The Past Week in Action 25 February 2020: Fury Crushes Wilder
By Eric Armit
Wed, 26 Feb 2020
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Heavy: Tyson Fury (30-0-1) W TKO 7Deontay Wilder (42-1-1). Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (31-1) W TKO 11 Jeo Santisima (19-3). Heavy: Charles Martin (28-2-1) W TKO 6 Gerald Washington (20-4-1). Welter: Javier Molina (22-2) W PTS 8 Amir Imam (22-3). Feather: Isaac Lowe (20-0-3) W PTS 10 Alberto Guevara (27-6). Welter: Petros Ananyan (15-2-2) W PTS 10 Subriel Matias (15-1). Super Welter: Sebastian Fundora (14-0-1) W PTS 10 Daniel Lewis (6-1). Light: Gabriel Flores (17-0) W PTS 8 Matt Conway (17-2,1ND). Light: Ronald Romero (11-0) W TKO 2 Arturs Ahmetovs (5-1).
Fury vs. Wilder
Fury is a world champion again as he stops Wilder in seven rounds after dominating the fight from the first bell and scoring two knockdowns.
Not the expected opening as Fury immediately took the fight to Wilder putting Wilder on the back foot. Fury had no trouble brushing aside a couple of rights from Wilder and scored with a good combination including a clubbing right. Wilder looked uncomfortable when Fury forced him to the ropes and Fury landed another right to take the round
Score: 10-9 Fury
A better round for Wilder. He was jabbing more and throwing more rights. Fury was still on the front foot and Wilder looked apprehensive every time Fury shaped to throw a punch. Fury ended the round connecting with a right but Wilder’s early work just gave him a slight edge.
Score: 10-9 Wilder TIED 19-19
Fury was looking supremely confident and shook Wilder early with a right to the head. Fury forced Wilder back with a series of jabs and another right to the head before another right sent Wilder sliding down the ropes to the floor. Wilder was up quickly and when the eight count was finished he ducked under Fury’s punches grabbing Fury around the waist and as Fury went back Wilder lost his grip and dropped to the canvas. It was not a knockdown but it gave Wilder a few extra seconds of recovery time and the bell went with Wilder walking unsteadily back to his corner.
Score:10-8 Fury Fury 29-27
The referee gave both fighters a lecture over holding. Fury forced Wilder back with jabs and threw a right. In ducking under it Wilder tumbled to the floor so no knockdown. The fight became untidy with constant clinches. Fury continued to boss the action and did what little scoring there was.
Score: 10-9 Fury 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 40-35 Fury, Judge Glenn Feldman 39-36 Fury, Judge Steve Weisfeld 40-35 Fury
Fury started the round by connecting with three overhand rights. After some untidy mauling Fury threw a couple of rights that had Wilder stumbling back to avoid them and two left hooks to the chest sent him to the floor. The punch Fury had landing on the chest did no real damage and Wilder was up early quickly and under fire. Fury was wild with his punches and they again clinched until the referee broke them up and deducted a point from Fury for pushing down Wilder’s head . Fury had Wilder under pressure again from rights to the head before the bell. Wilder had blood trickling from his left ear.
Score: 9-8 Fury Fury 48-44
Fury was pitching overhand rights with Wilder looking disorientated and dispirited but it was a case of Fury throwing a right and then a clinch. He pinned Wilder to the ropes and landed some hooks and uppercuts with Wilder just looking to hold. A left hook sent Wilder into a corner and again Fury was trying to land overhand rights (as they clinched Fury actually licked some of the blood trickling for Wilder’s ear-ugh). Wilder looked finished he had not taken a step forward in the round or even thrown a right with any intent.
Score: 10-9 Fury Fury 58-53
Fury was forcing Wilder back with jabs. Wilder tried some wild swings which missed and Fury was backing him up again. Wilder’s whole demeanour was off a beaten fighter and he backed himself into a corner as Fury unloaded with rights to the head. There was nothing coming back from Wilder and a member of Wilder’s team threw in the towel and the referee plunged in to separate the fighters just as Wilder finally threw a punch. Wilder protested the stoppage but it looked about right although the towel had been thrown in without total agreement in the corner.
Crushing victory for Fury whose tactic of taking the fight to Wilder from the first bell threw Wilder completely and Wilder never got into the fight at all. A towering performance from Fury who wins the WBC title after a remarkable comeback from a whole variety of problems that interrupted his career just as it had reached its highest point. The stunning nature of this victory and his now having the WBC puts him in a very strong bargaining position when it comes to negotiations for what must now be an inevitable clash with Anthony Joshua . Wilder looked much older than his 34 years. When Fury unexpectedly took the fight to him Wilder had no plan B and the right hand that had come to his rescue a few times was never a factor. The blood from his ear backs up the claim that he had a damaged ear drum but even before that injury he was ineffectual under Fury’s attacks. Wilder has thirty days to enforce the return bout agreement in the contract and it seems he may choose to do that which would complicate the timing of a fight with Joshua so it is a case of wait and see but if Fury vs. Joshua does come off it will be the richest fight in the history of heavyweight boxing with there already being talk of a $400 million offer to stage the fight in Saudi Arabia.
Navarrete vs. Santisima
Navarrete ends another defence of the WBO title with an inside the distance victory as he outclasses Filipino Santisima and halts him in the eleventh round of a one-sided contest.
