It wasn’t the biggest weekend in boxing, but there was still a good bit that went down, including a big fighter return, a world title fight, and the likely exit of a modern star.
DAZN, New York, NY
- Gennadiy Golovkin knocked out Steve Rolls in the fourth round at Madison Square Garden, so no back-to-back shock weekends at The Mecca. Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KO) wants Canelo next, but he may not get it, at least in September. More on that in a bit, but we’ll see. There’s not a lot to say about the fight. Rolls (19-1, 10 KO) tried, but he was badly outgunned.
- The prospect-laden undercard churned out wins for the A-side unbeatens, as Ali Akhmedov, Israil Madrimov, Brian Ceballo, Charles Conwell, and Nikita Ababiy were all victorious.
ESPN, Reno, NV
- Oscar Valdez retained his WBO featherweight title with a one-sided win over Jason Sanchez. There are two ways to look at this. One way is to credit Sanchez for fighting hard and lasting the 12 rounds. The other way is to face the reality that Valdez won almost every round, landed as close to “at will” as it gets at this level (43% on power punches), and totally dominated an overmatched opponent who wasn’t near ready for a title shot. Both are true enough.
- Gabriel Flores Jr is still a work in progress, but he comfortably enough won his co-feature. On the prelims, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao kept winning easy fights at age 30, Michael Seals knocked out Christopher Brooker, and the four round fights were fun.
FITE.TV, Verona, NY
- The end probably came for 41-year-old Zab Judah on Friday, as he was dominated and eventually stopped by Cletus Seldin, an extremely limited, one-speed fighter. I don’t mean that as disrespect to Seldin (24-1, 20 KO), I am perfectly content to watch him fight at level, he can be an entertaining guy and always fights as hard as he can. But he is what he is, and Zab losing to him would have been one thing, but Judah wasn’t even competitive. I gave Judah the first round and Seldin the next nine. Judah (44-10, 30 KO) just didn’t physically have it in there anymore. The speed, the legs, the reflexes are all gone. He’s had a long, interesting, memorable career, and he was never boring, but it’s time to go.
- The undercard featured James “Buddy” McGirt Jr going to a 12-round draw with David Papot of France, plus wins for Lavisas Williams, Wendy Toussaint, and Boubacar Sylla. Robert Duran Jr was given a four-round split decision gift against Jonathan Pierre, and Eric Abraham violently KO’d Alex Vanasse, who came in unbeaten.
Odds & Ends
Everything that was done and reported by deadline.
- Kempton Park, South Africa: Kevin Lerena, a top 10-ish cruiserweight, retained his IBO title with a decision win over Vasil Ducar on scores of 117-111, 119-109, and 120-108.
- Bilbao, Spain: Bilbao’s Andoni Gago (22-3-3, 6 KO) won the vacant European featherweight title via split decision over Madrid’s Jesus Sanchez (10-2, 3 KO). The belt was most recently held by Kiko Martinez. Another hometown fighter, former European welterweight champ Kerman Lejarraga (28-1, 23 KO), got back on track with a fourth round knockout of Luis Solis (25-10-4, 21 KO). Lejarraga was thought by some to be a potential rising force at 147 before David Avanesyan beat him up and stopped him on March 30.
- Zihuatanejo, Mexico: Super flyweight Jonathan Javier Rodriguez improved to 21-1 (15 KO) with a 10th round stoppage win over veteran Felipe Orucuta (36-6, 30 KO), who was last seen in Sept. 2018 losing to Juan Francisco Estrada on HBO. Orucuta twice challenged Omar Narvaez for a world title, losing a 2013 split decision and a 2014 majority decision.
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Shakeel Phinn (21-2-1, 15 KO) beat Elio German Rafael (15-3, 9 KO) via 10th round TKO. Normally this might not be all that notable, but Phinn, 28, won the vacant IBF North American and NABF super middleweight titles with the win, and 168 is something of a division in transition right now, so that’s a name you might want to remember in case he winds up in a title fight.
- Athens, Greece: Christina Linardatou, originally from the Dominican Republic and now based in Athens, retained her WBO 140-pound title with a decision win over Deanha Hobbs. Linardatou (12-1, 6 KO) challenged Delfine Persoon for a lightweight belt back in 2016 and lost a decision in Belgium, but has wonfour straight since. Also on the card, lightweight prospect George Kambosos Jr (17-0, 10 KO) stopped Richard Pena.