2022 Boxing Almanac (May-Aug)

Posted: February 5, 2023 in Boxing
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May 2022

5/3 – WBO Bantamweight Champion (Ring #2) John Riel Casimero was stripped of his title and Paul Butler (Ring #10) was elevated to full champion. Casimero had withdrawn from a defense vs Butler last December on short notice and after failing to comply with the rules surrounding weight loss and not being allowed to defend the title on April 22nd, the WBO followed through with their warning of stripping Casimero if he failed to defend for his following scheduled bout.

5/7 – Former IBF Welterweight World Champion Kell Brook (40-3, 28 KO’s) announced his retirement. Brook won the title by Majority Decision over Shawn Porter in 2014 and made three defenses before being stopped by Errol Spence in 2017. He also made an unsuccessful bid at the Middleweight World title when he was stopped by GGG in 2016. Both of those stoppages were the result of broken orbital bones. The 36 year old Brook also won the British Welterweight Championship in 2008.

5/7 – WBA Light Heavyweight Champion (Ring #2) Dmitry Bivol successfully defended his title for a ninth time after winning a 12 round unanimous decision over undisputed Super Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez with all three judges (Tim Cheatham, Dave Moretti, Steve Weisfeld) agreeing on 115-113 scorecards. The fight was close early, but by the middle rounds Bivol’s superior boxing technique proved to be too much for Canelo, who couldn’t break down the Russian Champion like he has so many other foes. While Canelo was able to win a Light Heavyweight title in 2019, that was against a faded, well past his prime Sergei Kovalev. Bivol, a natural 175 pound fighter in his prime, should have been awarded a much wider margin. Most ringside media had Bivol winning 8 or 9 of the rounds to just 3-4 for Alvarez. Bivol’s jab and movement relegated Canelo to a boxer that could only throw one shot at a time, with no chance at hurting the naturally larger Bival. Canelo also appeared to fade in the late rounds, while Bivol was in superior shape and continued to force the smaller Alvarez to take steps backwards throughout. It was a masterful performance by Bival, who entered as a 5-1 underdog and the result was a candidate for ‘Upset of the Year’! The PPV numbers fell far below expections. The approximately 520K buys on DAZN was a 35% dropoff from Canelo’s prior fight on Showtime PPV vs Caleb Plant last November. Referee: Russell Mora. Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada. TV: DAZN PPV. Promoter: Matchroom Boxing (Eddie Hearn).

5/13 – Former WBA/IBF Jr Welterweight World Champion and 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist Amir Khan (34-6, 21 KO) announced his retirement. Khan won the WBA title in 2009 after beating Andriy Kotelnik and added the IBF title in 2011 after stopping Zab Judah. Khan lost the titles by split decision to Lamont Peterson in 2011.

5/14 – Ring/WBA/WBC/IBF Jr Middleweight Champion Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KO) became the first undisputed Jr Middleweight Champion in the four belt era after knocking out WBO Jr Middleweight Champion (Ring #1) Brian Castano (17-1-2, 12 KO) at 2:33 of round 10. After a controversial split draw in a fight most observers felt Castano should have prevailed in last July, the two were originally scheduled to have the direct rematch March 19th until a bicep injury by Castano forced a postponement. The action was set a furious pace from the final minute of the first round until the dramatic ending. Round 5 would end up being a candidate for Round of the Year! Hard shots were landed throughout with Castano barely taking a step backward. The slugfest ended after Charlo landed a left hook just behind the ear of Castano, causing a slight delayed knockdown. Castano beat the count, but was on unsteady legs and in the immediate follow up Charlo scored another knockdown forcing referee in charge Jerry Cantu to stop the contest. The contest also garnered both Fight and Knockout of the year consideration! Charlo led on the scorecards 89-82 (Glenn Feldman), 88-83 (Zachary Young), 87-84 (David Sutherland) at the time of the stoppage. The last undisputed Champion in the Jr Middleweight division was Ronald “Winky” Wright in 2004 after his win over Shane Mosley in the three belt era. Venue: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California, USA. Promoter: PBC. TV: Showtime.

5/16 – Undisputed Jr Welterweight Champion Josh Taylor was stripped of the WBA title after refusing to fight relative unknown Dominican Albert Puello. Taylor’s purse would have been $110K, a far cry from the seven figure purses he has been receiving of late.

5/19 – Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN agreed to a new deal that will keep the fights on the streaming app through 2024. The two companies began as partners in late 2018 after HBO chose to no longer broadcast boxing matches.

