A roundup of the past week’s notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Riga, Latvia
Mairis Briedis W12 Mike Perez – Full recap
Retains a cruiserweight title – World Boxing Super Series quarterfinals
Scores: 116-110, 115-111, 114-112
Records: Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs); Perez (22-3-1, 14 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: It wasn’t the prettiest fight but Briedis, 32, who said before the fight that he felt the pressure of defending his title in his hometown, got the job done to advance to the semifinals in early 2018, where he will face Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) in a unification fight.
There was a lot of holding and sloppy fighting that led to Briedis suffering a cut over his right eye from an accidental head butt in the third round, which caused Perez to be docked one point because of the WBC’s head butt rule (which is not used in the United States). He rocked Perez with a right uppercut and had him in trouble in the seventh round. In the 10th round, referee Massimo Barrovecchio, who had a rough night, took a point from Briedis for holding. Perez, 31, an Ireland-based Cuban defector and former heavyweight contender, was in his second fight since dropping down in weight. He was competitive but Briedis landed the cleaner punches and appeared in control for most of the fight.
Krzysztof Glowacki TKO5 Leonard Damian Bruzzese
Records: Glowacki (28-1, 18 KOs); Bruzzese (18-4, 6 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Former world titleholder Glowacki, a 31-year-old southpaw from Poland, won his second fight in a row since surrendering his belt by decision to Oleksandr Usyk last September. Glowacki dominated Bruzzese, 34, an Argentina native fighting out or Italy. He knocked him down twice en route to a stoppage at 2 minutes, 19 seconds of the fifth round.
Also on the card, Filip Hrgovic (1-0, 1 KO), 25, of Serbia, who claimed a super heavyweight bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics, made his professional debut and knocked out Raphael Zumbano Love (39-16-1, 31 KOs), 36, of Brazil, in the first round.
Saturday at Boston
Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan TKO4 Nick Quigley – Full recap
Records: O’Sullivan (26-2, 18 KOs); Quigley (15-3, 3 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: In the main event of “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN,” O’Sullivan, 33, of Ireland, won his fourth fight in a row since a seventh-round knockout loss to contender Chris Eubank Jr. in December 2015, and made it look pretty easy. He took it to Quigley, 29, fighting outside of his home country of England for the first time, throughout the fight. The stronger O’Sullivan pounded Quigley with power shots in a fan-friendly battle. They were both bloodied but it was O’Sullivan who wore Quigley down before referee Arthur Mercante stopped the fight at 1 minute, 23 seconds of the fourth round. Quigley, boxing for the first time in 19 months, put in a good effort but was outclassed as his five-fight winning streak ended.
Dardan Zenunaj TKO3 Recky Dulay
Records: Zenunaj (14-3, 11 KOs); Dulay (10-3, 7 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: In September 2015 (on the Floyd Mayweather-Andre Berto undercard), Dulay, 23, of the Philippines, suffered a first-round knockout loss to Gervonta Davis, who would go on to win a junior lightweight world title. Dulay rebounded for two wins in a row but then got wiped out by Zenunaj, 30, an Albania native fighting out of Los Angeles. Zenunaj won his second fight in a row as he dropped Dulay 30 seconds into the fight and never let up. He dropped him again in the first round, battered him in the second round and then dropped him for a third time in the third round, sending him to a knee with a right hand. He barely beat the count but referee Gene Del Bianco waved off the fight at 1 minute, 50 seconds.
Saturday at Liverpool, England
Paul Butler W12 Stuart Hall
Bantamweight – Title eliminator
Scores: 118-110 (twice), 117-111
Records: Butler (25-1, 13 KOs); Hall (21-6-2, 7 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: In June 2014, Butler won a split decision and a bantamweight world title from British countryman Hall. They met in a rematch, but this time it was a world title elimination bout for the right to become the mandatory challenger to secondary titlist Jamie McDonnell. Butler, 28, won again, this time even more convincingly as he notched his eighth victory in a row since being stopped in the eighth round by Zolani Tete in a 2015 junior bantamweight world title fight. Butler fought well from the outside, caught Hall from long range and counter punched. Butler simply fought a more complete fight than Hall, who landed some decent shots but mostly fought in spurts and had a hard time dealing with Butler’s movement. Hall has lost two of his last three fights, including a clear decision to Lee Haskins in a September 2016 bantamweight world title bout.
Rocky Fielding TKO1 David Brophy
Retains British, wins Commonwealth super middleweight title
Records: Fielding (25-1, 14 KOs); Brophy (19-2-1, 3 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Fielding, 30, gave his hometown fans a brief and explosive performance as he crushed Brophy, 27, of Scotland, to unify the British and Commonwealth titles. They came out winging shots and Fielding eventually hurt Brophy with a series of punches, dropping him to a knee midway through the opening round. Fielding continued to blast away and when he badly rocked him along the ropes with a head-snapping right hand referee Steve Gray jumped in and stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 18 seconds. Fielding won his fourth fight in a row since suffering his own first-round KO loss to Callum Smith in a fight for the vacant British title in November 2015. Next for Fielding — if Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has his way — will be at the European title.
Also on the card, heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora (27-7, 19 KOs), 33, of England, stopped Robert Filipovic (4-3, 3 KOs), 33, of Croatia, in the fifth round of their scheduled six-rounder in a tune-up bout for a shot at the European title against Germany’s Agit Kabayel (16-0, 12 KOs) on Nov. 4 in Monte Carlo.
Saturday at Stockholm, Sweden
Anthony Yigit W12 Sandor Martin
Retains European junior welterweight title
Scores: 117-111, 116-112 (twice)
Records: Yigit (20-0-1, 7 KOs); Martin (29-2, 10 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Yigit, 26, who born on Sweden but lives in London, returns to his birthplace to make the first defense of the European title he won in February and claimed a hard-fought decision against fellow southpaw Martin, 24, of Spain. Both fighters showed the wear and tear of the tough fight. Yigit’s right eye was swollen and nose was damaged. Martin, who recently signed with Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Sports and Entertainment, suffered cuts over both eyes. It was a pretty close fight for over the first half before Yigit pulled away for the clear decision in a rough battle.
Friday at Dallas
John Vera Jr. TKO3 Sunday Ajuwa
Records: Vera Jr. (18-0, 11 KOs); Ajuwa (13-3, 10 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Vera, 29, of Fort Worth, Texas, gave his home crowd a strong performance as he took out Ajuwa, 26, of Nigeria, in the main event of the first Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions card on its new beIN Sports television series. Vera, a southpaw, and Ajuwa, who was fighting outside of Africa for the first time, did not do much in the feeling-out first round. But Vera got it going in the second round despite being rattled by an accidental head butt. With about 45 seconds to go in the round, Vera dropped Ajuwa with a clean right hook. Moments later Ajuwa was down again from a series of punches. Vera belted Ajuwa around the ring throughout the third round until finally dropping him for the third time with another right hook. He beat the count but was unsteady and referee Robert Chap waved it off with one second remaining in the round. Vera said afterward that he would like a shot at world titleholder Miguel Cotto, who plans to close out his career Dec. 2.
Gabriel Flores Jr. TKO2 Donnie Reeves
Records: Flores Jr. (4-0, 3 KOs); Reeves (1-1, 1 KO)
Rafael’s remarks: Flores, of Stockton, California, is the youngest fighter to ever sign with Top Rank, doing so when he was 16, but he had to wait until he was 17 to have his first pro fight in May. He took on Reeves, also 17, of Hannibal, Missouri, and dominated. He nailed Reeves repeatedly until referee Neal Young elected to stop the fight at 1 minute, 25 seconds of the second round. Even though Reeves never hit the deck he took punishment and it was the right call.
Also on the card, 6-foot-9, 246-pound heavyweight Ivan Dycheko (1-0, 1 KO), 27, of Kazakhstan, who claimed a super heavyweight bronze medal in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, made his professional debut and blasted the 6-11, 273-pound Aubur Wright (2-2, 1 KO), 34, of Richmond, Virginia. Dycheko, who lost to Anthony Joshua in the 2012 Olympic semifinals in a very close fight, was all over the overmatched Wright from the start. He ripped him with power shots and when he blasted him along the ropes referee Robert Chapa stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 5 seconds.