By Ricardo Ibarra
Unbeaten Jr. lightweight prospect Giovanni Cabrera-Mioletti (15-0, 6 KOs) will look to continue his ascent up the divisional ladder on Saturday night at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, facing off with upset-minded Filipino banger Recky Dulay (11-4, 8 KOs) in the main event of Brian Halquist Productions’ 120th edition of the long-running ‘Battle at the Boat’ series.
Fighting out of Chicago, Illinois, but originally from Seattle, Cabrera-Mioletti is looking to build on what has been a significant twelve month run for the young fighter, kicked off in January of 2018 with a decision win over former USBA lightweight champion Tyrone Harris. He followed that up with five subsequent wins over well-regarded opponents, including victories over fellow undefeated fighters Ray Lampkin, Elijah Pierce, and Headley Scott. This past January, he scored arguably his most impressive victory to date, stopping former world title contender Antonio Escalante in three rounds. As the twenty-four-year-old fighter continues to face tougher opposition, he’s displayed a widening array of skills in the ring, which have served him well as durable opponents look to put those skills to the test. He’ll face off with a tough fighter looking to test him again this Saturday.
Dulay, who hails from Makati City, Philippines, currently trains out of Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. He made his American debut in 2015 after fighting nine of his first ten fights in his native country, suffering a first-round loss to then rising contender Gervonta Davis—who would go on to claim two world titles and currently holds the WBA 130 lbs. championship. Sixteen months later Dulay rebounded from the loss with a second-round knockout win over Noel Adelmita back home in January of 2017. He returned to the U.S. that July, taking on undefeated Panamanian prospect Jaime Arboleda and scoring a surprising upset win at the Forum in Inglewood, California, knocking him out in the third round. The win led to a shot at the vacant WBO-NABO Jr. lightweight title against Darden Zenunaj, in a fight he would lose via third-round stoppage.
The twenty-five-year-old Filipino fighter has gone 1-1 in his last two fights and is hoping to get back in the win column after losing a six round unanimous decision to Edgar Ortega in his last fight this past October.
Cabrera-Mioletti and Dulay will battle over ten rounds in the 130 lbs. division. In addition to the main event, promoter Brian Halquist and matchmaker Andy Nance have lined up a five-fight undercard.
In the semi-main event, California prospect Miguel Contreras (6-0, 5 KOs), of Bakersfield, will square off with Keasen Freeman (4-5, 2 KOs) in a Jr. welterweight contest. Contreras, a decorated amateur, entered the paid ranks in 2016 and has won all but one of his professional fights inside the distance. He’s currently riding a three-fight knockout streak, with his last fight being a fifth-round stoppage win over Mike Melikyan last September. Freeman, of South Carolina, is looking to break a five-fight losing run. His last fight was a first-round loss to Justin Biggs in December. The two will square off in a six rounder.
Kent, Washington’s Niko McFarland (3-4-1, 1 KO) will look to continue his current unbeaten streak in a four round Jr. welterweight bout, taking on Manuel Ortega (1-6), of Seattle. McFarland, who began his pro career losing four consecutive fights, has turned things around recently, winning three in a row. In his last fight, he took a four round split decision victory over Luis DeAlba this past January. Ortega, meanwhile, only has one win in seven fights, but he’s been in the ring with some note-worthy fighters, losing to Evgeny Gradovich and Randy Caballero early on in their respective careers, both of whom would go on to claim world titles. This will be the first fight for Ortega in over five years. He last fought in November of 2013, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Jeremy McCleary.
Normandy Park, Washington’s Andres Garcia Abarca (1-1) will battle Charon Spain (0-12-1) in a scheduled four round bout. Garcia Abarca has proven to be an entertaining fighter over his short stint as a pro, giving a spirited effort against former amateur stand-out Chris Johnson, losing a four round majority decision; and defeating Luis DeAlba by decision at the Emerald Queen last September. Spain, meanwhile, will be looking for his first win after thirteen pro fights. The two combatants will meet in the welterweight division.
In a four round battle between winless fighters, Seattle’s Luis DeAlba (0-2) will meet William Parra-Smith (0-2), of Anchorage, Alaska, in a Jr. welterweight match-up. DeAlba came close to claiming his first win this past January, when he lost a four round split decision to Niko McFarland. Parra-Smith’s last loss occurred on the same card, losing via unanimous decision to Derick Bartlemay, who at the time was also without a win.
Rounding out the card will be another battle between fighters looking for their first pro win as Dylan Blakesly (0-1), of Vancouver, Washington, takes on Seattle’s Carlos Hernandez (0-1) in a four round Jr. welterweight match-up.
Doors to the Emerald Queen Casino I-5 showroom open at 6 p.m. with the first bout set to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event are available through the EQC box office and all Ticketmaster Outlets. For more information visit www.halquistproductions.com or the Battle at the Boat Facebook page.