5/21 – Former WBO Jr Lightweight Champion and 2012 US Olympic Boxing Team Captain Jamel Herring (23-4, 11 KO) announced his retirement. Herring was also a Marine veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq. Herring won the title in May of 2019, outpointing Japan’s Masayuki Ito and made three defenses before losing by stoppage against Shakur Stevenson last October. He was rated Ring #2 in the Jr Lightweight division at the time of his retirement.

5/23 – Boxing trainer Gary Russell Sr passed away at age 62 due to complications from Type 2 diabetes. Russell was the trainer for all of his sons. Gary Jr (31-2, 18 KO), the former WBC Featherweight Champion and 2008 USA Olympian. Gary Antuanne (15-0, 15 KO), a 2016 USA Olympian and rated #9 by Ring in the Jr Welterweight division. Gary Antonio (19-0, 12 KO), rated #7 by Ring at Bantamweight. Gary Antonio Jones (22-2, 8 KO), who’s career spanned from 1996-2011.

Other notable fights in May:

5/14 – Ring #4 Welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis (29-0, 27 KO) KO 2 unrated Custio Clayton (19-1-1, 12 KO). IBF eliminator. Carson, California, USA. 

5/21 – Ring #1 Super Middleweight David Benavidez (26-0, 23 KO) KO 3 Ring #6 David Lemieux (43-5, 36 KO). WBC interim Super Middleweight title. Glendale, Arizona, USA.

5/21 – Ring #6 Middleweight Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KO) KO 2 unrated Danny Dignum (14-1-1, 8 KO). WBO interim middleweight title. KO of the Year contender! Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

5/28 – Ring #4 Lightweight Gervonta Davis (27-0, 25 KO) TKO 6 unrated Rolando Romero (14-1, 12 KO). Knockout of the Year contender. 18,970 in attendance set the Barclays Center record for boxing attendance and live gate proceeds. It was the 40th boxing event held in the Arena, which opened in 2012. This was the fourth PPV headlined by Davis with the roughly 275,000 buys being the highest. WBA regular Lightweight title. Brooklyn, New York, USA.  

5/28 – WBA regular Middleweight titlist (Ring #4 Jr Middleweight) Erislandy Lara (29-3-3, 17 KO) TKO 8 unrated Gary O’Sullivan (31-5, 21 KO). Brooklyn, New York, USA. 

New Ring Champions and newcomers in Top Ten – May:

Light Heavyweight – Ring #2 Dmitry Bivol replaced Artur Beterbiev at #1 following his win over Ring Super Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez. Ring #5 Maxim Vlasov removed after being stopped by unrated Dilmurod Satybaldiev. Jean Pascal (36-6-1, 20 KO) enters at #10.

Super Middleweight – Ring #6 David Lemieux removed following his stoppage loss against #1 David Benavidez. Ring #3 Billy Joe Saunders removed due to inactivity. Erik Bazinyan (27-0, 21 KO) and Vladimir Shishkin (13-0, 8 KO) enter at No. 9 and 10.

Middleweight – Erislandy Lara (29-3-3, 17 KO) entered at #10 after stopping unrated Spike O’Sullivan. Lara’s entrance forced (then #10) Felix Cash to be removed.

Jr Middleweight – Ring #4 Erislandy Lara removed after moving up to the Middleweight division and Ring #3 Jarrett Hurd removed due to inactivity. Michel Soro (35-3-1, 24 KO) and Carlos Ocampo (34-1, 22 KO) enter at No. 9 and 10.

Lightweight – William Zepeda (26-0, 23 KO) entered at #10 after his win over Rene Alvarado. Zepeda’s entrance forced (then #10) Gustavo Lemos to depart.

Jr Lightweight – Ring #2 Jamel Herring removed after moving up to the Lightweight division. Albert Bell (21-0, 6 KO) entered at #10.

Flyweight – Felix Alvardo entered at #10 after moving up from Jr Flyweight, where he was #2, and stopping unrated Luis Hernandez. Alvarado’s entrance forced (then #10) Cristofer Rosales to be removed.

Jr Flyweight – Ring #2 Felix Alvarado removed after moving up to the Flyweight division. Carlos Canizales (24-1-1, 18 KO) enters at #10.

June 2022

6/4 – WBC/WBO Jr Featherweight Champion (Ring #1) Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8 KO) won a 12 round Unanimous Decision over Ring #3 Daniel Roman (29-4-1, 10 KO) by the scores of 120-108 twice (Mike Fitzgerald, Patrick Morley) and 119-109 (Nathan Palmer). The scores justified how dominant Fulton was as he outlanded Roman 218-113, including landing more punches in all but one round. Referee: Mark Nelson. Venue: The Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota. TV: Showtime. Promoter: Premier Boxing Champions.

6/4 – IBF Jr Lightweight Champion (Ring #6) Kenichi Ogawa (26-2-1, 18 KO) was knocked out at 1:15 of round 2 by unrated Joe Cordina (15-0, 9 KO) in a knockout of the year contender. Cordina landed an overhand right to the chin that floored Ogawa, who fell over when trying to get up which prompted referee in charge Michael Alexander to correctly waive the contest off. This was Ogawa’s first defense of the title that he won last November. Judges: Dave Braslow, Phil Edwards, Robin Taylor. Venue: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, UK. TV: DAZN. Promoter: Matchroom Boxing (Eddie Hearn).

6/5 – WBC Lightweight Champion (Ring #3) Devin Haney (28-0, 15 KO’s) became the eighth male to become undisputed in the four belt era and first in the Lightweight division (Teofimo Lopez should have this distinction, however the WBC elevated Vasiliy Lomachenko to their “franchise” champion prior to their fight) after winning a 12 round Unanimous Decison over Ring/WBA/IBF/WBO Lightweight Champion George Kambosos Jr (20-1, 10 KO) by the scores of 118-110 (Pawel Kardyni) and 116-112 twice (Zoltan Enyedi, Benoit Roussel). The fight was fought in front of 41,129 fans, the second largest in Australian history (51,053 saw Manny Pacquiao vs Jeff Horn in 2017). Unfortunately, the fight failed to deliver much in terms of excitement as Haney easily outboxed the Aussie and anytime there was engagement, a clench was soon to follow. Of the 147 punches landed by Haney, 78 of them (53%) were jabs. Haney, making his fifth defense, was fortunate to be in this position as he replaced Vasiliy Lomachenko, who was fighting for Ukraine in their war vs Russia and pulled out of the fight. There was more drama during prefight than the fight itself. Bill Haney, Devin’s father and trainer, was originally denied a visa to be in the country due to having a felony on his record, but was granted permission and arrived the night before the fight. Not only that, but Kambosos, who was fighting in his homeland for the first time since 2017, failed to make the weight limit on his first attempt. The weight was made on his return to the scales just over an hour later. Referee: Hector Afu. Venue: Marvel Stadium, Docklands, Melbourne, Australia. Promoter: Lou Dibella (Dibella Entertainment). TV: ESPN.

6/7 – Ring/WBA/IBF Bantamweight Champion Naoya Inoue (23-0, 20 KO) added the WBC title after destroying Ring #1 Bantamweight Nonito Donaire, knocking him out at 1:24 of round 2. Affectionately known more by his nickname ‘The Monster’, Inoue landed a right hand to the temple that dropped Donaire in the final 10 seconds of round 1. As round 2 began it became clear that it would be just a matter of time before Inoue would end matters. A series of combination punches highlighted by a left hook staggered Donaire, before a right jab followed by a left hook to the chin dropped Donaire again, prompting referee in charge Michael Griffin to immediately stop the contest. The fight was a rematch from their 2019 fight of the year. Inoue was also given the Pound for Pound Title as best fighter in the World by The Ring in the week following the fight. Judges: Jean-Robert Laine, Patrick Morley, David Sutherland. Venue: Super Arena, Saitama, Saitama, Japan. Promoter: Hideyuki Ohashi/Top Rank. TV: ESPN+.

6/10 – Ring/WBA Jr Flyweight Champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (16-0, 11 KO) knocked out Ring #8 Esteban Bermudez (14-4-2, 10 KO) at :24 of round 8. Kyoguchi’s punches caused a cut over Bermundez’s left eye in round 2, but he was also docked a point in round 6 (head butt) and round 7 (punch behind the head). After a series of unanswered punches landed on Bermudez while on the ropes, referee in charge Roberto Ramirez Jr halted the contest. At the time of the stoppage Kyoguchi led 66-65 on two cards (Jeremy Hayes, Ignacio Robles), while Bermudez led 66-65 on Mike Fitzgerald’s card. It was the fourth defense of the titles for Kyoguchi. Venue: Domo Alcalde, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Promoter: Matchroom (Eddie Hearn). TV: DAZN.

6/12 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame had its first induction ceremony since 2019 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The 2020, 2021, and 2022 inductees were all honored. The 2020 class featured Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, Sugar Shane Mosley, Christy Martin, and Lucia Rijker. 2021 featured Wladimir Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward, Laila Ali, and Ann Wolfe. 2022 included Miguel Cotto, Roy Jones Jr, James Toney, Holly Holm, and Regina Halmich. 

