Sosa beats Smith in hard-fought battle, McDonnell wins controversial decision over Solis
WBA super featherweight champion Jason Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs) outpointed Stephen Smith (24-3, 14 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Both fighters battled hard but the American overpowered Smith in most of the rounds and retained his world title by scores of 117-110, 116-111 and 116-112.
Sosa took the fight to Smith from the opening bell and floored the challenger with a left in the second round and Smith was then cut in the third.
After the ringside doctor checked Smith’s eye, there was some good two-way action as the Briton rallied in the following rounds and rocked Sosa with a right hook in the 8th.
But Sosa finished strongly with some solid shots in the later rounds.
"The game plan went as we practised and that's why I'm world champion today," said Sosa, who stopped Javier Fortuna in the 11th round to win the WBA title in June.
"A bad start cost me," said Smith, who was fighting for world honours for the second time having lost on points to Jose Pedraza for the IBF belt in April. "I tried my best getting into the fight, but I think I lost it early.
"You can't start like that in a world title fight and expect to win. I fell short and the better man won."
WBA bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1, 13 KOs) retained his belt by a controversial 12 round unanimous decision over former super flyweight world champion Liborio Solis (25-5-1, 11 KOs).
McDonnell was awarded scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113, although Solis forced the action throughout the fight.
In the early rounds, the Venezuelan trapped the champion on the ropes, landing a succession of hard shots that bloodied McDonnell's nose.
McDonnell had his moments, landing some sharp right hands to the head and body that had Solis wobbled in the 9th.
The Briton continued to come on strong in the later rounds but Solis always fired back until the final bell.
McDonnell said: "We wanted a hard 12 rounds, I felt in control."
Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz (26-0, 22 KOs) scored a one-sided unanimous decision over Malik Scott 38-3-1, 13 KOs) after 12 drab rounds.
Southpaw Ortiz stalked Scott, who was in survival mode for the entire fight, from the opening bell of his European debut.
The American circled the ring, seemingly happy to stay out of trouble in a fight with little action.
Ortiz dropped Scott in rounds four, five and nine before winning by scores of 120-105, 120-106 and 119-106.
With the win, Ortiz claimed the WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title.
"Malik was running around the ring and made it hard for me to fight," said Ortiz.
I'm a little disappointed because I wanted to knock him out, but he was moving around and made it hard."
Former world title challenger Martin Murray (34-4-1, 16 KOs) defeated previously unbeaten Nuhu Lawal (23-1, 13 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in a bout for the vacant WBA Continental super middleweight title.
The cleaner and more eye-catching work came from Murray in a competitive contest and the St Helens fighter won by scores of 116-111, 117-110 and 117-110.
German-based Nigerian Lawal was a late replacement opponent after Dmitrii Chudinov withdrew from the fight with a virus.
Murray was initially scheduled to fight in a rematch with former two-weight world champion Arthur Abraham , who lost the WBO super middleweight title to Gilberto Ramirez last April.
However the German pulled out after injuring an elbow in sparring.
The Briton lost a split decision to Abraham in a world title fight in Germany in November 2015.