Boxing Weekend Recap: Fresno fights, Argenis Mendez and more

Ancajas vs Sultan doesn’t thrill Fresno

IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas made his sixth title defense against Jonas Sultan at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA in a tactical affair that pleased the practitioners of the sport, but left those in the crowd a bit befuddled and confused as the relentless action took a backseat to feints, distance and ring generalship. In a fight that had a solid build-up, we saw Ancajas keep the untraditional fighter Sultan off balance using distance, angles and a jab none of which Sultan really used as Sultan preferred charging in with a right hand often missing widely.

The other subplot was not in the ring or the previous opponent on the telecast, it was the crowd. It was no secret with Fresno, Ca, not being known for its Filipino population, the Mexican-American fans of the Central Valley of California, use to legendary action fighter Jose Ramirez, grew restless. The fight was fine, but the fans wanted to see blood, guts and non-stop punching, what they ended up seeing was a very technical bout with a low punch output between a skilled boxer and a courageous fighter who was limited in what he could do.

On a sidenote, a troubling sign for Ancajas was the fact that despite getting hit with similar punches consistently, especially a left hook, he didn’t make adjustments, something that at the next tier of opponents he will need to do.

Kal Yafai wins via stoppage

2008 British Olympian and WBA super flyweight champion Kal Yafai made his U.S. debut in Fresno, CA against veteran David Carmona, who went the distance with Carlos Cuadras and Naoya- Inoue. Carmona, the day prior had missed weight by nearly four pounds and didn’t appear to be in optimum shape as, after seven rounds, Carmona’s corner stopped the fight.

Yafai impressed with his skills, but at the same time got hit a bit too much for my liking as Carmona appeared to have him on shaky ground at times despite wide punches that appeared to slap. The performance was dominant, but served as a serviceable highlight reel for when Yafai eventually fights Anacajas in the near future against either Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez or Jerwin Ancajas.

John Vincent Moralde, Ismail Muwendo beat each other up

In a confusing lightweight bout in which trained observers couldn’t tell who the “B-SIDE” fighter was John Vincent Moralde and Ismail Muwendo beat the stuffing out of each other for eight rounds. Distance was not observed as the two came forward and just exchanged punches, Moralde would drop Muwendo twice in the fight once in the first and again in the fifth, those two knockdowns turned out to be the difference in the fight.

Lua stands out amongst Fresno prospects

Top Rank is extremely high on Madera, CA’s lightweight Bryan Lua and he showed a glimpse of why on Saturday night. Lua was composed showed separation from a journeyman opponent as he stopped in the third round with a body shot, but impressed me as well as his ability to continuously target the body. It was interesting to see the relation between Robert Garcia Jr. also known as “Pita” Garcia as Lua seems to be a fighter he has taken a close liking to as their similarities in age, but also appear to be extremely tight-knit from a bond forged in the gym.

Featherweight Isidro Ochoa of Fresno, CA was pushed to the limit by a game journeyman opponent who gave him all he could handle as Ochoa had to work hard to win a six-round unanimous decision.

Super featherweight Jose Salinas of Fresno, CA opened the card with a second-round knockout. Salinas, who now trains with Joel Diaz in Indio, Ca, is looking solid. I was told that Salinas sparred with Lucas Matthysse in preparation for this fight as well.

Inoue truly is a monster

You can love or hate the hype around WBA bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue, who became a three-division world champion over the weekend getting a first-round KO of Jamie McDonnell, but up until this point, he has passed all of the thresholds to be a future star of the sport of boxing.

Inoue, who has a country behind, Japan, is a dominant knockout artist who made a world class fighter in McDonnell look like an ordinary opponent as a marquee match-up on the ESPN+ network looked no different than an early developmental fight, which says a lot. This speaks volumes to the skill of Inoue, who has become a three-division world champion in simply 16 fights and has faced relatively no resistance despite fighting world champions and number one contenders.

If you compare that Vasyl Lomachenko who reached the same feat of the claiming world titles in three division after only 12 fights you have to look at the fact and realize that Lomachenko also suffered a loss to Orlando Salido and was sent to the canvas against Jorge Linares. Inoue has rare lost a round as a professional let alone hit the deck or even faced tremendous adversity.

Inoue is looking like a star in the making as he enters the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament with the other champions of the division entering an eight-man tournament. If Inoue can win that tournament we may have a dominant force in boxing that emerged from seemingly nowhere.

Inoue to me reminds me of Nonito Donaire Jr. not in terms of skill, but in terms of his size and power over fighters at the lower weight classes.

Argenis Mendez ends Eddie Ramirez hopes of being a prospect

Former super featherweight world champion Argenis Mendez, who is now fighting at super lightweight relegated Eddie Ramirez from a prospect to gatekeeper as Ramirez has now suffered two brutal defeats after a promising start to his career. Mendez dropped his opponent in the second, third and twice in the fifth. The bout was a one-sided beating with Mendez simply looking like a level above Ramirez, a very good fighter, who just appears to have punch resistance issues and/or defensive liabilities that limit his progression.

Tugstsogt Nyambayar KOs Oscar Escandon

Tugstogt Nyambayar is a decorated amateur who is being fast-tracked in the professional realms and third-round knockout of Oscar Escandon will only speed up this process even more. Nyambayar dropped Escandon multiple times before getting the third round stoppage. This was a far cry from Nyambayar’s last fight against Harmonito Dela Torre in which he was greatly tested, that bout seems to have paid dividends as he is looking. 

Jeison Rosario hands DeLoach a loss

Middleweight Jeison Rosario battled from being outboxed for four to five rounds to drop Justin DeLoach en route to a massive win for the middleweight fighter. Rosario last fought Marcos Hernandez to a draw in Texas earlier this year

Golden Boy fights in Santa Monica

Jousce Gonzalez

Undefeated Golden Boy Promotions super featherweight prospect Jousce Gonzalez made it past the first round for the very first time in his career en route to a fourth-round technical knockout stoppage in a Wednesday night bout from Santa Monica, CA. Gonzalez had finished all of his previous seven fights by way of first-round knockout. Gonzalez has eight wins, all which by of knockout.

Welterweight Aaron McKenna continues his knockout streak as it extends to three in a row as the Irish standout fighter who is signed to Golden Boy Promotions is looking to come into his own in the early parts of his career.

Coachella, CA’s Rommel Caballero picked up the first win of his career as he won a four-round decision after his professional debut ended in a draw after a clash of heads. Caballero dropped his foe in the bout as well.

David Lemieux misses weight and wins

David Lemieux is no longer a middleweight as he missed the middleweight limit in a stay-busy fight as he picked up a wide 12-round decision in Canada. The question now remains with Lemieux who lost a career deflating fight to Billy Joe Saunders last December if motivate persists to continue.

Ibeth Zamora Silva beats McMorrow

San Mateo, CA’s own “Mighty” Melissa McMorrow lost a decision to Ibeth Zamora Silva for the vacant WBC flyweight world title in Mexico City on Saturday night

Wilder’s brother wins

Deontay Wilder brother, Marsellos Wilder made his cruiserweight debut in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on a card promoted by Wilder’s longtime trainer, Jay Deas as he picked up a first-round knockout.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle