A roundup of the past week’s notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Montreal
Adonis Stevenson TKO2 Andrzej Fonfara — Full recap
Retains a world light heavyweight title
Records: Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs); Fonfara (29-5, 17 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: This one was over before it really began and it should come as little surprise.
Stevenson, one of boxing’s purest punchers, struggled with Fonfara when they first met in May 2014. Although he dropped Fonfara twice, the second half of the bout was a dogfight as Stevenson, 39, of Montreal, suffered a knockdown and hung on to win the unanimous decision. But Poland’s Fonfara, 29, who fights out of Chicago, is not the same as he was that night. Although he won three fights in a row after that loss, including against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Nathan Cleverly, Fonfara got knocked out in the first round last June by Joe Smith Jr. and then struggled to a beat totally shot former champion, Chad Dawson, whom Stevenson drilled in 76 seconds to take the title from in 2013.
On paper the rematch was a mismatch and it turned out that way as Stevenson, a southpaw, abused Fonfara with his powerful left hand from the outset of his eighth title defense. He dropped Fonfara with it in the first round and continued to brutalize him with it, nearly stopping him in the final seconds. Fonfara was still a mess when the second round began and Stevenson blasted away with the left hand until trainer Virgil Hunter called for the fight to be stopped and referee Michael Griffin agreed, pulling the plug 28 seconds into the round.
It was yet another soft defense for Stevenson, who has avoided the best opponents in his division for years.
Eleider “Storm” Alvarez W12 Jean Pascal — Full recap
Light heavyweight – Title eliminator
Scores: 117-111, 116-112, 114-114
Records: Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs); Pascal (31-5-1, 18 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: In a fight between Montreal fighters whose careers are going in different directions, former training partners Alvarez, 33, and Pascal, 34, the former light heavyweight world champion, put on an entertaining fight that Alvarez clearly won, despite the ludicrous draw scorecard from judge Richard DeCarufel.
Alvarez, who threw and landed far more punches — not to mention landed the more damaging punches — has been world champion and main-event-winner Adonis Stevenson’s mandatory challenger since 2015, and he risked that position again. But Alvarez got the job done, largely because of his superior jab, to set up the title fight that is supposed to be next.
While Alvarez dominated most of the fight, including pounding Pascal in the ninth round, Pascal dropped to 2-3 in his last five fights and looks done as a meaningful fighter, as he could barely fight hard for more than 30 seconds per round.
Saturday at Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Dmitry Kudryashov KO5 Olanrewaju Durodola
Cruiserweight – Title eliminator
Records: Kudryashov (21-1, 21 KOs); Durodola (25-4, 23 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: In November 2015, Duradola, 36, of Nigeria, stopped Kudryashov, 31, of Russia, in the second round. After the fight Duradola tested positive for a banned substance, but the WBC, which sanctioned the bout, let him off the hook because of questions about the legitimacy of the test results. Duradola then lost his next fight to Mairis Briedis, who went on to win the organization’s world title. But Duradola then reeled off three wins in a row and met Kudryashov again in a title eliminator with a mandatory shot at Briedis at stake.
This time Kudryashov, who has won three in a row since the loss to Durodola, exacted revenge and earned a title opportunity. It was a hard-hitting fight. Kudryashov rocked Durodola with a left hand late in the third round and nearly dropped him — and then did floor him with a left hook in the fourth round. Midway through the fifth round, Kudryashov landed another solid left hand that dropped Duradola to his rear end. Moments later, Kudryashov landed yet another brutal left hand that sent Durodola flying into the ring post and referee Guadalupe Garcia waved it off at 2 minutes, 17 seconds.
Saturday at Rayong, Thailand
Wanheng Menayothin W12 Omari Kimweri
Retains a strawweight title
Scores: 118-109 (twice), 117-110
Records: Menayothin (47-0, 17 KOs); Kimweri (16-4, 6 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Menayothin, 31, of Thailand, retained his 105-pound world title for the seventh time as he turned back Kimweri, 34, a native of Tanzania fighting out of Australia, and moved closer to matching the impressive 49-0 marks of Rocky Marciano and Floyd Mayweather, even though Menayothin’s opposition pales in comparison.
