A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Verona, N.Y.
David Lemieux KO3 Curtis Stevens -- Full recap
Records: Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs); Stevens (29-6, 21 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Knockout-of-the-year alert!!!! When there's a fight between good punchers with fan-friendly styles, as this HBO main event was, sometimes it becomes a slugfest that ends violently and other times the combatants are so concerned about the other guy's power that neither goes for it and it's boring. This one turned into the former, a true shootout with an explosive ending that put former titleholder Lemieux, 28, of Montreal, squarely back in the hunt for a much bigger fight as he won his third in a row since losing by one-sided stoppage to Gennady Golovkin a 2015 unification fight. Lemieux and Stevens, 32, of Brooklyn, New York, a 2013 Golovkin KO victim in a title fight, went right at it as Lemieux did damage in the opening round. Stevens came back strong in the second round and Lemieux, with a right hand followed by the crushing left hook on the chin, lived up to his pre-fight promise as he knocked Stevens unconscious at 1 minute, 59 seconds of third round. It was as brutal a KO as you will see.
Yuriorkis Gamboa W10 Rene Alvarado -- Full recap
Scores: 97-93, 97-92 (twice)
Records: Gamboa (26-1, 17 KOs); Alvarado (24-8, 16 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In a horrendous mismatch (on paper and in reality), Gamboa, 35, a former unified featherweight titleholder, won a boring fight that had virtually no action as the crowd rightfully booed throughout. The fight was as sleep-inducing as it gets. Gamboa, a 2004 Cuban Olympic gold medalist, who defected and fights out of Miami, Florida, was coming off yet another self-inflicted long layoff with the fight being his first since December 2015. He did himself no favors as far as getting another big fight because he did almost nothing but throw one punch at a time and Alvarado, 27, of Nicaragua, did even less as he dropped to 4-6 in his last 10 fights. Alvarado had one solid moment, scoring a flash knockdown in the 10th round, but it was far too little, too late.
Also on the card, Mexican junior featherweight prospect Diego De La Hoya (16-0, 9 KOs), 22, the first cousin of Hall of Famer and Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya, won a shutout decision against Roberto Pucheta (10-10-1, 6 KOs), 26, of Mexico, who dropped to 1-5 in his last six bouts. All three judges scored the fight 80-71 for De La Hoya, who scored a flash knockdown in the second round. Also, Quebec junior welterweight Yves Ulysse Jr. (13-0, 9 KOs), 28, dished out a beating to Zachary Ochoa (16-1, 7 KOs), 24, of Brooklyn, New York, forcing Ochoa's corner to throw in the towel after the seventh round in a mild upset.
Saturday at Ludwigshafen, Germany
Demetrius Andrade W12 Jack Culcay -- Full recap
Wins a junior middleweight title
Scores: 116-112 (twice) Andrade, 115-114 Culcay
Records: Andrade (24-0, 16 KOs); Culcay (22-2, 11 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Andrade, a 29-year-old southpaw from Providence, Rhode Island and 2008 U.S. Olympian, was stripped of his 154-pound world title in 2015 for inactivity but picked up his second belt, albeit of the secondary variety, as he traveled to the adopted home turf of 31-year-old Ecuador native Culcay, who lost the belt in his first defense. Andrade, who defeated Culcay in the 2007 world amateur championships on his way to a gold medal, made it tougher than he had to on himself but did more than enough to win coming off a nine-month layoff. He was faster and the superior boxer and puncher against the much shorter Culcay, who did not deserve the 115-114 score rendered by Italian judge Giuseppe Quartarone. Andrade, who outlanded Culcay 246-131, according to CompuBox, worked off his jab, controlled the distance and took a few hard blows in the well-deserved win. Andrade's win sets him up as the mandatory challenger for titlist Erislandy Lara, which would match the two best in the division now that Canelo Alvarez and Jermall Charlo are moving up in weight.
Saturday at Mexico City
Juan Francisco Estrada KO5 Anuar Salas
Records: Estrada (35-2, 25 KOs); Salas (20-4-12, KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In his second fight since moving up to junior bantamweight, former unified flyweight titleholder Estrada, 26, of Mexico, tore through Salas, of Colombia, with ease. Estrada may have lost the opening round as he looked to see what Salas, who had won six fights in a row, had to offer, which was not much. From there it was all Estrada until the punishing end. In the fifth round, Estrada scored two knockdowns, first on a digging left hook to the body that Salas barely survived. Moments later, Estrada landed two brutal body shots, a right and a left, that literally spun Salas around and sent him to all fours as referee Gelasio Perez Huerta counted him out at 2 minutes, 1 second. It's only a matter of time until Estrada gets a shot at 115-pound title.
Luis Nery TKO4 Jesus Martinez
Bantamweight - Title eliminator
Records: Nery (23-0, 17 KOs); Martinez (23-2, 11 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In an official elimination fight to earn a mandatory shot at long-reigning world titleholder Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-0-2, 19 KOs), 34, of Japan, Nery, a 22-year-old southpaw from Mexico, was on point against Colombia's Martinez as he looked good yet again. Nery landed many combinations, raised swelling around Martinez's right eye and laid a beating on him in the third and fourth rounds. After the fourth round, Martinez's corner made a good call and threw in the towel. When he gets his shot at Yamanaka it should not come as a surprise if there's a new 118-pound titleholder crowned.
Friday at Detroit
Claressa Shields TKO4 Szilvia Szabados -- Full recap
Records: Shields (2-0, 1 KOs); Szabados (15-9, 6 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Two-time Olympic gold medalist Shields, 21, of Flint, Michigan, the class of women's amateur boxing for several years, made boxing history again as she became the first woman to headline a premium cable card, doing so as the main attraction on Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation" in front of family and friends who made the short trip. They saw her roll past the experienced Szabados, 26, a former title challenger from Hungary. Although Shields scored no knockdowns she took it to the outclassed Szabados from the opening bell and, finally, when Shields rocked her with a clean right-left combination in the fourth round of their six-round bout, referee Harvey Dock rightfully stepped in at 1 minute, 30 seconds
Nikolay Potapov W10 Antonio Nieves
Scores: 96-94 (twice) Potapov, 96-94 Nieves
Records: Potapov (17-0-1, 8 KOs); Nieves (17-1-2, 9 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In a well-matched fight between up-and-comers, Potapov, 27, of Russia, edged Nieves, 29, of Cleveland, in a very close tactical fight. Nieves was busier and worked the body pretty well, although Potapov landed a bit more and that's the name of the game. Nieves suffered a cut over his right eye in the sixth round but it was not a factor in a fight, which could have easily been ruled a draw.
Wesley Tucker W8 Ed Williams
Scores: 79-71, 78-72, 77-73
Records: Tucker (14-0, 8 KOs); Williams (12-2-1, 4 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Awful. There is usually more action on "Wheel of Fortune" than this, as Tucker, 29, of Toledo, Ohio, and Williams, 27, of Detroit, both looked terrible as they basically stared at each other, hugged and never threw a telling punch the entire so-called fight. There were a lot of fouls also, leading referee Frank Garza, who managed to stay awake for the whole fight -- perhaps because the booing was so loud, to deduct two points from Williams, in the third and fourth rounds, for hitting behind the head.
Joshua Greer Jr. KO6 James Gordon-Smith
Records: Greer Jr. (12-1-1, 5 KOs); Gordon-Smith (11-1, 6 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Greer, 22, of Chicago, authored a knockout-of-the-year contender and added a little flair afterward as he put Smith, 26, of Detroit, to sleep. They fought an entertaining scrap with Greer knocking Gordon-Smith down with a well-timed right uppercut in the opening seconds of the back-and-forth fifth round. But in the sixth round, it was over in violent fashion as Greer knocked Gordon-Smith out cold with a huge right hand on the chin that sent him falling to the mat in cartoon-like fashion. He was out cold and referee Harvey Dock immediately waved it off at 2 minutes, 6 seconds, prompting Greer to grab the prop he brought with him: a pillow that said "Night, Night" on it, which he held aloft to rub in what he had just done to poor Gordon-Smith.
Friday at Tokyo
Tomoki Kameda W10 Mike Tawatchai
Scores: 100-90, 100-88, 99-90
Records: Kameda (33-2, 20 KOs); Tawatchai (42-10-1, 25 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Kameda, 25, of Japan, and his two boxing brothers, Koki and Daiki, became the first siblings to hold world titles at the same time. While they retired in 2015, former bantamweight titleholder Tomoki, who lost back-to-back decisions in world title fights to Jamie McDonnell in 2015, won his second fight in a row since moving up to junior featherweight after those close defeats. Kameda had been fighting out of Mexico and the United States in recent years but returned to Japan for his first fight there since 2013 and cruised past Tawatchai, 31, of Thailand. Kameda was sharp as he outclassed Tawatchai with his speed, technique, solid jab and cleaner punching. Kameda scored a knockdown in the sixth round with a combination.
Friday at Los Angeles
Romero Duno KO2 Christian "Chimpa" Gonzalez
Records: Duno (13-1, 12 KOs); Gonzalez (16-1, 14 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Golden Boy had high hopes for Gonzalez, 21, of Buena Park, California, who the company has been bringing up on its "LA Fight Club" series. But that excitement must now be tempered after this shocking upset by Duno, 21, of the Philippines, who scored two hard knockdowns in the big win. Duno nailed Gonzalez with a clean right hand on the chin with about 25 seconds left in the first round and he never recovered. In the second round, Gonzalez was on shaky legs when Duno cracked him with another right hand on the chin and he went down on his backside. Gonzalez beat the count but was glassy-eyed and had no balance as he fell to the mat again, forcing referee Tom Taylor to wave off the fight at 57 seconds.
Friday at Lemoore, Calif.
Andy Vences W10 Angel Hernandez
Scores: 99-91, 97-93, 96-94
Records: Vences (18-0, 10 KOs); Hernandez (13-8-1, 8 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In Top Rank's "Solo Boxeo" main event on UniMas, prospect Vences, 25, of Watsonville, California, continued his development with this hard-fought win over Hernandez, 25, of McAllen, Texas. Vences pressured Hernandez and landed crisp shots throughout the fight for the well-earned victory.
Also on the card, junior middleweight prospect Danny Valdivia (14-0, 10 KOs), 24, a Mexico native based in Tulare, California, scored two knockdowns and stopped Douglas Ataide (16-3-1, 8 KOs), 26, of Brazil, just 57 seconds into the first round.