Report and Photos by Ricardo Ibarra
In one of two pro boxing contests featured on Saturday night’s mixed combat sports card at the EdenVale Winery in Medford, Oregon, local welterweight Troy Wohosky (2-2, 1 KO) broke a four year stretch of inactivity with an entertaining five round unanimous decision win over Redding, California’s Brennon Crow (0-1). The bout was part of an all day mixed combat sports event presented by Rogue Promotions.
Wohosky worked well from range in the first two rounds, using his superior boxing skills to set the distance and maneuver in and out of the pocket, smashing Crow with leaping left hooks upstairs and solid digs to the mid-section. Crow, an MMA fighter who was making his pro boxing debut, proved to be a game competitor, pressing forward trying to cut down the distance on his elusive opponent even while taking some hellacious shots. Late in the second round Crow’s vigilance paid off as he was able to corner Wohosky and unloaded with a barrage, forcing Wohosky into a closed quarters fight. The two fighters closed out the round trading heavily to the cheers of an appreciative crowd.
In the third, Wohosky came out much more aggressively, moving forward with hard right hands, looking to trade more than had been the case earlier. The change in strategy gave Crow more opportunities to land, and he did, making the round a close one, but Wohosky was more effective landing at a higher rate. The trend continued in the fourth round, with both fighters engaging in some intense back and forth action, with Wohosky landing the more effective shots.
In the fifth and final round Wohosky went back to using his movement, stepping in with big shots before moving out of the way of what was being thrown back, controlling the majority of the round. All three judges saw the bout for Wohosky with scores of 50-45, 50-45, and 50-44.
With the victory Wohosky adds a second fight to his win column after sitting out the last four years due to a knee injury.
In the one other boxing contest on the card, light heavyweight Abraham Martin (1-0, 1 KO), of Tallinn, Oregon, made a successful debut as a professional prize fighter, stopping Medford’s Travis Cavalli (0-1) in the second round. The fight got off to a fast pace with both fighters stepping in close and unloading on each other from the start, winging away with heavy power shots. Martin began to use his longer reach and more refined boxing skills as the round progressed, setting the distance and landing effectively with a consistent attack.
In the second round Cavalli, an MMA fighter who stepped in on one day’s notice to make his pro boxing debut, began to visibly tire and slowed his output. Martin, meanwhile, upped his aggression, digging with precise hooks to the body. Mid-way through the round a right-cross to the chin sent Cavalli reeling back to the ropes, which kept him from falling, prompting referee Steve Newport to rightly call a knockdown and issue a count. Martin pounced after the action was allowed to resume, firing away with a sustained assault on his tiring opponent. As the referee stepped in to break up a clinch, he took a look at Cavalli and made the decision to stop the fight. The end came at 2:43 of the second round.
A third fight between Medford’s Enrique Gallegos and California’s Shawn Hardwood was canceled at the weigh-in after Hardwood failed to submit all of the required paperwork to the Oregon state athletic commission.
The card was a first for the state of Oregon, which featured the boxing ring and the cage set up side by side and had two boxing and ten MMA fights during the evening portion of the card, as well as thirteen submission only grappling matches during an early morning session.
Promoter Matthew Phillips spoke about the success of the event after the fights. “This was a great event. A lot to it, but it was a fricking good one. When everyone is cheering and you see the whole facility packed and everyone’s laughing and having a good time, and just being entertained by great athletes, that’s when it’s all worth it, all that hard work.”
A long time MMA promoter, Phillips was pleased with his first try at staging pro boxing. “They were great fights. Maybe a premature stoppage in the first one, but great fights overall. I definitely want to do more boxing and tap into the boxing crowd. We definitely had a great draw with it and I think combining it with the MMA crowd is probably good because it classes up the event. We can cross section it and we can teach the boxing fans that MMA’s cool and teach the MMA fans that boxers put on good fights.”
Rogue Promotions will stage another card featuring both boxing and MMA September 16th at the Fairgrounds Pavilion in Salem, Oregon.