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RINGSIDE Bam Bam Rios Wins Fight of the Year; Donaire TKOs Nishioka

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Rios Alvarado 121013 001aRios turned it around and gave fans what he said he wanted to give them, in concert with Alvarado. A rematch makes much sense to us in TSS Universe. (Chris Farina)

CARSON, CALIF.-One was the Fight of the Year and the other was Disappointment of the Year as Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios knocked out Mike Alvarado in a brutal battle between undefeated junior welterweights and Nonito Donaire cruised past Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka to win by knockout too on Saturday.

It's not often that the bigger guys out-fight the smaller guys but that's what happened at the Home Depot Center as Donaire (30-1, 19 KOs) won by technical knockout over Nishioka (39-5-3, 24 KOs) amid boos from those who saw Rios and Alvarado slug it out viciously.

Still, Donaire eliminated one more junior featherweight champion.

It was a slow first round with Donaire doing most of the leading. A few combinations by Donaire but the lead right scored a couple of times for the Filipino Flash.

Donaire opened up to another gear and began firing combinations, but not enough to please the fans who booed the lack of action. Nishioka discovered he could score with the right jab and connected several times. But Donaire's speed bothered him in round two.

Nishioka refused to mount any kind of offense against the speedy Donaire whose lightning reflexes and catlike movement seemed to intimidate the Japanese champion. Donaire pounced around firing combos but Nishioka could not seem to be inclined to take a chance.

Donaire carried the action in round four in a rerun of the previous three rounds. Donaire's speed caused pause after pause from the Japanese fighter who was strictly in counter punch mode.

The crowd couldn't tell but Nishioka finally mounted some kind of offense but was muted by Donaire's reflexes and legs. Still, Donaire won this round too easily. A low blow toward the end of the round by Nishioka stopped the action briefly.

After six rounds of relative inactivity, the Japanese boxer opened up with some big punches and that opened him up for a Donaire barrage of right hands and a left uppercut that dropped Nishioka. He beat the count and fired back. But after the knockdown there was no turning back for the Japanese fighter. Counter punching was not going to do the job.

After hitting the deck in the previous round, Nishioka returned to fighting more defensively and Donaire continued the outside assault that proved indefensible in round seven.

Nishioka attacked a little more and actually fired and connected with a three-punch combination. Both traded lefts with the Japanese landing but neither getting hurt. It was Nishioka's best round.

“I was just playing possum and I was timing that jab and that was it,” said Donaire.

The end for Nishioka came when he opened up with a three punch combination and several stiff jabs. Suddenly a Donaire counter right floored Nishioka and though he beat the count his corner saw Donaire jump on the Japanese fighter immediately. Referee Raul Caiz saw the corner asking to surrender and stopped the fight at 1:54 of round nine. Donaire was near flawless against Nishioka who was considered a dangerous opponent by most observers. The speed difference between the “Filipino Flash” and the “Speed King” was light years apart.

“Nishioka is a great fighter, we know he can end the punch with one punch,” Donaire said. “He made the mistake and I got him with the uppercut. But I hurt my hand so I had to go with my right.”

That single right hand ended the fight with Donaire sounding disappointed that there was not more of a struggle.

“When you do engage Nonito is a surgeon. I can pick them apart and knock people out,” Donaire said.

Final punch stats by Compubox had Donaire landing 134 to Nishioka's 49.

Fight of the Year?

More often than not, expected slugfests fail to materialize. But not this time between Rios (31-0-1, 22 KOs) and Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs). Fans got what they expected in brutal fashion.

Let the slugfest begin as both Alvarado and Rios unleashed the big bombs in round one. Very few feeling out punches with these guys as they fired their best immediately.

Alvarado used his speed to fire off some jabs and combinations to win the first two minutes of the second round. But Rios rallied with his own bombs including two left hooks that rocked Alvarado a bit at the end of the round.

“He shook me up a little bit,” said Alvarado.

Body shots aplenty by Rios in the third round. But the Oxnard fighter ran into a right hand by Alvarado.

Alvarado decided to use more defense and slipped punches while delivering some hellish left uppercuts and left hooks to Rios' head in round four. He looked like he was beginning to warm up.

“I was still warming up in there,” Alvarado said.

Round five started with Alvarado pummeling Rios with jabs and a five punch combination. Then Rios erupted with his own salvo and both traded blows till the bell.

“I'm a warrior. I go forward. He got me a little stunned but I didn't show it and continued going on,” said Rios about receiving some of Alvarado's big blows.

