Fight of the week: The James DeGale vs. Badou Jack unification fight

Fighter of the week: Gervonta Davis for his stoppage of Jose Pedroza

Punch of the week: The short left uppercut that Erislandy Lara used to end his fight with Yuri Foreman.

Upset of the week: Two in this category with Davis stopping Pedroza and Immanuwel Aleem halting unbeaten Ievgen Khytrov

One to watch: Unbeaten Mexican welterweight Carlos Ocampo 21–0

January 13

Hialeah, FL, USA: Super Welter: Erislandy Lara (24-2-2) W KO 4 Yuri Foreman (34-3). Super Middle: Anthony Dirrell (30-1-1) W RTD 6 Norbert Nemesapati (24-5). Bantam: Juan Carlos Payano (18-1) W TKO 7 Isao Gonzalez Carranza(15-8-1). Welter: Miguel Cruz (14-0) W PTS 8 Alex Martin (13-1).

Lara vs. Foreman

Lara retains his WBA title with one punch finish against former champion Foreman. There was very little action in the first round. Foreman was on the back foot moving around the ring and launching quick bursts of punches with Lara prowling after Foreman but not letting many punches fly with neither boxer landing anything of note. Lara continued to pace after Foreman in the second getting through with some long southpaw lefts but there were no sustained exchanges. Lara increased his output in the third putting Foreman under more pressure. Foreman had to take a count when he lurched forward and put his gloves on the canvas but it was not a genuine knockdown and Foreman landed a nice right as the round ended. The fourth saw Lara letting his punches go more and Foreman lunging forward trying to get inside. As Foreman moved inside he was short with a right and Lara threw a left uppercut inside that Foreman never saw coming. It crashed into his chin  and he took a faltering step back and collapsed to the canvas. He scrabbled across the ring trying to get his limbs to work together and although he did manage to stagger up he was tottering backwards and the referee stopped the fight. The 33-year-old Houston-based Cuban was making the first defence of his super WBA super title (super super how ridiculous does that sound) after being upgraded in June last year. He now has 14 wins by KO/TKO but this is only his second fight in 14 months. Naturally he was calling out Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez but. He is a clever, dangerous opponent but with his modest prolife he brings nothing substantial to the table so too much risk for two little reward for “Canelo” and “GGG”. Former WBA champion Foreman, 36, was lucky to get the title shot. After consecutive inside the distance losses to Miguel Cotto in 2010 and Pawel Wolak in 2011 his six wins had all been in six and eight rounds fights against very ordinary opposition and if Lara’s team are serious about fighting Alvarez and Golovkin then they should reflect that by picking tougher opponents for their fighter.

Dirrell vs. Nemesapati

In his first fight for almost nine months Dirrell beats down a game young Hungarian who was in way over his head. Nemesapati made a confident start taking the fight to Dirrell and letting his punches go in bursts but when Dirrell fired back his superior power showed. The second round was brutal as Dirrell banged home clubbing overhand rights and shook the young Hungarian with an overhand right followed by right uppercut. Nemesapati gamely kept firing back but was absorbing some vicious hooks. Dirrell’s punch rate dropped in the third and Nemesapati managed to have a couple of good attacking spells. Dirrell was going to the body and was warned three times for low punches. A one-sided fourth saw Dirrell forcing Nemesapati from corner to corner landing heavy body punches and right hooks with very little coming back from the Hungarian. Dirrell continued to hand out punishment in the fifth. At one point he taunted Nemesapati by standing with both hands clasped behind his back before scoring again with a series of head jarring punches and at the end of the round Dirrell had a long look at Nemesapati to see how much he had left. The Hungarian continued to take a savage beating in the sixth and at the end of the round his corner finally took him out of the fight probably a couple of rounds later than they should have but the courageous way he soaked up the punishment and kept trying to fire back obviously kept them hoping. The 32-year-old Dirrell, the WBC No 2, is hoping to get a chance to regain his WBC title later this year after No 1 Callum Smith gets his shot at unified champion James DeGale /Beau Jack. Nemesapati turned pro at 16 and is now just 21. His team have made some strange decisions. Last year after a series of bouts against very ordinary opposition they suddenly went after world rated fighters Umar Salamov and Callum Smith as if time was running out for Nemesapati when there was no need to throw the young fighter to the wolves.