In a fast-paced opening round Navarrete was stabbing out jabs and following with occasional rights. Santisima showed a quick jab but usually came up short and was not letting his hands go. Navarrete ended the round with a strong attack
Score: 10-9 Navarrete
Navarrete had the longer reach and used it well. He was constantly firing jabs and those that were not landing were enough to dissuade Santisima from coming forward. The challenger briefly pinned Navarette on the ropes with an attack but that resulted in Navarette opening up and he scored with jabs and long looping hooks from both hands.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 20-18
Santisima started the round trying to pressure Navarrete but once Navarrete began to come forward throwing combinations it was one-sided. Navarrete does a lot wrong but it works for him. He was forcing Santisima back with series after series of hooks, uppercuts and straight punches with Santisima hurt by a couple of body shots and rocked by a left to the head.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 30-27
Plenty of action in this round. Santisima was coming forward getting past Navarrete’s jab and scoring inside with hooks. When they traded punches again it was Santisima doing best with some left hooks to the body and he sent Navarrete tumbling into the ropes with a left hook. Over the last minute of the round Navarrete was chasing down and connecting with long shots but Santisima’s early work gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Santisima Navarrete 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 39-37 Navarrete, Judge Don Trella 40-36 Navarrete, Judge Julie Lederman 38-38.
Three minutes of pressure from Navarrete. He was walking forward firing a whole stream of punches of every variety from both hands with Santisima almost swamped by the sheer volume and he visibly wilted under a couple of rib-bending hooks. A stoppage looked possible but Santisima didn’t crumble and made it to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 49-46
After his huge effort in the previous round Navarrete dialled it back in this one. He was still landing but not throwing nearly so many punches or pressing his attacks. Santisima was able to get in the fight scoring with a choice uppercut only for Navarrete to land an even better one and they traded punches to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 59-55
After a slow start Navarrete started to roll. He was forcing Santisima back raking him with punch after punch. Santisima fought back hard but just could not match the power or output from Navarrete.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 69-64
Tremendous work rate from Navarrete. Again he was putting together sequences of anything from two to ten punches at a time. They were not all landing and not all hard but the volume had Santisima bemused and befuddled.. Santisima tried hard firing the occasional crisp hooks but was under pressure all the way.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 79-73
Official Scores: Judge Jarman 79-73, Navarrete, Judge Trella 80-72, Judge Lederman 78-74 Navarrete.
Navarrete slowed things down a little in this round. He was using his jab more and sending thudding straight rights through Santisima’s guard .He was not firing so many combinations but he ended the round connecting with a succession of head punches.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 89-82
Santisima attacked briefly at the start of this one before Navarrete began to control the action with his jab. Navarrete burst into action over the last minute relentlessly bombarding Santisima with punches and once or twice a stoppage looked on the cards but Santisima held out to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 99-91
Santisima came forward throwing hooks. Navarrete backed off into a corner and just rested his right arm on the top rope for a couple of seconds and then went to work. He lunged forward driving Santisima around the ring under a deluge of punches. He trapped Santisima on the ropes and unloaded with heavy shots. Santisima fired back just enough to convince the referee to let him continue. He slid down under Navarrete’s attacks but not from any particular punch so the referee ruled it a slip. When Santisima got up Navarrete again blasted him with punches until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Successful fifth defence of the WBO title for “Cowboy” Navarrete with all five defences ending inside the distance making it 26 wins by KO/TKO in all. Still only 25 he looks unbeatable at the weight and will eye moving up to featherweight soon. Santisima gave it his best. He showed some skill, quick hands and plenty of courage but never looked likely to cause an upset. There was nothing in his record to suggest otherwise as he had never faced a single top class opponent. Navarrete’s No 1 challenger is another Filipino, Albert Pagara and that should be another winning defence for Navarrete in a division that looks very weak right now.
Martin vs. Washington
Former IBF champion Martin gets his third win in a row as he scores a one-punch stoppage win over Washington. The first round featured the usual pushing and probing with jabs. Martin landed a useful southpaw left and Washing did a bit better with a couple of rights at the bell. They were even more cautious in the second with Martin coming forward but not throwing much and Washington on the back foot and then lunging with occasional rights. Punches were on short rations again in an unexciting third. Martin began to let his hands go in the fourth scoring with straight lefts and some hooks but it was the sort of fight where you could confidently take your eyes off the ring and not miss any of the action. Washington started the fifth by firing five consecutive rights but Martin either blocked or dodged them. Later in the round Martin was against connecting with straight lefts. Washington was trying his luck with rights again in the sixth until Martin landed a left and then followed that up with a better aimed one that landed on Washington’s chin and dropped him. He made it to his feet but was staggering when he tried to walk and the referee stopped the fight. Southpaw Martin,33, is rebuilding after losing to Adam Kownacki in 2018 but has a long way to go and not a lot of time to get there. He does not look any kind of threat and I can’t see a title shot anywhere soon in his future. Washington, 37, had been level on two cards before being stopped by Deontay Wilder in their WBC title fight in 2017. Inside the distance losses to Jarrell Miller and Adam Kownacki had pushed him out of the ratings but a win over Robert Helenius in July gave him some hope which Martin crushed here.
