January 17

Pyrmont, Australia: Cruiser: Jai Opetaia (14-0) W TKO 3 Benjamin Kelleher (7-1-2). Middle: Anthony Mundine (48-8) W TKO 2 Tommy Browne (35-7-2). Light: Kye MacKenzie (19-1) W TKO 4 Emiliano Garcia (16-2).

Opetaia vs. Kelleher

Opetaia gets win over injured Kelleher. The young southpaw already looked to be on his way to victory after dropping Kelleher in the second round. Kelleher suffered an arm injury and was unable to use his right in the third and was taking punishment when the fight was stopped. The 22-year-old Opetaia retains the national title and makes it 11 wins by KO/TKO. A former World Junior champion Opetaia became the youngest ever boxer to represent Australia at the Olympic Games having qualified for the London Games at 16 but failed to medal. He reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 Commonwealth Games but decided not to wait around for Rio and turned pro. His Dad Martin also boxed as a pro. New Zealander Kelleher was coming off a good win over 16-1 Nikolas Charalampous and was No 3 in the Australian ratings.

Mundine vs. Browne

Mundine shakes off rust to score brutal kayo of Browne. Mundine had to get through a shaky first round as Browne had Mundine on the back foot early. A big right looked to have shaken Mundine and Browne scored with another series of combinations with Mundine covering up with his back against the ropes. Mundine then started to work with his jab and had Browne backing up and scored with a right of his own just before the bell. Mundine had the better of some trading of jabs early in the second until Browne launched another furious attach forcing Mundine to the ropes and hooking to the body. Mundine again used his jab to put Browne on the back foot and used some good upper body movement to slip Browne’s punches. Mundine then landed a couple of clubbing shots to the head which shook Browne and then ended the fight with just one second left in the round. He drove Browne to the ropes and a crushing left hook put Browne down and out cold spread-eagled on the canvas. The 42-year-old “The Man” showed he is still a force. A former two-time holder of the secondary WBA super middle title he wins the vacant WBO Oriental middle title. This is his first fight since suffering a disputed loss to Danny Green for the Australian cruiser title in February last year. Mundine continues to be a controversial figure. He has been calling out Jeff Horn and claimed that Horn was being given more media attention because he is Caucasian. Mundine has never shunned highlighting what he sees as racial discrimination against indigenous Australians. Browne, 34, is a former Australian featherweight champion who challenged for the WBC and WBA feather titles in 2005. At 5’11” (180cm) he was always going to climb in weight and he was 9-0-1in his last 10 fights. His brother Davey died after a pro fight in 2015.

MacKenzie vs. Garcia

“Mr Frenzy” MacKenzie was too strong and aggressive and Garcia hardly got into the fight. MacKenzie began to find his range in the second and applied pressure all the way. He floored Garcia early in the fourth and although Garcia beat the count a series of hooks then saw Garcia drop forward to the canvas. He made it to his feet but the referee rightly brought the curtain down. The 25-year-old MacKenzie, the Australian No 2, is a former undefeated Australian super feather and super light champion. He has 16 wins by KO/TKO with his only loss being a stoppage against Jack Asis for the vacant IBO super feather title in 2015. Garcia, 33, has been built against some very mediocre opposition and was unrated by the Argentinian Federation.

January 19

Villa Gobernador Galvez, Argentina: Bantam:  Diego Ruiz (17-2) W TKO 4 Albert Gonzalez (6-5-1).

“The Prophet” continues his good run with stoppage of Venezuelan Gonzalez. The visitor made a confident start taking ring centre working his jab and throwing straight lefts. He took the first two rounds as Ruiz seemed to have trouble figuring out the southpaw style of Gonzalez and was outboxed. Ruiz stepped up the pace in the third and started to get through with rights. Although quick and accurate Gonzalez’s punches were low on power. Early in the fourth a right and a left to the body put Gonzalez down. He only just made it to his feet at nine. When the action resumed another right to the body floored Gonzalez and the referee halted the count at six to get Gonzalez some medical aid. The 23-year-old Ruiz, the Argentinian champion, gets his tenth win by KO/TKO and his fifth inside the distance win in his last six fights. Gonzalez had won his last three fights and showed some good skills but was in over his head here and suffers his third loss by KO/TKO.

Nepi, Italy: Super Middle: Giovanni De Carolis (25-8-1) W TKO 2 Bojan Radovic (6-21). Just a gently warm-up for De Carolis as he halts the limited but normally durable Radovic inside two rounds. The former holder of the secondary WBA super middle title heads down to Australia next month to face unbeaten Bilal Akkawy. Serb Radovic suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO.

Pathum Thani, Thailand: Bantam: Edison Berwela (16-37-8) W KO 6 Saenganan (19-1). I thought that Mundine’s punch that laid out Browne would be the Punch of the Week but Filipino Berwela produced two booming left hooks in this fight to match Mundine’s thunderer. In addition Berwela laid a claim to the Upset of the Week with his victory over unbeaten Thai Saenganan and also collected the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council (WBC ABC) title. Right from the start the home fighter was having trouble getting into the fight and over the first two rounds southpaw Berwela forced Saenganan onto the back foot and applied pressure. Saenganan tried to take the fight to Berwela in the third only to get nailed by a big left hook that dumped him heavily on the floor. He was up at eight but unsteady on his feet. Berwela hunted him down for the rest of the round and shook the Thai with some more left hooks. Berwela’s confidence was sky high and he walked Saenganan down in the fourth even finding time to do some showboating and to taunt the retreating Thai. After four rounds Berwela was in front on all three cards at 39-36, 39-38 and 38-37. Saenganan did enough to make the fifth a close round but Berwela was fighting like a guy with 37 wins not 37 losses and in the sixth a blistering left hook put Saenganan over again. He tried to rise but could not make it and the referee stopped counting and waived the fight off. The 34-year-old Berwela looked a safe opponent with 37 losses and only two wins in his last 12 fights but the Philippines No 13 registered a huge upset on paper. However, the18-year-old Saenganan, he turned pro at 14, had been carefully matched, nine of his victims never previously having had a fight, and  despite winning the WBC ABC light fly and IBF Pan Pacific bantam titles his flawed technique was successfully exploited by the more experienced Filipino.

January 20

Catamarca, Argentina: Super Bantam: Luis Cusolito (26-2) W DISQ 6 Sergio Estrela (20-15-3). Welter: Cesar Barrionuevo (34-3-2,1ND) W KO 1 Adrian Veron (21-3). Super Bantam: Claudio Echegaray (21-0-1) W PTS 6 Luis Mato (6-9-5).

Cusolito vs. Estrela

Cusolito gets win as Estrela is thrown out for a butt after some other infractions. Cusolito outboxed Estrela over the opening two rounds. He used a strong jab and rights to head and body with Estrella wild in his attacks. Cusolito stepped up the pace in the third handing out steady punishment and Estrela was deducted a point for a punch to the back of Cusolito’s neck. Early in the fourth a right from Cusolito turned Estrela’s legs to rubbery and he grabbed Cusolito desperately to stay upright and the referee gave Estrela a standing count. Cusolito landed some more rights but at the end of the round Estrela fought back well and had Cusolito under pressure and looking shaky. Cusolito dominated the fifth and at the bell had Estrela trapped on the ropes and was unloading to head and body. Cusolito continued the punishment in the sixth and Estrela aimed a butt at Cusolito and the referee promptly disqualified him. Cusolito, 29, retains the South American title in his second defence. The Argentinian No 1 has lost only one of his last 13 fights and that was a twelfth round stoppage against Moises Flores for the interim WBA title. Estrela, 31, the Argentinian No 9, is a Former interim South American champion in this division but is 2-6-1 in his last 8 fights.

Barrionuevo vs. Veron

When these two southpaws clashed in October Barrionuevo knocked out Veron in the sixth round of a candidate for Fight of the Year with a return fight already agreed before that first clash. Barrionuevo won again and this time in less than three minutes. Just ten seconds into the fight a laser-like southpaw right hook put Veron down. He was up quickly and did not look too shaken. He started working his jab with Barrionuevo trying to land another right hook. Barrionuevo landed a hard combination which rocked Veron. He dazed Veron with a right to the head and landed another couple of head punches and a crunching left to the chin saw Veron end up face down on the canvas. He tried to struggle to his feet and made it but the referee clasped him in his arm and the fight was over. The 28-year-old moves to an impressive 24 wins by KO/TKO in his fourth defence of the national title. A run of 10 wins in a row have seen him rated No 7 by the WBC. Veron, 29, the Argentinian No 4 had won seven in a row before the loss to Barrionuevo in October and can come again.

Echegaray vs. Mato

Echegaray moves to 13 wins in a row with unanimous decision over Mato. Echegaray had Mato down in the fourth but could not get him out of there. Scores 59-55 ½, 59-57 ½, 58-56 ½. Just a pay day for the Argentinian No 2. Mato came in as a very late substitute; he is 1-4 in his last 5 fights and might rethink his “The Fabulous” nickname.


Shenzen, China: Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (13-1-1) W TKO 8 John Ruba (15-4-1). Light Fly: Jing Xiang (14-4-2) W PTS 10 Dexter Alimento (13-3).

Nasiyiwula vs. Ruba

Nasiyiwula stops Indonesian Ruba to win the WBA Asian and WBC ABC titles. After taking the first round Nasiyiwula landed a hard right that floored Ruba. The visitor recovered well and it was his turn to shake the Chinese fighter with a right in the fourth. After Nasiyiwula edged the fifth in the sixth with both fighters starting to tire a left from Nasiyiwula opened a cut on the right eyebrow of Ruba. Things worsened for Ruba in the seventh as his nose began to shed blood and in the eighth a right from Nasiyiwula put him down again. The referee started to count but the towel came flying in from the Indonesian’s corner and the fight was stopped. Nasiyiwula, 23, gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. He is Chinese-born of Kazak ethnicity and wears Kazak colours into the ring. This is his return to action after suffering his first loss a split decision against the now OPBF champion Rikki Naito in Tokyo in October. Ruba, 24, had won his last seven fights and was making the first defence of his WBC ABC title.

Xiang vs. Alimento

Xiang wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title with close unanimous decision over Filipino Alimento. A combination of moving down to light fly, time off to recover from an elbow injury and a strong, hard-punching southpaw combined to make this a hard, close match for the home fighter. He eschews his normal aggressive tactics for a more cautious approach and that handed the initiative to Alimento. It was close all the way and Alimento looked worth a draw but you get no favours on the road. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 all for Xiang. The 28-year-old Xiang won the vacant WBC Youth title in his first fight and was thrown in with Jerwin Ancajas in his second. He was 3-3 after six fights but is 11-1-2 since then. Alimento, also a former WBC Youth champion, is now 2-3 in his last 5 fights with all three losses in the other guy’s back yard.

Levallois-Perret, France: Super Light: Franck Petitjean (20-4-3) W PTS 12 Andrea Scarpa (22-4). Super light: Mohamed Mimoune (20-2) W PTS 12 Emiliano Rodriguez (21-1). Super Light: Marvin Petit (23-1-1) W KO 7 Samir Kasmi (22-14-1). Cruiser: Herve Lofidi (7-2) W KO 1 Siril Makiadi (9-2).

Petitjean vs. Scarpa

Petitjean continues his run of good form and retains the European Union title with convincing win over Italian Scarpa. Petitjean is usually known for his clever footwork but this time he took control of the ring centre and mostly stayed there. Despite the deliberate reduction in his mobility he used excellent upper body movement to dodge the Italian punches. The French southpaw worked well with his right jab and was doubling up on his left and right hooks. Scarpa had success with his left jab and straight rights but lacked his usual accuracy. Petitjean is not a big puncher and Scarpa would have had more success if he had pressed the fight harder and taken some chances. He did enough to keep the fight close but Petitjean was getting the better of the exchanges and was a clear winner. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 all for the champion. The 29-year-old Petitjean was making the first defence of the EU title and is 9-0-1 in his last 10 fights. He is No 5 with the EBU and will be hoping to land a shot at European champion Anthony Yigit. Scarpa, 30, scored a good stoppage of John Wayne Hibbert in 2016 to win the vacant WBC Silver title but later in the year lost the title when he was widely outpointed by Ohara Davies – his only loss in his last 22 fights before this defeat.