Payano vs. Carranza

Former WBA and IBO champion Payano returns to the ring for the first time since losing his titles to Rau’shee Warren in June last year and outclasses Carranza. Payano was giving away a little in height and reach but he more than made up for that with his quicker hands and a much superior skill set. In the first he was firing home hooks to the body with both hands and countering Carranza’s attacks with the same punches. Carranza forced the fight throughout the second but Payano was using good upper body movement to get under Carranza’s punches and scoring with southpaw right jabs and straight lefts in an impeccable exhibition of skill. Payano was coming forward more in the third and throwing bursts of five and six hooks at a time. They were not hard punches but they were fast and accurate. Carranza was on the canvas briefly but it was due to his being off balance and it was not a knockdown. Carranza continued to walk into punishment in the fourth. Payano was sitting down on his left hooks and shook Carranza a couple of times with one clubbing right stopping the Mexican in his tracks. Carranza put in a big effort in the fifth but kept running into countering left hooks and uppercuts as Payano strung together flashing combinations and that was the pattern in the sixth as well. The end in the seventh was a bit surprising. Payano had been landing some good punches and when a right to the head shook Carranza the referee just waived the fight over even though the Mexican had not been down but it was a good stoppage as Carranza was being outclassed. Payano, a 32-year-old from the Dominican Republic, lost his WBA and IBO titles on a majority verdict against Rau’shee Warren in June last year having previously beaten Anselmo Moreno for the WBA title in 2014 and Warren for the IBO title in 2015. He is No 2 with the WBA and with Warren defending against No 1 Zhanat Zhakiyanov on 10 February he will move into the mandatory spot for a challenge against the winner. Carranza suffers his fifth loss by KO/TKO and was having his first fight in 10 months.

Cruz vs. Martin

Cruz wins battle of unbeaten fighters but decision is controversial and scores reflect that. Southpaw Martin took the first round with some hard head punches but Cruz evened things up with a better second round taking the fight to Martin. Cruz had the more impressive credentials as a puncher but the accuracy of Martin’s work had Cruz looking much the more marked up fighter. After a succession of close rounds Martin looked to have established a clear lead taking the seventh and eighth rounds. Cruz stormed back over the last two rounds but did not look to have done enough to cancel out Martin’s lead. The judges saw it differently with two judges giving the decision to Cruz 96-94 and the third going miles the other was having Martin the winner 99-91! Cruz, 26, had won nine in a row by KO/TKO before having to fight hard to edge past Sam Figueroa on a split decision in his last fight in May last year so two excellent learning fights in a row for the Ohio-born Cruz. Martin, 27, had a stellar amateur career being a multi-time Chicago Golden Gloves champion and winning gold and then silver in successive National Golden Glove Tournaments and was the US Team 1st reserve for the 2012 Olympics. He looked unlucky here but can rebuild.

Central Point, Oregon: Heavy: Mike Wilson (16-0) W PTS 8 Aaron Chavers (7-2-1). Wilson pleases his local fans as he wins every round against prelim fighter Chavers. Wilson hardly had to move out of first gear as he boxed his way to victory. Scores 80-72 from all three judges He has turned pro too late to have a chance of making an impact and has not been active enough. He was a top amateur winning the US national title twice and competing for the USA at the world cup. He turned pro in 2009 but was inactive in 2011and 2014  and 16 fights in almost eight years shows is just not enough. Chavers, 35, was moving up to eight rounds for the first time and was out of his league.

Mar de Ajo, Argentina: Middle: Miguel F Caceres (14-3) W KO 2 Jorge D Caraballo (13-7-1). Prospect Caceres makes it 7 wins in a row as he beats Caraballo inside two rounds. In the first round Caraballo was marching forward but into sharp counters from the quicker and more accurate Caceres. In the second a left/right combination put Caraballo down and although he struggled to his feet he was counted out. The 21-year-old from San Miguel makes it 11 wins by KO/TKO and collects the vacant interim WBC Latino title. He is No 3 in the Argentinian ratings and 31 with the WBC. Second loss by KO/TKO for 27-year-old Caraballo a former Argentinian and South American title challenger who is 3-6 in his last 9 fights.


January 14


New York, NY, USA: Super Middle: James DeGale (23-1-1) DREW 12 Badou Jack (20-1-3). Super Feather: Gervonta Davis (17-0) W TKO 7Jose Pedraza (22-1). Middle: Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1) W TKO 6 Ievgen Khytrov (14-1). Welter: Thomas Dulorme (24-2) W TKO 6 Brian Jones (13-7). Heavy: Adam Kownacki (15-0) W TKO 2 Joshua Tufte (19-2).

