Monday, 30 September 2013

Alberto Rossel v Jose Alfredo Zuniga

With the boxing world's attention shared between Canada, where Adonis Stevenson schooled Tavoris Cloud, and the US, where Julio Cesar Chavez Jr took a controversial victory over Brian Vera it's fair to say that not many looked towards Peru where Alberto Rossel (31-8, 13) successfully defended his WBA "interim" Light Flyweight title for the third time.

Battling little known Mexican Jose Alfredo Zuniga (11-5-1, 5), Rossel was viewed, at least on paper, as a sure fire winner. Unfortunately for him however, boxing is done in the ring and not on paper and with Zuniga on a confidence high after a victory over Luis Ceja last time out.

The confidence of Zuniga was obvious from the off and it showed as Rossel took several rounds to get to grips wit the reach and height of the taller and longer Zuniga who clearly took round 3 before Rossel found a new gear in round 4, a clear Rossel round.

Rossel, grew and grew from his fourth success with Zuniga failing to really cope with the frustrating Peruvian veteran who, in all honesty, can be a night mare to watch as well as a nightmare to fight.

Interestingly, despite the bout looking like a competitive but clear Rossel victory one judge, Panamanian David Singh, somehow scored the bout 117-117, giving 6 even rounds. Whilst it may seem odd some of the action was some what messy and could be the reason for such an odd card. Thankfully the other two judges did manage to see "the right winner" scoring it 117-114 and 116-113, also both noting a 10-10 round in their cards, to give Rossel his 7th straight victory

Adonis Stevenson v Tavoris Cloud

If not often that a fighter claims a "Lineal" title by opening round KO and leaves us with a lot of questions. That, however, is what Adonis Stevenson (22-1, 19) did earlier this year when he landed a single money maker on to the then defending world champion Chad Dawson.

All we really learned from the Stevenson/Dawson fight was that Stevenson's power was legitimate and that it carried up from Super Middleweight, where he had been seen as a promising contender, to Light Heavyweight.

Thankfully Stevenson did answer a number of questions this past Saturday as he defeated former IBF Light Heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-2, 19) in what can only be described as an impressive performance.

Against Dawson all it took was a single shot to shock the boxing public. This time around Stevenson knew he was fighting a tougher man, both mentally and physically and that one shot, even with his power, was never going to do the job. Instead Stevenson took control with unexpectedly sharp boxing, using his reach and speed to pepper the apprehensive looking Cloud from range with stiff, hurtful shots and beautiful counters.

Cloud, for his part, played the role of a tough but over-matched fighter. The energy and work rate that he once made his name on had vanished, the confidence he had had just a few fights back had dissipated and it seemed that as long as he wasn't getting to hurt by any single shot he was happy to let Stevenson do as he wished.

Unfortunately when you're fighting a guy like Stevenson punches will do damage. Not every shot needs to be concussive to do damage and due to the weight of the shots and the accumulation of them Cloud's face slowly turned from unmarked to cut showing the effects of the shots. It was the cuts, and the sheer fact that Stevenson turned out to be a talented boxer as well as a big banger, that saw Cloud retiring on his stool at the end of the 7th round.

For Cloud this really could be the end. He has now been out boxed by Gabriel Campillo, Bernard Hopkins and Adonis Stevenson and looks like another fighter who has been effectively "found out". On the other hand Stevenson has now proven himself to be a genuinely talented boxer with serious bang.

I now expect that Stevenson will face mandatory Tony Bellew, in what will likely be a painful nights work for Bellew, then their will be serious talk about a WBC/WBO unification bout with Sergey Kovalev who has also proven to have dynamite fists and under-rated boxing ability.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Floyd Mayweather Jr v Saul Alvarez

The unbeaten Floyd Maywather (45-0, 26) came out as "The One" as well as the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine Light Middleweight champion courtesy of a majority decision (more about that later) over Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (42-1-1, 30).

