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The Past Week in Action 22 February 2021: Valdez in Dramatic KO Win Over Berchelt

By Eric Armit
Tue, 23 Feb 2021

Valdez (R) connects at Berchelt.

-Oscar Valdez scores dramatic kayo win over champion Miguel Berchelt to lift the WBC super featherweight title
-Adrian Broner returns with a points win over Jovanie Santiago but does not impress
-Vic Saludar wins the vacant interim WBA minimumweight title with points victory over fellow-Filipino Robert Paradero
-David Avanesyan stops Josh Kelly to retain the European welterweight title
Otto Wallin decisions Dominic Breazeale to keep alive a faint hope of a heavyweight title shot-sometime.
-Former title holders Robert Easter and Rau’shee Warren score wins
-Top Rank prospects Gabriel Flores, Elvis Rodriguez and Xander Flores all record victories.
-Fedor Chudinov looks lucky to escape with a draw against Isaac Chilemba

World Title/Major Shows

February 20

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Oscar Valdez (29-0) W KO 10 Miguel Berchelt (38-2). Middle: Esquiva Falcao (28-0) W RTD 4 Artur Akavov (20-4). Super Feather: Gabriel Flores Jr (20-0) W TKO 6 Jayson Velez (29-8-1).Super Light: Elvis Rodriguez (11-0-1) W PTS 8 Luis Veron (18-3-2). Welter: Xander Zayas (7-0) W PTS 6 James Martin (6-2).
Valdez vs. Berchelt
Valdez outboxes and outpunches Berchelt scoring two knockdowns before finishing the fight in the tenth with a left hook that levees Berchelt face down on the floor out cold.
Round 1
Close opening round as Valdez comes forward behind a high guard try to get inside. Berchelt, taller works on the back foot with his jab. Valdez misses with some swings and the better work with his jab just gives Berchelt the round
Score: 10-9 Berchelt
Round 2
Berchelt on the front foot stalking Valdez but short with his jabs. Valdez circling behind a high guard and then darting in quickly with hooks. Not much in it but Valdez just does enough.
Score: 10-9 Valdez TIED 19-19
Round 3
Berchelt piling on the pressure coming forward behind his jab. Valdez boxing skilfully on the retreat bobbing and weaving around Berchelt’s punches. Berchelt lands a heavy right to the head but Valdez then firing jabs throught Berchelt’s guard to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 29-28
Round 4
Valdez was boxing beautifully on the back foot slipping Berchelt’s punches and stabbing fast, accurate jabs home. As they traded punches Valdez landed a left hook to the temple and Berchelt was hanging on. When the referee split them Berchelt went staggering back on wobbly legs and a left hook sent him tumbling into the ropes hardly able to keep upright. Valdez rocked Berchelt twice more and the referee stepped in and applied a standing eight count as Berchelt tottered around. One more punch would have finished the fight but the bell went a second after the count and that saved Berchelt. No knockdown but definitely a 10-8 round for me.
Score: 10-8 Valdez Valdez 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 38-37 Berchelt, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 39-36 Valdez, Judge Dave Moretti 39-36 Valdez
Round 5
Berchelt pressed again in the fifth but his punches lacked any snap and Valdez was too quick and accurate with his jabs. Berchelt tried to stage a strong late finish but Valdez had no trouble avoiding Berchelt’s shots.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 49-45
Round 6
A much closer round. Berchelt had some success early as Valdez chose to stand and trade. Berchelt also finished the round strongly but for most of the round Valdez was again spearing Berchelt with jabs and connecting with left hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 59-54

Round 7
A huge effort from Berchelt in this round. He literally pursued Valdez around the ring flinging punches. A lot missed but a lot didn’t, Valdez was kept busy dodging Berchelt’s punches and although he cracked Berchelt with some good shots late in the round Berchelt did enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Berchelt Valdez 68-64
Round 8
Two fast jabs and two rights to the head were the way Valdez started this round. He then went on the back foot with Berchelt chasing in vain swishing empty air and getting caught with counters from Valdez.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 78-73
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 77-74 Valdez, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 79-72 Valdez, Judge David Moretti 78-73 Valdez
Round 9
Berchelt was shadowing Valdez but was too slow and Valdez was snapping home jabs and firing quick hooks and getting away. Valdez stood his ground in the centre of the ring and then landed a right hook to the chin and a right and a left which sent Berchelt down. Berchelt was up quickly and tried to take the fight to Valdez but was shaken twice more.
Score: 10-8 Valdez Valdez 88-81
Round 10
Berchelt was being caught by punches early in the round but kept trying to march forward. He just could not pin Valdez down and just before the bell as Berchelt marched forward again he was wide open and a devastating left hook to the head saw him pitch forward face down on the canvas with the referee immediately waiving the fight over.
Valdez wins the WBC super featherweight to become a two-division champion. He showed class skills and great power and tactical awareness. A fight with unbeaten Shakur Stevenson would be a huge draw as would a unification match against WBA title holder Gervonta Davis so exciting times ahead. This was Berchelt’s seventh defence of the WBC title but it was a bad, worrying knockout with Berchelt in considerable distress before recovering. He went to hospital for checks but was not detained. With 31 wins by KO/TKO Berchelt had the power but had no answer to the combination of skill, speed and power of Valdez.

