In a clash of former heavyweight title challengers, Kubrat Pulev (30-3, 14 KOs) scored a one-sided ten round unanimous decision over Andrezej Wasrzyk (34-3, 20 KOs) on Thursday night at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California. Pulev pressed the action and kept a jab in Wasrzyk’s face. Wasrzyk fought in spurts and usually moved in reverse. Pulev scored knockdowns in round six and round eight. Scores were 99-89, 100-88, 100-88.
Pulev, 42, previously challenged for the WBA/IBF/WBO belts against Wladimir Klitshko in 2014 and again against Anthony Joshua in 2020. Wawrzyk, 36, challenged Alexander Povetkin for the WBA belt in 2013.
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Former world title challenger Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (24-2-1, 19 KOs) scored a third round KO over Jose Marruffo (14-13-2, 2 KOs) in a super welterweight fight. Kavaliauskas dropped Marruffo in round two, but moments later was cut over the left eye by an accidental headbutt. Kavaliauskas dropped Marruffo again in round three to end it. Time was 2:10.
Fight Club OC closed out 2023 with 10 bouts on Thursday night at The Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California.
Opening the night was Los Angeles’s Victor Slavinskyi 14-2-1 (7KOs) vs. Darel Harris 12-23-2 (7KOs) from Texas in a 8 round, super featherweight boxing match that was an excellent opener. Slavinkskyi dropped Harris early in the first round and it looked like it was going to be an early night. Harris was game, he survived, and his pesky style allowed him to hang on until the fourth round. Eventually, Slavinkskyi proved too much for Harris, and, after getting bombed in the fourth round, the referee waved the proceedings over.
Moving up to the super middleweights for bout number two, Samuel Arnold 9-0 5KOs from Dallas, went even up vs. Andres Martinez 4-0 (1KO) from Guinea in a boxing match scheduled for six rounds. These combatants engaged in a contest that was so ugly and foul plagued, that it even had Referee Jack Reiss (whose seen it all as the third man in the ring) shaking his head. Round after round was a carbon copy of the last in which both fighters loaded up, sometimes connected, but mostly this bout was a game of “push me pull you”. In the end, Arnold took a decision over six rounds.
Bout number three saw Camarillo’s Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas 23-2-1 (18KOs) take on Jose Marruffo 14-12-2 (2KOs) of Arizona in an 8 round super welterweight bout. Kavaliauskas gave a workmanlike performance as he pounded on Marruffo for the first 2 rounds. The bout moved into the third round and the “Mean Machine” turned it up and stopped his foe shortly after that.
Bout number four was a 4 round lightweight contest between Dan Hernandez 3-4 from Riverside against Parley Jessop 0-1 from Las Vegas. These boxers came out in the center of the ring and it was clear that Jessop was in over his head. Lacking a solid defense, Jessop caught most of the punches Hernandez threw, and ultimately got stopped and dropped in the first round of a game but outclassed effort.
Moving into MMA for bout number five, Daniel Park (3-0) from Los Angeles met Humberto Duarte 5-5 from Arizona in a 3 round, flyweight match. Park has a crowd pleasing style but tonight he had to be more technical against the game, “in your face” approach of Duarte. The bout ended up being a chess match over 3 rounds in which Park took a decision over Duarte.
After that, in a Tequila Mandala Young Champions bout, Riverside’s Nate Palencia (1-2) fought LA’s Dorian Mendez 2-0 in a scheduled 4 round super lightweight boxing match. Palencia loves to mix it up so this bout was punches in bunches from the jump. It turns out Mendez isn’t one to take a backwards step either, so these two fought in a phone-booth from the opening bell to the end. Ultimately, Mendez was busier, landed more, and out hustled the very game Palencia to take a 4 round decision.
For bout number seven, Las Vegas’s Rene Moreno (10-0 4KOs) battled Diulh Olguin 16-33-7 (10KOs) from Oak Hills in an entertaining 6 round scrap. These boxers engaged in a highly tactical contest over 6th rounds. When it started, it looked like there might be an upset in the offing as Olguin dropped Moreno, but that was not to be as Moreno boxed steadily and took a solid six round decision.
In the eighth bout, Garden Grove local Luke Santamaria 14-1-1 (7KOs) battled Las Vegas’s Cameron Krael 20-31-3 (7KOs) in a 6 round welterweight bout. Known for his toughness, Krael started off well in the first round by landing a right hand that appeared to stun Santamaria. However, Santamaria regrouped and started piling up rounds with more consistent aggression. Krael was offensive-minded in spurts, but he spent too much time in a defensive posture that ultimately cost him down the stretch. In the end, Santamaria won a six round decision going away.
With his only loss to the great Sergey Kovalev, Tervel Pulev 18-1 14KOs (brother of Kubrat) took on Dionardo Minor 6-4-2 (2KOs) in a 6 round heavyweight contest in bout number nine. Pulev was all smiles as he entered the ring against the game Minor. The bout was decently paced but neither guy ever exerted much control over the other. Down the stretch, Pulev was busier, landed slightly more, and that’s what got him the nod over 6 rounds 59-64, 60-53, 60-53.
Closing out the show in bout number ten, he’s battled Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko, and Derek Chisora, but longtime heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev 30-3 14KOs of Bulgaria was right at home at Fight Club OC when he took on Andrzej Wawrzyk 34-3 (2KOs) of Poland. The two engaged a technical contest over 10 rounds that saw Pulev drop Wawrzyk in the 6th and 8th rounds. Overall, Pulev was more dominant but it seemed to a case of what Wawrzyk wasn’t doing vs. what Pulev was. In the end, Pulev won a 10 round decision.
Fight Club OC returns in 2024 on February 15th from The Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.