Boxing results and recaps, Nov. 1-3: Pongsaklek Wonjongkam retires, Roberto Santos escapes, Shinsuke Yamanaka / Frankie Gomez obliterate, and 2 fight novice Larry Ekundayo wins Prizefighter

Shinsuke Yamanaka - via BoxRec

This weekend recap is devoted to events that most casual American boxing fans haven’t seen or heard of. Important fights from this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are covered.

The "Weekend Recap" is back after a full week's absence due to hurricane Sandy causing me to have no power last Wednesday. With its return I've decided to change some things around as despite the time and effort I've been putting into these recaps the amount of responses is lacking. So now I'm just going to focus on detailing main events and simply listing the undercard results. I may say something brief about an undercard if I find it particularly interesting. Feel free to ask about specific undercards I list in the comments section. I will elaborate there.

Also I may do away entirely with the Wednesday edition of the recap, but I haven't decided yet. One definitely won't appear this week as I'm busy meeting a deadline for division ratings for the site along with a 2012 highlight reel KO list (video included). No worries though, I cover pretty much everything major in this recap.

2012-11-01 Central Pavilion, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

Thailand's channel 7 televised the main event, which may be the last fight of a Thai legend.

Rey Migreno TKO3 Pongsaklek Wonjongkam

Generally trilogies shouldn't happen when you've already beaten your opponent twice, especially when the last time was via 1st round destruction. But when you're Pongsaklek Wonjongkam and you've had over 90 fights in your ~18 year career, I imagine opponents can sometimes be scarce. It was the upset of the year when Wonjongkam was stopped 8 months earlier by Sonny Boy Jaro. It was time to retire when he was stopped in half the time against journeyman Rey Migreno.

As for the fight itself, the 35 year old Wonjongkam was putting on his usual boxing lesson although he was getting tagged in the process a little more than usual. Wonjongkam, like an aged matador, was simply unable to avoid the horns of the bull. In round 3 after a series of hooks to the body Migreno landed an overhand right to the head that caught Wonjongkam flush and put him down. Although Pongsaklek easily beat the count, Migreno immediately jumped on him and flurried away while Wonjongkam's back was on the ropes. Wonjongkam went down for a second time and the referee rightfully waved the fight off.

The Bangkok Post reports that Wonjongkam announced his retirement following this defeat. This would be a sad end to a hall of fame worthy career (and if you don't believe it is let me know, I can easily write a piece that explains why), but I support his decision to retire. 35 for a flyweight is like 45+ for a heavyweight. I was looking forward to another modern day fighter breaking the 100 fight mark, but I don't think his legacy really needs it (as opposed to someone like Luis Ramon Campas). I wish Pongsaklek the best.

Migreno, by the way, is now the new WBC International flyweight champion. I'm sure the belt and the recognition of retiring a legend will land him a big fight...which he will most likely lose.

2012-11-02 Multiversum, Schwechat, Austria

Eurosport televised the main event and 2 undercards.

Timy Shala PTS6 Attila Baran

Henry Weber PTS8 Sergej Rozvadovskij

Roberto Santos D12 Marcos Nader (114-114, 114-115, 114-114)

If you've looked up recaps for this fight or asked around you're probably under the impression that Nader was robbed, and perhaps even robbed blind. The English Eurosport announcers sure acted like he was. But honestly the fight was a lot closer than that. Through 5 rounds I felt the challenger Nader put on a boxing lesson. But then things changed. Santos never dominated like Nader did previously, but he easily did enough to legitimately eke out a draw under the 10 point must system. When winning rounds without knockdowns 99/100 times is consistently a 1 point margin of victory these things tend to happen. So don't blame the judges, blame the failings of the 10 point must system.

That said I actually scored the fight for Nader by 1 point, 115-114 like Finish judge Esa Lehtosaari. The judges who scored it a draw are Pierluigi Poppi and Ventsislav Nikolov, Italian and Bulgarian respectively. People found it shocking that Nader couldn't get the decision in his hometown, but none of the judges were local.

Through the first 5 rounds of the fight Santos had a problem letting his hands go because he was unable to set his feet to punch. Nader gave him constant movement and Santos more or less just aimlessly followed him around. Nader had clear advantages in hand and foot speed and used them to make easy work out of Santos. As Nader began to stand his ground more and is when Santos got into the fight. At first it appeared a strategic move by Nader to trade with Santos, but after a while it became apparent that he was running low on gas. All the dancing he did and flashy combinations he threw in the first 5 rounds can do that. Given the nature of scoring he probably shouldn't have won those rounds by such a wide margin. It was a waste of energy that he clearly needed.

The only other round I gave to Nader in the fight was the 10th. I scored the 7th even. Richie Woodhall, who thought Nader was robbed, scored those 2 rounds and the first 5 the same as I did. The only thing I found controversial about the fight was that it was initially called a victory for Nader despite the two even scorecards. But it turned out the announcer simply didn't understand that a boxer can't win a fight if he's ahead on only one card. Thus once things got sorted the bout ended in majority draw. I'd agree that Santos was lucky to retain his EBU-EU (European Union) middleweight title, but only because he fought in his opponent's backyard.

2012-11-02 PalaDozza, Bologna, Emilia Romagna, Italy

Rai sport televised. I only caught the main event.

Simone Rotolo UD10 Lorenzo Cosseddu (100-90, 99-91, 98-92)

Rotolo boxed intelligently from the opening bell. He snapped his jab and kept the shorter Cosseddu out of range. When Cosseddu charged in Rotolo used lateral movement to get out of harm's way. Rotolo easily dominated the fight with clean punches and successfully defended his Italian middleweight title. Nonetheless the rugged Cosseddu remained game until the very end and the two embraced after the fight.

2012-11-02 Central Gym, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan

I doubt this card was televised as I only found a camcorder version of the main event.

Kohei Oba UD10 Yuki Murai (98-93, 96-94, 96-95)

It goes without saying that 31(12)-2(1)-1 former Japanese bantamweight champion Oba did what was expected against 20(6)-16(1)-4 journeyman Murai in winning by decision. But Murai sure made him work for it. Oba had the better boxing skills but I felt athletically Murai was just as naturally talented. Both fighters let their hands go and landed regularly but Oba edged the contest on the cleaner, more effective shots. This was a fairly entertaining scrap.

2012-11-03 Club La Unión, Colon, Entre Rios, Argentina

Argentina's TyC Sports televised at least 5 bouts from this card, two of which were world title fights. But as the card was quite multi-national, TV rights were also given to Panama, Uruguay, and the Philippines.

Cesar Humberto Velez TKO3 Azael Cosio {WBC Latino light middleweight title}

Each weighed 147¼ lbs for this fight...

Fernando David Saucedo TKO7 Cristian Palma {vacant IBF Latino super featherweight title}

BoxRec currently incorrectly reports this as the WBC Latino title.

Israel Hector Enrique Perez TKO3 Orlen Padilla {vacant WBC Latino super featherweight title}

This fight actually was for the WBC Latino title.

Cecilia Comunales UD10 Simone Da Silva Duarte {WBA female lightweight title}

Roberto Vasquez D12 John Mark Apolinario (115-113, 114-114, 114-114)

In the main event of an Argentina card Panama's former 2 division world champion Vasquez took on Filipino prospect Apolinario. Vasquez, who barely beat Mario Briones back in March in what I consider to be a leading candidate for Fight of the Year, found himself struggling once again, this time against 22 year old Apolinario.

Apolinario came out guns loaded in the 1st round while Vasquez took a much more relaxed approach and arguably still did the better work overall. A clean, hard, counter straight right hand from Apolinario was the highlight of the 2nd round and probably sealed it for him. The more crisp shots continued to come from the young prospect in rounds 3 and 4, and he honestly dominated Vasquez in spurts. But the consistency and pressure from Vasquez got to the youngster in round 5 and made it a close call. I scored the 5th for Vasquez but TyC had it for Apolinario. Vasquez did more of the same in the 6th and apparently enough of it to get the round from TyC this time. Apolinario was still landing the best single shots / combinations of the fight, but was too inactive for long stretches of the round.

The momentum continued to go in Vasquez's favor in the 7th and 8th rounds. Vasquez was increasingly able to pick shots off and walk Apolinario down. Apolinario had solid moments of countering Vasquez in the 9th and managed to get the nod on the TyC card. I felt round 9 could have gone either way. The general trend of the fight had still not changed. The once aggressive and busy Apolinario continued to retreat and show signs of fatigue. TyC gave Apolinario the 10th as well but in that round I don't feel he countered that cleanly. Apolinario did however show signs of life early in the 11th and was able to push Vasquez back with crisp combinations. Later in the round Apolinario landed a big left hook and some more head snapping straight shots to seal the deal. For whatever reason, Apolinario took his foot off the gas in the last round and let it slip away. It was as if Apolinario was just trying to run out the clock. Even TyC gave the 12th to Vasquez, making their final card read 115-113 for Apolinario. I had the same card in the opposite direction. Despite their close scorecard TyC was astounded the Filipino didn't win the fight and claimed his victory was clear. I beg to differ.

Because Jean Sampson is scheduled to face Koki Kameda for the regular WBA title next month he gave up his interim title. I'm happy to report that because Vasquez-Apolinario ended in a draw the WBA consequently has 1 less fighter they can call "world champion" at bantamweight.

2012-11-03 Xebio Arena, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan

I suspect both world title fights from this card were televised in Japan but I've only found the main event as of now.

*Toshiyuki Igarashi MD12 Nestor Daniel Narvaes {WBC flyweight title}

I haven't actually seen this fight yet but I can't help but report the result of a world title fight...

