Junior Flyweight World Championship Fights & Title Claims

Full junior flyweight fight details from 1975 to August 2016 (plus mini fly, fly, junior bantam and 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

 

13 October 2018. Angel Acosta w co 2 Abraham Rodriguez.

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

7 October 2018. Ken Shiro w rsc 7 Milan Melindo.

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

16 June 2018. Angel Acosta w rsc 12 Carlos Buitrago.

Venue: Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Luis Pabon.

25 May 2018. Ken Shiro w co 2 Ganigan Lopez.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

20 May 2018. Hekkie Budler w pts 12 Ryoichi Taguchi.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: IBF/WBA/The Ring. Referee: Sam Williams.

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

On 15 July, Carlos Canizales retained the WBA ‘second tier’ title when stopping Bin Lu inside 12 rounds at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Buddler relinquished the IBF title on 28 July due to the low purse money offered for a mandatory defence against Felix Alvarado.

31 December 2017. Ryoichi Taguchi w pts 12 Milan Melindo.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: IBF/WBA/ The Ring. Referee: Mark Nelson.

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

​Carlos Canizales won the vacant WBA ‘second tier’ title when outpointing Reiya Konishi over 12 rounds at the Portopia Hotel, Kobe, Japan on 18 March 2018.

30 December 2017. Ken Shiro w rsc 4 Gilberto Pedroza.

Venue: Cultural Bunka Gym, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Laurence Cole.

 

2 December 2017. Angel Acosta w rsc 10 Juan Alejo.

Venue: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

22 October 2017. Ken Shiro w pts 12 Pedro Guevara.

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

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

 

16 September 2017. Milan Melindo w pts 12 Hekkie Budler.

Venue: Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Wes Melton.

Scorecards: 117-110, 115-112, 113-115.

 

13 September 2017. Kosei Tanaka w rsc 9 Rangsan Chayanram.

Venue: EDION Arena, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez Jnr.

Still recovering from injuries received in his last fight, Tanaka relinquished the WBO title on 28 November after deciding to move up a weight having failed to agree a unification match with the WBA champion, Ryoichi Taguchi. The WBO ‘interim’ title fight between Angel Acosta and Juan Alejo was immediately upgraded to deal with the vacancy.  

 

23 July 2017. Ryoichi Taguchi w rsc 9 Ronald Barrera.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Russell Mora.

21 May 2017. Milan Melindo w rsc 1 Akira Yaegashi.

Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Edward Hernandez Snr.

20 May 2017. Ken Shiro w pts 12 Ganigan Lopez.

Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Len Koivisto.

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

20 May 2017. Kosei Tanaka w pts 12 Angel Acosta.

Venue: Takeda Teva Ocean Arena, Nagoya, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Manuel Oliver Palomo.

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

31 December 2016. Ryoichi Taguchi drew 12 Carlos Canizales.

Venue: Ota-City Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Pinit Prayadsab.

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

31 December 2016. Kosei Tanaka w rsc 5 Moises Fuentes.

Venue: Memorial Centre, Gifu, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

30 December 2016. Akira Yaegashi w rsc 12 Samartlek Kokietgym.

Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Gerard White.

31 August 2016. Ryoichi Taguchi w pts 12 Ryo Miyazaki.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Melva Santos.

Scorecards: 119-109, 116-112, 117-111.

Fight Summary: Although the challenger made the better start, Taguchi (108) was soon in control of the action, working his jab well while finding openings for his right. Miyazaki (108) was always there or thereabouts, but he could not take the play away from Taguchi who always came back with punches that counted. Even though Miyazaki hurt Taguchi at the end of the tenth with a big right, and won the 12th it was more to do with the latter taking evasive action other than anything else.

2 July 2016. Ganigan Lopez w pts 12 Jonathan Taconing.

Venue: Coliseum Arena, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Tom Taylor.

Scorecards: 119-108, 118-109, 115-112.

Fight Summary: It was the champion who came out on top of Taconing (107¼) in this battle of southpaws, his better boxing being a decisive factor. With height and reach advantage, Lopez (107½) used a solid jab to keep Taconing at distance as best he could, but was often caught on the ropes and pounded to the body. Hurt in the second and the fifth, Lopez held on before getting back to his boxing. In the eighth, a head clash, for which Taconing was deducted a point, saw Lopez cut over the right eye. However, Lopez soon regrouped, and even though Taconing went for broke in the final session the Mexican stayed out of trouble to fully deserve the unanimous decision that came his way.

28 May 2016. Donnie Nietes w rtd 5 Raul Garcia.

Venue: St La Salle University Coliseum, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Celestino Ruiz.

Fight Summary: Putting up both of his championship belts against a two-time mini flyweight champion in Garcia, the skilful, hard-hitting Nietes (108), who had won the WBO title from the latter's brother, was determined to finish early. Both men were landing solidly from early on, with Nietes having the better of his southpaw opponent. Dropping Garcia twice in the third, Nietes continued where he left off in the fourth, but although he handed out a beating Garcia bravely remained upright. It was the bodywork of Nietes that was doing the damage, and at the end of the fifth Garcia was retired by his corner with nothing much left in the tank.

 

Nietes relinquished the WBO title on 3 August, having decided to move up among the flyweights. After explaining that he would not be making 108lbs again, The Ring Championship Belt was also vacated 16 August.

8 May 2016. Akira Yaegashi w pts 12 Martin Tecuapetla.

Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Gerard White.

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

Fight Summary: After dropping the opening three rounds on the cards and struggling in the next two, the champion wisely decided not to take on the brawling Tecuapetla (107¾) at his own game when making better use of his speed and skill. Although Yaegashi (107½) began to pick up the rounds it was still too close for comfort, but despite his left eye swelling up he began to fight it out again in the ninth. This time around his accurate and speedy combinations were too much for Tecuapetla who, despite hitting back hard, was ultimately the victim of a split decision. It had been a tough fight for Yaegashi and one he would not wish to repeat too often.

 

Fahlan Sakreerin Jnr won the vacant IBF ‘interim’ title when outpointing Milan Melindo over 12 rounds at The Coliseum, Cebu City, Philippines on 26 November 2016.

27 April 2016. Ryoichi Taguchi w rtd 11 Juan Jose Landaeta.

Venue: Ota-City Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Hubert Earle.

Fight Summary: Up against a 36-year-old Venezuelan southpaw challenger, Taguchi (107½) was soon on top of his man when belting in solid blows. Although Landaeta came back somewhat in the sixth, by the ninth he was really under the cosh when put down twice. In the tenth it was more of the same as Landaeta (107) was dropped again, and in the 11th after taking a battering and two further counts his corner wisely retired him at the end of the session.

4 March 2016. Ganigan Lopez w pts 12 Yu Kimura.

Venue: Shimazu Arena, Kyoto, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

Scorecards: 119-109, 118-108, 114-114.

Fight Summary: Taking in his first fight outside of Mexico, Lopez (107), a southpaw, picked up the title when handed a majority decision win over Kimura (107½) who was making his first defence. Unfortunately for Kimura he lacked the power required to hurt Lopez, and although he boxed well he just could not keep the latter away for any long period. By the eighth Kimura was not only was behind on the cards, but he had also picked up a swelling under his right eye which hindered him from there on. Although Kimura came back as best he could he was unable to deter Lopez, who never eased up. While two of the judges had it wide for Lopez, the other adjudicator had them dead level at the final bell, which confounded all but Kimura.

31 December 2015. Ryoichi Taguchi w rtd 9 Luis De La Rosa.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Derek Milham.

Fight Summary: In what was a tough fight for the champion, De La Rosa (106¾) gave it his all prior to retiring on his stool at the end of the ninth with nothing left in the tank. Swarming all over the champion in the first with wild swings, De La Rosa kept it going right through to the fourth before Taguchi (108) got himself into the contest. Back with good jabs and the occasional left hook in the fifth and sixth, Taguchi was forced to fight De La Rosa off in the seventh after taking a solid right and left hook to the head. Stepping it up in the eighth and ninth with jabs and combinations to head and body it was clear that Taguchi was in control as De La Rosa tired badly, but it was still a surprise when the latter retired at a time when he was ahead on two of the cards.

 

On 16 April 2016, Randy Petalcorin handed in his WBA 'interim' Championship Belt in order to move up to the flyweight division and contest the WBC 'silver' title.

29 December 2015. Akira Yaegashi w pts 12 Javier Mendoza.

Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Kenny Chevalier.

Scorecards: 120-107, 119-109, 117-111.

Fight Summary: Challenging for a version of the title for the third time, the 32-year-old former WBA mini fly and WBC flyweight champion came good when widely outpointing the holder, Mendoza (107½). Starting quickly Yaegashi surprised his southpaw opponent with the measure of his boxing and speed, and in the fifth opened up a cut on Mendoza's left eye. The seventh and eighth saw a bit of a comeback for Mendoza as he landed well with solid combinations, but by the ninth through to the 11th Yaegashi was back at full throttle when swapping blows with the dangerous Mendoza. Although swollen around both eyes, Yaegashi went toe-to-toe with Mendoza in the final session, shaking him up and almost having him out before the final bell came to the latter's aid.

28 November 2015. Yu Kimura w pts 12 Pedro Guevara.

Venue: Xebio Arena, Sendai, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Ian John-Lewis.

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

Fight Summary: Ahead after four rounds of boxing, double and triple jabs controlling the fight, the champion almost had Kimura (107½) over in the fifth, smashing in punch after punch in a bid to end the fight. Following that the contest was turned on its head when Kimura came back hard in the sixth with left hooks and right crosses that hurt Guevara (108) and put him on the back foot right through to the final bell. The aggressive Kimura caught Guevara with plenty of short combinations as he struck out for the finishing line, whilst Guevara surprisingly tried to outbox his man instead of using his heavy artillery, especially during the last four sessions. 

17 October 2015. Donnie Nietes w pts 12 Juan Alejo.

Venue: StubHub Centre, Carson, California, USA. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

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

Fight Summary: With his two championship belts on the line yet again, Nietes (108) boxed his way to a wide points win over the tough Alejo (107½). Barely dropping a round, Nietes was in full flow by the fourth as he picked Alejo apart with a full range of blows. It was the straight right and right uppercuts that caused Alejo the most grief, but he stayed upright. Having been cut over the left eye in the sixth, Nietes took the fight to Alejo in the seventh with some big punches that snapped the latter's head back before getting back to his boxing and romping to victory.

11 July 2015. Donnie Nietes w pts 12 Francisco Rodriguez Jnr.

Venue: Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Russell Mora.

Scorecards: 119-109, 115-113, 118-110.

Fight Summary: On the front foot from the start, the left hook his favoured punch, Rodriguez (108) made Nietes (108) work hard before the latter gained the upper hand. Boxing well, the holder of two championship belts was picking his punches better by the fourth as he avoided the blows from Rodriguez coming his way, and at the end of the sixth he had a good lead. Although he was hurt by solid lefts towards the end of the seventh, Nietes continued with the jab, keeping Rodriguez at bay with sharp punches prior to coming under attack in the latter stages. Two judges had Nietes the winner by a big margin, whilst the other had Rodriguez winning five rounds.

4 July 2015. Pedro Guevara w pts 12 Ganigan Lopez.

Venue: Multipurpose Centre, Mazatlan, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Lupe Garcia.

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

Fight Summary: Making his second defence, Guevara (114¾) started slowly as both men weighed each other up in a contest that failed to take off until the second half. With Lopez (114¾), a southpaw, content to box on the back foot, Guevara picked it up in the sixth through to the eighth when banging in blows from both hands. It was clear that Lopez needed to force the issue in the ninth if he wanted to win, and in doing so he was forced to take plenty in return. Coming on strongly in the last three rounds, Lopez hurt Guevara in the tenth before putting him down with a right-left in the 11th, a punch that was correctly ruled to be a slip. Although unable to overhaul Guevera, the challenger was still fighting hard at the final bell.

30 May 2015. Javier Mendoza w tdec 6 Milan Melindo.

Venue: New Arena, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Gerard White.

Scorecards: 59-53, 60-52, 60-52.

Fight Summary: Both men were happy to come forward in order to exchange punches, but when heads continually came together it was the southpaw champion who came off worse. An accidental head clash in the first round was followed by a low blow and an overarm right from Melindo (107¼) that had Mendoza (107¼) sliding along the ropes and the Filipino slipping down. Coming back hard in the second, scoring well with solid left crosses, Mendoza seized the initiative when landing some good body shots in the third before Melindo was docked two points for low blows in the fourth and fifth. With Mendoza badly cut over the left eye from one of many head clashes, the referee went to the cards at 2.39 of the sixth after being advised by the ringside doctor that he could not continue.

6 May 2015. Ryoichi Taguchi w rsc 8 Kwanthai Sithmorseng.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Ferlin Marsh.

