Howard Cospolite and Jose Uzcategui were victorious in separate boxing bouts in France and Mexico, respectively.
Eric Armit picks up the story.
Seine-Saint-Denis, France: Super Welter: Howard Cospolite (19-8-3) W TKO 1 Mahmoud Taha (9-7-3). Super Middle: Gustave Tamba (16-1) W PTS 10 Steven Crambert (8-7). Super Welter: Milan Prat (9-1) W TKO 2 Flavien Bogongo (6-10-4)
Cosopolite vs. Taha
Cosopolite retains the French title with the stoppage of Taha. Cospolite blitzed Taha coming out firing punches. He drove Taha to a corner and had him reeling under heavy fire when the referee stepped in to save Taha. The first defense of the title for 38-year-old Cospolite. He is 0-2-1 in challenges for the European Union title but may yet get a fourth shot. Taha had won his last four fights, but here he suffered his fifth inside the distance loss.
Tamba vs. Crambert
French champion Tamba returns to the ring after 14 months and makes a successful second title defense with his second win over Crambert. Tamba had a big edge in skills and easily outboxed Crambert with better accuracy and a higher work rate. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Tamba, who extends his winning streak to 14. He had won every round against Crambert when defending his title in November 2019. Four losses in his last five fights for Crambert.
Prat vs. Bogongo
Highly rated prospect Prat batters an overmatched Bogongo to defeat in two rounds. The 21-year-old Prat’s loss came last month when he was disqualified after his opponent could not continue following a punch to the back of the head. French amateur champion Prat will be entering the qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics. This is only the second time Bogongo has been beaten inside the distance.
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Christian Gonzalez (12-1) W PTS 10 Adrian Curiel (16-4).
Gonzalez wins the WBC Fecarbox title with a majority decision over Curiel. Over the early rounds, Gonzalez used his longer reach to work on the outside, and Curiel struggled to get close enough to work effectively. After four rounds, Gonzalez was in front 40-36, 40-37, and 39-37. Curiel upped the pressure from the fifth and clawed back a little of Gonzalez’s lead, but Gonzalez defended well, and his jabs had Curiel bleeding heavily from the nose. At the end of eight rounds, the scores still had Gonzalez in control at 78-74 and 77-75 twice. Curiel staged a strong finish over the last two rounds but just came up short. Scores 96-94 twice for Gonzalez and 95-95. Gonzalez, 21, makes it six wins in a row. Curiel had won 4 of 5 going in.
Chapala, Mexico: Super Middle: Jose Uzcategui (29-4) W Josue Obando (20-28-2). Super Bantam: Edwin Palomares (14-3-1,1ND) W Cesar Ramirez (18-4).
Uzcategui vs. Obando
Former IBF super middle champion Uzcategui returns with a win. He handed out steady punishment over the first two rounds, and an early finish looked likely. Obando did better over the third and fourth as he upped his pace a little, but Uzcategui was in charge again after that. It was a case of breaking down a game Obando, and in the eighth, the referee stopped the fight just as Obando’s corner was preparing to throw in the towel. Venezuelan Uzcategui lost his IBF title on points against Caleb Plant in January 2019. In December 2019 was floored and outpointed Lionel Thompson and dropped out of the ratings, so this is a first step back. Obando had scored a win over experienced Marco Reyes, but Uzcategui was too strong.
Palomares vs. Ramirez
Palomares ends this one late with a savage kayo of Ramirez. Palomares had outlined Ramirez and built a good lead. But Ramirez fought hard to stay in contention. He was running out of time and pressing hard, but just before the final bell, a right from Palomares detonated on Ramirez’s chin, knocking him out cold with just two seconds remaining in the fight. Palomares was coming off two good victories, having stopped 25-2 Carlos Ornelas in June and Czech Martin Parlagi in December. First outing for Ramirez since being knocked out in ten rounds by John Riel Casimero for the WBI interim title in August 2019.