Menayothin, who overcame a cut over his left eye in the first round, pressed the action in a physical bout. Under WBC rules, because the cut was ruled to have been caused by an accidental head-butt, the uncut fighter, Kimweri, was penalized one point by referee Bruce McTavish. That rule is not barred from use in WBC fights in the United States. Open scoring was also used, so Menayothin and his corner knew he was ahead after the fourth and eighth rounds, when the scores were announced, and he cruised to the decision.
Friday at Paris
Tony Yoka KO2 Tony Clark
Records: Yoka (1-0, 1 KO); Clark (12-1, 8 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Yoka, 25, of France, won the Olympic super heavyweight gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games, making the expectations for him as a pro enormous, like they were for other super heavyweight gold-medal winners such as Lennox Lewis (1988), Wladimir Klitschko (1996) and Anthony Joshua (2012). Yoka, who is 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, got off to a good start, as expected, with an easy knockout out of Clark, a 38-year-old club fighter from Morristown, Ohio, with a nice record built against soft opposition.
Yoka, who trains in California’s Bay Area with Virgil Hunter and is promoted by Richard Schaefer’s Ringstar Sports, was by far the bigger man, the more skilled fighter and the heavier puncher. When he rocked Clark with a left hand in the second round he shuffled his feet, a la Muhammad Ali. Then he dropped Clark to his rear end with a right to the body followed by a right to the head. Clark beat the count but was down soon after, going down to all fours when Yoka drove him to the mat with a four-punch combination. Clark barely beat the count this time but was in no shape to go on, and referee Smail Alitouche waved off the bout with 58 seconds left in the round.
Money Powell IV TKO1 Krisztian Kovacs
Records: Powell IV (2-0, 2 KOs); Kovacs (5-5, 3 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Powell, 19, of Fort Mitchell, Alabama, would have been a top candidate to make the 2020 U.S. Olympic team but elected to go pro and signed with Ringstar Sports. Powell scored a first-round knockout in his pro debut on April 9 and did the same in his second fight as he crushed Kovacs, 25, of Hungary, with a clean overhand right that landed on the chin and dropped him hard on his back. Kovacs beat the count but was very wobbly and referee Smail Alitouche stopped the fight. Powell is definitely a kid to keep an eye on.
Friday at Philadelphia
Hank Lundy TKO5 Daniel Evangelista
Records: Lundy (28-6-1, 14 KOs); Evangelista (20-8-2, 16 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Sixteen months ago, Lundy, 33, of Philadelphia, challenged Terence Crawford for a junior welterweight world title and was knocked out in the fifth round of a one-sided fight. After knocking out Evangelista, 27, of Mexico, Lundy has now won two fights in a row as he aims for another title shot. Lundy, who was fighting in his hometown for the first time since 2009, dominated the fight. He knocked Evangelista down with a combination in the fifth round; although Evangelista beat the count, referee Gary Rosato waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 53 seconds.
Friday at Sydney, Australia
Lucas Browne KO2 Mathew Greer
Records: Browne (25-0, 22 KOs); Greer (16-21, 13 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Browne, 38, of Australia, was fighting for the first time 15 months, since winning a secondary world title by 10th-round knockout of Ruslan Chagaev in March 2016. But after that fight Browne failed a drug test for the banned substance clenbuterol and was stripped of the belt. Then he failed a second drug test in eight months when he also tested positive for the banned substance ostarine later in 2016, costing him a chance to fight for a belt.
Sullied by his reputation as a two-time drug cheat, Browne returned to face Greer, 40, of St. Louis, who is about as low-level opponent as Browne’s handlers could find. It should come as no surprise that Browne won easily, handing Greer his 11th career knockout loss, 10th loss in a row and 13th defeat in his last 14 bouts. Browne barely broke a sweat, dropping Greer to all fours with a right hand in the first round and then to all fours again in the second round, causing referee Garry Dean to stop the fight at 1 minute, 14 seconds without completing the count.