A roundup of the past week’s notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Brisbane, Australia
Jeff Horn W12 Manny Pacquiao – Full recap
Wins a welterweight title
Scores: 117-111, 115-113 (twice)
Records: Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs); Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: This was supposed to be a showcase first title defense for Pacquiao, the 38-year-old Filipino legend, who was taking his show to Australia for the first time to pick up a cool $10 million payday to face Brisbane’s own Horn, 29, a former schoolteacher and Olympian with a thin résumé but an entertaining style. And although the fight — before 51,052 at Suncorp Stadium (the most ever to attend a Pacquiao fight) and live on ESPN instead of pay-per-view (where all of Pacquiao’s fights had been since 2005) — was a bit tougher than most expected, as the bighearted Horn took everything Pacquiao had to dish out, when it was over Pacquiao seemed to be the clear victor. He battered Horn so badly in the ninth round that referee Mark Nelson nearly stopped the fight after the round in his corner but was talked out of it. However, the judges rendered incomprehensible scorecards, giving Horn a Rocky-like victory in a huge upset/robbery.
|— Courtesy of CompuBox|
Yes, Horn was fought gallantly; yes, he gave a great effort; and, yes, he won a few rounds. But there is no way he legitimately won seven rounds to warrant the victory? No way, in the view of almost everybody but the judges. Judge Waleska Roldan’s scorecard of 117-111 was horrible — unless she had scored it that way for Pacquiao. Judges Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan also turned in bad cards. The irony in Pacquiao being the clear victim of a hometown decision — after outlanding Horn in 11 of the 12 rounds and landing nearly 100 more punches overall, per CompuBox stats — is that he looked as bad as he ever has. A 22-year career, 68 fights and many brutal slugfests have taken their toll. Pacquiao, who like Horn suffered terrible cuts, no longer looks like the special fighter he was for so long. He should consider calling it a career, but he said after the fight he will opt for his contractual right to a rematch.
Jerwin Ancajas TKO7 Teiru Kinoshita – Full recap
Retains a junior bantamweight title
Records: Ancajas (27-1-1, 18 KOs); Kinoshita (25-2-1, 8 KOs)
Jerwin Ancajas finishes Teiru Kinoshita with a punch to the body in the seventh round to keep the IBF junior bantamweight title. Watch
Rafael’s remarks: Ancajas, 25, who retained his 115-pound title for the second time against mandatory challenger Kinoshita, 31, of Japan, looked very good and is a crowd-pleaser who would fit in very well with some of the better-known stars of the division such as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Carlos Cuadras. Ancajas, a Manny Pacquiao-promoted fighter from the Philippines, cut Kinoshita over the left eye in the second round, dominated the fight and then dropped him with a beautiful right hook to the body in the seventh round. Kinoshita beat the count but was in rough shape, and referee Ignatius Missailidis stopped it at 1 minute, 53 seconds, dropping Kinoshita to 0-2 in world title fights.
Michael Conlan TKO3 Jarrett Owen – Full recap
Records: Conlan (3-0, 3 KOs); Owen (5-5-3, 2 KOs)
Irish prospect Michael Conlan picks up his third pro victory with a flurry of punches on Jarrett Owen as the referee steps in to stop the fight 1:56 into the third round. Watch
Rafael’s remarks: Conlan, 25, the Irish Olympic star, got an absolute gimme against Owen, 31, who was fighting in his hometown and was stopped for the fourth time in his five losses. Conlan, who has won all three of his pro bouts by third-round knockout, battered Owen in the third round with body shots and rights to the head until referee Tony Kettlewell stepped in to call it off at 1 minute, 56 seconds. Nobody expects Conlan to face top opponents at this stage of his career, but this was an embarrassment. He can handle a better grade of foe.
Saturday at Moscow
Alexander Povetkin W12 Andriy Rudenko
Scores: 120-109, 120-108 (twice)
Records: Povetkin (32-1, 23 KOs); Rudenko (31-3, 19 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Former secondary world titleholder Povetkin, 37, of Russia, twice tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in an eight-month span in 2016, which first cost him a mandatory title shot again Deontay Wilder and then a title elimination fight with former titlist Bermane Stiverne. He has not received any substantial punishment or suspension from any sanctioning body or boxing regulators in Russia. He returned to face Rudenko, 33, of Ukraine, and rolled to a shutout decision. Rudenko saw his seven-fight winning streak end.
Eduard Troyanovsky KO4 Michele Di Rocco
Records: Troyanovsky (26-1, 23 KOs); Di Rocco (41-3-1, 18 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: In December, Troyanovsky, 37, of Russia, lost his junior welterweight world title by first-round knockout to Julius Indongo in Moscow. He made his return against former title challenger Di Rocco and dominated. He dropped him four times, all with powerful right hands to the head, in the final seconds of the first round, in the third round and twice more in the fourth, the final one leaving him on his knees leaning against the ropes and apparently out cold as referee Irakli Malazonia waved it off at 2 minutes, 18 seconds. Di Rocco, 35, of Italy, has lost two of his last three fights, including an eighth-round knockout to Ricky Burns in a May 2016 vacant junior welterweight world title bout.
