Box Office picks this week bought action from Ireland and Las Vegas as we picked out 4 fights for you. 3 of our picks landed in America with 2 on the stacked undercard of Devin Haney vs Vasyl Lomachenko, as well as the main event itself. The other was the Undisputed vs Undisputed clash between Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron which lived up to its hype.
Devin Haney vs Vasyl Lomachenko- Haney wins via Unanimous decision
The eagerly awaited “chess match” proved to be just that in a very closely contested fight. Haney appeared to be having early success, dictating the rounds but Loma kept coming back with a flurry of punches towards the end of them.
As the fight went on the former 3 weight world champion grew in confidence and started to land more combinations. The majority of rounds throughout were tough to call, with it being hard to say who was ahead with neither of them clearly taking dominance over the other.
Towards the end of the fight it felt that Lomachenko may not be leaving it in the hands of the 3 American judges and appeared to hurt Devin Haney in the 11th round. This was probably the most conclusive round of the fight and it meant Haney had to do something in the 12th. He did just that and came back out and boxed impressively for the final 3 minutes.
Many fans were disgruntled as “And Still” was called out for the Undisputed Champion Haney but this was far from a robbery. One judge scored it 116-112 with the other 2 scoring it 115-113. The general consensus however was that if either fighter edged it, it was Lomachenko!
Loma’s manager Egis Klimas has come out and called the result “The biggest robbery in the daylight” and went on to say “Haney’s team got Christmas in the summer”.
Katie Taylor vs Chantelle Cameron- Cameron wins via majority decision
The crowd were in full voice as Katie Taylor walked 2nd to the tune of “I’m coming home” . The home fans were only just getting over the shock of home favourite Gary Cully’s stunning stoppage loss to Jose Felix Jr, but were roaring Katie.
If the occasion and the crowd were playing on Cameron’s mind, then it certainly didn’t show as she boxed on the front foot from the first bell. Cameron took the first round by storm and Taylor knew she was in a fight and had to respond. She did in the 2nd and started to land more clean shots but even when she did, Cameron kept coming forward landing shots of her own. This would become a reoccurring theme for the fight.
Every time Taylor landed you heard the Irish crowd erupt but it just didn’t ever feel it was enough to get her going and at times she struggled to gain any form of momentum. This was mainly due to the fact Cameron didn’t allow her to as she exacted her game plan brilliant and kept cutting off the ring to limit Taylor’s success.
The fourth and fifth rounds really felt the ones which were significant with Cameron repeatedly landing shots and Taylor struggling to come up with a response. As she always does though, Taylor proved she was a warrior and battled valiantly till the end but it was Cameron’s night and she proved to be too much for her.
As we went to the judges scorecards you feared but hoped that the wrong decision wouldn’t be read out. It seemed conclusive that Cameron had won but one judge scored it a draw! The other 2 judges had it close but had Cameron winning by a round and scored it 96-94 in her favour. Taylor immediately called for the rematch and Eddie indicated that we will see this fight land in the Autumn.
Junto Nakatani vs Andrew Moloney- Nakatani wins via 12th round KO
As we predicted on this weeks Box Office, Nakatani became a 2 weight World Champion and looked impressive in doing so. In what will surely be a contender for Knock-out of the year, Junto brutally stopped Moloney with less then 30 seconds of the fight remaining!
Nakatani dictated the fight from start to finish and also put Moloney on the floor in the 2nd and 11th rounds. In doing so, Junto claimed the vacant WBO Super Flyweight title. Nakatani won every round and the fight wasn’t ever really competitive but Australian Moloney showed heart to keep going.
Moloney was rendered unconscious and was taken to a hospital in Las Vegas for checks. Junto, however has now announced himself on the world stage by winning this with ease on an undercard that had many eyes on it. It will be interesting to see if the 25 year old Japanese champion will now target unifications at 115lbs against the likes of Juan Francisco Estrada, Joshua Franco and Fernando Martinez.
Raymond Muratalla vs Jeremia Nakathila- Muratalla wins via 2nd round KO
This fight was deemed a step up and the toughest fight so far for the 26 year old unbeaten American Muratalla. Nakathila is a dangerous fighter and has been pretty avoided, hence the reason he was coming off a 14 month spell without a fight!
Muratalla however made very light work of it and stopped Nakathla in just the 2nd round! Nakathila got caught with a right hand with 20 seconds of the 2nd round remaining. The punch rocked him and Muratalla took the opportunity to pounce with a flurry of punches causing referee Robert Hoyle to intervene and wave off the fight.
With now 18 wins from his 18 fights and 15 of these coming by way of knockout, Muratalla will have to now be considered a contender at 135lb. In one of, if not the most competitive divisions within the sport, there are plenty of good tough fights and opportunities for him next.
By Lee Browne