A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at London, England
Chris Eubank Jr. TKO10 Renold Quinlan
Records: Eubank Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs); Quinlan (11-2, 7 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Eubank, 27, of England, whose career is run by his father/manager Chris Eubank Sr., the polarizing former two-division world titleholder, was in line to make career money to challenge unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin last September in a fight Eubank Jr. vocally called for. But Eubank Sr., with his outlandish demands and wild expectations, blew the deal and his son instead wound up with this low-profile and relatively meaningless mismatch against Quinlan, that wound up as a laughable pay-per-view main event in the United Kingdom.
Nonetheless, Eubank, who had an advantage in basically every category one could conceive of, did what he was supposed to do. He took it to the game Quinlan, 27, of Australia, who was coming off an upset second-round knockout of former unified middleweight titleholder and countryman Daniel Geale in October, throughout the bout, especially over the final four rounds. While hammering Quinlan along the ropes in the seventh round, referee Howard John Foster finally pulled the plug at 2 minutes, 7 seconds.
Christian Hammer TKO7 David Price
Records: Hammer (21-4, 12 KOs); Price (21-4, 18 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: After yet another knockout loss to an opponent he was supposed to beat, Price, 33, of England, is all but finished as Hammer put the probable final nail in his coffin. Price, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist with some much promise, simply cannot deal with hard punches. He has now been knocked out in all four of his losses since 2013 and looked bad each time. Price, looking a bit fleshy at 275 pounds (second heaviest of his career) dropped Hammer, 29, a native of Romania fighting out of Germany, late in the fifth round but that was his last gasp. Hammer came back over the next two rounds to ultimately lay a beating on Price, who was getting whacked around the ring as Hammer used him for target practice in the seventh round when referee Phil Edwards stepped in to wave off the fight at 1 minute, 22 seconds. While Price's prospects of another meaningful fight are history, Hammer won his fourth bout in a row since an eighth-round knockout loss to Tyson Fury in February 2015, Fury's final fight prior to dethroning Wladimir Klitschko to win the heavyweight world championship.
Also on the card, featherweight Kid Galahad (22-0, 13 KOs), 26, of England, stopped late replacement Leonel Hernandez at the end of the third round of their scheduled eight-round fight because Hernandez (10-19-2, 1 KO), 34, of Nicaragua, was unable to continue due to an eye injury. Galahad, the former European junior featherweight champion, won his fourth fight in a row since returning in April 2016 following a 19-month forced layoff because of a suspension for a positive drug test. Hernandez dropped to 1-11 in his last 12 bouts.
Saturday at Kempton Park, South Africa
Hekkie Budler TKO7 Joey Canoy
Records: Budler (31-2, 10 KOs); Canoy (12-3-1, 6 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Known as "The Hexecutioner," Budler, the 28-year-old former strawweight world titleholder from South Africa, won his second bout in a row since losing his title to Byron Rojas by unanimous decision 11 months ago and then moving up in weight. Budler dominated Canoy, a 23-year-old southpaw from the Philippines, and then laid a terrible beating on him in the seventh round. He dropped Canoy and then continued to pummel him, nailing him with everything. It was impressive that Canoy made it out of the round but he was done and retired on his stool before the eighth round.
Friday at San Juan, Puerto Rico
Felix Verdejo W10 Oliver Flores
Scores: 99-91, 98-92, 96-94
Records: Verdejo (23-0, 15 KOs); Flores (27-3-2, 17 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Six months after Verdejo, 23, of Puerto Rico, crashed his dirt bike and spent five days in the hospital with an assortment of cuts, bruises and scrapes -- injuries that sidelined him for the remainder of 2016 and cost him a fall mandatory shot at world titleholder Terry Flanagan -- Verdejo made his comeback as the headliner on Top Rank's "Solo Boxeo" card as a crowd of 7,143 celebrated his return. While Verdejo, a 2012 Puerto Rican Olympian and the 2014 ESPN.com prospect of the year, cruised to a unanimous decision over Flores, 25, of Nicaragua, he did not look all that sharp. It continued a trend of Verdejo victories that were clear but hardly impressive.
