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  • Photo: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Weekend Recap

Undefeated former WBC super middleweight world champion, Phoenix's David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs), scored a tenth round TKO over former world title challenger Alexis Angulo (26-2, 22 KOs) of Columbia on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Benavidez had his way the entire fight but the tough Colombian kept coming but after ten rounds of one-sided punishment, Angulo’s corner stopped the fight as his trainer Pedro Diaz signaled to the ref to stop the fight.

“I rate myself a solid eight,” Benavidez said. “I could have done some stuff better, but overall it was a great performance. I didn’t want to go too fast and leave myself exposed for some big shots. He’s a heavy puncher. But like I said, I like to do the stuff that nobody has ever done. Nobody has ever stopped him and I’m pretty sure nobody is ever going to make him look like that again. I demolished him from round one to round 10.”

Benavidez said he was disappointed and embarrassed by not making the 168-pound weight limit on Friday. “Everything everyone said about me is true,” Benavidez said. “I should be a professional and come in on weight, but this time I couldn’t do it. It’s my first time not making weight in eight years of being a professional.”

“I really have to talk to my promoter to see what’s next,” Benavidez added. “I’ll fight anybody to get back to the spot I was. You could see by this performance tonight, I could put on a great performance against anybody and people will pay to see that. I’m probably going to go right back into training camp to make sure I don’t miss weight.”

Rolando “Rolly” Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) won a controversial twelve round unanimous decision over Jackson Maríñez (19-1, 7 KOs) as they squared off for the WBA interim lightweight title. Romero threw wild power shots much of the fight while Maríñez countered, boxing effectively, confidently throughout the fight.

In the end, judges scored it 115-113, 116-112, 118-110 for Romero as he wins the vacant interim lightweight title.

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

“I don’t think I had a bad performance,” said newly-crowned WBA interim lightweight champion Rolando “Rolly” Romero after his controversial unanimous decision over Jackson Marinez. “I thought I won the fight. Regardless of everything, I’m the world champ now. I’m happy. He came out a little bit tougher and slicker than what I thought, but all he did was move around the entire fight. He didn’t even try to engage.

“It’s hard to knock out someone who doesn’t try to engage. I hurt him multiple times with body shots and a few hooks. There was one moment I hurt him with a right hand and he pulled my head down. It was just hard to finish him off. Yeah [I would give him a rematch]. He didn’t do anything special.”

Heavyweight Otto Wallin (21-1, 14 KOs) was victorious when Travis Kauffman (32-4, 23 KOs) suffered a shoulder injury. Kauffman gamely continued with one arm until the fight was stopped by referee Michael Ortega at 2:32 of round five. Wallin, returning to the ring for the first time since he nearly defeated Tyson Fury in September 2019, was in command from the beginning.

A clash between super middleweight contenders Alantez Fox (26-2-1, 12 KOs) and Habib Ahmed (27-1-1, 18 KOs) ended in a no-contest after a third round head clash.

The Irishman Prevail

Carl Frampton had a late replacement opponent in Darren Traynor and a lot to lose with a junior lightweight world title bout against Jamel Herring looming. Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs), a former two-weight world champion, stopped Traynor with a body shot in round seven of a scheduled 10-round lightweight fight. It took a few rounds for Frampton, who hadn't fought in nearly nine months, to find his rhythm.

Photo Credit: Queensberry Promotions

Traynor (16-4, 7 KOs) accepted the fight on about a week's notice after Frampton's original opponent, Vahram Vardanyan, pulled out due to visa issues.

Said Frampton, “I’m happy to get the win, obviously. Far from my best, but I suppose people talk about rounds. I don’t think it’s going to harm me doing the rounds. If I had the chance to take him out in the first round, I would’ve done that.

“It was a better opponent for Herring than the original opponent because I think he was about my height, maybe even a little bit shorter. Darren isn’t a southpaw, but the dimensions are similar. I know I need to be a lot better for Herring. It’s good to get the rounds done. My hands are fine. No issues there. Onward and upward."

