Posts Tagged ‘super featherweight’


CANCUN — Miguel Berchelt had an easy homecoming last night in taking less than three rounds to dispose of Maxwell Awuku at the Plaza de Toros.

Berchelt didn’t show any ill effects from the right-hand injury that kept him sidelined for the second half of 2017. The WBC super featherweight title-holder relied on the straight right hand to punctuate combinations as Awuku was repeatedly forced to the ropes. The southpaw challenger would occasionally respond with wild straight lefts that only gave brief reprieves on Berchelt’s forward march.

Awuku was dropped twice early in third with the straight right again being the money punch. The challenger was the verge of the third knockdown before referee Hector Afu halted the beating.

The win is Berchelt’s second defense of the WBC World super featherweight title he won in January 2017 by stopping Francisco Vargas. Awuku, who was not ranked by any of the sanctioning bodies, was the second last-minute substitute after pullouts from Cristian Mijares and Carlo Magali.

Berchelt is now obligated to face mandatory challenger Micky Roman.



BEIJING, CHINA — The boxing upsets just keep coming in 2016. After drawing with Nicholas Walters last December on HBO, Jason Sosa can now call himself a titlist after knocking out Javier Fortuna to pick up the WBA World super featherweight title.

The ending sequence saw Sosa nail Fortuna with a right-left hook combination for a face-first knockdown. Fortuna beat the count, but was deemed in no condition to continue.

The victory is Sosa’s first world title win and improves his record to 19–4. Fortuna suffers his first defeat and falls to 29-1-1.





TOKYO — Takashi Uchiyama’s status as the premier fighter in¬†at super featherweight was extinguished in two rounds at the hands of unheralded Jezreel Corrales, who used speed and switch-hitting counter shots to score¬†the 2016’s¬†biggest boxing upset to date.

From the first punch, Uchiyama looked ill-equipped to handle Corrales’ speed. The 24 year-old¬†Panamanian challenger stung Uchiyama with southpaw lefts in the opening minute, eliciting concerned murmurs from the champion’s countrymen. Corrales¬†disrupted Uchiyama’s offense¬†by¬†periodically switching between southpaw and orthodox —¬†in the last minute, he succeeded in wobbling Uchiyama¬†with an overhand right.

Round two was a complete whitewash. Uchiyama first hit the canvas from a counter left hook. It took Uchiyama two tries to get upright, and a succession of Corrales hooks created a second knockdown moments later. Uchiyama nearly  escaped the round, but got caught backing up by a right hook that forced the stoppage.

The shocking upset comes as the 36-year-old Uchiyama was rumored to be in negotiations to make his U.S. debut against Javier Fortuna. The loss is Uchiyama’s first defeat and ends his six year WBA title reign at 11 defenses.



Photo Credit: Hogan Photos

LAS VEGAS — The Cotto-Canelo undercard showcased one of the more brutal fights of 2015 and a Fight of the year contender in Francisco Vargas’s (22-0-1, 17 KOs) comeback knockout win over Takashi Miura (29-3-2, 22 KOs).

Miura was nearly KO’d in the first round from a hard counter right and took heavy punishment to the head in the second. Starting in the third, Miura began to storm back with ripping body shots and powerful southpaw straight lefts.

Miura’s straight left produced a vicious knockdown in the fourth that also created blood and swelling under the right eye. But Vargas refused to go away and kept competitive with a high workrate that offset Miura’s straight-left heavy¬†offense.

Miura managed to hurt Vargas badly with that shot at the end of the eighth and seemed primed to finish the bout. But at the start of the ninth, Vargas caught Miura with a straight right followed by an uppercut and left hook for a knockdown. Miura got up quickly and tried to continually hold to buy time. Vargas remained relentless with his power shots and forced referee Tony Weeks to halt the contest.

Scorecards at the finish had Miura ahead on two (77-74, 76-75) and one even (75-75). The win gives Vargas the WBC super featherweight strap, his first title.

