Our resident boxing writer Diego Morilla serves up a full weekend wrap-up of the most relevant boxing events in the worldwide scene. Every fight that matters is right here, in one place, and at one click away.
Dachau, Germany, Friday Nov. 1
Alexander Petkovic KO 4 Chupaki Chipindi, heavyweights
With yet another rout, this time against a slightly more respectable opponent, former Bosnian amateur standout Petkovic improved to 48-4-4 (26 KOs) with a fourth round KO over Chipindi (11-5, 6 KOs) of Tanzania, thus keeping alive an undefeated streak which now stands at 16-0-1 in 6 years. A former cruiserweight contender, Petkovic is now in the process of rediscovering himself as a heavyweight, but so far he has feasted on nondescript opposition, perhaps with the exception of his two fights (a points win and a draw) against perennial fringe contender Timo Hoffman. The winner goes on to: keeping his chances alive in the post-Klitschko heavyweight scene.
Juan Carlos Gomez TKO 2 Adnan Buharalija, cruiserweights
Another foreign fighter who has made Germany his home is former Cuban national team fighter Gomez, currently attempting to accomplish the exact opposite goal of Petkovic by going back to the cruiserweight division after a failed bid at heavyweight (including a title fight against Vitali Klitschko in ’09). In a battle of southpaws, Gomez returned from an 18-month hiatus and crushed Bosnia’s Buharalija at 2:47 of the second round, forcing a stoppage under a barrage of blows after sending him to the canvas in the first stanza, improving to 52-3 (39 KOs) and probably moving on to some sort of title opportunity in this division. The winner goes on to: getting his last chance to cash in on a long, uneven career.
New York, Saturday Nov. 2
Gennady Golovkin TKO 8 Curtis Stevens, WBA middleweight title
Golovkin (28-0, 25 KOs) did more than stay unbeaten in this fight: he continued to cement his place as one of the most exciting fighters of the world, in any weight. His leaky defense was never a problem even when facing a respectable puncher like Stevens (25-4, 18 KOs), who went down hard on his trousers towards the end of the second round thanks to a ruthless left hook. Stevens fought back and had a few good moments, but Golovkin’s punishment took its toll, and the eight round was just a merciless beating by the champion, who scored easily in a 10-1 ratio against a defenseless Stevens. The fight was halted in an almost tacit, unanimous decision by both the referee and Stevens’ corner. Massive win for the Kazakhstani terror, who has no foreseeable limits for his unique combination of talents. The winner goes on to: continuing to tear through the middleweight division. Next likely stop: tough British contender Martin Murray.
Mike Perez UD 10 Magomed Abdusalamov, heavyweights
Two unbeaten heavyweight southpaws engaging in a crossroads fight? Just what the division needed. In a superb contest of determination and power, former Cuban amateur standout Perez (20-0, 12 KOs) imposed his uncanny sense of tempo and his superior punching power against Russia’s Abdusalamov (18-1, 18 KOs), who had the better record with the better names in it, and yet was thoroughly abused in an almost complete shutout. Abdusalamov did manage to win a couple of middle rounds, but it was never enough to bother the winner, who won by scores of 97-92, 95-94 and 97-92 in spite of getting a point deducted for a low blow in the ninth round. The broken nose and swollen eyelids in Abdusalamov’s face told only a partial story of his sufferings, as he ended up in a hospital with a severe concussion and a possible blood clot in his brain, in a brutal ending for a gruesome fight. It is unfortunate to see that only one of these fighters will continue his career in a division in desperate need of exciting, honest fighters. The winner goes on to: getting an immediate slot in the top 5 contenders for the heavyweight crown in a talent-hungry division.
Ola Afolabi MD 12 Lukasz Janik, cruiserweights
A second-rate fight between a second-tier pair of contenders, with a non-descript title on the line. Still, sweeter lemonades have been made out of more bitter lemons, but there is not enough sugar in this world to make anybody swallow this sour concoction. Afolabi (20-3-4, 9 KOs) was coming off two exciting fights (a loss and a draw, in the last two episodes of a great trilogy) against champ Marco Huck, but he did very little to build a case towards a fourth episode in this dull majority decision over Janik (26-2, 14 KOs), of Poland, with scores of 114-114, 117-111, 115-113. The winner goes on to: hopefully, another chance against an opponent who can pressure him like Huck did, and drive him to give his best effort once again.
Hermosillo, Mexico, Saturday Nov. 2
Fight of the week
Giovani Segura KO 12 Hernan “Tyson” Marquez vs., WBO flyweight eliminator
In a week that featured several unusual all-southpaw clashes, this awesome display of courage and boxing skills stands head and shoulders above the rest. A pair of highly touted young former champions like Segura and Marquez were putting it all on the line for a chance to get a title belt wrapped around their weight once again in their next fight. What these two lefties produced, however, was a performance worthy of a special title for both of them. Feeling the pressure to win big in order to secure his continuity at the top after a rocky 2-2 recent streak, Segura (31-3-1, 27 KOs) took the fight to Marquez (36-4, 23 KOs) in the latter’s backyard, and the result was a brutal, relentless, back-and-forth fight in which both had their moments. Segura, however, was a man on a mission, and he dropped Marquez in round four to secure an early lead before giving up the momentum briefly to his rival, only to regain it in round eleven with another knockdown and then scoring a gruesome KO at the 1:57 mark of the final round. This is the sort of performance that will advance both of their careers, but Segura will definitely regain all the terrain he lost in his recent setbacks. The winner goes on to: challenging WBA/WBO champion Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada in another terrific matchup. The loser suffered from dehydration and was taken to the hospital for observation.
Queretaro, Mexico, Saturday Nov. 2
Andres “Jaguar” Gutierrez UD 12 Ernie Sanchez, WBC super bantamweight title
One of Mexico’s most cherished young prospects did it again. Gutierrez moved on to 28-0 with 20 KOs with a masterful shutout against Sanchez, a fighter who hails from Manny Pacquiao’s hometown of General Santos in the Philipines, but who probably didn’t drink the same water that Pacman used to drink as a kid. A fringe contender with a decent chin but no pop, Sanchez just went through the motions against a 20 year-old outstanding fighter performing in front of his local fans, probably showing off his talents for the last time in front of his compadres in a career that promises larger venues and much more relevant opponents. A solid, stay-busy win for a terrific young fighter with unlimited potential. The winner goes on to: becoming one of the most avoided fighters in the division.
Krasnodar, Russia, Monday, Nov. 4
Oleg Maskaev UD 10 Danny Williams, heavyweights
They both moved like icebergs – and Williams even looked the part with his almost ankle-long white pants. Booing could be heard as early as the end of round one. And that was only the beginning. Facts: Maskaev (38-7, 28 KOs) was a WBC champion at the height of his career, and Williams (44-18, 33 KOs) did beat Mike Tyson once, but those days are long gone for both of them. This one was tough to watch. Two forty-something, soft-in-the-middle heavies trying to squeeze into the post-Klitschko heavyweight scene with a safety-first performance is not exactly the best way to reignite a stagnant career. Hopefully, neither one of them will get another chance to cash in on past glories with another one of these fiascos. The winner goes on to: plodding his way into yet another irrelevant fight – and his usual calls for a totally undeserving new title shot.