6/13 – International Boxing Hall of Fame member as well as former Lightweight and Jr Welterweight Champion of the world Carlos Ortiz passed away at the age of 85. Ortiz won the vacant Jr Welterweight Championship in 1959 and made two successful defenses before losing the title on a majority decision. He then dropped down to the Lightweight division and won the WBA title in 1962, while adding the freshly created WBC title in 1963. Ortiz defended the Lightweight crown four times before losing a majority decision, but won the titles back in the rematch. He would then go on to make five more successful defenses, until losing his titles by a split decision in 1968. Ortiz finished his career with a record of 61-7-1, 30 KO’s. He is widely acknowledged as one of the top 100 fighters of all time.

6/18 – WBC/IBF Light Heavyweight Champion (Ring #2) Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KO) added another title to his collection after demolishing WBO Champion (Ring #3) Joe Smith Jr (28-4, 22 KO). Beterbiev scored three knockdowns and stopped Smith at 2:19 of round 2. The first knockdown happened just before the bell to end the first round when a counter right hand to the head dropped Smith. Although Smith was able to rise, he began round two trying to trade fire with fire. That experiment didn’t go well as another sweeping right hand upstairs floored Smith in the first minute of the round. Smith quickly rose, but a barrage of punches by Beterbiev sent Smith reeling into the ropes, causing referee in charge Harvey Dock to call a knockdown. Dock gave Smith an eight count and when the action re-started two perfect uppercuts from Beterbiev wobbled Smith’s legs badly and Dock was forced to call off the mismatch.  Beterbiev remained the only current undefeated World Champion with a perfect knockout percentage. It marked the sixth defense of the IBF title and third defense of the WBC title for Beterbiev, while Smith was defending the WBO title for the second time. Judges: Frank Lombardi, Joseph Pasquale, Steve Weisfeld. Venue: Hulu Theatre in Madison Square Garden, New York, New York. Promoter: Top Rank. TV: ESPN.

6/22 – WBC Flyweight Champion (Ring #2) Julio Cesar Martinez pulled out of mandatory rematch vs Ring #7 McWilliams Arroyo due to an undisclosed illness three days prior to the scheduled fight. Martinez has a history of pulling out of fights on short notice, including before the first scheduled encounter against Arroyo.     

6/24 – WBO Jr Flyweight Champion (Ring #3) Jonathan Gonzalez (26-3-1, 14 KO) made the first successful defense of his title after winning a 12 round UD over unrated Mark Anthony Barriga (11-2, 2 KO) by the scores of 117-111 twice (Efrain Lebron, Alex Levin) and 115-113 (Rose M Lacend). Gonzalez started slowly, but came on late, specifically in the championship rounds to take the decision. Referee: Samuel Burgos. Venue: Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Florida, USA. Promoter: Felix Tutu Zabala Jr.

6/25 – WBC Jr Bantamweight Champion (Ring #6) Jesse Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KO) successfully defended his title for the first time after stopping Ring #1 Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-6-1, 43 KO) aka Wisaksil Wangek at 1:50 of round 8. The fight was expected to be highly competitive, but turned out to be a one-sided affair as Rodriguez dominated from the start. Rodriguez used his speed and boxing ability to his advantage as the aging former champion was trying to land one power punch at a time. A sweeping left to the temple in round 7 forced an unbalanced Sor Rungvisai to touch both gloves to the canvas, causing a knockdown. Rodriguez forced Sor Rungvisai to the ropes a round later with a follow up barrage of unanswered punches causing referee in charge Mark Calo oy to wave off the contest. Rodriguez landed more punches in every round and finished with a commanding 233-84 edge. The 22 year old Rodriguez is boxing’s youngest current World Champion. The 35 year old Sor Rungvisai entered after a 15 month layoff. Judges: Alan Krebs, Steve Morrow, David Sutherland. Venue: Tech Port Arena, San Antonio, Texas. Promoter: Matchroom (Eddie Hearn). TV: DAZN. 

6/25 – IBF/WBA Jr Featherweight Champion (Ring #2) Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8 KO) defended his titles for a third time after stopping Ring #8 Ronny Rios at 2:06 of the 12th and final round. Despite lasting nearly the full 12 rounds, Rios offered little in return as the fight proved one sided. Akhmadaliev even fought with a hurt left hand suffered in round 2. Seemingly content on using the left hand, the southpaw Akhmadaliev let it go in the final stanza and after four straight clubbing shots, dropped Rios. Although able to rise, Rios couldn’t overcome the follow up assault, forcing referee in charge Rafael Ramos to wave off the mismatch. Judges: Javier Alvarez, Tim Cheatham, Ursolo Perez. Venue: Tech Port Arena, San Antonio, Texas. Promoter: Matchroom (Eddie Hearn). TV: DAZN.

