A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Laval, Quebec
Billy Joe Saunders W12 David Lemieux -- Full Recap
Retains a middleweight title
Scores: 120-108, 118-110, 117-111
Records: Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs); Lemieux (38-4, 33 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Fights get no more one-sided than this. Saunders, a 28-year-old southpaw from England, toyed with former titleholder Lemieux, 28, who was embarrassed in front of a hometown crowd -- even if two judges (Phil Edwards and Gerardo Martinez) ridiculously gave him two and three rounds, respectively. In reality, Saunders, making his third defense (a mandatory), easily outboxed Lemieux and deserved a shutout victory in a flawless performance that backed up his prefight trash talk. He made Lemieux, whose massive power was rendered irrelevant, look foolish at times and also smacked him around, bloodying his nose and putting himself in position for a rare four-belt unification fight in 2018 with the winner of the likely May 5 rematch between three-belt champion Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.
Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan TKO7 Antoine Douglas -- Full Recap
Records: O'Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs); Douglas (22-2-1, 16 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: O'Sullivan, 33, of Ireland, broke down Douglas, 25, of Burke, Virginia, in a physical fight. O'Sullivan may have lost a couple of the early rounds, but they were close and he was tagging Douglas with right hands. Douglas, with no semblance of defense, took numerous shots that eventually took their toll, culminating with O'Sullivan bashing him with unanswered punches along the ropes in the seventh round until referee Steve St. Germain stopped the fight at 1 minute, 7 seconds. Douglas, whose two losses were both by harsh knockout, was sent the hospital after the fight as a precaution. O'Sullivan, who won his fifth fight in a row, put himself in position possibly to be Daniel Jacobs' opponent for his expected April return.
Yves Ulysse Jr. W10 Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin -- Full Recap
Scores: 99-88 (three times)
Records: Ulysse Jr. (15-1, 9 KOs); Seldin (21-1, 17 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: That all three judges gave Seldin even one round is embarrassing. Ulysse Jr., 29, of Montreal, dominated every moment of the fight in a horrendous style matchup from the moment the fight was conceived for Seldin, a straight brawler with few skills. Five weeks after Seldin, 31, of Shirley, New York, scored a KO win in his HBO debut against Roberto Ortiz, Ulysse brought him back to earth in a laughably one-sided fight. Ulysse made Seldin look like a novice with no clue, knocking him down in the first, second and third rounds and nearly stopping him in the 10th round of a fine performance.
Saturday at Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Tony Yoka TKO2 Ali Baghouz
Records: Yoka (3-0, 3 KOs); Baghouz (10-2-1, 6 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Yoka, 25, of France, won the 2016 Olympic super heavyweight gold medal and is a major star in his home country. He turned pro in June and has looked good so far. After going the six-round distance in his second fight in October, Yoka blew out Baghouz, 29, of Belgium, who lost his second fight in a row by knockout inside two rounds. Yoka dropped him four times: twice in the first round on a right hand to the head and then with a series of right hands, and twice more in the second round, both times with right hands. After the fourth knockdown, Baghouz beat the count but referee Jean-Louis Legland waved off the fight at 1 minute, 4 seconds.
Friday at Lancaster, Calif.
Jessie Vargas W10 Aaron Herrera -- Full Recap
Scores: 100-89 (three times)
Records: Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs); Herrera (33-8-1, 22 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Vargas, 28, of Las Vegas, shook off the rust of a 13-month layoff since losing his world title to Manny Pacquiao with a shutout of Herrera, 28, of Mexico, who had no answer for Vargas' stiff jab. Vargas toyed with him and dropped him with a right-left combination in the sixth round of the Premier Boxing Champions card. Vargas, in his first fight since signing with adviser Al Haymon and hiring trainer Mike McCallum, hopes to be back in March, when he could get a shot at unified world titleholder Keith Thurman.
John Molina Jr. KO4 Ivan Redkach -- Full Recap
Records: Molina Jr. (30-7, 24 KOs); Redkach (20-4-1, 16 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Fight of the year alert! Molina Jr., 34, a former two-time world title challenger from of Covina, California, and Ukrainian southpaw Redkach, 31, of Los Angeles, threw down in a spectacular slugfest. It figured to be a brawl when the fight was made and more than lived up to the expectations. Molina, in the ring for the first time in a year since a knockout loss to then-junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford, got dropped by a left hand in the second round, but stormed back in the all-action third round in which he dropped Redkach with a right. In the fourth round, he ended the shootout when he floored Redkach during a flurry, prompting referee Eddie Hernandez to stop it at 1 minute, 27 seconds.
Jamal James KO3 Diego Chaves
Records: James (22-1, 10 KOs); Chaves (26-3-1, 22 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: James, 29, of Minneapolis, scored a very solid and impressive win over the very experienced Chaves, 31, of Argentina, whose only previous losses were to Keith Thurman and Brandon Rios. James took former interim welterweight titlist Chaves out in the second round with a left hook to the body that dropped him in agony, and referee Tom Taylor counted him out at 2 minute, 12 seconds. In another entertaining undercard bout, Nigerian junior middleweight Wale Omotoso (27-3, 21 KOs), 32, who fights out of Oxnard, California, outpointed former welterweight title challenger Freddy Hernandez (34-9, 22 KOs), 38, of Mexico, winning by scores of 100-90, 97-93 and 96-94.
Friday at Ekaterinburg, Russia
Alexander Povetkin W12 Christian Hammer
Heavyweight - Title eliminator
Scores: 120-107, 120-108, 119-109
Records: Povetkin (33-1, 23 KOs); Hammer (22-5, 12 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Former secondary titlist Povetkin, 38, of Russia, who had two fights in 2016 canceled because he failed random drug tests, is still allowed to fight. Worse, the WBA proclaimed that with this victory Povetkin is the mandatory challenger for England's unified titleholder Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs). Povetkin handled Hammer, 30, of Germany, with ease in the virtual shutout. Referee Dave Parris docked one point from Hammer for holding in the seventh round.
Thursday at New York
Dejan Zlaticanin KO1 Hevinson Herrera
Records: Zlaticanin (23-1, 16 KOs); Herrera (22-14-1, 16 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In January, Zlaticanin, a 33-year-old southpaw and the first world titleholder from Montenegro, made his first lightweight title defense against Mikey Garcia and got badly knocked out in the third round. Making his return to the ring, Zlaticanin got a soft touch in Herrera, 33, of Colombia. Zlaticanin, trained by Buddy McGirt, trapped Herrera in a corner and blasted him with a combination that knocked him down. Herrera was in pain, and referee Shada Murdaugh waved off the fight at 1 minute, 57 seconds.