Boxing: Morilla’s Sunday Report Card for Dec. 8

Dec 7 2013 Atlantic CityNew Jersey Matt KorobovR knocksdown Derek Edwards in the 7th round enroute to stopping him in the 9th Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City NJ Photo Credit Chris Farina Top Rank copyright 2013

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. Follow Morilla on Twitter at @MorillaBoxing

Chicago, Il., Dec. 6

Krzysztof Wlodarczyk TKO 7 Giacobbe Fragomeni, WBC cruiserweight title

Poland’s Wlodarczyk (49-2-1, 35 KO) capped a three-bout confrontation against Italy’s Fragomeni (31-4-2, 12 KO) with a six round demolition, after beating him by TKO in 8 rounds back in 2010 in a rematch of their 2009 “home-cooked” draw in Italy. Fragomeni went down hard in the fourth, courtesy of a left hook, and looked in trouble from then on until the bout was stopped on cuts right at the start of the seventh round.

The winner goes on to: a good position to finally challenge other champions in the vibrant European scene in his division.

Tokio, Japan, Dec. 6

Akira Yaegashi UD12 Edgar Sosa, WBC flyweight title

Yaegashi (19-3, 9 KO) scored an authoritative decision win in defending his title against mandatory challenger Edgar Sosa (49-8, 29 KO) of Mexico, with scorecards of 116-112 and 117-111 (twice). Yaegashi is on a mission to throw the most punches in any single career by a modern pugilist, as he simply outworks and outhustles every opponent by launching dozens of blows from every possible angle, and complements his all-out attack with a superb defensive footwork. Sosa was a former champ with ten defenses to his credit, but he could not keep up with Yaegashi’s neck-breaking pace.

The winner goes on to: hopefully showing off his talent and his colorful style in bigger fights with more exposure.

Atlantic City N.J., Dec. 7

Guillermo Rigondeaux UD 12 Joseph Agbeko, WBA/WBO jr. featherweight title

It was intended to be his chance to shine and be aggressive and explosive, but Rigondeaux (13-0, 8 KO) chose once again to be masterful boxer he’s always been, scoring a unanimous decision over Agbeko (29-5, 22 KO) in a crafty performance that netted him three identical scorecards of 120-108. The multiple Olympic medalist from Cuba was put on the spotlight by press, fans and TV execs alike for his alleged failure to impress and engage his opponents since his technical and cold-blooded performance against Nonito Donaire back in April, and this was supposed to be his chance to silence his critics with a more aggressive strategy that never materialized, and which will do very little to earn him any more fans.

The winner goes on to: an even tougher spot as an avoided champ for more than one reason: his invincibility and his unattractive style.

James Kirkland TKO 6 Glen Tapia, middleweights

It took more than expected, but finally we can say that the Kirkland of old is back. Once considered an imminent storm that would destroy everything in sight in the 160 lbs division, Kirkland (32-1, 28 KO) saw his career come to a screeching halt after an upset defeat at the hands of unheralded Nobuhiro Ishida two years ago. He failed to redeem himself in a couple of lackluster performances since then, but then came this terrific performance against the previously unbeaten Tapia (20-1, 12 KO), who threw all caution to the wind and stepped into Kirkland’s territory as soon as the bell rang to start the fight. The fight had several thrilling exchanges that both fighters managed to survive, but in the end it was Kirkland the one dishing out the punishment and the bout was halted at the 0:38 mark of the sixth round.

The winner goes on to: becoming once again the man to fear in a division that is currently exploding with talent. If you’re not dreaming of a Kirkland-Golovkin fight right now, your taste for boxing should be seriously questioned.

Matthew Macklin UD 10 Lamar Russ, middleweights

So many questions, so little answers. Yes, Macklin (30-5, 20 KO) can beat guys like Russ (11-1, 5 KO) every day of the week. But will he ever be ready to pull the trigger against the biggest names in a division that’s suddenly growing bigger, stronger, and more talented? England’s Macklin proved his true worth with terrific performances against Felix Sturm (where he was blatantly robbed of his victory) and Sergio Martinez, and got a lot of credit for stepping into the ring with the hungriest, toughest version of Gennady Golovkin we’ve seen so far. With this victory against Russ (with scorecards of 96-94, 98-92 and 97-93) he proved he’s ready for another title shot. Let’s hope he makes the most of it next time.

The winner goes on to: with Darren Barker’s recent defeat, Macklin becomes the natural opponent for Martin Murray in a fight for bragging rights among England’s top 160-lb contenders.

Matt Korobov TKO 9 Derek Edwards, middleweights

A 2008 Olympian and two-time amateur world champion for his native Russia, Matt Korobov (22-0, 13 KO) was once considered a force to be reckoned with at 160, but lately he had lost some of his explosiveness in a few lackluster performances. That’s over now after his destruction of Edwards (26-3-1, 13 KO) in an entertaining but ultimately one-sided drubbing. The late rounds were pure domination for Korobov, as he punished his foe decidedly and violently until the fight was halted at the 0:28 mark of the ninth round.

The winner goes on to: establishing himself at the top of the crowded picture of the 160 lb division is a tough mission, but Korobov seems ready for the challenge after this solid win.

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