DeGale vs. Jack

This one ended all even so DeGale retains his IBF title and Jack retains his WBC title. DeGale scored a knockdown in the first and built a lead only for a knockdown in the last to cost him the decision. DeGale made a great start with that early knockdown. After some opening probing by both fighters until with just 15 seconds remaining in the opening round a southpaw straight left from DeGale caught Jack on the chin and put him down. The punch had not landed flush which lessened the power and the WBC champion was up immediately and saw out the round without any trouble. Jack took the fight to DeGale in the second but the IBF champion used good movement and quick counters to just edge a close round. Jack continued to advance in the third with DeGale constantly on the move and firing punches in short bursts. Jack kept pressing and scored with a good right to the body and a short left hook and may have done enough to take the round on the scorecards. The fourth was another close round but Jack was marching forward and scoring consistently whereas DeGale continued to fight in short bursts. Due to the first round knockdown after four rounds the judges all had DeGale in front on scores of 38-37 twice and 39-36. The fifth round was DeGale’s. Jack had a good spell late in the round but DeGale had stood his ground more in this round and used faster hand speed to outscore the WBC champion. Art the bell the referee leaped between the fighters and onto a Jack left hook.  Jack had to catch and hold him to prevent the referee hitting the canvas. With DeGale ahead after four rounds and winning the fifth Jack needed to find some momentum and he outscored DeGale clearly in the sixth landing repeatedly to the body knowing he had to slow the faster DeGale. The seventh was DeGale’s he used quick movement and fast hands to beat Jack to the punch. DeGale was throwing combinations whilst Jack was throwing one punch at a time. Jack badly needed to win the eighth and he did. DeGale chose to stand and trade for most of the round and Jack made him pay with long rights and left hooks inside. After the eighth the fight was still very close with DeGale ahead 76-75 on two cards but Jack had closed the gap on the third which read 75-75. The referee had the doctor take a look at swellings under the eyes of DeGale at the start of the ninth but he passed the examination. The round was a close one again with DeGale going back to his boxing but Jack pressured hard and probably just did enough to even up the scoring. DeGale had a big tenth. He outpunched Jack again scoring with quick combinations from both hands and landing a hard overhand right. Jack landed a couple of hard punches late in the round but it was DeGale’s round. A frantic eleventh saw the fight turn into a brawl as they stood and traded shots and again it was the speed and accuracy of DeGale’s punching which won him the round clearly. After that eleventh round DeGale was in front on all three official scorecards. He was 105-103 up on two and 106-102 on the third and looked poised for victory. He was more than holding his own until half way through the round when a right to the top of the head and a left hook to the chin saw him tumble back and down. He was up at four and after the eight count Jack went all out for the finish but DeGale managed to stay on his feet and fought back strongly at the bell, but it was a 10-8 round for Jack. Scores 113-113 twice and 114-112 for DeGale so the unification fight did not unify anything but it had been a close, hard fight with action all the way. DeGale came within half a round of emerging the winner but Jack’s big effort in that dramatic last round saved his title. There was no serious talk of a return with Jack’s promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. saying that if DeGale wanted a return then it would be at 175lbs which would greatly lessen the attraction of the fight for DeGale who wanted to unify the IBF and WBC titles at super middle. DeGale, 30, had hoped that winning the WBC title would set up a huge British fight against the WBC No 1 Callum Smith. It is not out of the question as Smith is No 4 with the IBF but it depends on whether the IBF order a defence against their No 1 Jose Uzcategui. Instead the Smith fight would provide a big pay day for Jack. The 33-year-old Swedish-born fighter would probably be looked on as the underdog for that one. A position he has been in on a few occasions in the past and thrived on so Smith would hold no fears for “The Ripper”.