The opening round was rather weird. Alvarez, the pressure fighter, oddly decided to try and box one of the best pure boxers in recent memory, this was simply a retarded game plan and one that was made to fail, as it did in the first 3 rounds. It was simply shocking that Alvarez would even try to outbox and out jab Mayweather who has one of the smoothest and fastest jabs in the sport today.

Thankfully, for the sake of entertainment if nothing else, the pace of the fight did pick up with Mayweather showing off his class as he landed some breath taking shots including a right hand that immediately bruised Canelo's face, a left hook late in the round and a second eye catching right hand. Whilst Canelo had some success, there was little more than a single right hand that seemed to land clean.

With Canelo in a hole he seemed to realise he had to change something and in round 5 he finally began to let his hands go. Unfortunately he found the Mayweather defense to be as impregnable as every other opponent and instead of landing shots he was being forced to eat more, especially the jab from Mayweather which was being thrown in combinations at times.

By now the Mexican fans were silent, they had cheered their man to the ring but realied he was out of his depth and as a "U-S-A" chant took over the arena.

If the first 5 rounds had been all Mayweather then the sixth was just a continuation of the same dominence. Again Canelo came forward and let his hands go, with little success whilst Mayweather landed at will, especially targeting the already bruised left eye of the Mexican. It was clear that Mayweather was targeting it and landing at will, in fact it was a shock that the eye wasn't beginning to swell from the clean right hands that pierced that Alvarez guard.

Whilst the right hand that had initially bruised Canelo's face had been excellent we had to wait until round 7 for the punch of the fight, a mind blowing uppercut by Mayweather that snapped the head of Canelo back. This was followed by a spiteful Mayweather flurry that saw him force feeding Canelo with right hands. At this point it seemed that Mayweather could, if he wished, finish off the Mexican.

Unfortunately after the amazing attack in round 7 Mayweather then seemed to take round 8 off as Canelo arguably claimed his first round of the fight. Although the Mexican didn't land too much he certainly out worked Mayweather and for the first time really threw in clusters making sure Mayweather was going to have to taste one of his shots every so often. Despite the heightened work of Alvarez the round seemed to hinge more on the fact Mayweather took it off rather than Alvarez winning it on merit.

Canelo seemed to build on his success in the ninth round as he again threw a lot, though unfortunately for him, and his legions of misguided fans, Mayweather did enough to just take the round landing the most notable shot, a huge right hand whilst Canelo himself missed with a vast majority of his shots.

The closeness of the ninth round was repeated in a similar round 10, though again Mayweather seemed to do enough to make Alvarez look silly whilst landing just enough to steal the round, despite an eye catching, though ineffective, flurry late by Canelo.

Unfortunately for Canelo his run of 2 or 3 competitive rounds was ended in a clear Mayweather round during the eleventh. Canelo, again through a fair bit but Mayweather did as he pleased. He landed a huge right right early, show boated with some eye catching pot shots in the middle of the round then taunted Canelo late in the round. It was the sort of round that whilst not technically dominant in terms of what was thrown it was dominant in terms of who controlled it and who was the boss.

 With the decision seemingly in the bag Mayweather did very little in the final round, a round that actually saw the fans booing due to a lack of activity by both men. There was little reason for Mayweather to force the action and Canelo was too slow to force anything of note.

To me there was only 3 rounds, if you were being generous, that Canelo could have won. The score of 117-111 that I feasibly had was reflected on the card of Craig Metcalfe, the card of Dave Moretti had some how found 1 more round to give to Alvarez (presumably the 12th as a "pity round") though then we get the simply staggering card of controversial CJ Ross. Ross some how had the bout 114-114.

How Ross came to that is a mystery, though I dare say it should be her last. This woman needs barring from judging, given some glasses and told to find a new job because she's awful at judging a boxing contest.

Danny Garcia v Lucas Martin Matthysse

In a bout seen as the most "explosive" encounter on "The One" card Danny Garcia (17-0, 16) defeated Lucas Matthysse (34-3, 32) by a decision to successfully retain the combined WBC and WBA Light Welterweight titles.