Molina vs. Imam
This was to have been a ten round fight but was reduced to eight by TV scheduling on the night. Molina took a unanimous decision in a low key affair. Molina boxed on the back foot over the first two rounds using sharp accurate jabs to score and although Imam made the rounds close Molina lived up to his “Untouchable” nickname and had established a lead. He also had the better of the exchanges in the third but Imam fought back hard over the fourth and fifth only for Molina to outscore him in the sixth connecting with some good left hooks. The last two rounds saw both boxers putting in a big effort trying to swing the fight their way but Molina boxed coolly and held on to his lead. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 for Molina. Former Olympian Molina, 30, went 17-1 before losing on points to Jamal James in his only fight in 2016. He was then inactive in 2017 and had only one fight in 2018. He was more active last year with three wins including a first round stoppage of Hiorki Okada and will be hoping this victor nets him a world rating. Big set-back for Imam. After losing to Jose Ramirez for the vacant WBC title in March 2018 due to contractual problems he did not fight again last November.
Lowe vs. Guevara
Lowe takes wide unanimous decision over experienced Guevara but the achievement is overshadowed by six points being deducted for rules violations three from each fighter. Lowe made an impressive start taking the first two rounds. Guevara hit back strongly in the third rocking Lowe with a fierce right but despite that success the referee deducted a point from the Mexican for holding. After a close fourth the deductions cropped up again this time it was Lowe losing two points one for pushing Guevara to the canvas and one for hitting him to the back of the head. That scenario was repeated in the next round as Guevara was docked a point for a low punch and Lowe for again pushing Guevara to the floor. After a close seventh which Lowe edge he dumped Guevara on the floor with a left in the eighth and outboxed Guevara over the closing two rounds to take the decision. Scores 96-87 twice and 95-88 for Lowe. The 26-year-old from Lancashire is now 4-0 in fights in the USA. He was making the second defence of the WBC International title and is at No 10 in the WBC ratings. His three draws have come in fights for the European, British and English titles. Guevara has lost in fights for the IBF and WBC bantamweight titles and was beaten by Hugo Ruiz and Shakur Stevenson in his two fights last year.
Ananyan vs. Matias
Unfancied Armenian Ananyan wins a close unanimous decision over Puerto Rican Matias in a major upset. This was a close one all the way. Matias had won all of his fights inside the distance and tried to batter down the Armenian but Ananyan just would not allow Matias to take control. They traded punches over the first six rounds both landed hard shots to head and body but without either fighter really being able to dominate but with Matias just seeming to have a slight edge. That changed dramatically in the seventh. The round started with Matias rocking Ananyan with a combination but then Ananyan broke through with some heavy shots. He forced Matias to the ropes and connected with three booming rights to the head and then landed a left hook that sent Matias stumbling across the ring and falling backwards into the ropes which held him up. The referee stepped in to give Matias a standing count with the count being delayed as Ananyan was slow in moving to a neutral corner. Only the bell saved Matias. Ananyan wasn’t able to repeat that success but he was able to outscore a shaken Matias the rest of the way to snatch victory. Scores 95-94 twice and 96-93 with the 10-8 from the seventh for Ananyan the decider. Last time out the Brooklyn-based Ananyan had lost on points to 13-2-1 Kareem Martin and he looked a safe opponent for Matias but proved tougher than expected. Matias, 27, was ranked No 2 by the IBF and had his eyes on a shot at Josh Taylor but that dream has died for now.
Fundora vs. Lewis
You don’t get many 6’5 ½” 154lbs fighters and Australian Daniel Lewis will be glad about that. Fundora “The Towering Inferno” won this clash of unbeaten fighters clearly and without relying too much on his physical edges. Southpaw Fundora was able to score at range with Lewis forced to take punches to get inside but Fundora was equally happy at close quarters. Lewis had some early success connecting with rights and there was blood showing in Fundora’s mouth by the second round. Apart from a spell in the fourth that really was about as good as it got for Lewis as Fundora used his longer reach to score at distance and landed some heavy lefts which brought out some bumps and bruises on the Australian’s face. When Lewis did get inside Fundora was outscoring him there as well and continued to control the fight over the closing rounds. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93. The 22-year-old Floridian-born Fundora is the second eldest of six brothers all of whom box. Eldest brother Alberto was 12-0 but has not boxed since 2017 so Sebastian is currently carrying the family flag in the pros. Lewis was a top level amateur being Australian champion in 2013,2014,2015 and 2016 and competing at the Olympics, the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. At 26 he has time to put this one down to experience and come again.
Flores vs. Conway
Stockton teenager Flores wins again. It seemed it might be an early night for Flores as he put Conway on his rump with a right in the opening round but Conway beat the count and later took the fight to Flores. For most of the fight Conway was marching forward but paying for that with sharp, accurate countering from Flores. Gradually Flores took control and over the last three rounds he scored with flashing combinations over the sixth and seventh and then outboxed a game Conway in the eighth. Scores 80-71 twice and 79-72. The 19-year-old Flores is being sensibly matched to build his experience and he will be one to watch in 2021. Conway has fought in a wide range of venues including a Casino Ballroom, a State Penitentiary and now the MGM Grand. His only other loss was on a majority decision and he had mixed with some reasonable level opposition..
Romero vs. Ahmetovs
Six inside the distance wins in a row for 24-year-old Romero. He won the first round and then floored the previously unbeaten Ahmetovs in the second. Ahmetovs beat the count but was under fire when the referee stopped the fight. In theory this was Romero’s first eight round fight but he has won ten of his eleven fights by KO/TKO eight of them inside the first two rounds. Latvian Ahmetovs was never in with a chance.