Photo Credit: Queensberry Promotions

Conlan Remains Unbeaten

Featherweight Michael "Mick" Conlan, in his final bout before a planned move to junior featherweight, knocked out Sofiane Takoucht in the 10th round. Conlan (14-0, 8 KOs) had a pair of points deducted for low blows, but he dominated the action and stunned Takoucht (35-5-1, 13 KOs) with an overhand left early in the 10th.

A follow-up flurry prompted Steve Gray to call off the fight and give Conlan his second knockout in three bouts.

Following the bout, Conlan, who has campaigned at featherweight since turning pro in 2017, maintained his desire to shave four pounds to fight at junior featherweight. Conlan is ranked third at junior featherweight by the WBO and has his sights set on the winner of the upcoming title bout between champion Angelo Leo and No. 1 contender Stephen Fulton.

In other action:

World-rated junior lightweight Archie Sharp (19-0, 9 KOs) scraped past former sparring partner Jeff Ofori (10-3-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout. Referee Marcus McDonnell, the lone judge, scored the fight 96-95.

Troy Williamson (15-0-1, 11 KOs) bested Harry Scarff (8-2, 1 KO) by 10-round unanimous decision to retain his IBF European junior middleweight title. Williamson prevailed by razor-thin margins of 97-94, 96-94 and 96-95, as he saw his six-bout knockout streak come to an end.

Top Rank-signed welterweight prospect Paddy Donovan (4-0, 3 KOs), a 21-year-old from Limerick, Ireland, knocked out Des Newton (8-16, 2 KOs) at 1:31 of the opening round with a right hook to the body.

Jessica McCaskill Upsets Cecilia Braekhus

Unheralded 6:1 underdog Jessica McCaskill (9-2, 3 KOs) became undisputed female welterweight champion in defeating unbeaten Cecilia Braekhus (36-1, 9 KOs) by majority decision in a temporary ring on the streets of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. McCaskill got off to a good start, but Braekhus came back in the second half of the fight. Scores were 95-95, 97-93, 97-94. McCaskill also spoiled Braekhus’ bid for her 26th successful title defense to break Joe Louis’ record, which was highly promoted in the lead up to the fight.

In a final eliminator for the WBA super welterweight title, Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5 KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Eric Walker (20-3, 9 KOs). Madrimov appeared to have knocked out Walker with a left hook in round nine, but referee Gary Ritter ruled Madrimov knocked down Walker with his shoulder and called a foul. Madrimov dropped Walker again in round twelve, but was also deducted a point for a low blow. Scores were 116-110, 116-111, 116-110.

Unbeaten middleweight Nikita “White Chocolate” Ababiy (9-0, 6 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Jarvis Williams (8-3-1, 5 KOs). Both fighters came out throwing bombs in round one, then Ababiy pretty much took over. Scores were 59-55, 59-55, 58-56.

Unbeaten super lightweight Shakhram Giyasov (10-0, 8 KOs) scored a third round KO over late sub Wiston Campos (31-8-6, 19 KOs). A body shot finished Campos. Time was 3:00.

Unbeaten featherweight Raymond Ford (6-0, 2 KOs) outpointed Eric Manriquez (7-11-1, 3 KOs) over six rounds. Scores were 59-54, 60-53, 60-53. Manriquez down in round three.

Results From Mexico

Carlos "Chema" Ocampo beat Jorge Luis "Chino" Garcia by winning him a broad unanimous decision in the 10-round bout, in the Superwelter division. Two judges scored 100-90 in favor of the ensenadense, and another scored 99-91 also favorable to the "Chema" who now has a 28-1 record, with 17 knockouts. The Los Mochis' Sinaloa native "Chino" Garcia was brave and combative in all 10 rounds, but the backpacker failed to wier with the power of his opponent. Garcia now scores 18-3 on his record. Eduardo Hernandez ruined the reappearance of Rafael "Furioso" Guzmán, beating him by majority decision in six-round superlight weight combat. In a constant exchange-of-strike fight, Hernandez scored 55-59 and 56-58 in his favor, while a card scored 57-57. The native of Ciudad Neza, in the State of Mexico, left his record at 11-4-3, with 3 ko, to the joy of former World Champion Minimal, Humberto "Chiquita" González, who accompanied him to the performance. For "Furioso" Guzman was just his second defeat to leave his foja at 20-2-1, with 12 knockouts.

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