Fight Summary: Boxing on the back foot the impressive champion won all the way as he breezed to an eighth-round stoppage win over Sithmorseng (107¾), who did not know the meaning of a backward step. Evading punches and jabbing well with the left before opening up, Taguchi (108) dropped Sithmorseng four times from assorted right-hand blows, in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh before looking to take his man out in the eighth. Setting up a sustained attack, Taguchi whipped in punches from both hands prior to dropping Sithmorseng with a cracking right to the head. Although Sithmorseng was able to get up the referee stopped the fight after just 36 seconds had elapsed on realising that the game Thai had little left to offer.

11 April 2015. Pedro Guevara w rsc 1 Richard Claveras.

Venue: Multiple Uses Centre, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jerry Cantu.

Fight Summary: Stalking Guevara (106¾) from the opening bell and getting off a few solid left-rights to the head, Claveras (106¾) looked to be a worthy challenger. However, when Guevara stepped in with a left hook to the body and realised that Claveras could be hurt with that punch he picked it up before dropping in another hard left to the ribs. Following it up with a right-left hook to the jaw, Guevara dropped Claveras for the full count on the 2.31 mark.

28 March 2015. Donnie Nietes w rtd 9 Gilberto Parra.

Venue: Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Jack Reiss.

Fight Summary: Putting his two championship belts on the line against Parra (108), the skilful Nietes (108) was forced to mix it early on with the young slugger before getting on top in the fourth and fifth when going up and down with accurate, hurtful shots. Although Parra came back strongly in the sixth he was picked apart from there on as Nietes upped the pace, and in the eighth a cracking right cross downed the Mexican. Things did not get any better for Parra when another solid right opened up a bad cut on his left eye in the ninth, it coming as no surprise when he was retired at the end of the session.

31 December 2014. Ryoichi Taguchi w pts 12 Alberto Rossel.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Silvestre Abainza.

Scorecards: 116-110, 116-111, 117-109.

Fight Summary: Rossel (108), who had been appointed champion by the WBA after firstly Roman Gonzalez and then Kazuto Ioka handed back their belts, lost his title when handily outpointed by Taguchi (108). Despite being the shorter man Rossel soon had his left jab working well, but was forced on to the back foot after Taguchi found his distance. Picking off Rossel with long lefts and attacking more, Taguchi dropped the champion with a solid left hook to the body in the eighth before another shot to the same region, which appeared to be more of a slip than punch, had him down again in the ninth. Despite producing a storming finish in the 12th, Rossel was way down on the cards at the bell.

 

Randy Petalcorin held on to his WBA 'interim' title following a first-round stoppage win over Ma Yi Ming at the Capital Gym, Beijing, China on 24 April 2015.

30 December 2014. Pedro Guevara w co 7 Akira Yaegashi.

Venue: Metropolitan Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

Fight Summary: Billed for the vacant title after Naoya Inoue moved on, Guevara (106¾) caused something of a shock when beating Yaegashi (107½) on the latter's home turf. In what had been a fairly even affair prior to the sixth, with Guevara trying to keep the body-punching Yaegashi at arm's length while standing up well on the inside, he began to pick up the pace. Having started strongly in the sixth, Guevara shocked the crowd when dropping Yaegashi with a tremendous left hook to the body, a punch that saw the local counted out at 2.45 of the seventh. 

15 November 2014. Donnie Nietes w rtd 7 Carlos Velarde.

Venue: Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Cebu City, Philippines. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Fight Summary: Not much of a spectacle to start with, it finally got going in the third when the WBO champion and Ring Championship Belt holder began to let loose solid counters as Velarde (107¾) came on to his punches. From thereon in it was all Nietes (107½), his better boxing having Velarde looking confused and tired. In the seventh, after complaining to no avail about a head butt that left him with a bad cut over the left eye and taking a beating, Velarde was retired by his corner at the end of the session.

20 September 2014. Javier Mendoza w pts 12 Ramon Garcia Hirales.

Venue: Fausto Gutierrez Moreno Municipal Auditorium, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Roberto Ramirez Jnr.

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

Fight Summary: Contested for the title that was vacated when Johnriel Casimero failed to make the weight for a championship defence, Mendoza (108) became the new champion when outscoring Garcia Hirales (108). A battle of southpaws saw Garcia Hirales start well enough, hurting Mendoza with an overarm left in the third. Following several low blows by both men, Mendoza eventually got in a legal one when dropping his rival with a cracking left to the body in the fifth. The tide of the contest had turned. Docked a point in the eighth for going low, Garcia Hirales was hurt in the eighth and ninth before being floored by another body attack in the tenth. Both men gave it their all in the last two sessions, Mendoza almost dropping his fellow Mexican immediately prior to the final bell.

5 September 2014. Naoya Inoue w rsc 11 Samartlek Kokietgym.

Venue: Yoyogi National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Gelasio Perez Huerta.

Fight Summary: In his first defence and just his seventh contest, Inoue (107¾) racked up the rounds before dropping the game Kokietgym (107¼) with a heavy left-right to the head in the fourth prior to putting him on the floor again in the sixth following a cracking left to the body. With most people thinking that was it, Kokietgym showed remarkable resistance and courage to last into the 11th despite carrying a badly damaged left eye that took away his ability to see properly. However, when Inoue put him under sustained pressure the referee called it off at 1.08 of the session.

 

Inoue relinquished the WBC title in November in order to challenge for the WBO junior bantamweight title.

10 May 2014. Donnie Nietes w rsc 9 Moises Fuentes.

Venue: SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Fight Summary: By his victory the WBO champion picked up The Ring Championship Belt which was vacant, while Fuentes (108) forfeited the WBO 'interim' crown on losing. This was a rematch following their earlier draw, and to all intents and purposes Nietes (108) looked a different fighter to the one that took on Fuentes in 2013. Although the fight was relatively close Nietes was the sharper of the pair, and after a slow start he began to make Fuentes appear one-dimensional even though the latter delivered some good body shots in round five. By round eight when Fuentes was beginning to take a beating it was apparent that Nietes, in the ascendancy, was looking for a finish. In the ninth, after dropping Fuentes with some nasty looking body blows, some of which could have strayed low, Nietes was deducted a point for hitting his opponent when he was down. Despite Fuentes being given some recovery time, when he was twice sent crashing the referee eventually called it off with four seconds of the session remaining.

6 April 2014. Naoya Inoue w rsc 6 Adrian Hernandez.

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

Fight Summary: Taking part in only his sixth pro bout Inoue (108) lifted the title from Hernandez (108), having weathered all that the champion had on offer before battering him to defeat. Showing his aggression from the start, Inoue, superior to Hernandez in all but experience, quickly made his mark with fast combinations before a cracking right hook in the third left the latter with a cut left eye. From thereon in it was nearly all Inoue, and in the sixth a tremendous overarm right sent Hernandez to the floor. Although getting to his feet, when Hernandez turned his back in an act of surrender the referee called the fight off at 2.54 of the session.

8 February 2014. Adrian Hernandez w rsc 3 Janiel Rivera.

Venue: The Stables, Huixquilucan, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

Fight Summary: Having never travelled beyond eight rounds, Rivera (106¾) was not expected to trouble the champion unduly. The opener saw him landing a few shots on the stalking Hernandez (108), but when the latter found the range for the jab and solid rights in the second the writing was on the wall. Continuing to march his man down in the third Hernandez was soon setting Rivera up for the kill, and after hammering away continuously a big right to the head sent the Puerto Rican down on to the lower strand where he was rescued by the referee at 1.37 of the session.

30 November 2013. Donnie Nietes w rsc 3 Sammy Gutierrez.

Venue: Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Celestino Ruiz.

Fight Summary: Jumping on Gutierrez (108) from the bell the champion dropped the latter twice from flurries of blows in the opener, but was unable to finish him off there and then. In the second it was more of the same as Nietes (108) hurt Gutierrez with heavy rights to the head before the Mexican retaliated with left hooks that forced the Filipino on the back foot. Back on the front foot in the third, and exchanging punches with Gutierrez, Nietes finally found a smashing straight left to the jaw that sent the challenger down. Although a badly shaken Gutierrez tried to get to his feet the referee had seen enough, halting the bout with just two seconds of the session remaining.

26 October 2013. Johnriel Casimero w rsc 11 Felipe Salguero.

Venue: The Coliseum, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Wayne Hedgpeth.

Fight Summary: Picking his punches early on in order to keep the aggressive Salguero (108) both off balance and at bay, the champion began logging up the points before unloading heavy rights as the contest progressed. In the fifth Salguero twice slipped over after left hooks and straight rights had pressured him, and in the eighth and ninth he was dropped by a left uppercut and a right uppercut respectively. Having been battered in the tenth, when Salguero was floored from a series of solid shots the referee halted the contest at 1.34 of the 11th to save the game Mexican from taking further punishment.

 

Casimero forfeited the IBF title on coming in overweight for a defence against Mauricio Fuentes at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines on 3 May 2014. Fuentes (108), who could have won the title had he beaten Casimero, was knocked out inside a round.

31 August 2013. Adrian Hernandez w rsc 4 Atsushi Kakutani.

Venue: Juan De La Barrera Olympic Gym, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Rocky Burke.

Fight Summary: The challenger quickly showed that he had come to win when dropping Hernandez (108) following a three-punch combination and a solid right less than a minute into the contest. It took Hernandez the rest of the session to get himself going, but in the second he went toe-to-toe with Kakutani (106), hitting his man with everything he had despite the latter banging in good shots every now and again. With Hernandez clearly on top in the third, when the bell rang for the fourth he set about Kakutani before dropping him with a good right. Although getting to his feet Kakutani was hurt, and following two more knockdowns, firstly by another right hand and then a wide left hook, he was rescued by the referee at 1.12 of the session. 

11 May 2013. Adrian Hernandez w pts 12 Yader Cardoza.

Venue:  Agustin Ramos Millan Sports Centre, Toluca, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Rocky Burke.

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

Fight Summary: Getting away well, the opening two rounds saw the challenger setting out his stall as he matched Hernandez (107¾) for punch rate, especially when a solid overarm right hurt the latter in the second. In the third, however, it was Cardoza (107¾) who was dazed by a cracking right to the jaw. With Hernandez just about ahead he picked up a swollen left eye in the sixth before battering Cardoza with lefts and rights throughout the seventh. From thereon in it was Hernandez who retained his lead despite Cardoza coming on strongly in the last two sessions as he looked to get his hands on the belt.

16 March 2013. Johnriel Casimero w pts 12 Luis Alberto Rios.

Venue: Megapolis Convention Centre, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

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

Fight Summary: Starting as though he meant to finish early, the champion quickly had Rios (108) in defensive mode when loading up big shots from either hand. Casimero (106½) was always in front, but as the contest progressed there was too little action as Rios failed to take the fight to his opponent, being seemingly happy to throw one punch at a time instead of ramping it up. Whilst the cards showed Casimero to have won most of the rounds, he was probably given the benefit in those that were difficult to score due to him being on the front foot for much of the time.

2 March 2013. Donnie Nietes drew 12 Moises Fuentes.

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

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

Fight Summary: A tough contest saw the champion retain his title by a majority draw, Fuentes (108) pushing him all the way. As far as Nietes (108) was concerned he had won, but it was clear that the aggressive Fuentes had been a match for him when going for the body and putting him under pressure at times. In the fifth Fuentes was hurt by a right hook to the head, and although Nietes followed it up with some heavy blows he was unable to find a finisher. After Nietes was badly cut on both eyes when heads came together in the sixth he shut up his defences before coming back strongly in the tenth, rocking the WBO mini flyweight title holder with a right uppercut in the 11th and attacking hard in the 12th.

 

Fuentes stopped Luis De La Rosa inside a round at the MesoAmerican Fairground Arena, Tapachula, Mexico on 7 September to win the WBO ‘interim’ title.

12 January 2013. Adrian Hernandez w pts 12 Dirceu Cabarca.

Venue: Agustin Ramos Millan Sports Centre, Toluca, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Gary Ritter.

Scorecards: 117-110, 118-108, 119-112.

Fight Summary: Despite being in control for most of the way against his southpaw challenger, Hernandez (108) was unable to drop his opponent and ultimately had to settle for a unanimous points win. The third session saw both fighters up the pace, but it was Hernandez who was accorded a 10-8 round even though he failed to drop Cabarca (108), such was the venom of his attack. Into the fourth it was much of the same as Hernandez threw solid shots from both hands before Cabarca came back to hurt his man in the sixth. Although heads came together at times it was only in the later stages that damage was done, Hernandez being cut on the left eye and Cabarca on the scalp.

17 November 2012. Roman Gonzalez w pts 12 Juan Francisco Estrada.

Venue: Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Jerry Cantu.