London, England: Feather: James Dickens (29-3) W PTS 10 Leigh Wood (23-2). Super Light: Tyrone McKenna (21-1-1) W PTS 10 Mohamed Mimoune (22-4). Feather: Ryan Walsh (26-2-2) W PTS 10 Tyrone McCullagh (14-1). Super Light: Ohara Davies (21-2) W TKO 6 Jeff Ofori (10-2-1).
Dickens vs. Wood
In an entertaining and close bout of contrasting styles Dickens gets through to the final of the MTK Golden Contract featherweight tournament with a razor thin majority verdict over Wook. Dickens made a strong start stunning Wood in the first. Wood steadied himself over the second and third and used his longer reach and some good counters to even things up. Southpaw Dickens was bobbing and weaving his way inside in some good back-and-forth action but his face was marking up from Wood’s counters. Dickens connected with a heavy left in the sixth but Wood was also showing some good defensive work and landed a left of his own in the seventh that shook and added to a swelling around the left eye of Dickens. The eighth saw Dickens busier and outscoring Wood and in a one-sided ninth he hammered away at Woods with a stoppage a possibility but Wood survived and Dickens took the last to clinch the win. Scores 96-94 and 95-94 Dickens and 95-95. Since suffering consecutive losses to Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA super bantam title and Thomas Patrick Ward for the British title Dickens has bounced back with seven wins including a points victory over 21-1 Nathaniel May. He is No 3 with the IBF but the top two positions are vacant. Wood was rated No 11 by the IBF so that may allow Dickens to climb to the post of official challenger to Josh Warrington. Wood had put together a twelve-bout winning run and was ranked No 8 by the WBO. He was making the first defence of the WBO European title and he will probably look for some domestic wins and then climb the ratings again.
McKenna vs. Mimoune
In a clash of southpaws McKenna advances to meet Ohara Davies in the super lightweight final of the Golden Contract with a very controversial unanimous decision over Frenchman Mimoune. This was a fast-paced entertaining fight as the two styles melded to produce plenty of furious exchanges. McKenna was looking to use his longer reach to work on the outside with Mimoune putting McKenna under pressure. McKenna’s boxing gave him an early edge but Mimoune was rumbling forward and getting through with hooks. Mimoune connected with a strong right to the body in the fourth and then kept on top of McKenna for the rest of the round. They continued to exchange punches in some fierce action with the pattern being of Mimoune marching forward and McKenna moving, stabbing out jabs and trying to keep the Frenchman out. Mimoune landed a number of low punches but avoided a deduction. McKenna was cut over his right eye in the seventh and although still picking up points with his jab he was being outworked by the stronger Mimoune. The eighth was close and so was the ninth with a couple of low punches from Mimoune going unpunished as he seemed to have gone in front on the scoring. In the tenth McKenna was stronger at the start of the round but Mimoune finished the stronger and looked to have done enough to win. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 for McKenna. The question was whether McKenna’s early lead was enough to hold off Mimoune’s strong finish which was very questionable but with the intense action many rounds were close. McKenna was defending the WBC International title. The Belfast fighter lost to WBO No 1 Jack Catterall in 2018 but had won the WBC International title last June with a victory over Darragh Foley. Mimoune, a former undefeated IBO and European champion, had put together a ten-bout winning run including victories over Sam Eggington and 21-0 Emiliano Dominguez but a loss to Viktor Postol last April ended that sequence and this loss just adds to his agony. At 32 he will have to take chances to get back in contention.
Walsh vs. McCullagh
Walsh wins through to face Dickens in the final of the Golden Contract tournament and protects his WBO No 2 status as he stages a strong finish to outpoint McCullagh. Over the early rounds Walsh just could not pin down the quick moving, elusive southpaw McCullagh. As a frustrated Walsh chased McCullagh in vain McCullagh was just doing enough to edge the rounds. Walsh constantly changed guards but was still having no success as McCullagh skated through the first five rounds. The fight changed in the sixth with Walsh being credited with a knockdown. It was as much a case of McCullagh being shaken by some rights and overbalancing in trying to avoid the follow-up punches. From there Walsh grew in strength and McCullagh began to fade. Walsh kept up the pressure in the seventh and had McCullagh rocky in the eighth. McCullagh rallied briefly early in the ninth but just before the bell he was down again as Walsh connected with left hooks and Walsh outscored McCullagh in the last. Scores 97-91 twice and 96-92 for Walsh. The 33-year-old from Norfolk lost important fight to Lee Selby for the British title and Dennis Ceylan for the European title but has rebounded well with wins over Reece Bellotti and unbeaten Hairon Socarras. McCullagh, a former WBO European super bantamweight champion, was rated No 8 by the WBO due to winning their European title but he lacked the power to keep Walsh out.
