Nkosinathi Joyi (seen here against Florante Condes) beat Raul Garcia for the IBF strawweight title today in South Africa. (Photo via blogs.dispatch.co.za)
East London, South Africa: South African Nkosinathi Joyi topped Mexican Raul Garcia to take Garcia's IBF strawweight title and hand him his first loss. This is the first of two big fights in the 105-pound division this weekend, and by far the bigger of the two. Joyi (21-0, 15 KO) won on scores reported as 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110. African shows have recently had a tendency to produce some awful robberies, and I haven't seen any full reports on the fight itself yet, but I'm assuming it's legit. Joyi is a damn good fighter and if he legitimately beat Garcia that wide, even better than I thought he was. Garcia falls to 27-1-1 (16 KO), losing the title in his fifth defense.
Commerce, California: Demetrius Hopkins returned to the ring and predictably outpointed late replacement opponent Jesse Feliciano on Thursday night, winning on scores of 100-90, 100-90 and 100-91. This means someone found a round to score even for Feliciano. Feliciano (15-9-3, 9 KO) is a great guy and as tough as they come, and I know he's only 27, but if there's a guy in boxing who needs to retire for his own good, it's him. He's lost four in a row now and two of those (Kermit Cintron and Andrey Tsurkan) were pretty hellacious beatings. He takes a ton of punishment. Also on this card, Cameron Dunkin/TKO Promotions signee Randy Caballero made his pro debut. The 19-year-old knocked out a can in 49 seconds.
Tokyo, Japan: Charlie Ohta beat Akio Shibata to win the OPBF and Japanese junior middleweight titles via eighth round TKO. Sidney Boquiren has more than I can provide on this fight over at The Boxing Bulletin.
Dagenham, England: Featherweight prospect Joe Murray (7-0, 3 KO) beat veteran Yuri Voronin (27-11-2, 18 KO) over eight rounds. Voronin is 36 and has seen his best days go by, and he was never a world-beater, but that's a nice win for young Murray. 30-year-old Moroccan hype job Yassine El Maachi (12-4, 5 KO) beat another scrub. He's tentatively scheduled to face French scrub Bertrand Aloa (15-6, 1 KO) on April 24 at York Hall.