“I knew I had to be very aggressive, and I showed that in the first round so he knew that I would not be bullied,” said Vargas. “When I was knocked down in the fourth round, I felt even more motivated to win this fight. I made sure to fight the way I wanted, how I wanted and my style and now I’m champion of the world!”

Miura suffers his first defeat since 2011 and ends his WBC reign with four defenses.


Photo Credit: Zanfer Boxing

Orlando Salido is in position to win a major title in his second weight class due to a wild 11th round technical knockout over Terdsak Kokietgym last night in Tijuana. Salido’s umpteenth war awarded him the interim WBO super featherweight title, which in theory may lead to a rematch with the sanctioning body’s regular titlist, Mikey Garica. With the end of 2014 marking Salido’s 18th fight as a professional, we are likely seeing the final run of one of boxing’s most battle-hardened soldiers.


THE KNOCKDOWN DIFFERENCE: The fight featured seven knockdowns (three on Salido, four on Kokietgym). In round one, Salido found himself on the canvas within the bout’s opening mintue off a counter right hook. Salido retaliated with body shots and a low blow that was incorrectly ruled a knockdown. Salido’s trademark inside pressure was again stifled in the second round via a knockdown, this time courtesy of a Kokietgym left cross.

The next knockdown would come in the fourth when a Salido straight right to the gut deposited Kokietgym on the seat of his pants. Here is when the “quality” of the knockdowns started to become pronounced. Salido’s overall work was coming from barrages of hooks to the head and body — the knockdowns served as an exclamation point. Kokietgym, while still game, wasn’t consistently stunning Salido with counter shots anymore. Kokietgym would score one more knockdown in the fifth when Salido squared up for a cluster of body shots. However, the knockdown seemed to annoy Salido more than hurt (only a glove touched the canvas), and he went back to adiministering a methodical beating — two more knockdowns on Kokietgym would come in the seventh and eleventh rounds before the ref called the fight.

If these seven knockdown showed anything, it’s that you can bend Salido’s will, but you can never break it.


CORRECTED REF MISTAKE ADDS TO KOKIETGYM’S WORLD OF HURT: From the sixth round forward, Kokietgym was on the worst end of nearly every exchange. Salido’s power and pressure had him tearing into Kokietgym like a rabid dog. The body assault sapped Kokietgym of the force on his counter shots. The beating also robbed his legs of mobility, making Salido’s seek and destroy mission much easier.

Kokietgym was taking an assortment of unreturned shots against the ropes when referee Eddie Claudio jumped in, leading Salido and many in the crowd to believe the fight had been halted before the sixth round bell. Claudio quickly realized he had stopped the action early, thinking he heard the timekeeper’s bell. The action resumed with less than 10 seconds left, allowing the Thai fighter to survive.

The reprieve only made Kokietgym’s fate more painful and brutal. Salido would batter and rearrange Kokietgym’s features from rounds 7-11, unleashing a barrage of hooks to close the show and leave Kokietgym motionless on the canvas.


WOULD YOU HAVE CALLED IT?: Since Kokietgym scored a few knockdowns and hurt Salido repeatedly within the bout’s first six rounds, I can see why the referee would be reluctant to call the fight. With that said, it was very clear what was happening over the last few rounds. If I was in Kokietgym’s corner, I’m pulling him out after that ninth round. Kokietgym’s punches weren’t having the same effect while Salido appeared to get stronger every minute.


SALIDO’S FUTURE AT SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT: Salido’s super featherweight run will likely be short and explosive. The aged warrior has numerous options that look to be exciting fights. Francisco Vargas, who just disposed of Juan Manuel Lopez a few months ago, would be another barnburner. Diego Magdaleno would embody the “young vs. old lion” motif. ¬†If Salido gets ranked by the other sanctioning bodies, that opens up more intriguing matchups against contenders like Sergio Thompson, Rances Barthelemy, and Javier Fortuna. And let’s not forget the Asian champs in Takashi Uchiyama (WBA) and Takashi Miura.

