Bantamweight World Championship Fights & Title Claims

Full bantamweight fight details from 1877 to September 2016 (plus mini fly, junior fly, fly and junior bantam) are available in this definitive companion book:

  • For United States click HERE

  • For United Kingdom click HERE

  • For Germany click HERE

  • For Japan click HERE

Full Fight Details from 2000 Onwards

 

20 October 2018. Emmanuel Rodriguez w pts 12 Jason Moloney.

Venue: CFE Arena, Orlando, Florida, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Leszek Jankowiak.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 113-115.  

13 October 2018. Zolani Tete w pts 12 Mikhail Aloyan.

Venue: Exhibition Centre, Ekaterinburg, Russia. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Kenny Chevalier.

Scorecards: 114-111, 114-111, 114-110. 

5 May 2018. Emmanuel Rodriguez w pts 12 Paul Butler.

Venue: O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, England. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Robert Williams.

Scorecards: 118-108, 120-106, 120-106.

21 April 2018. Zolani Tete w pts 12 Omar Narvaez.

Venue: SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Steve Gray.

Scorecards: 120-108, 120-108, 120-108.

31 March 2018. Ryan Burnett w pts 12 Yonfrez Parejo.

Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Terry O’Connor.

Scorecards: 120-108, 120-108, 116-112.

On 25 May, Naoya Inoue became the new WBA ‘second tier’ champion when stopping Jamie McDonnell in the opening round of their contest at the Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. In another defence, Inoue knocked out Juan Carlos Payano in the opening session at The Arena, Yokohama, Japan on 7 October.

18 November 2017. Zolani Tete w co 1 Siboniso Gonya.

Venue: SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Phil Edwards.

21 October 2017. Ryan Burnett w pts 12 Zhanat Zhakiyanov.

Venue: SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Recognition: IBF/WBA. Referee: Howard Foster.

Scorecards: 118-110, 116-112, 119-109.

 

Defending his WBA ‘second tier’ title in a return match against Liborio Solis at The Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco on 4 November, Jamie McDonnell was so badly cut on the left eye that the contest was stopped after 2.45 of the third round had elapsed. As four rounds had not been completed it was classified as a technical draw. 

Burnett relinquished the IBF title on 12 February in order to defend the WBA crown and not be held be held up by a mandatory IBF defence.

Reymart Gaballo won the WBA ‘interim’ title when he outpointed Stephon Young over 12 rounds at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, Florida, USA on 23 March 2018.

15 August 2017. Luis Nery w rsc 4 Shinsuke Yamanaka.

Venue: Shimazu Arena, Kyoto, Japan. Recognition: WBC/The Ring. Referee: Michael Griffin.

The Ring returned their belt to Yamanaka on 26 September when it was established that Nery had taken Zilpaterol, an illegal substance, prior to winning the title.

On 1 March 2018, at the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium, Nery (121) forfeited the WBC title when coming in over the weight for a defence against Yamanaka. Although the fight went ahead, Yamanaka (117½) failed to take advantage and was on the wrong end of the 12-round points decision. Yamanaka forfeited The Ring’s recognition on the result.

10 June 2017. Ryan Burnett w pts 12 Lee Haskins.

Venue: Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Marcus McDonnell.

Scorecards: 119-107, 119-107, 118-108.

2 March 2017. Shinsuke Yamanaka w rsc 7 Carlos Carlson.

Venue: Ryogoku Sumo Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC/The Ring. Referee: Ian John Lewis.

10 February 2017. Zhanat Zhakiyanov w pts 12 Rau’shee Warren.

Venue: Huntington Centre, Toledo, Ohio, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Gary Rosato.

Scorecards: 115-111, 116-110, 111-115.

16 September 2016. Shinsuke Yamanaka w rsc 7 Anselmo Moreno.

Venue: EDION Arena, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBC/The Ring. Referee: Daniel Van de Wiele.

Fight Summary: After being belted heavily in the opening session in a battle of southpaws the WBC champion came back with a cracking left to the jaw that deposited Moreno (117¾) on the deck. Taking time to find his feet, but when he did it was Takayama (118) who visited the floor next in the fourth after walking on to a solid right hook. Although not having a good fifth Takayama was up and running in the sixth, and even though he was being outboxed a crashing left to the chin sent Moreno down. Never really recovering from that, Moreno was dropped heavily in the seventh when a left found its mark and, although he made it up, when another shot put him down again the referee called it off at 1.09 of the session. This contest also carried The Ring Championship Belt.

10 September 2016. Lee Haskins w pts 12 Stuart Hall.
Venue:
O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, England. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Michael Alexander. 
Scorecards: 115-113, 117-111, 116-112. 
Fight Summary: This was a tough night for the southpaw champion as Hall (116½), a former title holder, pushed him all the way. At the final bell it was only his good work earlier on that allowed Haskins (117) to retain his crown, Hall beginning his run for home a little late, something he admitted after the fight. However, it was too close for comfort, especially as Hall picked up four of the final six rounds when his aggression came to the fore.

 

27 July 2016. Marlon Tapales w rsc 11 Phuengluang Sor Singyu.

Venue: City Park Arena, Ayutthaya, Thailand. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Ramon Pena.

Fight Summary: Right from the start it could be seen that Tapales (117¾) had the speed on the champion as he landed fast combinations. However, the third saw Sor Singyu (117¾) beginning to bang in solid rights to head and body, and in the fifth he had Tapales down twice from blows to the midsection. Way behind at this point, Tapales then put Sor Singyu down with a right hand to the head in the sixth. Although Sor Singyu came back strongly, from the eight through to the 11th he had virtually stopped throwing punches, and in the 11th he was downed by two southpaw left hooks to the body followed by a heavy straight left. When it was clear that Sor Singyu was through for the night the referee stopped the count and awarded the fight to Tapales. At the finish Sor Singyu was ahead on two of the judges' cards.

 

Tapales lost his title on the scales the day before making a defence against Shohei Omori at the EDION Arena, Osaka, Japan on 23 April 2017. The fight went ahead, but Omori was stopped in the 11th. A day earlier, Zolani Tete had outpointed Arthur Villanueva over 12 rounds at The Arena, Leicester, England for the vacant ‘interim’ title, and on 26 April he replaced Tapales as the WBO champion.

18 June 2016. Rau'shee Warren w pts 12 Juan Carlos Payano.

Venue: UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Celestino Ruiz.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 114-114.

Fight Summary: Following on from their first meeting, Warren (117) got his hands on the title this time around when outscoring the champion by a majority. In a clash of southpaws, it was Warren who pipped Payano (117¼) at the post, the better quality coming from him. There were no knockdowns, but both men took heavy shots in their stride at times. Coming into the 11th it looked as though Payano had done enough, but after Warren struck in that session with two terrific right hooks to head and body that took everything out of the Dominican he was on his way to becoming the first member of the 2012 American Olympic team to win a pro title.

 

Jamie McDonnell successfully defended his WBA ‘second tier’ title when outpointing Liborio Solis over 12 rounds at the Room of Stars, Monaco on 12 November 2016.

14 May 2016. Lee Haskins w pts 12 Ivan Morales.

Venue: Ice Arena, Cardiff, Wales. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Phil Edwards:

Scorecards: 118-110, 118-118, 119-108.

Fight Summary: Risking the title that was handed to him when Randy Caballero forfeited, a battle of southpaws saw Haskins (117¼) outclass Morales (117), his blinding speed and movement being too much for the brother of Erik and Diego to deal with. For round after round Haskins outboxed his Mexican rival, who was unable to deal with such a fast-moving target. Despite leaving himself open at times Haskins never faltered, and it was only in the final session that Morales came close to winning a round as the Englishman sat back on his work.

4 March 2016. Shinsuke Yamanaka w pts 12 Liborio Solis.

Venue: Shimazu Arena, Kyoto, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Ian John-Lewis.

Scorecards: 117-107, 117-107, 117-107.

Fight Summary: Having suffered a disputed knockdown in the second round, Solis (117½) made up for that when dropping the southpaw champion twice in the third from rights to the head. With Yamanaka (117¾) far too upright at that stage of the fight it seemed that Solis could not miss with the right hand. However, from thereon in Yamanaka won every round as he found his rhythm and got the jab going, and in the ninth he had Solis over again with a straight left to the jaw. Despite being ahead at that stage of the fight, Yamanaka was happy to swap punches with Solis right through to the final bell.

12 February 2016. Phuengluang Sor Singyu w tdec 7 Jetro Pabustan.

Venue: Soongnern School, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

Scorecards: 70-63, 70-63, 70-63.

Fight Summary: Retaining his title by a technical decision, Sor Singyu (118) proved to be a cut above the wild, swinging Pabustan (118), who lost every round on the cards. Right at the start it could be seen where the fight was going as the southpaw challenger continually slammed into Sor Singyu, and invariably there were many head clashes, one of which caused a bad cut on the Filipino's left eye in the third after an accidental head butt. Sor Singyu, whose real name was Panya Uthok, was much the stronger of the pairing and when Pabustan's eye injury worsened the referee called for the cards at the end of the seventh on the doctor's advice.

22 September 2015. Shinsuke Yamanaka w pts 12 Anselmo Moreno.

Venue: Ota-City Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Michael Griffin.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 113-115.

Fight Summary: In a very close fight between southpaws, Yamanaka (118) just about kept his title when scraping home against the former WBA champion, Moreno (117), by a split decision. At the end of the eighth there was nothing much between them, both men appearing to cancel each other out, but having hurt Yamanaka badly in the ninth with a solid right hook countering blow to the head the odds began favouring Moreno. However, Yamanaka came back hard in the tenth to batter Moreno around the ring, and his initiative took him right through to the final bell where two of the judges had him winning by just one round.

7 August 2015. Phuengluang Sor Singyu w rsc 2 Ryo Akaho.

Venue: The Gym, Ratchaburi, Thailand. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Fight Summary: Contested for the title vacated by Tomoki Kameda, it was Sor Singyu (118) who took advantage of the situation when stopping Akaho (118) at 1.08 of the second round after the latter had been dropped by a big left to the head. Prior to that both men had gone reasonably well, with Sor Singyu banging out solid single blows and Akaho getting off left hooks up and down. Three times in the opening session Akaho complained about being hit on the back of the head, the final punch of the contest also appearing to be in that category.

2 August 2015. Juan Carlos Payano w pts 12 Rau'shee Warren.
Venue:
 Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Frank Santore Jnr. 
Scorecards: 113-111, 113-111, 109-115.
Fight Summary: Putting his newly won title on the line against a fellow southpaw, Payano (117½) had a tough time against Warren (117) before eking out a narrow split-decision win. In a difficult fight to score, the judges being unable to agree on seven of the rounds, there were three points deductions, one for Payano in the third and two for Warren in the ninth. Payano made the better start, but it was messy as both men kept coming together. Having hurt Warren in the sixth, Payano was cut over right eye in the same session, and under pressure from the fired-up challenger in the last two sessions the latter was put down in the 12th by a right hook to the head before fighting back hard.

On 6 September, Jamie McDonnell outscored Tomoki Kameda over 12 rounds at the Bank Centre, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA to retain his WBA 'second tier' title.

Yonfrez Parejo lost his WBA 'interim' title on 7 November when he was narrowly outpointed over 12 rounds by Zhanat Zhakiyanov at the Sporting Club, Monte Carlo, Monaco.

McDonnell made another successful defence of his WBA 'second tier' title when stopping Fernando Vargas inside nine rounds at the O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, England on 9 April 2016.

