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
Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 1st
Andrzej Fonfara UD 10 Doudou Ngumbu, light heavyweights
An icon in the strong local Polish community, Fonfara (26-3, 15 KO) is not nearly as popular as all-time favorite Andrew Golota, but he gets the job done when it comes to selling out venues in the Windy City area. In this fight, he managed to work his way past Ngumbu (33-6, 12 KO) with a strong performance against an opponent that refused to play the role of sacrificial lamb. Ngumbu didn’t show any respect to Fonfara, who had to put some serious punchstat numbers on the board to get the W on this one. In the end, Fonfara survived a late surge by Ngumbu to win by unanimous decision with scores of 98-92 and 97-93.
Tomoki Kameda SD 12 Alejandro Hernandez, WBO bantamweight title
Clearly, the most interesting fight of the entire weekend. Kameda (31-0, 19 KO) is a Japanese fighter who comes from a family that includes two other champions in his brothers Daiki and Koki, but unlike them, Tomoki has lived in Mexico for the past 6 years, looking to expand his learning opportunities and have access to more challenging fights in the talent-rich lower weight divisions south of the border. He is now fluent in Spanish, and his many local fans have nicknamed him “El Mexicanito” (The Little Mexican). Hernandez (28-11-2, 15 KO), a former title challenger of true Mexican origin, took offense on Kameda’s nickname and sought to demonstrate who was the truest Mexican in the ring. And Kameda ended up earning Hernandez’s respect with a terrific demonstration of boxing skills and Mexican-style cojones in a terrific performance. Kameda was the better boxer for most of the first half and beyond, but then Hernandez turned up the heat, and the strategy suited Kameda quite well. The last three rounds, with Kameda’s left eye almost closed, were classic, and we got a dose of pure Mexican boxing from both of them. In the end, Kameda was the most constant and consistent of the two, and he earned his win with two scorecards of 115-113 in his favor, while Hernandez managed to score the same numbers on the third card. A rematch would not be a bad idea one day.
Javier Fortuna KO 5 Abner Cotto, junior lightweights
This one was as bizarre as they come. Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry of the Caribbean (think more of Corleone-Tattaglia, or Bloods-Crips kind of rivalry here), so whenever there is a sporting event involving two athletes from these two nationalities, things tend to get a bit heated. And they did. Fortuna (26-0-1, 19 KO) had power, speed, and a terrific track record on his side (including an interim WBA featherweight world title, for what is worth). Cotto (18-3, 8 KO) had a solid set of skills to back him up in his defense of his illustrious family name (he is a cousin of 160 lb champion Miguel Cotto). Throw in two uber feisty corner men and an inept referee, and you got yourself a donnybrook of tragicomic proportions. Fortuna came out swinging, literally. He charged forward as if possessed by a demon, throwing punches from all angles and clearly befuddling his foe. The early KO failed to materialize, and then Cotto landed two clear rabbit punches on Fortuna, who went down in pain. The referee issued a clearly erroneous 8-count AND took a point from Cotto for the illegal punch (you know, the one that sent Fortuna down in the first place). Encouraged by the lack of proper oversight, Cotto started aiming below the belt in the following round, landing two demolishing volleys to Fortuna’s groin. After the second one, Cotto was deducted a point as his corner yelled “stand up, you coward!” to Fortuna as he was on his knees, in pain. Not to be undone, Fortuna took a wild swing AFTER the end of the fourth that would have severed Cotto’s head if it had landed. It didn’t, but that didn’t prevent Cotto from going down in a clownish move orchestrated live by his chief second. Fortuna lost a point for the imaginary punch, with the deduction taking place during the rest period (also illegal, but who’s counting at this point?) and came out determined to end the whole thing in the fifth. Fortunately for all of us who like our fights to be fought by the book, Fortuna achieved his goal with a demolishing straight left from his southpaw stance that sent Cotto face forward to the canvas. In this occasion, his chief second asked him to stand up instead, but Cotto failed to heed his advice on time and this charming little piece of mayhem was finally stopped. A nice win for “El Abejon” Fortuna, indeed, and a punishing defeat (both morally and competitively) for Cotto, who will need better advice from his corner from now on.
Caleb Truax TKO 8 Scott Sigmon, super middleweights
Truax (25-1-2, 15 KO) continued his recovery after his failed bid against former 160 lb champ Jermaine Taylor two years ago with a superb stoppage of a strong and determined Sigmon (24-6-1, 13 KO) in an entertaining fight.
Koki Kameda KO 4 Omar Salado, bantamweights
The southpaw Kameda (33-1, 18 KO) is the older brother of co-headliner Tomoki, and was given a spot in the undercard to expand the appeal of the entire card to Japanese TV. He managed to patiently outwork Mexico’s Salado (24-9-2, 15 KO) during an entertaining bout. Salado held his own in the early going, but he took a terrific body blow in the fourth round and went down heavily. Although he appeared somewhat recovered, the bout was nonetheless stopped with 40 seconds to go in the fourth round.
