Boxing: Morilla’s Sunday Report Card – Kovalev Crushes Pascal and Much More

Montreal, Canada, Saturday March 14th

Sergey Kovalev TKO 8 Jean Pascal, IBF/WBO/WBA light heavyweight title

Another “krushing” performance by one of the most exciting champions out there. Triple belt holder Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KO) was his usual impressive self in this thorough domination of one of the last roadblocks on his way towards complete domination of the 175 lb division. Pascal (29-3-1, 17 KO) was one of the division’s most talented and dangerous challenges, but it was clear since the very beginning of the fight that he was going to be outgunned, outsmarted and outboxed all night long, and that’s exactly what happened. With the exception of a few head-snapping right crosses that he managed to land (met with the exaggerated cheers of the locals), Pascal found himself on the receiving end of a barrage of solid and accurate punches from Kovalev, who almost sent Pascal through the ropes in the third round to force a standing eight count. The ending was a bit confusing, as Kovalev slipped to the canvas as he was moving in to finish a clearly wobbly Pascal in a corner. Kovalev quickly got up as Pascal retreated to a neutral corner visibly in trouble, and after two solid punches in a row, referee Luis Pabon decided to halt the bout barely a minute into the eighth round.

The winner goes on to: Only Al Haym… I mean, Adonis Stevenson remains as the lone opponent who can measure up to Kovalev in terms of talent and power. The Haitian-Canadian linear titlist, however, is managed by the all powerful CEO of PBC, the most powerful man in boxing right now, and it will take almost a miracle to have him risk “Superman” against the Russian wrecking machine. Let’s hope it happens someday.

Vyacheslav Glazkov UD 12 Steve Cunningham, heavyweights

Judging by the comments in social media, the jury is still out on this one. Glazkov (20-0-1, 12 KO) was given the decision, but it was debatable at best. Cunningham (28-7, 13 KO) appeared to be the aggressor during most of the bout, but he failed to hurt Glazkov with his limited power. The punchstats favored the American fighter by a wide margin in power punches, but the Ukranian fighter appeared to be able to do more damage with his own punches. No fighter was ever in danger of being stopped, and the fight itself lacked emotion and intensity. In the end, scores were 116-112 (twice) and 115-113 for Glazkov, in a fight that will probably not generate a lot of clamor for a rematch anytime soon.

The winner goes on to: With the win, Glazkov is now the mandatory challenger for his Ukrainian countryman Wladimir Klitschko, but he is going to need a few more exciting victories under his belt if he ever wants to get that title shot.

Isaac Chilemba UD 10 Vasily Lepikhin, light heavyweights

The “Golden Boy” is back. Malawi-born contender Chilemba (24-2-2, 10 KO) is a solid fighter with strong fundamentals who simply has a lot of trouble trying to produce exciting performances, and this was no exception. Facing an unbeaten, legitimate contender in Lepikhin (17-1, 9 KO), Chilemba had the opportunity to put his superior experience to work and produce an explosive bout, but even his foe’s lackluster performance didn’t help him in that modest task. The impression was that if Chilemba would have stepped on the gas pedal he could have scored a stoppage, but he seemed happy to cruise towards a 100-90, 99-91 (twice) points victory.


Dierry Jean KO 3 Carlos Reyes, lightweights

Jean (28-1 20 KO), a former title challenger, hit the comeback trail against a soft touch in Reyes (24-4-1 16 KO), wasting no time at all and using his speed and power to drop his Dominican opponent twice in the third round to force a stoppage.

Glendale, California, Saturday March 14th

Toka Kahn Clary UD 8 Edwin Solis, junior lightweights

Egor Mekhontsev TKO 1 Marcelo DaSilva, light heavyweights

Two promising talents stayed undefeated with completely different results in this card. Kahn Clary (15-0, 9 KO) stayed unbeaten with a gritty performance against an upset-minded Solis (6-3-3, 4 KO) in a more difficult test than what he was surely expecting, outpointing the Mexican trial horse by scores of 78-74 (twice) and 78-73 but getting a terrific chance to put his talent to the test against a willing opponent. On the other hand, Mekhontsev (8-0, 7 KO), a 2012 Olympic light heavyweight gold medalist, had a very short and disappointing (not his fault) night when Brazil’s DaSilva (18-5, 12 KO) hurt his hand with the very first punch he threw and was unable to continue.

Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday March 14th

Fernando Montiel UD 10 Rogelio Jun Doliguez, junior lightweights

Juan Carlos Sanchez UD 10 Luis Melendez, junior featherweights

Hernán “Tyson” Márquez TKO 3 Roberto Pollito López

A handful of former world champions had a chance to give their local fans a few uplifting victories in Mexico. Topping the bill, Montiel (54-4-2, 39 KO) scored a unanimous decision over Doliguez (19-3-2, 14 KO), scoring two knockdowns in the process but failing to pull the trigger as he dominated on his way to scorecards of 99-88 across the board. Earlier, former junior bantamweight titlist Sanchez (20-3-1, 9 KO) put Melendez’s loss column in double digits (41-10-1, 30 KO) by scoring a shutout of 99-91 and 100-90 twice. And before that, former flyweight champ “Tyson” Márquez (38-5-1, 27 KO) finally got his act on track with a demolition of López (31-27-1, 12 KO) in three rounds.