Prior to the fight their was a clear "Buzz" from the crowd, a shock considering the fact they had all fallen to sleep during the previous bout, a sleep inducing contest between Ishe Smith and Carlos Molina.

The opening round was a careful and slow one with Garcia boxing well with his movement and jab. It wasn't what we expected and wasn't a shoot out but it was a very intelligent round from Garcia. Despite the unexpected start things did heat up in the second round as Matthysse fought back and tagged Garcia several times. Unfortunately the round saw the first, of many, low blows by Garcia in what become a bit of a sub story to the fight.

Round 3 was another where Garcia's boxing made Matthysse look slow and clumsy though again Garcia seemed to get away with shots south of the border. Although Matthysse didn't seem to make much of a fuss they were becoming a common place in the arsenal of Garcia and, at least for me, they were beginning to leave questions as to what he was going to be able to get away with from Tony Weeks.

The "borderline" shots were continuing through round 4 as Garcia, who was genuinely boxing well and moving excellently seemed to have found a nice way to slow down Matthysse's assaults. It wasn't until round 5 that Tony Weeks actually told Garcia to keep them up, and that was after the second or third one in that round alone. It had by now become obvious that Matthysse's balls had become a "legal" area. Despite the low blows Matthysse seemed to take rounds 5 and 6 as he went up a gear and by the mid way point it could well have been scored even.

Despite two good rounds for Matthysse he had a nightmare round 7 in which his right eye was almost swollen shut. This nasty injury seemed to immediately effect the Argentinian who struggled through the following 2 rounds with the doctor taking a serious look at it in between rounds 8 and 9. Those rounds were all Garcia with Matthysse trying to protect the eye rather than really fight back, this saw Garcia landing his much vaunted left hook several times.

With Matthysse now looking like a man who was on the verge of being stopped he some how put on an amazing effort in round 10 as he showed their was still plenty left in "The Machine". The big effort of Matthysse in round 10 gave him his best round since the 6th and was a round he clearly won as Garcia appeared to suddenly tire.

The controversy of the low blows wasn't the only mark on the fight with a huge blown call by the referee in round 11. Matthysse started the round fast again, as he had in the previous round and actually punched Garcia's gum shield out of his mouth at the start of it. Unfortunately Matthysse's good work was undone with a knockdown call against him which appeared to come not only following a punch to the back of the head but whilst Matthysse was stuck between the ropes. The referee, who had in all honesty allowed Garcia away with ball bashing blew the call here and probably swung the round from a 10-9 Matthysse round to a 10-8 Garcia round. Those 3 points would prove to be a major issue just a few minutes later.

Going into the final round it seemed almost certain Matthysse needed a stoppage to win, and he went for it. Unfortunately low blows again came to the fray, though this time Matthysse was dropped by one and the referee, finally, deducted a point from Garcia, something he could have done 3 or 4 rounds earlier. The point however wasn't enough and Matthysse knew it, though he was forced to take another low.

Almost angered by the final low blow Matthysse let it all hang out as the two men traded to the bell, with it seeming almost certain that Garcia has retained his titles. What perhaps became important however was the margin of the victory, with the decision going to Garcia by scores of 114-112 (twice) and 115-111.

That knock down and the swing of it, effectively cost Matthysse, and that's with out mentioning the numerous, unpunished low blows.

Mr Weeks, I'm usually a fan but don't let your new Audi advert go to your head, you had a real stinker here.

Ishe Smith v Carlos Molina

In a turgid and unexciting battle highlighted by the vocal chords of Jay Nady, Carlos Molina (22-5-2, 6) claimed the IBF Light Middleweight title defeating Ishe Smith (25-6, 11)

The first of 3 title fights on "The One" was marked out as "the one to send fans to sleep" and unfortunately it lived up to that idea.

Surprisingly the fight started brightly with Molina being an aggressive front foot fighter throwing lots of shots with Smith trying to counter things with his left hook. Unfortunately Smith's shots were rarely landing in the early portion and Molina, for all his good work, was unable  too land too much clean past the intelligent defense of Smith.

