A lot went down this weekend in boxing, and you probably missed at least some of it. So here’s a quick-and-dirty recap of the fights we saw the past few days.
If your time is super limited when it comes to watching boxing, here are a few recommendations.
- Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk (A mix of class and ruggedness from Taylor in victory)
- Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale and Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez (Two spectacular physical dominations that won’t take long to watch)
- Moruti Mthalane vs Masayuki Kuroda (Good action flyweight title fight from Monday)
- Romero Duno vs Juan Antonio Rodriguez (Some great war moments early that melted into a war of attrition, unfortunately cut a bit short)
- Manny Robles III vs Rigoberto Hermosillo (Nice style clash, technician vs brawler)
SHO, Brooklyn, NY (Saturday)
- Deontay Wilder bombed out Dominic Breazeale in just over two minutes in the main event, retaining his WBC heavyweight title and setting up a big fight, surely. Right? Well, Wilder-Ortiz II is a big fight, I guess. If you STILL haven’t seen the KO, go check out the highlights.
- Gary Russell Jr did as expected with Kiko Martinez, dominating and stopping him on a cut in the fifth round. The good news is Russell, still WBC featherweight titleholder, called out Leo Santa Cruz after, and said he’d be willing to move up to 130 and fight Miguel Berchelt, then unify with Tank Davis, too. It may not mean everything, but the man is saying it out loud, very publicly, for all to hear. It’s better than nothing.
- Juan Heraldez and Argenis Mendez fought to a draw, as did heavyweights Robert Alfonso and Iago Kiladze. The prelim portion of the show was better as a showcase for Gary Antuanne Russell and Richardson Hitchins, 140-pound prospects who fought each other at the 2016 Olympics.
DAZN, Glasgow, Scotland (Saturday)
- Josh Taylor won his first world title, taking the IBF junior welterweight belt from Ivan Baranchyk via decision. Taylor dropped Baranchyk twice in the sixth round, but the Belarusian never gave up, and though he was outpointed, he was game all the way, looking to win through the 12th and final round. In some ways, Taylor made it look relatively easy, but in others, he made it harder than he might have needed to, choosing to bang with Baranchyk. Taylor will now face WBA titleholder Regis Prograis in the World Boxing Super Series tournament final, which is a great matchup.
- Naoya Inoue and Emmanuel Rodriguez traded leather in the first round, and then Naoya Inoue fed Emmanuel Rodriguez leather to his chin and body in the second, flooring the Puerto Rican three times and stopping him in that frame. Inoue is just an absolute machine on offense, and there was nothing Rodriguez could do to stop him — and Rodriguez is a good fighter. Nonito Donaire is next for Inoue in the WBSS bantamweight final.
- Paul Butler, Zach Parker, Lee McGregor, and Reece McFadden won on the undercard in Glasgow.
ESPN+, Stevenage, England (Saturday)
- Billy Joe Saunders claimed a WBO title in a second weight class, as the former middleweight titleholder was all but gift-wrapped the vacant super middleweight belt for his fight with Shefat Isufi, which Saunders predictably won with no real trouble, outside of getting cracked once in the sixth round. It wasn’t the most exciting fight, with Saunders choosing to take no risks down the stretch. That’s understandable and all, but it doesn’t make for great TV.
- Joe Joyce lumbered past lumbering veteran Alexander Ustinov, dropping and stopping the 42-year-old Russian in the third round. In the fight of the night on this show, Brad Foster stopped Ashley Lane with two seconds left in the 12th round to unify the British and Commonwealth super bantamweight belts. Foster was ahead, it wasn’t a dramatic rally stoppage, but it had been a decent fight.
YouTube, Tokyo, Japan (Monday)
- Moruti Mthalane retained his IBF flyweight title, going on the road to Korakuen Hall to beat Masayuki Kuroda on points. This was the first time South Africa’s Mthalane had ever fought in Japan, which kind of surprised me given that he’s been a contending or titleholding flyweight for over a decade now, and Japan usually has a lot of contenders at the lower weights. It was a good fight, worth watching when you can. Mthalane is talking unification with WBC titleholder Charlie Edwards, who is ready for it.