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

Fight Summary: This turned out to be a tough night's work for the champion despite him winning handily over Estrada (107½), who was always in the fight and always trying. It was soon clear that Gonzalez (107½) had the extra power, but Estrada took all that was on offer and kept coming forward, banging in solid combinations whenever he could. Although one judge had Estrada winning just two rounds, the other two officials gave him four which was a fairer reflection despite him taking more punches than he would have wished for.

 

After Gonzalez was elevated to 'super' champion status on 30 November, Kazuto Ioka, who had earlier handed in the WBA mini flyweight Championship Belt, was signed up to meet Jose Alfredo Rodriguez for the vacant WBA ‘second tier’ title at the Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan on 31 December. Having won by a sixth-round stoppage, Ioka would have to meet Gonzalez within 90 days as per the WBA edict.

 

On 16 March 2013, at the Miguel Grau Coliseum, Callao, Peru, Alberto Rossel outpointed Walter Tello over 12 rounds in defence of his WBA ‘interim’ title. Rossel made another successful defence when outpointing Jose Alfredo Zuniga over 12 rounds at the North Lima Megaplaza, Lima Peru on 28 September 2013.

 

Deciding not to take up the offer to meet Gonzalez, Ioka successfully defended the WBA ‘second tier’ title when knocking out Wisanu Kokietgym in the ninth round of their contest at the Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka on 8 May 2013. Further defences of the WBA ‘second tier’ title at the same venue saw Ioka knock out Kwanthai Sithmorseng in seven rounds on 11 September 2013 and outpoint Felix Alvarado over 12 rounds on 31 December 2013.

 

Gonzalez relinquished the WBA title on 14 January 2014 after being told that he had to make a match against Kazuto Ioka, the second-tier champion, who was then recognised as the main man. Having previously been an undefeated WBA/WBC mini flyweight title holder, Ioka then handed in his new belt on 28 February 2014 in order to move up to the flyweight division.

 

This was followed by Rossel successfully defending the WBA 'interim' title when outpointing Gabriel Mendoza over 12 rounds at the Dibos Dammert Coliseum, Lima, Peru on 8 March 2014, prior to being given full title status by the WBA on 8 July 2014.

 

Following that, Randy Petalcorin beat Tello (w rsc 7 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai, China on 26 August 2014) to land the vacant WBA 'interim' title.

6 October 2012. Adrian Hernandez w rsc 6 Kompayak Porpramook.

Venue: Convention Centre, Toluca, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu.

Fight Summary: Hernandez (107½) regained the title that he had earlier lost to Porpramook (107) by means of a sixth-round stoppage. Both men started strongly before Hernandez showed his intent in the third when dropping Porpramook following a cluster of hard shots. Although Porpramook beat the count, he was trapped in a corner taking plenty of punishment when the bell came to his rescue. From thereon in it was give and take with Hernandez dictating, and in the sixth after smashing Porpramook to the deck with a blasting right to the head the referee called it off with just 23 seconds of the session gone.

4 August 2012. Johnriel Casimero w pts 12 Pedro Guevara.

Venue: Convention Centre, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Ray Corona.

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

Fight Summary: In what was Casimero’s first defence of the title that was handed to him after Ulises Solis was stripped, he just about held on to his belt by a split decision as Guevara (108) took the fight to him. Casimero (108) started well enough when dropping Guevara in the opening session with a cracker of a right uppercut, but the latter was soon back into the fray when using his boxing skills to good effect. It was always close, Casimero landing combinations that bothered Guevara throughout, and at the final bell it was the champion's harder, cleaner punches that decided the fight.

2 June 2012. Donnie Nietes w pts 12 Felipe Salguero.

Venue: Newport Performing Arts Theatre, Pasay City, Manila, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz.

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

Fight Summary: Up against a tough challenger in Salguero (108), who forced the issue as best he could, Nietes (108) punished his man throughout with uppercuts and overarm shots to head and body. Salguero was always in front of Nietes, but was always second best. Eventually Nietes decided that the jab was his best weapon when boxing Salguero off, and as much as the latter tried, although still dangerous, he was too slow to put the champion under enough pressure to take the title.

3 May 2012. Kompayak Porpramook w tdec 5 Jonathan Taconing.

Venue: Provincial Hall, Buriram, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jae-Bong Kim.

Scorecards: 48-46, 50-45, 47-47.

Fight Summary: Making his first defence Porpramook (108) took on Taconing (107), a tough Filipino southpaw who did not know the meaning of taking a backwards step when forcing the fight throughout. Giving Porpramook no time to rest, Taconing was relentless in his efforts to win the title. Having been deducted a point in the fourth for an accidental head butt that left Porpramook with a cut near the left eye, the challenger opened up before the latter fought back with heavy rights to the head getting through. At the end of the fifth the referee, who felt that the damage to Porpramook's eye was worsening, went to the cards much to the consternation of Taconing's corner. Complaining bitterly that he had been robbed, Taconing was later told by the WBC to go away and earn another title shot.

28 April 2012. Roman Gonzalez w rsc 4 Ramon Garcia Hirales.

Venue: Fairplex, Pomona, California, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

Fight Summary: Exuding confidence from the opening bell the champion took the fight to Garcia Hirales (107¾), cutting the ring down and getting off solid shots as his southpaw opponent tried to find a way through. In the second and third sessions it was much of the same as Gonzalez (107½) upped the tempo, and in the fourth a short right dropped Garcia Hirales heavily. Although getting up the former WBO champion was quickly hunted down before being sent crashing again from a cracking left uppercut to the jaw, a punch that saw the referee call the action off at 2.09 of the session.

 

Alberto Rossel made a successful defence of the WBA ‘interim’ title when outpointing Karluis Diaz over 12 rounds at the Miguel Grau Coliseum, Callao, Peru on 18 August.

23 December 2011. Kompayak Porpramook w co 10 Adrian Hernandez.

Venue: 11th Infantry Regiment Arena, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jon Schorle.

Fight Summary: In what became a war of attrition, Porpramook (108) was quickly off his stool at the opening bell when raining in blows from both hands as the champion stood his ground. Both men took it in turns to land heavy punches, and at first it looked as though the taller Hernandez (108) would prevail when scoring with solid uppercuts and hooks. Always in front of Hernandez, hardly taking a backward step, Porpramook was forced to take a battering in the eighth and ninth as the Mexican went for the stoppage. However it all changed in the tenth as Hernandez tired. Porpramook, marginally ahead on all three cards at that stage, pushed Hernandez back for the first time in the contest before sending him down to be counted out on the 2.31 mark following a cracking right-left to the head.

8 October 2011. Donnie Nietes w pts 12 Ramon Garcia Hirales.

Venue: St La Salle University Gym, Bacolod City, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Scorecards: 117-111, 118-110, 115-113.

Fight Summary: After outpointing the southpaw champion, Garcia Hirales (108), by a unanimous decision, Nietes (108) stated that he was quite happy for a return match. On the front foot from the opening bell, the former undefeated WBO mini flyweight title holder proved good value for the win, catching Garcia Hirales with solid rights and cracking left uppercuts in the fifth and sixth. Although Garcia Hirales picked it up in the seventh with some good punches getting through, Nietes always seemed to be one step ahead despite being cut on the left eye from a clash of heads in the tenth. After another head clash in the 11th worsened the damage, the cleaner-hitting Nietes went toe-to-toe with Garcia Hirales through to the final bell.

24 September 2011. Adrian Hernandez w rsc 2 Gideon Buthelezi.

Venue: Polanco Forum, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Kenny Bayless.

Fight Summary: Having made a fast start in an effort to overwhelm Buthelezi (106), the champion was at full throttle in the second. Without let-up, Hernandez (108) went for the South African southpaw, throwing punches from both hands before dropping his man with a solid right uppercut. Back on his feet Buthelezi was unable to resist the blows coming his way, and at 2.20 of the session the referee called it off when he was up against the ropes under a severe two-fisted attack and not responding.

27 August 2011. Ulises Solis w pts 12 Jether Oliva.

Venue: Benito Juarez Auditorium, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Ken Chevalier.

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

Fight Summary: Stepping up to meet the champion at four weeks’ notice was a big call for the unbeaten Oliva (108), and he was ultimately made to pay for his lack of experience at the top level. Despite that, Oliva occasionally hurt Solis (108) with solid left hooks, but was generally kept at bay by accurate jabs as he looked to get inside. When Solis opened up with hurtful combinations Oliva's limitations were obvious, and he did well to last the distance.

 

At the Eleven States Stadium, Mar Del Plata, Argentina on 10 February 2012, Johnriel Casimero stopped Luis Alberto Lazarte in the tenth round to win the vacant IBF ‘interim’ title.

 

When Solis was stripped of the IBF title on 19 July 2012 after not being in a position to make a defence following a street fight, Casimero was elevated to full championship status.

16 July 2011. Roman Gonzalez w rsc 7 Omar Salado.

Venue: The Bullring, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Julio Cesar Alvarado.

Fight Summary: In what was a one-sided match the champion started quickly, twice sending Salado (108) to the canvas in the opener from long lefts that unbalanced him in his determination to get away, before handing out a severe beating for the next five rounds. Battered and cut, Salado was eventually dropped again following a series of left hooks in the seventh as Gonzalez (108) went for the finish, only for the third man to let it continue. However, when the towel was thrown in moments later the referee stopped the contest with 48 seconds of the session completed.

 

Gonzalez met Omar Soto (w co 2 at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on 1 October) in what was billed as a championship fight, but when the latter came in over the weight at 111lbs it became a non-title affair.

 

On 19 November, at the German Nevers Gym, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, Jose Alfredo Rodriguez won the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title when outpointing Nethra Sasiprapa on points over 12 rounds. Rodriguez lost the 'interim' title in his first defence when outpointed over 12 rounds by Alberto Rossel on 14 April 2012 at the Dibos Dammert Coliseum, Lima, Peru.

30 April 2011. Ulises Solis w pts 12 Luis Alberto Lazarte.

Venue: Eleven States Stadium, Mar Del Plata, Argentina. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

Scorecards: 115-111, 114-112, 112-114.

Fight Summary: Keeping Lazarte (108) on the end of lefts and rights for much of the time, the challenger regained his old title on a split decision, having drawn with the Argentine in their previous fight. Lazarte was always dangerous with his body blows, hurting Solis (108) on occasion before the latter got back to his boxing. All in all it was Solis' better, cleaner work that earned him the win, but it was close. Both men were docked points for infringements, Lazarte in the ninth and Solis in the tenth as the contest got nasty.

30 April 2011. Ramon Garcia Hirales w co 4 Jesus Geles.

Venue: Polanco Forum, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jose Rivera.

Fight Summary: Defending the title that was handed to him after it was relinquished by Giovani Segura, Geles (108) lost it at the first time of asking when Garcia Hirales (108) gained revenge for a recent defeat when losing his WBO 'interim' Championship Belt. After flooring Geles with a solid southpaw body shot in the opener, Garcia Hirales worked his man over before repeating the dose in the fourth, this time for a count out at 1.15 of the session.

30 April 2011. Adrian Hernandez w rtd 10 Gilberto Keb Baas.

Venue: Don King Coliseum, Texcoco, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jerry Cantu.

Fight Summary: Despite boxing well at times the tired champion, swollen around both eyes, was forced to retire at the end of the tenth after taking much punishment and having nothing left in the tank. He had also been deducted a point for going low during the tenth. The relentless Hernandez (108) had attacked incessantly from the start, hurting Keb Baas (108) more and more as the fight went on, and in the eighth the latter was almost stopped when under a heavy attack. While there were those who thought that Keb Baas could have continued, his inability to damage Hernandez with his best blows made it the right decision.

2 April 2011. Giovani Segura w co 3 Ivan Calderon.

Venue: State Auditorium, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Samuel Viruet.

Fight Summary: With his two championship belts up for grabs in a return battle of southpaws, Segura (108) punched too hard for Calderon (107¾), who despite showing many of his former skills was unable to keep his rival at bay. Deciding to go for the body Segura set up a sustained attack, and although Calderon was able to duck and dive in the opening two sessions he was eventually caught in the third. Two heavy rights to the head forced Calderon to the ropes before a tremendous right to the body sent him down to be counted out on one knee at 1.39 of the session.

 

A few days later, on 5 April, Segura relinquished the WBO title to fight among the flyweights and Jesus Geles, the ‘interim’ champion, was upgraded to fill the vacancy. However, Segura held The Ring Championship Belt until 19 September.

19 March 2011. Roman Gonzalez w pts 12 Manuel Vargas.

Venue: Plaza San Diego Arena, San Pedro Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Gustavo Padilla.

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

Fight Summary: Gonzalez was defending the title that was handed to him after it was relinquished firstly by Giovani Segura and then by Juan Carlos Reveco, who failed to make a defence. Dominating from the start, Gonzalez (108) put eight rounds in the bag before taking a well-earned breather and allowing Vargas (108) to come on to his effective counters. As an attacking fighter, Vargas, his right eye badly swollen at the finish, had spent much time on the ropes trying to fend his man off, but even with more freedom as Gonzalez coasted through the remaining four rounds he was unable to put a dent in the clever champion, whose left eye was cut in the tenth.

26 February 2011. Gilberto Keb Baas w rtd 8 Jose Antonio Aguirre.

Venue: Zamna Poliforum, Merida, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Roberto Ramirez Jnr.

Fight Summary: Attacking Aguirre (107¾) from the start, Keb Baas (107¾) pressured the challenger with heavy hooks to head and body, especially in the fourth and fifth when he had his man going several times. With Keb Baas continually pounding Aguirre's body over the next three sessions it was clear that the latter could not take much more, and at the end of the eighth he was wisely retired by his corner. 

18 December 2010. Luis Alberto Lazarte drew 12 Ulises Solis.

Venue: Eleven States Stadium, Mar Del Plata, Argentina. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Max Parker Jnr.

Scorecards: 113-113, 113-113, 109-117.

Fight Summary: Although retaining his title by a majority draw Lazarte (108) would have won by a unanimous decision had he not had two points deducted, once in the fourth and again in the tenth, for hitting behind the head. Unable to put Lazarte under real pressure despite marching him down, Solis (107¼) did not take advantage of his good start when winning three of the opening four rounds. While Lazarte boxed reasonably well, his shifting tactics confusing Solis at times, he was never able to dominate, and even when he hurt the latter with a solid right to the head in the 11th he failed to follow it up.

6 November 2010. Gilberto Keb Baas w pts 12 Omar Nino.

Venue: Zamna Poliforum, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jesus Manuel Erosa.

Scorecards: 116-110, 115-111, 113-113.

Fight Summary: Having failed in two world title attempts in a 15-year career, Keb Baas (107½) was not expected to trouble the champion unduly. However, seemingly unable to avoid Keb Baas' right hand, Nino (107½) was dropped in the opening session and again in the eighth as the Mexican continued to go forward, winning the majority of the exchanges. Although making it a grandstand finish when taking the last round, Nino failed to find a stopping punch and that was that. Despite one of the judges making it a draw the truer reflection came from the other two officials who both saw the challenger winning handily.

4 September 2010. Omar Nino w rtd 6 Ronald Barrera.

Venue: Olympic Coliseum, Guadalajara, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Len Koivisto.

Fight Summary: Up against Barrera (108), a switch-hitting southpaw, Nino (108) was always on the front foot as he looked for an inside-the-distance win. Although Barrera got through with some good punches in the third, it was Nino who picked it up when firing back with harder shots, a tactic that persisted during the fight. In the fifth, following a hook to the head, Nino went down only for the referee to call it a slip and from thereon in Barrera was consistently on the end of the champion's punches before being retired by his corner before the seventh got underway.

4 September 2010. Luis Alberto Lazarte w pts 12 Nerys Espinoza.

Venue: Eleven States Stadium, Mar Del Plata, Argentina. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Samuel Viruet.

Scorecards: 116-111, 116-111, 116-111.

Fight Summary: The 39-year-old champion started quickly in an effort to stamp his authority on Espinoza (107½) before round three saw a series of head clashes, low blows and few punches. From the fourth onwards Lazarte (108) began to move in and out while scoring well with the jab and solid rights, and although Espinoza landed heavily at times his punch-rate was too infrequent to win more than four rounds at most. The tenth was Espinoza's best round, hurting Lazarte with a big right hand, but it was undone in the 11th when being bullied around the ring by hurtful rights to the head and being deducted a point in the 12th for hitting on the break.

28 August 2010. Giovani Segura w co 8 Ivan Calderon.

Venue: Mario Morales Coliseum, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBA/WBO/The Ring. Referee: Jose Rivera.

Fight Summary: In a battle of southpaws between the WBA's Segura (108) and the WBO champion, Calderon (108), with the latter's Ring Championship Belt also on the line, it was Segura who picked up the win when knocking his rival out at 1.34 of the eighth. Clearly the heavier hitter of the pair, Segura was forced to take the jab while pressing on with punches of his own, and in the fifth he had Calderon down from body punches that the referee ruled as a slip. After battling back in the sixth and seventh to force Segura to hold on at times, the tiring Calderon was right up against it in the eighth. Having taken some solid belts along the ropes, when Calderon was dropped following two heavy body shots he remained on one knee as the count was completed.

 

At the Ryogoku Sumo Arena, Tokyo, Japan, on 24 October, Roman Gonzalez, the former undefeated WBA mini flyweight champion, won the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title when knocking out Francisco Rosas in the second session.

 

A month or so later, on 26 November, Segura relinquished the WBA title and Juan Carlos Reveco, the WBA ‘second tier’ champion, was elevated to the top spot before he too handed back his belt to fight at flyweight on 4 February 2011. On that same date, Gonzalez was announced as being the WBA champion.

 

On the WBO front, Jesus Geles won the vacant ‘interim’ crown when outpointing Omar Soto over 12 rounds at the Convention Centre, Cartagena, Colombia on 30 October. This fight came about after the champion, Ramon Garcia Hirales, had pulled out of a last-minute defence against Geles due to injury. With an edict in place for the winner to meet Garcia Hirales at the earliest opportunity it was strange to read that the latter had retained his ‘interim’ title when outpointing Soto over 12 rounds at the 20 November Stadium, Campeche, Mexico on 18 December, with no mention of Geles. That situation was rectified on 5 February 2011 when Geles won the undisputed ‘interim’ title when outpointing Garcia Hirales over 12 rounds at the Bernardo Caraballo Coliseum, Cartagena, Colombia.

19 June 2010. Omar Nino w pts 12 Rodel Mayol.

Venue: Precinct Expo Bullring, San Juan Del Rio, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu.

Scorecards: 115-112, 115-111, 117-109.

Fight Summary: Forced into a rematch after an unsatisfactory ending in their previous go, once again the champion was in a contest where he was deducted points, in the first and fifth, for head butts that left Nino (108) with cuts over both eyes. This was due to the WBC's head butt rule which stated that a point should be deducted from the uncut fighter when a gash was caused by a clash of heads. In the fight up to the sixth, when Mayol (108) tired Nino took advantage, winning the last five rounds, his extra energy proving a match winner. Scoring well with both hands from distance in order to protect his injuries, Nino fully deserved the unanimous points verdict that went his way.

12 June 2010. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Jesus Iribe.

Venue: MSG Theatre, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

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

Fight Summary: As game as a pebble, Iribe (106) was an ideal opponent for the two-belt champion, Calderon (106), to showcase his skills against, but in the second round a right hand to the jaw had the southpaw champion over. Up quickly, Calderon was soon popping out the jab while moving in and out of Iribe's attacks, and in the eighth through to the tenth he put on a master class for the purist. Although Iribe, his face swollen from the constant stream of jabs, was on the floor in the 11th it was ruled a slip, and from thereon in he continually tried to land a finisher without success.

 

Defending the WBO ‘interim’ title for the first time on 24 July, Johnriel Casimero was outpointed by Ramon Garcia Hirales over 12 rounds at the Centennial Sports Centre, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. Garcia Hirales successfully defended his title when outpointing Manuel Vargas over 12 rounds at The Forum, Tijuana, Mexico on 25 September.

29 May 2010. Luis Alberto Lazarte w pts 12 Carlos Tamara.

Venue: United Eleven Club, Mar Del Plata, Argentina. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Michael Ortega.

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

Fight Summary: Making his first defence the unfortunate Tamara (108) suffered a deep cut on his head in the second round following an accidental head butt as Lazarte (107) moved to close quarters. Using a good jab and solid rights to keep the 39-year-old Lazarte at bay worked well for Tamara for some of the time, but despite being wary of the injury he was often forced to defend himself on the inside when the challenger landed uppercuts and hooks to the body. Having been beaten in four previous world title attempts, Lazarte wasted little energy, biding his time and picking his punches well. With little in it at the final bell two of the judges decided that it was Lazarte's better work that should be rewarded.

27 February 2010. Rodel Mayol tdraw 3 Omar Nino.

Venue: University Coliseum, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

Fight Summary: This was the fourth time in his last five fights that the champion had taken part in contests that went to the cards summarily, the finish yet again leaving a bad taste in the mouth. Although Nino (108) started well, his body shots earning him the first round, Mayol (108) took over in the second with solid left-rights and uppercuts putting him in the driving seat. When a right uppercut smashed into Mayol's groin in the third, with the latter waiting for the referee to give him 'time out' he was caught heavily by a left hook that sent him down. Strangely, the referee, having tried to stop the Nino blow from landing, actually counted Mayol out at 2.27 of the session before realising that the challenger could not win that way. After some debate it was decided that the decision should be seen as a technical draw as less than three rounds had been completed.

20 February 2010. Giovani Segura w rsc 3 Walter Tello.

Venue: Elebrije Discotheque, Acapulco, Mexico. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Fight Summary: The hard-hitting southpaw champion tore into Tello (108) from the bell, the latter reciprocating as they went toe-to-toe with both men being forced to take heavy blows. It was very much the same in the second, there being no let up. In the third, however, Tello found himself under real pressure as Segura (108) went for him, wobbling him several times. At one point Tello appeared to have been floored although no count was taken up, but when he was forced against the ropes with Segura landing lefts and rights without response the referee brought the bout to a close at 1.56 of the round.

 

On 17 July, the WBA ‘interim’ champion, Juan Carlos Reveco, stopped Armando Torres in the fifth round of their title contest at the Vicente Polimeni Sports Arena, Las Heras, Mendoza, Argentina. When Segura was elevated to ‘super’ champion status on 28 August, Reveco took over the WBA ‘second tier’ title.

23 January 2010. Carlos Tamara w rsc 12 Brian Viloria.

Venue: Cuneta Astrodome, Manila, Philippines. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Bruce McTavish.

Fight Summary: In control for much of the contest, the champion lost his title at the second time of asking when he was stopped by Tamara (108) in the final round. It had seemed that Viloria (108) was approaching his best when jabbing well and following up with combinations and having hurt Tamara in the fourth he repeated the exercise in the eighth when the latter almost did not make it to hear the bell. Unfortunately for Viloria he had taken a lot out of himself, and Tamara sensing that he was fading piled on the pressure in the ninth. Badly hurt by a heavy right, Viloria somehow made it into the 12th where he was being battered prior to the referee rescuing him at 1.45 of the session.

21 November 2009. Rodel Mayol w rsc 2 Edgar Sosa.

Venue: Fairground Rooster Stockade Arena, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Roberto Ramirez Jnr.

Fight Summary: Following two unsuccessful cracks at Ivan Calderon, when Mayol (108) was given a shot at the WBC champion, Sosa (108), he took advantage of the opportunity with both hands. Following a good opener when both men landed solidly with left hooks and Mayol scored with a cracking right to the jaw the fight took off in the second round. Within moments of the session being underway, Sosa was floored after Mayol's head smashed into his left cheek and caused damage to his left eye. Classifying the head butt as unintentional and having deducted a point from Mayol a dazed Sosa was sent back into the fray by the referee after a doctor's inspection, only for heads to come together again. This time a stunned Sosa was sent crashing from a right-left to the chin, and after taking the 'eight' count he was set upon with many punches going unanswered before the third man called the contest off on the 1.52 mark.

 

Due to the controversial nature of his defeat, Sosa being hospitalised and having surgery to repair a triple fracture to the left cheekbone, the former champion was given ‘emeritus’ status and told that he would be allowed a crack at the title once his injuries had healed if he so wished.

21 November 2009. Giovani Segura w co 1 Sonny Boy Jaro.

Venue: Xmatkuil Fairground Arena, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Fredy Rios.

Fight Summary: Straight on to the attack, the hard-hitting champion larruped into Jaro (108) with both fists churning, almost fighting as a southpaw to get more power into left-hand blows. Although concentrating on the head Segura (108) was soon smashing in left hooks to the body, and it was one such shot that saw Jaro counted out at 1.05 of the opening round.

 

On 18 December, Juan Carlos Reveco retained the WBA ‘interim’ title when knocking out Colombia’s Ronald Barrera in the third round at the Colony Stadium, Junin, Mendoza, Argentina.

15 September 2009. Edgar Sosa w rsc 6 Omar Soto.

Venue: Siglo XXI Auditorium, Puebla, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

Fight Summary: Boxing well, using speed and fast, hurtful blows, Soto (106½) showed himself to be a worthy challenger for Sosa (107½), two of the judges having him ahead at the end of the fifth round. Towards the end of the fifth Sosa gave warning of things to come when slamming in blows to head and body and in the sixth Soto was in retreat as the champion cut the ring down. Having trapped Soto in a corner, when Sosa unloaded a cracking three-punch combination to the head the former was rescued by the referee at 2.30 of the session after he had been left defenceless on the ropes.

