A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Sunday at Naha, Japan
Daigo Higa KO1 Moises Fuentes
Retains a flyweight title
Records: Higa (15-0, 15 KOs); Fuentes (25-5-1, 14 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Higa, 22, of Japan and fighting hear his hometown, made his second title defense and had a very easy time with former strawweight world titleholder Moises Fuentes, 30, of Mexico, who dropped to 1-3 in his last four fights. From the opening bell, Higa attacked the much taller Fuentes, who could not put his size advantage to any use. Higa attacked the body and head with very little coming back at him. Higa, who is promoted by former junior flyweight world titleholder and 2015 International Hall of Fame inductee Yoko Gushiken, eventually nailed Fuentes with a left to the body and a right to the head and Fuentes went down to all fours, mainly because of the body shot. Fuentes took his mouthpiece out and although he attempted to get up, he could not beat the count and referee Len Koivisto counted him out at 2 minutes, 32 seconds.
Saturday at Sochi, Russia
Murat Gassiev KO12 Yunier Dorticos -- Full Recap
Unifies two cruiserweight titles, earns a spot in World Boxing Super Series final
Records: Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs); Dorticos (22-1, 21 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Early fight of the year and knockout of the year alert! As expected, Gassiev, 24, of Russia, and Miami-based Cuban Dorticos, 31, both offensive-minded punchers with boxing skills, delivered the best fight so far in what has been an outstanding tournament that has unfortunately not been available on American television. They battled back-and-forth for the entire action-packed fight. Dorticos had the edge early, it was more even in the middle and then Gassiev closed the show against a fading Dorticos, whom he dropped three times in the final round, including the last one on a right hand that put him through the ropes and halfway onto the ring apron causing referee Eddie Claudio to stop the fight at 2 minutes, 52 seconds. On to the May 11 finals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where Gassiev and Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) will meet for the undisputed title.
Saturday at Corpus Christi, Texas
Gilberto Ramirez TKO6 Habib Ahmed -- Full Recap
Retains super middleweight title
Records: Ramirez (37-0, 25 KOs); Ahmed (25-1-1, 17 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: On paper this was a mismatch and it also turned out that way. Ramirez absolutely dominated the unknown Ahmed, who was much smaller and fighting out of his home country of Ghana for the first time. As talented as Ramirez, the 26-year-old Mexican southpaw is, Ahmed, 27, was not ready for prime time. He gave a good effort but was not capable of remotely competing with Ramirez, retained his title for the third time as he overpowered him with an assortment of head and body punches with both hands until referee Laurence Cole stopped it at 2 minutes, 31 seconds of the sixth round.
Jerwin Ancajas TKO10 Israel Gonzalez -- Full Recap
Retains a junior bantamweight title
Records: Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 KOs); Gonzalez (21-2, 18 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Ancajas, a 26-year-old southpaw from the Philippines has drawn comparisons to his co-promoter, the all-time great Manny Pacquiao. Ancajas is unlikely to reach the lofty heights of Pacquiao, but he is a quality fighter worth watching. In his American debut, Ancajas retained his title for the fourth time against Gonzalez, 21, of Mexico, who was competitive but unable to actually win rounds. Ancajas dropped him in the first round and twice more in the 10th round before referee Rafael Ramos stopped the fight at 1 minute, 50 seconds.
Saturday at Puerto Madryn, Argentina
Omar Narvaez W10 Jesus Vargas
Score: 100-95, 100-95, 100-90.5
Records: Narvaez (48-2-2, 25 KOs); Vargas (16-12-1, 12 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Former longtime flyweight and junior bantamweight world titleholder Narvaez, a 42-year-old southpaw from Argentina, was due to get a mandatory shot at bantamweight titlist Zolani Tete on Feb. 10 in London. However, when Tete suffered a calf injury the bout was postponed so Narvaez took this stay busy at home fight and took home the decision win over journeyman Vargas, 25, of Venezuela, in a fight that allowed the use of half-points to score rounds. The fight was a rematch of Narvaez's seventh-round knockout in a February 2016 regional bantamweight title bout. Narvaez won his fifth fight in a row since losing his junior bantamweight title by second-round knockout to Naoya Inoue in December 2014.
Saturday at London
Lawrence Okolie W10 Isaac Chamberlain -- Full Recap
Scores: 98-89, 97-89, 96-90
Records: Okolie (8-0, 6 KOs); Chamberlain (9-1, 4 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Okolie, 25, a 2016 Great Britain Olympian, took on countryman Chamberlain, 23, in what was dubbed the "British Beef" due to their dislike for each other. However, the fight didn't come close to living up to the promise of an action fight. Instead, there was a lot of holding and little action. The bigger, stronger Okolie was the better man and won handily. Okolie, who is managed by unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua, dropped Chamberlain with right hands in the first and sixth rounds. In an undercard bout, light heavyweight prospect Joshua Buatsi (4-0, 3 KOs), 24, who claimed a bronze medal for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics, knocked out Jordan Joseph (7-2-1, 2 KOs), 22, in the second round of their six-rounder.
Friday at Sloan, Iowa
Ronald Ellis D10 Junior Younan
Scores: 96-94 Ellis, 96-94 Younan, 95-95
Records: Ellis (14-0-2, 10 KOs); Younan (13-0-1, 9 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Younan, 22, of Brooklyn, New York, has gotten plenty of hype and this was his chance to show it in a "ShoBox" main event on Showtime as he stepped up in competition against Ellis, 28, of Lynn, Massachusetts. But Younan failed to deliver in a fight that was legitimately a draw. Younan landed a few more punches, Ellis seemed to be the bigger hitter and in the end the judges couldn't decide. Ellis pulled out the draw by winning the 10th round on all three scorecards and Younan said he wanted a rematch.
Thomas Mattice TKO7 Rolando Chinea
Records: Mattice (11-0, 9 KOs); Chinea (15-2-1, 6 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Chinea, 26, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, had defeated three unbeaten fighters in his previous four fights and appeared on his way to nothing another such victory. He had set a very fast pace and was ahead 59-55 on the scorecards going into the seventh round of their scheduled eight-rounder. But Mattice, 27, of Cleveland, rallied. He nailed Chinea with a right hand on the chin and continued to fire at his hurt opponent until referee Adam Pollack intervened at 1 minute 31 seconds.
Montana Love W8 Samuel Teah
Scores: 78-74 (twice), 76-76
Records: Love (9-0, 4 KOs); Teah (12-2-1, 5 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Teah, 30, of Philadelphia, was supposed to face Wellington Romero (12-0-1, 6 KOs), but he dropped out because of a back injury last Monday. That paved the way for Love, a 23-year-old southpaw from Cleveland, to move from the non-televised portion of the card into the bout with Teah on the "ShoBox." Love took advantage of the opportunity. The quicker Love, who had recently sparred with lightweight world titlist Robert Easter Jr. and former four-division titlist Adrien Broner, pressed Teah throughout the fight, trash talked to him during the bout and did enough to come away with a majority decision in his biggest win despite hurting his left hand in the third round.
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