The sixth round saw Alvarado splatter blood from Rios' mouth with a left uppercut but Rios rallied to win the round with a right hand that stunned Alvarado. It was a precursor of what was to come.

“I knew he had that style. It was hard to get him with my jab,” said Rios about working on the overhand right. “I practiced it over and over in the gym.”

Rios found Alvarado's weakness in round seven with several overhand rights that seemed to be out of the Colorado fighter's vision. After three rights snapped Alvarado's head another caught him on the jaw and sent him reeling along the ropes with his gloves down. Rios pursued with the referee looking closely and landed some more right hands that forced Alvarado to seek cover along the ropes. Suddenly, referee Pat Russell decided Alvarado had enough and stopped the fight at 1:57 of the round to give Rios the technical knockout win.

“I was ready for it. I thought it would go a little longer. I handled it,” said Rios. “It took a little longer to get him out of there. I have power. I carried it up.”

Alvarado was still slightly miffed at the stoppage.

“I was surprised about it,” said Alvarado about the stoppage though he never hit the canvas. “I'm still a warrior.”

Rios agreed and welcomes a second fight if the fans want it.

Other bouts

Highly touted Jose Benavidez (17-0, 13 KOs) survived a tumultuous last round to beat Mexico's Pavel Miranda (19-8-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision after eight rounds of a junior welterweight fight. For seven rounds Benavidez used his ramrod jab and precise combinations to rack up rounds against Tijuana's Miranda. Then, a left hook staggered Benavidez in the last round during an exchange and the Phoenix boxer held and clutched his opponent to survive the last round. All three judges scored it 79-73 for Benavidez.

Riverside's Saul “Kid Dynamite” Rodriguez (6-0-1, 5 KOs) was maybe 10 seconds from ending the night for Mexico's Cesar Garcia (6-12-2) who staggered back to his corner at the end of round two. But because of two severe cuts alongside both eyes of Garcia, the referee Pat Russell deemed both cuts came from accidental head butts. The fight was ruled a technical draw because the fight needed to go to four rounds before it could go to the judges' score cards according to California prizefighting rules.

A war between Southern California neighborhood gyms finally took place between Garden Grove's Jose “El Gato” Roman (14-0-1, 11 KOs) and Oxnard's Javier “Pelos” Garcia (8-2-2, 7 KOs). But the winner was not discovered when a cut suffered by Garcia in round three resulted in the referee stopping the fight after the second round. According to CA rules the fight must go four rounds to go to a decision. The fight ended in a technical decision draw.

The first two rounds saw brutal exchanges between the two warring boxers. Before the fight words and accusations flowed freely between the two camps. In the first round a double left hook to the body and head floored Roman. He beat the count. In the second round, a left hook staggered Garcia and that was followed by a pinpoint right cross through the gloves by Roman. Down went Garcia who held his opponent tightly to survive. Round three was not decisive for either fighter but Garcia's face bore blood streaming down from his left eye and the fight was stopped by referee Pat Russell.

Miami's Ronald Ellis (4-0, 3 KOs) out boxed Denver's Katrell Straus (2-3) after four rounds of a super middleweight bout. Ellis landed continually against the southpaw Straus but was unable to hurt the Denver fighter. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Ellis who trains under Oxnard's Robert Garcia.

Chicago's Trevor McCumby (7-0, 7 KOs) blew right by Mexico's Eliseo Durazo (4-4-1) in one round. A left hook sent Durazo flying across the ring and into the ropes for a knockdown. Then a couple of one-twos sent him through the ropes dangling and the referee ended the fight at 1:40 of the round for a knockout win for light heavyweight McCumby.

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Andrade Grabs Vacant WBO Middleweight Belt in Boston on DAZN, Katie Taylor Defends Titles

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TD GARDEN​​ — It’s a good thing Eddie Hearn didn’t listen to the people who told him not to promote prizefighting in Boston. With all four major American sports in full swing in the city, Matchroom Boxing absolutely rocked the house as an equitable fan attraction in New England.

The media was out in full force and so were the fans. At the final fight week press conference, Hearn introduced ESPN’s Dan Rafael before he even barked for his boxers. “You know it’s a big card when Dan Rafael shows up,” he said of the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer award winner for career excellence in journalism. Hearn knows it’s about building hype and that’s what he’s doing.

Sugar Ray Leonard was on the mic for DAZN. Paulie Malignaggi was doing the same for Sky Sports. I saw Micky Ward and Conor McGregor seated at ringside. Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin “The Clones Colossus” McBride was also spotted in the mix throughout the night.

“We did about five thousand in Chicago,” Hearn told me of his first Matchoom USA show October 6 on DAZN. Hearn expected about seven thousand for Boston, hoping for a good walk-up crowd. “I’m pleased with ticket sales. I’m pleased with the venue. If the fans are happy and enjoy a great night at the fights and if they want us back, we’d love to return,” he said.

Hearn’s originally scheduled main event fell apart in September when Billy Joe Saunders controversially failed VADA drug testing for the banned stimulant oxilofrine. “Unfortunately Billy Joe failed a drug test. I don’t think the Massachusetts Commission had any choice in denying him a license,” Hearn told me during the final fight week press conference at Fenway Park.

Saunders was to defend the WBO middleweight title against Providence, Rhode Island’s Demetrius Andrade. Instead, Saunders was stripped of his strap and unknown African champ Walter ​Kautondokwa stepped in to face Andrade for the vacant WBO 160 pound title. “I’m too old to fight nobodies now,” said the 30 year-old Andrade without a trace of irony. In fact, Andrade’s whole pro career has been carefully built on soft touches and vacant ABC championships.

Hearn’s undercard also suffered a hit when popular local junior welterweight Danny “BHOY” O’Connor pulled out of his bout against Tommy Coyle, citing injury. According to Hearn, “​O’Connor was working very hard in camp but I don’t think it was going particularly well.”

The live crowd in attendance at the Garden was loud and enthusiastic. In a full sized entertainment venue that seats close to twenty thousand fans and with promotional aspirations optimistically set at half that number (official attendance was listed at 6,874), your best chance to have seen these fights for yourself was on the emerging and effective streaming app DAZN.

For Brits stuck back home it was on Sky Sports.  For everybody else, I’m here to ringside report.

In the Main Event for the vacant WBO middleweight championship, Providence, Rhode Island’s Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade, 30, 160, 26-0 (16) dominated Namibian import Walter Kautondokwa, 33, 17-1 (16). ​A stablemate of former super lightweight champ Julius Indongo, Kautondokwa drew inspiration from his countryman’s international accomplishments in boxing. Indongo parlayed the WBO African title into an eventual unification showdown with Terence Crawford in Nebraska. “He’s definitely not stopping this train,” promised Andrade at the weigh-in.

He was right.

In the first round, ​Kautondokwa slipped to the canvas and Andrade hit him on the chin while he was on all fours. Referee Steve Willis ruled it a knockdown, rather than reacting to the foul. Kautondokwa pushed the action in the second but Andrade scored with the cleaner punches. In the third, Andrade scored a clean knockdown with a flush left hand to the chin. The challenger rose and answered the bell for the fourth down by two extra points. Kautondokwa went down again twice more in the fourth leaving Andrade with a look like, “What more do I have to do?”

As the rounds wore on and on, Andrade found the answer to be elusive, even if Kautondokwa wasn’t terribly so. His best power punches were either missing or being blocked, and Kautondokwa was proving durable. By the championship rounds, it was clear that Andrade wouldn’t be able to stop the train that was Kautondokwa. The energy in the live crowd suffered accordingly. Michael Buffer announced what was already known, that Andrade won a virtual shutout on the cards.  Scores were 120-104(2x) and 119-105.

“I did what I had to do. I could see that he was tough. It was good to get those twelve rounds in because I’ve been inactive,” said Andrade at the post-fight press conference. He also spoke of a fight week injury to his left shoulder that affected his performance and prevented a knockout. To be perfectly honest, it sounded like an excuse for not finishing off a badly hurt fighter.

In her de facto Irish Homecoming, Katie Taylor, 32, Bray, 11-0 (5) successfully defended her WBA/IBF female lightweight titles against the very experienced Cindy Serrano, 36, Brooklyn, 27-6-3 (10), over ten two-minute rounds. Serrano was moving up in weight to challenge Taylor, who’s already made two title defenses this year in London and in Brooklyn. Serrano was never in danger of being hurt or knocked out and Taylor was never in any danger of losing the fight.  Taylor won every round on all three cards 100-90.  “Cindy was just in there to survive,” said a disappointed Taylor.  Some fans jeered the “action” but it didn’t bother Serrano. “Eddie Hearn believes in female fighting. Hopefully he can turn it around and we can get a couple more promoters just like him.”

To make the first defense of his newly won IBF super featherweight championship, Philly southpaw Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 27-4-1 (6), stopped Belfast KRONK’s James Tennyson, 22-3 (18) in five. During promotion for the title bout, it looked for all to see that Farmer was overlooking Tennyson with his focus squarely on a big money grudge match with Gervonta Davis. ​“I’m not overlooking James but I want to fight Tank Davis. I have to have that fight and it’s got to happen. Let’s leave the streets on the streets and fight in the ring. We’ve talked enough.”

In the ring, Farmer looked at his opponent and punched right through him. In the fifth frame, Farmer dropped Tennyson with a solid left hook to the body. It got no better for the Belfast native. The next round, Arthur Mercante stopped it when Tennyson fell again from body shots. ​In accepting the fight, Farmer’s promoter Lou DiBella didn’t want to deny his fighter the opportunity to appear on such a high profile card so he willingly worked with Hearn to make it happen.  Time of the TKO was @1:44 of the round 5.

In an IBF featherweight elimination bout scheduled for twelve, Evander Holyfield’s Toka Kahn Clary, Providence, R.I., 25-3 (17), dropped a pedestrian UD to Ingle Gym’s Kid Galahad, Sheffield, 25-0 (15). At the press conference in August to announce the match-up, there was bad blood in the air. “Toka is a bum,” a chippy Galahad told me at Boston’s Faneuil Hall. “He didn’t want this fight. He was talking trash so I called him a wanker and it got a little out of hand.”

“I’m gonna beat him,” Galahad promised.

At the final press conference, Galahad was demonstrably more peaceful. During the media face-off with Kahn, he offered his hand to shake but Toka just left it hanging there. “I’ve calmed down,” Kid told me. “Nothing personal, just business.” ​Is Toka a bum?​ “You can’t call him a bum.” ​You did Kid.​ “I might have gone over the top. Any fighter that gets in the ring you gotta have some respect for. Toka is gonna show up and my job is to make sure I do a job on him.”  Job well done, Kid.  Final scores were 118-110 twice and 115-113.

In an entertaining ten round junior welterweight scrap, Tommy “Boom Boom” Coyle Quincy, Hull, Yorkshire, U.K., 25-4 (12), outpointed Ryan Kielczweski, Quincy, Mass, 29-4 (11) over the distance. Unanimous scores were 99-90, 98-91 and 96-93. The “Polish Prince” substituted for Danny O’Connor against Coyle, a fighter TSS’s own Ted Sares expected Ryan to have had his hands full with in a knockout loss; describing Coyle as a “load” in the ring. In the seventh round, Kielczweski was felled by a massive right hand to the body and a vicious follow up left hook to the head. He took a long nine count but got up to then stalk a fading Coyle down the stretch.  “This is the most ready I’ve been for any fight,” Kielczweski told me before the bout. “I fought in September. A week later I got a call for this one so it’s like I’m on a ten week training camp.”

Coyle is a pressure fighter and an interesting character. Kielczweski struggled to keep him at bay but landed with several quality power shots of his own, many coming in the last three rounds—after the knockdown. Calling this his “American Dream” come true, Coyle grew up in England loving ROCKY movies and Irish Micky Ward fights. Tonight, he was almost in one.

In a super featherweight comeback bout, former super bantamweight and featherweight champion Scott Quigg, 30, Bury, U.K., 35-2-2 (26) made a successful return against journeyman Mexican Mario Briones, 29-8-2 (21), stopping him in two rounds with an unanswered three punch combination along the ropes. Trained by Freddie Roach, Quigg was defeated last March by WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in a bruising non-title bout. Quigg suffered multiple facial laceration and a broken nose in the unanimous decision loss. “I want a rematch with Valdez and with Carl Frampton because I want to avenge my losses. If I’d be happy not fighting them again, I’d be in the wrong game,” a candid Quigg told me. “The work Freddie’s had me doing and the sparring I’m on, I feel like I’m a ten times better fighter now.”

In a junior middleweight rematch, Murphys Boxing U.S. Marine Mark “Bazooka” DeLuca, Whitman, Mass, 22-1 (13) outgunned Walter “2 Guns” Wright 37, Seattle, Washington 17-5 (8) to defeat the only man to have beaten him as a pro, winning 97-93, and 96-94 twice. From ringside I scored it 6-4 in rounds for DeLuca who scored well early with left hooks. Wright did well in the middle rounds on the inside when DeLuca was tiring but it wasn’t enough. Though his promoter Ken Casey questioned the outcome of the first fight last June in N.H., DeLuca told me it was tight. “But he got me,” he admitted. Wright didn’t understand the manufactured controversy. “I won. To come across the country, fight the local guy, and beat him, I should think I’d get my props for winning. My performance should outweigh politics.” On this night, Wright’s good but not good enough performance earned him an appropriately scored unanimous decision loss.

There was no protest from Wright with the verdict.