12 September 2009. Ivan Calderon w tdec 7 Rodel Mayol.

Venue: Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 68-65, 68-65, 65-68.

Fight Summary: Further to their inconclusive match three months earlier, Calderon (107½) again put his two championship belts on the line against Mayol (107½), and again the result went the same way when the fight was stopped with 26 seconds remaining in the seventh prior to going to the cards. With Calderon cut on the scalp in almost the same place, this time round one judge saw Mayol as the winner while the other two had it for the southpaw champion. It had been a messy affair with the pair bumping heads several times, but the better work came from the diminutive Calderon, who although pushed back at times by Mayol's long jab landed the sharper punches.

 

Johnriel Casimero won the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title when stopping Cesar Canchila inside 11 rounds at the Dennis Martinez National Stadium, Managua, Nicaragua on 19 December.

29 August 2009. Brian Viloria w pts 12 Jesus Iribe.

Venue: Blaisdell Centre Arena, Honolulu, Hawaii. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Allan Huggins.

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

Fight Summary: A superior boxer to the tough Iribe (108), the champion won every round, bar the eighth and 12th, in front of his home fans in what was the first world title fight in Hawaii for over 30 years. With sharp lefts and rights allied to good movement Viloria (107½) got away well before Iribe, who reportedly broke his right hand in the second, began the fight back in the seventh as his opponent tired. Despite the injury Iribe continued to use his right, especially to the body, and forced Viloria to trade in a final session that saw some heavy blows going in from both men.

25 July 2009. Giovani Segura w rsc 6 Juanito Rubillar.

Venue: Tepic Fair Stockade, Nueno Vallarta, Mexico. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Fight Summary: With Brahim Asloum a 'champion in recess', Segura (108), the former 'interim' title holder, was making a first defence of the title he inherited on 5 June 2009. In a battle of southpaws Segura won all five completed rounds before stopping Rubillar (108), a late substitute for Sonny Boy Jaro, at 2.04 of the sixth. A powerful puncher with both hands, although lacking in technique Segura effectively had Rubillar over from a right to the body in the third, only for the referee to rule it a slip. From the fourth onwards it was all Segura as Rubillar went on the back foot, the end coming when the latter's corner called on the referee to stop the fight after their man was defenceless on the ropes.

 

On 15 August, Juan Carlos Reveco became the new WBA ‘interim’ champion when he outpointed Francisco Rosas over 12 rounds at the Miguel Canto Municipal Arena, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

20 June 2009. Edgar Sosa w rsc 5 Carlos Melo.

Venue: The Arena, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Frank Garza.

Fight Summary: Winning all four completed rounds, the champion set about Melo (107¾) in the fifth before dropping him with a left hook to the body. Although Melo just about beat the count the referee stopped the contest at 2.57 of the session when it was clear that the challenger was in no fit state to continue after he came under a terrific follow-up attack. Sosa (108), who was cut on the right eye in the fourth, had earlier shaken Melo up with a left hook to the body in the second, and in the third a similar blow had downed the latter.

13 June 2009. Ivan Calderon tdraw 6 Rodel Mayol.

Venue: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

Scorecards: 58-56, 57-57, 56-58.

Fight Summary: Putting both of his championship belts on the line, Calderon (106¼), much the smaller man, came under fire from long rights to the head early on before coming back well with the southpaw jab. In the fifth two accidental head butts had Calderon bleeding badly from a gashed forehead as the ungainly Mayol (106) came forward, and sensing he had to do something fast the champion tore into his man to take the round. Although Calderon was allowed out for the sixth, at 1.50 of the session the fight was stopped after the ringside doctor had inspected the wound. Having gone to the cards and being announced as a technical draw, had the judge who made it 57-57 agreed with the other two men who both saw Mayol taking the sixth Calderon would have lost.

19 April 2009. Brian Viloria w co 11 Ulises Solis.

Venue: Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Bruce McTavish.

Fight Summary: Having won his last five contests to warrant a crack at the champion, Viloria (108) was on the attack from the moment the opening bell rang, landing solid lefts and rights prior to Solis (107) picking it up in the third. Although forcing the fight, when Solis was deducted two points in the third and fifth, for going low, it undid all his good work. On top of that he was cut over the right eye in the fifth. Coming on strongly in the sixth, Solis began to open up with solid shots before being cut on the left eye in the seventh and being hurt by a left to the body in the eighth. From thereon in Viloria took over, and in the 11th a terrific right cross to Solis' jaw saw the latter counted out at 2.56 of the session.

4 April 2009. Edgar Sosa w rsc 4 Pornsawan Porpramook.

Venue: Entertainment Centre, Ciudad Victoria, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu.

Fight Summary: Getting off to a fast start, the champion was soon releasing lefts and rights to the head and body of Porpramook (107¾) who appeared happy to meet fire with fire. Boxing at distance from the second round Sosa (108) continued his assaults into the fourth to punish Porpramook at will, and at 2.32 of the session the referee stepped in to rescue the latter following a flurry of unanswered blows. 

29 November 2008. Edgar Sosa w rsc 7 Juanito Rubillar.

Venue: The Arena, Mexico City. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Harold Laurens.

Fight Summary: Putting in one of his best performances the champion overcame horrendous cuts over each eye to force a stoppage at 2.54 of the seventh round when the referee came to the aid of Rubillar (106), who was dazed and groggy following a terrific blow to the body and heavy combinations. A tremendous contest saw both men giving it their all, Sosa (108) having to fight his southpaw challenger off at times with heads coming together frequently. It was the head butts that caused the damage to Sosa, who later required 22 stitches, while Rubillar was deducted a point in the third for one such transgression. In the aftermath, Sosa refused to blame Rubillar for his cuts, saying that it was more a clash of styles that was the problem.

2 November 2008. Ulises Solis w pts 12 Nerys Espinoza.

Venue: San Marcos National Fair Auditorium, Aguascalientes, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Robert Byrd.

Scorecards: 115-109, 117-107, 118-107.

Fight Summary: After getting away smartly, the champion was deducted a point for hitting Espinoza (108) low in the second round before a clash of heads saw him cut over the left eye. Putting both of those things behind him Solis (108) dropped Espinoza in the third after catching him with solid combinations, and took the next three sessions prior to the latter coming back strongly in the seventh and eighth. Lucky to get away with a low blow in the eighth Solis turned up the heat in the ninth when dropping Espinoza, who then had a point taken away for excessive holding. Cementing his lead in the last three rounds, Solis retained his title for the eighth time when being awarded the unanimous decision. 

27 September 2008. Edgar Sosa w pts 12 Sonny Boy Jaro.

Venue: The Arena, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu.

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

Fight Summary: Up against Jaro (108) in his sixth defence, Sosa (107) used his height and reach advantages to work behind a steady left jab before attacking his man with combinations from the second round onwards. Unable to get set for much of the time the resilient Jaro was mainly limited to single shots, although he had more success when working the body. Still trying despite the rounds going against him, Jaro finally caught up with Sosa in ninth, dropping the latter with a solid left-right to the head. Getting up immediately and having lost his gumshield Sosa gained invaluable seconds for his head to clear before regaining his equilibrium and continuing his march to the points win.

30 August 2008. Ivan Calderon w tdec 7 Hugo Fidel Cazares.

Venue: Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 68-65, 68-65, 67-66.

Fight Summary: Defending his two championship belts against the man he won them from, Calderon (107½) successfully retained them when being awarded the technical decision after an accidental head butt had gashed his forehead and the fight had been halted at 1.58 of the seventh when the doctor deemed that the cut was too deep for him to continue. For most of the contest Cazares (108) had looked to line Calderon up for his big shots, but the latter was too quick for him. Six inches the shorter man, the little southpaw buzzed around Cazares landing lefts and rights that hardly bothered the latter but added to the points total.

12 July 2008. Ulises Solis w pts 12 Glenn Donaire.

Venue: Exhibition Centre, Hermosilla, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Pat Russell.

Scorecards: 120-108, 120-108, 120-107.

Fight Summary: With styles clashing and the occasional head butt going in from both men, the champion had a tough night even though he took every round on the cards. It was hardly a shut-out, being much closer than that, and failed to recognise any good work done by Donaire (107¾). Although Solis (107¾) was the busier Donaire appeared to be the harder puncher, but it was a head butt that saw the former cut over the left eye in the fourth, not a punch. Having relied on the left jab for five rounds from the sixth onwards Solis began to use two-fisted attacks to pile up points, a change of tactics that saw him win comfortably. After Donaire was deducted a point in the eighth for a head butt he rarely showed.

14 June 2008. Edgar Sosa w rsc 8 Takashi Kunishige.

Venue: Sports Palace, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu.

Fight Summary: Quickly getting on top of his southpaw challenger, Sosa (108), who proved to be in a different league, cruised to an eighth-round stoppage win. Although the determined Kunishige (107¼) was always trying he could not get close enough to Sosa to do any damage, being dominated by the confident champion for round after round. Having picked up the pace in the fourth the gulf in class got even greater as Sosa built on his work to the body, and following two heavy rights to the head in the eighth the referee rescued the outgunned Kunishige at 1.39 of the session.

5 April 2008. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Nelson Dieppa.

Venue: Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Jose Rivera.

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

Fight Summary: Happy to put both of his championship belts on the line Calderon (107¾) was far too good for Dieppa (108), who was unable to keep up with the little southpaw. All three judges declared it to be a shut-out points win, the 37-year-old Dieppa being outboxed and dominated by a man four inches shorter. Every time Dieppa got set Calderon had moved on, rattling the former with southpaw jabs and combinations, and the final bell came as a welcome relief.

9 February 2008. Edgar Sosa w pts 12 Jesus Iribe.

Venue: Fair Dome Arena, Leon, Guadalajara, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Laurentino Ramirez.

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

Fight Summary: Putting up his title for the fifth time in eight months Sosa (107) was far too good for the inexperienced Iribe (106¾), who apart from working the body well in the second lacked the know-how required at this level. Although Iribe was always trying he was kept off balance by good left hands and often found himself on the ropes under attack from clusters of punches. He did give it a good go in the 12th when landing two or three solid shots, but then came under attack up until the final bell.

15 December 2007. Ulises Solis w rsc 9 Bert Batawang.

Venue: Benito Juarez Auditorium, Guadalajara, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Pat Russell.

Fight Summary: Up against a tough southpaw, the champion boxed well within himself to win all eight completed rounds before the referee called the fight off at 1.35 of the ninth. Although Batawang (106½) had a good fourth session in which he hurt Solis (107½) with some good blows to head and body, the latter was soon back in charge. Every time Batawang threw punches he was countered heavily, and after being cut over the right eye in the eighth he was being chased around the ring in the ninth when the third man came to his rescue.

8 December 2007. Brahim Asloum w pts 12 Juan Carlos Reveco.

Venue: Sports Palace, Le Cannet, France. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Russell Mora.

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

Fight Summary: Having failed in two world title challenges at flyweight, Asloum (107½), a former Olympic champion, dropped down a division to beat Reveco (107½) by a unanimous decision. Asloum started well with southpaw jabs and solid combinations, up and down, picking the aggressive champion apart, and using his added reach well was able to keep his man at bay for much of the time. Occasionally the rugged Reveco banged his way through Asloum's defences, but by the seventh the latter took over to box his way home in front of an appreciative home crowd.

 

Even though Asloum was designated to be a ‘champion in recess’ on 18 July 2008 due to inactivity, the WBA ran with an ‘interim’ champion after Cesar Canchila outpointed Giovani Segura over 12 rounds at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on 26 July 2008. In his very next fight Segura challenged for the WBA ‘interim’ title against the same opponent at the FEX Stockade, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico on 14 March 2009, winning by a fourth-round stoppage, before being elevated to full championship status on 5 June 2009.

1 December 2007. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Juan Esquer.

Venue: Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Russell Mora.

Scorecards: 115-113, 116-112, 118-110.

Fight Summary: Although Esquer (108) forced the fight throughout the full 12 rounds, apart from having a few successes he was outboxed by the clever Calderon (107), who had both of his championship belts on the line. Despite that, Esquer kept on trying, occasionally getting through with solid blows, but Calderon merely shrugged them off and got back to his boxing, picking his challenger off with southpaw jabs and counters. The fact that one of the judges had Calderon winning just seven rounds to Esquer's five was more to do with the latter's aggression than the champion's cleverness.

24 November 2007. Edgar Sosa w rsc 4 Roberto Carlos Leyva.

Venue: Beto Avila Baseball Stadium, Veracruz, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Toby Gibson.

Fight Summary: Despite making a slow start the champion got himself going in the second round, hard rights to the head almost overwhelming Leyva (108), a southpaw, as he was battered to the ropes. Not easing up Sosa (108) continued his assault in the third, and in the fourth a cracking left hook to the body saw the referee call the fight off at 2.32 of the session with Leyva on the floor.

13 October 2007. Juan Carlos Reveco w co 5 Humberto Pool.

Venue: Luna Park Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Hector Afu.

Fight Summary: Once the champion had got used to Pool's southpaw stance it was plain sailing for him. With Pool (107½) happy to wait for the counter Reveco (107¾) soon got his equipment working, sending in lefts and rights to head and body. Even when Pool was up to speed his best punches failed to bother Reveco and in the fifth, when exchanging blows with the latter, he was sent down to be counted out after 55 seconds of the session. Clearly hurt by a left hook to the body that doubled him up, Pool was finished off by a hard left to the head.

16 September 2007. Edgar Sosa w rsc 9 Lorenzo Trejo.

Venue: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Tony Weeks.

Fight Summary: Using his extended reach to pile up points with the jab and boxing at his own pace the champion cruised through the opening five rounds, Trejo (108) having difficulty in reaching him. It was only in the seventh when Trejo found a few punches that Sosa (107) picked it up again, and in the ninth the challenger was pinned on the ropes under a barrage of lefts and rights before being rescued by the referee at 2.02 of the round. Trejo, who had been badly hurt at the end of the fourth, showed great resilience but was unable to get to grips with Sosa.

25 August 2007. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Hugo Fidel Cazares.

Venue: Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Jose Rivera.

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

Fight Summary: With both of his championship belts on the line against Calderon (107), the hard-hitting champion finally came unstuck in a battle of southpaws. Using his speed and defensive ability, the smaller Calderon gave a master class in pure boxing despite having to get off the floor in the eighth after being badly hurt by a cracker of a right. His head cleared, Calderon was back to his best in the ninth, countering Cazares (107¾) and picking his shots from head to body to impress two of the judges, if not the third who had Cazares winning by five rounds on aggression. Coming into the fight as the WBO mini flyweight champion, Calderon relinquished that title on beating Cazares.

4 August 2007. Ulises Solis w rsc 8 Rodel Mayol.

Venue: Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: John O’Brien.

Fight Summary: In a tough battle, with both men giving and taking in equal shares, the champion was forced to fight at his limit to retain his title as Mayol (108) made life extremely difficult for him. It was Mayol's long left jab that often confused Solis (108), but by the fifth he was in control with his own jab and good bodywork, before he was sent down in the sixth by a solid left hook. Clearly a knockdown, a fact recognised by one of the judges, the referee gave it as a slip. Having got his mojo back by the seventh Solis was banging in left hooks to the body, and in the eighth a left-right sent Mayol down. Although up at 'eight' when he wobbled the referee stopped the contest at 1.13 of the session.

28 July 2007. Edgar Sosa w disq 10 Luis Alberto Lazarte.

Venue: Taxi Drivers Union Arena, Cancun, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu.

Fight Summary: The champion always seemed to have his nose in front despite Lazarte (105) doing well regardless of his lack of technique, his toughness making him a difficult opponent for Sosa (107). While both men went down in the fourth it was clear that they slipped. When Lazarte was warned for going low in the sixth he was skating on thin ice and in the tenth he was disqualified for the same offence after already having being penalised. Cut on the left eye and forced into a battle that was not of his making, it had been a hard night's work for Sosa.

22 June 2007. Juan Carlos Reveco w rsc 8 Nethra Sasiprapa.

Venue: Vicente Polimeni Stadium, Las Heras, Mendoza, Argentina. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Gustavo Padilla.

Fight Summary: Contested for the vacant title after Koki Kameda handed in the belt, Sasiprapa (107¾) put up stubborn resistance before Reveco (107¾), caught several times early on, took over. From the third, however, it was the clever movement of Reveco that paved the way. Having slipped over in the fifth Sasiprapa was deducted a point in the sixth for landing repeated low blows, and in the same session Reveco was cut on the left eye from a head butt. From thereon in it was the excellent bodywork of Reveco that took the day, Sasiprapa going down twice in the eighth, the second time from a left to the body followed by a heavy right to the head that led to the referee calling the contest off on the 2.38 mark.

19 May 2007. Ulises Solis w rsc 9 Jose Antonio Aguirre.

Venue: Benito Juarez Auditorium, Guadalajara, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Jesus Salcedo Lopez.

Fight Summary: Defending for the fourth time, Solis (108) handed out a beating to the outgunned Aguirre (108), winning every round prior to the latter being rescued by the referee at 0.30 of the ninth. On top from the opening bell, after Solis floored Aguirre twice in the fourth it was a surprise that the latter lasted so long. Several times Solis looked to be on the verge of a stoppage win, and after having Aguirre over again in the ninth he finally succeeded in his aim.

4 May 2007. Hugo Fidel Cazares w rsc 2 Wilfrido Valdez.

Venue: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Joe Cortez.

Fight Summary: Making yet another explosive start, the two-belt southpaw champion waded into Valdez (108) from the bell before having him over from a solid right to the head. Back on his feet Valdez tried to box his way back into the fight, but was eventually smashed down again by a right hand. Although effectively saved by the bell Valdez was immediately up against it at the start of the second as Cazares (108) stalked him and, following another heavy right to the head that dropped the challenger for the third time, the referee stopped the contest after just 25 seconds of the session had elapsed without bothering to count.

14 April 2007. Edgar Sosa w pts 12 Brian Viloria.

Venue: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

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

Fight Summary: Contesting the vacant title after Omar Nino was stripped, Viloria (108) started well when taking the opening two rounds before Sosa (108) came back strongly in the third, his bodywork being impressive. With Viloria ahead on all three cards coming into the ninth, and realising he had to pull the fight out of the fire, Sosa won the last four sessions when keeping up a constant offensive. Unable to match his opponent, Viloria, who finished with a badly swollen right eye, had to call on his reserves just to reach the final bell.

25 January 2007. Ulises Solis w rtd 8 Will Grigsby.

Venue: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Jay Nady.

Fight Summary: Having lost his title to Solis (107) just over a year earlier the 36-year old Grigsby (108), who had remained inactive since the defeat, was trying to regain his old belt. It was clear early on that Grigsby had gone backwards, being caught by blows he would have once avoided. Hurt by head and body shots in the third and fourth rounds Grigsby found himself in defensive mode as Solis stepped it up with jabs and combinations, and it was no surprise when he was retired by his corner at the end of the eighth.

20 December 2006. Koki Kameda w pts 12 Juan Jose Landaeta.

Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 116-111, 115-113, 119-108.

Fight Summary: A return battle of southpaws, and a mandatory defence for Kameda (107¾), saw the latter outpoint Landaeta (108) this time around with few disagreements. Hardly ever using his heavier armoury Landaeta allowed Kameda to move around him and pick him off, and despite the 20-year-old champion being docked a point in the 12th for an accidental head butt one of the judges gave him all 12 rounds. For a challenger, Landaeta appeared to lack ambition.

 

Due to having weight problems, Kameda relinquished the title on 18 January 2007 in order to campaign at flyweight. This was followed by Juan Carlos Reveco and Nethra Sasiprapa being signed up to find a new champion.

18 November 2006. Omar Nino drew 12 Brian Viloria.

Venue: Thomas & Mack Centre, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Joe Cortez.

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

Fight Summary: In a return bout between the pair yet again Viloria (108) let the fight slip from his grasp when not pressing home his advantage in the final three sessions, having dropped the champion in the ninth with a right-hand counter. Earlier, in the fifth, the referee had counted over Nino (107) after he had touched the floor when swinging himself off balance, which had two of the judges scoring it as a knockdown. Although Viloria, cut over the left eye, had the better variety of punches he was often outworked by Nino and rarely showed the urgency of a man looking to win a world title.

 

Originally announced as a draw, the result was later changed to that of a no contest after Nino failed the post-fight drugs test. When Nino was stripped on 2 February 2007, the WBC set up a meeting between Viloria and Edgar Sosa to find a new champion.

30 September 2006. Hugo Fidel Cazares w rsc 10 Nelson Dieppa.

Venue: Hector Sola Bezares Coliseum, Caguas, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO/The Ring. Referee: Roberto Ramirez.

Fight Summary: As well as well as Cazares' WBO title, the vacant Ring Championship Belt was also at stake in this one. Cazares (108), who had won the title from Dieppa (108), started in positive fashion before flooring the latter with a heavy right swing in the second. Keeping up the momentum, although Dieppa came back well in the fifth and hurt his man in the eighth, Cazares tightened his grip in the ninth. At the end of the ninth it was clear that Dieppa, who was carrying a badly cut bottom lip and other facial damage was on borrowed time, and at 2.17 of the tenth he was rescued by the referee after taking further hurtful punches.

10 August 2006. Omar Nino w pts 12 Brian Viloria.

Venue: Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Kenny Bayless.

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

Fight Summary: Returning from a broken hand, the champion was strangely subdued as the 30-year-old Nino (108) created something of a shock when walking off with the unanimous verdict. The first three rounds saw Nino taking the fight to Viloria (108) with blows to head and body and continued in the same vein throughout. Although Viloria was the harder hitter of the pair he was generally outworked, and while he occasionally lifted himself it soon petered out. Realising that his title was slipping away Viloria came out firing in the 12th, a solid left to the jaw hurting Nino, but it was too little and too late.

 

On 9 October, having already lost the WBC ‘interim’ title on the scales, Wandee Singwancha (110½) outpointed Munetsugu Kayo (107¾) over 12 rounds at the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan.

4 August 2006. Ulises Solis drew 12 Omar Salado.

Venue: Rooster Hippodrome, Tijuana, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Pat Russell.

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

Fight Summary: Defending his title by a majority draw, Solis (108) could not have come closer to losing it as the aggressive Salado (108) took the fight to him in the early stages. Gradually Solis found the right-hand blows to match Salado, but in the tenth an accidental clash of heads saw the champion cut over both eyes. In the final two sessions, Salado, also cut, mounted a grandstand finish, but despite one of the judges favouring Solis the other two could not find a winner.

2 August 2006. Koki Kameda w pts 12 Juan Jose Landaeta.

Venue: The Arena, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Stan Christodoulou.

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

Fight Summary: Contested for the vacant title after Roberto Vasquez moved up a weight division, Kameda (108) had to get off the canvas at the end of the opening session having been dumped by a left-right. Luckily for Kameda he had recovered before coming out for the second and was able to fight his way into the contest. In a battle of southpaws, pitting the harder-punching Landaeta (107¾) against the aggressive Kameda, it was the latter who received the split decision in a fight that was difficult to score. Although Kameda was hurt several times, especially in the 11th as Landaeta made his push for home, he held his ground to grind out the win.

30 June 2006. Hugo Fidel Cazares w co 1 Domingo Guillen.

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

Fight Summary: Making a very fast start the explosive southpaw champion never gave Guillen (108) a chance to settle, hammering him to the floor with a cracking left hook after first getting home with a left uppercut to enforce a count out at 1.53 of the opening session. When heads came together moments earlier and left the aggressive Guillen with a cut over the left eye his days were numbered, especially when leaving himself open against the hard-punching Cazares (108).

20 May 2006. Roberto Vasquez w pts 12 Noel Arambulet.

Venue: ATLAPA Convention Centre, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Steve Smoger.

Scorecards: 120-107, 117-110, 119-108.

Fight Summary: Putting up his WBA Championship Belt for the third time the champion made a good start with the southpaw jab pushing Arambulet (107½) back, and in the third round he dropped the latter with a solid right hand. For whatever reason Vasquez (107¾) failed to take advantage of the situation, being happy to box on the counter and pick up points with the jab. Having boxed a negative fight Arambulet finally went on the attack in the sixth, but was open to heavy countering blows as Vasquez picked him off. Following that, the contest ran its course with very little action and excitement occurring.

 

Immediately after the fight, Vasquez relinquished the WBA title in order to move up a weight division. Further to that, Juan Jose Landaeta was matched against Koki Kameda in a contest for the vacant title.

25 March 2006. Ulises Solis w rsc 9 Eric Ortiz.

Venue: Centre of Spectacles Auditorium, Guadalajara, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Jesus Salcedo Lopez.

Fight Summary: Boxing well within himself Solis (108) soon had the measure of his challenger, who after being cut over the right eye in the fifth was bothered throughout by the injury. Having hurt Ortiz (108) in the eighth, Solis continued his offensive in the ninth, a right-left sending the former WBC title holder to the deck. Having battered Ortiz down again the referee rescued the latter at 2.40 of the session after his corner had thrown the towel in.

18 February 2006. Brian Viloria w pts 12 Jose Antonio Aguirre.

Venue: Aladdin Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Tony Weeks.

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

Fight Summary: Despite making his normal fast start, pumping out blows from both hands, the champion found Aguirre (107½) unmoved and resilient. With Aguirre standing his ground and becoming busier each round it was only when he tired from the seventh onwards that Viloria (107) picked it up to win all of the remaining rounds, bar the 12th when the challenger staged a grandstand finish.

 

On 18 July, Wandee Singwancha outpointed Juanito Rubillar over 12 rounds at the Bangkapi Mall, Bangkok, Thailand to win the vacant WBC ‘interim’ title.

7 January 2006. Ulises Solis w pts 12 Will Grigsby.

Venue: MSG Theatre, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Gary Rosato,

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

Fight Summary: A difficult fight to score saw Solis (108) outpoint the champion, who made a slower start than normal and suffered for it. Although Grigsby (107) caused damage to Solis' left eye with an overarm right in the second it did not deter the latter and, despite both eyes leaking blood, by the sixth he continued on the offensive by throwing wide punches to both head and body. Even though Grigsby, who finished with a badly swollen right eye, got back into the contest in the second half it was Solis' better work that won it for him.

19 November 2005. Roberto Vasquez w pts 12 Nerys Espinoza.

Venue: Figali Convention Centre, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Rafael Ramos.

Scorecards: 118-110, 117-110, 118-107.

Fight Summary: Knocked down in the third round despite having made a bright start, Vasquez (108) quickly recovered to dominate with southpaw jabs and crosses. As the fight went into the later stages it was obvious that Espinoza (108) would need to find a winning punch, but he went further behind when a cracking left to the body dropped him in the tenth. Subsequently, Vasquez controlled the action as Espinoza became more and more open to counters as he looked to find a winning punch.

29 October 2005. Hugo Fidel Cazares w co 6 Kaichon Sor Vorapin.

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

Fight Summary: Getting away quickly, the champion floored Sor Vorapin (107½) in the second round and was just about ahead going into the sixth when a right hand from out of nowhere dropped him for the mandatory ‘eight’ count. There was no doubt that Cazares (108) was hurt, but as he retreated to clear his senses and buy some time Sor Vorapin incessantly chased him down. At that moment the smart money would have been on the Thai, but with his back against the ropes Cazares suddenly lashed in an effective combination, followed by a southpaw straight left that hit Sor Vorapin flush on the jaw and dropped him. With Sor Vorapin unable to rise after two attempts he was counted at 2.14 of the round.

10 September 2005. Brian Viloria w rsc 1 Eric Ortiz.

Venue: Staples Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

Fight Summary: Although both fighters spent the first one-and-a-half minutes sizing each other up, once Viloria (108) hurt the champion with a solid left jab the contest quickly went up a gear. With Ortiz (108), being stung by almost every punch Viloria threw and refusing to back off, the pair went toe-to-toe before a tremendous right hand to the head put the former down. Despite being badly shaken, Ortiz beat the count before collapsing to the deck for the second time and being rescued by the referee with just one second of the round remaining.

20 August 2005. Roberto Vasquez w rsc 4 Jose Antonio Aguirre.

Venue: Figali Convention Centre, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Joe Cortez.

Fight Summary: Making a quick start, the challenger had Vasquez (108) down in the second round from what appeared to have been a punch but ruled a slip, before the latter came back with accurate southpaw combinations of his own to even matters up. Then, following an exchange in the fourth round, Aguirre (107½) pulled away with a nasty looking cut over the right eye, complaining that he had been butted. Although the referee ruled the clash to have been an accident and the ringside doctor determined that Aguirre could continue, when the latter, extremely incensed, turned his back on the third man the fight was promptly stopped on the 1.16 mark.

20 August 2005. Hugo Fidel Cazares w rtd 7 Alex Sanchez.

Venue: Juan Vicens Auditorium, Ponce, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez.

Fight Summary: Defending the title for the first time, the southpaw Cazares (108) was quickly on top of Sanchez (107), dominating the fight right through to its conclusion, with his speed and reach advantages making it difficult for the latter to get going. Apart from a few right hands that got through, Sanchez was up against it from the start, and in the seventh he was caught on the ropes as heavy rights and lefts rained in on him before the bell came to his rescue. Cut in several places, and unable to see out of the left eye, it came as no surprise that Sanchez was retired by his corner at the end of the seventh.

14 May 2005. Will Grigsby w pts 12 Jose Victor Burgos.

Venue: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Kenny Bayless.

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

Fight Summary: Finding it difficult to pin down the elusive Grigsby (106), the champion was kept off balance by fast, accurate left jabs and left hook counters as he looked to unload. Several times in the seventh Burgos (107) was rocked by left jabs and straight rights and took all that Grigsby could throw at him before coming back with shots of his own. Although Burgos was still in the contest, having occasional successes during the last five rounds, he was unable to claw back the deficit.

 

Ulises Solis would be Grigsby's first challenger, having defeated Carlos Fajardo (w rsc 8 at the Coliseum Arena, Guadalajara, Mexico on 17 June) in an eliminating contest.

30 April 2005. Hugo Fidel Cazares w tdec 10 Nelson Dieppa.

Venue: Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 96-94, 96-94, 98-92.

Fight Summary: Looking anything but convincing in the first four rounds as Cazares (107¾) confused him with his awkward southpaw style and roundhouse punches, the champion began to look more comfortable in the fifth and sixth despite being unable to make any headway. With Cazares flying in head down and occasionally changing his stance, Dieppa (108) found it difficult not only to get his jabs off but to find his way inside where he could go to work without fear of being butted. Although classified as accidental, it was a butt that opened up a nasty cut on Dieppa’s forehead in the seventh, and when heads clashed in the ninth he was left with a bad cut on the right eye. At 2.15 of the tenth, with Dieppa’s face a bloody mess, the referee was forced to go to the cards after the doctor advised him that the latter could not continue.

29 April 2005. Roberto Vasquez w rsc 10 Beibis Mendoza.

Venue: Figali Convention Centre, Panama City, Panama. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Fight Summary: Contesting the title that Rosendo Alvarez forfeited, both men gave it everything to produce one of the best fights of the year before the younger Vasquez (108), a southpaw, sealed victory in the tenth. Although Vasquez at times boxed well within himself he was often drawn into a brawl by Mendoza (108) as the fight swung back and forth, and by the sixth the former, with both eyes swelling badly, looked as though he might not make it. However, having hung in there to work the veteran’s body, Vasquez got back to his boxing before being sucked into another war of attrition. The contest finally turned Vasquez’s way in the tenth when he twice dropped Mendoza, firstly with a body punch and then with a cracking left hook to the jaw, which saw the referee call the fight off at 2.03 of the round.

11 March 2005. Eric Ortiz w rsc 7 Jose Antonio Aguirre.

Venue: Arroyo Bullring, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Gelasio Perez.

Fight Summary: In a battle for the title vacated by Jorge Arce, Ortiz (106¼) was soon setting a fast pace, being the aggressor throughout against the former mini fly champion, Aguirre (105¾), who seemed befuddled at times. After suffering a cut left eye in the third round, for which Aguirre was deducted a point, Ortiz merely stepped up the pace and was soon all over his rival. The end came with three seconds of the seventh remaining when the referee intervened to save Aguirre, who had been stunned by a heavy right and was being battered by Ortiz in a corner without fighting back.

29 January 2005. Nelson Dieppa w co 11 Alex Sanchez.

Venue: Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jose Rivera.

Fight Summary: Following a short spell of feeling each other out the challenger tore into Dieppa (108), but by the end of the opening session both men were exchanging blows with abandon. Thereafter, Dieppa, cut over the left eye in the second, began to use the ring more while looking to pick up the points. However, during the middle rounds Sanchez (108) started to concentrate his attacks on the body, a tactic that saw Dieppa weaken somewhat, and in the tenth session the former mini flyweight champion came on strongly as the crowd got behind him. The 11th saw Sanchez continue his assault as he looked to claw back the points, but after missing with a huge right he was countered by a Dieppa right that sent him crashing to the canvas to be counted out on the 2.50 mark. Thus one of the most exciting fights between fellow Puerto Ricans came to a close.

18 December 2004. Jorge Arce w rsc 3 Juan Francisco Centeno.

Venue: Independent University Gym, Sinaloa, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Guillermo Ayon.

Fight Summary: Continuing to have trouble making the weight this was thought to be the champion’s last fight in the junior flyweight division, and he went out a winner when stopping Centeno (108) with two seconds remaining of the third round. Having been beaten in his last two fights, both at flyweight, Centeno was a strange choice to challenge Arce (108). Even then, he did reasonably well until a left hook to the body dropped him in a heap and led to him being rescued by the referee. Immediately prior to the knockdown, the all-action Arce had been landing solid blows from both hands to the head and body without much coming back, thus the finish came as no surprise.

 

After Arce vacated the title on 18 December 2004 to move up a weight division, Eric Ortiz and Jose Antonio Aguirre were matched to find a successor. To secure the contest, Ortiz had eliminated Wyndel Janiola (w tdec 5 at The Bullring, Tijuana, Mexico on 4 September) and Aguirre had beaten Kermin Guardia (w pts 10 at the Plaza Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada on 26 November).

4 September 2004. Jorge Arce w pts 12 Juanito Rubillar.

Venue: The Bullring, Tijuana, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Toby Gibson.

Scorecards: 115-112, 119-108, 115-112.

Fight Summary: The pair had fought for the ‘interim’ crown in October 2001, but this time around Rubillar (107) was looking to relieve Arce (107¾) of the ‘real’ title. In what was another hard contest there were no knockdowns despite it being a free-hitting affair, but when the southpaw challenger was docked a point in the ninth round for rabbit punching his chance of picking up the belt had all but disappeared. Following the fight there was controversy when Rubillar’s manager accused the judges of robbing his charge of a win, but it should be noted that most ringsiders felt that the busier Arce won handily.

30 July 2004. Nelson Dieppa w pts 12 Ulises Solis.

Venue: Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: William Clancy.

Scorecards: 114-114, 120-108, 120-108. 

Fight Summary: Although the champion made the better start, using the jab and slipping right hands in while Solis (107¾) looked to jab and counter with left hooks, the fight soon became a negative affair with very few punches landing. It was only in the 12th, when Solis was fading, that Dieppa (108) came alive with solid right hands over the top, the former being cut over the left eye in the last 30 seconds. According to the report in Boxing News the two judges who gave Dieppa every round were way out and either man could have been given the decision, it being that close.

15 May 2004. Jose Victor Burgos w rsc 6 Fahlan Sakkreerin.

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

Fight Summary: Switching from orthodox to southpaw in order to confuse the left-handed Sakkreerin (107), who was cut over the right eye in the second, the champion only started to put things together after the referee decided that the push which sent Burgos (108) to the floor in the fourth round was a knockdown. Following that, Burgos upped his work-rate in the fifth, and opening up with a sustained attack in the sixth he dropped Sakkreerin with a right to the body and a left to the head. Although the veteran Thai got to his feet he was soon in trouble again from body attacks, being rescued by the referee at 1.43 of the session, having been dropped by a left hook to the jaw.

24 April 2004. Jorge Arce w co 5 Melchor Cob Castro.

Venue: Chiapas Fair Rooster Theatre, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Lupe Garcia.

Fight Summary: This anticipated rematch saw the champion leave nothing to chance this time around, and he was soon in the thick of it as he looked to dispatch Cob Castro (107¾) inside the distance. Badly rocked in the third round, Cob Castro was dropped at the end of the fourth as Arce (107¾) opened up again before being knocked out by a terrific left hook to the body at 1.57 of the fifth. The southpaw veteran had his moments, but found Arce just too much to handle.

20 March 2004. Nelson Dieppa w co 1 Kermin Guardia.

Venue: Mario Quijote Morales Coliseum, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Joe Cortez.

Fight Summary: Out of action for 19 months after preparing for three contracted fights which never materialised, as well as suffering a number of injuries and having managerial problems, Dieppa (108) finally got to defend his title against Guardia (108). He did not hang around either. After a moment or two, sizing the opposition up, he smashed in a heavy right to Guardia’s jaw, and as the challenger came back off the ropes another right crashed against his unprotected jaw that sent him crashing to the canvas to be counted out with just 1.59 on the clock.

10 January 2004. Jorge Arce w co 2 Jomo Gamboa.

Venue: Banamex Exhibition Centre, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jay Nady.

Fight Summary: Putting his foot on the pedal, the champion pounced on Gamboa (108) right from the opening bell as he looked for a quick win, the latter being fortunate to last out the round. Starting the second in much the same vein, Arce (107) tore into Gamboa, with straight rights to the head doing the damage, and at 1.38 of the session the latter was counted out after being dropped by such a blow.

13 December 2003. Rosendo Alvarez drew 12 Jose Victor Burgos.

Venue: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. Recognition: IBF/WBA/The Ring. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

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

Fight Summary: In an effort to unify the championship, Alvarez (108), The Ring and WBA champion, met the IBF’s Burgos (108), and following a quality contest both men went home with their titles intact after a drawn decision was given. Evenly matched, it was nip-and-tuck for the first six rounds with Burgos having the edge in work-rate and Alvarez landing the harder shots. In the sixth, Alvarez battered the Mexican, whose left cheekbone began to swell, but before too long the latter was right back in it as the fight went down to the wire.

