Hey, hey! It was another busy if not HUGE! weekend in boxing. Let’s run down the results from the last few days.
ESPN, Kissimmee, FL (Saturday)
- Jamel Herring won his first world title, winning a deserved decision over Masayuki Ito to claim the WBO 130-pound belt. It’s a remarkable story for Herring, and it looks like he’s headed for unification with WBC titleholder Miguel Berchelt, who is a whole other ball of wax compared to Ito. But most doubted he’d beat Ito, too, and he did. (Not me. I picked him. I’m a big genus. Also so did Wil.)
- In the co-feature, Jose Pedraza stopped a game Antonio Lozada Jr in the ninth round, and says he’ll look for another lightweight title shot. That might be hard to come by; we’ve got Lomachenko with two belts fighting for a third next time out, and Top Rank has the WBO belt lined up with Richard Commey facing Ray Beltran on June 28, and the winner obligated to face the Teofimo Lopez-Masayoshi Nakatani winner on July 19.
- On the prelims, there was some eventful stuff. 2016 US Olympian Antonio Vargas was knocked flat out at 1:53 by Jose Cardenas. Jeyvier Cintron appeared to be knocked out in the first round, too, but replays showed conclusively that he was actually headbutted — hard — but Koki Eto, and the result was rightly changed to a no-contest. Middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga made it 11-for-11 first round stoppages in his pro career to date. Adam Lopez stopped Jean Carlos Rivera in the seventh round of a fight that got good reviews. And former super flyweight titleholder Carlos Cuadras won a decision over Daniel Lozano.
FS1, Biloxi, MS (Saturday)
- Terrell Gausha and Austin Trout went to a split draw in a fight that Patrick scored 97-93 for Gausha, which was consistent with the handful of people I saw scoring the fight on social media. Early reaction is that Gausha was probably robbed of what would have been a breakthrough win for him.
- On the undercard, 154-pound prospect Chordale Booker shut out Wale Omotoso over 10 rounds, light heavyweight Ahmed Elbiali stopped Marlos Simoes in the second round, and bantamweight Shawn Simpson won a six-round decision over Sergio Quiroz on clean sweep scores.
- The FS2 prelims saw some hot action with Efetobor Apochi improving to 8-0 (8 KO) with a violent finish of Earl Newman in a fight that got great reviews and ended in the seventh round. Former 168-pound title challenger Habib Ahmed moved to 160 and beat veteran Juan De Angel, and welterweight Amon Rashidi defeated Juan Jesus Garces.
DAZN, Oxon Hill, MD (Saturday)
- Lightweight prospect Devin Haney made his DAZN debut in a makeshift main event, and made it count for those who watched, outclassing and then brutally knocking out Antonio Moran in the seventh round. Haney is still really a prospect, fighting guys prospects fight, but his team’s promotion of him throughout the early stages of his career has some people wanting to see him fight top 10 guys already. He’s probably still a couple fights away from that. 135 is an interesting division looking ahead a couple years — you’ve got Loma, of course, who should still have good years left at 31 with his style and skills. But the young guns coming up — Teofimo, Haney, and yes, Ryan Garcia really does have serious potential even aside from him being good at Instagram — are going to potentially make things really, really fun soon. Lopez may not last past this year at 135, but Haney and Garcia should.
- Heavyweights Filip Hrgovic (TKO-1 over Gregory Corbin) and Michael Hunter (TKO-2 over Fabio Maldonado) did what you’d want them to do in the fights they were in.
- Jessica McCaskill and Anahi Sanchez stole the show in terms of Good Fight Action, putting on a hard-fought, 10-round battle in a 140-pound unification. McCaskill won, which I don’t have a big problem with. I had it 5-5, but 6-4 either way wasn’t going to bug me any. Scores were 96-94, 98-92, and 99-91, and even McCaskill agreed the latter pair were too wide.
- Prospects Daniyar Yeleussinov and Lorenzo Simpson had very different outings. Yeleussinov, a 28-year-old welterweight who won gold at the 2016 Olympics, looked pretty pedestrian for the second fight in a row, not exactly lighting it up against late notice opponent Luis Norambuena. With due respect to the very game Norambuena, the idea that Yeleussinov struggled because it was a late sub is a little weird. Norambuena is a 27-year-old fighter who turned pro last August. Yeleussinov is simply expected to do more than he did against that guy, even on very short notice. That might be unfair, but the expectations are what they are. But they’ll mean fuck all, too, if Yeleussinov goes on a run and becomes a real contender, then nobody will even remember his fights with Silverio Ortiz and Luis Norambuena.
- Simpson, a 19-year-old who wants to settle in at 154 in time, absolutely demolished Rafael Garcia in the first round. Garcia somehow stayed up despite taking a ton of clean, hard shots from Simpson, finally staggering back to the ropes and referee Harvey Dock called it off. I’ve seen Simpson twice now, once in a four round decision win against a gritty but totally overmatched guy, and once here. It’s not a lot to go on, obviously, but to the eye, this kid has real potential.
Channel 5, Manchester, England (Saturday)
- In a true stay-busy/tune-up/get-well fight, Hughie Fury stopped Chris Norrad in the second round. The more interesting fight was super featherweight Alex Dilmaghani beating Martin Parlagi via eighth round stoppage, and that wasn’t that interesting, but Dilmaghani might have at least a domestic future.
UFC Fight Pass, Tucson, AZ (Thursday)
- Thursday’s RJJ Boxing show on UFC Fight Pass was meant to be a showcase for Ikram Kerwat, but instead Simone Da Silva totally dominated Kerwat over 10 rounds, winning on deservedly wide scores. The show also had some entertaining lower-level undercard fights, and the always-excellent commentary of SMITTY.
Odds & Ends
Other results we could get in under the deadline.
- Ewa Brodnicka (17-0, 2 KO) successfully defended her WBO super featherweight title against Janeth Perez (24-5-2, 6 KO) at home in Poland, retaining on majority decision scores of 95-95, 96-94, and 97-93.
- Former cruiserweight contender Victor Ramirez (25-4-1, 20 KO) fought at heavyweight in Argentina on Friday, stopping Jorge Dario Tartuferi (9-7, 7 KO) in the second round. Ramirez, now 35, has had three fights in 2019 and has weighed in at 273¼, 282¼, and 262¼, so we’re a long way from his cruiserweight days. These weights are on a 5’11”, 69-inch reach frame, by the way.
- 21-year-old Nicaraguan bantamweight Melvin Lopez improved to 20-0 (11 KO) with a TKO-7 win over David Reyes Cota (21-5-1, 10 KO) on Friday in Miami. Lopez retained his NABA title with the win. Might be one to keep an eye on.
- Hey, remember ARNOLD GJERGJAJ? Well that dude is still fighting and he beat a fella name of Elvis Moyo on Saturday in Kirchberg, Switzerland. GJERGJAJ is now 33-3 (24 KO), and is 4-2 since his very bad fight with David Haye in 2016 on the television network “Dave.”
- The English super flyweight title is now held by Craig Derbyshire, whose career record is 7-27-3 (2 KO). Derbyshire won a decision over Nathan Reeve (12-3, 6 KO) on Saturday in Northampton, and you know it had to be legit because Reeve is from Northampton. Derbyshire’s actually won his last two. If this man makes a run at .500 it better be broadcast on DAZN and Sky Sports.