Tuesday, June 23, 2020

This Past Week in Action with Eric Armit


-Filipino Mike Plania wins upset decision over WBO No 1 bantam Joshua Greer

-Giovani Santiago goes to 26-0 with debateable decision over Antonio DeMarco

-The Jose Pedraza vs. Mikkel LesPierre fight is called off after LesPierre’s manager tests positive for COV-19 on the day of the fight

-Gabriel Flores moves up for his first ten round fight and is 18-0 after outpointing Josec Ruiz

-WBO super bantam champion Emanuel Navarrete halts Uriel Lopez in non-title action for win No 28 by KO/TKO

-Edwin Palomares spring upset as he stops 25-2 Carlos Ornelas

June 16

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Bantam: Mike Plania (24-1 W PTS 10 Joshua Greer (22-2-1). Welter: Giovani Santillan (26-0) W PTS 10 Antonio DeMarco (33-9-1). Super Welter: Bobirzhan Mominov (11-0) W PTS 6 Cameron Krael(17-16)

Plania vs. Green

Filipino Plania gets a big win as he floors WBO No 1 bantam Greer twice on the way to a majority decision victory. Plania made a dream start putting Greer down with a left hook in the opening round. Greer survived the crisis and began to work his way into the fight from the second. Plania continued to be dangerous with his left hooks and he produced another in the sixth to score his second knockdown. Greer was not out of the fight and he began to eat into Plania’s lead as the Filipino tired over the late rounds. The stronger Greer clearly won the last three rounds but it was not enough to offset Plania’s early work and the two knockdowns. Scores a harsh 97-91, and 96-92 for Plania and 95-95. The 23-year-old “Magic” Plania makes it nine wins in a row since suffering his only defeat against former WBO champion Juan Carlos Payano in 2018. He was unrated before this one but that will change now and obviously a fight with WBO champion John Riel Casimero would be a dream match but Casimero has his eyes on a unification fight with Naoya Inoue. Greer had scored good wins over Nikolai Potapov and Antonio Nieves but this is a huge set back when a title fight had looked a certainty for him later this year or early next.

Santillan vs. DeMarco

Santillan maintains his 100% record but looks lucky to do so as he takes a razor-thin majority verdict. Santillan’s youth and strength were expected to prevail against former WBC light champion DeMarco who had been finding life tough. Santillan worked hard trying to force the fight against the older man but DeMarco’s experience showed. He was if anything busier than fellow-southpaw Santillan and more accurate with his work. Most of the rounds were close with neither fighter dominating and the punch stats showed little between them but DeMarco just seemed to have the edge. The judges saw it differently on scores of 96-94 twice for Santillan and 95-95. The 28-year-old “Gallo de Oro” from San Diego was facing his toughest test so far and if he takes away his lessons from this fight he could be challenging for a title by late 2021 or early 2022. At 34 DeMarco still has plenty to offer but his run of just two wins in his last eight fights put him in the “useful scalp for younger fighters to collect” category.

Mominov vs. Krael

The Kazaks march on. Mominov outworks and outpunches a useful Krael for a points victory. Mominov pressed the fight working behind a stiff jab and scoring well in the early rounds with short punches from both hands. Krael has a good chin and plenty of heart and weathered the early punishment to fight back hard over the closing rounds. Mominov was cut over his left eye and lost a point in the last round for a punch to the back of the head but it had no effect on the final result. Scores 58-55 twice and 57-56 for Mominov. The 28-year-old former World Military Champion is making steady progress. Hawaiian Krael is now 1-3 in his last 4 fights but the win in that run was over useful Ravshan Hudaynazarov.

June 18

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Light Gabriel Flores (18-0) W PTS 10 Josec Ruiz (21-3-3)

Flores vs. Ruiz

When the manager of Trinidadian Mikkel LesPierre tested positive for COVID-19 on the morning of the fight with Jose Pedraza that bout was cancelled and Flores found himself topping the bill. The unbeaten prospect stepped up in style winning every round over Honduran Ruiz. After dominating the first round with some powerful jabs and good movement Flores put Ruiz down in the second with a left hook followed by a straight right. Ruiz made it to his feet and saw out the round and never again looked seriously hurt. Flores boxed for much of the fight on the back foot rattling Ruiz with counters. Ruiz tried hard to get inside to work on the body but the lateral movement and speed of Flores frustrated those attempts with Floes too slick to be caught. He plugged Ruiz with stiff jabs and hard rights and outpunched and outlanded the slower Latino all the way with only his lack of punching power (just six inside the distance wins) and the sturdy chin of Ruiz (just one loss by KO/TKO)  allowing the fight to go the distance. Scores 100-89 for Flores for all three judges. Still only 20) he signed pro with Top Rank at 16) Flores is an immense talent and is being sensibly matched. He could be a real title threat by 2022. Miami-based “Scorpion” Ruiz is flattered by his record as his opposition has been somewhat less than modest but he gave Flores some useful ring time.

Collard vs. Kaminsky

After winning only one of his first five fights Cassius Clay Collard has found some form and he took a deserved split decision over previously unbeaten Kaminsky. Collard made a strong start working well to head and body and soon had Kaminsky bleeding from the nose. Kaminsky worked the body trying to slow Collared but also suffered a cut over his left eye. He was countering well but lacked the power to keep a storming Collard out and although he made a strong finish it was not enough to overcome Collard’s early dominance. Scores 58-56 twice for Collard and 58-56 for Kaminsky. Collard is now 6-1 in his last 7 fights with four of those wins coming against unbeaten fighters albeit with modest records. Israeli Kaminsky, 19, “The Lion of Zion” was a silver medallist at the US Under-19 championships. He has plenty of time and now needs to take a deep breath and start again.

Mexico City, Mexico: Feather: Feather: Emanuel Navarrete (31-1) W TKO 6 Uriel Lopez (13-14-1). Edwin Palomares (13-3-1) W TKO 5 Carlos Ornelas (25-3)

Navarrete vs. Lopez

Navarrete gets a workout as he halts Lopez in six rounds. Navarrete was not putting a great deal into this early. He was content to use his longer reach to keep banging home jabs on the advancing Lopez. Navarrete was constantly changing guards and although not loading up on his punches he was keeping a high work rate. Lopez kept marching forward and had some success but not much. Lopez landed a cracking right to the chin in the fourth and that caused Navarrete to up his pace. He was spearing Lopez with long jabs and powerful hooks and uppercuts but to his credit Lopez kept marching into the hurt zone. A short left hook stopped Lopez in his tracks in the fifth and a series of shots from both hands dropped Lopez to his knees. He was up at eight and had to survive some fierce attacks to make it to the bell. In the sixth Navarrete handed out a brutal beating to a game Lopez who just kept soaking up the punishment and trying to punch back. The end came when Navarrete forced Lopez to the ropes and then buried a straight right to the body that saw Lopez fall to his knees. He made it to his feet but the referee just waived the fight off. The 28-year-old WBO super bantam champion gets win No 28 by KO/TKO and his twenty-sixth victory in a row. It is difficult to see who can match him at his weight or to see any big money fights in his division so by next year he will probably be trying unify the titles at featherweight. Lopez just a gutsy journeyman. 

Palomares vs. Ornelas

Palomares gets a career best win and springs a major upset as he halts Ornelas in five rounds. Ornelas started well scoring with his right jab and straight lefts. In the second Palomares, sporting pink hair, was getting past the jab and scoring with hooks and uppercuts inside and he dominated the action in the third with relentless attacks. Ornelas tried to turn things around with some lefts in the fourth but was soon on the retreat as Palomares banged home to head and body with both hands forcing Ornelas to hold. Ornelas simply surrender in the fifth. He dropped to one knee when under pressure and then started to rise only to go down on one knee again. He stood up at nine but the referee rightly stopped the fight. Palomares, 24, the Mexican featherweight champion, had put up a good performance in taking 21-0 Irving Turrubiartes to a split decision in his last fight but BoxRec had him 25 positions below Ornelas in their world ratings. Ornelas was rated in the world’s top 15 as he went 21-0 at the start of his career but is now 3-4 in his last 7 with all three losses by KO/TKO.

Arlamow, Poland: Super Middle: Robert Parzeczewski (25-1) W PTS 8 Sladan Janjanin (27-6). Feather: Kamil Laszczyk (28-0) W TKO 5 Piotr Gudel (10-5-1).Super Middle: Przemyslaw Gorgon (10-6-1) W PTS 6 Patryk Szymanski (20-4)

Parzeczewski vs. Janjanin

Pole Parzeczewski brutalises Bosnian Janjanin on the way to a wide unanimous decision. Parzeczewski scored a knockdown in the first, two in the second and one each in the third and fifth rounds. Despite this and a broken nose, Janjanin survived the eight rounds and did a “victory” dance at the end of the fight to celebrate going the distance. Parzeczewski was not taking this fight lightly and tried hard to get the much smaller and lighter Bosnian out of the fight but failed and also suffered an injury to his right hand. The scores were 80-67 for Parzeczewski on all three cards. He has useful wins over Dariusz Sek, Dmitri Chudinov and Patrick Mendy and is said to be facing experienced Canadian Ryan Ford in his next fight. Janjanin is 4-5 in his last nine fights including a points loss to Martin Murray in November.

Laszczyk vs. Gudel

No problem here for Laszczyk. His speed gave him a big edge and he rocked Gudel with a right to the head in the first round. Accurate jabs and some tasty left hooks gave Laszczyk the second round and he scored well with right hooks in the third. In the fourth a right to the head forced Gudel to drop to one knee. He made it to his feet and the bell saved him. Laszczyk ended it in the fifth flooring Gudel twice before the referee intervened. After nine years as a pro and with a 28-0 record the 29-year-old Pole has been fed a stream of soft-touch opponents and seems to be going nowhere-slowly. Now 3 losses in his last 4 fights for Gudel. 

Gorgon vs. Szymanski

Szymanski’s slide continues as he losses a split decision to a very ordinary Gorgon. Szymanski had much the better technique and used his skills to edge in front. He then seemed to lose his way and boxed very defensively looking to hold and smother Gorgon’s attacks. Gorgon finished strongly and a right to the head saw Szymanski take a knee in the last round. Scores 58-55 twice for Gorgon and 57-56 for Szymanski. Just very ordinary prelim fighter Gorgon was 3-3-1 in his previous 7 fights and should not have caused Szymanski any problems but after winning his first nineteen fights, including five victories in the USA Szymanski has fallen to 1-4 in his last 5 with three of those losses inside the distance. 

Fight of the week (Significance): Mike Plania’s win over WBO No 1 Joshua Greer has shaken up the WBO bantamweight ratings

Fight of the week (Entertainment): Plania vs. Greer was close and hard fought

Fighter of the week: Plania for beating WBO No 1 Greer with honourable mention to Gabriel Flores beating useful Josec Ruiz in his first ten round fight

Punch of the week: The right to the body from Emanuel Navarrete which finished Uriel Lopez

Upset of the week: Plania beating Greer was a surprise as was Edwin Palomares stopping 25-2 Carlos Ornelas

Prospect watch: No new names this week

Next Week’s Action:

Tuesday, June 23:

Las Vegas: Super Fly: Andrew Moloney (21-0) vs. Joshua Franco (16-1-2) (WBA super fly title): Feather: Chris Diaz (25-2) vs. Jason Sanchez (15-1). Light: Joseph Adorno (14-0-1) vs. Alexis del Bosque (17-5).

Thursday, June 25:

Las Vegas: Bantam: Jason Moloney (20-1) vs. Leonardo Baez (18-2). Light Abraham Nova) 18-0) vs., Avery Sparrow (10-1).

Friday, June 26:

Small shows in Tijuana and Haltom City, Texas.

Saturday, June 27: 

Shows in Brampton, Canada, Czech Republic, Wuppertal Germany, Mexico City, Moscow and South Korea.

Support The Weigh-In: Your Home for Combat Sports by Shopping World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Product!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

New Jersey's journeyman fighter: Rocky Tomasello

By Matt Ward

Check out my latest article on New Jersey's journeyman fighter, Rocky Tomasello for MaxBoxing.com

Support The Weigh-In: Your Home for Combat Sports by Shopping World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Products!

Monday, June 15, 2020

WWE Backlash 2020

By Steve Ward

Following last year’s hiatus where it was replaced by one of WWE‘s Saudi Arabian cash-grabs, the company’s June pay per view staple, Backlash made it’s return. This evening’s latest installment in the “Quarantine Era” emanated from The WWE Performance Center in Orlando. One glaring difference from last month is the WWE’s choice to follow suit with AEW and have members of NXT fill in as “fans” - of course WWE had to take it a step further and topped the ringside barricades with a plexi-glass shield which looked like a glorified sneeze guard. This evening’s card featured six matches with four titles contested.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. The Iconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay)
Winners: Sasha Banks & Bayley via pinfall

Blink and you would have missed the end of this frenetically paced contest. The former champs, Bliss and Cross, appeared poised to regain their titles in the closing moments as Alexa ascended to the top turnbuckle with Peyton Royce laid out in the ring. Bliss proceeded to execute a perfect Twisted Bliss and just as she covered Royce up for the pin, Sasha Banks emerged out of nowhere to roll Alexa up for the pinfall.

Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
Winner: Sheamus

This match came to fruition as a result of Sheamus’ recent attacks on Jeff Hardy’s numerous battles with substance abuse and alcoholism over the years. These attacks culminated with Sheamus requiring Hardy submit to a urine test administered by a doctor during their contract signing - a course of events that lead to Sheamus having Hardy’s full urine sample thrown in his face. Throughout this evening’s bout, Jeff Hardy was subjected to an excessive level of punishment early, however, it appeared The Charismatic Enigma had turned the tide to pull out a late victory. Hardy was able to land the Twist of Fate and immediately followed it with the Swanton Bomb, a pairing which usually equates to victory for him. As the referee proceeded to count the pinfall Sheamus stuck his foot on the bottom rope to break it up and escaped the ring. Hardy attempted to mount additional offense as he ran along the top of the crowd barricade only to leap at Sheamus and be met with a Brogue Kick to the jaw. The Celtic Warrior then finished Hardy off with yet another Brogue Kick inside the ring to seal the pinfall victory.

RAW Women’s Championship
Asuka (c) vs. Nia Jax
Winner: No contest

Following last month’s Money in the Bank pay per view where Asuka retrieved the briefcase to earn a shot at the women’s champion of her choice, she was left shocked by then champion Becky Lynch’s announcement on RAW the following evening. Lynch informed Asuka that her victory the night before was not to earn a shot at the title but rather to crown the new RAW Women’s Champion as Becky announced she would be taking leave to give birth to her first child. Fast forward to this evening where Asuka was left to defend her newly earned title against the mountainous Nia Jax. Nia imposed her will for a great deal of this bout, however, the resilient Asuka refused to go silently. In the closing moments, the action spilled to the outside of the ring where both competitors were counted out allowing Asuka to exit with her title.

Universal Championship 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Braun Strowman (c) vs. The Miz & John Morrison
Winner: Braun Strowman via pinfall

After weeks of instigating the Monster Among Men, Miz and Morrison found themselves with a title opportunity this evening in the form of a Handicap Match. There was one key stipulation attached to the match where if Miz and Morrison were to win, the man who scored the pinfall or submission would become the champion- they would not become co-holders. It appeared the numbers game would pay off for Miz and Morrison as they had the champion in dire straits after Miz landed the Skullcrushing Finale while Morrison simultaneously struck Strowman from behind as he leapt from the top rope. Morrison proceeded to cover Strowman only to have Miz pull him off in a brief lapse in judgment. By the time Miz realized his mistake it was too late as this opened the window for Strowman. Braun recovered to choke slam Miz and then finished off Morrison with a running power slam to retain his title.
WWE Championship
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Bobby Lashley w/ MVP
Winner: Drew McIntyre via pinfall

Over the past few weeks Bobby Lashley has found himself under the influence of MVP. This has proven quite fruitful as he has become reinvigorated leaving a path of destruction in his wake and earning a WWE Championship opportunity in the process. Before the opening bell rang tonight, Lashley ambushed McIntyre from behind and cinched in a Full Nelson. Several officials were needed to break the men up so the match could even begin. This presented an opportunity for Lashley to seize early control in the match, however, it wasn’t enough. In the final moments of the match, McIntyre kicked out of a pinfall attempt by Lashley following a devastating spear. This prompted Lashley’s “wife” Lana to make her way to ringside and climb to the ring apron. The distraction was all McIntyre needed as he laid out Lashley with a Claymore Kick to the mouth allowing him to solidify the pinfall victory.

Following this match, a backstage/back lot brawl ensued between The Street Profits and the Viking Raiders. The confrontation took a turn in the parking lot as the four men were confronted by Akira Tozawa who arrived with several “ninjas” on motorcycles. After they laid waste to them, a giant ninja arrived prompting them all to flee. Just moments later the two teams found themselves fighting each other again, now on the top of a trailer conveniently positioned just above a dumpster. This brief continuation of their brawl concluded with all of them in the aforementioned giant trash receptacle. Personally, I believed this to be a rather poor booking decision used instead of holding the anticipated RAW Tag Team Championship between the two teams.

The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever
Edge vs. Randy Orton
Winner: Randy Orton

The main event of the evening pit Edge and Randy Orton against each other in what became billed as “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.” The Rated R Superstar recently accepted Orton’s challenge to a straight up wrestling match as he was clearly dissatisfied with the outcome of their Last Man Standing Match at Wrestlemania. While both competitors are two of the greatest performers to ever lace up a pair of boots, one must ask the question if these two would put on the greatest wrestling match of all time. Edge had not competed in a conventional wrestling match in nine years as his only action since his surprise return in January was in the Royal Rumble and in the aforementioned Last Man Standing Match at Wrestlemania. Additionally, when you talk about the greatest match of all time there is some stiff competition such as Savage vs. Steamboat and Hogan vs. Andre just to name a couple.

Following a relatively even match, the closing minutes presented an intense exchange between the two competitors. First, Orton executed an RKO followed immediately by a pinfall attempt Edge kicked out of. Then Edge answered with a spear which could not put Orton away as he kicked out of a subsequent pinfall attempt. After yet another RKO Outta Nowhere, Edge quickly recovered to cinch in what the commentators labeled the Anti Venom submission. Orton appeared in danger of a potential submission loss when he struck Edge with a questionably low blow dropping him to his knees. The Legend Killer proceeded to nearly take Edge’s head off with his patented punt kick and sealed the deal with the 1-2-3. While this was a very competitive, entertaining match, I’m not prepared to label it “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.”

Support The Weigh-In: Your Home for Combat Sports by Shopping World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Products!