 

On 2 October 2004, at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, Alvarez forfeited the WBA title on the scales when he came in just under eight stone for a defence against Beibis Mendoza. At the same time, The Ring's version of the title was vacated. Although the fight went ahead, with Alvarez winning on points over 12 rounds, Mendoza was promised a crack at the vacant title against Roberto Vasquez.

3 May 2003. Jorge Arce w tdec 6 Melchor Cob Castro.

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

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

Fight Summary: After failing the weight at the first attempt, Arce (107) was recorded as having made it third time round despite onlookers not being totally satisfied. In fact, immediately prior to the fight he weighed an incredible 124lbs to Cob Castro’s 119lbs, and this for men contesting a 108lbs title. Having scored a knockdown in round three, Cob Castro (108), a southpaw, was throwing fewer punches than the champion but they appeared to be having more effect than Arce’s, many of which were blocked. Cob Castro was also having success with body punches. Following further head clashes in the fifth, Arce, who was cut in two places on the left eye, went for broke in order to turn the fight his way, but at the end of the sixth when his cuts were deemed too dangerous for him to continue the referee called for the cards.

31 March 2003. Rosendo Alvarez w pts 12 Beibis Mendoza.

Venue: Statehouse Convention Centre, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. Recognition: WBA/The Ring. Referee: Elmo Adolph.

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

Fight Summary: Both men started quickly, the challenger flashing home long punches and Alvarez (108) moving inside to work the body. Mendoza (107½), by now cut along the left eyelid, appeared to be in front by the middle rounds, but the heavy-handed Alvarez came back at him, the pair going at it like hammer and tongs. By the 12th it seemed that Alvarez had just about made up any lost ground, but with it being so close a draw would have been fairer on Mendoza, who was the better boxer of the two. On the result, Alvarez was awarded The Ring Championship Belt.

 

Not to be denied, Mendoza came right back into the equation on 15 November at the Heongguk Gym, Yeosu, South Korea when he outpointed the local, Yo-Sam Choi, over 12 rounds to win the vacant WBA ‘interim’ crown.

22 February 2003. Jorge Arce w co 1 Ernesto Castro.

Venue: City Bullring, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Gelasio Perez.

Fight Summary: Making his second defence, Arce (107¾) once again proved what a good finisher he was. The champion soon got down to business against Castro (107¾), who was hurt very quickly by left hooks to the head and body before being counted out at 1.40 of the first round.

15 February 2003. Jose Victor Burgos w rsc 12 Alex Sanchez.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Joe Cortez.

Fight Summary: In what was a rubber match, Sanchez (107) winning their first meeting and drawing the second, there was little between them in first couple of rounds before Burgos (107) stamped his authority on the fight after finding his rhythm, putting good combinations together to drive ahead. Sanchez was still there, but the fight turned against him when his right eye began to close, which was followed by a massive swelling coming up on the left-hand side of his face. It was now impossible for him to focus, and he was severely under fire when the referee decided that he had seen enough at 1.50 of the final session.

16 November 2002. Jorge Arce w rsc 3 Agustin Luna.

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

Fight Summary: In charge all the way despite being cut over the left eye in the opening session, Arce (108) went to work on Luna (107½) in the second round, putting him over with a heavy left hook. It was evident in the third that Luna would not be able to keep the champion at bay for long, and having got up from a heavy right to the jaw he was set upon and battered at will until the referee rescued him with 2.13 on the clock.

24 August 2002. Nelson Dieppa tdraw 2 Jhon Alberto Molina.

Venue: Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium, Carolina, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez.

Fight Summary: With the champion, Dieppa (108), leading with nice sharp jabs and Molina (108), at 5’2”, dipping low to get inside, this fight was an accident waiting to happen. The signs were there when towards the end of the opening round heads came together, but in the second session the contest was called off after just 22 seconds. This followed another head clash that opened up a huge cut on the champion’s head, ensuring that the fight was over.

 

On 11 July 2003, Kermin Guardia won the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title when outpointing Molina over 12 rounds at the Municipal Coliseum, Barranquilla, Colombia to earn himself a shot at Dieppa.

6 July 2002. Jorge Arce w rsc 6 Yo-Sam Choi.

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Seoul, South Korea. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Larry O’Connell.

Fight Summary: Having waited two years for his title opportunity, Arce (107½) was not going to pass it up lightly, dropping Choi (108) in the opening round and pounding him persistently with hooks to the body to wear him down. Come the sixth session, a powerful left followed by a right-left combination saw Choi in serious trouble before he was rescued by the referee on the 1.21 mark.

23 February 2002. Yo-Sam Choi w rsc 10 Shingo Yamaguchi.

Venue: Tokyo Bay NK Hall, Chiba, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish.

Fight Summary: Responding to the challenger’s lack of punching power, Choi (108) cut him over the eyes in the sixth round, floored him with a vicious overhand right in the ninth, and took him apart in the tenth before the referee decided that he had seen enough at 2.18 of the session. It was not that the busy Yamaguchi (106) failed to perform, but his skill alone was never going to be enough to keep the champion at bay for the whole 12 rounds.

19 January 2002. Rosendo Alvarez w rsc 12 Pichit Chor Siriwat.

Venue: Jai-Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Armando Garcia.

Fight Summary: As the challenger’s power decreased Alvarez (108) merely stepped it up, the accuracy of his punches beginning to tell in the middle rounds when all Chor Siriwat (108) had left was his huge heart. However, it was not enough. Despite the Thai hitting the deck in the eighth following a salvo of punches, he somehow managed to get through to the 12th before being jumped on again. Following a battery of blows Chor Siriwat was eventually floored in his own corner by a heavy right-left-right combination, and although getting up he was under severe pressure when rescued by the referee on the 2.10 mark.

29 September 2001. Ricardo Lopez w co 8 Zolani Petelo.

Venue: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Arthur Mercante.

Fight Summary: Despite being unable to penetrate the champion’s defences, Petelo (107¾) made a game showing against a man recognised as one of the best fighters around. As early as the second round Petelo had been hammered to the canvas by a left hook, but somehow kept going. Eventually, in the eighth, Lopez (107) caught up with Petelo again when nailing him with a right-left. This time it was for keeps, the referee counting the South African out on the 1.32 mark.

 

When Lopez announced his retirement from boxing on 28 November 2002, the IBF matched Jose Victor Burgos and Alex Sanchez to contest the vacant title. Burgos and Sanchez had already met in an eliminator which ended in a 12-round draw on 11 May 2002 at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

29 September 2001. Nelson Dieppa w pts 12 Fahlan Sakkreerin.

Venue: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Joe Cortez.

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

Fight Summary: Beating his southpaw challenger to the punch throughout, Dieppa (108) fully deserved his win against a man who ran out of ideas long before the final bell. Not able to outsmart Dieppa, who carried the extra power, it was an uphill struggle for Sakkreerin (107), the difference in class being highlighted by the judges’ scorecards.

14 April 2001. Nelson Dieppa w co 11 Andy Tabanas.

Venue: MSG Theatre, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Arthur Mercante Jnr.

Fight Summary: With the title still vacant, Tabanas v Fahlan Sakkreerin having failed to register a winner, Dieppa (107) and Tabanas (107½) made a careful start which continued throughout much of the contest. However, things were about to change. In the 11th, Tabanas came out like a train prior to running on to a tremendous right uppercut, the effects of which saw him counted out at 2.24 of the round.

3 March 2001. Rosendo Alvarez w pts 12 Beibis Mendoza.

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

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

Fight Summary: Lacking the low blows of their previous fight, had it not been for a point deducted from Mendoza (107) following an indiscretion in the third he would have remained champion. Alvarez (108) ultimately won the title due to his better work in the earlier rounds. Having earlier been a WBA mini flyweight champion, Alvarez became a two weight world champion on the result.

3 February 2001. Andy Tabanas drew 12 Fahlan Sakkreerin.

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

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

Fight Summary: Fighting for the title forfeited by Will Grigsby, neither Tabanas (108) nor the southpaw Sakkreerin (107½), previously known as Fahlan Lukmingkwan, deserved to win the title in what was for a championship contest a tame affair. Cut over the right eye in the seventh, the Thai was unable to exploit his physical advantages to gain the nod, while the tiny Tabanas could not get close enough to do any real damage.

 

Following this, Tabanas was matched against Nelson Dieppa, with the winner to make his first defence against Sakkreerin.

30 January 2001. Yo-Sam Choi w co 7 Saman Sorjaturong.

Venue: Central City Millennium Hall, Seoul, South Korea. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Lupe Garcia.

Fight Summary: With accurate combinations and a good defence Choi (107¾) quickly took the initiative, and in round seven a solid jab floored Sorjaturong (106¼) for the full count, timed at 1.17.

 

After deciding to banish ‘interim’ titles at their annual convention, the WBC reintroduced them on 20 October at the Municipal Auditorium, Tijuana, Mexico when Jorge Arce outpointed Juanito Rubillar over 12 rounds. The situation had arisen after Choi’s promoter had been unable to raise the funds required for the champion to defend his title against Shingo Yamaguchi on home territory and needed more time for the fight to take place in Japan. However, following Arce’s victory the winner of Choi v Yamaguchi would be asked to defend against him within 90 days.

2 December 2000. Ricardo Lopez w rsc 3 Ratanapol Sor Vorapin.

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

Fight Summary: Bringing very little to the argument, having lost three of his last seven fights, Sor Vorapin (107½) proved an easy mark for Lopez (107½) and was rescued by the referee at 2.11 of the third round. Following a left to the body, Lopez, who equalled Rocky Marciano’s record of 49 wins without loss on the result, let go a whole range of blows which saw the Thai not fighting back prior to the intervention.

12 August 2000. Beibis Mendoza w disq 7 Rosendo Alvarez.

Venue: Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Mitch Halpern.

Fight Summary: Billed for the vacant title after Pichit Chor Siriwat was unavailable to meet Alvarez (108), Mendoza (107½) was drafted in with the winner asked to defend against the Thai within 120 days. Alvarez was expected to win, but not only was he outpunched for much of the fight he was warned so many times for going below the belt that, at 1.02 of the seventh, the referee had seen enough and disqualified him.

22 July 2000. Will Grigsby w pts 12 Nelson Dieppa.

Venue: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Telis Assimenios.

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

Fight Summary: In a contest for the vacant title, Masibulele Makepula having moved on, Grigsby (107½), fighting on the back foot and countering with some venom, made a difficult target for Dieppa (108) to overcome. The die was cast when Dieppa, who finished up bruised and swollen around both eyes, had been unable to get close enough to do his best work.

 

Having tested positive for marijuana, Grigsby eventually forfeited the WBO version of the title in October. Retrospectively, the WBO classified the result as a no contest. Following that decision, Andy Tabanas and Fahlan Sakkreerin were signed up to find a new champion.

17 June 2000. Yo-Sam Choi w co 5 Chart Kiatpetch.

Venue: Olympic Gymnastic Gym, Seoul, South Korea. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Malcolm Bulner.

Fight Summary: Making his first defence, Choi (108) got off to a good start, flooring Kiatpetch (107¾) in the second round and pounding away until the challenger finally dropped from a body shot in the fifth. Kiatpetch, who was not of championship class, was counted out on the 2.50 mark having given it his best shot.

19 February 2000. Masibulele Makepula w pts 12 Jacob Matlala.

Venue: Carnival City Arena, Brakpan, South Africa. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Stan Christodoulou.

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

Fight Summary: Contested for the title vacated by Michael Carbajal, both Makepula (107¾) and Matlala (107¼) gave it everything and then more, the only thing spoiling the event being the wide margin on the judges’ scorecards in favour of the new champion. Fought at a cracking pace it was an absorbing battle of wills and with Makepula having the physical advantages as opposed to Matlala’s non-stop battling there was little between them at the final bell.

 

After Makepula relinquished the title in March in favour of maintaining his World Boxing Union (WBU) Championship Belt, the WBO eventually organised a contest between Will Grigsby and Nelson Dieppa in order to find a successor.

5 February 2000. Pichit Chor Siriwat w pts 12 Sang-Ik Yang.

Venue: Mall Department Store, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Derek Milham.

Scorecards: 120-110, 118-111, 115-113.

Fight Summary: Displaying superior speed and ring-craft to dominate his fellow southpaw, Chor Siriwat (108) continuously outmanoeuvred the taller Yang (108), who was unable to get into range and often flailed away hopelessly. Despite being out of the ring for almost a year, Chor Siriwat had too much of everything for the challenger to overcome.

 

When Chor Siriwat forfeited the WBA version of the title in July for failing to meet Rosendo Alvarez within the given time frame due to illness, the latter was hastily matched against Beibis Mendoza to contest the vacancy.

                                                    © 2016-2019 Barry J. Hugman & Sean Willis