6/28 – Former four division World Champion Mikey Garcia indicated he has retired at the age of 34 after a career consisting of a professional record of 40-2, 30 KO’s. Garcia’s titles include the WBO Featherweight, WBO Jr Lightweight, WBC/IBF Lightweight, and IBF Jr Welterweight.

Other notable fights in June:

6/4 – Ring #10 Super Middlweight David Morrell (7-0, 6 KO) TKO 4 unrated Kalvin Henderson (15-2-1, 11 KO). WBA regular Super Middleweight title. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

6/11 – Unrated Daniel Dubois (18-1, 17 KO) KO 4 unrated Trevor Bryan (22-1, 15 KO). WBA regular Heavyweight title. Miami, Florida, USA.

6/25 – Ring #5 Jr Flyweight Hekkie Budler (34-4, 19 KO) UD 12 Ring #4 Jr Flyweight Elwin Soto (19-3, 13 KO). WBC Jr Flyweight eliminator. Mexicali, Mexico.

New Ring Champions and newcomers in Top Ten – June:

Lightweight – Ring Magazine World Championship changed hands after #3 Devin Haney outpointed (former Champ) George Kambosos Jr, who is now at the #1 position.

Jr Lightweight – Joe Cordina (15-0, 9 KO) entered at #5 after knocking out (then #5) Kenichi Ogawa, who slid to #8. Cordina’s entrance forced (then #10) Albert Bell to depart.

Featherweight – Robeisy Ramirez (10-1, 6 KO) entered at #9 after knocking out unrated Abraham Nova. Ramirez’s entrance forced (then #10) Michael Conlan to depart.

Bantamweight – Ring #1 Nonito Donaire dropped to #3 after getting stopped by Ring Champion Naoya Inoue. John Riel Casimero moved up to #1. Ring #5 Takuma Inoue removed after moving up to the Jr Featherweight division. Alejandro Santiago (25-3-5, 13 KO) entered at #10.

Jr Bantamweight – Ring #1 Srisaket Sor Rungvisai dropped to #6 following his stoppage loss to #6 Jesse Rodriguez, who moved up to #3. The new #1 is Roman Gonzalez.

Jr Flyweight – Ring #3 Jesse Rodriguez removed due to moving up to the Jr Bantamweight division. Hector Flores Calixto (20-0-4, 10 KO) entered at #10.

July 2022

7/1 – Former undisputed Jr Welterweight World Champion Josh Taylor vacated the WBC version of his titles after opting to go forward with a rematch against Ring #4 Jack Catteral instead of facing their mandatory challenger, Ring #3 Jose Zepeda. Taylor already was forced to vacate the WBA version in May and remains the Ring/IBF/WBO Jr Welterweight World Champion. 

7/1 – IBF Strawweight Champion (Ring #6) Rene Mark Cuarto (20-3-2, 11 KO) lost his title via 12 round controversial split decision against unrated Daniel Valladares (26-3-1, 15 KO) by the scores of 116-111 (Jonathan Davis), 115-112 (Daniel Sandoval) and 113-114 (Joel Elizondo). Valladares suffered two cuts from headbutts, while referee in charge Wes Melton missed a knockdown by the Champion in round 8. Cuarto was also deducted a point in round 10 after the tape on his glove continued to come loose. Cuarto promoter Sean Gibbons would seek an immediate rematch due to the actions of the referee, but would be denied. Venue: Gimnasio Revolucion, San Nicolas de los Garza, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Promoter: Alejandro Brito.

7/2 – Ring/IBF Cruiserweight Champion Mairis Briedis (28-2, 20 KO) lost his titles against unrated Jai Opetaia (22-0, 17 KO) via 12 round Unanimous Decision by the scores of 116-112 twice (John Basile, Steve Weisfeld) and 115-113 (Katsuhiko Nakamura). Opetaia fought thru a broken jaw early and built a comfortable lead before the former Champion, who suffered a broken nose himself, rallied late. Briedis also suffered a minor cut above his right eye in the first round and fought most of the bout with blood continuing to run from his nose. There were many back and forth exchanges, but referee in charge Chris Flores was a bit too assertive in constantly coming between the combatants on the inside instead of letting them engage. The contest would be considered for Fight of the Year and did indeed win “Upset of the Year”! The fight was postponed twice. Originally scheduled for April 6, but Briedis contacted Covid. Then the May 11 date was postponed after Opetaia suffered a rib injury while training. Venue: Gold Coast Convention Centre, Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia. Promoter: Dean Lonergan. TV: ESPN+.  

7/7 – The WBA announced it was in the process of moving its headquarters from Panama to Houston, Texas, USA. The organization was founded in the United States in 1921 before moving to Venezuela and then Panama.

7/9 – WBC Featherweight Champion (Ring #2) Mark Magsayo (24-1, 16 KO) lost the title in his first defense against unrated Rey Vargas (36-0, 22 KO) via 12 round split decision by the scores of 115-112 twice (Tim Cheatham, David Sutherland) and 113-114 (Jesse Reyes). Vargas was cut near his left eye in round 7 (accidental head butt) and survived a knockdown from a right hand to the jaw with about 30 seconds left in round 9. Still on shaky legs to begin round 10, Vargas went down again on what was ruled by referee in charge Jon Schorle as a slip and Magsayo failed to aggressively pursue. Normally using his height and reach advantage to outbox foes without having to engage much in a firefight, Vargas shifted his strategy and fought on the inside with the aggressive style of Magsayo often. Vargas’ volume punching proved to be the difference as he threw 236 more punches while landing 64 more shots. Vargas is now a two-division champion after making five successful defenses of the WBC Jr Featherweight title from 2017 until vacating in 2020. He was out of the ring for nearly 2.5 years due to Covid, injuries, and a promotional change before returning last November as a Featherweight. Venue: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA. Promoter: Tom Brown (Premier Boxing Champions). TV: Showtime.

7/13 – WBO Jr Bantamweight Champion (Ring #3) Kazuto Ioka (29-2, 15 KO) made the sixth defense of his title after easily outpointing former champion (Ring #9) Donnie Nietes (43-2-6, 23 KO) via 12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 120-108, 118-110, and 117-111. Nietes suffered a bad cut over his left eye in round 10 and at age 40, was clearly showing the effects. This was a rematch from 2018 when Nietes was awarded a split decision before retiring for 2.5 years. Referee: Bence Kovacs. Judges: Bill Lerch, Jerry Martinez, Waleska Roldan Venue: Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan. Promoter: Takuya Kiya.

7/20 – WBA Strawweight Champion (Ring #1) Knockout CP Freshmart, aka Thammanoon Niyomtrong, (24-0, 9 KO) made the 11th defense of his title after winning a 12 round unanimous decision over Ring #3 Wanheng Menayothin, aka Chayaphon Moonsri (55-3, 19 KO) by the scores of 119-109 (Carlos Costa), 117-111 (Armando Garcia), and 116-112 (Prommase Chakshuraksha). Freshmart controlled the first half of the fight, but the 36 year old Menayothin came on in the second half and showed that while past his prime, still had some gas left in his tank. Freshmart is the longest reigning (male) World Champion in the sport, having held his title since 2016. Menayothin began his career 54-0, but has now dropped three of his last four fights. All of his losses have been in World Championship fights. Referee: Pinit Prayadsab. Venue: Chonburi Provincial Ground, Chonburi, Thailand. Promoter: Piyarat Vachirattanawong. TV: No USA TV.   

7/24 – WBC Belt awarded to Muhammad Ali after his upset knockout victory over George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle” sells at auction for $6.18 Million.

7/28 – Former WBO Jr Lightweight Champion Masayuki Ito (27-4-1, 15 KO) announced his retirement from the ring following a career that lasted from 2009-2022. Ito won the vacant title after outpointing Christopher Diaz in 2018 and made one successful defense before losing a decision against Jamel Herring in 2019.

Other notable fights in July:

7/9 – Ring #3 Jr Featherweight Brandon Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KO) TKO 6 unrated Carlos Castro (27-2, 12 KO). WBC Featherweight eliminator. Texas, USA.

7/9 – Ring #8 Jr Middleweight Israil Madrimov (8-0-1, 6 KO) TD 3 (cut from accidental head butt) Ring #9 Michel Soro (35-3-2, 24 KO). WBA Jr Middleweight eliminator. London, UK.

7/16 – Ring #5 Lightweight Ryan Garcia (23-0, 19 KO) KO 6 Ring #9 Lightweight Javier Fortuna (37-4-1, 26 KO). Fight contracted at 140 pounds. California, USA.