Falcao (L) pressures Akavov whose back was against the ropes.

Falcao vs. Akavov
Falcao brutalises Akavov and forces a fourth round retirement. Akavov was competitive in the first but it was all downhill from there. Falcao hammered Akavov with punches over the next three rounds. He was pinning Akavov against the ropes and banging home shots to head and body with Akavov showing no real offence and just taking a beating. After the end of the fourth his corner pulled him out of the fight citing what looked like a broken nose and some problems with the vision in his left eye. Brazilian southpaw Falcao,31, registers win No 20 by KO/TKO. He is rated IBF 5(3)/WBO 5/WBC 8 so a shot at IBF champion Gennady Golovkin is a possibility later this year. Akavov has had two shots at the WBO middle title losing a close decision to Billy Joe Saunders and being stopped in the twelfth round by Demetrius Andrade.

Flores throws a left against Velez.

Flores vs. Velez
Flores stops experienced Velez in six rounds. Not a renowned puncher Flores was showcasing his skills and outboxing Velez. He was comfortably in front on the three cards and it looked as though it was going to be a seventh points decision in a row for the young fighter from Stockton until he exploded in the sixth. A left hook unhinged Velez’s legs and he fell forward to the canvas. He managed to get up but still looked rocky. He was allowed to continue. Flores jumped on him and put him down again and the fight was stopped. Only the seventh inside the distance victory for Flores who has been set some testing challenges over his last six fights. Third loss in a row for Velez who was coming off a tenth round stoppage against Oscar Valdez July. Velez a real rest as he has wins over Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Cruz and Victor Terrazas and went the distance in losing to Ryan Garcia.
Rodriguez vs. Veron
Rodriguez goes past the fourth round for the first time and gets some useful ring work against Argentinian Veron. The visitor came to fight but was badly outgunned. Rodriguez made a studied start with Veron willing to come forward and trade punches over some close rounds. The superior power of Rodriguez slowly broke down Veron’s resistance. He shook Veron in the sixth and by the eighth Veron was badly marked up but lasted to the end. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74. Good learning fight for the 25-year-old Dominican southpaw who will go onwards and upwards. Veron, the Argentinian No 4, was 17-0-2 but it is a different picture when he fights outside Argentina and losses to Michael McKinnon and Taras Shelestyuk in challenging fights have put a dent in his record.
Zayas vs. Martin
Zayas, the next big Puerto Rican star, had to go the distance for the first time but won every round. He was too quick both in attack and defence for Philadelphian-based Martin. Zayas movement, hand speed and flashing combinations dazzled Martin but the Philadelphian stayed in there and apart from looking unsteady after a right in the fifth was never in real trouble. The 18-year-old Zayas, he signed with Top Rank at the age of 16, had taken less than eleven round for his first six wins so useful work here. Martin had won his last two fights.

Vic Saludar (C) dons the WBA belt after defeating compratriot Robert Paradero.

Binan City, Philippines: Minimumweight: Vic Saludar (21-4) W PTS 12 Robert Paradero (18-0). Super Bantam: Carl Martin (17-0) W TKO 5 Joe Tejones (13-7).
Saludar vs. Paradero
Saludar outpoints Paradero in an all-Filipino clash to pick up the vacant WBA title.
In the first Paradero came out throwing bombs trying to blow Saludar away with left hooks and wild overhand rights. Saludar tried to box but was caught by a savage left hook. He absorbed it well and countered and they swapped swinging hooks at the end of fiery first round. Saludar boxed coolly in the second scoring with his jab and stepping back from the fierce attacks of Paradero. A clash of head saw Paradero cut over his right eye. It’s all or nothing with Paradero. He is either dancing out of distance or flying in trying to take your head with wild swipes and he unsettled Saludar enough to take the third round. Saludar brought his experience into play over the fourth, fifth and sixth. He took control of the centre of the ring picking Paradero off at distance and anticipating and avoiding Paradero’s wild attacks. Paradero had a bit more success with his assaults in the seventh and eighth but Saludar was countering him cleverly. Saludar outboxed Paradero in the ninth with Paradero’s forays becoming rarer and Saludar was scoring well with both hands. Paradero had some success in the tenth with body punches but it was a final fling. He had spent so much energy dancing around Saludar that he had tired and Saludar won the last two rounds. . Scores: 116-112 and 115-113 for Saludar and a strange 118-110 for Paradero. Giving Saludar only two rounds is ridiculous. I had it 116-112 for Saludar. A former WBO title holder at minimumweight Saludar now picks up the interim WBA title. Paradero was dangerous at times but his attacks were crude head down swipes. How Paradero qualified for the No 5 spot in the WBA ratings puzzles me. Well not really as it is the good old untrustworthy WBA. Paradero was unrated in January 2018, won an eight round fight against someone with a 5-2-1 record in April 2018 and one fight in April 2019 against a fighter with a 5-2-2 record. Shameful but then the WBA have no shame.
Martin vs. Tejones
Another inside the distance victory for “Wonder Boy” Martin. The unbeaten southpaw was too quick and too skillful for the pedestrian Tejones. After outboxing Tejones for three rounds Martin upped his pace in the fourth rattling-off punches to head and body too fast for Tejones to block or counter. In the fifth he hunted Tejones down before landing a rib-bending right hook to the body that put Tejones down in agony and he was counted out. Fifteenth quick win for the 21-year-old prospect and the twelfth in his last thirteen fights. There are still some flaws to be worked on but he looks good. Tejones, also a southpaw suffers his third inside the distance defeat.

Uncasville, CT, USA: Welter: Adrien Broner (34-4-1) W PTS 12 Jovanie Santiago (14-i-1). Heavy: Otto Wallin (22-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Dominic Breazeale (20-3). Super Light: Robert Easter Jr (23-1-1) W PTS 12 Ryan Martin (24-2). Bantam: Rau’shee Warren (18-3) W PTS 10 Sharone Carter (12-4). Super Light: Juan Jose Velasco (23-2) W PTS 10 Zachary Ochoa (21-2).

Broner connects with a right at Santiago.

Broner vs. Santiago
Broner gets the win on his return to the ring but did not impress and the decision was controversial.
The first round saw so little action that the CompuBox people could almost be heard snoring. What little success there was went to Santiago with his jab. Broner did better in the second throwing a few more punches and connecting with his jab to even things up. Santiago took the third. He was coming in behind his jab getting close and whacking Broner to the body with both hands. The fourth saw Santiago in charge. He was quick and accurate with his jab and scoring inside. Broner was still just sending out probing jabs and not committing himself . Santiago ruined his good work with a punch after the bell which cost him a one point deduction. Broner was handing rounds to Santiago with a low output and Santiago was outworking him and hustling Broner into a non-fighting retreat. Broner let the fifth, sixth and seventh slip away and was facing an uphill task. His timing and distance were off as he showed in a burst of wild punches at the end of the seventh. However he was finally shedding two years of rust. He started to control the fight in the eighth. Now it was his jab dictating the fight as he constantly pumped it into Santiago’s face. He was using his right more and when Santiago did come forward Broner was either standing and catching him on the way in or stepping back and countering him when Santiago came up short. Broner also swept the ninth, tenth and eleventh and I had them even going into the last. All Broner had to do was what had won him the previous four rounds but instead he forgot about his jab, spent too long just standing in front of Santiago and not letting his punches go and I gave the last to Santiago. That counts for nothing as the official scores were 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 all for Broner which was a very controversial decision. The win leaves Broner free to look for some big pay days with Regis Prograis being mentioned as a possible next step. Puerto Rican Santiago can consider himself unlucky. This was a huge step for him in quality of the opposition but hopefully his showing will get him some good fights in the future.

Wallin clips Breazeale to the chin with a right.

Wallin vs. Breazeale
Wallin outboxes Breazeale on the way to a very wide points victory. Wallin boxed mostly on the back foot with Breazeale plodding after him but rarely catching up. The Swedish southpaw was able to fire home quick jabs and straight lefts and slip along the ropes out of harm’s way. Breazeale had some success when he was able to catch Wallin against the ropes but that was a rare occurrence. As his confidence grew Wallin was taking some chances standing and exchanging punches but Breazeale was too slow to take any advantage that might have given him. Breazeale's reflexes are slow so Wallin was able to constantly slot jabs through Breazeale’s guard and land hard rights. Breazeale kept rumbling forward but his balance is poor so any lateral movement from Wallin was enough to help the Swede avoid trouble. The attention from Wallin’s jabs had Breazeale’s right eye swelling and it was almost closed by the end of the fight. Breazeale had his best round in the ninth and did well in the tenth when Wallin slowed and seemed to want to stand and trade punches. Wallin was never in any great danger. He outscored Breazeale in the eleventh and back pedalled in the last as Breazeale padded after him. Breazeale connected with a good left hook that was his best punch of the fight but it was far too late to change things, Scores 118-110, 117-113 and 116-112 for Wallin. A useful win for Wallin who is hoping somehow to work himself into a return with Tyson Fury but not much chance of that until the Fury vs. Joshua fight is over. Breazeale was having his first fight since being flattened in the first round by Deontay Wilder in May 2019. There will be plenty of heavyweight fights to be had so he may decide to continue.
Easter vs. Martin
Easter gets in some needed ring time as he outpoints Martin. Knowing he would be picked off at distance Martin continually tried to take the fight inside. After a close opening round Easter was working well with his jab and adding in straight rights. It was messy at times and bad tempered but Easter stuck to his boxing and mixed his punches well to head and body. Martin upped his pace in the fourth and fifth and had some success but Easter was quicker and more accurate with his punches and connected with a powerful right late in fifth. Martin continued to press but was being outscore by Easter in the sixth and seventh. A clash of heads in the eighth led to a cut over Easter’s left eye but it was never a factor. Martin pressed hard and took the ninth but boxing comfortably on the back foot Easter took the tenth and then coasted to the end of the twelfth. Scores 118-110 twice and 117-111 for Easter. The former IBF lightweight title holder is hoping for a title shot later this year and looked comfortable in his second outing at super light. A setback for Martin. He had been stopped in seven rounds by Josh Taylor in November 2018. He tested positive for a banned substance after the fight and was then inactive until June last year winning two low level outings since then.
Warren vs. Carter
Low key return for Warren as he decisions Carter. In his first fight for a year Warren put a lot of effort in early against Carter to take a commanding lead. Carter had a strong spell over the middle rounds. A nose fracture complicated things for Warren and he looked to be flagging at the end but was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 all for Warren. The former WBA bantam title holder is No 3 with the WBA so a title shot is not out of the question. Carter was coming off an eight round decision over former IBF super flyweight title holder McJoe Arroyo last month.
Velasco vs. Ochoa
Minor upset as Argentinian Velasco edges past favoured Ochoa on a split decision. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Velasco and 96-94 for Ochoa. Third time lucky in the USA for Velasco having been beaten inside the distance in no chance of winning fights against Regis Prograis and Mario Barrios. Ochoa had been rebuilding well running up five wins after being halted in seven rounds by Yves Ulysse in 2017

London, England: Welter: David Avanesyan (27-3-1) W TKO 6 Josh Kelly (10-1-1). Super Light: Gabriel Valenzuela (23-2-1) W PTS 10 Robbie Davies Jr (20-3). Feather: Jordan Gill (26-1-0) W PTS 10 Cesar Juarez (25-10).Welter: Florian Marku (8-0-1) W TKO 8 Rylan Charlton (6-1-1).

Avanesyan wins.

