By Ricardo Ibarra
Former Tacoma amateur stand-out and now undefeated pro Nicholas Jefferson (8-0, 5 KOs) will headline for the first time on Saturday night, topping PNW Professional Boxing Promotions’ stacked eight-bout line-up on the campus of Green River College in Auburn, Washington. Jefferson will be looking for his ninth professional win, taking on battle tested journeyman Sean Gee (4-9) in the six round welterweight main event.
Training under the tutelage of former U.S.A. Olympic boxing team head coach Tom Mustin, Jefferson had an impressive run as an amateur competing in over 125 bouts. The rangy boxer won Golden Gloves championships five times and boxed internationally for team USA, claiming a bronze medal in 2013 at the World Combat Games in Russia. Since turning pro in June of 2017, Jefferson has looked sharp, racking up eight straight wins with five of those victories coming inside the distance. He scored his most notable professional wins in his last two fights, stopping California’s Jose Leon in the third last October, and taking a six round unanimous decision over Antonio Neal in February on a live streamed Roy Jones Jr. promoted card.
“Nicholas Jefferson has the skillset to go a long way in this sport,” said promoter Keith Weir. “He had a very good amateur career. He had a lot of fights and was highly decorated. Now he’s 8-0 as a pro and he’s looked good. If he focuses 100%, he can go as far as he wants in this sport.”
His opponent Gee, fighting out of Portland, Oregon, is a crossover fighter, competing in both boxing and MMA on a consistent basis. He’s earned a reputation as a tough fighter, having given Northwest fight fans some exciting fights over the years. In his most recent battle in a boxing ring, Gee gave well-regarded regional boxer Andres Reyes a tough scrap, losing a five round split decision last September.
“I think Jefferson’s fighting his toughest opponent to date right now in Sean Gee,” said Weir of the match-up. “Sean Gee is always in tough fights. He always tests everybody he faces. This should be a great main event.”
With seven fights rounding out the remainder of the card, the line-up boasts a promising roster of match-ups between young Pacific Northwest fighters. In the six round co-featured bout, Seattle’s Rob Diezel (13-7, 4 KOs) will square off with Gilberto Duran (3-1, 3 KOs), of Yakima, Washington, in a five round Jr. featherweight bout. Diezel will be looking to keep his recently rekindled momentum going after coming back from a lengthy lay-off last October, when he defeated Kenny Guzman by unanimous decision. The win was the fourth straight without a loss for the twenty-fight veteran. Duran, meanwhile, turned pro last October, going 1-1 in his first two fights. He’s currently on a two-fight winning run. His last win was a first-round knockout of Jose Rodriguez on April 6th in Tijuana, Mexico.
Competing in his third fight in six weeks, Tacoma’s Gerardo Esquivel (2-1, 1 KO) will step back into the ring looking to add a third consecutive victory, taking on late replacement Journey Newson (0-1) in a four round Jr. welterweight contest. Esquivel scored a mild upset in his first fight of the year on February 28th, beating previously undefeated Shae Green by decision. He followed that up with a first-round knockout win over Dylan Blakesly on March 23rd. Esquivel was originally scheduled to fight Manuel Ortega on this card, but an injury forced Ortega to pull out of the fight. Newson, of Beaverton, Oregon, is an experienced mixed martial artist, holding a professional record in that sport of 8-1. This will be his second professional contest as a pro boxer. In his lone pro appearance in the ring, he lost a close split decision to Shae Green this past January.
In a cruiserweight match-up that has the potential to deliver fireworks, Medford, Oregon’s Abraham Martin (3-0, 3 KOs) will look to keep his unblemished ledger intact, facing off with Hermiston, Oregon’s Alexandro Alvarez (0-1). The heavy-handed Martin has scored knockout wins in all three of his pro bouts, including his most recent outing, when he had to rally back from some shaky early moments to stop Johnny James in the first round on March 2nd. Alvarez made his pro debut in Auburn last October, losing to Taylor Shirley by stoppage in the fourth round of a wildly entertaining slugfest. Martin and Alvarez will square off in a four rounder at 185 pounds.
Looking to rebound from his only pro defeat, Kent, Washington’s Shae Green (3-1-1, 1 KO) will take on William Parra-Smith (1-2, 1 KO) in a welterweight clash. Green, a two-year pro who began boxing as an amateur in Germany, has had a rough start to 2019, kicking off the year eking out a close four round split decision win over the pro debuting Journey Newson in January. He lost his next fight, dropping a unanimous decision to Gerardo Esquivel on February 28th. Anchorage, Alaska’s Parra-Smith, on the other hand, recently claimed his first win in three fights as a pro, scoring a third-round stoppage over Luis DeAlba in March. The two combatants will meet in a four round contest.
Always entertaining lightweight Jorge Linares Montejo (4-3 3 KOs), of Edmonds, Washington, will look to break a two-fight losing streak, facing off with Kevin Davila (2-8-2, 1 KO) in a four round bout. Linares, who has taken part in some memorable brawls over the past two years, has suffered TKO losses in two consecutive outings. He was stopped in the fourth round in his last fight this past November by Marco Cardenas. Davila is also looking to come back from a recent loss, having dropped a four round unanimous decision to Niko McFarland in his last fight in November. The two will meet at the 135 lbs. limit.
Tacoma’s Sebastian Baltazar (1-4) will face off with Steven Hellman in a four round featherweight scrap. Though Baltazar only has one win on his five-fight ledger, the Tacoma fighter is earning a reputation as a tough competitor willing to take on a hard challenge at the drop of a hat. His last three losses were on undercards of major Top Rank events, with the Northwest banger giving a good account of himself in all three fights. He last fought on the Gvozdyk-Ngumbu undercard, dropping a four round unanimous decision to Allentown, Pennsylvania’s Jeremy Adorno. Hellman will be making his pro debut.
Unbeaten former Oregon amateur stand-out Chris Johnson (3-0, 1 KO) will step into the ring for the fourth time as a pro, battling California’s Shawn Harwood (0-3) in a Jr. middleweight contest. Johnson, of Bend, fought just over a month ago in Central Point, Oregon, scoring a second round TKO victory over Ian King. Harwood has lost all three of his pro fights. His last bout took place in May of last year, when he was stopped in four by Jorge Chavez. Johnson and Harwood will compete over four rounds.
“We’ve got a great card on hand,” said Weir of the event. “A lot of action with eight fights. It’s going to be a heck of a night. These guys are all coming to fight. Some of their records may not be that great, but it doesn’t matter when it comes to matches and making good fights. A lot of young guys but we’re all about getting young guys opportunities. They’re going to put on a good show.”
“We’re all about helping the young fighters in the Pacific Northwest,” continued Weir. “We’ve had 96 fighters on our six cards that we’ve put on so far. Forty-eight fights. And I think we’ve helped a lot. A lot of these fighters made their pro debuts on our cards and now they’ve gone on to fight at other venues and get opportunities in Las Vegas and all over. I think we’re doing a great thing for the Pacific Northwest pro boxing scene…I hope people come out and support their local fighters.”
Doors to the all ages event will open at 5 p.m. with the first fight set to kick off the card at 6 p.m. Tickets to the card, billed ‘Fight Night Brawl VII,’ are available at www.fightnightbrawlvii.eventbrite.com. For more information visit the PNW Professional Boxing Promotions Facebook page.