Tuesday, December 05, 2023  |


Femke Hermans beats Mary Spencer by majority decision to win IBF junior middleweight title

Photo by Vincent Ethier/Eye of The Tiger
Fighters Network

Femke Hermans turned in a repeat performance over Mary Spencer, earning a 10-round majority decision capture the vacant IBF junior middleweight title on Wednesday at the Montreal Casino in Montreal, Canada.

However, unlike the first fight ten months ago when Hermans widely dominated and at times made Spencer look cumbersome, this time things were much more nip and tuck. Spencer was more controlled and did well early seemingly winning the big moments to take some of the early rounds. However, as the rounds passed the momentum moved in the visitors direction and her footwork, movement and counter-punching saw her pick up the rounds.

At the end Hermans edged matters by the scores of 97-93 and 96-94, with the third having it even at 95-95.

The 33-year-old Belgium-born fighter moves to 17-4 (7 knockouts) and is now a two-division champion. While Spencer loses for the second time and dips to (7-2, 5 KOs).

In chief support, Erik Bazinyan found two right hands when he needed them to stop Ronald Ellis in the sixth round of their NABF super middleweight title fight. 

Both men started fast and exchanged power jabs in the opening round. Bazinyan (31-0, 22 KOs), The Ring’s No. 6 ranked 168-pounder, was intent on making some noise after a couple of tepid performances. The action continued in the second and got lively in the third round, in which Ellis (18-4-2, 12 KOs) may have shaded until he had to eat a big left hook late on.

Each man has their moments in the fourth but a pair of big right hands that stunned the American may have tipped things in his favor. The action was close but suddenly came to an end when again Bazinyan landed two big right hands, this time Ellis dropped to the floor, he took his time and got to his feet but referee Alain Villaneuve had seen enough and called a halt despite a protest from Ellist at 1:54 of the round.

Photo by Vincent Ethier/Eye of The Tiger

It was a much needed stoppage win for Bazinyan, after three consecutive decision wins, and shows why he is ranked in the top five by all four sanctioning bodies and No. 6 by The Ring. 

The ever-improving welterweight Christopher Guerrero (9-0, 5 KOs) dropped the vastly experience Jose Lopez (30-9-2, 16 KOs) in the early stages of the second and appeared to score a second knockdown but referee Yvon Goulet ruled it a slip. 

Guerrero was too fast and athletic for Lopez, hurt him on several occasions but the Mexican proved to be stubborn. However, Guerrero scored a fifth consecutive knockout after going the distance in his opening four fights, when Lopez walked in dipped and Guerrero threw a short but devastating right uppercut that dropped Lopez heavily. He made it to his feet but his corner had seen enough and indicated the official to call of the action at 2:02 of the fourth round. A career best performance by the 22-year-old, who arguably had the performance of the night.

In junior lightweight action, Leila Beaudoin returned to winning ways with an eight-round unanimous decision over former three-time world title challenger Estrella Valverde. 

Beaudoin, who was eleven years younger, than her Mexican rival and used her size to keep Valverde, a natural bantamweight/ junior featherweight honest and from getting inside. The 8-rounds against such an experienced opponent will have been of great benefit to Beaudoin. All thee of the scorecards were in favor of Beaudoin 80-72. Beaudoin moves to (10-1, 1 KO),while Valverde dips to (19-12-2, 4 KOs).

Rising lightweight Jhon Orobio was far too good for Jesus Solis dropping him twice on his way to a comprehensive fourth-round stoppage. 

Orobio (5-0, 5 KOs) dropped his Mexican opponent in the opening seconds and it looked like it may be an early night but Solis (4-2, 0 KOs) dug in but was rocked in the second and had to hold on. The beginning of the end came when Orobio again hurt Solis with a right hand and jumped on his relenting opponent, a right cross forced Solis to take a knee and although he got to his feet referee Yvon Goulet waved the action over at 0:48 of Round 4.

Young super middleweight Wilkens Mathieu (4-0, 3 KOs) impressively stopped Cesar Lopez (2-1, 1 KO) in the third-round. 

Mathieu was too quick and kept Lopez on the end of his snappy punches. The teenager dropped the previously unbeaten Lopez twice in the second round and then quickly ended matters at 0:14 of the third round.

Former amateur standout Imam Khataev (4-0, 4 KOs) stopped David Benitez (9-9, 2 KOs) in the third round stoppage win. 

Khataev was too strong from the beginning and stalked his Argentine opponent throughout. When the 2020 Olympic and 2023 World Championship bronze medalist upped the pressure in the third his work was rewarded with a pair of knockdowns which prompted Benitez corner to throw in the towel.

Aggressive  light heavyweight Mehmet Unal (6-0, 5 KOs) forced Luca Spadaccini (9-6-3, 4 KOs) to retire at the end of the first round with an undisclosed injury. 


Erik Bazinyan looks to leave his personal tragedy behind as he takes on Ronald Ellis – The Ring (ringtv.com)

New Faces: Christopher Guerrero – The Ring (ringtv.com)

Femke Hermans, Mary Spencer make weight for IBF junior middleweight title match – The Ring (ringtv.com)

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