Mikey Garcia holds the WBO strap and a technical decision victory over Salido at featherweight. Since Garcia is currently embroiled in a contract dispute with his promoter Top Rank, the rematch is unlikely. Salido’s next bout could very well be a match for the vacant WBO belt due to Garcia being stripped. If that happens, the likely opponent is Francisco Vargas.


Photo Credits: Gene Blevins РTop Rank

OXNARD, CA —¬† WBO super featherweight titlist Mikey Garcia completed his media workout yesterday in preparation for a tough title defense against Juan Carlos Burgos on January 25. As you can see from the pictures, the weight struggles that plagued Garcia at 126 looked to be firmly behind him at 130. He’ll need to be in excellent shape¬†considering that Burgos, who most feel got jobbed in his two recent draws against Rocky Martinez and Yakubu Amidu, will be desperate for a win and bringing a brusing body attack. The fight airs live on HBO.

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Rances Barthelemy has begun his 2014 much like he started his 2013 — embroiled in a highly controversial fight. There is one major difference from last year — he can now call himself the IBF super featherweight champion, courtesy of a second round KO over Argenis Mendez last night at the Target Center.

While both are solid punchers, the taller (5’11) Barthelemy maximized his physical advantages from the opening round, setting traps by making Mendez lead and stinging him early with a short left hook. Barthelemy spent most of the round boxing off the backfoot and keeping his foe controlled with a strong left jab.

Mendez stepped up his aggression in the second, looking to land his overhand right and work the body. Barthelemy stayed on the backfoot, but at times obliged the inside fighting where he looked to be testing Mendez’s reflexes rather than seeking a damaging blow. He finally found the range he was looking for in the closing 30 seconds and staggered Mendez with an inside left uppercut through the guard. Barthelemy added a cluster of power shots punctuated by another left hook that sent Mendez toppling to the seat of his pants.

Mendez beat the count, but was met with a flurry of finishing shots. The bell rung to end the round, but Barthelemy continued punching, landing two more heavy shots. The final blow, another smashing left hook around the guard, splayed Mendez on the canvas.

Referee Pete Podgorski opted to count out Mendez, essentially awarding Barthelemy the title on illegal shots.




A SUBDUED TEDDY: Normally, you’d think Teddy Atlas would be primed to rant after a verdict like this. Instead, Atlas dismissed much of the controversy with a shrug, stating Barthelemy was in complete control and was on his way to victory anyway. That’s a dubious stance from a man who knows just one punch can completely turn a fight around. Mendez was robbed of that opportunity and suffered an undeserved damaging KO to boot.

NOT BARTHELEMY’S FAULT: Unlike Adrien Broner’s clear after the bell cheapshot on Marcos Maidana last month, you can see that Barthelemy was not intentionally trying to foul Mendez. Barthelemy was a fighter in finishing mode and in the middle of a combination. It’s the referee’s job to jump in right at the bell, especially when one fighter is in survival mode. As you can see,¬†Podgorski was way out of position.

Ironically, it was a controversial decision win for Barthelemy over Arash Usmanee last January in a IBF title eliminator that got him last night’s title shot.

PROTEST ON THE WAY: Mendez’s team (Iron Mike Productions) made it known that they will appeal the verdict. What’s more likely to happen than this decision being reversed is Mendez being offered an immediate rematch. With how badly Barthelemy was dominating him, it’s not given Mendez will want jump back in there so quickly.

DURAN AND TRUAX BATTLE TO A DRAW: 36-year-old Ossie Duran showed he still has some gas in the tank by battling to a draw with Top 20 contender Caleb Truax. Most observers scored the fight for Duran, who came forward the entire fight and landed the harder blows. Truax couldn’t hurt Duran enough to take backward step, so he relied on activity to keep the bout close. Scores were unanimous across the board, 95-95. If nothing else, this fight shows how much of a fast one Andre Ward was attempting in trying to get HBO to approve a Truax bout last year.