The movie capital of the world temporarily housed a mixture of boxing and mixed martial arts on Thursday night in the heart of Hollywood, home of stars and starlets.
On Hollywood Boulevard and just a quick run from Pantages Theater, Bash Boxing and the Art of Boxing Promotions showcased a number of bouts at Florentine Gardens. A packed house saw several very competitive fights.
A very entertaining junior featherweight fight saw Khabir “The Crazy Russian” Suleymanov (14-3) pull out a split decision win over L.A.’s Ray Chacon (4-6) after six rounds. In a very close fight Chacon was the more accurate puncher and continually landed counter right hooks on the attacking Suleymanov. The Russian fighter was able to score whenever he cornered Chacon but ate a lot of blows to do it. Chacon was the quicker and more accurate fighter but Suleymanov was the busier. Two judges like Suleymanov’s volume of punchers over Chacon’s stinging counters 58-56, and one saw it for Chacon 58-56.
Undefeated welterweight Terrell “Tyger” Williams (10-0) made quick work of Luis Lugo (13-18-1) winning by knockout at 1:56 of the first round. A quick left hook by Williams caught Lugo lurching and sent him across the ring for the first knockdown. Lugo beat the count but was still woozy and was finished off by a barrage of blows to the body and head. Referee Lou Moret wisely stopped the beating.
Liverpool’s Liam “Kid” Vaughan (7-1) looked like the second coming of Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton as he mauled Arkansas’s Antron Pearson (2-4) after six rounds of a welterweight contest. Vaughan took some shots coming in from Pearson but was always able to counter with numerous shots of his own. Showing a good chin and lots of energy all three judges scored it in favor of Vaughan 60-54and 59-55 twice.
In the opening bout of the card Oxnard’s undefeated Erik Ruiz (8-0) tangled with Maywood’s Oscar Venegas (2-2) in a junior featherweight battle between rival Southern California boxing gyms. Ruiz started quickly but Venegas rallied down the stretch to make it close. Both had their moments in the fight with Venegas able to fire and land more combinations toward the end. But Ruiz’s quick start helped win a split decision 59-55, 58-56, 56-58.
Heavyweight Charles Martin (6-0) remained undefeated with two knockdowns of Phillip Triantafillo in the second round. A right hook followed by a left cross from the southpaw Martin felled Trantafillo the first time. Another pinpoint overhand left floored Trantafillo a second and final time at 1:44 for a technical knockout. Referee Lou Moret stopped the fight though Triantafillo protested. Martin is an athletic heavyweight and took a good right shot before ending the fight.
Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Shabransky (8-2-1) walked through Arkansas’s Emanuel Wright (5-2) to win by stoppage at 2:18 of the fourth round of the cruiserweight bout. Shabransky was in control from the beginning and did most of the damage with body shots. Wright didn’t have an answer and was pummeled in the fourth round prompting referee Lou Moret to stop the fight.
In a mixed martial arts welterweight clash Jason Borba (2-1) walked through some big blows to beat Marlen McGee who was making his pro debut. Borba controlled the fight on the ground in a very close battle against McGee who landed the big blows. Two judges saw it for Borba 29-28 and one for McGee 29-28.
Russia’s Alex Shonosov (2-1) beat Fernando Vargas (1-2) in an MMA bout after three rounds. Shonosov started quickly and controlled the ground game. Vargas couldn’t figure out what to do until the last round when he kept the fight standing, but it was too late. All three judges gave it to Shonosov.