Saturday at Evian-les-Bains, France
Brian Carlos Castano W12 Michel Soro
Retains an interim junior middleweight title
Scores: 115-113 (twice) Castano, 116-112 Soro
Records: Castano (14-0, 10 KOs); Soro (30-2-1, 20 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Castano, 27, of Argentina, made the first defense of his interim belt and squeaked past Soro, 29, of France, in what was a big step up in opposition level for Castano. It was an action fight, but Castano was rewarded by two of the judges for his swarming, busy style. Soro was gracious in defeat and did not complain about the scoring.
Saturday at Villa Mercedes, Argentina
Diego De La Hoya W10 Alan Luques
Scores: 98-92 (twice), 97-93
Records: De La Hoya (19-0, 9 KOs); Luques (21-7, 9 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: Fighting outside the United States for the first time as a pro, hot prospect De La Hoya, the first cousin of his promoter — Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya (who was ringside) — dominated Luques to retain his regional belt. De La Hoya, 22, of Mexico, put combinations together and was never threatened by Luques, 26, of Argentina, in the crowd-pleasing fight. De La Hoya notched his second victory in six weeks and Luques’ two-fight winning streak ended.
Friday at Toledo, Ohio
Robert Easter Jr. W12 Denis Shafikov
Retains a lightweight title
Scores: 120-108 (twice), 116-112
Records: Easter (20-0, 14 KOs); Shafikov (38-3-1, 20 KOs)
Robert Easter Jr. improves to 20-0 with an unanimous decision victory over Denis Shafikov. Watch
Rafael’s remarks: Easter, 26, has defended his world title twice, both times in front of his hometown fans in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on Bounce TV. This time he took on mandatory challenger Shafikov, a 32-year-old Russian southpaw trained by the renowned Abel Sanchez. Although Shafikov, 6 inches shorter than Easter, pressed forward the entire fight and gave Easter a good fight, two judges shockingly scored the fight a shutout, which is just wrong. Shafikov didn’t win but he definitely deserved a few rounds in the middle of the fan-friendly fight, as he landed some solid right hands. Easter is blossoming into one of the best 135-pounders in the world, while Shafikov dropped to 0-3 in title fights, losing each by decision.
Julian “J Rock” Williams TKO7 Joshua Conley
Records: Williams (23-1-1, 15 KOs); Conley (14-2-1, 9 KOs)
Rafael’s remarks: In December, Williams got knocked down three times and stopped in the fifth round by then-junior middleweight world titleholder Jermall Charlo in a mandatory title shot. Williams, 27, of Philadelphia, made his ring return against Conley, 25, of San Bernardino, California, and ended his three-fight winning streak with a workmanlike effort. Williams was steady in breaking down Conley, who hadn’t fought for 15 months. In the seventh round, he landed a left hand that forced Conley to take a step back and then take a knee. After the knockdown, Williams quickly forced Conley into the ropes and unloaded several hard punches to the head and body before Conely’s corner threw in the towel and referee Gary Wolfe waved off the fight at 58 seconds.
Also on the card, welterweight Jamontay Clark (12-0, 7 KOs), 22, of Cincinnati, won a very controversial decision against Ivan Golub (13-1, 11 KOs), 28, a Brooklyn, New York-based Ukrainian. Although the judges awarded Clark the decision via scores of an absurd 79-73 and 77-75 and 77-75, the heavier-punching, more aggressive Golub appeared to do enough to win the fight between southpaws.
Friday at Indio, Calif.
Oscar Negrete TKO8 Sergio Frias – Full recap
Records: Negrete (17-0, 7 KOs); Frias (19-7-2, 10 KOs)
Oscar Negrete improves to 17-0 by defeating Sergio Frias in the main event of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN in Indio, California. Watch
Rafael’s remarks: Negrete, 28, a Colombia native fighting out of Rosemead, California, looked good in a solid victory in the main event of this Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN card. He was originally supposed to face former bantamweight titlist Randy Caballero, but an ankle injury shelved him, and Frias, 26, of Mexico, filled in a couple of weeks ago. Frias was coming off his biggest win, a second-round knockout of former two-division world titleholder Vic Darchinyan last July but was no match for Negrete. He dropped Frias with a digging right hand to the body in the third round, and after laying punishment on him in the eighth round, Frias retired on his stool before the beginning of the ninth round.
Also on the card, lightweight prospect Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (19-0, 11 KOs), 24, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and fighting out of Cleveland, rolled to a shutout decision over Marcos Jimenez (22-8, 15 KOs), 33, of the Dominican Republic, winning 100-90 on all three scorecards as he went 10 rounds for the first time.