicious right hand to the chin followed by a combination that forced the referee to jump in and stop the fight.
Akhmadaliev wins by TKO at 1:17 of the ninth round.
The main event of the night was between Dmitry Bivol (14-0) and Jean Pascal (33-5-1) for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship.
It was clear in the opening moments of the fight that Bivol had the height advantage and was a much more accurate puncher. Bivol’s combinations had Pascal a little hurt at the end of the first round, and kept Pascal off balance in the second round and unable to launch and effective attack.
Bivol continued to land accurate jabs in the third round and looked like he wasn’t missing many punches. Pascal brought some heat in the fourth round, but that was short lived as a slip at the end of the round probably could have been scored a knockdown.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Bivol had Pascal backing up again in the fifth round and forced Pascal to be short with his punches. Body shots from Bivol in the sixth and seventh rounds appeared to suck the energy out of Pasal.
Pascal had a brief rally in the eighth round when he connected with a straight counter right, but Bivol remained calm and peppered Pascal throughout most of the round.
Pascal came out firing in the ninth round behind a steady stream of jabs, and may have stolen it from Bivol, who didn’t press the pace like he usually does.
Bivol landed a plethora of punches in the opening minute of the tenth round and he looked like he was going for the knockout, but Pascal was able to survive and throw back a flurries of his own. Pascal ended the round strong by pressing the attack, but Bivol still likely won the round.
Pascal needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the bout, but that never came.
Dmitry Bivol wins the decision with scores of 117-111, 119-109, and 119-109.
ShoBox Results: Jaron “Boots” Ennis Stops Ray “Tito” Serrano in Philly
By: Ken Hissner
Hard Hitting Promotions in association with Victory Promotions on a card at South Philly’s 2300 Arena Friday night televised live on ShoBox in an all Philly Main Event before a packed house.
In the main event Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 22-0 (20), destroyed Ray “Tito” Serrano, 24-6 (10), at 1:12 of the second round.
In the first round Ennis came out landing a solid right to the chin of Serrano. Ennis had Serrano backing up the entire round bewildered with the hand speed of Ennis who had him holding on at the bell. In the second round Ennis switching from southpaw to orthodox dropped Serrano with a left hook on the chin. Serrano beat the count but was out of it. Ennis dropped Serrano a second time with a right hand. He jumped on Serrano dropping him with a flurry for a third knockdown ending the mismatch.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
In the co-feature Kenny Sims, Jr., 13-2-1 (4), of Chicago, IL, lost a lopsided decision to Sammy Teah, 15-2-1 (7), from Liberia, residing in Philly, over 8 rounds.
In the first round there was no feeling out as both fighters were throwing punches in bunches. Teah used an effective right while Sims used a good left. Round could have gone either way. In round two both fighters mostly used a body attack. Teah rocked Sims with a right hand on the chin. Sims fought back but was hurt. Big round for Teah.
In the third round Teah worked well inside while Sims seemed to play into his hands trying to switch back and forth from orthodox to southpaw but with little effect. In the fourth round Teah used uppercuts to the body hurting Sims. Teah simply outworked the out of town fighter Sims.
In the fifth round Teah kept the pressure on the back pedaling Sims. It was another good round for Teah. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., warned Sims at the end of the round for using a back hander. In the sixth round Teah rocked Sims with a combination to the head. Teah landed a double left hook to the body of Sims who came back with a chopping right to the head. Teah had Sims in trouble the last ten seconds of the round as the bell sounded.
In the seventh round Teah kept the jab in the face of Sims who was coming forward looking for the big punch being far behind in the fight. Teah was still the better of the two round after round. In the eighth and final round Teah came out looking for the knockout but Sims knowing he needed one stood his ground. Teah never looked better in this writers eyes.
Scores were Braswell and Weisfeld 77-75 and Poturaj 79-73 This writer had it 79-73.
Super bantam Arnold “Arni” Khegai, 14-0-1 (9), of Philly, defeated Jorge Diaz, 19-6-1 (10), of New Brunswick, NJ over 8 rounds.
In the first three rounds Diaz worked the body of Khegai. Diaz in the fourth round drew blood over the left eye of Khegai. Cut-man Joey Eye went to work on it between rounds.
In the fifth round Khegai finally started landing solid punches to the head of the ever ducking Diaz. Referee Rosato gave several warnings to Khegai for pushing the head of Diaz down but never took a point away. In the sixth round Khegai landed a solid left to the chin of Diaz dropping him. Diaz weathered the storm getting through the round.
In the seventh round Khegai had his best round trying to capitalize on the previous rounds knockdown. Diaz kept in the round as best he could. In the eighth and final round Khegai continued using dirty tactics and receiving warnings but landed solid punches to the fading Diaz. At the end of the round Khegai had Diaz out on his feet being saved by the bell.
Scores were LaRosa 79-72 while Weisfeld and Poturaj scored it 77-74. This writer had it 76-75 with the knockdown the difference.
Philly Lightweight Branden “The Gift” Pizarro, 13-1 (6), defeated Jerome Rodriguez, 7-11-3 (2), out of Allentown, PA, over 6 rounds for the NBA belt.
In the first round Pizarro landed several lead rights to the chin of southpaw Rodriguez. Pizarro landed a 3-punch combination to the body and head of Rodriguez. In the second round a right hook from Rodriguez put a welt under the left eye of Pizarro. Pizarro ended the round with a double left hook to the chin of Rodriguez. Cut-man Joey Eye went to work on the welt of Pizarro’s between rounds.
In the third round inside being held by Rodriguez Pizarro landed three chopping rights to the head. Rodriguez used his jab while Pizarro was throwing twice as many in return followed by rights to the head. In the fourth round Pizarro landed half a dozen unanswered punches. After landing a combination Pizarro got his head snapped back by a Rodriguez jab. Pizarro with his hands to his side ended the round with a combination to the chin of Rodriguez.
In the fifth round Pizarro landed a combination to the head but got caught with a Rodriguez right hook on the chin. Pizarro turned southpaw for about ten secons before returning to orthodox. In the sixth and final round both opened up getting the fans into it. Rodriguez landed a hard uppercut to the chin of Pizarro. Pizarro ended the round with a combination to the chin of Rodriguez.
Scores were LaRosa 60-54 while Braswell and Poturaj as well as this writer had it 59-55. Esteves was the ref.
Super Featherweight Gadwin “Abayarde” Rosa, 9-0 (7) of Ocala, FL, deated German Meraz, 61-51 (38), of Sonora, MEX, over 6 rounds for the NBA title.
In the first two rounds Rosa was on the offense going to the body of Meraz. Rosa landed a solid left hook to the chin of Meraz in the second round. In the third round there was too much clinching as referee Rosato handled it appropriately. Finally with 10 seconds to go Meraz got in his best punch of the night a left hook to the chin of Rosa.
In the fourth round Meraz unloaded with overhand rights to the head of Rosa. Rosa came back evening the score for the most part. In the fifth round Meraz switched to southpaw holding off Rosa for the most part. In the sixth and final round Meraz became the aggressor landing uppercuts to the body of Rosa. Meraz missed with an uppercut and was countered by a Rosa right to the chin.
Scores were LaRosa and Weisfeld 59-55, David Braswell 60-54 with this writer having it 59-55. Rosato was the ref.
Super Welterweight Kieran Hooks, 3-2-1 (1), of Philly, was stopped by Gledwin “Chico” Ortiz, 6-2 (5), of the Bronx, NY, at 2:27 of round one.
In the first round Ortiz landed a devistating right to the chin of Hooks who went down face first. Referee Esteves wisely immediately waved it over!
Super Featherweight Christian Tapia, 7-0 (6), of Coamo, PR, stopped Darnell Pettis, 3-13 (0), of Cleveland, OH, who couldn’t come out for the fourth round.
In the first two rounds it went back and forth. In the third and fourth Tapia took over hurting Pettis. By the end of the fourth referee Rosata with the advice of the ring physician stopped it in favor of Tapia.
