The boxing ring played host to plenty of big moments in April. From Gervonta Davis knocking out Ryan Garcia in a fight that drew massive attention to Anthony Joshua and Zhilei Zhang scoring major heavyweight victories to remain in title contention, there was no shortage of big headlines in the sport.
However, like any month, there were plenty of important fights that flew under the radar. All around the world, fighters were battling for championships or to establish themselves as top-tier contenders.
With that in mind (and no major card on the calendar this weekend), let’s take a look at some of the boxing action you may have missed in April.
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Robeisy Ramirez def. Isaac Dogboe, April 1
Ramirez and Dogboe were battling over the vacant WBO featherweight title. Ramirez is an interesting story. A two-time Olympic gold medalist who defected from Cuba to turn pro, Ramirez suffered a shocking split decision loss in his August 2019 pro debut but has been outstanding since. Given the opportunity to fight for a world title for the first time in his career, Ramirez did not disappoint. Dogboe was slow to get started, not wanting to run into Ramirez’s power early. When Dogboe did attempt to engage, Ramirez was simply too good and won the exchanges. As the fight hit Round 12, Ramirez was clearly set to get the win on the scorecards but found a bit of extra padding with a knockdown before the final bell. The final scorecards read 117-110, 118-109, and 119-108 all for Ramirez, who now holds a 12-1 record and a world title.
Bryan Flores def. Shinard Bunch, April 7
In a Shobox main event, Shinard Bunch got off to an impressive start, scoring a big opening-round knockdown with a lightning-fast combination. Bunch built off that knockdown to control the majority of the first half of the fight, keeping Flores at bay with straight punches. Things flipped hard in Flores’ favor starting around Round 6 as he doggedly kept coming forward and bringing the fight to Bunch. Flores also made the fight rough with some borderline illegal tactics that all combined to sap Bunch of his energy and allow Flores to run away with the second half of the fight. The courageous effort was enough for Flores to take a split decision with Bunch winning one card 96-93 and Flores taking two at 95-94 and 97-92, the latter of which was hard to justify, though Flores edging out a win was not.
Kenshiro Teraji def. Anthony Olascuaga, April 8
Unified WBC and WBA junior flyweight Teraji was originally set to face WBO champion Jonathan Gonzalez in a fight to unify three of boxing’s four recognized world titles. After mandatory challenger Hekkie Budler was paid step-aside money to allow the fight to proceed, Gonzalez was forced to withdraw from the fight due to illness, allowing Olascuaga the opportunity to step in on short notice. Olascuaga gave a tremendous effort considering the circumstances, landing good shots in almost every round. Teraji was ready and willing to fight back while facing the same risk of an upset that happened when he was stopped by Masamichi Yabuki in September 2021. Ultimately, Teraji was able to turn up the attack in Round 9 and secure the TKO victory, continuing his run as one of boxing’s more entertaining fighters while Olascuaga raised his own stock in less-than-ideal circumstances.
Also of note from the undercard, Tenshin Nasukawa got a big win in his professional debut, taking a decision over Yuki Yonaha. Nasukawa, a superstar from the world of kickboxing, famously faced Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an exhibition bout and suffered a knockout loss. Mayweather was a much, much larger man that night and Nasukawa showed far more skill against Yonaha fighting at 122 pounds.
Lukasz Rozanski def. Alen Babic, April 22
Depending on where you stand, bridgerweight may or may not be a real division in boxing. As far as the WBC is concerned, the division exists and has a world title. On April 22, Rozanski became just the second bridgerweight champion in history, defeating Babic by first-round TKO. The fight was not pretty, with the men winging wild punches back and forth until Babic hit the canvas. Babic beat the count, but Rozanski did not slow down on the attack and fired away until the stoppage to become champion of a division that may or may not actually exist.
Joe Cordina def. Shavkat Rakhimov, April 22
Cordina won the IBF junior lightweight title in June 2022 with an impressive knockout of Kenichi Ogawa only to be stripped of the title just months later. The situation was out of Cordina’s control as he suffered a hand injury while preparing for a mandatory title defense against Rakhimov. He was granted an extension and then broke that same hand again. With Rakhimov already waiting for his shot at the IBF title since early 2021, Cordina was stripped and Rakhimov won the belt in November against Zelfa Barrett. Cordina was already promised a shot at the belt when he returned to action and he made the most of the opportunity, edging out Rakhimov by split decision to regain the title.
Cordina scored a knockdown in the second round that ultimately was what won him the fight as it would have been a split draw on the cards otherwise. The fight was one of the best of the month, featuring both men giving good effort and throwing big shots in front of a rowdy Cardiff, Wales crowd.