ESPN+, Belfast, Northern Ireland (Friday)
- Former bantamweight titleholder Ryan Burnett returned with a TKO-6 win over Filipino southpaw Jelbirt Gomera in what amounted to the expected tune-up bout. Burnett hit Gomera to the body, which Gomera complained about endlessly, claiming low blows. In the sixth, he did it again and turned his back, and the referee just called the fight there. Burnett fought this one at 122, but his immediate significant future is probably still at 118. As seen above, Nonito Donaire was in attendance to visit and support Burnett, who hurt his back against Donaire and had to retire from their fight last year.
- Marco McCullough knocked Declan Geraghty smooth out in the third round with a perfectly-timed right hand in a Belfast vs Dublin battle. Geraghty was boxing well for two rounds, the fight was starting to get a bit chippy, and then McCullough just landed a beauty of a right hand.
- Former Olympian Steven Donnelly, Sean McComb, and Padraig McCrory also won on the televised portion of the card.
Facebook, Indio, CA (Thursday)
- Golden Boy DAZN Thursday Night Fights was a winner again this week, providing terrific action on Thursday night via free and legal live stream. In the main event, Romero Duno won a technical split decision over Juan Antonio Rodriguez. Some great action early and then Rodriguez started to wear down some, but this was a real battle. Duno won a technical split decision when the fight was stopped on a headbutt in round nine.
- Another good fight saw featherweight prospect Manny Robles III survive a real test from tough southpaw Rigoberto Hermosillo. Robles shows flashes of real brilliance as a technically sound counter puncher, but Hermosillo’s pressure really got to him and put him on his bike quite a bit. Robles would’ve won without it, but the difference on my card was a first round knockdown for Robles.
- Genaro Gamez, Carlos Morales, Diuhl Olguin, Sean Garcia, and Joshua Kevin Anton all won on the card.
UFC Fight Pass, Mashantucket, CT (Friday)
- The latest edition of Lou DiBella’s Broadway Boxing was an interesting one overall. In the main event, 140-pound prospect Mykquan Williams stayed undefeated with a win over Rickey Edwards. In the co-feature, however, 126-pound prospect Irvin Gonzalez was dropped twice in the first round and then finished in the third by Elijah Pierce, a big upset.
- Toka Kahn Clary bounced back from a loss to Kid Galahad with a TKO-5 win over Carlos Reyes, Marco Huck went to a 57-second no-contest with Nick Guivas in a heavyweight bout because Huck can’t help himself from fouling, and heavyweight prospect George Arias failed to really impress in a decision win over Keith Barr, who put Arias down in the second round.
Odds & Ends
Everything else that was done and reported by the time I went to bed on late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.
- Washington, DC: Middleweight hopeful Alantez Fox stopped Nick Brinson in the sixth round of the Facebook FightNight Live main event from Washington, DC. Fox (25-1-1, 12 KO) has only lost to Demetrius Andrade, and as a 6’4” middleweight, he’s still potentially interesting in that division. Along with Mykal, that’s a couple of good weeks for the Fox brothers.
- Saltillo, Mexico: Jhonny Gonzalez was back in action, and the 37-year-old former bantamweight and featherweight titleholder went to 67-11 (55 KO) with a fifth round stoppage of Venezuela’s Rafael Hernandez (30-12-3, 24 KO).
- Bang Phun, Thailand: Bantamweight Nawaphon Por Chokchai won a minor WBC belt with a seventh round knockout of Filipino veteran Sonny Boy Jaro, a former flyweight titleholder who has certainly seen better days at 37.
