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Morilla’s Sunday Report Card – Klitschko Defeats Jennings and Much More

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 ESPN.com, The Ring, Latino Boxing, MaxBoxing.com, Lo Mejor del Boxeo, PSN.com, HBO Sports and newspapers such as El Mundo, Primera Hora and El Vocero, among others.

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

New York, NY, April 25th

Wladimir Klitschko UD 12 Bryant Jennings, world heavyweight championship

Doctor Steel Hammer did it again, but it’s not getting any easier for him. Klitschko (64-3, 54 KO) was supposed to dominate Jennings (19-1, 10 KO) with more ease, but the relatively inexperienced American challenger gave the towering Ukranian champ more than one reason to worry, and connected at a greater rate than many of Klitschko’s previous opponents. Jennings has been fighting professionally only for five years, but he was fearless against a much bigger opponent who has been champion for more than double the time he has been a professional prizefighter. Klitschko started out with a few dominant rounds, but soon enough he found himself in the middle of an effective counterattack by an inspired Jennings, who seemed to be making the most out of his condition of local fighter at the famed Madison Square Garden. In the end, the fight was much closer than what anyone had anticipated, with Jennings landing a total of 94 power punches (the most ever landed against Klitschko according to CompuBox) to produce one of the most aggressive performances in a heavyweight challenge against either one of the Klitschko brothers in recent memory. The scorecards finally favored the champion by scores of 116-111 (twice) and 118-109, even after a one-point deduction for excessive holding for Klitschko. Another dominant win, without a doubt, but Jennings’ stock rose in defeat against a champion who, although not yet starting to fade, will need to polish his act a little bit more if he wants to continue holding the title.

Sadam Ali UD 10 Francisco Santana, welterweights

Ali (22-0, 13 KO) has already given notice of his terrific talent and his resilience, and this dominant win over an extremely difficult opponent in Santana (22-4-1, 10 KO) provided further notice of his potential as a challenger in a loaded division. Every round was won closely but decisively by Ali, who had to use every bit of his hand and leg speed to both connect at a higher rate than Santana and to move away from his powerful combinations. Even when Santana cut Ali off, the Brooklyn native was able to make the most out of those exchanges by countering the Mexican fighter effectively. In the end, two scorecards of 97-93 reflected Ali’s dominance accurately while a third one of 100-90 rewarded excessively in a fight that should put Ali on a road to bigger and better challenges.

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, April 25th

Felix Verdejo KO 5 Marco Antonio Lopez, lightweights

“The Diamond” shines again, and this time he has a belt to prove it. Verdejo (17-0, 13 KO) is now Puerto Rico’s biggest hope in their search for boxing’s next superstar, and he took another step towards greater recognition with another highlight-reel demolition to add to his already extraordinary collection. This time, the victim du jour was Mexico’s “Kua Kua” Lopez (22-6, 13 KO), who succumbed to Verdejo’s superb boxing skills first and then to his underrated punching power when he found himself on the receiving end of a mean-intentioned left hook that sent him to the canvas for the entire count. Another terrific win for Verdejo, who is nevertheless slated to make a dramatic jump in quality of opponents if he wants to make it to the next level.

Berlin, Germany, April 25th

Tyron Zeuge UD 12 Nikola Sjekloca, super welterweights

A terrific victory for the rapidly ascending Zeuge (17-0, 10 KO), who was taking on his most experienced foe to date in the highly-regarded Sjekloca (28-4, 8 KO). It wasn’t a demolition, but rather a methodical and controlled performance by the unbeaten Zeuge.

Karo Murat TKO 7 Benjamin Simon, light heavyweights

Murat (27-2-1, 16 KO), a former light heavyweight title challenger, returned to action and chose a very live opponent in Simon (25-2, 24 KO) to do so. The affair featured some isolated terrific action as Murat sought to control his foe with a superior work rate until he found his way to the stoppage victory.

Tijuana, México, April 25th

Jose Zepeda KO 1 Armando Robles, junior welterweights

Bang-up job for the unbeaten Zepeda (23-0, 20 KO) who needed only 44 seconds to land the perfect left hook that destroyed Robles (29-4-2, 15 KO) in what amounted to little more than a pre-ordained shellacking. Time to step up the level of competition or languish in the top 20-ish of a talent-rich division.

Mexico City, Mexico, April 25th

Roberto Ortiz UD 10 Jesus Rivera, super lightweights

Ortiz (32-1-1 24 KO) returned to action after being demolished by Lucas Matthysse with a single shot to the body in his previous outing, and scored a ten round unanimous decision over Rivera (27-12, 17 KO) by scores of 98-92 (twice) and 99-91.

Luis Sanchez SD 8 Adan Mares, lightweights

Minor (but not entirely unexpected) upset here. Mares (13-1-1, 3 KO), brother of the superbly talented multiple-division titlist Abner Mares, never had the power and barely had the skills to match the accomplishments of his brother, and this time his shortcomings were in full display as he dropped his unbeaten record at the hands of a modestly talented Sanchez (17-3-1, 5 KO) by split decision to send his career to rebuilding mode.

Mexico City, Mexico, April 25th

Dante Jardon KO 6 Jeffrey Arienza, lightweights

Jardon (26-5, 21 KO), once considered a promising challenger, continues being a dangerous foe to deal with, as Filipino contender Arienza (12-4, 7 KO) found out in this scheduled 12-rounder cut short by a terrific stoppage.

Miguel Roman UD 10 Edgar Puerta, lightweights

Roman (50-11, 37 KO) is the quintessential Mexican warrior, a guy who has fought anyone, anytime, anywhere for almost his entire career. This time he added another victory to his record with a dominant decision against Puerta (23-6, 19 KO) by scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 in an entertaining fight.
Detroit, April 24th

Badou Jack MD 12 Anthony Dirrell, WBC super middleweight title

“The Ripper” took the crown, and in solid fashion. Jack (19-1-1, 12 KO) resuscitated his once-promising career with a string of victories after his lone stoppage defeat and is now a bona fide titlist after his victory over Dirrell (27-1-1, 22 KO) in a terrific bout. Jack’s secret weapon was his superior punching rate, while Dirrell seemed to simply sleepwalk through the middle rounds and allow Jack to pile up points en route to a 114-114, 116-112 and 115-113 majority decision win. A late surge by Dirrell did little to improve his chances to outscore an inspired Jack, who took the home stretch to cement his claim to victory.

Daniel Jacobs TKO 12 Caleb Truax, WBA middleweight title

The “Miracle Man” does it again. Jacobs (29-1, 26 KO), a cancer survivor and formerly considered one of the most promising middleweights out there, was already in control of the bout when he staged a late surge that put Truax (25-2-2, 15 KO) in trouble in the last round, and after a standing eight-count he unleashed a barrage of punches that forced the stoppage with only 50 seconds to go in the round to retain his WBA “regular” middleweight championship.

Beijing, China, April 24th

Randy Petalcorin KO 1 Ma Yi Ming, WBA junior flyweight title

This is exactly what a demolition looks like. Petalcorin (23-1-1, 18 KO), of the Philippines, traveled to enemy territory to risk his belt for the first time against Ming (12-6, 7 KO) in a fight that ended up lasting less than a minute only to be followed by another minute of a soliloquy by the champion. Petalcorin landed an isolated cross that sent Ming to the canvas midway through the first round, and from then on it was a full-on destruction job. Two more trips to the floor later, the fight was stopped and the title was on his way back to the Philippines.

Osaka, Japón, April 23rd

Kazuto Ioka MD 12 Juan Carlos Reveco, WBA junior flyweight title

Fun fight, controversial ending. Ioka (17-1, 10 KO), one of Japan’s most talented young champions, earned his third title belt in an equal number of divisions with this close majority decision victory over Argentina’s Reveco (35-2, 19 KO) in what smelled too much like a pre-ordained home-cooked win. Ioka cemented his shaky claim to victory in his superior power and accuracy, while Reveco did the hardest job by taking the center of the ring and throwing dozens of punches from all angles to score at a lower percentage rate but also keeping Ioka under a barrage of blows during the entire bout. In the end, Ioka took the victory by scores of 116-113 and 115-113, while a third scorecard had it even at 114-114.

Katsunari Takayama TD 9 Fahlan Sakkreerin, IBF straw weight title

Another close call for the local fighter in this one as well. Takayama (29-7-1 NC, 11 KO) appeared to be doing just enough to escape with a decision that would have allowed him to keep his belt, and that’s exactly what happened as he was deemed the victor over Thailand’s Sakkreerin Jr. (27-4-1, 15 KO) after the bout was cut short due to an accidental clash of heads that produced severe cuts on the defending champion. The fight went to the scorecards and Takayama won the fight by scores of 80-71, 87-84 and 86-85.