 

16 April 2015. Shinsuke Yamanaka w co 7 Diego Ricardo Santillan.
Venue:
Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Michael Griffin.
Fight Summary: Defending his title for the ninth time, Yamanaka (117¾) found the smaller Santillan (117½) an easy target for his southpaw right jab and follow-up punches. Having won the opening five rounds with something to spare, Santillan carrying cuts and bruises around both eyes, Yamanaka opened up in the sixth to drop the Argentine with a right-left to the head after opening him up with a series of jabs. In the seventh things became even more difficult for Santillan, a right uppercut followed by a left hook sending him to the floor where he was counted out in a sitting position after 36 seconds of the session.
 

1 November 2014. Tomoki Kameda w pts 12 Alejandro Hernandez.

Venue: UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Genaro Hernandez.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 113-115.

Fight Summary: With the challenger fighting in defensive mode for the opening eight rounds, Kameda (117½) should have made more of it other than scoring with the odd punch here and there. However, the fight warmed up considerably in the ninth as Hernandez (118) started to come on the attack, Kameda suffering a bad cut on his left eye after being hurt by a left hook to the head. From thereon in it was nearly all Hernandez, especially in the final session when hurting Kameda with head and body blows, the latter finishing with his left eye almost closed. Unfortunately for Hernandez, who ceased to be recognised as the WBO 'interim' champion following the fight, his late surge was not enough.

 

Kameda handed back the WBO Championship Belt on 22 April 2015 in order to meet Jamie McDonnell for the WBA 'second tier' title.

25 October 2014. Randy Caballero w pts 12 Stuart Hall.

Venue:  The Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Allan Huggins.

Scorecards: 116-111, 116-111, 118-110.

Fight Summary: Contested for the title vacated by Paul Butler, Caballero (118) proved too good for Hall (117) despite the latter performing at his best after getting up from a left-right to the head in the second round. There were plenty of low punches thrown, mainly by the American, and because of that Hall avoided a points deduction in the fifth after dropping Caballero with a punch that went below the belt. Always in the fight, Hall was rightly upset that the scorecards showed him as being well outscored when most good judges of boxing thought it was much closer.

 

Lee Haskins won the vacant IBF 'interim' title when stopping Ryosuki Iwasa inside six rounds at the Whitchurch Sports Centre, Bristol, England on 13 June 2015.

 

Due to meet Caballero for the IBF title on 21 November 2015, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Haskins was proclaimed champion a day earlier after the American came in almost six pounds over the weight.

22 October 2014. Shinsuke Yamanaka w pts 12 Suriyan Sor Rungvisai.

Venue: Yoyogi National No 2 Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Lawrence Cole.

Scorecards: 115-109, 116-108, 114-110.

Fight Summary: It was Sor Rungvisai (117¼) who started the better, winning the opening two rounds despite the southpaw champion landing the heaviest couple of blows. Sor Rungvisai still had his nose in front when coming into the seventh, but that was before a short left hook to the chin put him on the floor. Although Sor Rungvisai almost had Yamanaka (118) over from a solid countering right hand in the eighth, he was dropped for the second time not long afterwards by a straight left to the jaw following a four-punch combination. It went from bad to worse in the ninth for the Thai when he was deducted a point for wrestling tactics and then floored by a left uppercut to the jaw. Still coming forward right up to the final bell, Sor Rungvisai versus Yamanaka proved to be a good match-up.

26 September 2014. Juan Carlos Payano w tdec 6 Anselmo Moreno.

Venue: The Arena, Mesquite, Texas, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 59-55, 58-56, 58-56.

Fight Summary: Defending his title for the 13th time, it proved to be an unlucky 13 for Moreno (117½) in this battle of southpaws. On top right from the opening bell, Payano (117½) ruined Moreno's plans, giving him no room in which to work, pressing him at all times, and clinching when he had to. Despite an unintentional head butt causing a bad cut over Payano's right eye in the second it did not stop the latter from winning the opening five rounds. However, when the wound did not respond to treatment the ringside doctor advised the referee to go to the cards at the end of the sixth, which brought about a technical decision in favour of Payano.

 

Jamie McDonnell retained his WBA 'second tier' title when stopping Javier Nicolas Chacon inside ten rounds at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, England on 22 November. McDonnell made another successful defence when outpointing Tomoki Kameda over 12 rounds at the State Farm Arena, Hidalgo, Texas, USA on 9 May 2015.

12 July 2014. Tomoki Kameda w rsc 7 Phuengluang Sor Singyu.

Venue: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Russell Mora.

Fight Summary: Fighting in an American ring following a suspension in Japan, despite showing exceptional hand-speed the champion had to come from behind to beat the tough Sor Singyu (117), a former title holder. Always coming forward, Sor Singyu got off some powerful body shots in the third, and in the fourth he almost had Kameda (118) over from a heavy right to the head. Getting back to basics in the fifth, Kameda began to score with showy combinations even though Sor Sinyu was still catching him to the body, and in the seventh he turned the fight on its head. Working away up close, when heads came together and Sor Singyu was badly cut on the left eye the inspired Kameda quickly followed up with two terrific left hooks, one to the jaw the other to the liver, that sent the Thai to the canvas. Although the referee began his count he called it off to stop the fight on the 1.35 mark when he realised that Sor Singyu required assistance.

7 June 2014. Paul Butler w pts 12 Stuart Hall.

Venue: Metro Radio Centre, Newcastle, England. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Phil Edwards.

Scorecards: 115-113, 117-111, 113-115.

Fight Summary: Boxing well for the opening four rounds the challenger made it clear to Hall (118) that he was in for a tough night, and although the latter came back strongly from the fifth onwards he was never able to take control. Cut over the left eye in the fifth did not aid Hall's cause, but it did not stop his forward march. Coming into the final session, and needing a good round to make sure of winning the title, Butler (117¾) secured the victory when outboxing and outfighting Hall over the final three minutes.

 

Butler relinquished the IBF title just under four weeks later, on 2 July, in order to move back down a weight.

23 April 2014. Shinsuke Yamanaka w rsc 9 Stephane Jamoye.

Venue: Castle Hall, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu.

Fight Summary: Starting strongly, the hard-hitting southpaw champion had Jamoye (117¼) down from a heavy long left to the head in the second before going on to notch up the points with right-lefts. Jamoye was game enough, always stalking Yamanaka (118) whilst looking to get to close quarters, but it was the latter who was controlling the contest. Surprisingly, in the sixth, Yamanaka had a point taken away for an illegal extension of his right arm, before battering the tiring Jamoye almost at will in the seventh. It was clear that the contest would not last much longer after Yamanaka had Jamoye over twice in the eighth from cracking left-hand body shots, and after the latter was dropped in the ninth for the fourth time following another left to the body the referee stopped the contest 11 seconds into the session.

29 March 2014. Stuart Hall tdraw 2 Martin Ward.

Venue: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, England. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Marcus McDonnell.

Fight Summary: The fight had hardly got underway when a clash of heads led to the southpaw challenger sustaining a badly cut right eye. Although the referee gave Ward (116¼) every chance to continue by allowing his corner the opportunity to repair the damage during the interval, after 35 seconds of the second the contest was stopped when it was apparent that the cut was far too bad for him to continue. Prior to the ending, announced as a technical draw, with Hall (117) and Ward putting together some decent shots it looked as though the fans were in for a good night's action.

22 March 2014. Anselmo Moreno w pts 12 Javier Nicolas Chacon.

Venue: Roberto Duran Arena, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Russell Mora.

Scorecards: 117-108, 117-109, 118-108.

Fight Summary: Defending against a tough customer in Chacon (117), the tall southpaw champion used his height and reach well to pick up points despite being forced to take some solid shots in return. The second round was the most dramatic of the fight, Chacon going down twice, firstly from a push-punch and then a left hook as he walked on to it. From thereon in, however, Chacon was always in the fight, and always looking to take Moreno out if he had half a chance. Although he was docked a point in the tenth for going low, it hardly made a difference to Moreno's points tally.

 

Jamie McDonnell won the vacant WBA 'second tier' title when stopping Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat inside ten rounds at The Stadium, Wembley, London, England on 31 May.

 

On 30 August, at the Jose Beracasa Gym, United Nations Park, Caracas, Venezuela, Yonfrez Parejo stopped Luis Hinojosa inside 11 rounds to win the vacant WBA 'interim’ title.

21 December 2013. Stuart Hall w pts 12 Vusi Malinga.

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds, England. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Phil Edwards.

Scorecards: 116-111, 117-110, 117-110.

Fight Summary: Contesting the vacant title, which came about after Jamie McDonnell was stripped, his fellow countryman, Hall (117¼), showed excellent form when outscoring the tough Malinga (117½) by a good margin despite carrying a badly swollen left eye through the latter rounds. Following a feeling-out period, Hall came out fast in the third, putting Malinga down with a right to the jaw before hammering away non-stop after the latter got to his feet. Both men, cut over their left eyes at this stage, shared the honours from the seventh through to the tenth, but it was Hall who came through strongly in the last two sessions to deservedly be given the unanimous decision over the tough southpaw.

3 December 2013. Tomoki Kameda w pts 12 Immanuel Naidjala.

Venue:  Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Scorecards: 119-109, 118-110, 117-111.

Fight Summary: Battling away continuously, the unbeaten challenger certainly made Kameda (118) work hard to maintain his hold on the title even if the scorecards failed to show that. With Naidjala (118) never slowing, jabs and long right hands keeping Kameda busy, the latter expended so much energy early on that he had begun to tire by the eighth round. Still dangerous, Naidjala came on strongly in the ninth and tenth to force Kameda into defensive mode, and although fighting back in the 11th the champion was under severe pressure in the final session before coming through safely.

 

Alejandro Hernandez won the vacant WBO 'interim' title when outpointing Daniel Rosas over 12 rounds at the Jorge Cuesy Serrano Arena, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico on 14 June 2014.

10 November 2013. Shinsuke Yamanaka w rsc 9 Alberto Guevara.

Venue: Kokugikan Stadium, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu.

Fight Summary: Overcoming a sluggish start, the champion had got himself going by the fifth when beginning to break Guevara (117½) down with solid southpaw punches finding their mark. Gradually Guevara was becoming ineffective as Yamanaka (118) stalked him, and in the eighth the Mexican was dropped twice from cracking lefts to the head before making it to the bell. Out of his blocks quickly at the start of the ninth, Yamanaka wasted no time in dropping Guevara for the third time with another heavy left. Although Guevara got to his feet the referee decided that he had taken too much, stopping the contest 25 seconds into the session.

12 August 2013. Shinsuke Yamanaka w co 1 Jose Nieves.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish.

Fight Summary: Right from the start the challenger appeared out of his depth as the menacing Yamanaka (118) continually feinted, threatening to unleash the left in this battle of southpaws. Eventually Yamanaka made his move, and following a battery of blows a crashing left to the jaw had Nieves (117½) on the deck where he was counted out at 2.40 of the opening session.

10 August 2013. Anselmo Moreno w pts 12 William Urina.

Venue: Megapolis Convention Centre, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Stan Christoloudou.

Scorecards: 118-110, 118-110, 116-112.

Fight Summary: In a match-up between southpaws the champion was superior to Urina (116), who was undone by a great jab and ruthless bodywork despite always being in the fight. Although cut on the right eye from a head butt it did not concern Moreno (117) unduly, and he was virtually in control all the way despite Urina looking to load up with heavy blows. Coming into the fight with a high percentage of stoppages Urina had been expected to run Moreno close, but found the latter far too clever to catch.

 

Koki Kameda made another successful defence of the WBA ‘second tier’ title when outpointing Jung-Oh Son over 12 rounds at the Grand Hotel, Jeju, South Korea on 19 November. Kameda relinquished the WBA 'second tier' title on 6 December in order to fight at 115lbs.

1 August 2013. Tomoki Kameda w pts 12 Paulus Ambunda.

Venue: Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz.

Scorecards: 116-112, 117-111, 118-110.

Fight Summary: Putting his title on the line for the first time, Ambunda (117) was always one step behind Kameda (117½). It was Kameda's speedy left-rights and excellent movement that ultimately proved too much for Ambunda to overcome, and even though the latter landed some hard shots at times they had little effect on his challenger. On taking the unanimous decision, the man from Japan became the third Kameda brother to win a version of the world title.

11 May 2013. Jamie McDonnell w pts 12 Julio Ceja.

Venue: Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, England. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Howard Foster.

Scorecards: 118-110, 115-113, 114-114.

Fight Summary: Contested for the title vacated by Leo Santa Cruz, the clever McDonnell (117) came through to win the majority decision after beating a tough customer in Ceja (117). There was never a great deal between them, McDonnell being the better boxer and Ceja the fighter. Keeping on the move while popping in the left jab, although McDonnell picked up points he had to be wary of Ceja's power. And with Ceja looking to pull something out of the bag it was McDonnell who took the last round when banging in hard right hands that kept the Mexican busy and unable to get his heavy artillery working effectively enough.

 

On 18 October it was reported that McDonnell had been stripped of the IBF title for failing to sign for a defence against the mandatory challenger, Julio Cesar Miranda, within the required time frame.

8 April 2013. Shinsuke Yamanaka w rsc 12 Malcolm Tunacao.

Venue: Kokugikan Sumo Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Michael Griffin.

Fight Summary: Boxing well within himself in this all-southpaw battle, the champion made a positive start before dropping the 35-year-old Tunacao (117½) twice in the third, the first knockdown coming from a sharp left and the second from a burst of combination punches. Surprisingly, Tunacao came back strongly despite having a badly cut right eye which worsened as matters proceeded, especially in the ninth when pressuring Yamanaka (118) with solid right hooks. However, having picked it up again in the 11th, after Yamanaka had smashed Tunacao down in the 12th with a left-right-left combination the referee called the fight off at 1.57 of the session even though the latter was on his feet ready to resume.

2 March 2013. Paulus Ambunda w pts 12 Phuengluang Sor Singyu.

Venue: Ramatex Hall, Windhoek, Namibia. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Paul Tomas.

Scorecards: 115-113, 116-112, 116-112.

Fight Summary: Winning at least four of the opening six rounds, the challenger made an excellent start as Sor Singyu (118) struggled to find any real rhythm. Although Sor Singyu picked it up in the seventh, scoring with heavy body shots, Ambunda (118) was more than willing to press forward with good punches, especially in the tenth and 11th. Realising he had a lot to do Sor Singyu came out firing in the final session, but despite sending Ambunda stumbling with solid blows from both hands he was unable to find the finisher.

15 December 2012. Leo Santa Cruz w pts 12 Alberto Guevara.

Venue: Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Wayne Hedgpeth.

Scorecards: 116-112, 118-110, 119-109.

Fight Summary: As always the champion made a cracking start before finding Guevara (117½), who came in at three weeks’ notice, willing to stand and trade with him. Admitting that his performance was below par, especially when trying to put his man away in the early rounds, after the halfway stage Santa Cruz (117¾) settled down to outbox the latter rather than going all out to win inside the distance. Although Guevara made a big effort in the final session it was not to be. CompuBox showed that Santa Cruz threw 133 power punches in the last six rounds to Guevara's 44.

 

After Santa Cruz handed in his belt to campaign at 122lbs on 12 February 2013, the IBF announced that Jamie McDonnell, who had beaten Darwin Zamora (w rtd 8 at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England on 20 October) in a final eliminator, would be meeting the unbeaten Julio Ceja for the vacant title.

11 November 2012. Leo Santa Cruz w rsc 9 Victor Zaleta.

Venue: Staples Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Ray Corona.

Fight Summary: Swamping his challenger with shots from head to body from the opening bell, Santa Cruz (117½) immediately showed his intent. Although firing back as best he could Zaleta (117) was being outworked, and in the fourth he barely made it to his feet after being dropped heavily by a left hook to the body. With Santa Cruz in full flow from thereon in, Zaleta was put down again in the seventh from a flurry of shots to head and body before being rescued by the referee at 1.42 of the ninth when felled for the third time by a series of blows.

3 November 2012. Shinsuke Yamanaka w rsc 7 Tomas Rojas.

Venue: Xebio Arena, Sendai, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Michael Griffin.

Fight Summary: This battle of southpaws saw the champion get away well before coming under a whirlwind attack in the third after Rojas (117½) let go a battery of blows to head and body. Having covered up effectively Yamanaka (118) began to put some solid shots together, and in the fifth and sixth he connected with several heavy right-lefts as he picked up the pace when stalking Rojas. Starting the seventh with a vengeance, Yamanaka unloaded several heavy blows before a crashing left cross sent Rojas, his left eye badly swollen, face down to the canvas after just 36 seconds of the session had elapsed. Not even bothering to take up the count the referee stopped the contest to allow Rojas to be attended by the medics.

20 October 2012. Phuengluang Sor Singyu w rsc 9 AJ Banal.

Venue: SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Manilla, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Tony Weeks.

Fight Summary: Fighting to decide the vacant title after Jorge Arce handed in his belt, Sor Singyu (118) came from behind to beat Banal (118) when the referee stopped the contest at 1.45 of the ninth round. It was a disappointing night for Banal, who had continually caught Sor Singyu with heavy blows from his southpaw stance without being able to put his man down. Forced to fight from the third with a cut on his right eye following a clash of heads, Banal suffered a further setback when deducted a point in the sixth for going low. Coming into the ninth, having been given time out in the eighth after being hit below the belt, Banal was dropped following a four-punch combination as Sor Singyu went for the finish. Although Banal made it to his feet the third man brought the contest to an end when seeing that Banal was in no fit state to continue.

15 September 2012. Leo Santa Cruz w rtd 5 Eric Morel.
Venue:
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Vic Drakulich.
Fight Summary: Making his first defence, the impressive Santa Cruz (117) immediately got down to work with his jab and body shots soon taking their toll on Morel (118). The champion's work-rate was simply too much for Morel to handle, and even when he got on the back foot he was quickly hunted down. During the fifth round it was apparent that Morel had little left in the tank, something that was recognised by his corner who retired him at the end of the session.

 

2 June 2012. Leo Santa Cruz w pts 12 Vusi Malinga.

Venue: Home Depot Centre, Carson, California, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: David Mendoza.

Scorecards: 120-108, 119-109, 120-108.

Fight Summary: Contested for the vacant title after Abner Mares moved up in weight, the hard-working Santa Cruz (117) came through strongly to win the unanimous decision by a wide margin. Banging away at the body with hooks and uppercuts for the duration of the contest, Santa Cruz had too much for the game Malinga (117), a southpaw, who was on the verge of defeat in the eighth before steadfastly continuing to the final bell. The CompuBox stats showed that Santa Cruz threw an amazing 1,300 punches on his way to victory.

21 April 2012. Anselmo Moreno w rtd 8 David De La Mora.

Venue: Don Haskins’ Centre, El Paso, Texas, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Fight Summary: Winning virtually every round, the southpaw champion proved to be in a different league to De La Mora (117½). Working the body well, Moreno (117½) had De La Mora down in the second from a right to the head and carried on punishing the latter downstairs until there was not much coming back. Dropped again in the sixth by a left hook to the body, De La Mora struggled on before being retired on his stool at the end of the eighth.

 

Hugo Ruiz made a successful defence of his WBA ‘interim’ title, stopping Jean Sampson in the ninth round of their contest at the Arturo C. Nahl Stadium, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico on 7 July.

 

After Ruiz vacated the WBA ‘interim’ title in October to challenge Koki Kameda for the ‘second tier’ championship, Roberto Vasquez and John Mark Apolinario drew over 12 rounds at the Union Club, Colon, Argentina on 3 November in an effort to decide the vacancy.

 

The contest between Kameda and Ruiz for the WBA ‘second tier’ title took place at the Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan on 4 December, being won by the former on points over 12 rounds.

 

Far from settling the issue of the vacant WBA 'interim' title, Vasquez and Apolinario's return contest held at the Megapolis Convention Centre, Panama City, Panama on 16 March 2013 also resulted in a 12-round draw.

 

Kameda made two more successful defences of the WBA ‘second tier’ title against Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (w pts 12 rounds at the Bodymaker Coliseum on 7 April 2013) and Apolinario (w pts 12 at the Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan on 23 July 2013).

6 April 2012. Shinsuke Yamanaka w pts 12 Vic Darchinyan.

Venue: International Forum, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu.

Scorecards: 117-111, 116-112, 116-112.

Fight Summary: Defending the title that was handed to him after it was relinquished by Nonito Donaire, Japan's Yamanaka (118) made good use of his excellent footwork and speed to make the aggressive Darchinyan (118) miss time and time again in this battle between southpaws. Open to the counters, Darchinyan, who was badly cut on the right eye by a solid left in the fifth as he charged in to the attack, was never able to get to grips with the champion. And when winning the last three rounds on all of the cards Yamanaka wrapped the decision up, almost having Darchinyan over with a hard right in the tenth and a cracking left in the 11th.

3 December 2011. Anselmo Moreno w pts 12 Vic Darchinyan.

Venue: Honda Centre, Anaheim, California, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

Scorecards: 116-111, 117-110, 120-107.

Fight Summary: This clash of southpaws saw the champion prevail against the tough Darchinyan (117¾), who had a point deducted in the fourth for rough-house tactics when throwing the Panamanian to the floor. Far too clever for Darchinyan, the fast moving Moreno (118) led his man a merry old dance as he moved in and out with jabs and countering hooks and uppercuts. Despite all of that Darchinyan never stopped trying, body shots being his only real successes, and he was still there at the final bell trying to chase Moreno down.

 

On 7 December, at the Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan, Koki Kameda knocked Mario Macias out in the fourth round to make a successful defence of the WBA ‘second tier’ title. Kameda made a further defence when outpointing Noldi Manakane over 12 rounds at The Arena, Yokohama, Japan on 4 April 2012.

 

Hugo Ruiz held on to the WBA ‘interim’ Championship Belt when stopping Yonfrez Parejo inside eight rounds at the Gymnasium Auditorium, Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico on 31 March 2012.

3 December 2011. Abner Mares w pts 12 Joseph Agbeko.

Venue: Honda Centre, Anaheim, California, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Lou Moret.

Scorecards: 118-110, 118-119, 118-110.

Fight Summary: In a fight that was a must after their previous go, Mares (117) put the record straight when coming safely through his defence against Agbeko (117¼) by a wide margin of points. This time around, despite the odd transgression, Mares led most of the way, boxing from long range to deny his opponent any close-quarter fighting. Although Mares was cut on the right eye in the second, something that bothered him at the time, good work by his corner allowed him to get back to his boxing. It was only in the eighth that Agbeko took a grip when bashing in rights and using the jab well, but all that was undone in the 11th when he was in trouble from solid shots as Mares fought back.

 

After Mares relinquished the IBF title on 9 February 2012 in order to move up to junior feather, Leo Santa Cruz and Vusi Malinga were matched to find a successor. While Santa Cruz was unbeaten in 20 fights, 11 of them coming inside the distance, Malinga had beaten Michael Domingo (w pts 12 at the University Hall, Mafikeng, South Africa on 30 October 2010) to win an eliminator, but had remained inactive.

26 November 2011. Jorge Arce w pts 12 Angky Angkota.

Venue: The Bullring, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jose Rivera.

Scorecards: 118-110, 118-110, 117-111.

