by Charlie 21er
Golden Boy’s Fight Night Club has proven to be a huge success. Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles sold out Thursday night for its first card of the year.
The round card girls were hot, the fights were decent, and the beer was expensive. From beginning to end, the action lasted about 3 and a half hours—not bad for a $20 ticket.
Victor Ortiz was the main draw Thursday night as he got in rounds against an overmatched Hector Alatorre, a blown up light welterweight who had lost six of his last seven fights.
Ortiz, Ventura, CA, has been clocking rounds and attempting to raise his stock again after a hard loss to Marcos Maidana and a questionable post-fight interview last year. And clocking rounds was all he did against Alatorre whom he had hurt in the second and sixth rounds of a 10 round bout. In fact, Ortiz seemed to possess the skill and power to finish his man at all times during the bout, but opted to take the fight the full 10 rounds instead. When the bell rang for the tenth round, the fighters came out, touched gloves and immediately went at it. Ortiz put his combinations together finally and pushed forward, stopping his man in 51 seconds of the final round with a perfect right uppercut, the third punch in a stiff combination. Alatorre dropped suddenly to the canvas and was unable to continue the fight.
This victory for Ortiz sets up a possible bout against former lightweight titleholder Nate Campbell on the Kahn-Malignaggi undercard in May.
Ricky Lopez of Oxnard California improved his record to 7-0 with a unanimous decision against a determined Hugo Ramos 2-5-2.
Ramos immediately put Lopez on the back foot for the 4 round fight, trying to lure Lopez into a brawl. Lopez regrouped and got back to boxing after the exciting first round and put in some good work. Ramos was shaken in the third, but covered up and got his legs beneath him. Ramos rallied enough over the last half of the round to take it. In the fourth, both fighters threw caution to the wind in an exciting back and forth battle that saw both men hurt. Both were gassed in the final minute but continued throwing, Lopez landing the better punches.
All three judges scored the fight 39-37. The BTBC’s man in the crowd had it 38-38.
Philadelphia’s Karl Dargan impressed the crowd as he was virtually untouchable against Jose Alfredo Lugo of Los Mochis, Mexico. Dargan 7-0 (3) boxed at distance and put together lightning fast combinations, frequently beating his opponent to the punch. Lugo was game, but could not find a way inside against Dargan. At the end of the fourth, another painfully one-sided round, Dargan landed a tooth rattling straight right. The hollow pop of fist against cheek elicited a collective sympathy groan from the crowd. Impressively, Dargan timed this punch as Lugo was throwing one of his, landed it, and was out of the way by the time Lugo’s arrived. Lugo retired on his stool, his record going 10-13-1 after losing his last 8. When the fight was called off, hardcore boxing fans got to see Dargan’s trainer Naziim Richardson in the ring, big as life.
One of last year’s FNC favorites, Charles Huerta, seemed to get a hometown decision against Guadalupe De Leon, the man who beat Derrick Wilson who beat Huerta by shocking first round knockout last year.
Huerta seemed gunshy as De Leon took it to him and pushed the action and it wasn’t until the third round that Huerta woke up and decided to throw more than a punch at a time. When Huerta decided to work, he was very accurate, but he didn’t seem to have a clue about how to deal with somebody who throws 8 punches at a time. De Leon took it to Huerta who was successful at times with potshotting, but appeared to be overwhelmed as he went life and death in a 6 rounder. Raul Caiz had the closest correct score at 57-57, Max DeLuca scored it 58-56, and David Denkin had it a ridiculous 59-55 for a MD win in Huerta’s favor. The man in the crowd gave it to De Leon 58-56.
Luis Ramos and Walter Estrada felt each other out and warmed up for four rounds in a scheduled four rounder. The most spirited exchange was after the final bell when both fighters remembered that they were not, in fact, sparring. All three judges gave it to Ramos 40-36. The BTBC man in the crowd decided that it would be a good time to get another drink and make a bathroom run, but may have scored it 39-37, giving the first round to Estrada for being a little bit busier.
After the main event, the crowd was treated to a performance by Candyman 187. The Man in the Crowd didn’t bother watching this since they didn’t look like this:
The FNC structure has improved and the crowd was responsive. The TV screens throughout the venue now show the fight as well for the instances in which the ref is blocking your view. This also helps with a visible ring timer and between-round replays. Somewhere up north, people were watching curling and ice skating; down in So Cal, hundreds upon hundreds of people turned up to see three hours of fighting. Golden Boy is bringing it back to Los Angeles.
The Fight Night Club will run once a month through November.