Mimoune vs. Rodriguez

Mimoune overcomes a first round shock to win the vacant IBO title with unanimous decision over Rodriguez. When challenging for a title the last thing you want is to find yourself on the floor in the first ten seconds of the fight. That is what happened to Mimoune as Rodriguez connected with the first punch he threw a right hook to the chin that dumped the Frenchman on the canvas. He was up quickly and Rodriguez was wild in his follow-up attacks which gave Mimoune time to clear his head. Mimoune was much the better boxer but allowed himself too often to be drawn into trading instead of boxing. Rodriguez was given a count in the fourth but it looked more like a slip than a knockdown but it evened up the scores. Mimoune did not seem to be making the full use of his excellent left jab which is usually one of his strengths and he admitted later that he had suffered a fracture of his left in the second round. Rodriguez continued to attack strongly but there was little variety in his work and Mimoune was able to anticipate his moves and counter. The injury prevented Mimoune from going all out over the last three rounds but he was able to box his way to victory over the Argentinian although one judge saw it too close. Scores 117-108, 116-109 and 113-112 for Mimoune. The 30-year-old “Problem” has won his last nine fights including a ratings busting win over Sam Eggington for the European welter title which he then relinquished. He is No 8 with the WBC and the IBF have him at 9(7). “Little Cobra” Rodriguez had scored wins over useful domestic opposition and was No 2 in the Argentine ratings.

Petit vs. Kasmi

Petit  beats Kasmi only for the night to then descend into chaos as a full scale riot breaks out between rival supporters with punches exchanged and chairs and other objects thrown around. It took the police over an hour and the use of tear gas to curb the violence which spread outside the arena with some of the rioters turning on the police. It was great pity this happened as these two had staged a tough, exciting battle. Kasmi moved more and threw more but Petit stalked Kasmi and scored repeatedly with punishing hooks and uppercuts working hard to slow Kasmi down. Kasmi’s work rate made it seem as though he was capable of winning this one over the distance. However by the sixth his punches had lost their power and he was only fighting in short burst. Petit continued to bang home hurtful punches and Kasmi was visibly tiring. In the sixth Kasmi was down on his heel as Petit bombarded him with hooks. Petit was already waiving to his supporters before the bell for the seventh. Kasmi tried to put some bounce into his work but a left uppercut and a straight right sent him to the ropes and a straight right from Petit snapped his head back and Kasmi dropped to the floor. He was up at eight and when the action resumed Petit pushed him back to the ropes and Kasmi went down again from hooks to the head. He tried to rise but was counted out just as he made it to the vertical. Both fighters and their seconds congratulated and commiserate with each other sportingly so it was a big surprise when the riot broke out. Petit’s pregnant wife was at ringside and he was preparing to leave the ring to protect her but was initially dissuaded as it might have only inflamed the situation and in fact Petit suffered a gash on his head caused by a flying chair. That was enough for him to put his family’s safety first and he left the ring to protect his father and his wife. As for the fight it gave Petit his tenth win in a row and the vacant WBA Continental title. His only loss was a wafer thin unanimous decision to the current WBC No 2 Yvan Mendy in 2013. Kasmi, a former French and EU super feather champion drops to five losses by KO/TKO.

Lofidi vs. Makiadi

What goes around comes around. Lofidi wins the French title with first round kayo of champion Makiadi. When these two clashed for the vacant title in May last year Makiadi bombed Lofidi out in the first round. This time with just over a minute gone a booming overhand right from Lofidi sent Makiadi crashing to the canvas. He made it to his feet but was wobbling. Lofidi banged home three rights to the temple and Makiadi went down on his back and the fight was over in two minutes. Revenge indeed. The 29-year-old new champion had only scored two inside the distance wins previously but he really nailed it here. Makiadi, 37, had won his last nine fights and was making the second defence of his title but this was a crushing defeat.

Georgetown, Guyana: Fly: Dexter Marques (17-2) W PTS 10 Dionis Martinez (6-10-2). Light Heavy: Sheldon Lawrence (11-1) W KO 11 Shawn Corbin (17-6). Bantam: Elton Dharry (22-5-1) W PTS 8 Jesus Vargas (16-11-1).

Marques vs. Martinez

Marques impresses in wide unanimous verdict over Martinez. The local fighter made a fast aggressive start with the taller Martinez forced to fight a defensive fight. Marques built an early lead being up on all three cards after the fourth round on scores of 40-37, 40-38 and 40-39. Martinez soaked up plenty of punishment but kept going with Marques showing superior skills and finishing the fight strongly to maintain his dominance. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92. Marques has won his last nine fights but spread over too long a period. He had one fight in 2014, was inactive in 2015 and had one fight each in years 2016 and 2017. That could count against him if the talked about challenge to Commonwealth champion Jay Harris in March in Wales come off. Venezuelan Martinez drops to 2-4-1 in his last 7 fights.