Avanesyan vs. Kelly
English-based Russian Avanesyan makes a successful third defence of the European title as he hassles and hustles with pressure all the way before stopping Kelly in the sixth round
Both connected with some good shots in the opener with a burst of punches seeing Kelly edge the round. A big left hook from Kelly sent Avanesyan staggering back in the second and he plastered Avanesyan with punches but Avanesyan recovered and Kelly suffered a cut to the back of his head when Avanesyan curved around there. Avanesyan tried to march inside but walked on to stiff jabs from Kelly who took the round. Having the shorter reach Avanesyan was having to take chances to get inside and in the third Kelly was spearing him with jabs and tying him up inside. Kelly got the better of the exchanges in the fourth standing and trading with Avanesyan. Kelly complained to the referee after a clash of heads which opened a cut over Kelly’s right eye. He was getting too confident with his arms down and taunting Avanesyan. In the fifth Kelly tried to brawl with Avanesyan before going back to his boxing. Avanesyan switches guard constantly and effortlessly and he was piling forward getting caught with counters but a succession of head punches he landed showed he was finally having some success. Avanesyan was hunting relentlessly in the sixth and connecting regularly. Kelly was forced to stand and exchange and was caught by a series of four head punches which saw him bend low at the waist and touch the floor with his gloves. After the eight count Avanesyan jumped on Kelly and connected with a couple of hard head shots. As Kelly retreated he stumbled and went down on his hands and knees and the towel came in from Kelly’s corner. Avanesyan, 32, a former holder of the interim WBA title who beat Shane Mosley in one of his defences is in great form having twice disposed of Spanish hope Kevin Lejarraga. He is rated IBF 6/WBC 7/WBA 9/WBO 10 and it would be great to see him get a title shot but the welters are super hot right now and there is the suggestion of a fight with unbeaten Connor Benn. Kelly looked in command but finally crumpled under the pressure. He has lots of talent and is only 26 but the manner of his losing was disappointing.
Valenzuela vs. Davies
Mexican Valenzuela floors and outpoints Davies. Both fighters were looking to stand and trade punches early with Davies just edging in front. In the third Davies rocked Valenzuela with a strong jab but Valenzuela fired back and a right put Davies down. In the fourth Valenzuela was deducted a point for hitting on the break. After a close fifth with plenty of exchanges Davies was rocked with a right in the sixth but rebounded to outboxed Valenzuela in the seventh. A right from Valenzuela rocked Davies in the eighth but Davies landed some good combinations in the ninth. The fight was there for the taking and Valenzuela produced the stronger finish to collar the decision and the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title. Scores 96-95 twice for Valenzuela and 94-94which hopefully will go some way to easing Eddie Hearn’s concerns over British judging after the Zelfa Barrett vs. Kiko Martinez controversy. Valenzuela, 26, is now 20-0-1 in his last 21 fights. Despite those impressive figures his opposition had been low key making him a reasonable risk for Davies. Where Davies goes now is open to question but there are plenty of good fights to take for the former undefeated European champion.
Gill vs. Juarez
Gill makes his score 1-1 against Mexican opposition as he boxes his way to a unanimous decision over Juarez. Gill built a quick lead as Juarez took a little while to comer to the boil. Once Juarez began to get into the fight he was exerting plenty of pressure and giving Gill some unpleasant moments. Juarez had a good sixth where he was able to corner Gill and work him over. From there Juarez slowly tired and Gill was able to work at distance with his jab and smother Juarez’s efforts inside. The Mexican remained dangerous but Gill fought a smart fight over the closing round to get the win. Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 96-94 for Gill who undoubtedly won but the scores looked a bit too wide. Gill collects the WBA International title with his third consecutive win since an inside the distance loss to Mexican Mario Tinoco in May 2019.
Marku vs. Charlton
After a slow start Marku climbs off the canvas to stop Charlton. The first two rounds saw Charlton on top and it was the third before Marku took control. He had Charlton in deep trouble at the end of the fourth and dominated the fifth. Charlton showed he was not finished by flooring Marku with a left hook in the sixth. The seventh swung back towards Marku and with Carton cut over his left eye and reeling under Marku’s attack his corner threw in the towel. Sixth win by KO/TKO for the London-based Albanian southpaw, a former kickboxer. Marku just punched too hard for novice Charlton.

17 February

Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Middle: Vladimir Shishkin (12-0) W PTS 10 Sena Agbeko (23-2). Welter: Janelson Figueroa Bocachica (17-0) W PTS 10 Mark Reyes Jr (14-1).
Shishkin vs. Agbeko
Russian Shishkin much too good for Ghanaian Agbeko. Shishkin had too much skill for the aggressive but limited Agbeko. The only concern for Shishkin was a cut opened over his left eye in the fifth round. He was examined before the start of the sixth but was allowed to continue and finished strongly with a good eighth and rocking Agbeko in the ninth. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Shishkin. He is building on an extensive time in the amateurs where he was Russian Under-22 champion and won gold medals at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries and the prestigious Istvan Bocskai Tournament. He is being guided well but at 29 needs to make his move soon. Agbeko came in the back of eight wins but all against modest opponents.
Bocachica vs. Reyes
Detroiter Bocachica extends his winning run with a majority decision over Reyes. It was a close fight all the way. After an even start Bocachica seemed to build a winning lead over the middle rounds and in a strong ninth. Reyes scored well with left hooks but that drop of activity in the middle rounds undid him and even though he took the last as Bocachica coasted it was not enough to close the gap. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Bocachica and 95-95. First real test for the lanky 22-year-old Bocachica. Reyes, 24, had won his last nine fights by KO/TKO but was also untested-but then testing young talent is what ShoBox is all about.

19 February

Bolton, England: Light: Gavin Gwynne (13-2) W TKO 7 Sean McComb (11-1). Welter: Samuel Antwi (13-1) TKO 6 Darren Tetley (20-2). Super Feather: DP Carr (12-0-1) W PTS 10 Dean Dodge (9-1-1).

Team Gwynne celebrates after a win over McComb.

