By Derek Bonnett: There comes a time in nearly every world championship caliber fighter’s career that he gets served up a heaping dose of reality from a younger boxer. A few have been able to turn back the clock and hang on longer than others or gain sweet revenge, but, ultimately, it will only happen again. Both Evgeny Gradovich and Arthur Abraham have looked to be on the decline in recent outings. In fact, it’s fair to say that both men were lucky win their last bouts going into this weekend’s card in Las Vegas. Gradovich, 29, has needed the help of the judges more than once in recent outings, in fact, against Jesus Galicia and Aldimar Silva Santos. So, it was no surprise that the self-titled "Mexican Russian" took a terrible beating from SecondsOut’s 2014 Prospect of the Year Oscar Valdez. Valdez’ pedigree has been obvious for some time, this win pushed him into serious title contention. Abraham’s fall was a little costlier as it separated him from his world championship. Abraham’s last title victory over Martin Murray was suspect and perhaps that motivated Gilberto Ramirez to leave no doubt of the outcome by shutting out the German-based Armenian on all three cards. In the main event, Manny Pacquiao twice dropped Timothy Bradley and pounded out a very impressive decision victory, adding to the many highlights of his career. Oddly enough, it was Pacquiao who indicated retirement was his next step. Perhaps Gradovich and Abraham need to follow suit.
SecondsOut fighters On the Move:
On Friday, April 8, in Krylia Sovetov, Moscow, Russia, Eduard Troyanovsky stopped Cesar Rene Cuenca in seven rounds of their IBF super lightweight title rematch. Cuenca was dropped in rounds four and six. The official time of the stoppage was 2:14. Troyanovsky retained his title for the first time and lifted his ledger to 24-0-0 (21). Cuenca fell to 48-2-0 (2).
Troyanovsky climbed from seventh to fifth. Ruslan Provodnikov and Adrien Broner each fell one ranking. Adrian Granados moved from tenth to ninth. Anthony Peterson took a shaky hold on the ten spot.
On Saturday, April 9, at O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, United Kingdom, Anthony Joshua dethroned Charles Martin in two rounds of a IBF heavyweight title bout. Joshua dropped Martin twice in round two. The official time of the stoppage was 1:32. Joshua captured his first world title and lifted his record to 16-0-0 (16). Martin crashed to 23-1-1 (21).
Joshua climbed from tenth to eighth in the SecondsOut heavyweight rankings. Kubrat Pulev and Dominic Breazeale fell to ninth and tenth respectively.
Also on the card, Lee Selby won a unanimous decision over Eric Hunter in a twelve round IBF featherweight title bout. Hunter dropped Selby in round three. Hunter lost a point for low blows in round seven. Selby took home scores of 116-110 twice and 115-111. Selby notched the second defense of his title and upped his record to 23-1-0 (8). Hunter fell to 21-4-0 (11).
Selby remained SecondsOut’s number three rated featherweight. Hunter fell from eight out of the top ten. Joseph Diaz Jr. climbed from ninth to eighth with that shift.
Also on the card, Jamie McDonnell scored a ninth round TKO of Fernando Vargas in a WBA bantamweight title bout. The stoppage came at the 2:30 mark. Vargas originally failed to make weight, but succeeded after a second attempt. McDonnell defended his title for the fourth time and raised his dossier to 28-2-1 (13). Vargas fell to 29-10-3 (20).
McDonnell remained SecondsOut’s second-rated bantamweight in the world today.
Also on the card, George Groves dismissed David Brophy in four rounds of a super middleweight bout. The KO was ruled at the :47 mark after Brophy failed to rise from the lone knockdown. Groves advanced to 23-3-0 (18). Brophy dipped to 16-1-1 (1).
Groves remained SecondsOut’s number eighth rated super middleweight in the division.
At MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in a twelve round welterweight rubber match. Pacquiao dropped Bradley in rounds seven and nine. All three judges saw the bout 116-110. Pacquiao improved his resume to 58-6-2 (38). Bradley dipped to 33-2-1 (13).
Pacquiao would have remained SecondsOut’s number one welterweight in the world, but he reiterated his plans for retirement and has been dropped. Bradley fell from third to fourth.
Also on the card, Gilberto Ramirez defeated Arthur Abraham by unanimous decision in a twelve round WBO super middleweight title bout. Ramirez won by 120-108 on all three cards. Ramirez captured his first world title and lifted his ledger to 34-0-0 (24). Abraham fell to 44-5-0 (29).
Ramirez jumped from seventh to third in the SecondsOut’s super middleweight muddle. Abraham fell from second to sixth.
Also on the card, Oscar Valdez stopped Evgeny Gradovich in four rounds of a featherweight bout. The TKO came at the 2:14 mark. Gradovich was down once in round four. Valdez upped his record to 19-0-0 (17). Gradovich fell to 21-2-1 (9).
Valdez jumped into the SecondsOut rankings at number eight. Gradovich fell out of the top ten. Josh Warrington replaced him in the ten spot.
At Auditoria Benito Juarez, Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico, Juan Hernandez stopped Luis Carillo in the first round of a super flyweight bout. The end came at the 2:02 mark. Carillo hit the canvas once. Hernandez raised his record to 31-2-0 (22). Carillo crashed to 17-7-1 (15).
Hernandez remained SecondsOut’s number ten rated super flyweight in the world.
Also On the Move, Yu Kimura announced his retirement from the sport and has been removed from the SecondsOut rankings. The previously ranked six through ten boxers each moved up one ranking. Randy Petalcorin climbed into the SecondsOut light flyweight rankings to claim the ten spot.
Also On the Move, Zolani Tete has made a full-time move to the bantamweight division. The previously rated number three super flyweight now sits in the ten spot at 118 pounds. Rau’Shee Warren stepped out of the top ten for the time being.
SecondsOut ranked fighters in action through Sunday, April 17, 2016:
Friday 15 April 2016
The Melbourne Pavilion, Flemington, Victoria, Australia
12 Flyweight Randy Petalcorin 23 1 1 S Omari Kimweri 15 3 0
Saturday 16 April 2016
Strike Coliseum, Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines
12 Super Flyweight McJoe Arroyo 17 0 0 S Jerwin Ancajas 24 1 1
IBF World super flyweight title
Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico
10 Lightweight Felix Verdejo 20 0 0 S Jose Luis Rodriguez 18 8 0
First Direct Arena, Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
12 Featherweight Josh Warrington 22 0 0 S Hisashi Amagasa 30 5 2; 12 Bantamweight Stuart Hall 19 4 2 S Rodrigo Guerrero 24 5 1
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Cruiserweight Krzysztof Glowacki 25 0 0 S Steve Cunningham 28 7 1 12 WBO World cruiserweight title; 12 Welterweight Errol Spence Jr 19 0 0 S Chris Algieri 21 2 0; 10 Light Heavyweight Marcus Browne 17 0 0 S Radivoje Kalajdzic 21 0 0
Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA
12 Super Featherweight Jose Pedraza 21 0 0 S Stephen Smith 23 1 0
IBF World super featherweight title;
12 Featherweight Gary Russell Jr 26 1 0 S Patrick Hyland 31 1 0
WBC World featherweight title
For a more in depth look at Derek Bonnett’s SecondsOut world rankings:
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April 11, 2016