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
Macau, China, July 19th
Zou Shiming UD 10 Luis De La Rosa, flyweights
In a card full of stunning KO’s, it looks like the hometown star fighter was the only one without scoring a stoppage. Making his debut at the 10 round distance, Shiming (5-0, 1 KO), a two-time Olympic gold medalist, scored a pedestrian but dominant decision against a very live underdog in De la Rosa (23-4-1, 13 KO) with scores of 99-91 (twice) and 97-93. Shiming was always in control of the action, working behind his superb jab and his very precise ring movement. Shiming is still miles away from being a Pay-Per-View star in the non-Chinese world, but he brings enough money to the table to become a superstar in the lower weights, and some of his fights at the next level should be very interesting to watch. It’s time for him to step up the round count, the level of opposition, and the punching power of his opponents.
The winner goes on to: Shiming’s handlers probably learned a lesson from fellow super-talented amateur standout Vasyl Lomachenko’s rush to the title belt, and we can expect at least three more fights before Shiming is ready to challenge for a championship.
Guillermo Rigondeaux KO 1 Sod Looknongyantoy, WBA/WBO junior featherweight title
Sometimes, scores and fight results can be deceiving, and some others they don’t even begin to reflect what really happened in the ring. This fight belongs in the latter category. Sure, we were well on our way to another one-sided boxing lesson by Cuba’s Rigondeaux (14-0, 9 KO), but the unified junior featherweight world champion moved in early in the fight from his southpaw stance with a stiff jab, and right when he was ducking after a counterpunch his foe (also a southpaw) connected with a thunderous headbutt that landed flush on Sod’s temple. The Thai challenger got up quickly, but the ensuing attack while he was still out on his feet was too much for him to handle, and the referee halted the bout when barely half a round had been completed. It wasn’t the KO we were expecting from the light-punching Rigondeaux, and certainly was not the outcome that Looknongyantoy deserved (he was a fine challenger with his only two other losses being in title fights against Daniel Ponce de Leon), but it is what we got anyway.
The winner goes on to: Now that Rigo and Top Rank have parted ways, we’ll have to wait and see where “The Jackal” will land before we can start figuring out when he’ll be trying to convince the few remaining skeptics about his superb boxing talents.
Gilberto Ramirez TKO 1 Junior Talipeau, super middleweights
Mexicans fighting above 168 lbs were always rarity, but a nice group of super middles is rising in the ranks, led by JC Chavez Jr. and Marco Periban. And now the tall and lanky but supremely talented Ramirez (29-0, 23 KO) joins them in the fight for the spotlight with this annihilation of Talipeau (20-2-2, 7 KO), a fighter who figured to give him more trouble than this. It was a competitive bout for a minute, but then Ramirez (nicknamed “El Zurdo”, or Leftie) dropped a few bombs, and after three consecutive visits to the canvas by Talipeau the fight was halted at the 1:58 mark in the third episode.
Brian Viloria KO 5 Jose Alfredo Zuniga, flyweights
One of the last few remaining fighters of the US Olympic class of 2000 is still going strong. Viloria (34-4, 20 KO), a former two-division world champion nicknamed “The Hawaiian Punch”, had no major problems to dispose of Mexico’s Zuñiga (11-6-1, 5 KO) in five rounds after catching him with a picture-perfect body blow midway through the round.
The winner goes on to: It looks like Viloria will be going for yet another title belt, and his presence in an undercard featuring an unbeaten local idol like Shiming leads us to believe that we could be seeing them in a vacant title fight sometime soon.
Zijuatanejo, Mexico, July 19th
Nery Saguilan KO 8 Sheiichi Okada, super featherweights
Arturo Santos UD 10 Jairo Hernandez, super bantamweights
In a land known for its sandy beaches, its boat painters and its Shawshank prison escapees, two local fighters did not let their visiting foes escape with a victory in this homecoming. In the main event, Saguilan (30-4-1, 11 KO) scored an eighth round KO over Japan’s Okada (18-5, 11 KO) in an elimination bout for a chance to fight WBC incumbent Takashi Miura. And in the previous bout, Santos (18-3, 5 KO), a 2008 Mexican Olympian, cruised to an unanimous nod over Hernandez (10-7, 3 KO) in dominant fashion, and now faces the chance of fighting WBC 122 lb titlist Leo Santa Cruz.
Huntington, N.Y., July 18th
Emanuel Taylor UD 10 Karim Mayfield, welterweights
Fight of the week? Maybe. Mayfield (18-2-1, 11 KO) gave his very best in a barn burner of a fight, but in the end it was hard-punching Taylor (13-2, 12 KO) the one to escape with a unanimous decision in this early crossroads bout. Mayfield got a quick start and then faded rapidly, giving Taylor some room to grow and losing almost every round after that. At least until Mayfield suddenly woke up to drop Taylor with a straight right in the eight to turn the tide and put some emotion in the fight. The last two rounds were close, but Taylor had already done enough damage to grab the victory. Rematch, anyone?
San Francisco, California, July 18th
Mercito Gesta TKO 8 Luis Arceo, lightweights
A worthy title challenger trudges on. Gesta (28-1-1, 16 KO) was once hailed as one of Manny Pacquiao’s successors, but he has failed to impress so far. But he did look very dominant in this victory over veteran trialhorse Arceo (28-13-4, 19 KO) during seven rounds of action. Gesta’s southpaw stance gave Arceo a lot of trouble, and the Filipino fighter fought one of his best fights so far. Can’t wait to see him again.
Emanuel Robles SD 8 Jonathan Chicas, junior welterweights
Minor upset in this one. Robles (11-0-1, 3 KO), a tricky southpaw on a mission to expose his unbeaten record in enemy territory and emerge victorious, achieved his goal in this hard-fought split decision victory over Chicas (13-2, 6 KO), with a seventh-round knockdown making all the difference in the fight for Robles as he won by the slimmest margin on two cards (76-75) while Chicas grabbed an identical card in his favor. Solid win by Robles, who looked impressive and in control of the action most of the time.
Taishan KO 2 Alex Rozman, heavyweights
Anytime a fighter with a one-word name makes his debut, it surely catches some attention. No, this isn’t the WWF, but Taishan’s height is right up there in WTF territory at a huge seven-feet tall mass of flesh. His Yao Ming-esque physique aside, China’s Taishan is a somewhat polished fighter (for a guy his size) who proceeded to destroy a soft touch in Rozman (2-7, 1 KO) dropping him three times in two rounds until the referee stopped the carnage. Not the most promising debut, but certainly a fighter to watch.
Kobe, Japan, July 18th
Zolani Tete UD 12 Teiru Kinoshita, vacant IBF junior bantamweight title
It was going to be a great weekend to be a southpaw, apparently, but Tete (20-3, 16 KO) didn’t yet know it when he fought Kinoshita (19-1-1, 3 KO) in the first major bout of the week. Fighting behind his right jab throughout the bout, Tete managed to score the minor upset and grab the title belt at stake with a superb performance against an unbeaten fighter trying to impose his hometown advantage and his youth. It threatened to be a competitive bout early on, but it ended up being a one-sided drubbing with Tete simply cruising towards scorecards of 118-110 (twice) and 119-109. The South African former title challenger now heads back home with a piece of hardware that he will try to parlay into bigger and better bouts.