Gwynne vs. McComb
Gwynne upsets the odds with win over southpaw prospect McComb. Gwynne tried to exert pressure in the first but McComb “The Public Nuisance” boxed well. More pressure from Gwynne in the second as he hurt McComb with a hard body shot and a clash of heads opened a cut over McComb’s right eye. McComb steadied himself over the third and fourth but could not keep Gwynne out. Gwynne suffered an unusual cut in the fifth when he ducked under a punch from McComb and McComb’s elbow opened a cut on the back of Gwynne’s head. Big sixth for Gwynne as McComb began to wilt under the pressure and had to absorb some heavy shots. In the seventh a tired looking McComb was again under pressure and when he turned his back to walk away from Gwynne the fight was stopped. Welshman Gwynne’s losses have come in very tough asks against world rated fighters Joe Cordina and James Tennyson but this is a big win for him and he collects the vacant Commonwealth title. Huge blow for McComb both in losing and in the way he surrendered.
Antwi vs. Tetley
Another surprise in this one as Antwi stops Tetley. Antwi made a great start against the taller Tetley connecting with a series of body shots in the first that dropped Tetley. He beat the count and survived the round. From there it was a close contest but Antwi was getting the better of the exchanges. In the sixth he rocked Tetley with a couple of head punches and then drove him to the floor with body punches. Tetley made it to his feet but the referee stopped the fight. Londoner Antwi gets his sixth victory by KO/TKO and collects the vacant English title. Second consecutive loss for Tetley
Carr vs. Dodge
Carr outpoints Dodge. No love lost between these two in a bitter but entertaining battle. Carr just had the edge in skills and boxed his way to victory. Referee’s score 97-93. Carr retains the BBB of C Southern Area title and moves forward as this was also an eliminator for the English title. First ten round fight for Dodge.

Anguillara Sabazia, Italy: Super Welter: Damiano Falcinelli (14-0) W TKO 10 Christian Segura (12-5).
Falcinelli beats down Segura to win the vacant Italian title. For the first three rounds the better boxing of Segura put him in front. From the fourth the strong, aggressive Falcinelli took over. He landed a couple of left hooks in the fifth before putting Segura down with a right hook. Falcinelli had Segura on the back foot and under pressure in the sixth, seventh and eighth and then drove him to the canvas twice with a series of punches in the ninth. It was over early in the tenth when the referee stepped in as Falcinelli was bombarding an unresponsive Segura with punches. Seventh inside the distance win for the young fighter from Rome. Dominican-born Segura suffers his third loss in his last four fights

20 February

Krasnogorsk, Russia: Super Middle: Fedor Chudinov (23-2-1) DREW 10 Isaac Chilemba (26-7-3). Light: Alexander Devyatov (9-0) W TKO 1 Otto Gamez (19-5). Cruiser: Server Emurlaiev (23-0-1) W TKO 2 Ajmal Zarif (1-1).
Chudinov vs. Chilemba
Chudinov gets fortunate draw against Chilemba. In the first Chudinov was rolling forward and had some success when he took Chilemba to the ropes but Chilemba stopped Chudinov in his tracks twice with jabs. They both scored well inside in the second and Chilemba continued to find gaps for his jabs and quick counters in the third and fourth. Chudinov had been too slow coming forward and not throwing enough punches but he upped his pace in the fifth and had his best round. Chilemba was getting his punches off first and his movement was leaving the slower Chudinov a pace or two behind. Chilemba took the sixth and the seventh but Chudinov used his strength to wrestle Chilemba to the ropes more in the eighth and took that round. The ninth again saw the Malawian outbox Chudinov but the Russian put in a big effort in the last catching Chilemba with clubbing punches to head and body but Chilemba never looked in trouble. Scores 97-93 Chudinov, 97-94 Chilemba and 95-95 but for me Chilemba was a clear winner. The draw breaks a ten-bout winning streak for Chudinov, the WBA Gold title holder, but he was lucky here. Chilemba has had to travel a really tough road. He was 2-5 going into this one but the losses were against Eleider Alvarez, Sergey Kovalev, Olek Gvozdyk, Dmitry Bivol and Maxim Vlasov. It does not get much tougher than that.
Devyatov vs. Gamez
Devyatov destroys Gamez in quick time. Devyatov had the Venezuelan down four times before the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Fifth early win on the trot for the 23-year-old Russian. Careful matching saw Gamez’s record at 18-1 but 4 losses in 5 fights have painted a more accurate picture.
Emurlaiev vs. Zarif
A strange one this as Emurlaiev returns to the ring for the first time since November 2012 and stops newcomer Zarif in the first round. Zarif was way out of his depth. He was trapped on the ropes with Emurlaiev unloading punches when the towel came in from Zarif’s corner. He was furious at his corner throwing in the towel and he and his second argued and tried to exchange punches but the his second outside the ring on the arena floor that was like handbags at twenty paces. The stoppage stood. Now 35 Emurlaiev’s last fight which was back in 2012 ended in a split verdict loss to Stanislav Kashtanov for the vacant interim WBA super middleweight title. Russian-based Afghan Zarif turned pro in December and won his fight in 26 seconds.