Fight Summary: Contested for the vacant title after Nonito Donaire handed in his belt on moving up in weight, Arce (118) outscored Angkota (117½) by a unanimous decision. Arce started the better, almost putting Angkota away in the third with some heavy shots before getting back to his boxing. However, in the eighth it was Angkota's turn to score heavily, the dazed Arce forced to hang on until the bell. From thereon in, however, it was Arce who took the fight by the scruff of the neck when upping his work-rate to land solidly with lefts and rights through to the final bell. Arce became a four-weight world champion on winning, having been a WBO and undefeated WBC junior flyweight champion, a WBO junior bantamweight champion and a WBO junior featherweight champion.

 

Arce relinquished the WBO title in June 2012 in order to challenge for a world title in the next weight division, which was followed by Phuengluang Sor Singyu and AJ Banal being matched to decide the vacancy.

22 October 2011. Nonito Donaire w pts 12 Omar Narvaez.

Venue: WaMu Theatre, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: WBC/WBO. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

Scorecards: 120-108, 120-108, 120-108.

Fight Summary: Winning every round on the cards against Narvaez (117), his two championship belts on the line, Donaire (116½) was unable to finish the fight early as his little southpaw challenger made life difficult for him by remaining on the back foot throughout. Having hurt Narvaez in the fourth with some solid shots, Donaire was unable to get many more chances again. The veteran of 21 successful world championship defences at fly and junior bantam, Narvaez was always on the move. Even when Donaire landed heavily to the body in the eighth he was warned for going low, something he disagreed with. Following that, there was little action as the contest drew to a close.

 

Shinsuke Yamanaka stopped Christian Esquivel inside 11 rounds at the Yoyogi Gym, Tokyo, Japan, on 6 November, to win what should be seen as the WBC ‘second tier’ title. Although billed for the title after Donaire stated that he would be moving up a division, when the contest took place the latter had not confirmed his decision.

 

It was clear that Donaire was going to move on, and after signing for a fight against Wilfredo Vazquez Jnr for the WBO junior featherweight crown he relinquished both of his titles on 24 November. Following the announcement, the WBC appointed Yamanaka as their undisputed champion, while a return match between Jorge Arce, who dropped down a division, and Angky Angkota would go ahead for the vacant WBO title.

13 August 2011. Abner Mares w pts 12 Joseph Agbeko.

Venue: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Russell Mora.

Scorecards: 115-111, 115-111, 113-113.

Fight Summary: Fighting in the final of the bantamweight tournament organised by Showtime TV, Agbeko (118) appeared to be robbed of his title when his opponent continually went below the belt without points deductions. Starting as he meant to carry on, Mares (117½) had Agbeko over in the opening session following a left hook to the ear after straying low. Playbacks of this showed it to have been more of a slip than a punch. Although Agbeko hurt Mares in the fourth with a right hand to the jaw he failed to follow it up. In the fifth Mares was finally warned after sending in several low blows, but it did not stop him. Way behind at the start of the eighth, Agbeko won two of the next three rounds despite being caught low again in the tenth. Seemingly winning the 11th, when Agbeko was counted on after being hit way below again the bout petered out. Following the fight the demands for a return would not go unanswered.

17 June 2011. Anselmo Moreno w rtd 8 Lorenzo Parra.

Venue: Roberto Duran Arena, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Raul Caiz.

Fight Summary: On top from the moment the contest got underway, the much taller Moreno (118) was forced to take the fight to his challenger who boxed on the back foot while keeping out of trouble as best he could. There was very little to write home about even when Moreno got home with southpaw rights and lefts, although Parra (118), who had dropped down a weight for the contest, did counter his man occasionally. At the end of the eighth Parra was withdrawn by his corner on the grounds that he had suffered a hand injury earlier on.

 

Koki Kameda made a successful defence of his WBA ‘second tier’ title when outpointing David De La Mora over 12 rounds at the Nihon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan on 31 August.

 

Meanwhile, the ‘interim’ champion, Hugo Ruiz, successfully defended his title when stopping Francisco Arce in the fourth round at the Centenary Stadium, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico on 15 October.

19 February 2011. Nonito Donaire w rsc 2 Fernando Montiel.

Venue: Mandalay Bay Events Centre, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC/WBO. Referee: Russell Mora.

Fight Summary: In a battle between the WBC/WBO champion, Montiel (118), and Donaire (118), the former undefeated IBF flyweight title holder, it was the latter who came out on top when stopping his Mexican opponent in the second round. Having taken some good shots in the opener, and showing no signs of things to come, when Montiel stepped into Donaire in the second and was countered by a cracking left hook that landed to the side of his face he was sent crashing. Somehow managing to make it to his feet immediately prior to the count of 'ten', although Montiel was allowed to continue the moment he was caught again by a left-right the referee stopped the fight with 35 seconds of the session remaining.

11 December 2010. Joseph Agbeko w pts 12 Yonnhy Perez.

Venue: Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma, Washington, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Eddie Cotton.

Scorecards: 115-113, 116-112, 117-111.

Fight Summary: Clearly another tough night's work for both men, Agbeko (117½) regained the title he had lost to Perez (118) last time out when taking the unanimous points decision. The contest was also part of an elimination tournament to find the best man at the weight. This time around it was Agbeko who landed the better punches, and more of them, although Perez was not far behind as the pair traded blows constantly throughout. After Perez was cut on the left eye in the fifth matters became more urgent for him, and whilst he took the sixth it was Agbeko who picked it up from the seventh onwards when taking four of the last six rounds.

14 August 2010. Anselmo Moreno w pts 12 Nehomar Cermeno.

Venue: Roberto Duran Arena, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Hubert Earle.

Scorecards: 117-112, 115-113, 113-115.

Fight Summary: Boxing well with the southpaw jab, coupled to good movement, Moreno (117¾) took the opening three rounds before Cermeno (117¾) got into the action when targeting the body. Although Cermeno was always busy it was the champion who landed the better quality blows, and seemingly more of them. Having been outboxed in the seventh, with effective jabs and countering lefts, Cermeno attacked from thereon in as he desperately looked for a winning punch, but despite taking the last two rounds on the cards and landing a solid left hook in the 12th, he was unable to damage Moreno sufficiently. Cermeno finished the contest with a badly swollen left eye, courtesy of a string of left uppercuts late on.

 

After Moreno was upgraded by the WBA to ‘super’ champion status on 19 November, Koki Kameda outscored Alexander Munoz over 12 rounds at the Super Arena, Saitama, Japan on 26 December to win the body’s vacant ‘second tier’ title.

 

This was followed on 22 January 2011, when Hugo Ruiz beat Alvaro Perez on a ninth-round technical decision at the Neza 86 Football Stadium, Ciudad Nezahualcoytl, Mexico to win the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title.

 

With Moreno still recognised by the WBA as being their ‘super’ champion, Kameda made a successful defence of the ‘second tier’ crown when forcing Daniel Diaz to retire at the end of the 11th round at the Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan on 7 May 2011. This was followed by Ruiz making a successful defence of his WBA ‘interim’ title when outpointing Francisco Arce over 12 rounds at the Centennial Sports Centre, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico on 14 May 2011.

17 July 2010. Fernando Montiel w rsc 3 Rafael Concepcion.

Venue:  Fairground Stockade, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. Recognition: WBC/WBO. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Fight Summary: Putting both of his championship belts on the line against Concepcion (118), the champion proved yet again how good he was when stopping his man inside three rounds. Montiel (118) had been scheduled to meet Eric Morel, the mandatory challenger, but when the latter pulled out several weeks earlier Concepcion stepped in. Although there was not a lot of activity in the opener within moments of the bell ringing to start the second a solid left hook had Concepcion down, and upon getting up he was again floored by the same punch. Obviously hurt, Concepcion tried to last out the round by holding on to Montiel, only to be deducted a point for the transgression. Into the third, extremely wary of Montiel's left, Concepcion failed to spot the two heavy rights that sent him crashing. The referee stopped the contest at 1.07 of the session to allow Concepcion to receive immediate medical attention.

22 May 2010. Yonnhy Perez drew 12 Abner Mares.

Venue: Staples Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Wayne Hedgpeth.

Scorecards: 113-115, 114-114, 114-114.

Fight Summary: An extremely close fight saw the hard-hitting Perez (117½) retain his title by a majority draw only after Mares (116¾) had given him a real run for his money. Boxing beyond his years, Mares was actually awarded the decision by one of the judges, while the other two saw it as a dead heat. Having held up Perez when boxing well at range, Mares showed he was no fool on the inside either. He also came back strongly when under pressure, and finished like a train when taking the last three sessions on the cards.

30 April 2010. Fernando Montiel w rsc 4 Hozumi Hasegawa.

Venue: Nihon Budokan Arena, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC/WBO. Referee: Laurence Cole.

Fight Summary: This was a battle between the WBC champion, Hasegawa (117¾), and the WBO title holder, Montiel (118), and it was the latter who picked up both belts when stopping his rival at 2.59 of the fourth on away territory. Up until then it had been a clever contest, with Hasegawa moving in on Montiel with solid southpaw right-lefts, while the three-weight WBO champion used clever movement to avert trouble. After missing badly in the fourth, Hasegawa was caught by a short left hook and, following a similar shot that sent him into the ropes, Montiel quickly unleashed further heavy blows from both hands that sent the Japanese fighter crashing. With the referee not even bothering to count it was all over bar the shouting.

27 March 2010. Anselmo Moreno w pts 12 Nehomar Cermeno.

Venue: Jose Maria Vargas Sports Centre, La Guaira, Venezuela. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 115-112, 114-113, 112-115.

Fight Summary: A tough fight from start to finish saw the southpaw champion just about hold on to his title when he was awarded a split decision points win over Cermeno (118), the WBA 'interim' title holder. It was extremely close and had not Cermeno lost a point in the 11th for a low blow it would have been a draw. At the end of the ninth Moreno appeared to be just in front, despite being hurt by body shots in the seventh, but back came Cermeno to take the last three rounds as the champion tired.

13 February 2010. Fernando Montiel w co 1 Ciso Morales.

Venue: Hilton Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Fight Summary: In a first defence of the title he was handed after Gerry Penalosa was stripped, Montiel (118) was held at bay for the opening minute or so before finding a right to the head that was followed by a heavy left to the body that dropped Morales (118) in some agony. After Morales was counted out at 2.06 of the first round, replays of the punch showed that it landed on the belt and was not low as some had thought.

 

On the same bill, Eric Morel outscored Gerry Penalosa over 12 rounds to win the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title. Then, due to meet Montiel on 30 October, after signing with Golden Boy Promotions, Morel relinquished the ‘interim’ title on 17 September.

18 December 2009. Hozumi Hasegawa w rsc 4 Alvaro Perez.

Venue: World Memorial Hall, Kobe, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish.

Fight Summary: Making it five stoppage wins in a row the champion proved too good for Perez (117) who, despite throwing some cracking shots in the opening two sessions, was eventually forced to submit in this battle of southpaws. Boxing on the back foot and making his man miss, by the third Hasegawa (117¾) was up and running with blows from both hands finding their target, and in the fourth after continuing in the same vein two hard lefts dropped Perez. Not even bothering to count, the referee called the fight off on the 2.38 mark.

4 December 2009. Anselmo Moreno w rsc 11 Frederic Patrac.

Venue: Sports Palace, Agde, France. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Mark Nelson.

Fight Summary: Dominating from the opening bell, Moreno (117¼) immediately began to find his challenger with the southpaw right jab that was followed up by solid straight lefts. Losing every round clearly, matters got worse for Patrac (116½) in the eighth when he was subjected to several heavy blows to the head until the bell saved him in what was a 10-8 round on all three cards. After being battered from head to body from the ninth through to the 11th the referee finally rescued the game Patrac at 2.56 of the 11th when he was being assaulted by uppercuts and straight lefts in a corner without firing back to any effect.

 

Nehomar Cermeno successfully defended the WBA ‘interim’ title when knocking out Alejandro Valdez inside 11 rounds at the Itson Arena, Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico on 19 December.

31 October 2009. Yonnhy Perez w pts 12 Joseph Agbeko.

Venue: Treasure Island Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Scorecards: 117-110, 116-111, 117-110.

Fight Summary: Both men started throwing punches almost before the bell, the champion and Perez (118) going toe-to-toe as if their lives depended on it. In what was tremendous action it was the same in the second, as first one and then the other scored heavily. By the sixth Perez was cut on the right eye, courtesy of an Agbeko (118) head butt, and in the ninth a vertical gash opened up on his forehead. It was still hammer and tongs, punches going up and down, before another clash of heads saw Agbeko down in the tenth. Back in the action, Agbeko tried to put paid to Perez, but the latter would not be denied in what was termed by those who were lucky to have witnessed it as one of the great title fights. Ultimately, it was Perez's greater volume of punches that earned him the decision.

14 July 2009. Hozumi Hasegawa w rsc 1 Nestor Rocha.

Venue: World Memorial Hall, Kobe, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Gary Ritter.

Fight Summary: Defending for the ninth time, Hasegawa (117½) picked up where he left off when blasting Rocha (117½) to defeat at 2.28 of the opening session. Settling in quickly Hasegawa soon found the range, and after sending Rocha down with a cracker of a southpaw right hook the latter barely made it to his feet in time before he was immediately put under pressure. Dropped again from a barrage of blows, Rocha was saved from taking further punishment by the referee when stumbling after getting to his feet.

11 July 2009. Joseph Agbeko w pts 12 Vic Darchinyan.

Venue: BankAtlantic Centre, Sunrise, Florida, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Tommy Kimmons.

Scorecards: 114-113, 114-113, 116-111.

Fight Summary: Up against Darchinyan (117½), who was moving up from super fly (junior bantam), the champion made a reasonable start with his movement making him difficult to pick up. The fight had hardly got going before Darchinyan was cut on his left eye in the second, but by then Agbeko (116½) was already banging in hard rights that occasionally stunned the Iranian-born fighter. Following some heavy blows from Darchinyan, Agbeko took a standing count in the seventh after a push, and the round eventually lasted four minutes with the timekeeper losing the plot. Having taken the best that the southpaw challenger could offer, by the tenth Agbeko was in control, and with Darchinyan now cut on the right eye he eased towards the finishing line despite being twice thrown down, in the tenth and 11th, as the latter became desperate.

4 July 2009. Anselmo Moreno w pts 12 Mahyar Monshipour.

Venue: Exhibition Centre, Poitiers, France. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

Scorecards: 116-112, 116-112, 113-115.

Fight Summary: Having been the WBA junior feather champion before temporarily retiring, Monshipour (118) came back at the lower weight in an effort to become a two-weight champion. With the taller Moreno (117¾) controlling much of the fight with the southpaw jab it was difficult for Monshipour to get to close quarters where he could do some damage. However, when he did he caused the champion a few problems. There was never a great deal between the pair, one judge making Monshipour the winner, but it was Moreno's better boxing skills that took the other two judges' eyes. Interestingly, Monshipour was the named promoter.

 

On 12 September, Nehomar Cermeno outpointed Cristian Mijares over 12 rounds at The Arena, Monterrey, Mexico to make a successful defence of his WBA ‘interim’ title. 

2 May 2009. Anselmo Moreno w pts 12 Wladimir Sidorenko.

Venue: Exhibition Hall, Bremen, Germany. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 113-115.

Fight Summary: A return match saw Moreno (117½) put his title on the line against his mandatory challenger, and the man he captured it from in a close fight. Yet again this was a closely fought affair with Moreno taking advantage of his extra reach as Sidorenko (117¾) tried to get the inside track, his southpaw blows and excellent movement keeping the latter guessing for much of the time. Sidorenko had his successes, but there were not enough of them to be decisive. Carrying a swollen and cut right eye from the eighth made things more difficult for Sidorenko, especially as he was tiring, but he was still trying to catch up with Moreno right to the final bell.

12 March 2009. Hozumi Hasegawa w rsc 1 Vusi Malinga.

Venue: World Memorial Hall, Kobe, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Laurence Cole.

Fight Summary: Carrying an eight-inch reach advantage, the challenger, a fellow southpaw, was felt to be a dangerous opponent for Hasegawa (117¾), but although he started well he was soon decked by a solid right-left combination. Back on his feet, instead of going into defensive mode Malinga (115½) was happy to swap punches, being sent down twice more from heavy left crosses before the referee called it off at 2.37 of the opening session.

11 December 2008. Joseph Agbeko w pts 12 William Chirizo Gonzalez.

Venue: Prudential Centre, Newark, New Jersey, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Earl Brown.

Scorecards: 116-112, 116-112, 114-114.

Fight Summary: Coming back after 15 months away from the ring, the champion was soon in action, almost dropping Gonzalez 117) with a crunching right to the head in the opener. Hitting back hard, Gonzalez made things tough for Agbeko (118) as both men blasted in solid shots to head and body. Having cut Gonzalez over the left eye in the fourth before sending in a rattling left hook to the jaw, Agbeko was then outworked in the next two sessions. From the seventh onwards it was mainly Agbeko who was winning the fight, but the hardy southpaw from Nicaragua was never quite out of it until the final bell, always giving it a crack.

30 October 2008. Anselmo Moreno w pts 12 Rolly Lunas.

Venue: Figali Convention Centre, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Manuel Rodriguez.

Scorecards: 120-108, 118-110, 119-109.

Fight Summary: Defending his title for the second time, Moreno (117¾) was simply too fast and too accurate with his sharp southpaw punches for the game Lunas (117¾), who despite winning two rounds at best always stuck to the task in hand. Regardless of what the scorecards said, Lunas was always right in front of Moreno and always trying to get inside, and when under attack he merely shrugged the blows off. There were no knockdowns.

16 October 2008. Hozumi Hasegawa w rsc 2 Alejandro Valdez.

Venue: Yoyogi 1 National Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Mike Griffin.

Fight Summary: With both men starting quickly in this all-southpaw affair, the champion was forced to take several solid jabs to the head in the opener before coming back with some heavy shots of his own in the second prior to an overarm left dropping Valdez (117½) heavily. Although the game Valdez took the 'eight' count and was quickly back in the fray, when Hasegawa (118) was handing out a battering the referee rescued him at 2.41 of the session.

18 September 2008. Anselmo Moreno w tdec 7 Cecilio Santos.

Venue: Figali Convention Centre, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Roberto Ramirez.

Scorecards: 70-63, 70-63, 70-63.

Fight Summary: After walking off with the opening six rounds, his southpaw right-lefts catching Santos (117) whether in defensive or attacking mode, the champion was badly cut over his right eye in the seventh following a clash of heads. With the damage deemed by the ringside doctor to be too bad for Moreno (118) to continue, after the referee called for the cards it was hardly a surprise that the technical decision was in favour of the latter. The fight ended at 2.13 of the seventh.

12 June 2008. Hozumi Hasegawa w rsc 2 Cristian Faccio.

Venue: Nihon Budokan Arena, Tokyo, Japan.  Recognition: WBC. Referee: Toby Gibson.

Fight Summary: Putting his title on the line for the sixth time, Hasegawa (117½) never gave his nervous challenger much time to settle when wading into him from the bell. Regardless that he was shaken up in the first Faccio (117¾) was still full of fight in the second when trying to get to grips with Hasegawa, but after taking a southpaw left counter flush he was put down heavily. Although getting up, when the game Faccio was dropped again from lefts and rights as Hasegawa went for the finish the referee stopped the contest on the 2.18 mark.

31 May 2008. Anselmo Moreno w pts 12 Wladimir Sidorenko.

Venue: Castello Castle-Keeper Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 116-113, 116-112, 116-112.

Fight Summary: Finding it difficult to come to terms with his southpaw challenger, who boxed on the back foot and countered solidly, Sidorenko (118) dropped the opening five rounds on the cards before coming back strongly from the sixth through to the tenth. Finally getting to close quarters as Moreno (117¾) gave way, Sidorenko ploughed back some of the sessions he had dropped. However, when Moreno took over in the 11th, his speedy attacks pegging Sidorenko back at times, it was the latter's unbeaten record as well as the title that went with the decision.

6 April 2008. Gerry Penalosa w rsc 8 Ratanachai Singwancha.

Venue: Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Genaro Rodriguez.

Fight Summary: In a battle between southpaws, the champion had already beaten Sor Vorapin (118) almost eight years earlier and was expected to repeat the dose. Penalosa (118) was soon pulling away on the cards, and at the end of the fourth he nearly dropped the Thai with some solid combinations. By the seventh Penalosa was completely in charge, slamming in many unanswered punches, before a volley of blows from both hands had Sor Vorapin down in the eighth. Although gamely getting to his feet, when Penalosa stormed in throwing lefts and rights the referee stopped the contest at 2.31 of the session.

 

On 28 March 2009, Fernando Montiel knocked out Diego Oscar Silva inside three rounds at The Bullring, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico to win the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title.

 

A few weeks later, on 25 April 2009, Penalosa was stripped of the title for not having made a defence for over a year. Following that, Montiel took over the vacancy, and in doing so became a world champion at three different weights, having previously been an undefeated WBO champion at flyweight and at junior bantamweight.

10 January 2008. Wladimir Sidorenko w pts 12 Nobuto Ikehara.

Venue: Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Rafael Ramos.

Scorecards: 118-110, 116-112, 119-110.

Fight Summary: It was the challenger who made the better start, banging in solid rights before Sidorenko (117¾) got himself up and running when fighting well at close quarters. Suffering a cut on the right eye in the fourth did not deter Ikehara (118) from trying to outgun Sidorenko, many of the rounds going back and forth as both men tried to take the initiative. It was only in the last three sessions that Sidorenko got control, almost having his man over in the tenth with an overarm right before pushing the tiring Ikehara back from thereon in.

 

At the Centennial Auditorium, Torreon, Mexico, on 14 March, Nehomar Cermeno outpointed Cristian Mijares over 12 rounds to win the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title.

10 January 2008. Hozumi Hasegawa w pts 12 Simone Maludrottu.

Venue: Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Kenny Bayless.

Scorecards: 117-111, 116-112, 118-110.

Fight Summary: Although Hasegawa (117¾) started well, banging in fast southpaw punches to the pedestrian challenger's head and body, he was badly cut over the right eye in the second after a head clash that was not spotted by the referee. In control right up until the 11th despite the injury bothering him at times, and having cut Maludrottu (117½) on the left eye, Hasegawa began to tire. At this stage the switch-hitting Maludrottu took advantage when crowding Hasegawa, but failed to make it pay.

29 September 2007. Joseph Agbeko w rsc 7 Luis Alberto Perez.

Venue:  ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Dan Stell.

Fight Summary: Winning every contested round on all three cards the little known Agbeko (116¾) showed from the start that the southpaw champion was not a problem for him when landing hard rights almost at will in a fast-paced contest. Battered in virtually every session, Perez (118) was right up against it, barely having any successes, and at the end of the seventh the ringside doctor asked the referee to stop the fight. With Perez cut under both eyes and soaking up punishment it was a wise decision.

11 August 2007. Gerry Penalosa w co 7 Jhonny Gonzalez.

Venue:  ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Pat Russell.

Fight Summary: Having been outboxed for the opening four rounds one would not have given a fig for the 35-year-old challenger's chances at that stage, especially as Gonzalez (117) had barely raised a sweat. Penalosa (118) got closer in the fifth, but was up against it in the sixth when Gonzalez landed good blows to head and body. It was going the same way in the seventh until the former WBC junior bantamweight title holder found a southpaw left hook to the body that put Gonzalez down in some agony to be counted out at 2.45 of the session.

7 July 2007. Luis Alberto Perez w rsc 7 Genaro Garcia.

Venue:  Harbor Yard Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Charles Dyer.

Fight Summary: In a contest for the vacant title, which came about when Rafael Marquez handed in his belt on moving up in weight, Perez (118), a southpaw, beat Garcia (118) on a referee's stoppage at 1.39 of the seventh round. Controlling the bout from the start, the former undefeated IBF junior bantamweight champion dropped Garcia in the second with a left hook to the jaw and pounded the latter to the body for round after round. Looking a beaten man in the seventh, his face badly swollen, Garcia's attempt at a world title ended after he had been put down by another left hook to the chin and stumbled when trying to regain his feet before being rescued by the referee.

29 June 2007. Wladimir Sidorenko w co 7 Jerome Arnould.

Venue: Sports Palace, Marseille, France. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Julio Alvarado.

Fight Summary: Under fire from the opening bell the inexperienced challenger was unable to deal with Sidorenko (117½), and after being chased down in the third and being pressed from thereon in he was floored by a hard right to the jaw in the fifth. Having somehow got through the sixth Arnould (117½) was not so lucky in the seventh, two solid right hooks to the chin sending him down to be counted out.

3 May 2007. Hozumi Hasegawa w pts 12 Simpiwe Vetyeka.

Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Lupe Garcia.

Scorecards: 116-112, 116-112, 115-113.

Fight Summary: Up against a tough challenger in Vetyeka (117¾), an unbeaten South African danger man, Hasegawa (118) fought carefully for a few rounds before opening up with good southpaw shots. Whilst Hasegawa always had his nose in front, Vetyeka gave him some bad moments, especially in the seventh when unleashing several hard rights. Albeit that Hasegawa returned fire, he would never underestimate his tough counter-punching opponent until opening up in the 12th with a vicious attack to put the seal on his victory.

30 March 2007. Jhonny Gonzalez w rsc 9 Irene Pacheco.

Venue: Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Bobby Ferrara.

Fight Summary: Following a slow start by both men the contest got going in the third when the champion went over from what was called a slip before coming back to catch Pacheco (118), a southpaw, heavily to the body. From thereon in Pacheco took a beating as Gonzalez (117½) loaded up with shots from all angles, up and down. Although Pacheco came back in the sixth it was hardly significant to the way things were going, and under attack in ninth he took many unanswered punches before being rescued at 1.04 of the session while sitting on the ropes.

17 March 2007. Wladimir Sidorenko drew 12 Ricardo Cordoba.

Venue: Hanns Martin-Schleyer Hall, Stuttgart, Germany. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Mark Nelson.

Scorecards: 117-111, 114-114, 114-114.

Fight Summary: In a return match that again ended all square, Sidorenko (118) retained his crown after another tough fight with Cordoba (117¼). Regardless that Cordoba had a big reach advantage, Sidorenko was always right in front of his man despite being open to the southpaw right lead. Even when caught by heavy punches Sidorenko would brush them aside and come back firing. With Sidorenko finishing the fight strongly, one of the judges had him winning nine of the 12 rounds.

13 November 2006. Hozumi Hasegawa w pts 12 Genaro Garcia.

Venue: Nihon Budokan Martial Arts Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

Scorecards: 114-110, 114-109, 114-109.

Fight Summary: Although Hasegawa (117¾) scored two knockdowns over the challenger it was a difficult night for him when being forced to sustain a continuous flow of body attacks throughout the contest. Starting on the back foot, Hasegawa used southpaw left and right counters to keep Garcia (117¾) at bay as best he could, but even when the latter was dropped by a left to the jaw in the fourth he was not dissuaded to give up his forward march. It was in the sixth and seventh that Garcia took a lot of steam out of Hasegawa with his assaults on the body, prior to being docked a point in the eighth for an accidental head butt that opened a bad cut on the latter's right eye. Then, immediately following that, Garcia was dropped by a big right to the jaw. Even though Garcia continued his attacks on the body in the final four rounds it was not enough, Hasegawa catching him with several big shots that maintained his lead.

5 August 2006. Rafael Marquez w rtd 9 Silence Mabuza.

Venue: Montbleu Resort Casino, Stateline, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Tony Weeks.

Fight Summary: Making the seventh defence of his title, and a return contest, Marquez (118) moved into an early lead before Mabuza (117½) picked it up in the third through to the fifth with solid shots from head to body. Getting back into the swing of things in the sixth, Marquez reverted to type when opening up a cut under Mabuza's left eye in the eighth before battering the latter with incessant left and rights throughout the ninth. The contest ended at the end of the ninth when Mabuza's corner pulled him out.

 

When Marquez vacated the IBF version of the title on 16 March 2007, having become the WBC junior featherweight champion on 3 March 2007, a match was eventually set up between Luis Alberto Perez and Genaro Garcia to find a new champion.

15 July 2006. Wladimir Sidorenko w pts 12 Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym.

Venue: Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Rafael Ramos.

Scorecards: 120-108, 116-112, 115-113.

Fight Summary: Despite winning all of the rounds on one of the cards this was no easy defence for Sidorenko (117¾), especially with his left eye swelling from early on in the contest. Although Sidorenko began well, his left jab and right hand blows keeping Kratingdaenggym (118) at bay, once the latter got himself into gear and upped his attacks it became much tougher for the champion. Sidorenko showed his class when taking over in the latter sessions with solid left and right counters finding their mark as the strong Thai came onto them.

27 May 2006. Jhonny Gonzalez w pts 12 Fernando Montiel.

Venue: Home Depot Centre, Carson, California, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jon Schorle.

Scorecards: 116-112, 118-111, 113-115.

Fight Summary: Moving up from the junior bantam division it was expected that Montiel (117) would give Gonzalez (117¾) a run for his money, and that is exactly what he did despite a slow start. Showing good movement, coupled to superior hand-speed, Montiel made life tough for Gonzalez, who never really got going until the eighth when realising that he needed to up the pace without knowing that he was well in front on two of the cards. Cutting Montiel under the right eye in the ninth spurred Gonzalez on to make sure of the win.

25 March 2006. Hozumi Hasegawa w rsc 9 Veeraphol Sahaprom.

Venue: World Memorial Hall, Kobe, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Lupe Garcia.

Fight Summary: Having lifted the title from the 37-year-old Sahaprom (117¾) ten months earlier, Hasegawa (118) made a fast start in this one with right-lefts pushing the challenger back. Sahaprom was always in the fight, but it was Hasegawa who had that little bit extra that ultimately counted. After coming under a sustained attack in the seventh and eighth, Hasegawa fought back strongly in the ninth before dropping Sahaprom with a smashing southpaw countering right. With Sahaprom looking out of it, the referee stopped the contest after just 19 seconds of the session had elapsed.

11 March 2006. Wladimir Sidorenko drew 12 Ricardo Cordoba.

Venue: Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 118-111, 114-114, 114-114.

Fight Summary: Retaining his title by a majority draw in a tough fight, Sidorenko (117¾) was forced to meet fire with fire as the clever Cordoba (117¾) went at him with solid southpaw blows from the start. Much the taller of the two, Cordoba made Sidorenko's body the focus of his attacks, and the latter had to survive some difficult moments before getting on top as his challenger tired. Although Cordoba successfully used long uppercuts to the body from the middle rounds onwards, Sidorenko eventually found a way through them to cut back the deficit when taking four of the last six sessions.

26 November 2005. Wladimir Sidorenko w pts 12 Jose De Jesus Lopez.

Venue: Wilhelm Dopatka Hall, Leverkusen, Germany. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Steve Smoger.

Scorecards: 118-111, 119-109, 119-109.

Fight Summary: Getting into gear from the third round onwards, the champion had the fight under control when hooking off the jab and attacking the body whenever he could, with De Jesus Lopez (117¼) content to box at range. The pattern never really changed, even when the points were piling up against the Venezuelan who lacked the firepower to bother Sidorenko (117¾). Towards the end of the contest, with De Jesus Lopez almost spent after being under constant attack throughout, he appeared content just to make it to the final bell.

 

On 22 December, at the Rajadamnern Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym outscored Leo Gamez over 12 rounds to retain the WBA ‘interim’ title and secure himself a crack at Sidorenko.

5 November 2005. Rafael Marquez w rsc 4 Silence Mabuza.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Norm Budden.

Fight Summary: The fight had barely started when a big left hook dropped Mabuza (118), and although the challenger made it to the end of the round he was still dazed upon returning to his corner. Despite taking some hefty blows from Marquez (118) in the next couple of sessions it looked as though Mabuza was gradually beginning to find his way towards the end of the third, but in the fourth the situation became even more tenuous for the South African after he was cut on the left cheek. Realising it was his last chance Mabuza went toe-to-toe with Marquez, but after being badly cut over the right eye following a fierce exchange the referee, on the advice of the doctor, pulled him out of the fight on the 2.08 mark.

29 October 2005. Jhonny Gonzalez w rsc 7 Ratanachai Singwancha.

Venue: Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Fight Summary: Virtually dominating from the start, Gonzalez (116¾) was always looking to get his punches off with venom against the southpaw champion, and in the third round he dropped Sor Vorapin (118) with a left uppercut after a body shot had paved the way. Down again in the same round, having been hit by uppercuts from both hands, Sor Vorapin was really up against it, especially when cut over the right eye in the fourth. Although the Thai carried the fight to Gonzalez in the sixth, and the latter had to take time out after being hit low, the champion was dropped right at the end of the session by a left hook. Coming out for the seventh there was little left in the tank for Sor Vorapin, the referee rescuing him after just 22 seconds when he was making no effort to fire back as Gonzalez set about him.

25 September 2005. Hozumi Hasegawa w rsc 7 Gerardo Martinez.

Venue: The Arena, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Laurence Cole.

Fight Summary: A late replacement for Diego Morales, the challenger was up against it from the start as Hasegawa (117¼) scored heavily with right-left combinations, and in the third round he was dropped by a southpaw right hook to the head. Although Martinez (117½) got himself up he was outspeeded and outpunched the rest of the way, it coming as no surprise when he was floored three times in the seventh before being rescued by the referee on the 2.18 mark.

5 August 2005. Ratanachai Singwancha w pts 12 Mauricio Martinez.

Venue: Patong Beach Arena, Phuket, Thailand. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Samuel Viruet.

Scorecards: 116-112, 116-112, 114-114.

Fight Summary: In a battle of fellow southpaws the champion was forced to survive a rocky first round when Martinez (118) unleashed a series of heavy lefts, but by the third he was back in the fight with his effective countering paving the way. Although Martinez continued to be dangerous, Sor Vorapin (118) was dictating matters by the ninth despite having had a bad spell in the previous session after a clash of heads left him shaken and disorientated. The remaining four rounds saw Sor Vorapin exercise his better hand-speed to pick up points, as well as slamming in solid left hooks, while Martinez gave it his best shot when firing in hefty lefts and rights whenever in range.

28 May 2005. Rafael Marquez w pts 12 Ricardo Vargas.

Venue: Staples Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Pat Russell.

Scorecards: 118-109, 116-111, 116-111.

Fight Summary: Looking to win quickly, Marquez (116½) was ultimately given a bit of a test against a challenger who was happy to dart in behind the southpaw lead and fire off right-lefts to head and body whenever he saw the opportunity. Although he was taking a fair few punches, Vargas (118) was always coming back with his own brand before taking a breather in the ninth after being cut over the right eye. With Marquez upping the pace in the tenth and 11th rounds Vargas was forced to back off to some degree, and when he was eventually put down in the final session after running into a fusillade of blows most fans thought that was it. But back he came, trading with Marquez right through to the bell to earn the appreciation of the crowd.

16 April 2005. Hozumi Hasegawa w pts 12 Veeraphol Sahaprom.

Venue: Nihon Budokan Martial Arts Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Lupe Garcia.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 116-112.

Fight Summary: Taking his time to get up and running, the champion dropped the opening three rounds as Hasegawa (118) sped around the ring, throwing fast southpaw combinations while proving very elusive. In the fourth, however, after Sahaprom (118) opened up to cut Hasegawa over the left eye he concentrated his attacks on the body for the next three sessions. Coming again in the ninth, Hasegawa went toe-to-toe with Sahaprom, almost dropping the champion in the tenth with a belting left hook before the latter desperately tried to avert defeat in the final two sessions to no avail.

26 February 2005. Wladimir Sidorenko w pts 12 Julio Zarate.

Venue: Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 116-114, 117-112, 118-111.

Fight Summary: Making the first defence of the title he inherited from Johnny Bredahl, Zarate (118) was unable to make much use of his height-and-reach advantage, being outhustled by the stronger Sidorenko (117¼) who came to the ring as a former world-class amateur. Not a big puncher, the Ukrainian showed a good defence when taking the fight to Zarate, throwing accurate hooks and uppercuts from both hands, and the latter was forced out of his rhythm before going down fighting. Whatever Zarate did, with Sidorenko able to negate his every move, he had won just three rounds on the scorecards before making a barnstorming finish in the 12th as the champion settled for the points.

 

On 31 August, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym outpointed Ricardo Cordoba over 12 rounds at the Rajadamnern Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand to win the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title.

27 November 2004. Rafael Marquez w rtd 8 Mauricio Pastrana.

Venue:  MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Fight Summary: Although shaken up by Marquez (118) following a couple of solid blows in the opener, the challenger nearly floored the latter with a cracking right in the third. Unfortunately, Pastrana (117) was cut over the left eye in the same round, but it did not stop his forward march when giving Marquez plenty to think about until it began to become a bit one-sided by the seventh. From there on Marquez’s power-laden blows started to have an effect, and although Pastrana remained upright he was taking a fair amount of punishment before being retired at the end of the eighth, complaining of a damaged left arm.

11 September 2004. Veeraphol Sahaprom w pts 12 Cecilio Santos.

Venue: Chaophraya Dams Ground’s Arena, Chainart Province, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Kodai Kumazaki.

Scorecards: 118-110, 119-109, 117-111.

Fight Summary: Despite starting well, winning the opening round on two of the three cards, Santos (117¼) failed to present Sahaprom (118) with any real problems, the champion dictating the way the contest went without exerting himself. The little-known Mexican proved his toughness alright, but apart from that he had no idea of how to deal with Sahaprom when taking a battering in some of the rounds, especially in the eighth, as the latter made his 14th successful defence.

31 July 2004. Rafael Marquez w rsc 3 Heriberto Ruiz.

Venue: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Tony Weeks.

Fight Summary: With little happening following two rounds of inaction, and the crowd preparing itself for a long drawn out battle of wits, the contest was suddenly over at 2.11 of the third. It came about after the champion missed with a left hook and was countered by a similar punch from Ruiz (118). However, just as that was landing, Ruiz was himself nailed by a tremendous right uppercut to the jaw from Marquez (118) that dropped him face down on the canvas. Although it was clearly a kayo the referee did not even bother to count, immediately bringing the contest to a conclusion in order that Ruiz could receive attention.

7 May 2004. Ratanachai Singwancha w pts 12 Cruz Carbajal.

Venue: Phor Koon University Stadium, Nakhon Ratchaseema, Thailand. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez.

Scorecards: 118-109, 116-110, 116-111.

Fight Summary: Even though Carbajal (117) was quickly on the attack he was thwarted by the busy counter-punching challenger, who was not averse to whipping in the occasional heavy punch. When a vicious left hook dropped Carbajal in the fifth it was obvious to all that Sor Vorapin (117½) was a dangerous customer, and even a badly gashed right eye following a clash of heads in the sixth failed to deter him. Although Carbajal picked it up in the ninth, nearly dropping the Thai southpaw with an uppercut, Sor Vorapin came back to control the last three rounds to make sure of the win.

1 May 2004. Veeraphol Sahaprom w rsc 12 Julio Cesar Avila.

Venue: Temporary Stadium, Nong Khai, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: David Chung.

Fight Summary: Having boxed reasonably well in the opening two rounds, after the challenger had been dropped by a right uppercut to the stomach in the third Sahaprom (118) began to dominate, his attacks to the body paying dividends. Straying low in the eighth cost Sahaprom a point on the cards and gave Avila (117½) a five-minute rest after he was badly hurt, but back in the fray there was no let-up for the latter. Having being floored in the tenth and 12th rounds, Avila was pulled out at 1.10 of the final session when his corner indicated to the referee that their man had taken too much punishment.

13 March 2004. Johnny Bredahl w pts 12 Nobuaki Naka.

Venue: Brondby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Mark Nelson.

Scorecards: 117-112, 118-109, 117-111.

Fight Summary: Boxing well, Bredahl (118) took the opening three rounds with slick left hands before dropping his challenger in the fourth with a solid left hook for the only knockdown of the contest. Naka (118) did fight back on occasion, especially with left hooks and solid body shots, but lacking work-rate Bredahl was soon in control again. Towards the finish it was noticeable that Bredahl was tiring rapidly, but Naka failed to take advantage of the situation, being kidded out of it to the final bell.

 

When Bredahl retired on 11 October Julio Zarate, the ‘interim’ title holder, was promoted to champion.

6 March 2004. Veeraphol Sahaprom w pts 12 Toshiaki Nishioka.

Venue: Super Arena, Saitama, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Laurence Cole.

Scorecards: 118-109, 117-109, 116-110.

Fight Summary: Following an excellent start, the southpaw challenger won the opening two rounds by dint of solid straight lefts smashing into the face of Sahaprom (118). This was before both men suffered cuts above their eyes following a nasty head clash in the third and had a point deducted from their cards on the referee’s instruction. Thereafter, Nishioka (118) seemed to be more affected than the champion as his cut over the right eye worsened and, despite the fact that he continued to swap punches with Sahaprom in the centre of the ring, it was noticeable that the latter’s deliveries were by far the more accurate. With Sahaprom’s eye damage more or less under control he went further and further ahead despite his opponent’s dour resistance, and was a convincing winner at the final bell.

31 January 2004. Rafael Marquez w rsc 2 Pete Frissina.

Venue: Dodge Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

Fight Summary: Coming out in aggressive fashion, the challenger initially met Marquez (117¾) blow for blow until a four-punch combination followed by a straight right dumped him. Although dazed he made it to his feet before he was sent sprawling again and saved by the bell. Still intent on fighting his way back into it Frissina (118) continued to plough forward, but Marquez had his number in every department, picking him off with good jabs prior to driving him back against the ropes. With Frissina in real difficulty, the referee stopped it after just 22 seconds of the second round had elapsed.

24 October 2003. Johnny Bredahl w pts 12 David Guerault.

Venue: KB Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Michael Ortega.

Scorecards: 114-113, 118-111, 117-110.

Fight Summary: Starting fast, Bredahl (118) almost had his challenger over from body punches in the first round before having to settle for a hard-fought victory as his awkward rival made it difficult for him with swarming southpaw attacks. Bredahl was by far the better boxer, scoring with good, clean punches but, after being taken out of his stride by Guerault (117¾), he ended up with both eyes swollen, testament to 15 years of ring activity taking its toll.

 

On 6 March 2004, at the Super Arena, Saitama, Japan, Julio Zarate won the WBA ‘interim’ title when outpointing the holder, Hideki Todaka, over 12 rounds.

4 October 2003. Veeraphol Sahaprom drew 12 Toshiaki Nishioka.

Venue: Ryogoku Sumu Arena, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Lupe Garcia.

Scorecards: 116-112, 113-114, 115-115.

Fight Summary:  Once again the southpaw Nishioka (117½) gave the champion all sorts of problems, getting off to a good start with solid left crosses finding their mark. However, Sahaprom (118) rallied, despite being penalised for low blows in the fourth, and picked it up in the latter rounds when scoring well with short rights.

4 October 2003. Rafael Marquez w pts 12 Mauricio Pastrana.

Venue: Staples Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Jon Schorle.

Scorecards: 118-110, 118-110, 117-111.

Fight Summary: Much too fast for Pastrana (116½), the compact little Marquez (117) kept on top of his rival who mainly stayed on the outside in order to keep out of harm's way. Sent stumbling in the seventh, Pastrana took more heavy blows from the champion in the eighth before giving it all he had in the last two sessions, only to be repeatedly hurt by body shots.

4 October 2003. Cruz Carbajal w rsc 8 Gerardo Espinoza.

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Fight Summary: After feeling-out his challenger early on and sampling his best shots, Carbajal (118) quickly took over when forcing his man back as he looked to grind him down with fast combinations. By the sixth round it was clear that Espinoza (118), docked a point for holding and lacking the necessary power, was struggling to stay in the fight. Damaged under both eyes in the seventh, Espinoza was finally put down in the eighth following heavy shots to the face and a left hook to the stomach before being rescued by the referee on the 1.07 mark.

1 May 2003. Veeraphol Sahaprom w pts 12 Hugo Dianzo.

Venue: Bangkhae Mall Shopping Centre, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Nobuaki Urathani.

Scorecards: 118-110, 118-110, 117-111.

Fight Summary: Making his tenth defence, Sahaprom (118) once again proved that he was a cut above his challengers when clearly outscoring the game Dianzo (118). Although Dianzo was no easy customer, he was consistently turned back by well-timed jabs and accurate combinations, winning at best just two or three rounds on the cards.

15 February 2003. Rafael Marquez w rsc 8 Tim Austin.

Venue:  Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

Fight Summary: Although he started reasonably well, Austin (118) grew wary of the hard-hitting Marquez (118), who then surprisingly faded in the fifth through to the seventh as he came under pressure from the champion’s jab. The eighth turned out to be the most exciting round of the fight as both slammed away at each other, and both were hurt before Marquez got the upper hand when a left hook and a right put Austin down. After taking a long count (Austin was officially up at ‘nine’), the latter was being pounded by the wild-swinging Marquez before the referee had seen enough, rescuing him at 1.18 of the round.

8 November 2002. Johnny Bredahl w pts 12 Leo Gamez.

Venue: Falkoner Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Steve Smoger.

Scorecards: 115-114, 117-112, 117-113.

Fight Summary: Disappointed with his performance despite his points-scoring left hand, Bredahl (117) made hard work of what should have been an easier defence, the 39-year-old Gamez (116¼) having gone backwards considerably since his halcyon days. Game, although never threatening, Gamez should have been despatched summarily but, strangely off colour, it was probably a good thing that the champion was not facing a more dangerous opponent.

 

On 4 October 2003, at the Ryogoku Sumo Arena, Tokyo, Japan, Hideki Todaka acquired the WBA ‘interim’ title when outpointing Gamez over 12 rounds.

27 September 2002. Cruz Carbajal w rtd 4 Danny Romero.

Venue: Isleta Casino, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Russell Mora.

Fight Summary: The champion’s awkward style appeared to confuse Romero (118), it soon becoming noticeable that hooks and uppercuts were impairing the latter’s vision when the right side of his face began to swell up alarmingly. In the fourth round, Romero, who was also being hurt on the inside by Carbajal (117¾), was asked by the referee whether he wanted to continue, and although the answer was yes he was pulled out of the fight by his corner after the session had ended.

27 July 2002. Tim Austin w rsc 10 Adan Vargas.

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Joe Cortez.

Fight Summary: Performing like the top man he was known to be, Austin (118), despite being cut on the right eye early on, was too good a boxer for the tough Vargas (117). In a battle of southpaws, Austin was always one stride ahead, his instinctive moves and punch-picking a delight to watch. Gradually lowering the boom the champion really opened up in the tenth round with jabs and heavy crosses, and following a crunching left-hand blow to the head the referee jumped in on the 1.03 mark to rescue Vargas from further punishment.

1 May 2002. Veeraphol Sahaprom w pts 12 Julio Coronel.

Venue: Rama V Bridge Arena, Nonthaburi, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: David Chung.

Scorecards: 117-110, 117-109, 118-109.

Fight Summary: Defending his title for the ninth time, Sahaprom (118) dropped Coronel (117) with a left hook in the second round before dominating his rival with point-scoring accurate punches for the remainder of the contest. Cut over the left eye in the seventh from a head clash, although Sahaprom boxed mainly on the counter thereafter he was always in control against a game challenger.

19 April 2002. Johnny Bredahl w co 9 Eidy Moya.

Venue: Falkoner Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Armando Garcia.

Fight Summary: To win the title at the age of 33, Bredahl (117½) boxed brilliantly, always being on the move, always keeping one step ahead of Moya (118) with left jabs and right crosses, and always confusing the champion. By the seventh round, Bredahl, who looked to be tiring, was way out in front before Moya came back in this session to land some reasonable punches of his own. In the eighth both were ragged until Bredahl got on the move again in the next round. Jabbing his man well the former undefeated WBO junior bantamweight title holder then sent in a burst of punches, following which Moya crumpled to the canvas to be counted out after 2.40 of the session had elapsed.

15 March 2002. Cruz Carbajal w rsc 9 Mauricio Martinez.

Venue: Beto Avila Park, Boca Del Rio, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jose Rivera.

Fight Summary: Combining blows to head and body with a good defence, Carbajal (117¼) set up an irresistible pace to dismantle the southpaw champion, whose mouth bled from round two. As the fight wore on the end was in sight, Martinez (117½) being eventually rescued by the referee at 1.35 of the ninth having been floored heavily.

11 January 2002. Veeraphol Sahaprom w pts 12 Sergio Perez.

Venue: Future Park, Thanyaburi, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Malcolm Bulner.

Scorecards: 116-113, 118-111, 120-108.

Fight Summary: Outboxing and outpunching Perez (117) throughout, Sahaprom (118) easily defended his title while walking to a shut-out win. However, although one-sided he failed to drop the switch-hitting Perez, who was forced into survival mode for most of the time, and possibly should have closed the challenger down well before the fight ran its course.

15 December 2001. Tim Austin w pts 12 Ratanachai Singwancha.

Venue: Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA. Recognition:  IBF. Referee: Michael Ortega.

Scorecards: 115-112, 118-109, 117-110.

Fight Summary: In a match-up between fellow southpaws, Austin (118), less aggressive as usual, relied on safety-first tactics to keep his title against the ever dangerous but limited Sor Vorapin (118). It was the right jab, ably supported by the straight left and left uppercut that did it for Austin.

14 October 2001. Eidy Moya w co 11 Adan Vargas.

Venue: Villa Real Special Events Centre, McAllen, Texas, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Laurence Cole.

Fight Summary: Contested for the title vacated when Paulie Ayala moved on, Moya (117), the ‘interim’ champion, was good value for his win in what was a see-saw slugfest. Both men were down, Vargas (118) in the second round and Moya in the seventh and, prior to the straight right to the jaw that saw Vargas counted out in the 11th, either man could have won.

1 September 2001. Veeraphol Sahaprom drew 12 Toshiaki Nishioka.

Venue: The Arena, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Tony Perez.

Scorecards: 113-115, 116-113, 114-114.

Fight Summary: Putting up an excellent challenge, the southpaw Nishioka (118) only just failed to win the title, the better quality punches being marginally with Sahaprom (118). What was a difficult defence anyway got even harder after the champion suffered a cut right eye in the fourth, and he had to call on all his skills in order to hold on to his title.

16 June 2001. Tim Austin w rsc 6 Steve Dotse.

Venue: Xavier University Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Kamal Hasan.

Fight Summary: Coming back from a contest in which his opponent had died, Dotse (118) was unable to do anything with the masterful Austin (118) before slumping to a stoppage defeat at 2.09 of the sixth round. Displaying a great jab and excellent body punching, the champion dominated his rival, Dotse being lucky to get as far as he did.

14 May 2001. Veeraphol Sahaprom w co 3 Ricardo Barajas.

Venue: Sports Palace, Paris, France. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Daniel Talon.

Fight Summary: Although Barajas (117¾) started well, unleashing a stream of left hooks at the champion, Sahaprom (117½) began to get himself together in the second round with the jab working well. In the third the Thai decided to walk through the leather, landing a tremendous right which floored Barajas and saw him counted out at 2.59 of the session.

30 March 2001. Paulie Ayala w pts 12 Hugo Dianzo.

Venue: Convention Centre, Fort Worth, Texas, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Laurence Cole.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 115-112.

Fight Summary: Distinctly lucky to retain his crown, the southpaw Ayala (118) appeared to have been outworked and outboxed throughout, something that was supported by the ring stats which showed Dianzo (118) to have thrown 465 more punches than the champion and landed 43 more. Down in the fourth, Ayala just could not get into the fight despite the verdict being a unanimous one in his favour.

 

Ayala forfeited the WBA version of the title on 7 August for not receiving permission to meet Clarence Adams for the IBO junior featherweight championship, which he had won on 4 August. Following that, Eidy Moya, the ‘interim’ champion, and Adan Vargas were matched to contest the vacant title.

3 March 2001. Tim Austin w rsc 6 Jesus Salvador Perez.

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Kenny Bayless.

Fight Summary: Although Perez (117) proved to be an awkward customer, once Austin (117) had worked him out the end was always in sight. Down in the third and fifth rounds, the challenger was again dumped early in the sixth, and after getting up he ran into a countering right hook that dropped him again. By this time the referee had seen enough, calling a halt on the 2.02 mark.

16 December 2000. Mauricio Martinez w rsc 1 Esham Pickering.

Venue: The Arena, Sheffield, England. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Rudy Battle.

Fight Summary: Showing his inexperience, Pickering (117¾), challenging for the title after boxing more recently at featherweight, was caught cold by Martinez (117½) and blasted down twice. The second knockdown forced the referee to stop the fight after just 72 seconds in order to get the stricken fighter medical help quickly. Too upright and too easy to hit with the right hand Pickering could have been rescued after the first knockdown, having got up at the count of ‘four’, but being the home fighter he was given every chance.

5 December 2000. Veeraphol Sahaprom w rsc 5 Oscar Arciniega.

Venue: Sanam Luang Royal Promenade, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: David Chung.

Fight Summary: In complete control from the second round, Sahaprom (118) mastered the brave Arciniega (116¾) with some ease before gashing his challenger’s left eye early in the fifth after landing a solid blow to the head. With the injury worsening, at 1.55 of the session the ringside doctor advised the referee to call it off.

4 September 2000. Mauricio Martinez w rsc 5 Lester Fuentes.

Venue: Wythenshawe Forum, Manchester, England. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Mickey Vann.

Fight Summary: Fighting for the title vacated by Johnny Tapia, Martinez (117¼) survived three knockdowns prior to round five as well as picking up a bad cut around his right eye to somehow stay in the fight, let alone win it. Most of the spectators were expecting Martinez to be pulled out before the fifth session began, but come out he did to find a strangely subdued Fuentes (116¾) in front of him. Thus, it was with added confidence that the Panamanian southpaw started to get his punches off big time. Having been nailed by right after right Fuentes suddenly stumbled into the ropes before another shot dumped him unconscious beneath the ropes, whereupon the referee called it off immediately.

11 August 2000. Tim Austin w pts 12 Arthur Johnson.

Venue: Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Joe Cortez.

Scorecards: 120-108, 120-108, 120-108.

Fight Summary: Making his fifth defence, Austin 117¾), although not being at his best, had too much for Johnson (117) who was too cautious and negative to land the title. The fight basically followed the same pattern throughout, Austin leading with the southpaw jab while occasionally dropping in some heavy shots, with Johnson, despite his pre-fight boasts, making up the numbers.

25 June 2000. Veeraphol Sahaprom w pts 12 Toshiaki Nishioka.

Venue: Municipal Gym, Takasago, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Laurence Cole.

Scorecards: 116-112, 116-112, 115-113.

Fight Summary: Nishioka (118), a southpaw, was hoping to take the title in front of his home crowd, but in the main he was constantly on the move to avoid the heavy punches coming his way. Known as the ‘Death Mask’, Sahaprom (117¾) just kept coming. Although he failed to put his man down he was always the aggressor, never letting up, and was well worth the unanimous decision handed to him.

6 May 2000. Johnny Tapia w pts 12 Pedro Javier Torres.

Venue: Pan-American Centre, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Rocky Burke.

Scorecards: 118-107, 119-107, 119-107.

Fight Summary: Forced to lose three pounds in six weeks, while Tapia (118) somehow made the required weight he was probably lucky to be fighting a man who had only won one of his last four contests. Even though he knocked his challenger down twice Tapia failed to impress. He seldom used his jab and was unable to figure out Torres (117¾), who ran for most of the fight, before ultimately settling for a wide points win.

 

When Tapia handed in his WBO Championship Belt in July due to weight-making difficulties a contest between Mauricio Martinez and Lester Fuentes that was intended to be for the ‘interim’ title was upgraded in order to find a new champion.

11 March 2000. Veeraphol Sahaprom w pts 12 Adan Vargas.

Venue: Aranyaprathet Municipal Stadium, Sakaew, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Malcolm Bulner.

Scorecards: 117-111, 118-111, 120-110.

Fight Summary: The lanky challenger took an early lead before Sahaprom (117¼) began to control the fight from the fifth round onwards, his fast, powerful rights worrying Vargas (116½) continuously. By the ninth, Sahaprom was well on top, but the tough Vargas managed to last the course.

4 March 2000. Paulie Ayala w pts 12 Johnny Bredahl.

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Richard Steele.

Scorecards: 116-111, 115-113, 114-114.

Fight Summary: Bredahl (117½), enjoying a five-inch-reach advantage and making good use of it, was a surprise package, and if it had not been for a second-round knockdown and the late run for home by Ayala (118) he could have nicked the title. The challenger seemed to be out in front over the first eight rounds, his lightweight jab scoring points while his movement made it difficult for the southpaw to get solid blows on target. That was before he began to tire and lose momentum as Ayala’s heavier punches took effect to warrant the split decision.

 

After Ayala beat Johnny Tapia (w pts 12 at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on 7 October) for the vacant IBA featherweight title, there were fears that he would be moving up in weight. With that in mind, Eidy Moya outscored Saohin Srithai Condo over 12 rounds at the Agua University Gym, Maracay, Venezuela on 16 December to land the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title.

8 January 2000. Johnny Tapia w pts 12 Jorge Eliecer Julio.

Venue: Pit University Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Mike Ortega.

Scorecards: 116-111, 118-109, 119-108.

Fight Summary: For long periods of the fight, Tapia (117¾), who many expected would box his way to victory, was drawn into a slugging match against the hard-punching Julio (117¾). Occasionally dirty, with Julio having a point deducted in the seventh for repeated use of the elbow, it was right up the champion’s street. Despite that, the majority of Tapia’s points were gained when he was on his toes and controlling the action.

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