A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Inglewood, Calif.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai W12 Juan Francisco Estrada - Full recap
Retains world junior bantamweight title
Scores: 117-111, 115-113, 114-114
Records: Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 39 KOs); Estrada (36-3, 25 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Early fight of the year alert! To nobody's surprise, Sor Rungvisai, a 31-year-old southpaw from Thailand, and former unified flyweight titlist Estrada, 27, of Mexico, put on a great fight in the "Superfly 2" main event. Sor Rungvisai, who twice defeated Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez in upsets in 2017, and mandatory challenger Estrada battled brutally hard throughout this blazing fight, but Estrada gave up too many early rounds. Sor Rungvisai, with big leads on the scorecards through the first half of the fight, had to hang on down the stretch as Estrada came storming back, setting the stage for a tremendously action-packed 12th round, a definite round of the year candidate. In the end, Sor Rungvisai eked out the deserved majority decision in a fight that probably will result in a fall rematch.
McWilliams Arroyo W10 Carlos Cuadras - Full recap
Scores: 98-92, 97-93, 95-95
Records: Arroyo (17-3, 14 KOs); Cuadras (36-3-1, 27 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Former two-time world title challenger McWilliams Arroyo, 32, of Puerto Rico, hadn't fought in the 22 months since then-flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez manhandled him in a near-shutout decision. But he moved up in weight to face former world titlist Cuadras, 29, of Mexico and ground out a decision in a tough, competitive fight that could open the door for yet another title opportunity. Cuadras was the busier fighter, but Arroyo probably got the nod from two judges because he was the heavier hitter. Cuadras suffered his second loss in a row, having also lost a tight decision to Juan Francisco Estrada last September in a title eliminator on the original "Superfly" card.
Donnie Nietes TKO7 Juan Carlos Reveco - Full recap
Retains a flyweight title
Records: Nietes (41-1-4, 23 KOs); Reveco (39-4, 19 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Nietes, 35, of the Philippines, has for years been one of boxing's best-kept secrets outside of his country. But he's the real deal, having won world titles in three weight classes and beaten several quality opponents. He did it again, dominating his first defense against Reveco, 34, of Argentina, a former junior flyweight and flyweight titlist. Unbeaten since 2004, Nietes took it to the lethargic Reveco from the outset, punishing him with stiff jabs, badly hurting him with a right hand in the sixth round and then dropping him with an onslaught of shots early in the seventh. Although he beat the count, Reveco was finished and his corner threw in the towel, causing referee Eddie Hernandez Sr. to end the fight at 53 seconds.
Artem Dalakian W12 Brian Viloria - Full recap
Wins a vacant flyweight title
Scores: 118-110 (three times)
Records: Dalakian (16-0, 11 KOs); Viloria (38-6, 23 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Viloria, 37, of Los Angeles, has had a fine career in which he has won four world titles (junior flyweight and flyweight) and always fought his heart out, but this performance showed that his time has past. On the flip side, it was a coming-out party for Dalakian, 30, of Ukraine, who fought outside of his country for the first time and turned in a superb all-around performance with good offense, defense and boxing skills. He looks like he'd be a handful for anyone at 112 pounds, as he dominated the shorter, slower Viloria, who bled profusely in the final two rounds from a terrible cut on his forehead caused by an accidental head butt.
Saturday at Nuremberg, Germany
Callum Smith W12 Nieky Holzken - Full recap
World Boxing Super Series semifinals
Scores: 118-110, 117-111 (twice)
Records: Smith (24-0, 17 KOs); Holzken (13-1, 10 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Smith, 27, of England, advanced to the WBSS final to face world titlist George Groves on June 2 in London with this victory over the Netherlands' Holzken, 34, a tournament alternate preparing for an undercard fight when he was pressed into service five days earlier after flu-ridden Juergen Braehmer withdrew. Holzken gave a respectable performance, hurt Smith in the eighth and 11th round and made Smith work hard for the win, but Smith's better boxing skills paved the way to the final in convincing fashion, though the final could be delayed due to the shoulder injury Groves suffered in his semifinal victory on Feb. 17.
Saturday at London
Anthony Yarde TKO7 Tony Averlant
Records: Yarde (15-0, 14 KOs); Averlant (26-10-2, 5 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Yarde, 26, an excellent prospect from England, got good experience against journeyman Averlant, 33, of France, who gave a good account of himself but was ultimately no match for the younger, faster and stronger Yarde. Midway through the sixth round, Yarde crumpled Averlant to the mat courtesy of an absolutely brutal left hook to the body. Averlant barely beat the count but was down again moments later from similar hook to the body. He survived the round, and after Yarde pounded him throughout the seventh round, Averlant's corner threw in the towel.
Daniel Dubois TKO3 DL Jones
Records: Dubois (7-0, 7 KOs); Jones (8-1-1, 0 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Dubois, 20, of England, a heralded prospect, took out Jones, 36, of England, with ease. He had him in trouble late in the second round when he landed some brutal right uppercuts that had Jones wobbly as he returned to his corner after the round. Jones, who showed a big heart, became the first opponent to take Dubois into the third round, but Dubois continued to repeatedly rip him with right hands, including another bomb that dropped Jones along the ropes as referee Bob Williams was jumping in to stop the fight at 2 minutes, 23 seconds.
Friday at Kissimmee, Fla.
Jonathan Gonzalez W10 Ricardo Rodriguez
Scores: 96-93, 95-95 Gonzalez, 95-94 Rodriguez
Records: Gonzalez (20-2-1, 12 KOs); Rodriguez (16-6, 5 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In the Telemundo main event, Gonzalez, a 26-year-old southpaw from Puerto Rico, barely edged former world title challenger Rodriguez, a Mexico native fighting out of Los Angeles, who dropped his third consecutive bout. The difference came in the third round when Gonzalez scored a flash knockdown when Rodriguez touched his knee to the mat. Also on the card were two 2016 Olympians. American junior featherweight Antonio Vargas (6-0, 3 KOs), 21, who was fighting in his hometown, outpointed Luis Saavedra (7-5, 3 KOs), 21, of Mexico, by scores of 60-54, 60-54 and 59-55. Also, bantamweight Jeyvier Cintron (3-0, 1 KO), 23, of Puerto Rico, routed Edson Noria (2-2, 1 KO), 28, of Mexico, winning 60-54 on all three scorecards.
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