By Derek Bonnett: The second week of March produced excellent results for the world of paid fisticuffs. Boxing fans were treated to a sure contender of 2012’s Fight of the Year and Round of the Year. A pair of recently crowned champions posted title defenses. A trio of high ranking contenders continue to knock of the door of their first world title shots. Some fighters are on their way up while others are on their way down. All of this and more as boxing’s best remain on the move.
On Wednesday, March 7, at Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, Daniel Geale posted a unanimous decision win over Osamanu Adama in a twelve round IBF middleweight title bout. Geale kept the title for the second time since winning it ten months ago. The three judges scored in his favor by margins of 118-110, 117-111, and 115-113. His record improved to 27-1 (15). Adama dropped to 20-3 (15).
Geale remained SecondsOut’s number two middleweight behind Sergio Martinez.
Billy Dib forced Eduardo Escobedo to retire in his corner before the sixth round of an IBF featherweight title bout. Dib was penalized one point in the third, but it proved inconsequential. Dib has shown growth as a champion and marked his second title defense with the win. His dossier now stands at 34-1 (21). Escobedo fell to 32-4 (23).
Along with the win and some other divisional shifts, Dib jumped from tenth to seventh among SecondsOut’s top 126 pounders.
On Saturday, March 10, at Elorde Sports Center, Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines, Sylvester Lopez scored a fourth round TKO Yuki Fukumoto in a super flyweight bout. Lopez ran his win-streak to five in a row. His ledger was enhanced to 19-3-1 (15). Fukumoto dropped to 12-6 (3).
Lopez remained seventh at SecondsOut among the super flyweights.
At Jaro Plaza, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines, Denver Cuello TKO’d Kid Suryana in four rounds of a light flyweight bout. The end came at 1:48 of the round. Cuello improved his ring credentials to 30-4-6 (20). Suryana dropped to 8-2 (4).
Cuello held onto his number two seat among the world’s elite strawweights at SecondsOut.
At Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico: Orlando Salido repeated his victory over Juan Manuel Lopez in a WBO featherweight title bout. Salido rose from the canvas in the fifth to drop Lopez in the tenth round. A badly wobbled Lopez was saved on his feet. The two produced a fight of the year candidate and round number nine will be a tough round to beat this year. Salido defended his title for the second time and improved his record to 38-11-2 (26). Lopez fell to 31-2 (28).
Yuriorkis Gamboa was removed from the featherweight rankings to compete as a lightweight where he is already ranked by the sanctioning bodies. Salido claimed the top spot with the win. Lopez remains at fourth due to Gamboa’s vacancy. Jonathon Victor Barros climbed back into the rankings at number ten.
Also on the card, Miguel Angel Garcia TKO’d Bernabe Concepcion in seven rounds of a featherweight bout. Garcia dropped Concepcion in the seventh and the time of the stoppage came at the 2:33 mark. Garcia raised his ring stats to 28-0 (24). Concepcion fell to 29-6-1 (15).
Garcia jumped from sixth to third in the SecondsOut featherweight rankings.
At Braehead Arena, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, Ricky Burns posted a comprehensive decision win over Paulus Moses in a twelve round interim WBO lightweight title bout. Burns defended the title for the first time. He improved his record to 34-2 (9). Moses dropped to 28-2 (19).
Burns held onto his number three ranking among SecondsOut’s lightweight elite.
Also on the move: Serhiy Dzinziruk was dropped from the 154 pound rankings due to inactivity. Austin Trout replaces him and climbs back aboard at number ten. Marco Huck has opted to return the cruiserweight division where he reclaims the number one spot. Lateef Kayode exits at cruiserweight. Tony Thompson steps in at number ten at heavyweight to fill Huck’s void. Robert Guerrero was removed from the lightweight rankings to compete at welterweight. The number two through ten contenders each climbed one ranking. Sharif Bogere entered the lightweight ranks at tenth.