7/16 – Unrated Lamont Roach Jr (23-1-1, 9 KO) UD 12 unrated Angel Rodriguez (20-2, 10 KO). WBA Jr Lightweight eliminator. California, USA.

7/16 – Unrated David Jimenez (12-0, 9 KO) MD 12 Ring #5 Flyweight Ricardo Sandoval (20-2, 15 KO). WBA Flyweight eliminator. California, USA.

7/16 – Unrated Oscar Collazo (5-0, 3 KO) UD 12 Ring #10 Strawweight Vic Saludar (21-6, 11 KO). WBA Strawweight eliminator. California, USA.

7/30 – Unrated Danny Garcia (37-3, 21 KO) MD 12 unrated Jose Benavidez (27-2-1, 18 KO). Jr Middleweight debut for Garcia, who entered off a career long 19 month layoff. New York, USA.

New Ring Champions and newcomers in Top Ten – July:

Cruiserweight – Ring Championship exchanged hands after Mairis Briedis lost the title via 12 round UD against unrated Jai Opetaia (22-0, 17 KO). Briedis dropped to #2, which forced (then #10) Noel Gevor to be removed.

Lightweight – Ring #9 Javier Fortuna removed after moving up to Jr Welterweight. Frank Martin (16-0, 12 KO) entered at #10.

Featherweight – Rey Vargas (36-0, 22 KO) entered at #2 after beating (then #2) Mark Magsayo, who fell to #3. Vargas’s entrance forced (then #10) Joet Gonzalez to be removed.

Jr Featherweight – Ring #3 Brandon Figueroa removed after moving up to the Featherweight division. Zolani Tete (30-4, 23 KO) entered at #10.

Jr Bantamweight – Ring #9 Donnie Nietes removed after losing to #2 Kazuto Ioka. Kosei Tanaka (17-1, 10 KO) entered at #9.

Flyweight – David Jimenez (12-0, 9 KO) entered at #7 after beating #5 Ricardo Sandoval, who dropped to #8. Ring #6 Moruti Mthalane removed due to inactivity.

Jr Flyweight – Shokichi Iwata (9-0, 6 KO) entered at #10 after beating unrated Kenichi Horikawa. Iwata’s entrance forced (then #10) Hector Flores Calixto to be removed.

Strawweight – Daniel Valladares (26-3-1, 15 KO) entered at #6 after beating #6 Rene Mark Cuarto, who fell to #7. Valladares’s entrance forced (then #10) Vic Saludar to be removed. Yudai Shigeoka (5-0, 3 KO) entered at #10 following his stoppage of unrated Cris Ganoza. Shigeoka’s entranced forced (then #10) Erick Rosa to be removed.

August 2022

 8/1 – WBA regular Heavyweight Champion (unrated Ring) Daniel Dubois sued Don King Promotions citing Breach of contract after failure of payment following Dubois knockout win over Trevor Bryan on June 11.

8/4 – Former Ring/WBC Featherweight World Champion Johnny Famechon passed away at the age of 77. He won the title in 1969 and made two successful defenses before losing a 15 round UD against future Hall of Famer Vicente Saldivar 16 months later in what would be his final bout. Famechon retired with a career record of 56-5-6, 20 KO’s.

8/11 – Ring/WBA Jr Bantamweight Champion Juan Francisco Estrada was stripped of his WBA title after failing to defend against WBA regular titlist (Ring #5) Joshua Franco.

8/12 – Ring/WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury announced his retirement on his 34th birthday and vacated his Ring Magazine World Title. Fury exits with a record of 32-0-1 (23 KO), however, this isn’t the first time he’s announced his retirement and he didn’t relinquish his WBC belt.

8/12 – WBA regular Cruiserweight titlist (Ring #9) Ryad Merhy vacated his (bogus) title due to moving up to the Heavyweight division.

8/13 – Former IBF Middleweight World Champion David Lemieux announced his retirement following a career that spanned from 2007-2022. Lemieux won the vacant title in a 12 round unanimous decision over Hassan N’Dam in 2015, but lost it in his first defense and finishes his career with a record of 43-5, 36 KO.

8/15 – Former WBC Bantamweight World Champion Rodolfo Martinez passed away at the age of 73. He won the title in 1974 and made three successful defense before being knocked out by undefeated future Hall of Famer Carlos Zarate in 1976. Martinez retired in 1979 with a record of 44-7-1, 35 KO’s.