Pedraza vs. Davis

An exciting new talent emerges as Davis outboxes and brutalises IBF champion Pedraza. No study time in this all-southpaw all-action battle. Pedraza came out fast trying to dominate with sharp right jabs with Davis boxing well on the back foot and scoring with quick counters from both hands clearly taking the round. Pedraza had Davis under pressure over the early part of the second round but over the last minute Davis was scoring with sharp uppercuts inside and again seemed to have the better of the exchanges. Pedraza had a better third on the basis of a higher work rate making good use of a stiff jab and short hooks from both hands to keep Davis on the back foot but again Davis was banging home sharp uppercuts. The fourth saw Davis on the front foot using his own jab and firing home quick accurate hooks with Pedraza rallying late in the round to make it close. The fifth worked the opposite way with Pedraza like a man on fire at the start and Davis coming on strong over the latter part of the round but Pedraza edged it on his earlier work. The sixth belonged to Davis as he scored repeatedly with shots to the head with Pedraza only letting his hand go over the last ten seconds of the round. Before the action started in the seventh the doctor spent a long time examine lumps under the eyes of Pedroza but also making him take steps forward and back to check his balance. Davis was in complete control in the seventh. He was out jabbing Pedraza and scoring with clubbing shots to the head. A brutal right hook sent Pedraza into the ropes where Davis worked him over with stunning lefts to the head. Pedraza managed to get off the ropes but a right uppercut snapped his head back and a crunching right sent back and down halfway out under the ropes. He managed to sit up but then arose just as the referee was showing ten digits and the referee promptly waived the fight over. Davis was ahead 59-55 on all three cards at the end. The new IBF champion is just 22 and had never faced a rated opponent but he showed huge talent and power in crushing the unbeaten Puerto Rican. The former National Golden Gloves champion, promoted by Floyd Mayweather Jr., was the IBF No 8 going into this one so the IBF could insist on a defence against his No 1 challenger Liam Walsh but there are stellar fights out there against the other belt holders Vasyl Lomachenko, Francisco Vargas and Jezreel Corrales in an exciting division. Pedraza, 27, was making the third defence of his title and found Davis just too quick and too clever and will need a long rest after this crushing defeat.

Khytrov vs. Aleem

Aleem springs big surprise as he halts favoured Khytrov to win the vacant WBC Silver title. Khytrov started in his usual aggressive style coming forward throwing punches. Aleem had edges in height and reach and initially was on the back foot stabbing out jabs. Suddenly a big overhand right from Aleem shook Khytrov to his toes and he reeled backwards with Aleem chasing him to the ropes landing more rights to the head. Aleem continued to land hard head punches. Khytrov gamely fired back but was on unsteady legs and Aleem showered him with more big rights and Khytrov was badly hurt again just before the bell of a hellacious round for the unbeaten Ukrainian. The bell sounded to start the second but the referee took Khytrov over to the ropes where he was examined by a doctor before the fight was allowed to continue. Khytrov turned things around in the second pressing forward throwing punch after punch landing hooks and uppercuts with Aleem forced onto the back foot. Aleem was still throwing rights but Khytrov was walking through them. The Ukrainian was doing the same in the third until he was shaken by a short right/left combination. As he staggered back Aleem landed two left hooks that put Khytrov down on his back. He was up at six and took the fight to Aleem. A left hook unhinged Aleem’s legs and now he was in deep trouble on the ropes with Khytrov landing short punches with both hands up to the bell. Khytrov took over again in the fourth marching forward pumping out punches with Aleem under constant pressure. Aleem had a better fifth moving more and refusing to be caught in corners. Khytrov kept pressing but was wide open to counters. Khytrov was marching forward again in the sixth when Aleem nailed Khytrov with two overhand rights sending him crashing to the floor. Khytrov beat the count but Alem landed a couple more rights to the head and the referee stopped the fight. Huge win for 23-year-old Aleem who was moving up to ten rounds for the first time, had never met a ranked fighter and was not rated in the WBC top 40. Khytrov, 28, was the WBC No 2 and sure to be in the mix for the eliminators to find the next challenger for Gennady Golovkin’s WBC title.

Dulorme vs. Jones

Dulorme gets win in his first fight under the Floyd Mayweather Jr banner. The world rated Puerto Rican was a couple of classes above the game but limited Jones. The fight was one-sided with the referee getting Jones checked by the doctor at the end of the third round but he was allowed to continue taking a beating. Dulorme lost a point in the fifth for a low punch but a hard combination in the sixth had Jones in deep trouble and the referee stepped in to stop the fight. The 26-year-old French Guiana-born Dulorme was stopped in six rounds by Terrence Crawford for the vacant WBO super light title in April last year and this is his second win as he rebuilds. Jones gets his first loss by KO/TKO.

