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
Winston-Salem, N.C., Aug. 23rd
Shannon Briggs KO 1 Cory Phelps, heavyweights
The “Shannon Briggs One-Round-Or-Less Tour 2014” is back on the road! After a minor setback in which the former heavyweight king was taken the full 12 round distance by someone called Raphael Love back in June, Briggs (56-6-1, 49 KO) is back in first-round-stoppage territory with another brutal mismatch, this time against a young club fighter in Phelps (16-7-1, 8 KO), who was pummeled mercilessly in a relentless attack. Phelps dived (yep, I am bringing all kinds of puns today) to the canvas within a minute of action, and he went back down again twice more for a stoppage that puts Briggs’ record in 5-0 with 4 first-round KOs in 2014, in his latest comeback after losing a title shot against Vitali Klitschko back in 2010. Granted: he is looking quite decen t in his most recent outings, but it’s always easy to look OK fighting guys like Phelps, and the crappy venues (straight out of the set of “Diggstown”) that serve as the backdrop for his crude attempt to make a triumphant return to the big time do not help at all.
The winner goes on to: If he continues fighting the Phelps of the world, he will continue listening to the bell only once in his next few fights. But at his age, and with the pedigree he carries, Briggs should be either take on better challenges or re-retire once and for all.
Baja California, México, Aug. 23rd
Antonio DeMarco UD 10 Lanardo Tyner, junior welterweights
Another comeback win for one of boxing’s ultimate survivors. DeMarco (31-3-1, 23 KO) never fails to entertain and to bring a high degree of drama to his fights, and this was no exception. The former lightweight champion from Mexico had to rise from the canvas to overcome the usual gritty challenge that Tyner (31-11-2, 20 KO) has become known for (aside of managing to outclown his foes with his crazy antics). It started out awkwardly for the southpaw DeMarco, who was dropped by a hard straight right in front of his countrymen in round one, but he gutted out a spirited comeback to clinch a solid win by scorecards of 98-92 across the board. It’s not a DeMarco win unless there is a dramatic come-from-behind effort down the stretch, apparently.
The winner goes on to: DeMarco is a perennial contender for big challenges in the 140-ish neighborhood, and it won’t be long before he is called to put one of the division’s top talents to the test. I am rooting for a Thurman-DeMarco matchup, but it may take a while.
Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 23rd
Donovan George UD 12 Dyah Davis, super middleweights
“Da Bomb” is back on track. George (26-4-2, 22 KO) has been known for falling short in every one of his tries to get to the next level, but he notched a spirited decision against a super tough Davis (22-5-1, 10 KO) that surely must get him inspired to make another serious attempt to take the elite of the division by storm. In spite of a nagging hand injury and a solid effort by Davis, George gutted out a workmanlike victory in front of his loyal fan base to win an irrelevant title belt by scores of 115-113 (twice) and 116-112.
Villa Las Flores, México, Aug. 23rd
Rey Vargas KO 2 Daniel Ferreras, super bantamweights
Is he the next big thing in Mexican boxing? Time will tell, but right now, Vargas (20-0, 17 KO) is looking every bit the part, with a superb style and a demolishing punching power. Ferreras (13-9-2, 4 KO), from the Philippines, was supposed to be a stiffer test, but he was no match for the promising Vargas, who used his long range and his uncanny sense of pacing to score a demolishing stoppage in the second round. The referee moved in to stop the bout as Ferreras was being severely punished in a corner.
The winner goes on to: Vargas is rumored to be positioning himself as the next contender for Santa Cruz in the featherweight division. A young fighter to follow closely, indeed.