UNDERCARD RESULTS:

In the show opener, super lightweight southpaw Sean McComb from Belfast improved to 4-0 (3), outclassing 37 year-old Peruvian Carlos Galindo, 1-6. Galindo’s only win came against Maine’s Brandon Berry last June in N.H. This was McComb’s first appearance outside the U.K. Galindo took a body beating and the fight was stopped in the third after a pair of knockdowns.

Accompanied to the ring by middleweight corker Spike O’Sullivan, Murphys Boxing’s Gorey, Ireland heavyweight Niall Kennedy 221.6, 12-0-1 (7) took a few to give a few against New Jersey’s Brendan Barrett 238, 7-1-2 (5), including a hip-toss and a headlock. The 6’3” Kennedy used his good left jab and strong right cross to earn a unanimous six round decision, dropping the stocky Barrett in the fifth with a brutal right hand. Official scores: 60-53 twice and 58-55.

Kazakh Olympic Gold medalist welterweight prospect Daniyar Yeleussinov improved to 4-0 (2) against Salem, Mass “Mantis” Matt Doherty, 8-6-1 (4). Doherty wore a J.D. Martinez Red Sox jersey to the ring but he was outgunned. The 27 year-old southpaw finished Doherty off with a barrage of unanswered punches in the first round and referee Arthur Mercante waved a halt.

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Andrade Grabs Vacant WBO Middleweight Belt in Boston on DAZN

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TD GARDEN — It’s a good thing Eddie Hearn didn’t listen to the people who told him not to
promote prizefighting in Boston. With all four major American sports in full swing in the city,
Matchroom Boxing absolutely rocked the house as an equitable fan attraction in New England.

The media was out in full force and so were the fans. At the final fight week press conference,
Hearn introduced ESPN’s Dan Rafael before he even barked for his boxers. “You know it’s a big
card when Dan Rafael shows up,” he said of the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer award winner for
career excellence in journalism. Hearn knows it’s about building hype and that’s what he’s
doing.

Sugar Ray Leonard was on the mic for DAZN. Paulie Malignaggi was doing the same for Sky
Sports. I saw Micky Ward and Conor McGregor seated at ringside. Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin
“The Clones Colossus” McBride was also spotted in the mix throughout the night.

“We did about five thousand in Chicago,” Hearn told of me his first Matchoom USA show
October 6 on DAZN. Hearn expected about seven thousand for Boston, hoping for a good
walk-up crowd. “I’m pleased with ticket sales. I’m pleased with the venue. If the fans are happy
and enjoy a great night at the fights and if they want us back, we’d love to return,” he said.

Hearn’s originally scheduled main event fell apart in September when Billy Joe Saunders
controversially failed VADA drug testing for the banned stimulant oxilofrine. “Unfortunately Billy
Joe failed a drug test. I don’t think the Massachusetts Commission had any choice in denying
him a license,” Hearn told me during the final fight week press conference at Fenway Park.
Saunders was to defend the WBO middleweight title against Providence, Rhode Island’s
Demetrius Andrade. Instead, Saunders was stripped of his strap and unknown African champ
Walter Kautondokwa stepped in to face Andrade for the vacant WBO 160 pound title. “I’m too
old to fight nobodies now,” said the 30 year-old Andrade without a trace of irony. In fact,
Andrade’s whole pro career has been carefully built on soft touches and vacant ABC
championships.

Hearn’s undercard also suffered a hit when popular local junior welterweight Danny “BHOY”
O’Connor pulled out of his bout against Tommy Coyle, citing injury. According to Hearn,
“ O’Connor was working very hard in camp but I don’t think it was going particularly well.”

The live crowd in attendance at the Garden was loud and enthusiastic. In a full sized
entertainment venue that seats close to twenty thousand fans and with promotional aspirations
optimistically set at half that number (official attendance was listed at 6,874) your best chance to
have seen these fights for yourself was on the emerging and effective streaming app DAZN.
For Brits stuck back home it was on Sky Sports.

For everybody else, I’m here to ringside report.

In the Main Event for the vacant WBO middleweight championship, Providence, Rhode Island’s
Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade, 30, 160, 26-0 (16) dominated Namibian import Walter
Kautondokwa, 33, 17-1 (16). A stablemate of former super lightweight champ Julius Indongo,
Kautondokwa drew inspiration from his countryman’s international accomplishments in boxing.
Indongo parlayed the WBO African title into an eventual unification showdown with Terence
Crawford in Nebraska. “He’s definitely not stopping this train,” promised Andrade at the
weigh-in.

He was right.

