Fightful Boxing Newsletter (3/7): No Wilder vs. Fury 2, Latest On GGG, Porter vs. Ugas Preview

March 2 Boxing Results Recap:

Showtime Championship Boxing Results from the Barclays Center:

Erislandy Lara and Brian Castano fight to a split draw (115-113, 114-114, 115-113). WBA “Regular” Junior Middleweight title (Castano retains the title): Both fighters had a competitive back-and-forth contest in the first half of the contest before Lara would start slowly winning rounds in the second half. Lara built himself a small lead on the scorecards late in the fight, but Castano caught fire in the 11th and 12th round and managed to steal those last two rounds to force the draw. This was Lara's first fight sine April 2018 when he lost to Jarrett Hurd by split decision to unify the WBA "Super" and IBF junior middleweight titles. Lara held the WBA world title from 2014 to 2018 and promoted to "Super" champion in 2016. After the fight, Lara said he wants a rematch with either Hurd or Castano next.

Luis Ortiz defeated Christian Hammer by unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 99-91): Ortiz didn't look spectacular in this fight, but it's hard to say it wasn't dominating. Ortiz mainly stuck with jabbing and moving around the ring while Hammer struggled to throw and connect much. Ortiz showed flashed of power, but wasn't able to take out Hammer early in the fight as he usually does with most of his fights. A win over Hammer keeps him busy for a possible fight against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder or even unified champion Anthony Joshua, but given their current schedules, Ortiz is likely not getting a title shot anytime soon, which does not bode well given that Ortiz is now in his 40s by the end of this month.

Eduardo Ramirez defeated Bryan De Gracia by TKO, round 9 to win the WBA Gold Featherweight title: The day before the fight, Ramirez nearly missed weight once again, but did manage to come in at under 126 pounds on a second attempt to make weight. Both sides had a somewhat competitive first few rounds, but De Gracia started to win some of the recent fights before getting stopped. Late in the ninth round, Ramirez landed a vicious flurry of punches that hurt De Gracia and the fight was stopped by Benjy Estevez once De Gracia's back was against the ropes and barely threw any punches. The timing of the stoppage can be considered weird given that Ramirez wasn't landing many punches at the exact moment of the stoppage, but make no mistake, De Gracia was out of it at the end of the fight. Ramirez is now in line to face WBA "Regular" champion Xu Can.

Matchroom Boxing NXTGEN Results from Peterborough:

Jordan Gill defeated Emmanuel Dominguez by TKO, round 3 to win the WBA International Featherweight title: This was a complete thrashing conducted by Gill. Gill repeatedly hurt Dominguez with the left hook in the second round and was nearly dropped on a number of occasions. Gill nearly knocked Dominguez out with a vicious counter right at the end of the second frame. I personally thought that should be scored a 10-8 round. Gill scored a couple of knockdowns in the third round and the fight was stopped shortly after the second knockdown. Gill can potentially be a real player at 126 pounds down the line if he keeps progressing at this rate.

Joe Steed defeated Miguel Aguilar by points (40-36): Both men landed body shots in the first round as they kept trading punches, but Steed appeared to be throwing more. Aguilar was ready to trade shots with Steed much more than people realized when looking at this matchup on paper. This fight served to give Steed more rounds under his belt as Aguilar had a career record of 11-54-1 heading into the bout. Even crazier is the fact that is Steed has fought worse competition as his last fight was a decision win over Liam Griffiths, who had a 5-79-1 record when those two fought last December. The jury is still out on whether or not Steed will ever be a top boxer in the United Kingdom.

Richard Riakporhe defeated Tommy McCarthy by TKO, round 4 to retain the WBA Intercontinental Cruiserweight title: McCarthy worked the body well, landing several combinations early in the fight while Riakporhe would utilize the jab. Riakporhe unleashed a flurry of punches that started with an overhand right to drop McCarthy in the fourth round. Riakporhe hurt McCarthy with another right hand and then stopped him at the end of the fourth with a flurry of shots with McCarthy up against the ropes. Riakporhe improves to 9-0 as a pro and has won his last eight from inside the distance, seven of those wins taking place in the fourth round or sooner. Riakporhe is ranked in the top 15 by the WBA at cruiserweight, but still has plenty to work on before actually challenging for a world title down the line. Riakporhe has a decent jab and some solid power, but is still being outboxed at times by his opponent. A potential fight against Lawrence Okolie has been suggested and promoter Eddie Hearn is not opposed to that fight, but I don’t expect it to happen until the end of the year at the earliest if it does ever happen.

Anthony Sims Jr. defeated Mateo Damian Veron by TKO, round 6: Sims spent the first half of the fight throwing relatively weak jabs the occasional hooks, but didn’t mount any real pressure at all and establish his dominance over Veron. Sims finally let his hands go in the sixth round, dropping Veron twice in the round. After the first knockdown, Sims dominated Veron and when he dropped him a second time, Veron got up but the referee stopped the fight. Sims is someone whom Matchroom Boxing USA is very high on and the hopes is that he would eventually challenge for a light heavyweight title at some point in the future. Sims won’t be a world title contender until 2020 at the earliest and he is advertised for the April 26 show at The Forum in Los Angeles. Promoter Eddie Hearn said he and Sims finished agreeing to a new deal that would keep Sims in Matchroom Boxing for two more years.

Leigh Wood defeated Abraham Bonsu by KO, round 2 to win the Commonwealth Featherweight title: Bonsu looked really small compared to Wood, almost like he’s supposed to be a weight class below Wood. Wood scores a knockdown after a flurry of body shots halfway through the second round, followed by another knockdown towards the end of the round. The referee ended the fight as Bonsu was unable to answer to the referee’s 10 count. Wood wins the Commonwealth title whose last two titleholders were Lee Selby and Josh Warrington who would go on to win a world title later in their career.

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