A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Fresno, Calif.
Jose Ramirez TKO2 Mike Reed -- Full recap
Records: Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs); Reed (23-1, 12 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: What else is there to say about Ramirez's performance except that it was spectacular? The 2012 U.S. Olympian thrilled a wild home region crowd of 13,838 -- a Save Mart Center record crowd for boxing -- as Ramirez, from Avenal, California, surprisingly smoked Reed, a 24-year-old southpaw from Waldorf, Maryland. They were both stepping up in competition and the ESPN Top Rank main event was expected to be highly competitive. But it wasn't as Ramirez, 25, applied pressure from the outset. He hurt Reed with left hooks to the body and right hands in the second round to drop him. As he continued to blitz Reed, referee Jack Reiss stepped in to save the defenseless Reed at 1 minute, 43 seconds. Now it's on to a vacant-world-title shot, likely Feb. 16, against Amir Imam (21-1, 18 KOs), who stopped Johnny Garcia (19-6-1, 11 KOs) in the fourth round on the undercard.
Artur Beterbiev TKO12 Enrico Koelling -- Full recap
Wins a vacant light heavyweight title
Records: Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KOs); Koelling (23-2, 6 KOs)
Beterbiev stops Koelling late in 12th round
Artur Beterbiev scores two knockdowns in the final round against Enrico Koelling to improve to 12-0.
Rafael's remarks: Beterbiev, 32, a two-time Russian Olympian, who fights out of Montreal, dominated the unwilling Koelling, 27, of Germany, in a terrible fight caused by Koelling's absolute unwillingness to engage. He came to survive and he did until the final round, because Beterbiev, who won every round, never stopped throwing punches, hard right hands, jabs and body shots trying to get him out of there. He finally broke through when he knocked Koelling, a 2012 Olympian, down due to an accumulation of punishment in the 12th round. When he dropped him again with a clean right hand, referee Lou Moret stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 33 seconds to keep Beterbiev's perfect KO streak intact and give him one of the world titles vacated by the retiring Andre Ward in September.
Saturday at Uniondale, N.Y.
Daniel Jacobs W12 Luis Arias -- Full recap
Scores: 120-107, 119-108, 118-109
Records: Jacobs (33-2, 29 KOs); Arias (18-1, 9 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In Jacobs' first fight of a new HBO contract and first fight since signing with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, the 30-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, fought for the first time since dropping a close decision to unified champion Gennady Golovkin in March. Arias, 27, of Milwaukee, trash talked the mild-mannered Jacobs throughout the promotion but did nothing to back up his words as Jacobs toyed with him. He tagged Arias with right hands, jabs and uppercuts to control the entire fight. He also played with him by turning southpaw at times. Jacobs was credited with an 11th-round knockdown when Arias touched his right glove down after Jacobs cuffed him with a left behind the head. It shouldn't have been ruled a knockdown but had no impact on the outcome. Jacobs is expected back in April and hopes for a shot against the winner of the Dec. 16 bout between titlist Billy Joe Saunders and ex-titlist David Lemieux, though his ultimate goal is to face the winner of the expected Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez rematch.
Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller TKO9 Mariusz Wach -- Full recap
Records: Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs); Wach (33-3, 17 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: The 6-foot-4, 284-pound Miller, 29, of Brooklyn, New York, methodically broke down the plodding 6-8, 268-pound Wach, 37, of Poland, in a one-sided fight that was essentially Miller's audition for a possible shot at titleholder Anthony Joshua. Miller probably passed the audition because he easily beat Wach, who had given Joshua good sparring work, but didn't look so threatening to the point where Joshua's team would think twice about matching him with Miller. Wach was badly hampered after injuring his right hand in the fifth round. After the eighth, former world-title challenger Wach asked the referee and doctor for one more round, but when Wach was taking shots and unable to throw his right referee David Fields stopped it at 1 minute, 9 seconds of the ninth round.
Cletus Seldin TKO3 Roberto Ortiz -- Full recap
Records: Seldin (21-0, 17 KOs); Ortiz (35-2-2, 26 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Seldin, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, came at Ortiz, 31, of Mexico, like a man possessed and lived up his nickname of "The Hebrew Hammer." He landed a big overhand right to the temple 15 seconds into the fight for a knockdown and never let up. He dropped him later in the round with a flurry. A right hand opened a bad cut over Ortiz's left eye in the second round and, in the third round, Ortiz walked into Seldin's elbow and went down. His face and nose were a bloody mess and referee Shada Murdaigh waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 43 seconds.
Also on the card, British welterweight prospect Conor Benn (10-0, 8 KOs), 21, son of former two-division world titleholder Nigel Benn, made his American debut and blew through Brandon Sanudo (7-7, 4 KOs), 28, of Mexico, knocking him out with a left hook to the liver at 1 minute of the second round.
Saturday at Newcastle, England
Liam Smith W12 Liam Williams -- Full recap
Junior middleweight - Title eliminator
Scores: 117-111, 116-112, 114-114
Records: Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs); Williams (16-2-1, 11 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In April, former titleholder Smith, 29, of England, stopped Williams, 25, of Wales, at the start of the 10th round due to cuts. It was controversial because the fight-ending cut was caused by a head butt but was ruled by a punch, leading to the stoppage in a fight in which Williams was ahead on all three scorecards.
They met in an immediate rematch for the right to earn a shot at the belt held by Miguel Cotto (who plans to retire after a fight next month) and Smith will now fight for the belt he once held as he pounded out a non-controversial majority decision, thanks in large measure because of his excellent jab.
Saturday at Edinburgh, Scotland
Josh Taylor KO9 Miguel Vazquez
Records: Taylor (11-0, 10 KOs); Vazquez (39-6, 15 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Taylor, 26, of Scotland, is one of boxing's best up-and-comers and he looked excellent in becoming the first man to stop ex-lightweight titlist Vazquez, 30, of Mexico, whose four-fight winning streak ended. In scoring his biggest victory, Taylor broke through against the typically very defensive Vazquez. He had a big fifth round and, as the bigger, stronger man, imposed himself on Vazquez. In the ninth round, Taylor rocked Vazquez with a left hand and then unloaded body shots and a left uppercut before flooring him for the count from referee Victor Loughlin with 31 seconds left in the round. It was a really good performance from Taylor against an opponent it's usually hard to look good against.
Saturday at Belem, Brazil
Acelino "Popo" Freitas W8 Gabriel Martinez
Scores: 76-73, 75-74 (twice)
Records: Freitas (41-2, 34 KOs); Martinez (29-11-1, 16 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Brazilian superstar Freitas, a former junior lightweight and lightweight titleholder known for his huge punching power, retired in 2007 after being stopped by Juan Diaz in a lightweight world-title unification fight, and was elected to congress in his home country. Freitas returned to win what was supposed to be a farewell fight in 2012 and then returned to win another fight in 2015. Now Freitas is 42 and returned for what he yet again claimed would be his final fight. Even though he beat Martinez, 30, of Mexico, Freitas looked out of shape and displayed tremendously eroded skills in a competitive fight. Freitas had enough to beat a journeyman opponent, but barely. He cut Martinez over the left eye and then celebrated wildly with his team and fans after the scorecards were read. Hopefully, this was the last comeback.
Friday at Cleveland
Yuandale Evans W10 Luis Rosa
Scores: 97-93, 96-94 Evans, 96-94 Rosa
Records: Evans (20-1, 14 KOs); Rosa (23-1, 11 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Fighting in his hometown, Evans, 28, won a thrilling decision over Rosa, 26, a Puerto Rico native fighting out of New Haven, Connecticut, in a minor upset. It was a tremendous action fight and one of the better bouts in the 16-year history of Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation." They went at each other with abandon with each man having his moments. Rosa was strong early before Evans came back to set the stage for the final two very exciting rounds. It was a very close fight with Evans getting the nod, probably thanks to having the edge in the final rounds.
Junior Fa TKO1 Freddy Latham
Records: Fa (13-0, 8 KOs); Latham (9-1-2, 5 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: The 6-foot-5, 262-pound Fa, 28, of New Zealand, is a heavyweight to keep an eye on. As an amateur he twice defeated current heavyweight world titleholder Joseph Parker. As a pro, he's been busy. The win over Latham was his fourth fight of the year (and second in the United States). The 6-2, 261-pound Latham, 27, of Pittsburgh, coming off an 11-month layoff, appeared out of shape and Fa took him out in just 67 seconds. He had Latham in retreat immediately because of a stiff jab and when he began connecting with shots at will with Latham in the corner and not throwing back, referee Clifford Pinkney had no choice but to stop the fight.
Charles Conwell W6 Roque Zapata
Scores: 60-51 (twice), 60-53
Records: Conwell (6-0, 5 KOs); Zapata (4-2-3, 0 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Conwell, 20, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, fought his first pro bout in his hometown of Cleveland and was impressive against Zapata. Conwell used a strong body attack and dropped Zapata twice in the third round and once more in the fifth round, though he went the distance for the first time. Before this fight, Zapata had never been knocked down. Zapata, 22, a Panama native fighting out of Culpepper, Virginia, had a three-fight winning streak end.
In another televised bout on the card, Russian welterweight Radzhab Butaev (8-0, 6 KOs), 23, a former amateur standout, outboxed former Colombian amateur standout Janer Gonzalez (19-1-1, 15 KOs), 30, to win 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75. The styles didn't mesh well in a tough fight to watch. Gonzalez said he injured his left shoulder in the third round.