Davies vs. Ofori
Davies wins his way through to the Golden Contract final with stoppage of Ofori with bragging rights for their neighbourhood of Hackney also on the line. Davies was just too strong and too experienced for Ofori. After taking the first two rounds Davies floored Ofori with a right late in the third. Davies also took the fourth but Ofori fought back hard in the round before a series from punches from Davies in the fifth had Ofori in deep trouble and the fight was stopped. Fifteenth win by KO/TKO for “Two Tanks”. He ran into road blocks in the shape of losses to Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall but wins over Miguel Vazquez and unbeaten Logan Yoon have put him back on course and victory and a Golden Contract would be a huge boost for him. This proved too big a step up for Ofori
Rimouski, Canada: Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (25-0) W TKO 6 Timo Laine (27-13,1ND). Heavy: Simon Kean (19-1) W KO 3 Daniel Martz (19-9-1). Light Heavy: Nurzat Sabirov (11-0) W PTS 8 Ricardo Luna (22-8-1).
Bazinyan vs. Laine
Another inside the distance for Bazinyan as he breaks down and stops game Finn Laine. Bazinyan dominated the action with his sharp, accurate jabbing which Laine never really found a way to neutralise but he was competitive. In the sixth Bazinyan launched a fierce attack. He battered Laine in a corner then drove him along the ropes to another corner. Laine was just trying to cover up and not punching back and the fight could have been stopped a few punches before it was. The 24-year-old Armenian-born Bazinyan goes to 19 wins by KO/TKO. A talented fighter with power he is rated WBO 4/WBA 9/IBF 15(14) he has yet to face anything remotely like a name fighter so really needs tougher tests. He moved to Canada with his family at the age of 16 as his parents did not want him to do military service which is mandatory in Armenia. Laine was coming off three wins over very modest opposition and gets beaten when he tries to step up.
Kean vs. Martz
Too easy for Kean against Martz. After a slow first round Kean twice forced Martz to a corner in the second and dropped him with a series of punches. Martz survived but when he tried to rush Kean in the third Kean landed a left hook counter which put Martez down on his back and he was counted out. Win No 18 by KO/TKO for the 31-year-old from Trois Rivieres. He has reversed his lone loss but is still just a big, strong but limited fighter. Eighth loss by KO/TKO for Martz. The 6’72” “Mountain” is tall and that’s about all he has going for him. Last year he was stopped in four rounds by Charles Martin and in 69 seconds by Apti Davtaev.
Sabirov vs. Luna
Montreal-based Kazak Sabirov wears down Mexican Lima with body punches on his way to a unanimous decision. Sabirov being sensibly matched and had the useful experience of going eight rounds in this one. Luna was stopped in five round by Bazinyan in December 2018 and knocked out inside a round by Bektemir Melikuziev in August but earlier went the distance with Ryota Murata and D’Mitrius Ballard
Moscow, Russia: Super Middle: Aslambek Idigov (18-0) W PTS 10 Ryan Ford (17-6). Super Welter: Islam Edisultanov (10-0) W PTS 10 Evgeny Terentiev (15-3). Middle: Andrey Sirotkin (17-1) W PTS 10 Apti Ustarkhanov (18-4-3) . Heavy: Apti Davtaev (20-0-1) W KO 2 John Napari (21-1). Middle: Rizvan Elikhanov (10-0) W KO 3 Roger Guerrero (17-2-1).
Idigov vs. Ford
You get no favours in the other guy’s back yard that’s the painful truth Canadian Ford is learning as he loses a majority decision to Russian Idigov. The home fighter made a strong start and by the half way mark was in front putting in a big effort in the fifth looking to get an inside the distance win. Instead Ford came into it as Idigov tired. As Ford landed some thumping rights Idigov was forced to resort to clinching over the late rounds and Ford seemed to have done enough to take the decision but was adjudge the loser on two cards. Scores 96-94 twice for Idigov and 95-95. Idigov wins the WBA Asia title. The 24-year-old Russian scored useful wins last year over 16-1 Ronny Landaeta and 21-1 Robert Racz and is No 6 with the WBO. Ford, 37, is 3-6 in his last 9 fights with all 6 losses on the road against tough opponents such as Avni Yildirim and Joshua Buatsi.
Edisultanov vs. Terentiev
Southpaw Edisultanov takes unanimous decision over fellow Russian southpaw Terentiev. In a good action fight Edisultanov had the edge in power over a competitive Terentiev and was helped on his way to victory by a sixth round knockdown scored with a left hook. Scores 97-91 twice and 96-92 . Edisultanov, 34, wins the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council and WBA Asia belts. Trentiev’s other losses were both split decisions.
Sirotkin vs. Ustarkhanov
Sirotkin takes a unanimous decision over Ustarkhanov but the judges all seemed to see a different fight. Sirotkin went in front early as after a good first round he dropped Ustarkhanov in the third. Ustarkhanov gradually got in to the fight and did enough to make it close but southpaw Sirotkin was a clear winner. Scores 99-90, 96-93 and 95-94 for Sirotkin who lifts the WBC Asian Boxing Council title from defending champion Ustarkhanov. The 34-year-old Sirotkin was stopped in seven rounds by John Ryder in October 2018 but was a quick winner in his last contest in July. Ustarkhanov was 7-1-1 before this one with the loss coming against world rated Rohan Murdock
Davtaev vs. Napari
This was just a farce as Davtaev crushes an inept Napari inside two rounds. Davtaev put Ghanaian Napari down in the first . It was a punch and a push as Davtaev connected with a right to the head that stunned Napari and then applied a push that sent Napari down, He survived the round but in the second swung a wide right with his head down leaving himself wide open and a short explosive right from Davtaev sent him down and he was counted out. Davtaev makes it 18 wins by KO/TKO but even he looked disgusted at this ridiculous pairing. You had the 6’5” Davtaev against the 36-year-old 6’0” Napari who outweighed Davtaev by13lbs. All of Davtaev’s victims have been substandard and it is about time he was tested. Davtaev was defending the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental belt. Napari’s record is unfortunately typical of some of the poor matches in Ghanaian boxing. Sixteen of his opponents had never won a fight and the other five all had negative records.