- Aarhus, Denmark: 47-year-old Lolenga Mock won the IBA super middleweight title with a decision win over Mateo Damian Veron, with split scores of 114-112 (twice for Mock, once for Veron). The IBA title means fuck all nothing in all reality, but Mock (43-16-1, 13 KO) just keeps fighting, and it’s one of those quiet weird boxing stories.
- Auckland, New Zealand: Cruiserweight prospect David Light went to 13-0 (8 KO) with a 10-round decision win over Mark Flanagan. Light, 27, won silver as a heavyweight at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and is also the son of Len Light, who invented the world’s first do-it-yourself yogurt maker.
- Belfast, Northern Ireland: Last October, James Tennyson went to Boston for a shot at Tevin Farmer’s IBF super featherweight title, losing via fifth round TKO. On Saturday, he fought at the Europa Hotel, beating Brayan Mairena via second round TKO.
- Dearborn, MI: Once-beaten junior welterweight Sonny Fredrickson improved to 20-1 (13 KO) with a second round stoppage of veteran Joseph Laryea, and junior middleweight prospect Ardreal Holmes went to 9-0 (4 KO) with a decision win in six rounds over another veteran, Lanardo Tyner.
- Hawaiian Gardens, CA: Middleweight Raquel Miller (9-0, 4 KO) stopped Erin Toughill (7-5-1, 0 KO) in the seventh round. The 41-year-old Toughill fought Laila Ali back in 2005 and was stopped in three rounds, and also lost to Maricela Cornejo in January, which was her first fight in over 12 years.
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Mathieu Germain (17-0-1, 8 KO) won a shutout decision over 10 rounds against Mexico’s Jose Eduardo Lopez Rodriguez (29-7-2, 15 KO), while heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov (8-0, 8 KO), junior welterweight Batyrzhan Jukembayev (16-0, 13 KO), light heavyweight Arutyun Avetisyan (13-0, 8 KO), junior middleweight Clovis Drolet (10-0, 6 KO), junior flyweight Kim Clavel (8-0, 2 KO), welterweight Raphael Courchesne (6-0, 3 KO), super middleweight Lexson Mathieu (3-0, 3 KO), and middleweight Andrei Efremenko (1-0, 0 KO) all won and kept their unbeaten records.
- Miami, FL: 2016 Olympian Juan Carlos Carrillo of Colombia made his pro debut, winning a a first round knockout against the standard overmatched opponent of a pro debut. Carrillo, a light heavyweight, is 26 years old, turns 27 in October, so it’s a bit of a late pro start for him. In Rio, he won his first round matchup over Kyrgyzstan’s Erkin Adylbek Uulu, then was eliminated in the round of 16 by France’s Mathieu Bauderlique, who went on to win a bronze medal.
- Kazan, Russia: Former super middleweight titleholder Fedor Chudinov was in action on Thursday, going to 20-2 (14 KO) with a RTD-2 win over Rafael Bejaran (26-4-1, 12 KO), who pulled out of the fight due to injury. The 31-year-old Chudinov has won six straight since his 2016-17 losses to Felix Sturm and George Groves, and remains a contender at 168.
- Sydney, Australia: Tim Tszyu, the 24-year-old son of Kostya, won the Australian junior middleweight title on Wednesday, beating Joel Camilleri by decision over 10 rounds. Scores were 98-92, 99-91, and 99-91. Tszyu (13-0, 10 KO) is a good prospect — has a natural look about him, as you might imagine he would. 23-year-old cruiserweight prospect Jai Opetaia also won, going to 17-0 (14 KO), and 34-year-old former UFC fighter Ross Pearson made his pro boxing debut, winning a TKO-2.
- Tokyo, Japan: Korakuen Hall didn’t just have Mthalane-Kuroda on Monday, it also had super flyweight prospect Ryusei Kawaura in action on Tuesday. Kawaura (6-0, 4 KO) widely outpointed Filipino Renoel Pael over eight rounds. Asian Boxing has more.