Yazmin Rivas UD 10 Celina Salazar, female bantamweights

The actual main event of the card, however, featured a dominant performance by female bantamweight titlist Rivas (32-8-0, 9 KO), who thus defended her trinket with a total domination over Salazar (6-2-2, 2 KO) over ten rounds, grabbing scorecards of 100-90 and 99-91 (twice) in the process.

New York, NY, Saturday March 14th

Patrick Hyland TKO 4 Manuel de los Reyes Herrera, featherweights

Will Rosinsky KO 1 Paul Gonsalves, light heavyweights

Saint Patrick’s Day is near, and that means beer, shamrock-themed decoration in pubs and bars, and boxing. This time, the Theater at Madison Square Garden hosted Ireland’s standout Hyland (30-1, 14 KO) as he scored a demolition of Herrera (21-15-1, 15 KO) in four rounds, punctuated by a definitive body punch. Hyland landed at will against a fighter who never seemed to get his act going, much to the delight of the partisan Irish crowd. Earlier, Rosinsky (18-2, 9 KO), a former standout amateur fighter trying to return to boxing after a long hiatus, stopped Gonsalves (7-6-1, 3 KO), dropping him four times to force a stoppage right as the bell was sounding to end the first episode of the fight.

Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, Saturday March 14th

John Vincent Moralde UD 10 Braydon Smith, featherweights

It could have been just another fight, and it could even have initially been labeled an upset as the local fighter found himself on the losing end of a decision in front of his countrymen. But all of that is overshadowed by the pain and the horror of seeing a young life being extinguished in the ring. Smith (12-1, 10 KO) was putting his unbeaten record on the line against another unbeaten fighter in Philippines’ Moralde (12-0, 6 KO), but after losing a decision by wide margins of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93, and after walking out of the ring by his own means and even posing for pictures with his foe, Smith collapsed in his dressing room and was take to a hospital in Brisbane, where he was put on life support until early Monday, when he was finally declared deceased. Smith was a law student and was close to finish his degree. He was 23 years of age. May he rest in peace.

Caguas, Puerto Rico, Saturday March 14th

Orlando Del Valle KO 8 Roberto Castaneda, junior featherweights

Angel Acosta KO 1 Armando Vazquez, junior flyweights

Two hot local Puerto Rican prospects continued on their winning streaks in solid fashion. In the main event, former standout amateur Del Valle (18-2, 13 KO) had to earn his victory the hard way against Castañeda (21-9-1, 15 KO), surviving a nasty clash of heads that severely affected his breathing. With no margin for error in his young career after two unexpected early setbacks, Del Valle dug deep and produced a definitive stoppage in the eighth round, punctuated by a murderous right hand. Earlier, Acosta (10-0, 10 KO) took his perfect record to double digits with a demolition of Vazquez (23-14-1, 6 KO) in less than three minutes.

Kempton Park, South Africa, Saturday March 14th

Thomas Oosthuizen SD 12 Ryno Liebenberg, light heavyweights

A terrific neighborhood rivalry between two talented local contenders. Oosthuizen (25-0-2, 14 KO) is a supremely talented fighter with a lot of promise, but he has been known for having trouble fulfilling the expectations placed in him. This time he took a step forward towards that goal with an emphatic but lackluster split decision against once-beaten Liebenberg (16-2, 11 KO), scoring enough punches to earn two scorecards of 117-111 that appeared to be too wide, while the third one was tabbed 115-113 for Liebenberg, who was never actually able to mount a serious offensive against a taller and more experienced foe who knew how to capitalize on his mistakes.

Charleville-Mézières, France, Saturday March 14th

Igor Mikhalkin KO 9 Hakim Chioui, European light heavyweight title

The southpaw Mikhalkin (16-1, 9 KO) was cruising towards a relatively easy victory when he managed to score a brutal ninth round stoppage over Chioui (30-4-1, 19 KO) in spite of a cut that impaired his vision. Chioui had already visited the canvas earlier in the fight, but as soon as Mikhalkin decided to step on the gas pedal, it was all over.

Copenhagen, Denmark, Saturday March 14th

Patrick Nielsen TKO 8 George Tahdooahnippah, super middleweights

Nielsen (24-1, 12 KO), an up-and-coming challenger making his debut at 168 lbs, dominated “Comanche Boy” Tahdooahnippah (34-2-2, 24 KO) for seven rounds and finally forced him to stay in his corner at the beginning of the eighth.

Manchester, England, Saturday March 14th

Enzo Maccarinelli KO 1 Gyorgy Novak, light heavyweights

Kilrain Kelly TKO 3 Nodar Robakidze, super welterweights

Maccarinelli (39-7, 31 KO), a former WBO cruiserweight champion, took only 48 seconds to destroy a very limited Novak (5-3, 3 KO) in his return to action since his title-losing effort against Jurgen Brahmer last year. Later, Kelly (14-0, 6 KO) stayed unbeaten with a third round stoppage over Robakidze (12-11-3, 4 KO) after almost knocking him out in the opening round, finishing his mission with two more knockdowns in the third stanza to secure the victory.

Lubin, Poland, Saturday March 14th

Mariusz Wach UD 10 Gbenga Oluokun, heavyweights

Wach (30-1, 16 KO), a former heavyweight title challenger, soundly defeated Oluokun (19-11, 12 KO) using his imposing physical frame to keep his Nigerian foe at bay and scoring at will to continue his comeback.

Naucalpan, México, Saturday March 14th

Naoko Fujioka SD 10 Mariana Juarez, female junior bantamweights

Julio Ceja UD 10 Oscar Blanquet, bantamweights

Marco Antonio Peribán UD 6 Octavio Castro, super middleweights

In a major upset, Fujioka (13-1, 6 KO) traveled to Mexico and defeated the extraordinarily popular “Barby” Juarez (40-8-3, 17 KO) with a dominating but split (according to the judges) decision by scores of 97-93, 98-93 for Fujioka and a home-cooked one of 96-94 for Juarez. Earlier, Ceja (29-1, 26 KO), holder of a minor bantamweight title, dominated a clearly outgunned Blanquet (32-10-1, 23 KOs) with a unanimous decision victory. And earlier on, super middleweight contender Periban (20-3-1, 13 KO) got back to the W column with a unanimous decision over Castro (16-15-2, 10 KO) after a two-year winless streak.

Ontario, California, Friday March 13th

Andre Berto KO 6 Josesito Lopez, welterweights

Berto (30-3, 23 KO), a former world champion, came into this fight looking for a dramatic victory to jumpstart his career and he got it in this total annihilation of a respected contender in Lopez (33-7, 19 KO). A notorious slow starter, Berto allowed Lopez to take command earlier on, but by the beginning of the fifth round he was already in control, landing with power and accuracy, and he sent Lopez down for the first time early in the sixth after landing a murderous right hand. Badly hurt and ready to go, Lopez got up and found himself on the receiving end of a series of combinations that left the referee no choice but to declare a stoppage. Huge win for Berto, who can now claim to have put his career back on track.

Chris Arreola UD 8 Curtis Harper, heavyweights

Arreola, (36-4, 31 KO), a former title challenger, showed up in less-than-ideal shape for this one, and almost paid the consequences as an inspired Harper (12-4, 8 KO) took him the distance and made him earn his victory by scorecards of 76-75, 77-74 and 78-73. Things didn’t always look bright for Harper, who seemed outgunned in the early going and visited the canvas. But he grew more confident as the rounds went by, and ended up causing all sorts of trouble for Arreola.

Shawn Porter KO 5 Erick Bone, welterweights

Porter (25-1-1, 16 KO), a former welterweight champion, took his time to try to show some improvements against a limited late substitute in Bone (16-2, 8 KO), picking his landing spots for his shots until he finally managed to get the stoppage. Bone was literally flown in only hours before fight time when Porter’s original opponent Roberto Garcia (36-3, 23 KO) pulled a Houdini at the very last minute. Bone was no match for an inspired Porter, who is trying to rebound from his only loss (in a title bout against England’s Kell Brook last year), and he simply survived until he could, barely keeping away from Porter’s murderous uppercuts. A right hand deposited Bone in the canvas, and the follow-up barrage of punches forced the stoppage towards the end of the fifth episode.

Fort McDowell, Arizona, Friday March 13th

Billy Wright KO 1 Gilberto Domingos, heavyweights

50-year-old active heavyweights are not common occurrences, but “Bronco Billy” Wright (47-4, 38 KO) is not your average 325 lb contender either. The Arizona-born Wright was defending his WBC Latino title (I see, NOW everything makes sense!) against the smaller Domingos (22-3, 20 KO) when he landed a series of body blows that sent his younger and skinnier (210 lbs) opponent down for the count when only 75 seconds had elapsed. Adding another layer of nonsense to the whole thing, Wright proceeded to declare that his intention is to break former heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs’s record of 35 first-round KOs, a feat for which Wright will still need six additional first-round stoppages. Let the games begin!

San Antonio, Texas, Thursday, March 12th

Francisco Vargas KO 8 Will Tomlinson, junior lightweights

Vargas (22-0-1, 16 KO) is one of Mexico’s most impressive young contenders, and a former 2008 Olympian to boot. His bout against Tomlinson (23-2-1, 13 KO) was supposed to be a major roadblock on his way to a title bout he’s been waiting for since he demolished former two-division titlist Juan Manuel Lopez back in 2014, but the Australian native was no match for an inspired Vargas in his first assignment as a headliner in HBO. One visit to the canvas at the beginning of the eight round was enough to force the stoppage.

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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.