Elikhanov vs. Guerrero
Elikhanov just punches too hard for poor Ecuadorian Guerrero-another fighter with a heavily padded record. Guerrero did well to survive the first two rounds but Elikhanov blasted him out in the third. Guerrero was pinned to the ropes and slid to the canvas under a barrage of punches. The referee decided it was a slip and he pulled Guerrero to his feet. Guerrero was on unsteady legs and a crunching right sent Guerrero’s mouthguard flying and he dropped to the canvas being counted out as he tried to rise. The 21-year-old Russian has won all nine of his fights by KO/TKO and this victory nets him the WBO Youth title. First fight outside of Ecuador for Guerrero whose only other loss was on a disqualification.
Miami, FL, USA: Light Fly: Jonathan Gonzalez (23-3-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Saul Juarez (25-11-2). Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (2-1) W KO 4 Rafeal Morales (3-1,1ND).
Gonzalez vs. Juarez
Gonzalez takes unanimous decision over Juarez but has to fight hard all the way to withstand the pressure from little Juarez. Southpaw Gonzalez used his better skills and slick movement to offset the aggression of Juarez and scored with some nice left counters. Gonzalez had faster hands and was more accurate but a determined Juarez was able to get past Gonzalez’s jab and connect with hooks to the body. Gonzalez took the first two rounds but Juarez using relentless pressure was getting home with some useful hooks in the third. Smart boxing from Gonzalez was making Juarez look crude in the fourth and the Puerto Rican scored well at the end of the round with a series of hooks. Juarez continued to chase Gonzalez down in the fifth and he had a good sixth as Gonzalez had to resort to holding to stop Juarez scoring inside. Gonzalez took the seventh. He found the target regularly with straight lefts and matched Juarez when they stood and traded and his slick movement frustrated Juarez in the eighth. Juarez switched to southpaw at the start of the ninth but it made no difference as Gonzalez was quicker on his feet and more accurate with his punches. No fireworks in a close last round which Juarez probably edged. Scores 96-94 twice for Gonzalez and a too wide 98-92 for Gonzalez. Gonzalez was return to the ring for the first time since losing in seven rounds against Kosei Tanaka for the WBO title in August. He wins the WBO NABO title which will guarantee he stays in the ratings and makes another title shot a possibility. “Baby” Juarez has lost in title fights against WBC minimumweight champion Wanheng and against Tanaka for the WBO light flyweight title but he is now 2-7-1 in his last 10 fights so no third title chance on his horizon.
Ramirez vs. Morales
Cuban southpaw Ramirez uses a sustained body attack to beat Texan novice Morales. Ramirez ended it in the third with a series of body punches putting Morales down for the count. The 26-year-old double Olympic gold medallist scored wins over Andrew Selby, Michael Conlan and Tugstsogt Nyambayar at the 2012 Games and current world champions Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Shakur Stevenson in Rio. Morales badly overmatched.
Barnsley, England: Feather: Josh Wale (31-11-2) W TKO 3 Iddi Kayumba (12-3-2). Heavy: Kash Ali (17-1) W PTS 6 Kamal Sokolowski (8-17-2)
Wale vs. Kayumba
Four wins in a row now for experienced Barnsley warrior Wale. He had Tanzanian Kayumba hurt early in the first and finished him in the second. A left to the body sent Kayumba down for the first time and a right to the body followed by a left to the head brought the second knockdown and the end of the fight. The former British bantamweight champion is rebuilding well after back-to-back losses to Georges Ory for the European bantam title and Brad Foster for the vacant British super bantamweight title. Kayumba was 10-1 in his last eleven fights.
Ali vs. Sokolowski
Ali given a tough night by late substitute Sokolowski but gets a deserved 58-57 points win. His loss was a stupid disqualification for biting David Price and he needs a few wins to put that behind him. British-based Pole Sokolowski is much better than his record indicates and he has a stoppage win over Nick Webb and a points victory over unbeaten Alex Dickinson.
Asti, Italy: Middle: Etinosa Oliha (11-0) W PTS 10 Carlo De Novellis (7-4-1).Light: Domenico Valentino (8-1) W Nestor Maradiaga (8-5-1).
Oliha vs. De Novellis
Youth, speed and accuracy won this one for promising Oliha as he takes the unanimous verdict over De Novellis to collect the vacant national title. An assured performance by the younger fighter who showed good skills to make up for a lack of power. He is still very much a work in progress. Oliha built a lead over the slow paced early but De Novellis did well over the middle rounds scoring with some good uppercuts and showing Oliha had some work to do on his defence but other than that was outboxed by the new champion. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 for the 21-year-old Asti fighter who is of Nigerian antecedents. The 39-yerar-old De Novellis was the Italian champion back in 2008 but was inactive for almost eight years before returning to the ring in 2016.