Lawrence vs. Corbin

Trinidadian Lawrence retains the WBC Fecarbox title with late kayo of veteran Corbin. For much of the fight Corbin used his experience and skill to get in front and although Lawrence was in the fight more over the middle round Corbin was still up 77-76 on two cards and 78-74 on the third. As Corbin tired Lawrence began to take control but it was still close after ten rounds. In the eleventh Lawrence took Corbin to the ropes and as Corbin lunged forward trying to get off the ropes Lawrence exploded a brutal uppercut that put Corbin down flat on his back out cold. It was a scary knockout and after considerable medical attention Corbin was taken from the ring on a stretcher and taken to hospital. No update on his condition yet. The 30-year-old Lawrence has nine wins by KO/TKO and has won his last five fights. For Corbin, 42, also from Trinidad and Tobago but based in Guyana, this is his sixth loss by KO/TKO. He had faced a much higher level of opponent than Lawrence having been in with Karo Murat, Dawid Kostecki and Mateusz Masternak but had not fought since being halted in two rounds by Nathan Cleverly in May 2014 and his age and that long spell of inactivity is a very bad combination.

Dharry vs. Vargas

“The Bully” Dharry returns to the ring with a win. The New York-based local was much too good for poor Venezuelan Vargas. Dharry looked to be on his way to an inside the distance win with an early knockdown but Vargas recovered and stayed in the fight. Dharry won every round but could not repeat that early success and had to settle for a points victory. Scores 80-71 from all three judges for Dharry. He has now won his last 19 fights but this was his first contest in 13 months a gap that has seen him drop out of the world ratings. Vargas is now 2-8 in his last 10 fights.

Tlalpan, Mexico: Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (23-1) W KO 2 Glenn Porras (31-7).  Navarrete crushes Filipino veteran Porras in two rounds. Southpaw Porras was forcing the fight early moving forward behind a high guard. Navarrete was on the back foot but countering with stiff jabs. Porras continued to advance but Navarrete landed a left to the head. Porras took three or four steps forward and then in a delayed action suddenly his legs flew in different directions and he went down. He got up and looked badly shaken but the bell went before Navarrete could land a punch. In the second Porras continued his attacks only to run onto a right that knocked him off balance. His right glove touched the canvas and he was given a count. Navarrete was letting fly with some heavy shots and a three punch combination, a right to the body, a left hook to the body and a left hook to the head sent Porras down and out under the bottom rope and almost off the ring apron. The fight was stopped immediately and Porras required medical attention. The 22-year-old Navarrete, he turned pro at 17, now has 20 wins by KO/TKO and is rated WBA 3/WBO 11but has been carefully matched. Porras, 32, once world rated, suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO.

Mayaguez, Puerto Rico: Feather: Pedro Marquez (8-1) W PTS 8 Felix Caraballo (8-1-2). Super Welter: Carlos Garcia 15-17-1) W KO 2 Travis Castellon (16-1-1).

Marquez vs. Caraballo

Marquez wins unanimous verdict over champion Caraballo to lift the WBA Fedecaribe title. The extra speed that Marquez had proved the difference as he outboxed the hard-hitting Caraballo to take the verdict. A huge left hook in the last round had Marquez in deep trouble but he made it to the bell to emerge a good winner. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73. Marquez was moving up to eight rounds for the first time and gets his seventh win in a row; Caraballo was making the second defence of his title and had won his last eight fights, six of them by KO/TKO. He did land his big punch but too late in the fight.

Garcia vs. Castellon

The lanky Garcia extends his winning run to five as he crushes Castellon in two rounds to lift the vacant UBF Inter-Continental title. Floridian Castellon was having his first fight since November 2015. His record is well padded with eleven of his victims never having won a fight.
Kiev, Ukraine: Super Bantam: Olek Yegorov (20-1-1) W PTS 12 Cristian Rodriguez (10-2).  Yegorov holds on to his WBA Continental title but only just. This one was close enough to have seen either fighter win. If it had been in Spain the challenger Rodriguez would have probably emerged the winner but with home advantage Yegorov just did enough although one judge must have been looking at another fight,. Scores 114-113 twice and a ridiculous 118-109 all for Yegorov. The Russian-born Ukrainian-based Yegorov was making the third defence of his WBA title. He lost a wide unanimous decision to Gavin McDonnell for the vacant European title in 2015 but this is his seventh win since then and he is No 5 with the EBU. Rodriguez had score eight wins in a row but then was out of the ring for 14 months before returning with a win in a six round fight in December so could have done with a few more rounds behind him before this twelve round match.