Miami, FL, USA: Welter: Harold Calderon (24-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Eniz (25-15-1). Middle: Kanat Islam (28-0) W KO 7 Jayson Minda (14-4-1).
Calderon vs. Eniz
Calderon wins this clash of southpaws as he easily outpoints Eniz. The Honduran’s jab was the basis for his victory. Eniz tried to put Calderon under pressure but too often was kept on the outside by fast jabs from Calderon who took no chances. Eniz has a very ordinary record but wins over former IBF title holder Cesar Cuenca and Danish hope 21-1 Deniz Ilbay show he can be a threat on his night-this was not his night. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Calderon. He will be looking to work his way into the welterweight ratings but will need to face stronger opposition to do that. Fourth loss in his last five fights for Calderon.
Islam vs. Minda
Islam floors and halts Minda in seven rounds. Islam employed his usual war of attrition tactics from the start looking to beat the resistance out of tall Ecuadorian Minda. The Ecuadorian, a late substitute , proved a tough opponent and was able to connect with strong counters as Islam drove forward with not much thought of defence. The first sign of a crack in Minda’s hopes came in the fourth when a right from Islam put him down. Islam then ruined his advantage by landing a punch when Minda was on the floor. Islam took two points for the knockdown and was deducted two points for that late punch. Islam kept up the pressure on in the fifth and by the sixth an exhausted Minda was hardly able to raise his arms to protect himself. In the seventh Minda stumbled back to the ropes and was already going down as Islam threw a punch but Islam stopped the punch before he got himself in more trouble. Minda got up and after the count stood up to Islam but when an overhand right saw him drop to one knee the referee stopped the fight over protests from Minda. That makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO for the 36-year-old Chinese-born Kazak. This is the first fight for sixteen months for the WBO No 4. His name never comes up when looking at potential title challenges and at 36 he is not in a position where he can afford to wait much longer.

Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Light: Jonathan Barros (43-7-1) W PTS 10 Jorge Barrios (53-5-1,1ND).
Barros wins the clash of aging former title holders with a comfortable points victory over Barrios. The first round was taken by Barrios with some sharp jabbing,. A clash of heads saw Barros suffer a cut on his left eyebrow. From there ii was downhill for Barrios. In the second Barros took control of the centre of the ring and dominated the fight. Barrios just could not break through and although he clearly took the sixth a left hook from Barros in the eighth dumped him on the canvas. Barrios survived and Barros boxed conservatively in the ninth and tenth to get the win. Scores 99-91 ½ twice and 98-93 for Barros. Now 37 the former holder of the secondary WBA title at featherweight went on to lose in subsequent shots at the WBA, IBF and WBC feather titles. This was his first fight since September 2019. The 44-year-old Barrios “ The Hyena”, was once a holder of the WBO featherweight title. He was convicted of negligent homicide in 2010 when the car he was driving went through a red light and killed a 20-year-old pregnant woman. After various appeals Barrios was in prison from 2014 until 2017. This is his fourth fight since returning.

Arroyo Seco, Argentina: Super Light: Gustavo Lemos (26-0) W TKO 1 Demian Fernandez (13-3).
Lemos retains the IBF Latino title with 94 second demolition of Fernandez. Lemos went after Fernandez from the first bell. He forced Fernandez to the ropes and bombarded him with punches. Fernandez slid along the ropes trying to punch back but he lacked the power. Lemos was a bit wild with his punches but with Fernandez against the ropes a wicked left hook and a right sent him crashing down and the referee stopped the massacre. Sixteen wins by KO/TKO by the 24-year-old “El Electrico”. Fernandez had lost only one of his last eleven fights.

