HIGHLAND, Calif. -Ryan Healy captured the Max mixed martial arts lightweight title with a technical knockout over San Diego’s Ryan Bixler in the first round at San Manuel Casino on Thursday.

Healy (9-2-1) from TeamQuest in Portland, Oregon, caught Bixler (13-4) with a well-timed knee that dropped him in his tracks. Healy proceeded to pound him on the ground forcing referee Jason Herzog to stop the fight at 45 seconds into the first round for a technical knockout in front of more than 1,000 people.

In a welterweight bout Highland’s Gabriel Lara (3-1-1) won a split-decision over Beverly Hills Leonardo Soares (1-1) after three rounds. Lara used his strength to unravel Soares jujitsu and pound his way to a close win. The judges scored it 29-28 twice for Lara and 29-28 for Soares.

Bryan Joplin (5-0) of La Habra fired a knee at Oceanside’s Fred Leavy (4-8) that left him motionless. Joplin stepped back to point to the referee that he was unconscious and referee Luis Cobian stopped the fight at 2:52 of the first round for a technical knockout.

Hollywood’s Scott Epstein (2-0) won in impressive fashion with an arm bar submission from Idaho’s Vance North (0-1) though it looked like he was about to have his head pounded on the canvas. When North left his arm dangling Epstein took it at 1:18 of the first round.

Two debuting heavyweights came out smoking as Victorville’s Lamar Jiles landed a left hook to drop Northern California’s Benji Garrett. But Garrett survived and began finding the range for his own punches. In the second round a counter left hook dropped Jiles forcing referee Jason Herzog to halt the fight at 39 seconds into the round.

Washington’s Jeremy Pidgeon (2-0) needed little more than a minute to work on arm lock on Apple Valley’s Palika Drummond (2-4) in a fight between 168-pounders who submitted at 1:31 of the first round.

Heather Basquill forced down Katja Turner and worked her way to a rear naked choke 45 seconds into the first round for a submission victory. It was both fighters pro debut at 110 pounds.

Boxing Chatter

Vargas – Mayorga bout postponed

Due to a blood disorder the fight between Fernando Vargas and Nicaragua’s Ricardo Mayorga has been postponed.

A routine blood check revealed a severe lack of iron in Vargas blood sample on Friday and a doctor ordered him to stop all physical activity including the pending match with Mayorga.

The 12-round bout was scheduled for Sept. 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in a non-title fight that was to be Vargas last professional prizefight.

No further word by the promoters of the event Don King Productions or Main Events on the new date.

Two Southern Californians on US Olympic boxing team

Javier Molina of Commerce and Shawn Estrada of Downey will represent the United States in the 2008 Olympics that take place in Beijing, China.

Just missing the finals was Malcolm Franklin of Pomona who was eliminated by Texan Luis Yanez.

Molina, a junior welterweight, trains at the Commerce Boxing Club that also produced Francisco “Panchito” Bojado and four-time U.S. National Champion Elizabeth Quevedo who is now fighting professionally.

Bojado is scheduled to fight Steve Forbes on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.

Estrada, a middleweight, was not the favorite to win the middleweight division. But the Downey fighter beat Fernando Guerrero of Maryland and Daniel Jacobs of Brooklyn to make the final cut.

Molina beat Jeremy Bryan of New Jersey and Dan O’Connor of Mass. to make the team.

Congratulations to Molina and Estrada and good try for Franklin.

Kendall Holt vies for title

New Jersey’s Kendall “Rated R” Holt travels to Barranquilla, Colombia to fight WBO junior welterweight titleholder Ricardo Torres on Saturday Sept. 1.

The title fight will not be televised.

Holt has beaten current WBC lightweight titleholder David Diaz and had to vanquish Mike Arnaoutis before getting the title bid.

Torres beat Arnaoutis for the vacant title last year and defended it against Mexico’s Arturo Morua this past April.

Isidro “Chino” Garcia to test Abner Mares

Former Mexican Olympian Abner Mares (13-0, 8 KOs), who fights out of Montebello, Calif. for Golden Boy Promotions, gets the big test next week against former WBO flyweight champion Isidro “Chino” Garcia (24-3-2, 8 KOs).

He may be graded on the curve against Garcia.

For those who don’t remember Chino Garcia he’s the fighter that was eating a hot dog in a casino in Coachella when one of the main event fighters dropped out. Someone spotted Garcia and asked him if he was on weight and whether he wanted to fill in for the WBO title shot Jose Lopez of Puerto Rico.

Title shot? Garcia said yes and they hunted for some boxing shoes and the Mexican flyweight from Guerrero, Mexico proceeded to win by unanimous decision on December 1999 and capture the WBO title. He defended it once successfully then ran into talented Fernando Montiel and was stopped in seven.

Garcia only has three losses in his career. After losing to Eric Morel in 2003, he retired for almost four years and just recently returned. He has two quick victories this year including a win over Cesar Lopez for the vacant IBA flyweight title in April.

Mares is a strong fighter for his weight at 118 pounds and has the speed to match. It should be an interesting mix with Garcia’s brilliant IQ fighting inside and Mares athletic ability and one-punch stopping power.

Mares and Garcia meet next Friday Sept. 7 at the Desert Diamond in Tucson, Arizona. The fight will be shown on Telefutura.

Zab Judah in sub-stellar affair

Brooklyn’s Zab Judah (34-5, 25 KOs) laces up against Edwin Vazquez (22-10-2, 8 KOs) at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, Miss on Friday Sept. 7. The fight will be televised by ESPN.

Heavy-handed DeAndrey Abron (13-1, 10 KOs) meets Shane “Irish Hitman” Benfield (17-0, 9 KOs) for the NABO light heavyweight title on Sat. Sept. 1 at the Fitz Casino and Hotel in Tunica, Miss.

Yosef Judah, younger brother to Zab and Daniel follows his sibling's example when he steps into the ring making his pro debut against Terrance Harris in a scheduled 4 round Jr. Welterweight bout. Recently signed hot prospect and much-hyped Jr. Lightweight Mark Davis also makes his 4 round debut this weekend against Guilermo Alonso.

Daniel Judah returns to the ring for the first time since his TKO loss to Darnell Wilson where Judah suffered a severe shoulder injury 33 seconds into the 4th round, resulting in surgery, back in April 2007. Judah has faced off in the past against notable foes, including former Light Heavyweight Champion Glen Johnson, and Julian Letterlough, both resulting in draws

Tickets available for purchase at the Fitzs gift shop priced at $35. Call 1-800 766-5825. Tickets also at Prize Fight Promotions 662 349-6263

Chuck Bodak hospitalized

Cutman extraordinaire Chuck Bodak, 91, suffered a stroke and is currently bed-ridden at the Anaheim Memorial Hospital in Anaheim, California.

Bodak served the corner of Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Muhammad Ali, and Rocky Marciano to name a few.

Bodak has been in the hospital since Monday.

Charity Boxing Fete

If you live in the Southern California area drop by Teamsters Local 63 located at 379 W. Valley Blvd. in Rialto, California. Boxer John “Choir Boy” Molina, who is scheduled to fight on the under card of Juan Manuel Marquez and Rocky Juarez in two weeks, will be at the fund raiser and signing autographs. The money goes toward the City of South El Monte’s Teamster Youth boxing program.

Molina and many others train at the South El Monte Boxing Club.

The program begins at 12 noon on Saturday, Sept. 1.

For more information call (626) 347-0804.