After clearly taking the first 4 rounds Molina's work become scrappier and in fact he started to recieve persistent warnings from the referee who was warning him for leading with the head on a regular basis. The warnings seemed to kill off Molina's work somewhat whilst Smith continued to make the bout ugly. The ugly rounds, which started in rounds 5 or 6, become a consistent which lacked any sort of clean work. Interestingly the ugliness of these rounds seemed to suit Smith who was able to land the few eye catching shots whilst Molina threw a lot but landed little.

By the time we'd reached the championship rounds it was fair to say fan interested in the contest had died. The rounds through the middle had been close but uninteresting. They'd been close due to how awful and messy they'd been and unfortunately they'd completely killed any entertainment value any fans had. In fact it was probably fair to say that fans were using the bout as a toilet break by this point.

With the bout in the balance the two men finally came alive with some clean work in the championship rounds.

The 11th round saw Smith having by far his best round before Molina came back in the final round, clearly winning that one.

With the middle rounds so difficult to score it was no shock to see a split decision rendered with 2 of the judges feeling Molina's work deserved to take the decision in what was a fair decision given the work he put in compared to Smith's lazy and lethargic effort.

If you missed this one, don't bother trying to catch it!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Kazuto Ioka v Kwanthai Sithmorseng

Japanese boxing youngster Kazuto Ioka (13-0, 9) successfully retained his WBA Light Flyweight title earlier today as he overcame Thailand's Kwanthai Sithmorseng (43-2-1, 22) in an impressive and one-sided affair.

Ioka, a former WBA/WBC Minimumweight champion started the bout carefully trying to box his way into the bout behind his jab. It was a worrying sign for the Thai that he couldn't actually get around the jab of the champion in first stanza, and from then on Ioka merely moved up through the gears.

Although Kwanthai was brave and took a bit of a beating, especially in round 5 he looked to have the toughness to see out a few more rounds against Ioka, who appeared to be using the bout as a sparring session at times. It was impressive that Ioka was fighting in first gear and making a former world champion look out classed, out skilled and generally second rate.

In the seventh round Ioka moved up a gear and this time he forced Kwanthai to the canvas where the Thai took the 10 count as Ioka recorded his second successful defense of his title.

Ryo Miyazaki v Jesus Silvestre

Japanese fighter Ryo Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11) successfully defended his WBA Minimumweight title for the second time earlier today as he unified the "regular title" and the "interim title" via a very hard fought decision victory over Mexican Jesus Silvestre (27-4, 20).

The bout started with the over-looked and talented Mexican fighting on the front foot, using a determined pressure style to for Miyazaki backwards. Miyazaki seemed to realise early on that he was up against a talented and strong fighter and instead of fighting toe-to-toe the Japanese fighter tried fighting off the back foot.

A clash of heads in round 2 saw the doctor called for to look over Miyazaki though the Japanese fighter seemed to be fine and immediately turned back to trying to out box his Mexican opponent.. Although it was Miyazaki who looked to be the more technically skilled of the two men, it was the pressure of Silvestre that was really controlling the ring and forcing a fight to happen.

Although neither man was too bothered from the head clash in the second clash of heads another, much more serious one occurred in the fifth round with both men feeling the effects. This headclash seemed to spring real life into the bout as the two men traded up on the inside and and give us the sort of action fans would have been expecting from the off.

It was obvious by the mid way point that Miyazaki was really struggling with Silvetsre, he was unable to force the Mexican to respect him and likewise he was unable to force Silvestre backwards, essentially forcing him to to use his legs as much as his hands.

Whilst the headclashes may have caused the cuts on Miyazaki's face the sixth round merely saw them worsen as both men picked up the pace in a genuinely excellent round, the first first stand out round of the bout.

Following Miyazaki's success in round 6 he went up a level and began to box to actually box, picking his shots and get in and out. This made him look a class ahead of Silvestre for the first time. The Mexican however proved not to be discouraged as he continued to apply pressure though for the first time he was beginning to be forced backwards.

Miyazaki's success seemed to breathe a new confidence in him and in round 10 we again saw trading, and a headclash. This time the clash lead to Miyazaki's right eye bleeding leaving him with cuts on both of his eyes, giving Silvestre two big targets to aim for.

With blood sticking to his face Miyazaki got on his bike in round 11 and tried to avoid any sort of a confrontation, that was until the warrior instinct kicked in late in the round and Miyazaki engaged in a turf ware with Silvestre. It wasn't pretty but it was thoroughly exciting with both men being forced to take bombs as the round ended in some of the best action I've seen all year.

With the fight still on the line going in to the final round both men gave it their all in an attempt to take home the decision. Unfortunately for the Mexican he was unable to do enough, in Japan, to defeat the home fighter, losing by a majorly thin majority decisions with scores of 115-114, 115-113 and 114-114 being rendered.

Had the fight been fought outside of Japan we'd have not been shocked to have seen the decision go the other way, though the fight wasn't a robbery, it was certainly a fight with no clear winner as both men each had a clean to many of the early rounds. In fact if anything it was Miyazaki's small run of  of rounds in the middle of the bout that actually saw him claiming the victory here, despite Silvestre arguably taking the final 2 or 3 rounds.

After the bout Miyazaki said he would vacate and move up a division, looking at this bout it was seem 108 or 112 would be best for him, and in fact at 112 he could face Akira Yaegashi in what would be a nail on FOTY contender.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Moises Fuentes v Luis De La Rosa

Just a few hours after Ricky Burns had controversially retained his WBO Lightweight title, Moises Fuentes (18-1-1, 9) claimed WBO interim Light Flyweight title, in circumstances that could not be any more different to the Burns Vs. Beltran fight.

Fuentes stormed out of his corner, refused to back off and took out Colombian co-challenger Luis De La Rosa (22-3-1, 12) in just 160 seconds.

It seemed like Fuentes wasn't there to mess about but were there to make a statement and that's exactly what he did, specifically to Filipino Donnie Nietes, the WBO "regular" champion a man who had retained against Fuentes in similar circumstances as Burns did against Raymundo Beltran.

Against Nietes, Fuentes was in fine form battling the home champion around the ring, smashing him to the ribs, out working him and generally dominating him. Just had Beltran had done to Burns. Like Beltran he'll be hoping to get a rematch, odds are here however, if Fuentes doesn't get a rematch he'll be given the title by default.

For Dela Rosa this is a third loss in a world title bout and by far the most damning. He had been very game and competitive against Raul Garcia, he had battled hard with Merlito Sabillo, here however he was brushed aside like an ugly girl as a night club. I'm afraid that if he can't make 105lbs Minimumweight limit then his dreams of ever being a world champion have to be forgotten about, especially against the bigger men at 108lbs.

Ricky Burns v Raymundo Beltran

Over the past 12 months boxing has seen some really strange decisions, in fact, up until tonight by robbery of the year was Moises Fuentes being denied a clear victory over Donnie Nietes in a bout for the WBO Light Flyweight title. There was no way in my mind that Fuentes failed to win that contest.

Unfortunately this evening boxing threw us another curve ball, this time in the UK as Scotland's Ricky Burns (36-2-1, 11) retained his title in one of the truly controversial bouts of the year.

Entering as a clear favourite against US based Mexican Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1, 17), Burns was supposed to dominate Beltran, a man viewed by many as a glorified journeyman and merely the "sparring partner" of Manny Pacquiao. It was as if many had looked past Beltran actually being a fine fighter in his own right, and being on an excellent run which included victories over Hank Lundy and Ji-Hoon Kim as well as "losses", take that term lightly, to Luis Ramos Jr and Sharif Bogere in the last 30 months.

It appeared that almost everyone, other than Beltran himself, thought he was there to lose as Burns took a step towards an American showdown with HBO's new star in the making Terrance Crawford. What transpired however was a robbery that even Ronnie Biggs would have been proud of.