Light Heavyweight Benjamin Sinakin, 2-0 (1), of Philly stopped southpaw Darren Gibbs, 1-6 (1), of Ferndale, MI, at 2:23 of the first round.
In the first round Sinakin dropped Gibbs with a right to the chin. Gibbs beat the count but Sinakin jumped on him having him hurt in a corner when referee Esteves wisely called a halt.
Cruiserweight David Stevens, out of Reading, PA, 1-0 (1), stopped Judd Brown, 0-2-1, (0), of Johnson City, TN, at 2:56, of the first round.In the first round Stevens was bombing Brown with solid shots landing a left hook followed by a straight right for a knockdown. The second knockdown was a right uppercut causing referee Rosato to call a halt.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Hooker Retains Title, Stops Saucedo in 7th
By: Michael Kane
Oklahoma will continue to wait for their first world champion since Sean O’Grady in 1981. Alex Saucedo was hoping to become Oklahoma’s second ever champion but fell short in his bid against the champion Maurice Hooker.
4102 fans were in the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City to see if their man, Saucedo, could do it. Once again Hooker was on enemy territory, he won the WBO Junior Welterweight title in June when he travelled to Manchester to take on hometown favourite Terry Flanagan for the vacant title, winning by split decision.
There was to be no decision after this fight. Saucedo started well and landed a big right hand. This put Hooker on the canvas in the second, sending his fans into ecstasy. Hooker was bloodied but Saucedo didn’t finish him.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Moving on to the 5th, Saucedo had Hooker against the ropes but the champ came back in the closing stages of the round.
In the 6th Saucedo’s eye was starting to look swollen.
The fight was over in the 7th as Hooker took control of the fight, Saucedo suffered a standing eight count after Hooker landed a right hand. Hooker went on to stop Saucedo later in the round, winning by TKO.
“Alex is a great fighter. He came to fight, and I came to fight,and I went right at him,” Hooker (25-0-3, 17 KOs) said. “I knew the first couple of rounds would be tough, but eventually it would be my time to take over.”
Saucedo (28-1, 18 KOs) said, “He’s a champion for a reason. Now I am going to rest, enjoy my family, and come back stronger. I gave it my very best in the ring.”
In the other big fight on the card, NABF Welterweight champion Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0, 17 KOs) defended his strap against undefeated Roberto Arriaza (17-1, 13 KOs).
It took the Lithuanian 3 rounds to put the Nicaraguan, Arriaza away to retain his NABF title and add the WBO Inter-continental title.
Kavaliauskas now wants a shot at World champion Terence Crawford, who was ringside.
“I want the best in the welterweight division, and the best guy right now is Terence Crawford.” Said Kavaliauskas. “I am ready for that fight next.”
Arriaza said, “I know I had him in trouble. I was the one who was dominating and was in control of the fight. I’m sure that I was going to finish him within six rounds, but he surprised me with a punch to the back of the ear and then connected with me while I was on the canvas.”
In other results:
Super Lightweight: Cletus Seldin (22-1, 18 KOs), KO 1, :26, Nelson Lara (17-11-4, 9 KOs).
* Left hook to the body put Lara down for the count
Super Bantamweight: Jonathan Guzman (23-1, 22 KOs), unanimous decision, 10 rounds, Roberto Castaneda (23-11-1, 16 KOs). Scores: 99-91 3X.
Middleweight: Tyler Howard (16-0, 11 KOs), KO 1, 1:30, Isiah Seldon (12-2-1, 4 KOs).
Light Heavyweight: Trevor McCumby (25-0, 18 KOs), unanimous decision, 8 rounds, Felipe Romero (20-16-1, 14 KOs). Scores: 78-73, 78-72, 77-73.
Lightweight: Albert Bell (13-0, 5 KOs),TKO 6, 3:00, Carlos Padilla (16-9-1, 10 KOs).
Bantamweight: Aaron Morales (5-0, 3 KOs), unanimous decision, 6 rounds, Francisco Lapizco (8-9, 2 KOs). Scores: 59-55 3X.
Super Welterweight: Paul Kroll (2-0, 2 KOs ) TKO 2, :13, Antonio Wattell (1-6-1, 1 KO).
Super Bantamweight: Rasheen Brown (2-0, 0 KOs), majority decision, 4 rounds, Sebastian Baltazar (1-3, 0 KOs). Scores: 38-38, 39-37 2X.
Lightweight: John Rincon (1-0, 1 KO) KO 1, 1:24, Emanuel Williams (0-1).
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Results: Brant Spoils Murata’s US Debut
By: Michael Kane
Not many people gave Rob Brant much of a chance going into his WBA Middleweight title match against champion Ryota Murata. However Brant left the ring as the new champion.
Brant (24-1, 16 KO’s) showed he meant business right from the start, throwing punches, on the front foot. Murata (14-2, 11 KO’s) smiled through out the first round, as if bemused by Brant’s fast start, possibly expecting Brant to slow down.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Brant continued the fast pace until the 4th round when Murata started to land some heavy body shots, this led to a 5th round in which the Japanese Olympic gold medallist sensed he was gaining the upper hand and was throwing more punches however Brant weathered the storm and ended the round landing several right hands.
Murata had the power however Brant was landing frequently. Brant had now slowed down from his fast paced earlier rounds but was still appearing busier than Murata and landing point scoring shots.
As the championship rounds came, Murata sensed he had to up his game but Brant had his second wind and landed a couple of good right hands in the final round that appeared to hurt Murata.
The judges all scored the bout in favour of Brant, 118-110, 119-109, 119-109.
The statistics showed Brant threw 1262 punches, landing 356 compares to Murata throwing 764 and landing 180.
“This is one of the best moments of my life,” Brant said in the press conference afterwards. “I wasn’t thinking about punch output. I was thinking about winning.”
“This was a great middleweight championship fight,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arun. “Both fighters showed tremendous heart. Congratulations to the new champion. He deserved the win.”
Top Rank are putting a brave face on this defeat for Murata as they had big plans for him, with a fight against GGG or Canelo Alvarez rumoured to be on the horizon. However Brant remains undefeated in the middleweight division, his only defeat coming at super middleweight.
Also on the card at Park Theatre at Park MGM in Las Vegas was Maxim Dadashev defending his NABF super lightweight title against former world champion Antonio DeMarco.
DeMarco (33-7-1, 24 KO’s) showed his champion credentials as he stunned Dadashev (12-0, 10 KO’s) on several occasions throughout the fight. Dadashev had enough about him to survive these scares and come through and retain his belt. Dadashev won the last three rounds to secure the win.
The scorecard was 96-94, 97-93, 98-92.
The bout was a good learning experience for Dadashev, which he said so in the press conference.
“This was a great learning experience for me. DeMarco is a true champion and he thought with great heart and determination.”
Highly rated Irishman, Michael Conlan made his Vegas debut on the card against Italian Nicola Cipolletta, who was making his American debut.
Conlan pressured from the start, with Cipolletta on the defensive through out. Conlan landed several good shots to the body and head in the 7th which forced the referee to stop the fight.
Conlan moves on to 9-0 and is due back in the ring on the undercard of Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton bout in Manchester, England on December 22nd.
“When you fight a guy who is negative and trying to survive, those guys are the hardest guys to look good against,” Conlan said. “He was just negative. Now I want real opponents. I want top 10, top 15 opponents. These are the guys who are going to make me look good. These are the guys who are going to bring out the best of my technical ability. When you see guys trying to survive, it’s a lot easier to survive than fight it out.”
Middleweight: Esquiva Cacao (22-0, 15 KO’s) defeated Guido Porto (25-6-2, 8 KO’s) by unanimous decision 100-90 x3.
Lightweight: Joseph Adorno (10-0, 9 KO’s) defeated Kevin Cruz (8-1, 5 KO’s) by unanimous decision over 6 rounds, 59-53, 59-53, 58-54.
Super Lightweight: Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (6-0, 3 KO’s) won by 2nd rd TKO against Wilberth Lopez (23-10, 15 KO’s).
Featherweight: Vladimir Nikitin (2-0, 0 KO) won by unanimous decision over 6 rounds against Clay Burns (5-5-2, 4 KO’s). 59-55 x3.
Featherweight: Adam Lopez (11-1, 5 KO’s) defeated Hector Ambriz (12-8-2, 6 KO’s) by 8th round TKO.
Middleweight: David Kaminsky (3-0, 2 KO’s) won by 2nd round TKO against Noah LaCoste (2-1, 2 KO’s).
WBSS Recap: Rodriguez & Dorticos Earn Decision Victories to Progress to Final Four
By: Ste Rowen
In an intriguing night at Orlando’s CFE Arena, IBF champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez scored a competitive 12-round decision over Jason Moloney; while Yunier Dorticos of Cuba, earnt a tough, but dominant, unanimous decision over Mateusz Masternak, both to progress to the final four of the World Boxing Super Series.
Tonight’s results mean Puerto Rican bantamweight, Rodriguez will fight Naoya Inoue next, and Dorticos, former cruiserweight ‘Regular’ champion, takes on Andrew ‘The Beast’ Tabiti, in their respective WBSS semi-finals.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
First up were the cruiserweights. Dorticos and Masternak started off their bout with a lot of jabs thrown but very little intent by either until, towards the end of the 2nd round, ‘The KO Doctor’ Dorticos lay on an onslaught of 1-2’s, forcing his Polish foe further and further back. The Pole survived but the pace of the fight was being firmly set by the Cuban.
Masternak sustained two cuts in round 3, one below his right and another above his left, but the former European champion regained composure as the fight unfolded into the middle rounds of the scheduled 12. Yunier, now 23-1-0 (20KOs), was mixing up his shots well. The frequent body attack in the early rounds let the crowd know that the former WBA ‘Regular’ champion was thinking long term for this matchup.
‘The Master’ may have taken punishment early, but through the 8th and 9th, Mateusz was showing that he wouldn’t be intimidated by Dorticos’ power. Even when the European touched the canvas in the 7th due to a slip and maybe a hint of fatigue, he rose calmly and initiated his own string of attacks. Miami resident, Dorticos, with the Orlando crowd audibly in his favour, tagged Masternak with a short right hand in the final 10 seconds of round 9. Once again, Masternak displayed his resoluteness to survive and come out swinging into the 10th.
The final rounds gave us more of the same dominance from ‘The KO Doctor’ and counters from the Polish Master. Both fighters went tit-for-tat in the 12th but the blooded face of Masternak seemed to tell the tale by the time the final bell rang.
And so, we waited for the final scorecards which returned as, 116-112, 115-113 (x2), all for Yunier Dorticos. The KO Doctor had prescribed a unanimous decision, and spoke post-fight via translator,
‘‘I came ready, I was prepared for 12 rounds. I gave the fans the best of everything I bring to the table.’’
And his thoughts on facing Andrew ‘The Beast’ Tabiti in the semi-finals,
‘‘Tabiti, be ready, The KO Doctor’s back and it aint gonna be easy. The Muhammad Ali Trophy, this time around, is mine, so you better make sure you train.’’
The final two cruiserweight WBSS quarter-finals are happening three weeks from now in Chicago when former WBC champion, Mairis Briedis comes up against Noel Gevor, and former WBO titlist, Krzysztof Glowacki fights Maksim Vlasov.
Emmanuel Rodriguez vs. Jason Moloney
In a candidate for fight of a stacked weekend, IBF titlist, Emmanuel Rodriguez roughed and toughed it out with unbeaten contender, Jason Moloney to earn a split decision over 12 rounds.
The IBF champion led with a heavy jab, multiplied his attack with swift overhand shots and evaded significant attack from his Australian opponent. Moloney is no pretender, 17-0, the Australian is undoubtedly a bantamweight contender, but unfortunately for Jason, ‘Manny’ seems to be in a class of few fighters that includes WBSS semi-finalist, Naoya Inoue, who was in attendance tonight.
Though perhaps lacking the power of Japanese phenom, Inoue, Rodriguez, now 19-0 (12KOs) is clinical in his offence. When he throws, he lands. When he dodges, he counters. Into round 4, Moloney began to find a little rhythm. The Australian became more mobile and freed up his shots, but, though there wasn’t much wrong with the tactics, ‘Manny’ figured it out as the bout headed into the middle rounds.
Moloney was more active through to round 9, the messages he was getting from his corner of Rodriguez’ legs ‘going’ were more hopeful than truthful. As the two fighters fought out round 8, the IBF champion, making his first defence, looked mean, almost annoyed that Jason was still hanging in. By the finale of the 9th, as Jason returned to his corner, the left-uppercut/right hand combo towards the end of the round from the Puerto Rican, had clearly left a lasting impression.
The bout entered the final three rounds, and though Moloney, was going all out, he struggled to do anything more than test Manny’s stamina. The blood thirsty crowd were appeased, with all-out action in the final two rounds but heading into the 12th, it looked as if Moloney would need the stoppage if he was gonna be the man to face Inoue next.
The Australian undoubtedly went for it, but the story of the fight seemed to be reoccurring as Moloney had the volume of punching, but the champ had the accuracy. The final scorecards, 115-113 for Moloney and 115-113 (x2) for Rodriguez came back closer than expected, but Rodriguez said he always felt confident, post-fight,
‘‘It took Moloney to bring the best out of me, but I knew I won the fight. We knew the fight was close, but my corner told me I was in front so, that’s what happened.’’
And Emmanuel’s thoughts on his future Japanese foe,
‘‘He’s a top fighter. I know he likes to finish his bouts with a KO…It’s gonna be a good fight and I can’t wait for it.’’
Semi-finalist and Emmanuel’s next opposition, Naoya Inoue joined Rodriguez in the ring and said,
‘‘I would like to congratulate Rodriguez on winning his fight today. I’m really excited that I’ll be facing Rodriguez in the semi-finals probably early next year.’’
The 4th 118lb quarter-final bout takes place in two weeks, when WBA champion, Ryan Burnett fights Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro. The winner of that matchup progresses on to fight WBO champion, Zolani Tete.
DAZN Undercard Results: Taylor Dominates Serrano
By: Sean Crose
DAZNs main undercardcard from Boston’s TD Garden arena on Saturday began with England’s 24-0 Kid Galahad making his US debut against fellow featherweight, Toka Kahn Clary; 25-1, of Rhode Island, in a scheduled 12 round affair.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The first portion of the bout was surprising in that Clary, trained by Freddie Roach, was landing more effectively than his European adversary. Perhaps even stranger, Galahad never seemed to be able to get into a rhythm with the counter punching southpaw. Galad gained steam at the end, though perhaps not enough to warrant the UD win he was rewarded with.
Next up, the 26-4-1 Tevin Farmer defended his junior lightweight title against the 22-2 James Tennyson in a scheduled 12 round affair. Farmer looked like he was having a hard time with Tennyson’s pressure but then dropped his man with a body blow in the fourth. Tennyson beat the count but it was a surprising turn from Farmer, a man not known for power punching.
Yet Farmer continued to surprise by stopping his man with yet another body shot the following round.
Afterwards, Katie Taylor entered the ring to the loud jubilation of the many Irish fans in the crowd. Taylor, 10-0 was then set to face off against the 27-5-3 Cindy Serrano in a 10 round bout for her lightweight titles.
Taylor easily dominated the first two rounds with sound footwork and effective aggression. Things essentially stayed the same through to the midpoint of the fight. Serrano did so little that by the 7th Taylor literally motioned her forward. Later in the round, Serrano actually threw punches at air, inches away from a relatively stationary target. it was a truly dreadful affair. Taylor couldn’t finish Serrano…and Serrano simply refused to fight.
Taylor walked out with a UD win after the bell mercifully sounded to end the final round.