Boxing: Morilla’s Sunday Report Card – A Weekend of Upsets and Much More

Boxing ring

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

Moscow, Russia, September 27th

Grigory Drozd UD 12 Krzystof Wlodarczyk, WBC cruiserweight title

An early upset in a weekend that had plenty of them on tap for us. Drozd (39-1, 27 KO) was considered a solid contender, but he was facing an established champion in Poland’s Wlodarczyk (49-3-1, 35 KO). As it turned out, Drozd took the fight to Wlodarczyk from the early going, and he never relinquished his early lead. The champ visited the canvas in round eight and Drozd cruised on to a 118-109, 119-108 (twice) points victory in a game-changing victory in this division.

Denis Lebedev KO 2 Pawel Kolodziej, WBA cruiserweight title

No upset on this one, though. Lebedev (26-2, 20 KO) is a powerful Russian titlist trained by Freddie Roach and destined to greater challenges, as he indicated in this thorough beating of previously unbeaten Kolodziej (33-1, 18 KO). Giving up a huge height advantage, the southpaw Levedev charged on aggressively from the very beginning and was finally able to send Kolodziej down hard midway through the second round. Surprisingly, that’s all it took, and the towering challenger was turned down in a demolishing defeat. Nice work for Lebedev, who is in dire need of serious challenges.

Montreal, Canada, September 27th

Artur Beterbiev KO 2 Tavoris Cloud, light heavyweights

Start counting: this one is upset number two. Sure, Beterbiev (6-0, 6 KO) is a former two-time Olympian with an impressive style, but Cloud (24-3, 19 KO) has been at the top of the pack for quite a while now, and he won a title belt that he defended four times against stellar opposition. This time, however, he never got his groove going, as Beterbiev dropped him three times in the first round and once again in the following episode, to persude the referee that the challenge was pointless. Beterbiev is definitely on his way up, having now a former titlist among his victims in only 7 fights, while Cloud lost his third fight in a row (the previous two were against Bernard Hopkins and Adonis Stevenson) and looked sluggish and out of his element in this disaster of an outing.

Cedric Spera UD 4 Stephane Ouellet, middleweights  

You don’t see too many four-rounders billed at the top of a major undercard, but Ouellet (29-6, 18 KO) is a bit of a local hero in the area, and a former contender as well, who was trying to make what can now be described as an ill-advised comeback. Spera (11-2, 2 KO) was brought in all the way from Belgium to be the sacrificial lamb du jour, but he ended up grabbing the victory by decision in another upset (however minor it may be considered).

Dierry Jean TKO 5 Daniel Ruiz, lightweights

Antonin Decarie TKO 5 Ivan Pereyra, junior middleweights

Two former contenders, two fifth-round KOs. Jean (27-1, 19 KO), a Haiti-born Canadian, took care of a battle hardened Mexican veteran in Ruiz (32-7-2, 22 KOs), and Decarie (31-2, 10 KO) a one-time welterweight title challenger, stopped the also Mexican Pereyra (19-4, 13 KO).

Tuxtla Gutierrez, September 27th

Ramon Alvarez UD 10 Omar Chavez, junior middleweight

The Chavez-Alvarez family feud has produced rivers of ink in Mexico, mainly because of the public demand for a showdown between the two jewels of the families (Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez), which may never materialize due to their growing weight differences. But their brothers Omar Chavez and Ramon Alvarez took the challenge upon themselves, and provided a nice alternate take of the mega-fight everyone is still expecting. In this watered down version of their family rivalry, Alvarez (20-4-2, 12 KO) managed to save the honor of their family with a solid points win over Chavez (32-3-1, 22 KO) by scores of 96-94 (twice) and 98-92.

Oklahoma City, Okla., September 27th

Samuel Peter KO 1 Ron Aubrey, heavyweights

Ricardo Mayorga KO 1 Allen Medina, super middleweights

Yep, it was “one of those cards”. Big names of the past, facing non-entities in a distant, small-market arena, trying to lure fans under the “one last chance to see these legends on the ring” tag. This card had two parts: mismatches and plain bad matchups. At the top of the card, Peter (35-5, 28 KO), a former heavyweight titlist, plodded to a questionable stoppage against Aubrey (12-4-1, 12 KO) in an awful, foul-infested affair that served as a comeback for Peter, inactive for the past three years. Previously, former two division champion Mayorga (30-8-1, 24 KO), who is also staging a comeback after three years of inactivity, never had the time to get his clownish act going when Medina (9-24-1, 1 KO) succumbed in the first round in non-descript fashion after being overwhelmed with punches barely a minute into the fight.

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, September 27th

Javier Prieto D12 Ivan Cano, lightweights

Does this one qualify as an upset? It’s certainly defies all odds to have two young fighters engage in two consecutive fights only to hold each other to a draw both times, but this is exactly what happened between Prieto (24-7-1, 18 KO) and Cano (22-6-2, 15 KO). They had fought to a draw back in May, with a minor title on the line, and they failed to settle the score on this one as they were similarly effective in their completely different approach on this fight, with Prieto taking the initiative and Cano resorting to counterpunching, but both with the same level of efficacy. In the end, scores were 117-112 for Cano and 114-114 (twice) for a majority draw, and the continuity of their rivalry. Will it take 36 rounds to find a winner among these two? Quite possibly.

Kiel, Germany, September 27th

Arthur Abraham UD 12 Paul Smith, WBO super middleweight title

King Arthur is back! Or is he? Abraham (41-4, 28 KO), current super middleweight champion and former longtime 160 lb kingpin, is coming off a few upset losses that slightly derailed his career, but his popularity is untouched in his adoptive Germany, and he pleased his fans once again with this solid decision win over Smith (35-4, 20 KO), who in spite of losing clearly, managed to surge at the end and grab a few rounds, as reflected by the scorecards of 117-111 (twice) and 119-109.

Viterbo, Italy, September 27th

Emiliano Marsili UD 12 Gyorgy Mizsey Jr., European lightweight championship

Marsili (30-0-1, 13 KO) is an active, talented, freakishly tall and lanky unbeaten fighter with lots of promise, and he indeed delivered a terrific win in this bout against Hungary’s Mizsey (20-11, 12 KO), a challenger who can hardly claim to be a test for the talented Italian titlist, but who nonetheless gave him a terrific challenge.

Mesquite, Texas, September 26th

Juan Carlos Payano Tech. D. 6 Anselmo Moreno, WBA super bantamweight title

Yes, the upsets started very early this week. On Friday, Moreno (35-3-1, 12 KO) was facing a rare challenge outside of his comfort zone (the Panama-Colombia-Venezuela triangle) when he traveled to the States to face a talented but largely untested Payano (16-0, 8 KO) in what was expected to be another payday. Instead, Moreno’s plans were derailed when Payano suffered a nasty cut over his right eye that brought the action to a halt in the sixth round (although the cut had been originated earlier, by a head butt). The fight went to the scorecards, and the scores benefited the challenger by razor-thin margins of 59-55 and 58-56 (twice), in a decision that has the word “rematch” written all over it. Let’s hope it happens.

Krasnodar, Russia, September 26th

Roy Jones Jr. KO 1 Hany Atiyo, cruiserweights

Neither fighter was supposed to be there, but for different reasons. Jones Jr. (59-8, 42 KO) was one of boxing’s most formidable specimens ever, a man that has been rightfully called the best athlete in the history of the sport. Atiyo (14-3, 10 KO) is an unknown fighter that would have been chopped to pieces by a prime Jones. It turns out he was terrible enough to be chopped to pieces by a completely worn-out Jones right now, as he evidently didn’t have nearly enough talent to get past the three-minute mark. A trademark body blow by Jones was all it took to prevent this fight from ever reaching the 100-second mark. Quick work for Jones, who should seriously revise his decision to continue boxing in spite of this easy victory.


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Diego Morilla
Diego Morilla is a boxing writer since 1992. His work has been extensively featured in some of the most prestigious boxing media outlets in Latin America and the U.S., including, The Ring, Latino Boxing,, Lo Mejor del Boxeo,, HBO Sports and newspapers such as El Mundo, Primera Hora and El Vocero, among others.