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Fast Results From Monte Carlo: Lebedev and Yafai Win; Hunter Wins Impressively

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Today, TSS brings you live results of the big shows in Monte Carlo and Atlantic City. The Monte Carlo show is in the books.

In the featured bout, 39-year-old Russian veteran Denis Lebedev (31-3) won a lopsided 12-round decision over stubborn Mike “White Delight” Wilson. Although the bout wasn’t close, it was a moral victory for Wilson who had been plying his trade off in the Oregon boondocks where he promoted his own shows. Wilson (19-1) had already booked the Jackson County Fairgrounds for his next fight on March 2, but he improved his marketability by lasting the distance with Lebedev and may now forego that date for a better paying assignment on the road.

Lebedev holds the WBA “super” world cruiserweight title, but that belt wasn’t at stake. The scores were 117-111 and 119-109 twice. Lebedev hopes to land a fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

Hunter-Ustinov

“My plan is to chop him down and probably get him out in the later rounds,” said Michael Hunter of his forthcoming match with Alexander Ustinov. And Hunter, who took the fight on less than two weeks notice after Zhelei Zang withdrew, ostensibly because of visa problems, worked that game plan to perfection. He methodically chopped down the lumbering, 41-year-old Ustinov who had a 5 ½-inch height advantage and outweighed Hunter by 65 pounds.

In round eight, Hunter (16-1, 11 KOs) knocked Ustinov to the canvas with a hard combination. The Russian was lucky to survive the round. In the next frame, Ustinov slumped to his knees after absorbing more punches and his corner mercifully threw in the towel. It was Hunter’s fourth straight win after moving up from cruiserweight. Ustinov declined to 34-3.

Yafai-Gonzalez

In a fight that proved harder than expected, defending WBA super bantamweight title-holder Kal Yafai kept his undefeated record intact with a unanimous decision over Israel Gonzalez. Mexico’s Gonzalez (23-3) raised his hands at the final bell as if he had won it, but the judges disagreed, giving it to Yafai (25-0) by nods of 117-111 and 116-112 twice. Yafai, the oldest of three fighting brothers, gave an honest assessment of his performance, calling it sloppy.  There were no knockdowns, but Gonzalez suffered a bad cut over his left eye in round five after an accidental clash of heads.

Yeleussinov

In a welterweight match slated for eight rounds, southpaw Daniyar Yeleussinov (5-0, 3 KOs) blew away Marcos Mojica (16-3-2), stopping the overmatched Nicaraguan in the third round. Yeleussinov collapsed Mojica with a body punch and then staggered him with an uppercut when he wouldn’t stay down, forcing the referee to intervene.  A two-time Olympian who won gold in Rio, Yeleussinov is Eddie Hearn’s first Kazakh signee. As an amateur, he drew comparisons with Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Buglioni-Meng

In the first of four 12-round fights, little-known Fanlong Meng (14-0) was awarded a TKO over Frank Buglioni (22-4-1) when the bout was stopped in the fifth round due to a nasty cut over Buglioni’s right eye. It was a bitter defeat for the former British light heavyweight champion who was having difficulty solving Meng’s southpaw style. “Perhaps maybe a rematch down the line,” said Buglioni.

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Kazakhstan’s Sultan Zauerbek improved to 2-0 with a third round stoppage of Barcelona-based Edwin Tellez. As an amateur, Zauerbek beat future Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao. Tellez has lost 38 of his last 43.

In the first match of the night, junior middleweight Ruslan Kupchik, a converted kickboxer, won his pro debut with a 4-round unanimous decision over Mifodzo Pilipenak. The scores were 39-37 and 40-36 twice. Pilipenak was 1-12-1 going in.

Atlantic City

Tonight, Dmitry Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) makes the third defense of his WBA light heavyweight title against former title-holder Jean Pascal (33-5-1, 20 KOs). The event is being held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. HBO World Championship Boxing will be broadcasting the event at 9:00 pm ET. The show will also be presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

Junior Featherweights Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Isaac Zarate will be fighting in a 122-pound opener for the HBO broadcast. The twenty-seven-year-old Akhmadaliev is a southpaw from Uzbekistan who won a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics. Zarate is from San Pedro, California.

Also on tonight’s card, 2016 heavyweight gold medalist Evgeny Tishchenko (2-0, 1 KOs) will make his U.S. debut against Christian Mariscal (11-1, 5 KOs). Tishchenko, weighed in at 212 pounds and Mariscal at 246.4 pounds.