Valentino vs. Maradiaga
Valentino beings the process of putting his defeat by Francesco Patera behind him with an undemanding points victory over teenager Maradiaga. That loss in October was for the European title and the former World Amateur champion and three-time Olympian will be building towards another shot. Maradiaga, 18, was having his first fight in Europe but will presumably join the stable of Nicaraguan losers so loved by British promoters.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Super Light: Carlos Cordoba (12-6,1ND) W PTS 10 Christian Andino (13-0).
Excellent win for visitor Cordoba as he defeats local undefeated fighter Andino. It was a fairly even fight with Andino trying to box on the outside and Cordoba to work the body inside. Andino was in front after five rounds with Cordoba losing a point in the fifth for a punch to the back of the neck. Cordoba edged into the lead late in the fight scoring with hooks and uppercuts inside and although it was tight the decision looked right. Scores 97-94 ½ , 96-93 ½ and 95-94 ½. Cordoba, the Argentinian No 5 lightweight ,moves up and wins the national title at super lightweight . He had the advantage of having gone both ten a and twelve rounds before which helped him pace the fight. “Elegant” Andino, 24, will try again.
Brovari, Ukraine: Light: Denys Berinchyk (13-0) W PTS 12 Hector Sarmiento (21-2). Super Middle: Maksym Bursak (36-6-2) W PTS 8 Max Smirnov (8-6-3).
Berinchyk vs. Sarmiento
Berinchyk retains the WBO International title with victory over Argentinian Sarmiento. Berinchyk was coming forward throwing punches trying to take Sarmiento out early but the Argentinian showed some clever moves and frustrated Berinchyk. The Ukrainian just kept up the pressure and Sarmiento started to slow. Even then he was still boxing well enough to deal with Berinchyk’s aggression but he was not scoring enough himself to be a threat. Berinchyk handed out plenty of punishment having Sarmiento rocking in the eighth but was never quite able to repeat that and was leaving himself open in his efforts to crush Sarmiento. In the end Berinchyk was a clear winner but will have been disappointed at having had to go the full twelve rounds for a win in each of his last three fights. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 117-112 for Berinchyk. After winning silver medals at the World Championships and the Olympics he was expected to do big things as a pro but he has not been active enough or fought the right quality of opposition to have a high profile in a division crowded with talent. Berinchyk was just too strong for Argentinian featherweight champion Sarmiento who has never weighed more than 130lbs in a fight. His only other loss was on a technical decision.
Bursak vs. Smirnov
Bursak struggles to impress against Smirnov. Late substitute Smirnov was busy over the first few rounds. He was finding gaps for his jab and straight rights but had no power. Bursak was able to walk him down and focused his attacks on the body. Smirnov had a good third popping Bursak with jabs and Bursak was looking slow. Bursak did better in the fourth as his power put him in control. Smirnov remained competitive in the fifth but was tiring in the sixth as Bursak landed some clubbing hooks to the head. Bursak just could not subdued Smirnov who was outworking the Ukrainian over the closing rounds. The harder punches were coming from Bursak but Smirnov was more than willing to stand in front of Bursak and trade punches. Bursak got the unanimous decision. Scores 80-72, 78-74 and 78-75 for Bursak but even the last score was unfair on Smirnov. On this showing the 35-year-old from Kiev is not going to pose much of a threat. He may have treated this one too lightly. He has lost in shots at the WBO and IBO titles and only lost to David Lemieux on a split decision in December but will need to improve a lot to get another title shot. Russian Smirnov, 34, was having only his second fight in five years so performed well above expectations.
Brampton, Canada: Super Welter: Brandon Cook (22-2) W KO 7 Luis Pina (20-4). Middle: Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (8-0) W PTS 10 Richard Holmes (19-12).
Cook vs. Pina
Cook looking on the edge of a stoppage loss finds a body punch to pull off an unlikely win. Cook fought with his traditional aggression bobbing and weaving his way past the jab of Lima and targeting the body. Lima was taller with a reach advantage and was countering well and more than willing to trade with Cook. Lima took advantage of the wide open Cook to score heavily in the third and fourth and was proving a real test for the local fighter. Cook battled back hard in the fifth but Lima was again handing out punishment in the sixth with things looking bleak for Cook who was showing heavy bruising under both eyes. Cook dropped into the ropes and it could have been counted as the ropes held him up Lima drove Cook across the ring with Cook floundering and stumbling and holding to survive. Lima was storming into Cook with punches in the seventh and Cook was in deep trouble dipping at the knees and almost going down. He then threw himself forward and landed a right to the side of Lima’s body which sent Lima into a corner. Suddenly Lima was in pain and he looked over at the referee showing that pain. The referee stepped in and gave Lima a standing count but Lima was still in agony and not able to continue so the referee waived the fight over. A real back from the brink win for Cook. He has been beaten inside the distance by Kanat Islam and in a WBO title fight by Jaime Munguia. He was out for fourteen months after losing to Munguia in September 2018 and this is his second win after returning but with the punishment he took and at the age of 33 it really does put a big question mark over where he goes from here. Mexican Lima was coming off inside the distance losses to very tough opposition in Christian Mbilli and Carlos Molina but he came within a couple of punches of a win here.