In the first round, Kautondokwa slipped to the canvas and Andrade hit him on the chin while he
was on all fours. Referee Steve Willis ruled it a knockdown, rather than reacting to the foul.

Kautondokwa pushed the action in the second but Andrade scored with the cleaner punches. In
the third, Andrade scored a clean knockdown with a flush left hand to the chin. The challenger
rose and answered the bell for the fourth down by two extra points. Kautondokwa went down
again twice more in the fourth leaving Andrade with a look like, “What more do I have to do?”

As the rounds wore on and on, Andrade found the answer to be elusive even if Kautondokwa
wasn’t terribly so. His best power punches were missing or being blocked and Kautondokwa
was proving durable. By the championship rounds it was clear that Andrade wouldn’t be able to
stop the train that was Kautondokwa. The energy in the live crowd suffered accordingly. Michael
Buffer announced what was already known, that Andrade won a virtual shutout on the cards.
Scores were 120-104 twice and 119-105.

“I did what I had to do. I could see that he was tough. It was good to get those twelve rounds in
because I’ve been inactive,” said Andrade at the post-fight press conference. He also spoke of a
fight week injury to his left shoulder that affected his performance and prevented a knockout. To
be perfectly honest, it sounded like an excuse for not finishing off a badly hurt fighter.

In her de facto Irish Homecoming, Katie Taylor, 32, Bray, 11-0 (5) successfully defended her
WBA/IBF female lightweight titles against the very experienced Cindy Serrano, 36, Brooklyn,
27-6-3 (10), over ten two-minute rounds. Serrano was moving up in weight to challenge Taylor,
who’s already made two title defenses this year in London and in Brooklyn. Serrano was never
in danger of being hurt or knocked out and Taylor was never in any danger of losing the fight.
Taylor won every round on all three cards 100-90.

“Cindy was just in there to survive,” said a disappointed Taylor.

Some fans jeered the “action” but it didn’t bother Serrano. “Eddie Hearn believes in female
fighting. Hopefully he can turn it around and we can get a couple more promoters just like him.”

To make the first defense of his newly won IBF super featherweight championship, Philly
southpaw Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 27-4-1 (6), stopped Belfast KRONK’s James
Tennyson, 22-3 (18) in four. During promotion for the title bout, it looked for all to see that
Farmer was overlooking Tennyson with his focus squarely on a big money grudge match with
Gervonta Davis. “I’m not overlooking James but I want to fight Tank Davis. I have to have that
fight and it’s got to happen. Let’s leave the streets on the streets and fight in the ring. We’ve
talked enough.”

In the ring, Farmer looked at his opponent and punched right through him. In the fourth frame,
Farmer dropped Tennyson with a solid left hook the body. It got no better for the Belfast native.
The next round, Arthur Mercante stopped it when Tennyson fell again from body shots. In
accepting the fight, Farmer’s promoter Lou DiBella didn’t want to deny his fighter the opportunity
to appear on such a high profile card so he willingly worked with Hearn to make it happen.
Time of the TKO 5 was 1:44.

In an IBF featherweight elimination bout scheduled for twelve, Evander Holyfield’s Toka Kahn
Clary, Providence, R.I., 25-3 (17), dropped a pedestrian UD to Ingle Gym’s Kid Galahad,
Sheffield, 25-0 (15). At the press conference in August to announce the match-up, there was
bad blood in the air. “Toka is a bum,” a chippy Galahad told me at Boston’s Faneuil Hall. “He
didn’t want this fight. He was talking trash so I called him a wanker and it got a little out of hand.”
“I’m gonna beat him,” Galahad promised.

At the final press conference, Galahad was demonstrably more peaceful. During the media
face-off with Kahn, he offered his hand to shake but Toka just left it hanging there. “I’ve calmed
down,” Kid told me. “Nothing personal, just business.” Is Toka a bum? “You can’t call him a
bum.” You did Kid. “I might have gone over the top. Any fighter that gets in the ring you gotta
have some respect for. Toka is gonna show up and my job is to make sure I do a job on him.”

Job well done Kid.

Final scores were 118-110 twice and 115-113.

In an entertaining ten round junior welterweight scrap, Tommy “Boom Boom” Coyle Quincy,
Hull, Yorkshire, U.K., 25-4 (12), outpointed Ryan Kielczweski, Quincy, Mass, 29-4 (11) over the
distance. Unanimous scores were 99-90, 98-91 and 96-93. The “Polish Prince” substituted for
Danny O’Connor against Coyle, a fighter TSS’s own Ted Sares expected Ryan to have had his
hands full with in a knockout loss; describing Coyle as a “load” in the ring. In the seventh round,
Kielczweski was felled by a massive right hand to the body and a vicious follow up left hook to
the head. He took a long nine count but got up to then stalk a fading Coyle down the stretch.

