No announcement yet.

Results from Paris and Liverpool: Yoka Loses Again; Pacheco KOs Cullen

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Results from Paris and Liverpool: Yoka Loses Again; Pacheco KOs Cullen

    Tony Yoka nipped Filip Hrgovic and then Joe Joyce to win the gold medal in the super heavyweight class at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Hrgovic and Joyce would both be substantially favored over Yoka if they were to meet up again.

    Today in his native Paris, Yoka suffered his second straight defeat, reducing his record to 11-2. The first defeat was inflicted by Martin Bakole last May. One of the judges had it a draw, but that was a travesty. Yoka absorbed a lot of punishment over the course of the 10 rounds.

    Tonight’s fight was somewhat similar. The outcome was split, but the judge who awarded the bout to Yoka needs to have his eyes examined. The other two gave Takam six of the 10 rounds and even that seemed generous to Tony Yoka. The 30-year-old Parisian, who carried a career-high 251 pounds on his six-foot-seven frame, came out looking tentative, fought the entire fight off his back foot and had no steam on his punches.

    Carlos Takam, a 2004 Olympian for his native Cameroon and a former world title challenger, advanced his record to 40-7-1 (28). He had been stopped four times, but was yet considered durable. In his previous bout, he extended Arslanbek Makhmudov the 10-round distance. Makhmudov had stopped all 14 of his previous opponents.

    At age 42, Takam didn’t re-intrude himself into the heavyweight picture, but he showed that he was a gatekeeper of the highest order and he likely set himself up for another good payday.


    In a scheduled 12-rounder for the European Boxing Union European light heavyweight title, Dan Azeez, a late-blooming Brit, threw the kitchen sink at the Frenchman Thomas Faure, but the stubborn Faure lasted into the final round before he was a goner. Faure was out on his feet, compliments of a chopping right hand, when the referee rescued him.

    Azeez, who is trained by Buddy McGirt, improved to 19-0 with his 13th win inside the distance. Faure, who is spindly-legged for the weight class, reflective in the fact that he has scored only two knockouts, had several good moments, notably in round six after getting hurt, declined to 23-5-1. These two were slated to fight on Feb. 11 in London, but Azeez came down with the flu, pushing the fight back a month and sending it across the English Channel.

    Echo Arena, Liverpool

    Today’s Matchroom Promotions card in Liverpool overcame a lot of adversity. The headliner, Callum Smith, suffered an undisclosed injury and had to pull out of his fight with undefeated Pawel Stepien. The junior welterweight co-feature had to be recalibrated when Liam Paro, ranked Boxeo behind Teofimo Lopez and Arnold Barboza by the WBO, was also injured. Paro reportedly suffered a fractured nose while sparring with Devin Haney in Las Vegas. But promoter Eddie Hearn stayed the course and the show went on.

    Smith’s injury bumped Diego Pacheco vs. Jack Cullen into the main event. Pacheco, a 22-year-old, six-foot-four super middleweight from Los Angeles who is the primary sparring partner of David Benavidez, made a strong showing in his first overseas fight, improving to 18-0 (15 KOs) with a fourth-round stoppage.

    Cullen hails from the town of Little Lever in County Lancashire, hence his odd nickname, “Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver.” He entered the contest with a 21-3-1 record, but was out of his league against Pacheco who assumed control in round two. A hard shot to the liver put Cullen down in round four. He made it to his feet but was greeted by a big right hand and the referee waived it off.


    In a major surprise, Darragh Foley, a 34-year-old British-born Australian subbing for Australian countryman Liam Parro, scored a third-round stoppage of local fan favorite Robbie Davies Jr. It was a double-whammy for Davies, a consensus 9/2 favorite, who left the ring with a fractured ankle.

    Davies injured the ankle in round two when he fell awkwardly after being tagged with a right hook. He soldiered on, but after being dropped again in the next frame, the injury was so bad that he could barely stand upright and his trainer Shane McGuigan was forced to throw in the towel.

    Davies was 23-3 heading in. Foley improved to 22-4-1 with his tenth win inside the distance.

    Other Bouts of Note

    Johnny Fisher, a six-foot-four, 240-pound Londoner, improved to 8-0 (7 KOs) with a fourth-round stoppage of 37-year-old Italian campaigner Alfonso Damiani (6-3). The match, one-sided from the opening bell, was halted at the 2:05 mark of round four.

    Nicknamed the Rumford Bull, Fisher, 24, is a promoter’s dream. He’s rough around the edges, but don’t tell that to his avid following.

    New Matchroom signee Peter McGrail, a 26-year-old Liverpool featherweight with a strong amateur background, pitched a shutout over Argentine invader Nicolas Botelli, winning all 10 rounds on all three cards. A southpaw, McGrail improved to 7-0 (5). Botelli falls to 14-8.