REDONDO BEACH, CA.-Lance Whitaker steamrolled England’s Mathew Ellis with a mindset not seen from the massive heavyweight in quite awhile and scored a one-sided knockout victory on Friday.
The fight card called “Boxing at the Beach” featured mixed martial arts, amateur boxing and heavyweight thunder that concluded with Whitaker’s booming punches at the Performing Arts Center. It’s South Bay Promotions second card.
The energetic event concluded with a riveting knockout from a heavyweight whose best days seemed behind him. Maybe it’s time to reconsider?
Whitaker emerged from the bell with an urgency not seen in years and obliterated the rugged Ellis who could only stare blankly as blows bounced off his head and body before more than 500 people at the Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach.
“My plan was to come out aggressive. Last month I came out slow trying to use a jab, I’m not doing that no more. Now I’m coming to knock guys out,” said Whitaker (34-5-1, 28 KOs). “If I had done that last month against (Dan) Batchelder I would have knocked him out in two rounds.”
Last month at the same venue Whitaker looked listless and confused as Batchelder moved and countered for six rounds before tiring. Then Whitaker, a former title challenger, dispatched of the Northern California heavyweight.
No waiting in this fight.
Whitaker moved in quickly against Ellis with sharp punishing jabs and combinations. A four-punch combination that ended with a left hook dropped the British fighter with a thump. He got up groggily and seemed in shock. A right hand to the body of Ellis dropped him to one knee but the referee ruled it a slip.
“It didn’t seem like a hard punch,” said Jack Reiss, a stalwart referee. “He looked like he was trying to go low and his knee touched.”
Whitaker moved in a landed another left hook and down went the British heavyweight again. The referee looked at him carefully and signaled him to respond, wiped his gloves and let him back to face Whitaker who must have loomed larger than his six-feet seven inches. Another combination with a right hand chaser dropped Ellis for a third time and the wipe-out concluded at 1:39 of the first round.
“I’m going after knockouts now,” said Whitaker, who will be providing sparring to Chris Arreola in preparation for the showdown with Vitali Klitschko. “I’ll be sparring with Chris next week.”
In a mixed martial arts light heavyweight match, Victorville’s Lamar “Monster” Jiles (3-3) used his strength to offset Redondo Beach’s Adam Allison’s (2-1) jujitsu skills in an even pairing. After two back and forth rounds, Jiles got the upper hand and landed some pile driving blows that forced referee Lorenzo Rosales to stop the fight with Allison on the ground at 2:20 of the third and final round.
Another Redondo Beach local Sean Loeffler (17-4) fared much better in forcing a tap-out from Kansas City’s Steve Schneider (13-18-1) at 2:30 of the first round of a middleweight MMA fight. As both scrambled on the floor Loeffler caught Schneider in a shoulder lock and immediately forced a tap out.
“I got him in a shoulder lock and I didn’t want to break it like I did the last guy,” said Loeffler. “If you’re going to come to L.A. you’re going to have to fight.”
Redondo Beach’s favorite son John Ellis Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) scored a technical knockout victory over Indiana’s Patrick Johnson (0-1) in a heavyweight boxing fight. In the first round very few punches were thrown until the last 30 seconds. The following round saw Ellis attack with some solid combinations but was warned for pushing when he seemed to hurt the Indiana fighter. At 2:39 of the second, referee Reiss noticed Johnson tweaked his right ankle and was unable to continue and stopped the fight.
Las Vegas heavyweight Alex Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs) won by technical knockout when Indiana’s Brandon Bennett (0-3) suffered a dislocated right shoulder in the first round and could not come out for the next stanza. Rivera, who has tattoos throughout his body including his face, had won the first round with some strong combinations.
Tina “Lil Tyson” Anderson (3-0, 3 KOs) rampaged through Tammy Franks (2-9-1) scoring two knockdowns including the final one at 51 seconds of the second round. Though Anderson was the much shorter of the two 140-pound fighters, she bobbed and weaved her way in a la Mike Tyson before unloading a four-punch combination that floored Franks at the end of the first round. Luckily the first knockdown occurred with 20 second left in the round.
In the second round Anderson immediately went to work and struck with a right hand and left hook. Referee Reiss immediately stopped the bout with Frank slumped on the second strand of the ropes.
“After I heard her breathing I attacked more,” said Anderson who fights out of Las Vegas and is trained by Brian Caldwell.
Several amateur heavyweights took to the ring with former Colorado quarterback Dominic Breazeale proving most impressive with a one-punch knockout over former West Virginia tight end Louis Davis at 32 seconds of the third round. It was Breazeale’s straighter punches proving much more effective against the winging blows of Davis. An overhand right perfectly set up blasted Davis out of there.
“I land big punches all of the time,” said Breazeale.
Pico Rivera’s Dustin Enriquez out-muscled Ralph Fulton in a second heavyweight amateur contest to win by decision.
Leroy Azubike out-maneuvered former Cal Berkeley star Ray Van Housen to win a decision in a third heavyweight match.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV