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
Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 6th
Adrien Broner UD 12 Emanuel Taylor, junior welterweights
“The Problem” is back! Broner (29-1, 22 KO) hit an early roadblock in his stellar multi-division career when he was mauled and stopped by Marcos Maidana back in December, but he bounced back with a nice victory against Carlos Molina and he continued his recovery with this gritty performance against Taylor (18-3, 12 KO). Fresh off his mild upset win over Karim Mayfield in July, Taylor was supposed to be a mere dancing partner in this bout, but apparently he never got the memo. Both fighters split rounds during most of the first half of the bout, with Taylor dominating a few rounds by landing a few solid power punches and the occasional elbow, but soon enough Broner took control of the center of the ring and started firing blistering combinations for effect. The second half of the bout saw Broner establishing his superior boxing skills, and Taylor earned his respect by taking all Broner could dish out and coming back with a few of his own. The fight seemed up for grabs going into the championship stage, but then Broner landed a thudding long left hand that sent Taylor down on the seat of his trunks to secure a victory that was loudly celebrated by his local fans. The final scorecards (115-112 and 116-111 twice) indicated that the fight was wide open in the final stretch, and that the dramatic knockdown indeed secured the victory for Broner, who earns a great measure of respect by trading leather all night and surviving a cut on his left eyelid against a super tough opponent.
The winner goes on to: The logical next step for Broner would be to face undercard winner Lucas Matthysse in his next bout, but with Al Haymon’s unpredictable matchmaking choices anything can happen.
Lucas Matthysse KO 2 Roberto Ortiz, junior welterweights
How many fingers am I holding? How do you say “nine” in Spanish? Como se dice “ocho” en inglés? Too many questions, but only one possible answer: the fight was over by the time Ortiz touched the canvas. Matthysse (36-3, 34 KO) was his same devastating self during the shortened event, but Ortiz (31-1-1, 24 KO) did his part also by simply quitting on one knee after receiving a murderous left hook to the liver towards the end of the second round. True, the punch was one of the best body blows we’ll probably see this year (with reminiscences of the legendary “whip” made famous by Matthysse’s co-trainer Juan Martin Coggi), but after sampling his foe’s power for less than 6 minutes, it looked like Ortiz had more than enough and was simply looking for a soft landing spot on the canvas. He went down grimacing, spitting his mouthpiece in the process, and then simply waited for referee Benji Esteves to reach the ten count to jump back to his feet. The video replay shows Esteves holding eight fingers in the air while saying the word “nueve” (Spanish for “nine”) and Ortiz getting up at about 9.3 in the clock, but the relevant part of the event was the look on his face, which clearly signaled his unwillingness to continue. A pretty bad way to lose an unbeaten record, if you ask me, and an easy workout for Matthysse, who hardly broke a sweat.
Andre Berto UD 10 Steve Upsher Chambers, welterweights
Berto (29-3, 22 KO) is in a comeback mission after dropping two fights in a row, and he needed a confidence-building victory to step back into the spotlight. He did get the W, yes, but the cost of each victory seems to be going up on every outing for this former Haitian Olympian. Yes, he did land more often (especially jabs) and somewhat harder, but he takes an awful lot of punishment, and his response time just isn’t there. His face swells easily and he just doesn’t seem to have enough reflexes and timing to pull the trigger when he needs to. Still, he managed to control the fight and to keep Upsher (24-4-1, 6 KO) at bay with a sustained attack, but it’s hard to see Berto ever returning to his former glory after receiving so much punishment in what was supposed to be a tune-up fight. The judges gave Berto a 99-91 points victory across the board.
Laredo, Texas, Sept. 6th
Juan Diaz UD 10 Carlos Cardenas, 10 rounds, lightweights
The “Baby Bull” is at it again! Diaz (35-4-1, 19 KO), a former unified world lightweight champion and one of the most fan-friendly fighters in recent memory, promised that his retirement three years ago was final and definitive, and that he was on his way to becoming a lawyer. But the boxing bug found its way back in his system, and he is now embarked in a comeback that may bring him back into the spotlight – and a potential title fight in the near future. This time, he kept his Texan fans happy with a solid decision win over Venezuela’s Cardenas (21-9, 14 KO) with his usual mix of pressure and volume punching, earning scorecards of 97-93, 98-92 and 99-9 to put his current winning streak at 5-0 since his return to the ring.
The winner goes on to: If it was up to me, I’d say a bout against former titlist Jorge Linares would give the fans a fight to remember and a winner to behold as a dangerous title challenger. But that’s just me.
