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
Indio, California, March 20th
Alfonso Gomez UD 10 Yoshihiro Kamegai, junior middleweights
It was a terrific matchup on paper, and it ended up being one in real life as well. Gomez (25-6-2, 12 KO) was known as a talented boxer-brawler who somehow failed to succeed in the top level, but he dug deep in his arsenal to clinch a terrific win over a true warrior in Kamegai (25-3-1, 22 KO) in a fight that started out as a boxing chess match and ended up in full toe-to-toe mode. As soon as Gomez felt he had a comfortable cushion in the points he accumulated in the first four rounds, he started checking Kamegai’s chin, and the Japanese contender answered strongly. The seventh and eighth rounds were pure war, but Gomez increased the pressure and stayed out of harm’s way enough to cement a solid win. In the end, not even a point deduction in the fourth round to Gomez for headbutting was enough to deny him a 98-91 points win across the board.
Ronny Rios UD 10 Sergio Frias, featherweights
A great matchup to precede a great main event. Rios (24-1 (10 KO) redeemed himself of his loss against Robinson Castellanos last year with a gritty performance in a win over a tougher-than-expected Frias (16-5-2, 8 KO), in a fight that grew in intensity as the rounds progressed and featured some spirited exchanges throughout the bout. In the end, Frias tried to stage a late onslaught but Rios held his ground and earned his victory (99-91 twice and 98-92) the hard way.
Jamie Kavanagh KO 5 Miguel Zamudio, lightweights
A dramatic, come-from-behind win for Kavanagh (18-1-1, 9 KO), as he had to claw his way back into the fight after being sent down in the second round to score a stoppage of his own three episodes later against an upset-minded Zamudio (29-7-1, 17 KO). Kavanagh felt more humiliated than hurt after his early knockdown, and laid a severe beating on Zamudio, who nevertheless kept coming forward until the ringside doctor advised the referee to stop the carnage.
Mexico City, Mexico, March 20th
Alejandro Hernandez UD 10 Martin Casillas, bantamweights
Finally, luck was on the side of Hernandez (29-11-2, 15 KO), a talented former WBO titlist who has had a career marked by a string of disappointing losses. This time, he was able to return to his winning ways in front of his countrymen with a hard-fought victory over Casillas (15-5, 8 KO), who came into the fight determined to put Hernandez to the test at the highest possible level. Hernandez passed brilliantly with scores of 97-93 (twice) and 98-92 and lives to fight another day.
Vicente Sandez TKO 4 Thanasis Michaloudis, heavyweights
Nice little scrap in the heavyweight division, something unusual in these parts of the world. Local hero “Bufalo” Sandez (13-4, 8 KO) had to dig deep to ruin the unbeaten record of Michaloudis (8-1, 7 KO) with a fourth round stoppage after weathering an early storm. Sandez stood his ground and finally finished Michaloudis barely a minute into the fourth round.
Flemington, Victoria, Australia, March 20th
Michael Katsidis UD 6 Rodynie Rafol, junior welterweights
Fighting through the heartbreak of the death of Braydon Smith (the son of his old handler, who collapsed in his dressing room and later died after a fight last week), former world champion Katsidis (31-7, 24 KO) had a confidence-building hometown win against Rafol (12-7-2, 5 KO) with scores of 58-56 (twice) and 59-55, and now plans to stage a comeback with the intention of making one more run for a world title in a talent-rich division.
Rostock, Germany, March 21st
Juergen Braehmer TKO 10 Robin Krasniqi, WBA “regular” light heavyweight title
Nice scrap while it lasted. Krasniqi (43-4, 16 KO) was aiming to become the first native of war-torn Kosovo to win a world title, but Braehmer (46-2, 34 KO) showed that he is still going strong and has more than enough to stand up to the onslaught of younger challengers of his WBA “regular” light heavyweight world crown. Braehmer controlled the action from his southpaw stance during the early going, rocking Krasniqi in a few occasions. When Krasniqi made an attempt to make his move in the ninth round, Braehmer barely withstood the attack until a counter left hand opened a nasty gash in Krasniqi’s upper lip at the beginning of what ended up being the fight’s deciding moment. A combination sent Krasniqi reeling back towards the ropes, and referee Tony Weeks administered a standing eight-count on the presumption that only the ropes stopped Krasniqi from landing on his back. The ringside physician then advised the referee to stop the bout based on the severity of the cut during the rest period, and the fight was stopped at the beginning of the tenth round.
Vincent Feigenbutz KO 9 Balazs Kelemen, super middleweights
Feigenbutz (19-1, 18 KO) had to endure a tough challenge from previously unbeaten Kelemen (22-1, 13 KO) and then turned the tables on him with a demolishing combination in the ninth round to clinch a come-from-behind victory in front of his countrymen.
Denis Boytsov TKO 2 Irineu Beato Costa Junior, heavyweights
Boytsov (36-1, 27 KO), once considered a blue-chip prospect, is on a slow comeback after losing to Alex Leapai last year, and this time he was hoping for a serious workout against a proven trialhorse. But all that went sideways when Costa Junior (16-5, 14 KO) claimed he had suffered an injury in his right hand and quit on his stool after only two rounds of action.
Tallinn, Estonia, March 21st
Robert Helenius KO 1 Andras Csomor, heavyweights
Helenius (20-0, 12 KO) wanders back and forth from action, plagued by promotional disputes and other vicissitudes. But fortunately, this time he was able to put all that aside to take quick care of Csomor (11-5-1, 9 KOs), tearing through his opponent with demolishing punches in barely a minute to keep his winning streak alive – and with that, his chances of ever scoring his long-awaited title shot. If he can solve his problems and take proper care of his injuries, he may still have a chance.
Tapachula, Mexico, March 21st
Emanuel Lopez TKO 9 Carlos Padilla, vacant WBA interim junior lightweight title
Lopez (18-4-1, 7 KO) would hardly qualify as a headliner anywhere in the world, but the abundance of title belts has made it possible for every fringe contender to claim a portion of a title of some sort, and Lopez did just that with a punishing demolition of Padilla (15-2-1, 9 KO). It was a fair fight until the fourth round, but then Lopez became the aggressor, and he never looked back. Two knockdowns in rounds seven and nine cemented his well deserved victory.