Be sure to check back later for live results of all the bouts from Atlantic City.

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Pico Rivera Summer Fights See Cruz, Vega and Flores Win

David A. Avila

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Pico-Rivera-Summer-Fights-See-Cruz-Vega-and-Flores Win

PICO RIVERA, Ca.-Along the San Gabriel River on a soft summer evening, Red Boxing Promotions brought another slew of hot local prospects to the forefront on Saturday.

Chino’s Daniel “Cuetito” Cruz (3-0) burst into the fight like an energy bomb and simply overwhelmed southpaw Phillip Bounds (0-4) with lightning combinations to win by unanimous decision. More than 700 fans saw the Red Boxing fight card.

Though it was only his third pro fight, the high intensity prizefighter Cruz (pictured on the left) exhibited a level of confidence that allowed him to attack with impunity for the first two rounds.

Cruz switched to southpaw and had even more success against the lefty Bounds. The speed of Cruz proved too much to overcome for Bounds who tried different approaches but couldn’t find an antidote for Cruz who won by unanimous decision 40-36 on all three cards in the super lightweight match.

“I’m excited, I wanted to put on a good show,” said Cruz, 20. “I’m coming for all of the big names. Cuetito is here.”

Andre Marquez (2-1) overwhelmed the much taller Alvin Brown (0-8) from Louisiana with a whirlwind style that ended in a knockout in the fourth and final round of their super featherweight match. A left hook caught Brown flush and Marquez followed up with four more blows, forcing Brown to take a knee at 1:41 of the fourth round. Marquez was ruled the winner by knockout by referee Sharon Sands.

“My plan was to work his body,” said Marquez. “It worked out perfectly.”

Welterweights Bradley Pena (0-0-1) and Ed Nunez (0-0-1) blasted each other for four rounds, with Pena starting fast and Nunez ending strong. No knockdowns were scored in the fight that started the night and ended in a draw.

Main Bouts

A light flyweight clash saw Axel Vega (13-2-1, 8 KOs) of Ensenada, Mexico knock out Tijuana’s Giovanni Noriega (2-5-2) with a triple left hook in the second round. Vega, 19, trained out of Compton for this fight.

Welterweight prospect Steven Rodriguez (8-0) suffered a cut on his forehead due to a clash of heads but still managed to out-perform Las Vegas fighter Ryan Picou (3-12-1) after four rounds. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Rodriguez. But Picou gave a stubborn defense against the constant rushes of Rodriguez and was able to score on occasion.

Santa Barbara’s Angel Flores (6-0, 4 KOs) defeated Mexico’s Roberto Almazan (9-12) by unanimous decision after six rounds in a super lightweight contest. Flores knocked down Almazan twice in the last round to clinch the win and get the victory by a landslide.

In the audience was former world champion Arturo Frias of East Los Angeles who won the WBA world lightweight title in 1982 and fought numerous times at LA’s  fabled Olympic Auditorium. Also in attendance was current super flyweight contender Adelaida “La Cobra” Ruiz of Los Angeles who is scheduled to fight on October 12 at the same Pico Rivera Sports Arena. Red Boxing Promotions will be staging the event.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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Fast Results from Russia: Kovalev KOs Yarde in the 11th

Arne K. Lang

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Fast-Results-from-Russia-Kovalev-KOs-Yarde-in-the-11th

The consensus of opinion regarding tonight’s fight at Chelyabinsk between Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde was that….well, there was no consensus, save that it would not bode well for Yarde if both fighters were still standing at the final bell. Fighting in his hometown, and with a monster payday reportedly looming against Canelo Alvarez should he win, “Krusher” was unlikely to get the worst of it if the fight went to the scorecards. But there would be no controversial decision. In a fight that started slowly and then shifted Yarde’s way, Kovalev stemmed the momentum, took charge in the 10th, and then closed the show in the next round with a scorching left hand that left Yarde flat on his back, gasping for air.

In handicapping the fight, Kovalev certainly had more check marks in the plus column. A former three belt champion and the reigning WBO 175-pound title-holder, Kovalev would be appearing in his 16th world title fight, his second with Hall of Fame trainer Buddy McGirt, with whom he had great rapport. By contrast, Yarde, although undefeated (18-0), had answered the bell for only 51 rounds and had defeated only nine fighters with winning records. Moreover, the Englishman had fought only 12 amateur fights before turning pro.

