Sebastian Sylvester (right) knocked down Mahir Oral twice en route to a dominant decision victory. via Sauerland Event
Our report on the early weekend fight action, including David Lemieux's destruction of Hector Camacho Jr. and Dmitry Sukhotsky's knockout win over Alesky Kuziemski, can be found here.
Sebastian Sylvester UD12 Mahir Oral - After a few recent close calls, Sebastian had a convincing title defense against Oral. Sylvester pressed forward and use his bullying style to keep the taller Oral from getting into a rhythm. Sylvester sent Oral to the canvas in the 8th and 9th rounds, winning by scores of 119-106, 117-107 and 117-107.
Kubrat Pulev UD8 Dominick Guinn - Pulev moves to 9-0, with nearly all of those wins coming over someone with name recognition. Still, Guinn was probably at least a small step up over guys he had faced previously, and a dominant decision victory showed some progression.
Dustin Dirks TKO7 Billy Boyle - This one's a bit odd, in that Dirks is scheduled to face a much tougher opponent in Tony Dodson in two weeks on the Haye-Harrison undercard. I haven't seen any reports of cuts or damage to Dirks, so I'll assume that bigger opportunity is still on.
Daniel Geale TKO12 Roman Karmazin - Geale pulled off a convincing win over Karmazin, outspeeding Karmazin early, and then knocking him out late. It was a better than expected performance for Geale, where he reportedly showed some stylistic development since his close fight with Anthony Mundine. Through the fight, Geale essentially beat Karmazin at his own game, and with 30 seconds left, he trapped Karmazin in a corner and forced the stoppage. At that time, Geale was up by 3, 7 and 8 points on the judges scorecards. Geale becomes Sebastian Sylvester's mandatory, and don't be too surprised if Sebastian's team suddenly angles for the biggest money fight possible instead, as Geale is looking like a legitimate threat.
Lenny Zappa KO1 Ji Hoon Kim - This seemed to be an unusual sort of crossroads fight, a title eliminator between a guy who had lost his last fight and another who probably should have lost his last fight. This was expected to be a war, but Leonardo Zappavigna, AKA Lenny Zappa, knocked out Kim in the first round. Zappa, now 25-0, is now the mandatory to face IBF lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez.
Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam UD12 Advantil Khurtsidze - In what sounds like a fight of the month candidate, N'Jikam edged the Georgian Khurtsidze in a close and controversial decision. In what was described as a violent fight, Khurtsidze used his tanklike frame and head movement to keep coming forward, attacking N'Jikam to the head and body. Late in the fight, as Khurtsidze tired out, N'Jikam started to take better control. The final (and very strange) scores were 115-114, 115-114 and 117-111 for N'Jikam, and the hometown crowd reportedly was restless with the decision. N'Jikam claimed an interim middleweight title and will need to face Gennady Golovkin in the near future to keep it.
Cebu City, Philippines
AJ Banal DQ7 Luis Perez - Pinoy prospect Banal defeats former two-weight titlist Perez. At the time of the disqualification, Banal was well ahead on all of the cards and had hurt Perez several times. Perez was disqualified when he knocked Banal out off of the break. This shouldn't be a major surprise - Perez may be extremely inactive these days, but when he was more active, he was one of the dirtiest fighters around.
Mafikeng, South Africa
Vusi Malinga MD12 Michael Domingo - After Domingo dominated the first few rounds, Malinga was able to take over after the first few rounds. To his credit, Domingo never quit fighting, and while he was outclassed in the middle rounds, he kept things competitive. Since this is the IBF, it's not completely clear, but either Malinga is now Yohnny Perez's mandatory, or Malinga has earned a title eliminator for the right to face Perez.
Raul Garcia SD12 Luis De La Rosa - In a legitimately close fight, Garcia was able to land the bigger shots, but the inexperienced hometown fighter De La Rosa was able to lure Garcia into an inside brawl. The end result was a fight of the month candidate where Garcia took the win by a one point margin, 114-113, 114-113 and 112-115. Both of the fighters thought they won the fight, and it seems that viewers were split down the line about 50/50 as well. A second round knockdown was the difference at the end of the day. Rayito wins an interim minimumweight title.
Jesus Geles D12 Omar Soto - Soto stepped into this one on only a few days notice, in a foreign country, so give him credit for getting the draw. He now drops to 0-5 in title shots and eliminators, but he's made things close a few times. Geles was unable to capture an interim light flyweight title at the WBO convention, while in his hometown.
Also collecting wins this weekend: Kevin Johnson, Troy Ross, Victor Cayo, Steve Herelius, Mark Jason Melligan, Jason Pagara, Ramie Laput, Lee Selby, Cesar Vazquez, John Jackson, Julius Jackson, Noe Gonzalez Alcoba, Silence Mabuza, Phillip N'Dou, Junior Talipeau, Jamie Pittman, Robert Medley, Chauncey Welliver, Mickey Roman, and Oscar Ibarra, Victor Zaleta, Neven Pajkic.