By Ricardo Ibarra
This Saturday at the EdenVale Winery in Medford, Oregon, three pro boxing contests will be featured as part of a pro/am mixed combat sports card presented by regional MMA organization Rogue Promotions. The event, which is the first in a series of shows of its kind, will have the boxing ring and the MMA cage set up side-by-side and feature a full day of competition with boxing, MMA, and submission matches scheduled.
Popular local fighter Enrique “Ricky” Gallegos (7-5-1, 2 KOs) will highlight the boxing portion of the line-up as he fights for the second time this year, taking on Shawn “The Hurricane” Hardwood, of Humboldt, California, in a five round middleweight bout. Gallegos, who was a decorated local amateur in his youth, has turned into a crowd-pleasing brawler as a professional. He made his debut in the paid ranks in 2006 and racked up a 6-2 record in his first eight bouts. He hit a rough patch starting in late 2007, losing three in a row, then taking a seven year leave from the sport in 2009. In September of 2016 he made his come-back, fighting to a four round majority draw against fellow Medford banger Rafael Valencia in an entertaining back and forth battle. In his last fight this past May, he scored a first round knockout of Josh Solis in what up to the point of the stoppage had been an entertaining slugfest.
Hardwood, meanwhile, is making his pro debut in the boxing ring. The Californian comes from a mixed martial arts background, going 3-2-1 in that sport.
“It’s going to be a great fight,” said promoter Matthew Phillips of the match-up. “Win, lose, or draw Gallegos is going to put on a show. And Hardwood has been an MMA guy, but he trains in a great boxing gym and has a great boxing coach. The last time Ricky fought, Shawn and his coach were right there ringside. They saw him fight and they’re excited about the fight. They think stylistically it’s a great match. They’re going to get in there and bang it out.”
Two five round bouts will make up the rest of the professional boxing part of the show. In a five round welterweight bout, Medford’s Troy Wohosky (1-2, 1 KO) will look to break a five year stretch of inactivity, facing off with Brennon Crow, of Redding, California. Wohosky, who has a deep amateur background of over one hundred matches and a number of prominent tournament victories, turned pro in 2010, losing his first two bouts before claiming a win in his third fight, knocking out Jacob Thomas in the first round. Unfortunately, a knee injury sidelined Wohosky for nearly four years. Now, over one year removed from a successful surgery to repair his ongoing issue, Wohosky will resume his professional career. Crow comes from an MMA background and is making his pro boxing debut.
Lastly, in a light heavyweight bout between two fighters making their first appearance in a paid boxing match, Abraham Martin will square off with Joshua Lagrange.
The event will be separated into two sessions, with an early day session featuring fifteen amateur boxing bouts and fifteen EBI rules submission matches kicking things off. The pro boxing and MMA part of the card will take place during the evening session.
“I’ve always had this idea that we would do a mixture of all the combat sports on a show,” said Phillips of the concept. “I think there’s still a big fan base for boxing. There’s a big fan base for jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, and MMA, which I think is the biggest thing right now. From an entertainment standpoint, we’ve done just amateur boxing, just kickboxing, and just MMA. The only way that you could really turn the corner is by putting the cage and the boxing ring side by side and introduce the MMA crowd back into boxing and the boxing crowd into MMA. Polish it up and make it a classy event.”
“It’s going to be good,” continued Phillips. “This is a concept we’ve been working on with the Oregon Athletic Commission for about two months now. It’s never been done in Oregon before. I’m sure it’s been done in other places, but not in Oregon. I think we’re going to knock this one out of the park.”
The day session will kick off at 10 a.m. with the amateur boxing and submission matches running simultaneously in both the ring and the cage, ending at around 3 p.m. Doors to the EdenVale Winery will re-open at 5:30 p.m. with boxing kicking off the show at 7 p.m., followed by both pro and amateur cage fights. Tickets to ‘Arena Wars: TOTAL KOMBAT Armageddon’ can be purchased locally at International Fitness, Wild River Pizza, Sky High, and Tribal Vape. 10 seat VIP tables are available and can be purchased through the promoter. Weigh-ins for the evening portion of the show will be open to the public and take place at 7 p.m. on Friday at Buffalo Wild Wings in Medford. For more info visit Rogue Promotions 54 1 on Facebook.