8/18 – Former Ring/WBC/IBF Light Heavyweight Champion “Bad” Chad Dawson announced his retirement on the anniversary of his professional debut, which was in 2001. Dawson was a two-time Champion having won the WBC title in 2007. After three successful defenses he vacated in order to face IBF Champion Antonio Tarver, whom he defeated to add that organization’s title. After defeating Tarver in a rematch Dawson vacated the IBF title for a more lucrative fight against Glen Johnson, winning the interim WBC title. He would then go on to win the Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Championship after defeating Bernard Hopkins. Dawson lost the Ring Championship in his first defense against Adonis Stevenson in what was his last World Title fight. Dawson’s last fight came in 2019 and he officially ends his career with a record of 36-5, 19 KO’s.

8/20 – IBF/WBA/WBO Heavyweight Champion (Ring #1) Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KO) added the recently vacated Ring Title (first in history to win Ring titles at Cruiserweight and Heavyweight) to his collection after winning a 12 round split decision over Ring #2 Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KO) by the scores of 116-112 (Victor Fesechko), 115-113 (Steve Gray), and 113-115 (Glenn Feldman). The fight was a direct rematch from their prior encounter, last September. This time around was a bit more competitive. The first eight rounds were extremely close. Round 9 appeared at the time to be the turning point of the fight as Joshua had Usyk hurt and in trouble. What happened in rounds 10-12 is why boxing is often referred to as the “Theatre of the unexpected.” Usyk recovered greatly and had a huge round 10, which ultimately turned out to be the turning point of the fight. Joshua showed fatigue and was sagging on the ropes while the rejuvenated Champion continued to dole out punishment. Usyk then went on to outland Joshua 32-9 in round 11. Overall in the final three rounds, Usyk outlanded his challenger 79-29. Overall Usyk outlanded Joshua 170-124, the most ever punches landed on the former champion. Referee: Luis Pabon. Venue: Jeddah Superdome, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Promoter: Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing).  TV: DAZN.

Other notable fights in August:

8/5 – Unrated Luis Castillo (20-0-1, 13 KO) TKO 6 unrated Abraham Rodriguez (28-4, 14 KO). WBC Strawweight eliminator. Baja California Sur, Mexico.

8/6 – Ring #5 Welterweight Virgil Ortiz Jr (19-0, 19 KO) TKO 9 unrated Michael Mckinson (22-1, 2 KO). WBA Welterweight title eliminator. Texas, USA.

8/13 – Ring #2 Lightweight Teofimo Lopez (17-1, 13 KO) TKO 7 unrated Pedro Campa (34-2-1, 22 KO). Former undisputed Lightweight World Champion makes Jr Welterweight debut. Nevada, USA.

8/20 – Ring #9 Heavyweight Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KO) UD 12 unrated Zhang Zhilei (24-1-, 19 KO). IBF eliminator. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

8/20 – Ring #4 Light Heavyweight Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KO) KO 4 Ring #9 Light Heavyweight Mathieu Bauderlique (21-2, 12 KO). Knockout of the Year contender! WBC eliminator. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

New Ring Champions and newcomers in Top Ten – August:

Heavyweight – Ring Champion Tyson Fury retired, vacating the title. Ring #1 Oleksandr Usyk crowned Ring Champion after winning a 12 round UD over Ring #2 Anthony Joshua. Usyk’s ascension allowed Zhilei Zhang (24-1-1, 19 KO) to enter at #10, despite his UD loss to Ring #8 Flip Hrgovic, as there can be an argument made that Zhang deserved the decision.  

Light Heavyweight  – Ring #9 Mathieu Bauderlique removed after being knocked out in four rounds by Ring #4 Callum Smith. Craig Richards (17-3-1, 10 KO) entered at #10.

Jr Welterweight – Alberto Puello (21-0, 10 KO) entered at #9 after beating (then #9) Batyr Akhmedov by 12 round SD. Akhmedov slid to #10, forcing (then #10) Sandor Martin to be removed.

Lightweight – Ring #2 Teofimo Lopez removed after moving up to Jr Welterweight. Michel Rivera (23-0, 14 KO) entered at #10. Ring #8 Richard Commey removed after moving up to Jr Welterweight. Gustavo Lemos (28-0, 18 KO) entered at #10, moving the aforementioned Rivera up to #9.

Jr Featherweight – Ring #4 Angelo Leo removed due to inactivity. Mike Plania (26-2, 13 KO) entered at #10. Ring #3 Daniel Roman removed after retiring. Takuma Inoue (16-1, 3 KO) entered at #10, pushing the aforementioned Plania up to #9.

Bantamweight – Ring #5 Rau’Shee Warren removed after losing UD to unrated Francisco Pedroza. Keita Kurihara (16-7-1, 14 KO) entered at #10.


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