Boxing: Morilla’s Report Card – Ramirez Stops Rodela And Much More

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

Fresno, Calif., Oct. 25th

Jose Ramirez KO 1 David Rodela, junior welterweights

It was intended to be a test and a showcase fight for Ramirez (12-0, 9 KO), a 2012 US Olympian, but it ended up being a terrible mismatch when Rodela (17-10-4, 7 KO) failed to survive even a full minute of fighting. A left hook by Ramirez was all it took, and Rodela simply crashed face-first on the canvas for the full count. Still, Ramirez’s value was in full display during the short bout, and it will be interesting to see him develop with time.

Andy Ruiz KO 1 Kenny Lemos, heavyweights

Another quick stoppage took place in the co-main event, as Ruiz Jr. (23-0, 17 KO) destroyed Lemos (12-9, 8 KO) with a barrage of punches in a fight between two flabby but very active heavyweights. Lemos took an awful lot of punishment, but he gets credit for a terrific fashion statement, wearing an oversized pair of trunks that erased the line between a baggy pair of pants and a plus-sized strapless dress that nevertheles failed to accomplish the very basic mission of covering the nipples (missing them just barely). Lemos went down after a terrific body shot, and then the fight was stopped as he was on the receiving end of a severe pummeling in one corner.

Monte Carlo, Monaco, Oct. 25th

Martin Murray TD 7 Domenico Spada, middleweights

Murray (29-1-1, 12 KO) is a tough, battle-hardened middleweight known for giving a still-prime Sergio Martinez a run for his money in his homecoming title defense in Buenos Aires back in 2013. And to further prove his mettle, he took on another solid contender in Spada (39-6, 19 KO) just to get ready for his already scheduled clash with WBA titlist Gennady Golovkin next February. The fight was a close affair, with Murray trying to box and Spada more focused on roughing him up, and the stoppage (due to a cut on Spada originated in the 3rd round, which led to the reading of the scorecards after the end of the seventh) appeared a bit hasty, but Murray was nevertheless able to salvage his title bout against Golovkin with a solid decision win by scorecards of 67-66, 68-63 and 69-67.

Randy Caballero UD 12 Stuart Hall, vacant IBF bantamweight title

It’s always nice to see a fighter win in a foreign land in a close fight. Caballero (22-0, 13 KO) fought brilliantly, moved around, used his jab nicely, and managed to keep the taller, rangier local fighter at bay while landing more constantly. He managed to drop Hall (16-4-2, 7 KO) in the second round, but the rest of the way was a very competitive, give-and-take battle in which Caballero’s footwork and mobility ended up being an advantage that Hall could not deal with. Caballero took the victory by scores of 116-111 (twice) and 118-110.

Hekkie Budler UD 12 Xiong Zhao Zhong, WBA strawweight title

Budler (27-1, 9 KO) has been known to be one of the most entertaining fighters in boxing’s lightest division, but somehow he just managed to plod through this one without impressing as usual. The WBA strawweight titlist from South Africa took the fight to former WBC titlist Zhong (24-6-1, 14 KO). Zhong, who remains China’s only world titlist to date,dropped Budler in round two, but Budler retaliated with a KD of his own in round three and cruised on to a solid but uninspiring victory with wildly divergent scores of 114-112, 118-108 and 114-112

Eleider Alvarez TKO 7 Ryno Liebenberg, light heavyweights

This fight would have made much more sense further down their careers, but for some reason their managing teams thought it would make for a great “early crossroads fight”. And it did. In the end, Alvarez (16-0, 9 KO) emerged victorious in more than one way, dominating and ultimately stopping South Africa’s Liebenberg (16-1, 11 KO), and depriving him of his unbeaten record in the process. Alvarez sent Liebenberg down round six with a demolishing uppercut, and the damage caused by Alvarez’s terrific straight hands to Liebenberg’s face caused the bout to be stopped halfway through the seventh round.

The winner goes on to: Aside from moving Alvarez’s career ahead, the fight gave the beleaguered 175 lb division a worthy and deserving challenger for a title other than the crappy WBC silver belt that Alvarez lifted in this win.

Hull, England, Oct. 25th

Tommy Coyle KO 2 Michael Katsidis, lightweights

A crossroads fight that sent a respected, usually durable veteran on a one-way trip to trial horse territory. Coyle (20-2, 9 KO) is an athletic and solid contender who needed a stern test, and he got it in former two-time titlist Katsidis (30-7, 24 KO), who gave him a fantastic challenge early on. The fight was shaping up to be an entertaining scrap, but midway through the second round, age caught up with Katsidis, a veteran of a handful of grueling bouts against some of the world’s top talent. A single left hook off the ropes on the top of the head was all it took for Katsidis to fall on his back with no reaction in his legs, and the bout was stopped with the Greek-Australian former champ looking completely out of it on his feet. Sad to see him go, indeed.

Gavin McDonnell UD 12 Vusi Malinga, junior featherweights

McDonnell (12-0-2, 4 KO) was an unbeaten young challenger trying to advance his career at the expense of a proven three-time world title challenger in Malinga (21-6-1, 12 KO), and he managed to dominate the left-handed South African fighter with a mix of skill and grit to earn scores of 116-111 (twice) and 115-112. McDonnell is moving fast, and a world title challenge in 2015 would not be out of the question for him, even in spite of his limited (but rapidly growing) experience.

Luke Campbell TKO 5 Daniel Brizuela, 12 rounds, lightweights

Campbell (9-0, 7 KO), a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, stopped Brizuela (26-4-2, 8 KO) in five rounds to pass a major test in his young career against a proven veteran. The Argentine trial horse delivered as promised, testing Campbell’s will in every exchange, and managing to occasionally rough him up to test his poise as well. In the end, the rangy left-handed local fighter prevailed after he sent Brizuela down briefly with a combination and pummeled him on the ropes to force a somewhat premature (but uncontested) stoppage.

Liverpool, England , Oct. 25th

Paul Butler UD 10 Ismael Garnica, junior bantamweights

Butler (17-0, 8 KO), a former bantamweight titlist now campaigning as a junior bantamweight, was surprised by the durability and grit of Garnica (13-5-1, 5 KO) in this one-sided (the one card was 100-91 for the winner) victory in which the mandatory 115 lb challenger for Zolani Tete’s title was incapable of scoring a stoppage. .

Kevin Satchell MD 12 Valery Yanchy, European flyweight title

Satchell (13-0, 2 KO) won the European title with a scrappy and close 12-round majority decision over defending champ Yanchy (23-4-2, 7 KO) of France by scores of 114-114, 117-112 and 116-112.

Chris Eubank Jr. TKO 2 Omar Siala, middleweights

Eubank Jr. (13-0, 11 KO), son of the homonymous former titlist of the early ‘90s, scored another pedestrian TKO over yet another overmatched trial horse in Siala (23-18-3, 10 KO) in what appeared to be a hasty stoppage. It all will be water under the bridge once Eubank Jr. climbs into the ring for the true first test of his career when he’ll face Billy Joe Saunders in an all-British grudge match on November 29.

Kissimmee, Fla., Oct. 24th

Ricardo Munguia UD 10 Edwin Rodriguez, junior bantamweights

Another classic Mexico-Puerto Rico showdown ended going for the Mexican fighter, when Rodriguez (10-2, 3 KO) scored a one-sided decision over previously unbeaten Rodriguez (7-1, 4 KO), who may have psyched out when his colorful nickname (“El Puto”, or “The Prostitute” in Puerto Rican slang, even though in the rest of the Spanish-speaking world the true meaning of it would be “The Fag”) was censored for more than obvious reasons by Telemundo, the TV network handling the broadcast. The equally colorfully-nicknamed Munguia (“El Meserito”, or “The Little Waiter”, in an even less explicable moniker) did more damage and score more often to secure scorecards of 97-93 and 99-91 (twice).

Barraquilla, Colombia, Oct. 24th

Darleys Perez KO 6 Jaider Parra, WBA interim lightweight title

Nice win for Perez (31-1, 20 KO), who was facing a strong and tall challenger in fellow Colombian Parra (23-2-1, 12 KO) in an intense challenge when a one-two combo out of nowhere put Parra down for the count in the sixth episode. It won’t be hard to insert Perez back into the crowded and entertaining 135 lb division after this win.

Moscow, Russia, Oct. 24th

Alexander Povetkin KO 10 Carlos Takam, heavyweights

Not a bad heavyweight scrap, at all. Povetkin (28-1, 20 KO) is a former WBA heavyweight titlist who held on to his top-ranking status for too long before uneventfully dropping his unbeaten status against Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, but this time he managed to fully redeem himself with a terrific stoppage over Takam (30-2-1, 23 KO) in a defining fight for both fighter’s future, and potentially in a huge bout for the future of the division as well. Takam got off to a solid start, but it was clear that Povetkin was in it to win it in the long run, taking the fight to his foe and wearing him down progressively to the point of dropping Takam in the ninth round. Sensing that the time was right to score a big win against a highly-regarded opponent, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist finished his foe with a terrific left hook that deposited Takam heavily on his back. Impressive win for a fighter who should have another title opportunity very soon.

Rakhim Chakhkiev KO 4 Giacobbe Fragomeni, vacant European cruiserweight title

Chakhkiev (20-1, 15 KO) scored a demolishing KO in four rounds over a usually durable veteran in Fragomeni (32-5-2, 12 KO). The 45 year-old Italian former cruiserweight titlist visited the canvas twice in the fight, and the second knockdown (courtesy of a demolishing right hook) proved to be too much for him as he stayed dejected on the canvas taking the full count. The left-handed Chakhkiev did look impressive enough to start thinking about a title challenge for him in 2015.

Manuel Charr TKO 5 Michael Grant, heavyweights

Charr (27-2, 16 KO) made the best of this fight between former heavyweight title challengers when he rebounded from his loss to Alexander Povetkin by defeating a definitely washed-up Michael Grant (48-6, 36 KO) in five rounds, after Grant (who had spent the bout almost exclusively trying to fend off Charr with his left hand held in front of him and throwing the occasional jab) decided he had had enough and failed to come out for the sixth to put an effective end to his career as a worthy challenger.

Eduard Troyanovsky KO 5 Jose Alfaro, lightweights

Troyanovsky (19-0, 16 KO) grabbed the spotlight of the night with a terrific KO over former world champion Alfaro (27-9-1, 23 KO) dropping him in the third round and proceeding to lay a severe beating until he was able to finally stop him towards the end of the fifth episode.

Arif Magomedov UD 10 Michael Zerafa, middleweights

It’s always great to watch as ‘someone’s 0 has to go”, and this was no exception. Magomedov (13-0, 8 KO) and Zerafa (15-1, 7 KO) put their young unbeaten records on the line early in their career, and the result was a hard fought clash that ended up in Magomedov’s hands.

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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.