Hamburg, German: Heavy: Zhan Kossobutskiy (15-0) W KO 4 Onoriode Ehwarieme (18-2). Light Heavy: James Kraft (19-0-1) W RTD 2 Malkhaz Sujashvili (12-14). Super Middle: Toni Kraft (16-1-2) DREW 8 Rostam Ibrahim (6-0).
Kossobutskiy vs. Ehwarieme
Easy night for Kossobutskiy as he knocks out Nigerian Ehwarieme in the third round to win the vacant WBA International title. Ehwarieme is 6’7” but that is all he has going for him. He is very slow with a poor defence. Kossobutskiy floored the Nigerian at the end of the third round with Ehwarieme only just making it to his feet before the bell saved him. In the fourth a right to the head sent Ehwarieme down heavily and even though his corner immediately threw in the towel the referee decided to waste time by counting to ten. Fourteen inside the distance victories for Kossobutskiy whose promoters Universum have been spreading all sorts of rumours about who has been avoiding the 42-year-old Kazak southpaw but he will have to beat better opposition than this to prove himself. Ehwarieme came in as a late replacement. He has scored his wins over very sub standard opponents and when he “stepped-up” he was knocked out in one round by 12-7-2 Rodney Hernandez in 2019
Kraft vs. Sujashvili
No chances being taken here as Kraft forces a second round retirement against poor Georgian Sujashvili. The 6’3” younger of the Kraft brothers has ten wins inside the distance. Sujashvili suffers his tenth loss in his last eleven fights.
Kraft vs. Ibrahim
Kraft was looking to rebound from his first pro loss but instead had to settle for a majority draw against novice Ibrahim. In Kraft’s last fight in November 2019 he lost a close unanimous decision to unbeaten Leon Bauer. Ibrahim of Syrian descent fought well above expectations.

Fight of the week (Significance): Oscar Valdez’s victory over Miguel Berchelt opens up exciting possibilities at super feather
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Valdez vs. Berchelt
Fighter of the week: Oscar Valdez for power and class show against Berchelt
Punch of the week: The left hook from Valdez that put Berchelt face down on the canvas
Upset of the week: Mexican Gabriel was an outsider against Robbie Davies but sprung a surprise by flooring and outpointing Davies
Prospect watch: Filipino Super Bantamweight Carl Martin 17-0 is worth following

Just to clarify when I give an IBF ratings such as 7(5) it means that the fighter is No 7 in the ratings but there are two slots ahead of him which are “vacant” so effectively he is the fifth named boxer in the ratings.
Very strange. Three twelve round fights on the show in Uncasville and not a single title involved. The sanctioning bodies missed out on fees somehow.
Not too often you get a fighter and his second exchanging punches as happened in Krasnogorsk. As the boxer Ajmal Zarif was stopped in the first round perhaps the second should have been the one wearing the gloves.
Why does boxing attract the unattractive. On the show in Krasnogorsk you had one boxer described as a “white supremist, convicted criminal and former kickboxer and another described as “renown for an 18 year jail term for murder as well as subsequent jail for drug trafficking-and for once wrestling with a bear”. We don’t need any outside enemies we have enough inside the sport.
With Kanat Islam flooring Jeyson Minda with an illegal punch Islam lost two points for the illegal punch and Minda had a knockdown against him I am assuming the round would have been scored 8-8 which must be a rarity.
More rubbish ratings from the WBA. Filipino Robert Paradero was rated No 5 by the WBA before fighting Vic Saludar for the interim minimumweight title. Paradero was unrated in January 2018, won an eight round fight against someone with a 5-2-1 record in April 2018 and won one fight in April 2019 against a fighter with a 5-2-2 record and that’s the WBA ratings. Shameful but then the WBA have no shame. If you like fiction have a look at the WBA Rules and Regulations:
You will find they have 12 pages of tables ( pages 59 to 71) on how every single position in the ratings is calculated. I wonder when was the last time anyone at the WBA actually looked at those pages. All those complex calcuations and they don’t even have a separate section on how to rate fighters promoted by Don King!

About the Author

Born in Scotland, Eric Armit started working with Boxing News magazine in the UK in the late 1960’s initially doing records for their Boxing News Annual and compiling World, European and Commonwealth ratings for the magazine. He wrote his first feature article for Boxing News in 1973 and wrote a “World Scene” weekly column for the magazine from the late 1970’s until 2004. Armit wrote a monthly column for Boxing Digest in the USA and contributed pieces to magazines in Mexico, Italy, Australia, Spain, Argentina and other countries. Armit now writes a Weekly Report covering every major fight around the world and a bi-weekly Snips & Snipes column plus occasional general interest articles with these being taken up by boxing sites around the world. He was a member of the inaugural WBC Ratings Committee and a technical advisor to the EBU Ratings Committee and was consulted by John McCain’s research team when they were drafting the Ali Act. He is a Director and former Chairman of the Commonwealth Boxing Council. Armit has been nominated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame the past two years (2019 and 2020) to which he said, “Being on the list is an unbelievably huge honour.”

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eric Armit.

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