REDONDO BEACH, CA.-Lance Whitaker out-pointed Danny Batchelder but it wasn’t easy for the tall heavyweight who once was a leading contender.
The Klitschko-size heavyweight fell behind Batchelder in the first four rounds before mounting a counter attack in the last half of the 10-round fight on Friday at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.
Batchhelder (25-7-1) used movement and an accurate and pesky left hook to pop Whitaker (33-5-1) whenever he got too close. Every time the taller heavyweight got into range that left hook would pop him on the head though it did little physical damage. Mentally, it had to hurt Whitaker’s feelings knowing that the much shorter man could hit him with almost impunity.
Around the fourth round Batchhelder began to slow down. That slow but consistent movement stopped and suddenly Whitaker was fighting inside and that’s where he found success. Despite having a large reach advantage, Whitaker performed much better while fighting inside.
For the rest of the fight Whitaker, who sparred with Chris Arreola last spring, landed more than Batchelder, though he never seemed able to hurt the smaller heavyweight who casually pointed to his own chin to remind the taller fighter.
The judges scored the fight 96-94 for Whitaker. That seemed to be right on target.
If Whitaker is to move up from the C class he needs to display a sharper left jab. He likes to gingerly offer a series of jabs that could spell disaster to an A fighter.
In another heavyweight bout Las Vegas based fighter Matthew Ellis (20-8-2) discovered first hand that a boxer’s record does not indicate his true ability. L.A.’s David Johnson (5-21-7), who fought Chris Arreola, Damian “Bolo” Wills and upset Manuel Quezada, has a lot of losses but knows how to fight. He showed that against Ellis who was lured into some traps but managed to eke out a majority draw against Johnson.
Local heavyweight John Ellis won his pro debut against another novice, Dusty Calendar, in 1:05 of the second round. Once Redondo Beach’s Ellis discovered there were no missiles coming his way, he unloaded his cache of punches and the fight was over after a couple of knockdowns.
Las Vegas based Alex Rivera (1-0) won by second round knockout over Roy Timmons (0-2) in a cruiserweight clash. At 2:09 of the second round a combination by Rivera flushed Timmons to the floor and it was over.
In a female fight it was Las Vegas boxer Tatiana “Lady Tyson” Anderson (2-0, 2 KOs) scoring a second knockout in as many fights. Big left hooks stopped Mariama Everett of Northern California at 39 seconds of the fourth round. Anderson waded in punching against the taller Everett who refused to quit. The first three rounds were back and forth with Anderson’s stronger punches giving her the advantage. Everett knew she was behind and tried to end the fight, but was the recipient of another left hook blast from Anderson. It was a game try.
The fight card was promoted by Southbay Promotions which will be having its next card on Aug. 21. Melissa St. Vil, who was assisting Anderson in the corner, is slated to fight on this card.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV