SERGIO MARTINEZ, 55-3-2 (30), continued his quest for one more shot at a title as he outpointed MACAULAY McGOWAN, 14-3-1 (3), in a middleweight 10-rounder. The gutsy McGowan put up plenty of resistance and had moments of success, particularly in rounds three and five, but enough of the Martinez of old ultimately remained. McGowan was floored in the seventh and 10th and lost on scores of 99-89 twice and 98-90. The former world champion, now 46, has won four since beginning his comeback in 2020.
Norwegian featherweight BERNARD TORRES, 16-0 (7), was given a scare by unfancied Argentinian MAURO PEROUENE, 13-5-1 (6), but scraped through on a split decision with the judges scoring it 96-94 and 96-95 for Torres and 96-94 for Perouene.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Botswanan super-bantamweight STEVEN BAGWASI, 7-1 (2), outboxed experienced KOOS SIBIYA, 23-17-5 (3). In a closely contested bout the youth and speed of Bagwasi saw him take a split verdict on scores of 96-94 and 96-95 with the third judge seeing Sibiya the winner 96-94.
In an exciting flyweight scrap ADRIAN CURIEL, 19-4 (3), was pushed all the way by HUGO HERNANDEZ, 18-7-1 (7), during 10 rounds of open warfare but took the split decision on scores of 97-93 and 96-94 with the third judge seeing it 96-94 for Hernandez.
Something of an upset as Venezuelan MICHELL BANQUEZ, 20-1 (14), wears down unbeaten Cuban bantamweight JOAHNYS ARGILAGOS, 8-1 (4). Relentless pressure from Banquez saw Argilagos quit in his corner after six rounds. This is Banquez first fight since outpointing Prince Patel in July 2019. Super-bantamweight JORGE DE JESUS ROMERO, 22-0-1, continued unbeaten with a fifth round retirement win over Argentinian LUCAS BAEZ, 37-21-5 (20).
Brazilian ROBSON CONCEICAO, 17-1 (8), rebounded from his loss to Oscar Valdez with a victory over previously unbeaten XAVIER MARTINEZ, 17-1 (11). Conceicao was just too strong, too quick and too accurate for Martinez. Conceicao used strong jabs to control the action at distance and showered the aggressive but slower Martinez with rapid-fire combinations. Martinez just kept walking into the punches with no plan B and it was a convincing win for Conceicao on scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. Heavyweight STEPHEN SHAW, 16-0,1NC (12), looked impressive in stopping game but limited JOEY DAWEJKO 21-10-4 (12) in the eighth round. Shaw dropped boxing for five years but more recently worked as a sparring partner for Deontay Wilder. Promising lightweight GIOVANNI CABRERA, 19-0 (7), had to work hard to get the decision over a feisty RENE TELLEZ, 16-2 (10), on scores of 78-74 twice and 77-75 and NICO ALI WALSH, 4-0 (3), scored a spectacular second round kayo victory over JEREMIAH YEAGER, 1-2-1. Middleweight Walsh is the grandson of Muhammad Ali and he even included an Ali Shuffle just before putting Yeager down and out. In a female bout, super-featherweight CARLA TORRES, 7-6 took a majority verdict on scores of 80-72 ,77-75 and 76-76 UK-based Greek KALLIOPI KOUROUNI, 11-3 (2).
Super-featherweight FRANCISCO FONSECA, 29-3-2 (23), scored three knockdowns in the second round to register a knockout over FRANCO GUTIERREZ, 11-72 (6), and former alphabet flyweight title holder CRISTOFER ROSALES, 32-5 (21), defeated JERSON ORTIZ, 17-5,1NC (8) on a fifth round disqualification. At the bell to end the fifth, Ortiz landed an elbow smash and Rosales retaliated with a punch to the back of Ortiz’s head. After some discussion Rosales had a point deducted and Ortiz was disqualified.
Local light-heavyweight THOMAS FAUYRE, 21-4-1 (2), collected the vacant European Union strap with a unanimous decision over fellow-Frenchman KEVIN COJEAN, 27-11-2 (10), on scores of 116-112 twice and 117-111. These two had fought a draw for the French title last year over.
Russian super-lightweight FEDOR PAPAZOV, 24-4 (14), staged a strong finish to take a majority decision over Kyrgyzstan southpaw AKZHOL SULAIMANBEK, 16-2 (9), on scores of 97-93 and 95-94 for Papazov and 95-95. Sulaimanbek was in front until a huge hematoma over his right eye saw him box more cautiously in the last two rounds.
Hard-punching featherweight OMAR AGUILAR, 23-0 (22), scored a scary second round kayo of RICARDO BANUELOS, 17-7-1 (7), who was down twice from left hook.
MAR del PLATA, ARGENTINA
Neighbourhood fighter FRANCO ACOSTA, 10-0 (7), won the vacant Argentinian light-heavyweight title as he used his longer reach to outbox an aggressive WALTER SEQUEIRA, 24-9-1 (16), over 10 rounds. The judges scored it 100-90½, 99-91 and 98½ -94. KEVIN MUNOZ, 13-1,1ND (5), looked fortunate to get the decision over ABEL SILVA, 7-8-3 (4), to retain the South American super-flyweight title with the cards reading 95-94 twice and 98-92 for Munoz.