Report/Photos: Boxing Bob Newman
It’s not uncommon to have rival boxing shows going head to head in the same area on the same night. But in a somewhat unique twist on Saturday night in Colorado, two such competing shows wound up combining into one mega event in Loveland, Colorado.
Originally, there was one event slated for Denver, promoted by Steve Mestas’ Airtight Boxing, while Loveland had a show promoted by Jeff Cisneros’ Sparta Combat League.
However, the situation was such that there were not enough officials and administrators within the Colorado Combative Sports Commission to cover both shows simultaneously. So the move was made to merge both shows together in Loveland, forming a 22 match mega event, combining boxing, kickboxing, MMA and Muay Thai, some amateurs and some pros. Fightnews.com® opted concentrate on the boxing matches for this event.
Among the eight slated boxing events, were five bouts that were listed as “elimination boxing,” in that they featured amateur fighters in 3×2-minute rounds, but these bouts are not being sanctioned by USA amateur boxing.
Opening the entire evening was a welterweight elimination boxing match featuring Cruz Bustillos and Kris Davis. The shorter Bustillos was busier and landed the harder shots on the lanky Davis. It appeared Davis was ready to go in the third and final round, but he weathered the storm. Final scores were 29-28 and 30-27 x 2 all for Bustillos.
The second elimination boxing match on the card featured another pair of welterweights in Mario Perez and James Huff. This was an entertaining bout which saw the shorter Perez try and work the body of the elongated Huff. In the second, Huff, landed a series of blows which stopped Perez in his tracks and forced a red mouse under Perez’ left eye. The two continued to ply their own tactics in the third, with Huff landing a powerful left to the head at the final bell. Scores were 29-28 and 30-27 x 2, all for Huff. Incidentally, Huff is the nephew of Denver’s own former two-time WBC lightweight champion Stevie Johnston.
Super welterweights Jason Milan and Darien Lou-Pierre provided yet another Mutt & Jeff affair as Lou-Pierre towered over Milan by at least 6 inches. Milan had trouble getting inside Lou-Pierre’s left jab throughout. A sweeping right caught a lunging Milan alongside his left temple and down he went in his own corner in the second. Milan was stunned again in the third but lasted the round. Lou-Pierre swept a unanimous 30-26 decision.
Amateur featherweights Tyler Mitchell and Nate Cortez thrilled the crowd with high level action over three rounds. While Cortez was the aggressor, coming forward from the start, Mitchell was ever the sharp counter puncher. By round two, Cortez’ nose was bloodied as his head was snapped back time and again as it seemed Mitchell couldn’t miss his mark. All three judges had it 30-27 for Mitchell.
The final elimination boxing match featured welterweights Jaden Overman and Seth Turpin. This was a back alley brawl if there ever was one! While Overman seemed a bit more measured and calm, Turpin was wilder and reckless. Still, there was little to choose between the two as evidenced by the judges score cards: 29-28 Turpin and 29-28 x 2 for Overman via the split decision. The former marine Turpin was a bit unlucky on this veteran’s day.
Now it was time for the pros.
Lightweights Erion Johnson and Anel Dudo waged war in a scheduled 4-rounder. Dudo was deliberate with his shots, which seemed to have greater effect on Johnson, shaking and buckling him on several occasions. Johnson would rally with flurries that scored points, but did little to hurt Dudo. By the third round, Johnson’s left eye was swollen and bleeding. Dudo closed out the show with hard shots at the end of the bout. The scores were 39-36 and 40-36 twice, all for Dudo, who improves to 2-5, 1 KO. Johnson falls to 1-4.
Southpaw welterweights Josh Challenger and Masai Rasheed clashed in a scheduled four rounder. Actually, “clashed” is an overstatement. Rasheed thought he was here for a track meet, while Challenger could not cut off the ring to save his life. On occasion, Rahseed would suddenly stop and counter the forward pressing Challenger. That was apparently enough as all three judges scored it 40-36 for Rasheed, who now goes above .500 at 3-2, while Challenger loses his first at 2-1.
In the boxing main event and fight of the night, youngster Sergio Lopez tangled with Colorado veteran Steve Marquez in a scheduled for round super middleweight contest. Marquez reminded one of a poor man’s Duran, defying the odds and years, to hang with and even school a young up-and-comer with skill, defense and the ability to roll with punches. In the end, all three judges agreed by scores of 39-37, that Marquez turned back the clock and won by unanimous decision, moving to 18-21-2, 11 KOs. Lopez drops to 5-3, 3 KOs.