Miami, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (25-1) W TKO 1 Samuel Gutierrez (16-31-6).Super Bantam: Jorge De Jesus Romero (20-0-1) W PTS 8 Yeison Vargas (17-6). Super Feather: Mark Bernaldez (22-4) W TKO 6 Hector Ambriz (12-13-2). Light: Josec Ruiz (22-4-3) W TKO 2 Rodolfo Puente (19-6-2). Super Feather: Otar Eranosyan (7-0) W TKO 2 Marco Mendoza (11-10-1).
Lopez vs. Gutierrez
Another power show from Nicaraguan Lopez scores three knockdowns on the way to a first-round win over late replacement Gutierrez. Lopez opened with some hard, accurate right jabs. Then he sent Gutierrez back and down with a left. After the count, Lopez pursued Gutierrez to a corner, and a series of punches had Gutierrez going down on one knee. He was up at seven but then went down again as Lopez blitzed him with left hooks, and the fight was stopped. An inside-the-distance loss against little Chilean Jose Velasquez in October 2019 was a setback, but Lopez has rebounded with four wins by KO/TKO, the last three all coming in the first round. Old pro-Gutierrez is sliding rapidly, being without a win in his last twelve fights.
Romero vs. Vargas
Romero comes through a frustrating eight rounds with a decision over Vargas. In the first, Romero had Vargas retreating with strong jabs and straight rights. Vargas tried to dart inside, but his punches were coming up short. Romero continued to press the action with Vargas showing some good defensive work and doing well in short bursts, but Romero was always the one coming forward, and he was connecting with some hefty rights. Romero continued to do most of the scoring, but he was having trouble pinning Vargas down, and Vargas had enough success with his quick attacks to steal around and was never really in trouble. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for Romero. The Cuban’s progress took a hit when he was held to a draw by a skidding Daniel Lozano in August last year. He has scored three wins since then. Colombian Vargas was knocked out in 63 seconds by Melvin Lopez in September, and after compiling a 17-0 record back home, he has now suffered six consecutive losses, five by KO/TKO
Bernaldez vs. Ambriz
Filipino Bernaldez comes from behind to end the fight with a big right in the sixth. Bernaldez was conceding height and reached Mexican Ambriz, but the Mexican was looking to stand exchange punches rather than box and had a good first round. In the second, Bernaldez began to score with hooks to the body, and that quickly had Ambriz on the back foot and under pressure. Ambriz came back with a strong third and used his jab to blunt Bernaldez’s attacks, and landed some powerful right crosses in the fourth.
Ambriz was so confident he was showboating in the fifth changing guards and indulging in some fancy footwork, but he also scored well and looked to have built a good lead. All of that counted for nothing in the sixth. Against a tired-looking Ambriz, Bernaldez connected with some hard body shots and then landed a booming right to the head that sent Ambriz crashing to the canvas. He only just beat the count and was unsteady, and the fight was over. The 26-years-old “Machete” makes it sixteen wins by KO/TKO.
His two losses have come against good opposition in Andy Vences and unbeaten Albert Bell. Ambriz looked a much better fighter than his current 0-10-1 form. He has gone the distance in that run against Denis Shafikov, Hector Tanajara, and Robson Conceicao and drawn with Antonio Lozada.
Ruiz vs. Puente
Ruiz gets win over a reluctant Puente. Ruiz was attacking hard in the first, with Puente just flapping punches and holding. In the second, Puente has deducted a point for holding and then dropped by a low punch. The referee gave Puente some recovery time, although it was obvious Puente did not want to get up. Finally, he did and was put down by two left hooks and a right, and the referee stopped the fight without a count. Honduran “Scorpion” Ruiz suffered back-to-back losses in 2020, so a welcome win for him here. Puente has lost in the second round in three of his last four fights.
Eranosyan V. Mendoza
Eranosyan stops Mendoza in two rounds. This was really a farce. Mendoza never moved more than one pace from the ropes and circled the ring hiding behind a high guard. It was a target for practice for Eranosyan, and Mendoza went down twice at the end of the first round. He went down again from a right to the head in the second, and the towel came in from his corner. It’s an insult to Miami-based Georgian to put him with opponents such as this. He gets his fifth win by KO/TKO, but a few minutes of sparring would have been of more use to him. Mexican Mendoza, 40, has lost his last five fights inside the distance and lasted less than eleven minutes in those five fights.