Posts Tagged ‘bantamweight’


Monsters are real. Just ask Jamie McDonnell, who was relived of his WBA bantamweight title in merciless fashion as Naoya Inoue needed less than two minutes to score a crushing knockout victory.

At 5’9 to Inoue’s 5’5, McDonnell sought to made it a long-distance affair by pumping the jab and and circling. But Inoue easily breached the distance gap by darting in with a lead left hook to the body. The shot pushed McDonnell to the ropes where Inoue let loose with a quick combination.

McDonnell attempted to regoup by targeting the stomach with a body jab, but was quickly countered by a left hook to the top of the head. The shot wobbled him and a knockdown, via a left hook downstairs, quickly followed.

McDonnell rose and was met with a series of shots punctuated by a left hook for the final knockdown with 1:08 remaining.

The win is improves Inoue’s record to 16-0 (14 KOs) and gives him a third title in as many weight classes at the age of 25.

Expect this to just be the beginning of his reign of terror as the new title-holder will participate in the World Boxing Series bantamweight tournament.



KYOTO, JAPAN — Shinsuke Yamanaka survived two third round knockdowns and scored two of his own against Liborio Solis to win a unanimous decision in his 10th defense of the WBC bantamweight title.

Yamanaka secured the first knockdown via a counter right hook. Solis wasn’t seriously hurt and continued a relentless pursuit that would continue the entire night.

Yamanaka got in serious trouble in round three after being floored by a straight right. Solis poured on the pressure and had Yamanaka pinned on the ropes several times before the champion rebounded by scoring southpaw straight lefts at mid-range. But Solis ended the round strong by flooring  Yamanaka again on a right hand counter.

That round was Solis’ apex as Yamanaka made the rest of the bout a counter-punching battle. The champion adjusted by incorporating short right hooks, upper body movement and clinching to nullify Solis’ wild but dangerous haymaker shots. Yamanaka took complete control by catching Solis with a 1-2 for the bout’s fourth knockdown in the ninth.

Solis never stopped coming forward, but failed to land the home run shot needed to overcome the scorecards.

The judges were unanimous in their verdict of 117-107.


Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

This morning the MMA world is still coming to terms with the destruction of one of its biggest stars in Ronda Rousey, who was outclassed and executed last night in Melbourne, Australia by former boxing world champion (and now UFC queen) Holly Holm.

An 11-year veteran of combat sports, Holly Holm is not your typical story of a faded boxer trying to find glory in MMA. Early in her career, she spent two years fighting professionally as a kickboxer(going 2-1) and prior to last night’s bout, had amassed a 9-0 record in MMA. She had her last boxing match in 2013 not because she couldn’t compete, but due to needing more consistent opportunities to make a living wage. Her 33-2-3 record featured a distinction¬†of winning the unified WBA/WBC welterweight titles, and being one of the most accomplished female boxers in history.

That made last night’s beatdown no surprise to most boxing fans, who were already soured on Rousey for RING Magazine’s dubious decision to make her¬†the first woman to grace the boxing publication’s cover in its 100-year history.


“It was a slap in the face to the history of¬†women’s boxing,” said five-time flyweight women’s boxing champion Ava Knight.

No Laila Ali, Cecilia Braekhus or even the last American Olympic boxing gold medalist, Clarissa Shields, has been given the distinction of a RING cover.

This reality gave way to the brutal irony in Holm’s elite boxing ability being the cornerstone of her victory. Foolishly, Rousey attempted to stand early on and blitz with hard shots. Holm used her mastery of distance and footwork to keep¬†Rousey on the end of stiff straight lefts and counter right jabs.¬†Within a few minutes, Rousey was bloodied and flailing punches in desperation.


The most embarrassing of these moments signaled the end of Rousey’s chances to win. Showing firsthand how valuable a Floyd Mayweather-like defense can be, Holm deftly slipped a telegraphed left hook and sent Rousey falling over herself.


When you mix the aforementioned boxing skills with Holm’s superior physical strength and takedown defense, you get definitive conclusions like this.


Is Ronda Rousey a fraud? Not at all — the woman is an elite judoka and one of the best fighters in MMA. But her biggest weakness, striking, was placed in neon lights Saturday night. The test of any great fighter is how they come back from defeat. We’ll find out soon enough if Ronda Rousey has the heart and burning desire to come back better, is if she’s a modern version of Gina Carano.

In meantime, if this is how you shadowbox, the boxing gods will not look favorably on you being lauded in Sweet Science publications.




KOKUGIKAN, Tokyo, Japan — Shinsuke Yamanaka worked through slow start to score three late knockdowns in a ninth-round TKO win over Alberto Guevara for the fifth defense of his WBC bantamweight title.

The southpaw Yamanaka struggled to find the range with his primary weapon, the left hand, in the first four rounds due to Guevara’s aggression and mauling inside work. Yamanaka began to take over in the fifth when his fast left cross started to make Guevara consistently backpedal. From there, Yamanaka was able to land hard 1-2s down the middle and slowly break down his challenger.

The eighth round saw Guevara dropped twice by straight lefts and struggle to remain upright for most of the round. A few other tumbles to the canvas were ruled slips as Guevara seemed to be rattled by every hard blow the champion threw in his direction.

The ending ninth saw Guevara dropped again by another right-jab, left cross combination. While coherent, Guevera’s fighting spirit had left him and he took the full ten count.

Yamanaka improves to 20-0-2 (15 KOs) and remains in position to unify the bantamweight division against fellow titlists Anselmo Moreno (WBA) and Tomoki Kameda (WBO).


TOKYO, Japan — Shinsuke¬†Yamanaka¬†notched the four successful defense of his WBC bantamweight title with another display of crushing power in knocking out Jose Nieves at the 2:40 mark of round one.

Through the first two minutes, Nieves sought to stay off the ropes and keep away from the power of Yamanaka’s¬†southpaw left hand. Yamanaka¬†countered this tactic by cutting off the ring and forcing Nieves to move to his right. This provided the opening¬†for the bout-ending straight left, the only flush power shot Yamanaka landed.

Yamanaka improves to 19-0 (14 KOs) while Nieves falls to 22-3-3 (11 KOs).

With two of the champions in Anselmo Moreno (WBA) and Tomoki Kameda (WBO) getting big wins in the last two weeks, the only question now is what unification fight happens first. Based on location, Yamanaka-Kameda is likely the one.

LOS ANGELES, CA — Showtime Sports delivered an excellent fight card last night capped off by a rough and tumble barnburner of a main event between Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno at the Staples Center. Once again, Mares passed a stiff test and afterward did what we yearn for all top fighters do — he challenged the best fighter in his divsion to a unification match.

ABNER MARES UD12 ANSELMO MORENO: Mares vowed to make Moreno “uncomfortable” and pressure him, but I don’t think anyone envisioned the “bull in a china shop” offense Mares displayed for the majority of the fight. Mares was an animal; he cared nothing about accuracy, but made sure all his punches were landing somewhere on Moreno, who struggled to gain any type of distance to work his counters. Mares would bang the body with 4-5 punches at a time. And even though Moreno had good defense in picking off a lot of shots, the sheer volume from Mares ensured many were getting through and wearing him down.

Whenever Mares would take a breather, Moreno accuracy would shine. At mid and long range, Moreno would snap back Mares’ head with his southpaw staight left and right jabs. The problem for Moreno is that Mares, clearly the bigger man, could take this punches and would explode with flurries to push Moreno back on his heels. Mares began finding the range with the overhand and straight right and hurt Moreno for the first knockdown of his career in the fifth. At that point, Moreno was only saved by the bell and appeared to be on the way out of there.

Moreno took another pasting in the sixth, but hung tough and started landing big hooks with both hands in the seventh. Moreno’s best opportunity to score a KO came in the eighth when he stunned Mares with a heavy left hook. Mares went to the ropes for the first time and Moreno, although still cautious of a trap, teed off with a series of power shots to take the round despite a late Mares flurry.

Moreno finished strong in the championship rounds but lost a key point in the 11th for holding down Mares’s head. It was a bullshit call, especially considering the roughhouse tactics exhibited by Mares the entire fight (low blows, forearms, leading with his head). Moreno had won that round on my card but had to settle for 9-9 round with the deduction.

In the end, the fifth round knockdown and Mares’ dominance over the first half of the fight was enough to get him 116-110 scores on two cards (believable), and a ridiculous 120-106 score on the other card. I had it closer to the Showtime team’s scores of 114-112.

Mares made it clear in his post-fight interview that he wanted Nonito Donaire next and implored him and Top Rank to not let politics prevent an excellent fight. I have no doubt Mares is sincere; just a look at his track record over the last few years shows he wants to fight only the best. Donaire, unless he finally gets “excited” to face stablemate Guillermo Rigondeaux, has only this fight to take if he wants to remain credible at super bantamweight. Sadly, I have little faith that Golden Boy and Top Rank can put aisde their differencs to make it happen. If they do, I’d favor Donaire since I think he’s the guy, if anyone does have it at super bantamweight, that has enough power and accuracy to hurt Mares repeatedly.

LEO SANTA CRUZ TKO9 VICTOR ZALETA: What a bruising fight. Santa Cruz reminds me a little of Antonio Margarito the way he walks down fighters and works the body. What bodes better for Santa Cruz’s career is that his defense is a little better with his tight guard. That left hook he throws to the body is very effective. Zaleta gave it his all but Santa Cruz was just too big and powerful. The idea of Santa Cruz and Mares fighting, which the Showtime team was hyping, is salivating should Donaire not come to the table for Mares. Believe it or not, Mares actually weighs more than Santa Cruz at the moment. How Mares would adjust his strategy to a bigger and stronger fighter is intriguing.

image Sendai, Miyagi, JAPAN — Shinsuke Yamanaka made a successful defense of his WBC bantamweight title last night with a crushing knockout of Tomas Rojas. The southpaw Yamanaka was leading on all scorecards in the seventh (59-55 twice, 58-56) when he stunned Rojas with a left cross and followed up with another left that put Rojas face-first on the canvas. The win is Yamanaka’s second defense of the title and first since scoring his biggest win, a 12 round unanimous decision win over Vic Darchinyan, in April.