However, at age 36, Kovalev was getting long in the tooth and in some of his more recent fights he had stamina issues. Moreover, there was a school of thought that Yarde was a beast. In his 30 fights, amateur and pro, he had scored 28 knockouts.

Yarde’s first good round was the seventh and he followed that up with a very strong eighth in which he hurt Kovalev and had the Krusher looking tired. But the assumption that he had paced himself brilliantly proved to be a mirage. As the bout moved into the home stretch, it was the younger man that was more fatigued.

Kovalev backed Yarde against the ropes and hurt him in the 10th. The Russian repeatedly had success with his hard left jab (shades of Larry Holmes) and it was a jab that ended it. Yarde was too exhausted to make it to his feet and was counted out.

Kovalev reportedly has already agreed to meet Canelo in November or December. Tonight he may have added an extra zero to his purse.

Kovalev vs. Canelo, likely at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, will be a blockbuster. Let the hype begin.

Co-Feature

The co-feature between knockout artists Aleksei Papin and Ilunga Makabu wasn’t expected to last the distance, but it went the full 12 and was a highly entertaining affair climaxed by a great 12th round. When the smoke cleared, Ilunga, who went to post a slight favorite, improved to 26-2 (24) by dint of winning a majority decision. It was the second straight win on Russian soil for the Congolese southpaw who fights out of Johannesburg. In his previous go, he stopped Dmitry Kudryashov in the fifth round at Ekaterinburg.

Papin was 11-0 going in with 10 knockouts but the 31-year-old Russian, a former kickboxing champion, was moving up in class against Makabu, a former world title challenger. In the 12th, Makabu scored a knockdown with a straight left after buzzing Papin with a left-right combination, but Papin wasn’t badly hurt and came back to rock him in the final seconds. The knockdown seemingly spelled the difference as two judges had it 115-113 with the third scoring it even (113-113).

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Tanaka and Hatanaka Stay Undefeated in Nagoya

Arne K. Lang

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Tanaka-and-Hatanaka-Stay-Undefeated-in-Nagoya

Kiyoshi Hatanaka, the former world super bantamweight champion, now runs a boxing gym and promotes fights in his hometown of Nagoya. The top fighters in his gym are 24-year-old Kosei Tanaka, who has already won world titles in three weight classes, and Kento Hatanaka, Kyoshi’s 21-year-old son. Both were in action today and both were victorious, but not without anxious moments.

Tanaka, the reigning WBO 112-pound champion, improved to 14-0 (8 KOs) with a seventh-round TKO of Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3-1) in an action-packed bout. There were five knockdowns in all, four by Tanaka, before the referee waved it off with merely a second remaining in the seventh stanza.

Gonzalez took a knee after being hurt by a body punch in round three. But he returned the favor, knocking Tanaka down with a counterpunch in the next stanza, and seemingly had the fight in hand when he dominated the fifth. But Tanaka regained the momentum and scored three knockdowns in Round 7 to close the show.

Kosei Tanaka is overshadowed as a sports personality by countryman Naoya “Monster” Inoue, but is carving out quite a legacy. At age 19, in only his fifth pro fight, he defeated WBO minimumweight (105 pound) champion Julian Yadras of Mexico. He then gathered in titles at 108 and 112, accomplishing the hat trick in only his 12th pro fight, tying Vasiliy Lomachenko’s record.

With only a few pounds separating each of the lowest weight classes, Tanaka likely isn’t done jumping up in weight. There’s already talk of a showdown with 115-pound title-holder Kazuto Ioka. But Tanaka has indicated that he wants to expand his opportunities overseas, following the example of Inoue. There are still holes in his defense, but that makes for exciting fights and a match between him and someone like “Chocolatito” Gonzalez would be worth the price of admission.

Jonathan Gonzalez, a southpaw with a good amateur pedigree, had fought his previous three fights in Kissimmee, Florida. When in his native Puerto Rico, he trains in the same gym as former super bantamweight and featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez. We certainly haven’t seen the last of him.

The 10-round co-feature between super flyweights Kento Hatanaka and Jaysever Abcede was also a crowd pleaser that saw both combatants score knockdowns. Hatanaka improved to 10-0 but was extended the distance for the first time in his pro career. Abcede, a noted spoiler from the Philippines, saw his winning streak end at four and fell to 19-9. The scores were 95-93, 96-93, and 96-92.

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