Got some early results in from this afternoon as we gear up for the Montiel-Donaire main event tonight on HBO. We will have live coverage of that two-fight card tonight, so make sure you're here to join us.
- Felix Sturm TKO-7 Ronald Hearns: This was for the most part a true and complete mismatch, as Sturm (35-2-1, 15 KO) made the tenth consecutive successful defense of his held-hostage WBA middleweight belt since regaining it from Javier Castillejo in 2007. There was a time I did feel that Sturm was underrated by many -- not that he was as great as his reputation in Germany, but better than his more global reputation among diehard boxing fans. Now I'd say he's rated about right. His jab is still sharp, and he's still quite intelligent in the ring, but he's very basic and hasn't truly tested his mettle in years. Since beating Castillejo in '07, the only fights of Sturm's I give him much credit for are the win over Sebastien Sylvester, and the rematch victory over Randy Griffin, because at least he showed the guts to rematch a guy who gave him way more hell than was anticipated. And that's saying something, because Griffin is basically known only for his two fights with Sturm and has done nothing else of real note, and Sylvester is, you know, "pretty decent." Other than that, what is there? Wins over the truly unworthy (Koji Sato, Jamie Pittman, Noe Alcoba, now Hearns) and one-dimensional Giovanni Lorenzo. As for Hearns (26-2, 20 KO) ... he doesn't have it. He was clearly not in Sturm's league and was outclassed basically every step of the way. He seems like a nice, humble guy, who hasn't taken advantage of his father's name the way many in his spot would have by now, and he does his best. He came to fight and came to win. He just wasn't ready, and given that he's 32, he's never going to be a real contender. His two best opponents (Sturm and Harry Joe Yorgey) have basically flattened him.
- Manuel Charr TKO-5 Jonathan Pasi: Just in case you were wondering, yes, Manuel Charr (17-0, 9 KO) fought on the undercard, and yes, I sort of paid attention to it, and yes, he still sucks, and no, you shouldn't start taking him seriously.
London, England (Wembley Arena)
- Ashley Theophane UD-12 Lenny Daws: Theophane lifts the British title at 140 on scores of 115-112 and 115-111 (twice). Theophane (29-4-1, 7 KO) now has totally shed the image of professional opponent, at least for the time being. I'm not saying that being British champion is always a mark of excellence or anything like that, but he's someone now, and won't just be hoping to land something he's supposed to lose. He's a talented, awkward fighter who I've always enjoyed observing (not always enjoyed his fights, but he's interesting), and I feel good for him here. Daws (21-2-2, 9 KO) will stay in the race at 140 on UK shores for sure.
- Craig Watson UD-12 John O'Donnell: Sounds like a fight where O'Donnell just let himself lay back too much, which is one of his problems. That and he's not particularly good defensively. O'Donnell has talent, but it's probably equal to Watson's talent, and now they're 1-1. Watson (20-3, 8 KO) won the vacant British welterweight belt on scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 116-113. O'Donnell is now 24-2 (11 KO).
- Tyson Fury KO-5 Marcelo Luiz Nascimento: Nascimento (13-1, 11 KO) went down in the first round and went down for good in the fifth. Fury (14-0, 10 KO) was said by our observers in the fight thread to be clearly more talented and more ready for the stage. Nascimento's reputation of having heavy hands and nothing more was lived up to, I guess.
London, England (York Hall)
- Frankie Gavin TKO-7 Michael Lomax: Gavin improves to 9-0 (8 KO) with a stoppage of Lomax (17-4-1, 2 KO), who took the fight on extremely short notice.
- John McDermott TKO-1 Larry Olubamiwo: Well, that might get Olubamiwo (10-2, 9 KO) off your televisions in the UK. McDermott (26-7, 17 KO) smashed the Nigerian pretender in just 75 seconds, knocking him down twice, to pick up his first win since April 2008. Good for Big Bad John.