Bhatti vs. Holmes
Bhatti moves to eight wins with decision over Jamaican Holmes. Bhatti had the better skills and with his much longer reach was able to control much of the fight with his jab. Holmes was competitive. A bit slower but he was able to score with hooks and uppercuts. Bhatti switched guards occasionally and had a big fourth round when he penned Holmes in a corner and battered away at him for over 40 seconds. Holmes never looked like going down and fought back hard in the fifth. Bhatti was back on top in the sixth and seventh but Holmes did well in a wild eighth which saw both fighters standing and trading punches. Although tiring Bhatti outboxed Holmes in the ninth and had more left than Holmes in the tenth. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Bhatti. The Indian-born, Ontario-based Bhatti showed good skills. He is at the very start of his career but may lack the power to go beyond domestic level. Holmes drops to 0-3 in fights in Canada.
Ergue Galaric, France: Super Welter: Howard Cospolite (18-7-3) W PTS 10 Romain Peron (9-8). Cospolite wins the vacant French title with split decision over Peron. His greater experience paid off for Cospolite and he looked to have won clearly but one judge saw a different fight. Scores 98-92 and 97-92 for Cospolite and 96-94 for Peron. In his last two fights Cospolite had drawn and lost to unbeaten Dylan Charrat for the vacant European Union title so he will be hoping to work his way to another shot at the title. Peron had won his last five fights.
Recklinghausen, Germany: Super Middle: Ibrahim Guemues (19-0) W TKO 8 Cesar Cuenca (48-4). An aging and largely inactive Cuenca is stopped by unbeaten Guemues. In theory Cuenca was a big step up in quality of opposition for the IBF Mediterranean champion who had scored a good win with a stoppage of Gennady Martirosyan in November. In reality the 39-year-old Cuenca, a former IBF super light champion, was having only his second fight in almost four years and his first for 13 months and was 20lbs heavier than that last fight.
London, England: Super Bantam: Brad Foster (12-0-2) W RTD 6 Lucien Reid (8-1-2). Umar Sadiq (10-1) W PTS 10 Kody Davies (10-1).
Foster vs. Reid
Foster puts the record straight with victory over Reid. When these two met in September Foster held on to his British and Commonwealth titles thanks to a majority draw with one judge seeing Reid the winner. Foster had taken on board the lessons from that first fight. Reid had proved a clever, slick opponent but this time Foster pressured him hard from the start and broke down the challenger’s resistance. Reid had some brief periods of success to ease the pressure but by the sixth he had nothing left and his corner pulled him out of the fight. The 22-year-old Foster was making the third defence of the British title and the second of the Commonwealth title. Reid has a regrouping project ahead of him.
Sadiq vs. Davies
Sadiq wins the British title eliminator with points victory over Davies. The Nigerian-born Sadiq won on scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 and is now in position to challenge British champion Lerrone Richards the WBO’s No 12. Welsh southpaw Davies had done most of his fighting recently at light heavy so might go up again to seek a title fight there.
Oldham, England: Light Heavy: Mark Heffron (25-1) W TKO 1 Ondrej Budera (12-16-1). Heffron continues his series of victories over un-testing opposition as he wipes out Czech Budera in just 59 seconds. Heffron landed some head punches and Budera dropped to one knee with Heffron connecting with a glancing blow when Budera was on one knee. Budera got up but was shaken by another series of punches and put down and out by a thunderous right hook. Four wins for Heffron who was stopped in ten rounds by WBC No 4 rated Liam Williams for the vacant British title in December 2018.Budera is 0-4 in fights in Britain.
Monte Hermoso, Argentina: Super Welter: Gerardo Vergara (12-0) W Marcelo Bzowski (11-11-3). Vergara wins the vacant WBA Fedebol tile with points decision over southpaw Bzowski. A higher work rate and heavier punch saw Vergara through to the victory. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Vergara. The 26-year-old from Bahia Blanca, the Argentinian No 6, was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and will be hoping to fight for the national title later this year. Bzowski was No 4 in the ranking. He lost twice in South American title fights last year and has suffered a dip in form now being 1-4-1 in his last six outings.
Ghent, Belgium: Welter: Meriton Karaxha (27-5-3) DREW 8 Laszlo Toth (28-5-2). Welter: Giovanni Techel (7-0) W Melvin Wassing (7-4-4).
Karaxha vs. Toth
This was a tough fight between two experienced boxers. Neither is top flight but they both fought hard all the way with first one and then the other on top. Karaxha constantly pressed the taller Toth but had to absorb some hard shots from the Hungarian. It could have gone to either boxer but the draw looked the right result. Scores 76-76 twice and 77-75 for local fighter Karaxha. The Albanian-born Karaxha has boosted his record with an unbeaten run of nine wins and two draws. Toth started his career with a 19-0-1 run but then went the money route fighting in the other guys back yard and against tougher opposition for better pay days, He has fought in Ukraine, Spain, Romania, Germany, South Africa, Indonesia and Russia,
Techel vs. Wassing
Belgian hope Techel gets his fourth inside the distance victory with second round kayo of Dutchman Wassing. Steady progress by the 23-year-old. Wassing is now a balanced 3-3-3 in his nine most recent outings.
Fight of the week (Significance): Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Tyrone McKenna vs. Mohamed Mimoune was a hotly contested for all ten rounds
Fighter of the week: Has to be Tyson Fury
Punch of the week: The fight finishing rights from Apti Davtaev and Ronnie Heffron stood out
Upset of the week: Petros Ananyan’s victory over IBF No 2 Subriel Matias was a shock
Prospect watch: Lightweight Rolando Romero is 11-0 with 10 wins by KO/TKO and looks promising.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eric Armit.
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