Hooray for Hollywood!
That could be the theme for the new boxing series “Hollywood Fight Nights” by 360 Promotions that begins on Tuesday, March 27.
A fight card led by super lightweight contender Ryan Martin (pictured with Abel Sanchez) is the brain child of promoter extraordinaire Tom Loeffler and if you know his history, he has a knack for success.
Loeffler was selected Promoter of the Year three successive years (2014-2016) by numerous publications and will probably notch another if things go according to Hoyle. In the past seven years he’s brought the boxing world Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.
Now the promoter extraordinaire has concocted another recipe for success in the form of his own promotional company fight card and placed it in the entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood.
Boxing has a history of success in Hollywood that goes back to the Roaring 20s. Back then the Hollywood Legion Stadium was a fertile ground for prizefighting and competed with the Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. Actors like George Raft, Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney frequented the hot spot for prizefighting that showcased fighters like Art “Golden Boy” Aragon, Enrique Bolanos and Newsboy Brown.
Other promoters in the recent past have staged fight cards in Hollywood and drew very well. Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions, Terry Clayborn, Steve Bash have all held fight cards in nearby sites such as the Palladium, Henry Fonda Theater, Florentine Gardens and even the Avalon. It’s a mystery why they never returned.
Loeffler carefully researched the area before deciding on the Avalon that is located at 1735 Vine Street near Hollywood Avenue. Now he’s set.
“It’s an intimate venue,” said Loeffler, “The fighters are going to be mingling with the fans and after the fights end, the chairs are going to be moved and the dance floor will be open.”
Leading the fight card will be Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (20-0, 11 KOs) in a 10 round main event against Colombia’s Luis Eduardo Florez (23-8, 19 KOs). Martin is a long-armed super lightweight who holds several regional titles and has shown a penchant for out-gutting opponents when push comes to shove.
Martin, 25, fights out of Big Bear and has experience fighting on the undercards of big events such as the first Golovkin clash with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez back in September. This time he headlines an event.
Florez, 31, has fought many of the best super lightweights in the division such as Regis Prograis, Lanardo Tyner and Sharif Bogere. He has not defeated any of them but has proven to be a gatekeeper. His best victory came in 2014 when he stopped current WBC super featherweight world titlist Miguel Berchelt in one round. That remains Berchelt’s only loss.
The semi-main event features Serhii Bohachuk (6-0) facing Lucius Johnson (4-2-1) in a super welterweight bout set for six rounds. Bohachuk trains with Abel Sanchez in Big Bear.
New York’s Brian Ceballo is making his pro debut in a four round welterweight clash with Mexico’s Luis Lopez Longoria (1-0). Ceballo was signed by 360 Promotions and had a lengthy successful amateur career.
“Ceballo and Martin are the reasons we are having these club shows, to give them an opportunity for exposure,” said Loeffler.
IBF and WBA cruiserweight titlist Murat Gassiev, the heavy-handed champion will be in attendance in support of teammates Martin and Bohachuk. The Russian cruiserweight will be fighting Oleksandr Usyk in the final of the cruiserweight tournament of champions. Usyk has the WBC and WBO titles. They clash on May 11 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Gassiev trains with Abel Sanchez and will be mingling with fans.
Seven pro bouts are planned for the Hollywood Fight Nights and doors open at 5 p.m. The fight will be streamed live on RingTVLive. You can find it on the Facebook page for 360 Promotions. The first bout takes place around 6 p.m. For more information call (800) 283-8699.
Hollywood is swinging again.
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