New York, NY, USA: Welter: Errol Spence (23-0) W RTD 7 Lamont Peterson (35-4-1). Light Robert Easter (21-0) W PTS 12 Javier Fortuna (33-2-1). Light Heavy: Marcus Browne (21-0) W TKO 1 Francy Ntetu (17-2). Heavy: Adam Kownacki (17-0) W TKO 6 Iago Kiladze (26-2). Super Light: Anthony Peterson (38-1) W PTS 10 Luis Florez (23-9). Welter: Ivan Golub (14-1) W TKO 3 Fidel Monterrosa (38-16-1,1ND).

Spence vs. Peterson

Spence outclasses former IBF and WBA super light champion Lamont Peterson and hands out a one-sided beating before Peterson’s corner retires their man after seven rounds.

Round 1

First round for Spence. He kept Peterson on the end of his right jab and threw a few lefts. Peterson blocked many of the jabs but hardly threw a punch.

Score 10-9 Spence

Round 2

Another round for Spence. He was still getting home with his jab but now was using his left more and scoring with hooks to the body and uppercuts. Peterson slotted home a couple of jabs and landed a right cross but that was all.

Score 10-9 Spence                                                                                                 20-18

Round 3

Peterson just could not get past the jab. He did have some success early in the round again with his jab and straight right but for most of the round Spence was in charge. He again had the dominant punch in his jab and was finding gaps for hooks and uppercuts with Peterson trying to hide behind a high guard.

Score 10-9 Spence                                                                                                 30-27

Round 4

The fight was one-sided. Spence was too quick and too accurate. He was firing combinations and stepping out of range before Peterson could counter. Too often Peterson was presenting a stationary target and making things easy for Spence. Spence was warned early in the round for low punches.

Score 10-9 Spence                                                                                                  40-36

Round 5

Spence really began to take Peterson apart in the fifth. A series of punches rounded off by a left to the side of the head put Peterson down on his backside. After the eight count Spence tried hard to finish things and shook Peterson a couple of times but Peterson showed some desperate defensive moves and threw enough punches to make sure the referee had no reason to step in and so he made it to the bell.

Score 10-8 Spence                                                                                                 50-34

Round 6

It was all Spence again. He was landing uppercuts and hooks and driving Peterson back with Peterson too busy trying to block Spence’s pinches to throw any himself. His left eye was closing and he had a cut and swelling on his left eyelid that was closing that eye.

Score 10-9 Spence                                                                                                 60-53

Round 7

The referee had the ringside physician examine the damage to Peterson’s eye before the start of the round and Peterson was cleared to continue. Peterson threw a few punches and then went into survival mode with a confident Spence firing hooks and uppercuts and perhaps even relaxing the pressure a little as he took the round. After the bell Peterson’s corner wisely retired their man.

Score 10-9 Spence                                                                                                 70-62

Official scores at retirement: 70-62 for Spence from all three judges.

Spence was making the first defence of the IBF title he won with a stoppage of Kell Brook in May            and gets win No 20 by KO/TKO. He outclassed Peterson and seems to improve with every fight. There are big fights at welterweight for him against Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse and of course Terry Crawford-if they can be made. I think he would be too young for Manny Pacquiao and too good for Jeff Horn but they are fights that probable can’t be made and Thurman would be the obvious choice. Peterson had failed to impress in winning fights against Felix Diaz and David Avanesyan and looks to be near the end of the road on this performance.

Errol Spence

Easter vs. Fortuna

Easter retains his IBF title with unpopular split decision over Fortuna in a disappointing fight. The title was only at stake for Easter as Fortuna failed to make the weight after two attempts so could not win the title.

Round 1

Easter had big edges in height and reach and was pacing after Fortuna over the first two minutes doing what scoring there was. Fortuna came to life over the last minute with some quick attacks but Easter had taken the round.

