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
Quebec City, Canada, April 4
Adonis Stevenson UD 12 Sakio Bika, WBC light heavyweight title
He didn’t get the stoppage that he would have wanted to drum up his potential mega-bout against his archenemy, but “Superman” Stevenson (26-1, 21 KO) got the job done after 12 rounds, scoring a decisive win over a very capable “Scorpion” Bika (32-7-3, 21 KO) in what amounted to much more than the mere prelude to a potential Stevenson-Kovalev unification bout. Granted, Bika was clearly outgunned against an inspired KO artist like Stevenson, visiting the canvas twice en route to a 115-111, 116-110 and 115-110 decision victory by the Haitian-born Canadian resident, but the Cameroon-born Bika was always in the fight, honoring his commitment to fight to the finish and give the linear champ a run for his money. In all, a great showing for both fighters.
The winner goes on to: Stevenson got the win and a valuable workout ahead of what looms as the biggest fight at 175 lbs in many years – if it can ever be made. Let’s hope it does happen soon.
Artur Beterbiev KO 4 Gabriel Campillo, IBF light heavyweight eliminator
It would appear that the sky is the limit right now for Beterbiev (8-0, 8 KO), a Russian-born, Montreal-based KO artist on a search-and-destroy mission in a suddenly very interesting light heavyweight division. Campillo (25-7-1 12 KO) was a former title challenger who was thought to be a terrific test for a fighter with only 7 pro bouts coming into this challenge, but he was annihilated mercilessly with a demolishing one-punch knockout towards the end of the fourth round, courtesy of a two-punch combo. A terrific win for one of the fastest-rising and most exciting prospects out there, in any division.
The winner goes on to: The main event was intended to drum up a potential mega-fight between Stevenson and Kovalev, but look for Beterbiev to be the first in line for the potential winner of that fight before even reaching double digits in his personal record.
Julian Williams UD 10 Joey Hernandez, junior middleweights
“J Rock” continues his impressive unbeaten march. Williams (19-0-1 11 KO) is the most talked-about young American prospect not named Terence Crawford, and he continued his march on championship territory with a landslide unanimous decision victory of 100-89 across the board against a tricky southpaw in Hernandez (24-3-1, 14 KO), who visited the canvas once during the proceedings.
The winner goes on to: Hopefully, Williams’ next fight will be against a top contender in the division, and a title shot sometime in 2016 could be very possible.
Las Vegas, Nev., April 4
Gabriel Rosado D 7 Curtis Stevens, middleweights
Rosado (23-8, 13 KO) was his usual gritty self, but it wasn’t enough. The defending BKB titlist (with a record of 1-0-1, 1 KO in this new league of sorts) just didn’t have enough gas to defeat the always dangerous Stevens (27-5, 20 KO), who managed to drop Rosado in the fifth episode and land the more telling punches to earn a 69-63 scorecard in his favor. The two other tallies were tied at 66-66 for a somewhat disappointing draw for both of them. No ropes, no ring, no winner! Maybe a rematch will be in order for this one.
Jesus Soto Karass UD 5 Ed Paredes, junior middleweights
Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18 KO) scored a decision win with scorecards of 49-46 across the board over Paredes (35-5-1, 23 KO) in an entertaining bout.
Metepec, Mexico, April 4th
Carlos Cuadras UD 12 Luis Concepcion, WBC junior bantamweight title
A terrific little bout. Cuadras (32-0-1, 25 KO) kept his unbeaten streak alive along with his portion of the crown with a spirited unanimous decision win over the always entertaining “Nica” Concepcion (32-4, 23 KO) in a superb counterpunching performance for the Mexican titlist. The Panamanian challenger pursued Cuadras all over the ring during the entire bout, but the champ managed to keep him at bay and score often enough to secure a 118-110 and 117-111 (twice) decision in his favor.
Newcastle, England, April 4th
Anthony Joshua KO 3 Jason Gavern, heavyweights
Joshua (11-0, 11 KO) kept his perfect record alive with a pedestrian and utterly predictable win over a former sparring partner in Gavern (26-20-4, 11 KO), dropping his hopeless foe four times in less than seven minutes. The former Olympic gold medalist is on his way to a clash against former contender Kevin Johnson in the near future, and this bout was never meant to be more than a warm-up for Joshua, who is coming off a minor injury.
Tokyo, Japan, April 4th
Yu Kimura TKO 8 Hayato Yamaguchi, junior flyweights
Kimura (15-2-1, 2 KO) was supposed to fight Shin Ono in a rematch of their superb 2014 clash, but an injury sidelined Ono until further notice, and he was replaced with Yamaguchi (12-5-1, 2 KO), a former title challenger who did his best while he could. And it wasn’t enough, but he did put on a terrific challenge, trailing by only three points in the scorecards by the time the fight ended prematurely. In the end, Kimura kept his Japanese title with a stoppage in the 8th round.
Corona, Calif., April 3rd
Petr Petrov UD 10 Gamaliel Diaz, lightweights
Petrov (35-4-2, 17 KO), a tough Russian fighter who has been fighting out of Spain for a while, scored a knockdown and pretty much had his way with a tough former title challenger in Diaz (38-12-3, 17 KO) to score a 98-89 and 97-90 (twice) decision. The Mexican challenger landed two low blows in the process, one of which was penalized, and just went through the motions in a fight that Petrov dominated easily to put his American streak at 5-0 since his failed challenge of Marcos Maidana in Argentina back in 2011.
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