Lula, Mississippi, Nov. 1st
Shannon Briggs KO 1 Richard Carmack, heavyweights
Yes, the Shannon Briggs “One-Round-or-Less Barnstorming Tour 2014” is officially back on the road. Embarked on a bizarre, borderline delusional, and intentionally ridiculous campaign to challenge Wladimir Klitschko for the heavyweight title, Briggs (57-6-1, 50 KO) is now 6-0 in the comeback trail this year alone, with five of those victory being first-round stoppages against sub-pair opposition. Some of them were actually really, really bad. OK, let’s be honest: if we put these 6 fights in a single film reel and superimpose it on the screen while “Diggstown” is being shown, no one will tell the difference. Crappy middle-of-nowhere venues, tough-man level opponents, and other delicacies unbecoming of the last American ever to hold the undisputed heavyweight title are now everyday occurrences for Briggs, who in this case outdid himself by roaming the hallways of the casino on his way to the actual fight, in his trunks and boots, yelling “Let’s go, champ!” and “Entah-taaain!” in a move that would have gotten him fired from the WWF. And to top it all off, the fight against a heavy-set, soft-in-the-middle Carmack (12-6, 10 KO) only lasted until Briggs decided to land the first meaningful punch of the night (a hook to the liver that sent Carmack down to one knee for the full count). Six wins in six months? That’s entah-taaainment, indeed!! And little else, unfortunately.
Caguas, Puerto Rico, Nov. 1st
Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. MD 8 Jonathan Arellano, featherweights
Vazquez Jr. (24-4-1, 19 KO) was considered a worthy successor of his illustrious, three-division titlist father of the same name, but his career took a turn for the worse after a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of Jorge Arce three years ago. Now, he defeated Arellano (15-5-2, 3 KO) in a pedestrian win on the comeback trail that may not stretch too far if he fails to impress once again in his next outing.
Mexico City, Mexico, Nov 1st
Nery Saguilan UD 12 Shoki Sakai, lightweights
Rey Vargas TKO 8 Sylvester Lopez, super bantamweights
Nice action in this card. Saguilan (31-4-1, 11 KO) had very little problems taking care of Sakai (17-5, 11 KO) over twelve spirited rounds, grabbing a 116-112 points victory across the board. And previously, local unbeaten prospect Vargas (22-0, 19 KO) did an even better job than the first time in his rematch against Lopez (22-9-2, 16 KO) of the Philippines.
Mendoza, Argentina, Oct. 31st
Victor Ramirez KO 2 Deon Elam, cruiserweights
A dramatic and climatic win for a former world champion. Ramirez (21-2- 16 KO) took over the top of the bill when his countryman Juan Carlos Reveco had to cancel his flyweight title defense due to an injury. And he filled in quite nicely in this emotional bout against Elam (13-2, 7 KO), a former participant of The Contender TV series who had taken the fight on short notice. The American fighter used his height and reach advantage to take control early, and having an experienced trainer as Buddy McGirt in his corner didn’t hurt either. Soon enough, Elam silenced the stunned crowd when he dropped Ramirez heavily in the first round with a combination. Soon after, Ramirez went down again but managed to survive the second round on wobbly legs. Making some serious adjustments in the second round, Ramirez stormed out of his corner with a sense of urgency and went after Elam as if his career depended on it. Out of nowhere, a thunderous right hand found its way to Elam’s jaw and the visiting fighter dropped lifelessly on the canvas for a full count. Terrific comeback win for a fighter who never fails to entertain.
Crestmead, Australia, Oct. 31st
Malik Scott UD 10 Alex Leapai, heavyweights
Scott (37-2-1, 13 KO) scored a solid unanimous decision over former heavyweight title challenger Leapai (30-6-3, 24 KO) in what was expected to be a homecoming bout for the Samoa-born, Australia-based Leapai after his failed title bid against Wladimir Klitschko. Probably hoping to rally his countrymen behind him with a stoppage victory, Leapai focused on attempting to score a KO while the more diligent Scott worked on a more orthodox approach and piled up the points that earned him a deserved trio of scorecards of 99-91, 100-90, 98-92.
Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 30th
Kosei Tanaka KO 10 Ryuji Hara, mini flyweights
Tanaka (4-0, 2 KO), an undefeated, blue-chip 19-year-old prospect, scored this terrific stoppage over a respected contender in Hara (18-1, 10 KO), depriving him of his unbeaten record in the process and setting himself up to become one of Japan’s youngest titlists ever.