Granted, Flores, fighting for the first time since third-round knockout loss in December 2015 challenging then-junior lightweight world titleholder Takashi Uchiyama in Tokyo, was a bit defensive minded, but Verdejo didn't seem to have a lot of snap on his punches and fought a bit tentatively. This was a lackluster showing. He was not the dynamic fighter we used to see regularly. Verdejo, who heard some booing from his crown, was in control for most of the fight but Flores did come on strong over the final few rounds when perhaps Verdejo tired a little bit.
Verdejo remains in the mandatory position and will be in line to face the winner of the April 8 fight between Flanagan (32-0, 13 KOs) and Petr Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KOs). Should England's Flanagan prevail, Top Rank said it would like to work out a deal with Flanagan promoter Frank Warren to put on the fight on June 10 at Madison Square Garden, the eve of the annual Puerto Rican Day parade in New York.
Christopher Diaz TKO7 Efrain Esquivias
Records: Diaz (20-0, 12 KOs); Esquivias (17-6-1, 10 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Diaz, a 22-year-old Puerto Rican prospect, beat up on the shopworn Esquivias, 33, of Carson, California, as he continued to look good on his ascent. Diaz knocked Esquivias down with a crisp right hand to the head midway through the third round and again with a left hand to the side of the head 25 seconds into the fourth round. He continued to batter him until referee Ramon Pena finally intervened at 2 minutes, 18 seconds of the seventh round with Esquivias backing up into a corner and getting blasted. Esquivias, who sent former junior featherweight world champion Rafael Marquez into retirement with a ninth-round knockout win in a 2013, has lost four fights in a row. That fight was the last time Esquivias won.
Thursday at Tunica, Miss.
Luis Collazo KO6 Sammy Vasquez Jr.
Records: Collazo (37-7, 20 KOs); Vasquez Jr. (21-2, 15 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Former world titleholder Collazo, 35, of Brooklyn, New York, who had been out of action since July 2015, came into the bout having lost two of his last three fights to Keith Thurman, by seventh-round knockout in a world title bout, and Amir Khan, by lopsided decision, and was supposed to be a steppingstone opponent for Vasquez. Vasquez was trying to rebound from a decision loss in July to Felix Diaz, who had stepped in to replace Collazo, who had suffered a torn calf. But Collazo, a southpaw, showed he still has something left in the tank -- and that Vasquez was perhaps not all he was cracked up to be by some -- as he scored a nasty knockout of the year kind of KO in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card.
It was a crowd-pleasing fight that really picked up in the third round, during which Collazo dropped Vasquez, 30, with a right hand. Vasquez had his moments, stunning Collazo with a left hand in the fourth round. There was good back and forth during the bout but Collazo ended it out of nowhere when he crushed Vasquez with a clean right hand to the chin in the sixth round. Vasquez, who never saw the shot coming, went down hard flat on his back and referee Bill Clancy waved it off at 1 minute, 27 seconds without bothering to finish the count. While this was a big win for Collazo, who will surely get another meaningful fight, it was an equally devastating loss for Vasquez.
Also on the card, Miami, Florida, welterweight Yordenis Ugas (18-3, 8 KOs), a 30-year-old who claimed a 2008 Olympic bronze medal for Cuba, was penalized one a point for a low blow in the eighth round but won a split decision against Levan Ghvamichava (17-3-1, 13 KOs), 31, a native of the Republic of Georgia. Two judges had it for Ugas, 99-90 and 97-94 and one had it for Ghvamichava, 95-4. In another undercard bout, junior welterweight Eddie Ramirez (16-0, 11 KOs), 24, a former Chicago Golden Gloves champion, stopped Ryan Karl (13-1, 9 KOs), 25, of Houston, at the end of the ninth round of a hard-fought scrap. Karl's corner called it off to save him from more punishment.