“This is the most ready I’ve been for any fight,” Kielczweski told me before the bout. “I fought in
September. A week later I got a call for this one so it’s like I’m on a ten week training camp.”

Coyle is a pressure fighter and an interesting character. Kielczweski struggled to keep him at
bay but landed with several quality power shots of his own, many coming in the last three
rounds—after the knockdown. Calling this his “American Dream” come true, Coyle grew up in
England loving ROCKY movies and Irish Micky Ward fights. Tonight, he was almost in one.

In a super featherweight comeback bout, former super bantamweight and featherweight
champion Scott Quigg, 30, Bury, U.K., 35-2-2 (26) made a successful return against
journeyman Mexican Mario Briones, 29-8-2 (21), stopping him in two rounds with an
unanswered three punch combination along the ropes. Trained by Freddie Roach, Quigg was
defeated last March by WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in a bruising non-title bout.

Quigg suffered multiple facial lacerations and a broken nose in the unanimous decision loss. “I
want a rematch with Valdez and with Carl Frampton because I want to avenge my losses. If I’d
be happy not fighting them again, I’d be in the wrong game,” a candid Quigg told me. “The work
Freddie’s had me doing and the sparring I’m on, I feel like I’m a ten times better fighter now.”

In a junior middleweight rematch, Murphys Boxing U.S. Marine Mark “Bazooka” DeLuca,
Whitman, Mass, 22-1 (13) outgunned Walter “2 Guns” Wright 37, Seattle, Washington 17-5 (8)
to defeat the only man to have beaten him as a pro, winning 97-93, and 96-94 twice. From
ringside I scored it 6-4 in rounds for DeLuca who scored well early with left hooks. Wright did
well in the middle rounds on the inside when DeLuca was tiring but it wasn’t enough. Though his
promoter Ken Casey questioned the outcome of the first fight last June in N.H., DeLuca told me
it was tight. “But he got me,” he admitted. Wright didn’t understand the manufactured
controversy. “I won. To come across the country, fight the local guy, and beat him, I should think
I’d get my props for winning. My performance should outweigh politics.” On this night, Wright’s
good but not good enough performance earned him an appropriately scored unanimous
decision loss.

There was no protest from Wright with the verdict.

UNDERCARD RESULTS:

In the show opener, super lightweight southpaw Sean McComb from Belfast improved to 4-0
(3), outclassing 37 year-old Peruvian Carlos Galindo, 1-6. Galindo’s only win came against
Maine’s Brandon Berry last June in N.H. This was McComb first appearance outside the U.K.
Galindo took a body beating and the fight was stopped in the third after a pair of knockdowns.

Accompanied to the ring by middleweight corker Spike O’Sullivan, Murphys Boxing’s Gorey,
Ireland heavyweight Niall Kennedy 221.6, 12-0-1 (7) took a few to give a few against New
Jersey’s Brendan Barrett 238, 7-1-2 (5), including a hip-toss and a headlock. The 6’3” Kennedy
used his good left jab and strong right cross to earn a unanimous six round decision, dropping
the stocky Barrett in the fifth with a brutal right hand. Official scores: 60-53 twice and 58-55.

Kazakh Olympic Gold medalist welterweight prospect Daniyar Yeleussinov improved to 4-0 (2)
against Salem, Mass “Mantis” Matt Doherty, 8-6-1 (4). Doherty wore a J.D. Martinez Red Sox
jersey to the ring but he was outgunned. The 27 year-old southpaw finished Doherty off with a
barrage of unanswered punches in the first round and referee Arthur Mercante waved a halt.

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Rob Brant is the New WBA Middleweight Champion

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LAS VEGAS, Nevada- In a major upset that saw a mega fight disappear, Rob Brant took the WBA middleweight title from Japan’s Ryota Murata with a lot of hustle and a heck of a chin to the surprise of many on Saturday.

Murata (14-2,11KOs) was expected to fight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin if he won, but the dress rehearsal turned into a nightmare as Brant (24-1, 16 KOs) attacked and attacked while out-punching the Japanese fighter nearly two to one in front of a stunned audience of more than 2700 at the Park Theater at the MGM.

“This was one of the best moments of my life, said Brant. “I wasn’t thinking of punch output. I was thinking about winning.”

With many planning their trips to Tokyo for an expected showdown between Murata and Golovkin, the Las Vegas based Brant put a stick into the spokes of their travel plans.