Score 10-9 Easter

Round 2

Fortuna was charging forward from the start of this one with Easter having to hold to smother the Dominican’s work. As Fortuna pushed Easter down and into the ropes he landed a series of punches to the back of Easter’s head and the referee stopped the action and deducted a point from Fortuna. A deduction that would prove important. Easter marched forward for the rest of the round but Fortuna was boxing cleverly and scoring with counter. He won the round but the point deduction cancelled that out,

Score 9-9 Even                                                                                                        19-18

Round 3

Both fighters landed some good punches early in the round but there was already too much clinching and mauling. Fortuna ended the round driving Easter back and getting through with some head punches to win the round.

Score 10-9 Fortuna                                                                                                 28-28

Round 4

Fortuna was circling the perimeter of the ring and then leaping in with quick attacks and getting out before Easter could counter. Easter was also having trouble finding the target with his jab and becoming frustrated.

Score 10-9 Fortuna                                                                                                 37-38

Round 5

Easter closed Fortuna down in this round. He was moving in quickly and working inside denying Fortuna the space to perform his lunging attacks. Fortuna was guilty of continually holding and not throwing enough punches.

Score 10-9 Easter                                                                                                    47-47

Round 6

Fortuna used plenty of quick movement to again give himself space and was able to get his punches off first with Easter unable to work inside as he had in the fifth. Easter threw a right but Fortuna launched a left over the top of Easter’s punch that shook Easter badly and sent him stumbling back across the ring visibly shaken with Fortuna landing some more heavy punches before the bell.

Score 10-9 Fortuna                                                                                                 56-57

Round 7

Despite his success in the last round Fortuna gave this round away. Easter did what attacking there was and landed the few punches that got through with Fortuna doing lots of dancing but very little punching.

Score 10-9 Easter                                                                                                    66-66

Round 8

This was a messy round with not a lot of clean scoring. Again it was Easter working and throwing punches regularly and Fortuna showing excessive movement and not really active enough to take anything out of the round.

Score 10-9 Easter                                                                                                    76-75

Round 9

A repeat of the previous round. Easter was doing all of the pressing and twice trapped Fortuna on the ropes and scored with some choice punches inside. Fortuna was feinting a lot but not taking advantage of any opening he created and losing the rounds.

Score 10-9 Easter                                                                                                    86-84

Round 10

This was the best round of the fight as they both were looking to trade punches. Fortuna was more accurate with his counters and in close just before the bell he scored with some hard hooks to edge the round.

Score 10-9 Fortuna                                                                                                 95-94

Round 11

This round saw Easter keep Fortuna against the ropes for much of the time as they exchanged hooks inside it was more of a brawl than anything else with lots of punches blocked by each man but with Fortuna catching the eye with short lefts to edge it but only just.

Score 10-9 Fortuna                                                                                                 104-104

Round 12

Fortuna staged the stronger finish. He stormed forward early in the round landing short punches from both hands. Over the second minute neither fighter found the room to land anything of note but Fortuna came on again at the end and outpunched Easter to the bell.

Score 10-9 Fortuna                                                                                                 113-114

Official scores: 115-112 and 114-113 for Easter and 114-113 for Fortuna.

Easter remains IBF champion but this was a far from impressive performance as he never really got to grips with the quick movement and lunging attacks of Fortuna and was never able to use his physical advantages. This is his third defence of his title but he has yet to really score the sort of win that would put him up there alongside Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares and may never do so. The one point deduction cost Fortuna a draw but the former holder of the secondary WBA super feather title did not do enough positive work to take the title in a close fight and although many saw this as a clear win for Fortuna the fight was a disappointment and I can’t see the public howling for a return although the IBF may decide on one.

Browne vs. Ntetu

Browne blows away Ntetu inside a round. Ntetu began by staging some lunging attacks but Brown had no trouble avoiding them. The fight was untidy for a short time as they wrestled and the referee warned both fighters after some rough stuff inside. Browne drove Ntetu to the ropes and landed a left and right to Ntetu’s head which saw the Canadian/DRC fight slump to his knees with his head going down to touch the canvas. Ntetu was up at seven but looked unsteady and Browne again took him to the ropes. Ntetu briefly fought his way off the ropes but Browne cornered him and landed a right to the chin that had Ntetu floundering and trying to hold and after Browne sank in a left hook to the body the referee jumped in and stopped the fight. The 27-year-old Staten Island southpaw registers his 16th win by KO/TKO. With wins  over 21-0 Radivoje Kalajdzic, 20-2 Thomas Williams, 28-0 Sean Monaghan and now 17-1 Ntetu Browne’s last four victims had combined records of 86-3 and he is rated WBC 3/WBO 4/IBF 6(4)/WBA 7. After winning his first 16 fights Ntetu was halted in seven rounds by David Benavides in June 2016. He had a low level win in June 2017 and is difficult to see where he goes from this crushing loss.

Kownacki vs. Kiladze

Kownacki proves too strong and relentlessly wears down and halts Kiladze. Kownacki went straight after Kiladze from the opening bell. Kiladze had big edges in height and reach but Kownacki just rumbled past the jab. Kiladze landed some hard counters that had blood flowing from Kownacki’s nose but Kownacki was getting through with rights of his own as both fighters ignored defence.  The referee had the ringside physician examine Kownacki’s nose injury before the start of the second round but he was cleared to continue. Kiladze boxed his way through the second using his reach and quick movement but in the last ten seconds they stood and traded some wild shots. In the third Kownacki continued to walk forward ignoring Kiladze’s jab and counters and landed some heavy thumps with Kiladze slowing. Kownacki survived another physician’s exam before the start of the fourth but had a big round flooring Kiladze with a right and getting through with some hefty thumps. Both fighters were examined by the physicians before the start of the fifth. An exhausted Kiladze was just hanging on and was badly rocked by a right late in the round. Kownacki landed heavy punches to Kiladze’s head in the sixth until a right uppercut and a right cross sent Kiladze staggering across the ring and down. He made it to his feet but was finished and the referee stopped the fight. The 28-year-old New York-based Pole makes it 14 wins by KO/TKO and has yet to go past the eighth round and is No 13 with the WBC. He looks flabby at 258lbs and has a very short reach. He has great strength and punch resistance but I am not sure how far he can go. Kiladze, 31, was a disappointment. He was never really in the fight despite winning his last six fights and has gone as far as he is going. Both fighters ended up in the same ward of the local hospital but Kiladze’s visit was a precaution and Kownacki’s for his nose injury.

Peterson vs. Florez

Younger brother Anthony goes some way to prevent the night being a total loss for the Peterson family as he outscores Colombian Florez. Peterson controlled the fight from first to last. There were no real highlights just some solid body work from Peterson as he shed a load of accumulated rust. Scores 100-89 twice and 100-90 for Peterson. First fight in 21 months and only the sixth fight in almost six years for Peterson. His lone loss was on a disqualification against Brandon Rios in a WBA eliminator in 2010 and at 32 he is running out of time to become serious about his own career. Florez shocked Mexican fans when he blitzed then unbeaten Miguel Berchelt in just 99 seconds in their fight in 2014 but he dropped away and is now just 2-8 in his last 10 fights.

Golub vs. Monterrosa

Golub gets off the floor to stop Monterrosa. Golub worked behind his southpaw jab in the first using his reach advantage end firing home straight lefts and quick counters. Monterrosa was coming in low trying to work the body but coming up short. Golub was boxing confidently in the second but was caught with a straight right to the chin which dumped him on his rump. He was up quickly and did not look hurt. When the action resumed Monterrosa stormed forward and looked to have shaken Golub with another right but Golub also landed some good punches of his own before dropping Monterrosa with a left that landed way below the belt. Despite that the referee applied a count. Monterrosa slipped to the floor twice more before a left saw him down to his knees for a genuine knockdown and after he got up he seemed to be indicating a problem with his right knee. In the third Golub scores with a series of accurate lefts with Monterrosa going down once for a knockdown and slipping down twice more with the referee then stopping the fight. Ukrainian “The Volk” Golub, 29, now has 12 wins by KO/TKO. He lost a close unanimous verdict to unbeaten Jamontay Clark in his last fight in June. He is a neat technical boxer with some power but looks a bit lightweight to make it to the top. After back-to-back losses to Leonardo Zappavigna and Frederick Lawson Mexican-based Colombian has now lost three tough fights in a row and all by KO/TKO.

Fight of the week: Marvin Petit vs. Samir Kasmi a real battle of attrition and it was a real pity that another fine Malamine Kone show had to end in this disgraceful way.

Fighter of the week: Errol Spence outclassed Peterson

Punch of the week: Mundine left hook that spread-eagled Browne, tied with the Berwela left hook that finished unbeaten Thai Saenganan.

Upset of the week: Berwela’s win over 19-0 Saenganan

One to watch: Kye MacKenzie