The opening round was a good one for Burns, I can't possibly take that away from him as he landed crisp, clean shots time after time. If you merely saw the first round then turned it off, the pre-fight idea of Burns winning with ease would have been a fair conclusion. Then however things began to turn, the second round, another round Burns likely won, saw the Scot given his first taste of Beltran's power as he tagged him to the body and attempted to break down the home town fighter.

At the end of round 2 it appeared that Beltran had damaged the jaw of Burns, with later reports suggesting it had been dislocated. This injury clearly bothered Burns though as it appeared to come from clean punches there was little he could do other than put up with it and fight, especially following comments made from him, and more specifically his team, following his last defense where Jose Gonzalez was forced to pull out of the bout with an injury.

With the damage done in the second round Beltran was spurred on and he moved up a gear landing body shots and bullying Burns around the ring. It wasn't obvious what the injury was to fans but it was clear that Beltran could smell blood as he went on the hunt and applied intelligent pressure round after round, looking to land sweeping shots up top and hurtful blows down low.

Through several of the following rounds Beltran really did all he could to claim the rounds on the scorecards. Unfortunately, despite clearly winning a number of rounds, the judges seemed to be dead set against giving him all the credit he deserved. In fact by the mid way point it seemed difficult to even make a case that Burns was level, never mind actually leading the bout.

Although Burns had fallen behind on almost every neutral's scorecard he did come out firing very impressively in round 7, a round in which it appeared Beltran was starting to tire. The shots from Burns had again looked smooth, snappy and sharp, something that had been absent for several rounds and it appeared the turn around was on.

With Burns claiming round 7 it appeared the momentum shift was on, this was flipped completely in round 8 however as Burns was dropped in the clearest round of the fight. Beltran, who had dropped Burns with a single sweeping shot went for the finish though Burns managed to see out the round and get to his stool unscathed.

Unfortunately for the Scot it was was then difficult to make a case for him winning too much afterwards. He was on his bike for most of rounds 9 and 10 as Beltran tried to drop him again, and although he fought back well in round 11 it was too close to call a clear Burns round with the twelfth being similarly close.

With Beltran having clearly won at least 6 rounds, if not 7, 8 or even 9 and scoring a knockdown it appeared that we had had an upset. Unfortunately the judges failed to see what everyone else seemed to see and in fact they managed to come up with a split decision, leaving many with little more than questions.

What did Beltran need to do to win? What was Carlos Ortiz Jr (115-112 Burns) watching? Was this a second successive "off night" for Burns? Is Burns that good? Will Beltran get a rematch? And, maybe more worryingly, will another world level boxer return to fight in Britain again?

Feel free to come up with your own answers, but I know mine, and I know my stomach is turning with anger towards this sport, at least in Britain, more and more this past year.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Daiki Kameda v Rodrigo Guerrero

It's not often that a fighting family really dominates. Sure in recent years the Klitschko's have thoroughly controlled the Heavyweight division but they've been the only family of note to really dominate in a while.

This past summer however the Kameda brother's have really taken over in the lower divisions. Right now both Tomoki and Koki are Bantamweight title holders and they've just been joined by middle child Daiki (29-3, 18) who successfully became a 2-weight world champion earlier today as he out pointed Mexican Rodrigo Guerrero (19-5-1, 12) for the IBF title.

The fight started in a genuinely tedious manner. Daiki fought with a very unexciting hit-and-run style that whilst won him many of the early rounds didn't make for a very appealing to watch contest. in fact for many of the early rounds it was fair to say that clean action was kept to a minimal with effective singles from Daiki and little of note from Guerrero who struggled to pin down the elusive Japanese fighter.

From the first 5 rounds of the bouts the sole moment of joy for Guerrero appeared to have been a low blow he took that saw Daiki deducted a point. Lets be fair, if a guy getting punched in the nuts is his only highlight you can sort of see the hole he was in come the start of the sixth round.

It as in round 6 that Guerrero began to have his first real success as he managed to take Kameda to the body, almost as if he realised that the head can move but the body can't. It was a sound idea and one that he perhaps should have used from the opening bell rather than waiting several rounds to start with.

The success of Guerrero's grew from a decent round 6 to a very round 8 and 9 as he finally began to connect on Daiki with some regularity. It was only rounds 6-9 that you could make a really strong case for Guerrero winning with out many complaints.

It seemed, going in to round 10, that the success of Guerrero was going to grow and grow and that if continued the fight was going to be very difficult to score. Instead however Daiki seemed to realise he was in a fight and rather than try to move to avoid the pressure he began to stand his ground. The fact Daiki couldn't create the space in round 10 saw him fighting fire-with-fire as the two men traded attacks with Daiki's being a genuine eye as he tried to get Guerrero out of there. The Mexican weathered the storm but was forced to concede the round.

Whilst round 10 had been a fight changer Daiki failed to capitalise on it as he was deducted a second point in round 11 that saw some doubt brought on to the scorecards, he did however do enough to take 19 points from the final 2 rounds and make sure of a decision in his favour, despite what some may think.

Although I struggle to agree with the 117-109 card scored in favour of Daiki, the other two cards 116-110 and 114-112 both feel about right with Daiki certainly deserving the decision but the deductions did make things much closer on the cards than perhaps they should have been.

Denkaosan Kaovichit v Nobuo Nashiro

In a highly entertaining battle for the "interim" WBA Super Flyweight title Thai legend Denkaosan Kaovichit (62-3-1, 26) managed to out box and out point Japanese hard man Nobuo Nashiro (19-6-1, 13), in what is possibly the last major bout either of the men will have.

The bout started well for Kaovichit who used his superior speed in the early rounds to throw and land combinations on his tough but flat footed foe who for the first 2 or 3 rounds really struggled to get into range. Every punch Kaovichit threw seemed to raise cheers from the crowd who were showing their support even when Kaovichit was falling well short with his shots.

It wasn't until the fourth round that Nashiro managed to get any real success as his relentless pressure seemed to begin to pay off. Unfortunately despite the round being much closer than the first few Kaovichit did manage to just do enough to claim it, as he did again in the fifth round. By now though the crowd were becoming more and more subdued, the combinations of Kaovichit had gone and instead they'd been replaced by by singles as he tried to avoid a tear up with Nashiro.

By the start of round 6 it was appearing as if the fight was beginning to turn in the direction of the Japanese fighter who was growing in to the bout. In fact by the end of round 6 Kaovichit was looking every bit of his 37 years with his legs starting to look stationary and his straights becoming more and more pushed.

Just as Kaovichit was looking like he was tiring he managed to have a much better round as Nashiro's pressure really failed to have any effect. This was the first round since early in the bout that Nashiro was made to clearly look second best, though Kaovichit himself didn't look particularly great as his own work rate dropped significantly.

Rounds 8 and 9 were highlighted by some of the best action of the fight as the two men stood toe to-toe and traded shots inside. Whilst the 8th was Kaovichit's the 9th was certainly Nashiro's as he appeared to realise he'd need a stoppage to take home the title. Surprisingly Kaovichit took the bombs of Nashiro without too many issues though it was obvious that this was just the start of a storm that he'd have to weather.

In round 10 Nashiro continued his assault and at one point the Thai commentators did seem a little worried by how many shots Kaovichit was being forced to take before he managed to find a second wind and throw his first notable combination in several rounds.

Despite Kaovichit ending round 10 well that was really his last success as Nashiro went all out for the stoppage in the championship rounds. The pressure and assault from Nashiro saw him landing a steady stream of right hands through round 11 though Kaovichit tied up regular and smothered much of Nashiro's offense as he did his best to see out the round.

After holding and wrestling through much of round 11 Kaovichit managed to do the same the following round as he managed to see off Nashiro's late charge, a charge that probably began a round too late for the Japanese fighter who was unable to over-turn a large points deficit on the cards of at least 2 judges (I believe the result was a split decision though will correct this if I'm wrong when I do get the official decision.