With the big Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana extravaganza in Las Vegas getting most of the boxing world’s attention, there was plenty of action elsewhere too, as three World Boxing Federation (WBF) championship fights took place on Saturday night, May 3.
At the Salle l’Albanais in Rumilly, France, WBF World Super Welterweight Champion Anderson “Pantera” Clayton from Brazil successfully, albeit very narrowly, retained his title against hometown hero Sebastien Madani, the man he won the title against a year ago.
In what turned out to be a very dramatic fight, the defending champion started out slowly and seemed to allow Madani to be the more active fighter in the first quarter of the bout. After that the Brazilian got busier, and scored a heavy knock-down in round nine that had Madani in all sorts of trouble.
Madani beat the count of referee Vincent Dupas, but Clayton was now in control and chased the former champion, looking to land the finishing punch. He didn’t succeed, and in the final stages of the fight, Madani fought back as hard as he could and brought the sold-out crowd of 2500 fans to their feet.
After twelve rounds of entertaining action, Judge Jean-Marcel Nartz (Germany) scored the fight 114-112 for Clayton, while Joachim Rueda (France) saw it 114-112 for Madani, which seemed very generous. Mark Reels (USA) had it 113-113, resulting in a split draw.
After this his second successful title-defense, Anderson Clayton improved his record to 42-8-1 (36) since entering the paid ranks in 2001. Sebastien Madani, also a pro for thirteen years, is now 35-2-1 (10). In the aftermath, Clayton offered to come back to France for a third chapter of the rivalry. The fight was promoted by Gerard Teysseron and his Europrom.
On the same night, at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City, Philippines, 20-year-old star of the future Harmonito Dela Torre won the vacant WBF International Super Featherweight title with a convincing display against compatriot Gadwin Tubigon.
Dela Torre took control of the action from the first round, and put the pressure on Tubigon who found it more than difficult to handle. In round three Dela Torre scored a knockdown with a hard right hand, but Tubigon gamely got up and made it through the round.
However, the massive shot caused a deep cut inside the mouth of Tubigon who was unable to come out for round four due to the heavy bleeding.
Already the Philippines national champion, Dela Torre takes his impressive professional run to 13-0 (8) and is not far from mixing with world-class competition. Tubigon, tough as they come and known as a real gatekeeper, falls to 10-9-2 (5).
The co-feature on the show promoted by SGG Sports Promotions, Omega Boxing Promotions and Sampson Boxing, saw another young undefeated up-and-comer in Jack Tepora (21) win his first professional title as he beat Jo-as Apericio for the vacant WBF Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title.
Tepora dominated Apericio, and was way ahead on all scorecards when he scored a tenth round technical knockout. Nicknamed “The Golden Boy”, Cebu City’s Tepora improved to 10-0 (6). 24-year-old Apericio’s record now stands at 11-12 (8).