The scene, hip and young with an electric mood in anticipation of the fights to come as this match up represented the L.A. Matadors final home appearance for this season. Present at ringside was Lou Ferrigno (The HULK, TV series) taking photographs with the L.A. Matador cheerleaders. Celebrities also present: former Heavyweight Champ Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, Julie Benz (Showtime TV. series Dexter), Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, TV series.) A sold out show at the Avalon with music, L.A. Matador Cheerleaders, M.C. to get the crowd jumping out of their seats in anticipation of the action ahead. At the introduction of the home team, the crowd broke out in cheer of excitement of the final home match of the regular season. The adrenaline flowing freely at the home of the Los Angeles Matadors.
In the Lightweight division (134 lbs.): Mexico City Guerreros (MCG), Juan Pablo Romero (Estado de Mexico, Mexico, Record: 2-2) vs. Los Angeles Matadors (L.A.M.) Eric “Nyquil” Flores, (Inglewood, CA. Record: 0-1)
With virtually 10 seconds of feel out period, Flores went right to work using his jab to set up clean straight-elbow rights which knocked down Romero in the 1st round. The fight was filled with combination setting jabs and lethal counterpunches between both fighters. An accidental head butt in the second round ended the fight for Romero. The judges went to the score cards and granted the decision to Eric Flores.
In the Light Heavyweight division (187 lbs.): MCG, Kennedy Katende (Rubaga, Uganda, Record: 1-1) vs. Vyacheslav “The Ukraine Train” Shabranskyy (Zhitomir, Ukraine, Record: 4-0, WSB Ranking: #4) Work began between these two fighters with Katende circling away from the power hand of the “The Ukraine Train“ (TUT) and trying to punish him with looping haymaker shots. The strategy from TUT, was to jab and find cracks in the defense of Katende when possible. Especially countering the haymakers thrown by Katende throughout the fight. Both worked toe to toe and landed punches through the majority of the fight. In the end, Katende gets the win by decision: 48-46, 48-46, 48-46. This would be an upset for the Matadors in form of Vyacheslav’s first loss.
The Middleweight division brought an extremely action-packed & exciting bout between: (160 lbs.): L.A.M. Chris “Sweet Pea” Pearson (Dayton, OH. Record 1-0) vs. MCG Yamaguchi Florentino, (Espiritu Santos, Brazil, Record: 4-1, WSB Ranking: #3). The fighters started this one with a fast pace and once power shots were established, a chess game began to emerge with more boxing than brawling. In the 2nd round, body shots taken by Pearson seemed to take the steam out of him and wear him down, making him more tentative to leave his rib cage open. Florentino maintained ring generalship throughout the bout and the shots absorbed by Pearson began to weather Pearson. However, a very game Pearson began to counter punch and land his share of punishing body shots and crushing head shot combinations. A point was deducted from Yamaguchi in the 4th due to a hammer fisted punch to the back of the head of Pearson. Later in the fight, an accidental slip was (erroneous) called a knockdown against Pearson. Pearson finished the round with a variety of combinations. Ultimately the fight went to a split decision and won by: Pearson. Pearson left the facility to the hospital to get his nose x-rayed. Following the fight Pearson had this to say, “I slipped, I wasn’t knocked down. Review the tape, it doesn’t lie, but I guess we all make mistakes.”
Bantamweight Division (119 lbs.) brought a fight, with one of my favorites, L.A. Matadors’ Rau’shee Warren, (from Cincinnati, OH. Record: 3-0, WSB Ranking: #7) vs. Mexico City Guerrero’s Braulio Avila (Tlaxcala, Record: 4-1, WSB Ranking #4).
A boxing chess game mostly won by Baby Pit getting off first and shaking Avila with first round power shots to the body. Great toe to toe exchanges by both fighters in the center of the ring throughout the fight made the crowd at the Avalon jump out of their seats. Warren controlled the action working behind the jab and setting up combinations. Warren left a bit desired (at least for me) in form of seeing more of his boxing skills as he is (In my opinion) the superior fighter. Ultimately, the fight was scored a unanimous decision to Warren. Scores: 50-45, 50-45, 50-45. “I felt comfortable working behind the jab and I felt that I could get the job done.”
Lastly, in the Heavyweight Division (200+lbs.) L.A.M. David “The Dream Catcher” Imoesiri (Long Beach, CA. Record: 4-1, WSB Ranked #3) vs. Mario Heredia (Chihuahua, Mexico, Record: 1-0).
The fight began with a Heavyweight division paced feel out period with both fighters picking their spots and not exposing themselves very much. Imoesiri began to assert himself into the fight late in the 3rd round. Imoesiri using excellent footwork down the stretch in the 5th round. With 55 seconds left in the 5th round, Heredia went down, but survived to see a decision. Unanimous decision to Imoesiri 50-45, 50-45, 50-45.
As a result of this night’s boxing action, the Matadors win the boxing meet by a score of: 4-1 and giving them the momentum they sought by securing a solid win against a very formidable opponent in the Mexico City Guerreros. The L.A. Matadors travel to Miami to continue to build on their momentum to face the Gallos on Thursday, March 17th, 2011.