Shinsuke Yamanaka KO7 Tomas Rojas

WBC open scoring reported 39-37, 39-37 (both for Yamanaka), and 38-38 after 4 rounds which I felt was a fairly accurate account of the fight. Through 4 rounds it was a chess match that was still in the feeling out stages. A few home runs were thrown, but they didn't land clean. This was no longer true for either fighter in round 5 although both still took the punches well. And that was no longer true for Rojas in the 6th when Yamanaka buckled his knees with a straight left. It took Yamanaka less than a minute to finish the job in round 7 as he stunned Rojas again with something between a straight and an overhand and terminated him with something between an overhand and a hook.

It was a highlight reel KO that I strongly advise everyone to watch. Yamanaka, now 17-0-2 with 12 KOs, impressively defended his WBC bantamweight title and is a fighter to take very seriously.

2012-11-03 York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom

Sky Sports televised the entire light middleweight prizefighter tournament.

Quarter-Final 1: Larry Ekundayo SD3 Craig McEwan

Two fight novice Ekundayo defeated the experienced favorite McEwan in a slightly controversial fight.

Quarter-Final 2: Kris Carslaw SD3 Ryan Toms

This was also controversial.

Quarter-Final 3: Terry Carruthers UD3 Peter Vaughan

Quarter-Final 4: Navid Mansouri SD3 Curtis Valentine

Semi-Final 1: Larry Ekundayo UD3 Kris Carslaw

Semi-Final 2: Terry Carruthers SD3 Navid Mansouri

Final: Larry Ekundayo TKO3 Terry Carruthers

Ekundayo out classed Carruthers and pulled off the only stoppage of the entire tournament. Carruthers was competitive in the 1st round as Ekundayo was very selective with his punches and sometimes got caught with combinations as he pulled straight back. Nonetheless he still landed the most effective shots and landed more and more of them as the fight went on. Carruthers on the other hand found Ekundayo increasingly elusive. In the last round Ekundayo bombed Carruthers nearly at will and left him defenseless after a big overhand right with less than 40 seconds to go in the fight. The referee rightfully stepped in. Carruthers impressively recovered shortly after it was stopped.

Despite the loss, Carruthers should hold his head high for having 3 entertaining prizefighter fights in a row. People will want to see him again.

2012-11-03 Humble Civic Center, Humble, Texas, USA

Fox Sports Net / Fox Deportes televised 5 bouts from the card, 4 of which were in full. Paulie Malignaggi was part of the commentary team and did a really good job....much better than he did in his last fight.

Martin Gonzalez UD4 Gilberto Cancino

Joe Lamas TKO1 Daniel Sanchez

Antonio Capulin UD4 Guadalupe Perez

J'Leon Love TKO6 Tyrone Selders

Fernando Guerrero TKO6 Juan Carlos Candelo

The ancient Candelo came to fight but couldn't pull the trigger and was nearly physical incapable of winning as Guerrero never remained stationary in front of him. Guerrero out punched and out maneuvered Canelo the entire fight. A 1-2 combination from Guerrero hurt and dropped Candelo in round 4 with more than half a round to go, but Candelo survived. In round 5 Candelo's corner apparently wanted to call the fight off but the referee decided to have the doctor take a look at Candelo's eye instead. His eye was in bad shape but his legs were the real problem. The doctor allowed the fight to continue and Candelo made it to the end of the round. Candelo's corner threatened to stop the fight in between the 5th and 6th rounds if Candelo couldn't show them something. They then nearly immediately stopped it after the 6th round began and Guerrero landed the first power shot. It was the right thing to do.

2012-11-03 Phoenix Club, Anaheim, California, USA

Telefutura's Solo Boxeo was back in action this week airing 4 fights, 3 in full, and 1 of which that was a war.

Joet Gonzalez TKO1 Victor Serrano

Jamie Kavanagh UD8 Ramon Valadez

Ignore the scorecards; you need to watch this fight. The right man won but he was given everything he could handle in the process.

Ulises Sierra D4 Ricardo Pinell

Frankie Gomez TKO3 Manuel Leyva

Leyva, coming off giving Alan Sanchez hell before being stopped in the last round, was at no point in this fight against Gomez. Leyva took a beating in every single round. In round 3 he was staggered with a lead right hook and dropped by follow up shots. In the not too distant future he was put down again by an overhand right. He beat the count yet again but was immediately put down by another overhand right in what appeared to be a delayed reaction. Gomez followed the overhand with a left uppercut and a right hook but they merely grazed Leyva. After the 3rd knockdown the referee mercifully waved the fight off.

If a bout is not mentioned which took place on one of the above cards it's most likely because I haven't got around to watching it yet. In the event that I do watch such a bout at a later time it's still unlikely I will update this recap. My recaps will be posted on Mondays and possibly Wednesdays, devoted to cards that most casual American boxing fans haven't seen or heard of. For available footage of the previously reported bouts follow @sweetboxing on twitter. You may also email the author of this piece at rgbivins@gmail.com

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