Kownacki vs. Tufte

Kownacki gets early win as Tufte suffers cut. Kownacki had height and reach over Tufte who barrelled forward working inside with crude swings. Kownacki was able to score as Tufte came forward but his punches seemed to lack power and although he was doing most of the scoring his own defence leaked badly. The bell went to start the second round but before the action could commence the referee asked the doctor to examine a cut over Tufte’s left eye but the fight was allowed to continue. Tufte again walked into punishment in the  and was trapped in a corner absorbing some hefty shots when the referee decided the combination of the cut and the punishment was now too bad for the fight to continue and it was stopped. Brooklyn-based Pole Kownacki, 27, a former New York Golden Gloves champion, makes it 12 wins by KO/TKO. He has scored wins over a reasonable level of opponents for his experience but needs to tighten his defence. Tufte was having his first fight for 16 months and was 27lbs higher than his last weight so not in top condition as he suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.


Ensenada, Mexico: Super Welter: Carlos Ocampo (21-0) W PTS 10 Daniel Echeverria (19-4).Super Feather: Carlos Diaz R. (22-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Gabriel F Pena (14-13-5). Light Fly: Maximino Flores (22-3-2ND) W PTS 8 Ulises Lara (17-15-2). Super Light: Rafael Guzman (19-1-1,1ND) W KO 4 Ismael Urieta (9-4-1). Light Fly: Gilberto Medina (23-3,1ND) W KO 1 Joan Flores (9-6-2).

Ocampo vs. Echeverria

Ocampo wins all the way in this one to move to 21 victories. In the first round Ocampo had no trouble with Echeverria’s southpaw stance and used his longer reach to get through with left jabs and long rights. Echeverria was more aggressive in the second and third but Ocampo avoided his rushes and countered with stinging punches from both hands. That pattern continued through the fight. Ocampo was just too quick for the limited Echeverria getting in, landing short bursts of punches and avoiding Echeverria’s attempts to land anything of consequence usually leaving Echeverria swishing wildly into empty space. Echeverria had no answer to the speed of Ocampo’s punches and his clever footwork and was being outclassed. Echeverria landed occasional lefts but Ocampo was boxing comfortably on the back foot slotting home quick combinations and frustrating Echeverria’s attempts to close him down. Ocampo had a big ninth as he was putting more power into his punches and rocking Echeverria’s head time and again before putting him on the floor with a body punch. In the tenth Ocampo was able to stand in front of Echeverria with his hands down using upper body movement to slip Echeverria’s shots and firing home combinations as he eased to a wide unanimous victory. Scores 100-89 from all three judges. Local fighter “Chema” has good wins over Jorge Paez Jr. and Charlie Navarro and is rated IBF 8 and WBC 22. He is skilful but not an explosive puncher and is ready for sterner tests. Echeverria continues his slide. He won his first 18 fights but is now 1-4 in his last five as he tries to move up.

Diaz vs. Pena

This was just supposed to be another mile post on the round to the top for Diaz but he had to settle for a majority decision. Diaz was the sharper at the start scoring with looping rights and left hooks to the body on the advancing Pena who suffered a cut above his left eye. Diaz looked on his way to a stoppage when he shook Pena badly with a right uppercut in the second and rocked him with the same punch again before the bell. Pena battled back in the third getting inside and scoring with uppercuts and hooks of his own. He also took the fourth and fifth shaking Diaz with clubbing rights to the head and snapping his head back with uppercuts with Diaz looking tired and disorganised. Both fighters were tired in the sixth and seventh with Diaz just doing enough to edge the rounds but they were both arm weary and there was no snap left in either fighters punches. Diaz found an extra gear in the eighth moving more and scoring with thumping rights but Pena kept pressing all the way. The ninth saw two tired fighters slugging away with Pena scoring with short hooks and Diaz slinging longer shots. Pena had more left at the end and outworked Diaz to the bell. Scores 97-93 twice for Diaz and 95-95. The 22-year-old from Guadalajara gets the win but did not impress against an opponent who was tough and brave but limited. Diaz is No 2 feather with the WBO and No 35 with the WBC but he is nowhere near ready for Oscar Valdez, Carl Frampton, Gary Russell or Lee Selby. Pena had won his last three fights including an upset victory over former WBO/IBF title challenger Miguel Beltran and performed above expectations here.

Flores vs. Lara

In an exciting scrap Flores floors Lara twice but is made to work hard for victory. Lara suffered a bad cut from a clash of heads in the second round but remained competitive throughout. Scores 79-70, 77-71 and 77-72 all for Flores. The local fighter has lost only one of his last 12 fights and that was on a technical decision against world rated Filipino Milan Melindo in May last year since when he has scored three wins. Lara, the Mexican flyweight champion and former WBA secondary title challenger, had won his last four fights including an upset stoppage victory over former IBF light fly champion Javier Mendoza in October.

Guzman vs. Urieta

Ensenada fighter Guzman makes it 12 wins by KO/TKO as he puts away Urieta in four rounds. The 21-year-old Guzman turned pro at 16 and was unbeaten in his first 17 fights before losing a split decision to Abraham Cordero (12-2-1) in August. This is third win against low level opposition since then. Urieta came in as a very late substitute and was 4-0-1 in his previous 5 fights.

Medina vs. Flores

Medina gets this one over quickly as he blasts out Flores after just 61 seconds. The Sonora puncher moves to 20 wins by KO/TKO and gets his fourth win since losing on a ninth round retirement against Donnie Nietes for the WBO light fly title in March last year. Two losses in a row against tough opposition for Flores.

San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentine: Welter: Adrian L Veron (19-1) W KO 5 Ramon de la Cruz Sena (22-17-2). Fly: Juan J Jurado (13-0-2) W PTS 10 Fabian H Caro (4-8-4).

Veron vs. Sena

Veron floors experienced Sena twice to retain his WBO Latino title. Southpaw Veron floored Sena with a right in the first but then allowed Sena into the fight. Over the next two rounds Sena had some success without really threatening Veron. The fourth saw Veron opening up again and shaking Sena with lefts. It was all over in the fifth as a southpaw left dumped Sena on the canvas. He had struggled to his knees but could get no further and the referee completed the count just as the towel came in from Sena’s Corner. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for the 28-year-old “Chucky and third defence of his Latino title. The Argentinian No 2 suffered a shock kayo loss to journeyman Cristian Romero in 2015 but has rebounded with five wins. Sena, 30, the Argentinian No 7 has now gone W,L,W,L,W,L,W,L in his last 8 fights so is due a win.

Jurado vs. Caro

Jurado defends his Argentinian title with unanimous verdict over perennial opponent Caro to go 2-0-2 in their four fight series. Jurado was in charge all the way in this one. He used a sharp jab superior speed and good movement to outbox the limited Caro. When Jurado did stand and trade he again bossed the exchanges. For most of the fight Jurado was able to box on the outside scoring again and again with his left jab/right cross punch selection.  Caro had to soak up a lot of punishment but put in a big effort in the tenth and broke through with a right to the chin that put Jurado down. It was too little too late and Jurado took the decision. Scores 99-91 ½, 98-91 ½ and 98-91 ½. Little “Harry” was making the first defence of his national title. Caro, the Argentinian No 5, was 0-2-3 in his last five fights going in with a majority draw and a split draw against Jurado in that sequence.

Milan, Italy: Cruiser: Giacobbe Fragomeni (35-5-2) W KO 3 Tamas Polster (21-11-1), Former WBC champion Fragomeni takes a round to shake off some rust before finishing Hungarian with a body shot in the third. The Italian made a slow start with Polster more active in the first. In the second a trio of body punches that had Polster gasping indicated what was to come. Fragomeni ended it in the third with another body punch which left Polster in agony on the floor unable to beat the count. First fight in 13 months for the 47-year-old Italian. Polster, 36 drops to 8 losses by KO/TKO.

Tokyo, Japan: Heavy: Kyotaro Fujimoto (16-1) W PTS 12 Willie Nasio (10-2).

Fujimoto wins the vacant OPBF title at the second attempt as he outboxes the bigger but slower Nasio. Being the smaller fighter and giving away 35lbs in weight Fujimoto used superior movement to score counters against the slower Nasio. A right from Fujimoto put Nasio down in the second but Nasio got up and kept marching forward. Despite the knockdown after four rounds the local fighter was only one point in front on two cards at 38-37 but clearly ahead by 39-36 on the third. Fujimoto increased his lead over the middle rounds peppering the advancing Nasio with quick punches but Nasio had a good eighth to stay in the fight. Scores at that point were 77-74 twice and 78-73 all for Fujimoto. The Japanese fighter took no chance over the closing rounds. He was too quick for the ponderous Nasio until the last round when Nasio threw everything into the fight in a desperate attempt to snatch a stoppage win but Fujimoto stayed out of trouble. Scores 118-109, 116-111 and 116-112 all for Fujimoto. The 30-year-old Fujimoto was knocked out in five rounds by Solomon Haumono for the same vacant title in 2012 but a run of 10 wins against very modest opposition had seen him rise to No 1 with the OPBF and this is his level as he would struggle against better opposition. New Zealand-born Australian champion Nasio, 30, had won his last 7 fights but again has met only very ordinary opposition.