Atlantic City, N.J., Aug. 23rd
Jaime Herrera TKO 7 Mike Jones, welterweights
Upset alert! Herrera (12-2, 7 KO) was supposed to be too young and inexperienced to beat a world-ranked contender in Jones (26-2, 19 KO), but that’s what he did, and in spectacular fashion as well. Jones started out with a bang, outpunching Herrera 3 to 1 in the first two rounds. Towards the end of the second round, he put Herrera on the verge of a stoppage loss when he sent him to the canvas at the bell, and he went in for the kill in the next round, scoring a flash knockdown in the process. Now fighting for his life, Herrera started gaining confidence after seeing Jones taking a more cautious approach following a clash of heads that opened a gash over one of Jones’ eyes. Herrera started swinging for the fences in the sixth, and when Jones did not respond as expected he just stepped on the gas pedal and went to work on Jones’ almost swollen-shut left eye. Finally, his work paid off when the ringside doctor decided it was too dangerous for Jones to continue fighting and the referee stopped the bout on his advice.
The winner goes on to: As big as this win is for Herrera, it is not a proportionally devastating loss for Jones. He could do much better in a rematch and still be in the run for bigger challenges at 147 lbs.
Panama City, Panama, Aug. 23rd
Luis Concepcion TKO 7 Duvan Hernandez, junior bantamweights
The smaller weights feature more boxing than punching sometimes, but it is quite the opposite when fighters like Concepción (32-3, 23 KO) take the stage. This time, the former WBA flyweight titlist used his devastating power and his spot-on accuracy to destroy Colombia’s Hernandez (12-2-1, 9 KO) with a frightening beating over seven rounds. Concepcion dropped Hernandez with a demolishing right hand at the very end of the third round, and then proceeded to beat him to the punch during the rest of the fight until a double hook upstairs-downstairs made Hernandez fold down cringing in pain. The referee stopped the bout without any complaints from the loser.
Villa Ballester, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug. 23rd
Marcela Acuña UD 10 Soledad Matthysse, female junior featherweights
A legendary female fighter gutted out yet another victory against a member of one of boxing’s most prolific families in Argentina. Acuña (42-6-1, 18 KO) is credited with single-handedly bringing female boxing into the limelight in her native country, and this time she was fighting in a rematch of their 2013 bout against Lucas Matthysse’ sister Soledad (12-6-1, 1 KO). Displaying a superb technique and an enviable physical condition at her 37 years of age, Acuña dominated Matthysse with skills and ring savvy, being the “aggressor in retreat” during 10 brilliant rounds, and winning by scores of 96-94, 98-92 and 97-93.
Tampa, Florida, Aug. 23rd
DeMarcus Corley TKO 2 Dedrick Bell, junior welterweights
“Chop Chop” refuses to quit. Corley (41-22-1, 25 KO), forever remembered for being one of the first fighters to put Floyd Mayweather to the test back in the day, continues to fight even though he is now largely considered a stepping stone for younger fighters. But this time, he grabbed a victory against a soft touch in Bell (12-20-1, 7 KO) to continue padding the W column of his record with a few occasional victories. True, Bell started sounding (OK, enough with the puns for today) as an opponent only a couple of days prior to this engagement, but he was nonetheless overmatched against a guy who has forgotten more than what Bell will ever learn about boxing. It only took a few shots to the head in the second round for Bell to drop to the canvas barely a minute into the round, and the referee stopped the carnage immediately.
Temecula, California, Aug. 22rd
Austin Trout UD 10 Daniel Dawson, junior middleweights
“No Doubt” is back on track. After almost a year since his last fight, Trout (27-2, 14 KO) had a scary third round in which he went down to the mat in two occasions, but still managed to fish out (OK, one more pun and that’s it) a victory against Australia’s Dawson (40-4-1, 26 KO). A southpaw former junior middleweight titlist who’s always received criticism for his unexciting style, Dawson based his attack on his picture-perfect right jab and his crunching straight left, but when Dawson figured him out and was able to counter with overhand rights in the third round, Trout was caught in a storm that he was fortunately able to escape later on, with minor damage. Trout walked right into a straight right that sent him reeling to the canvas, and then another counter right caught him while still dizzy and sent him down hard. But after a few adjustments here and there, Dawson was once again baffled by Trout’s speed and awkward ring movements, just as Miguel Cotto had been in one of Trout’s most memorable wins. Trout even managed to send Dawson to the mat in one occasion in the eighth round, even though power has never been his main asset. Nice win for a fighter looking to find his way back into a crowded picture at the 154 lb division.