Brant started quickly with combination punching and moving in and out of range during the first three rounds of the middleweight bout. Murata smiled throughout the incoming blows from the upstart Brant.

“It’s easy to smile, but his eyes were swollen and he had blood on his mouthpiece,” said Brant.

It wasn’t until the fourth round that Murata found life while attacking the body.

The body punches opened up the lead right cross for Murata, who began targeting Brant’s head. But the Minnesota native was able to absorb the big blows and kept firing back. Though Brant was landing more shots, Murata’s punches were clearly harder and landed with a thud.

The crowd got into the fight early as cheers of “USA! USA!” were shouted sporadically throughout the fight. It probably had an effect on the judges.

It seemed Murata was landing the more effective blows in the middle rounds, especially when he targeted the body, then switched to the head. But though they were hard punches, Brant moved backward and kept returning fire.

The action was measured, but constant, with no slow rounds after round three. At times it looked like Murata was about to score a knockout but it never came. Brant proved resilient. More than that, he convinced the three judges he was the winner 119-109(2x) and 118-110.

Only the widespread scores were surprising. It seemed like a much closer fight.

Dudashev prevails

Maxim Dudashev (12-0, 10 KOs) tried to blast it out with Mexico’s Antonio DeMarco (33-7-1, 24 KOs), but after taking heavy incoming fire, the undefeated super lightweight changed tactics and out-boxed the former world champion to win by unanimous decision.

Dudashev moved around just enough and used quick short combinations to out-score the long-armed Tijuana fighter after the midway point of the 10-round affair. Though DeMarco was able to score with heavy body shots  and lead lefts to the head, Dudashev managed to fire off combinations that kept winning rounds in the second half of the fight. The judges scored the fight 97-93, 96-94, 98-92 for Dudashev. TheSweetScience.com scored it 96-94 for Dudashev, who keeps the NABF super lightweight title.

“This was a great learning experience for me,” said Dudashev. “DeMarco is a true champion, and he fought with great heart and determination.”

Falcao and other bouts

Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao (22-0, 15 KOs) showcased his various boxing skills against Argentina’s Guido Pitto (25-6-2, 8 KOs) who lost by unanimous decision but forced the undefeated fighter into various situations. In the first four rounds, Falcao fought from the outside with impunity as Pitto was unable to touch the Brazilian. But when the Argentine boxer took the fight inside, he found more success and forced Falcao to utilize his inside boxing skills. The fighting was intense but Falcao was just too strong and slightly quicker in winning every round in the 10 round middleweight fight. Pitto’s best moments came during the fifth round when he forced his way inside. All three judges saw it 100-90 for Falcao.

Ireland’s Michael Conlan (9-0, 6 KOs) battered Nicola Cipolletta (14-7-2) every round with rights to the body and head. The Italian boxer rarely fired back and after several unanswered blows by Cipolletta the referee Russell Mora stopped the featherweight fight @1:55 of round seven. Cipolletta protested the stoppage but never truly engaged Conlan, who must have connected on more than 60 percent of his punches thrown. It was a whitewash for the former Irish Olympian.

Vladimir Nikitin (2-0) won by unanimous decision over Louisiana’s Clay Burns (5-5-2) in a featherweight fight that was much closer than the scores given. Burns started out fast and easily won the first two rounds. Then the battle got much closer as Nikitin’s overhand rights began scoring. Burns switched to southpaw and switched back and forth and that gave Nikitin pause. The last two rounds were very close especially the final round. But all three judges scored it 59-55 for Nikitin, thus only giving Burns one round. It was much closer in reality.

A battle between undefeated Puerto Rican lightweights saw Joseph Adorno (10-0, 9 KOs) drop Kevin Cruz (8-1, 5 KOs) twice in winning by unanimous decision. Though Adorno’s knockout streak was snapped, he engaged in a spirited battle against left-handed Cruz who let loose in the sixth and final round. A counter left hook by Adorno floored Cruz the second time during a furious exchange. Cruz beat the count and tried his best to go for the knockout; Adorno scooted away until the final bell. Scores of 59-53(2x) and 58-54 for Adorno.

Adam Lopez (11-1, 5 KOs) won by knockout over Hector Ambriz (12-8-2) in a featherweight match. The end came @1:29 of the eighth and final round of the fight when Lopez fired a four punch combination that forced referee Tony Weeks to halt the fight though Ambriz was still standing.

Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (6-0, 3 KOs) stopped veteran Wilberth Lopez (23-10, 15 KOs) with a series of body blows @2:13 of round two in a super lightweight contest between lefties.

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