Brad Soloman TKO 6 Freddy Hernandez, welterweights
Soloman (23-0, 9 KO) kept his unbeaten streak alive with a stoppage of a solid and usually durable former title challenger in Hernandez (30-8, 20 KO). The stoppage was due to a cut over Hernandez’ right eye midway through the sixth round, when the fight was still competitive and entertaining. It may be time for Soloman to step up his level of competition, but Hernandez is always a stern test.
Mexico City, Mexico, Sept. 6th
Juan Francisco Estrada TKO 11 Giovani Segura, WBO/WBA flyweight title
In a week full of stellar boxing action, this was probably one of the most anticipated bouts. Estrada (27-2, 20 KO) is one of Mexico’s hottest boxing commodities in the lower weights, and he graduated to full-blown people’s champ with this victory over former world Segura (32-4-1, 28 KO) in front of a packed house, and in demolishing fashion. The first few rounds were as competitive as expected, but as soon as Estrada began mounting more and more pressure it became clear that the southpaw Segura was in trouble. The last three rounds featured a grueling punishment that put Segura on full retreat mode, and finally the bout was stopped by the referee just as the towel was flying into the ring to save Segura from further punishment.
The winner goes on to: With this win, Segura could be setting up a mega-fight against recently crowned WBC titlist Roman Gonzalez in the near future.
Jackie Nava MD 10 Alicia Ashley, WBC female junior featherweight title
Two female boxing standouts finally squared off in a much anticipated bout. Nava (30-4-3, 13 KO) is Mexico’s most respected female fighter, but the 47-year-old (yes, 47) Ashley (21-9-1, 3 KO) is a road warrior with a ton of miles under her belt, and more than one upset scored against the local fighter. This time, however, the Jamaican titlist was forced to leave her crown in the hands of the “Aztec Princess” by scores of 98-92, 95-95 and 97-93 after a hotly disputed bout that featured some fierce exchanges.
Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sept. 6th
Carl Frampton UD 12 Kiko Martinez, IBF junior featherweight title
Frampton came alive (and oh, baby, did we love his way!)!. In another one of the most expected fights of the weekend, Northern Ireland’s Frampton (19-0, 13 KO) made it 2-0 against his former victim Martinez (31-5, 23 KO), this time with the IBF belt on the line. Frampton stormed out of the gates and proceeded to dominate Martinez with his superior boxing skills, finally dropping his man in the fifth episode. Sensing another disaster like the one in their first fight, in which they engaged in a competitive bout until Frampton dropped Martinez for the full count in round nine, Martinez started applying some pressure and trying to regain lost ground, but he had already lost too many points to recover, and he drained himself for the home stretch in which Frampton simply rolled easily to a victory with scores of 119-108, 119-108 and 118-111 that sent a packed house into a frenzy.
The winner goes on to: The sky’s the limit for Frampton, who has a loyal following and an entertaining style that could put some of the other titlists in the division (yes, Guillermo Rigondeaux, this coffee’s for you) in serious trouble.
Puebla, Mexico, Sept. 6th
Mariana Juarez TKO 4 Carla Weiss, female super flyweights
In another grudge match between up and coming female fighters, Juarez (40-7-3, 16 KO) had to gut out a tough victory against Argentina’s Weiss (9-3-1, 0 KO) in a terrific bout that was caught short when Weiss was deemed unable to continue due to a hand injury in the fourth round, which allowed “Barbie” Juarez (a former model) to score a victory in front of her loyal audience.
Miguel Roman TKO 3 Juan Jose Farias, junior lightweights
Roman (47-11, 36 KO) is a perennial world title challenger who always had serious problems to take his act to the next level, but this time he seems ready for a run against the WBC incumbent (Japan’s Takashi Miura) after grabbing this victory over Farias (16-7-1, 11 KO).
Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 5th
Roman Martinez TKO 9 Akira Yaegashi, WBC flyweight title
Another terrific fight in the lower weights. In a long-awaited matchup between two of the most exciting small fighters today, Gonzalez (40-0, 34 KO) kept his unbeaten record alive with a masterpiece of a fight against one of the toughest fighters in his weight class. After dominating the junior flyweight division, Gonzalez made the jump to flyweight a few fights ago and was determined to become a champion as soon as possible. His chance came against one of the most durable and talented fighters the division has to offer in Yaegashi (20-4, 10 KO). Determined to reassert his KO power and achieve his goal, Martinez went all out from the beginning, dishing out a severe beating on Yaegashi, dropping him in the third round and piling up enough of a lead to convince the referee to stop the bout towards the end of the ninth round, in the knowledge that victory was just out of reach for the local fighter. A terrific victory for one of boxing’s most powerful and dominant champions.