Stern View: Northern California Regional Report

BY The Sweet Science ON August 03, 2014

Drian FranciscoOn Saturday night August 2nd at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, CA, junior welterweight Levan "The Wolf" Ghvamichava and bantamweight Drian Francisco continued their march toward emerging as serious prospects with stoppage victories. The card promoted by the fledging Square Vision Entertainment in association with Donaire, Sr. Boxing and Fitness featured mostly Northern California based professional boxers in the early phases of their careers.

In the main event, bantamweight Drian Francisco, 25(20)-2-1, knocked out a weight drained trial horse named Manuel de los Reyes Herrera, 21(15)-14-1, at 48 seconds of the 3rd round. Drian Francisco, from the Philippines and now training with Justin Fortune, entered the ring smiling and relaxed. His trim moustache and full head of black hair brought to mind the appearance of Alexis Arguello. After chasing the fleeing southpaw Herrera around the ring counterclockwise for 2 rounds in a bit of rush, Francisco, in the 3rd round, showed some of Arguello's patience. Instead of rushing forward, Francisco settled himself and crept into position to throw the left hook-right hand combination that opened up the left hook to the liver that put down Herrera for the full 10 count at 48 seconds of the 3rd round.

The co-main event featured Virgil Hunter trained junior welterweight Levan "The Wolf" Ghvamichava, 12(9)-1-1, handing Louisiana's Chris Singleton, 12(5)-1, his first pro defeat. Singleton started the first round displaying a quick jab throw from a Mayweather shell. Ghvamichava, originally from the former Soviet state of Georgia, was not bothered by the multiple jabs he was eating. By the end of the round "The Wolf" was finding the range for his overhand right above Singleton's high left shoulder and began looking to pivot himself into position to land the left hook.

After Singleton began the 2nd successfully landing jabs and a clean 1-2, Ghavamichava landed that left hook high on Singleton's temple. Seeing Singleton's equilibrium disrupted, Ghavamichava closed and put Singleton down with a flurry of rights. Singleton beat the count this time, but decided to fight instead of survive and paid the price with a hard rear uppercut that spun him around and then down with a couple of follow up punches. The referee waived off the fight in mid count at 2:27 of the 2nd round, though it appeared that Singleton was able to continue and was just waiting for the count to go deeper before rising. Ghavamichava showed power in both hands and, more importantly, the timing to deliver his power, as he did this night on a quick, pure boxer.

In other action, lightweight Bilal "Rebelious" Mahasin, 5-1, supported by close to 100 friends and family from nearby Oakland, CA, struggled to a 6 round split decision win over hard luck loser Dwain Victorian, 4(2)-3. Mahasin appeared tight and sluggish in the opening rounds. He was having trouble getting his punches off from the outside and was stifled on the inside by Victorian, a former state Golden Gloves champion who traveled up from Southern California. Victorian's success with a relentless body attack and smart movement silenced the crowd, but Mahasin, who has survived far tougher tests in life than this, was undeterred and continued to press the action until Victorian slowed in the later rounds.

Fairfield's Ryan "Rhino" Bourland, 3(2)-0, received a TKO victory over Ray "The Big Game Slayer" Mesa, 0-1, in a wild, awkward light heavyweight bout after Mesa appeared to tear his bicep and had to retire in the 2nd.

Wilkins Santiago, 11(1)-0-1, of Cleveland, OH., remains undefeated, for the moment, as he held his way to 6 round decision over Richmond, CA's Luis Alfredo Lugo, 13(5)-21-1. Switching between southpaw and orthodox stances, Santiago boxed well to begin the fight, but was gradually worn down by Lugo's weaving pressure and hooks to the body. Santiago's lead corner man has yet to learn to disguise his emotions as he spent the last two rounds staring at the ground and shaking his head.

Proving that MMA and boxing are different sports, MMA professional Khyrs Daniels was dispatched in just 52 seconds of his pro boxing debut by Tony "Heavenly Hands" Thompson 2(1)-0. Thompson hit Daniels with a left hook to the body that Daniels blocked, but the punch was thrown so hard that Daniels crumpled to the canvas and remained there for several minutes.

In the fight of the night, lightweight Moises "El Hacon" Benitez won his pro debut after rising from a first round knockdown to defeat Percy Peterson, 0-3, via 4 round unanimous decision. Benitez is a soft-spoken, young husband and father of two, working full time while pursing his dream of fighting professionally. Boxing in front his family and friends who traveled en masse from nearby San Jose, Saturday night represented the first step of that dream. Benitez played the bull to Peterson's matador and got caught charging in by two short right hands to the chin mid way through the first that put Benitez to his knees. Benitez rose, recovered and continued to bring the fight. The fight continued with back and forth action that brought the crowd to its feet on several occasions.

Before he left the ring, Benitez was brought to the canvas one final time, as he fell to his knees to pray after he was announced the winner.


Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

The "Wolf"...the " Rhino" and the "Big Game Slayer" .???..these contenders should copyright their nicknames.and sell them to the highest bidder.

What did they call the event? "The South West Safari"?

oubobcat says:

Its strange to hear that Wilkins Santiago is fighting out in California. He is a local Cleveland guy and had most of his fights in this region. I attended his first two professional fights in this area. But I guess it makes sense for him to broaden his horizons since there is just not that many professional boxing events in this area. I am glad to hear he came out successful and I hope he gets some bigger opportunities soon.

dino da vinci says:

The "Wolf"...the " Rhino" and the "Big Game Slayer" .???..these contenders should copyright their nicknames.and sell them to the highest bidder.

What did they call the event? "The South West Safari"?


dino da vinci says:

The "Wolf"...the " Rhino" and the "Big Game Slayer" .???..these contenders should copyright their nicknames.and sell them to the highest bidder.

What did they call the event? "The South West Safari"?


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