By Ricardo Ibarra
Photos by Mike Blair/Boxingprospects.net
Scoring his sixth straight win inside the distance, undefeated Pacific Northwest welterweight Cris Reyes (7-0, 6 KOs) scored a devastating first round stoppage win over last-minute replacement Lennard Davis (4-2-5, 3 KOs) on Saturday night at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington. Headlining Brian Halquist Productions’ 121st installment of the ‘Battle at the Boat’ series, Reyes dropped Davis twice before the fight was called in the opening frame.
Reyes, of Renton, Washington, went to work early and quickly buckled Davis’ knees with a clean left hook, putting him down seconds later with a follow up right hand. Reyes unloaded after the action was allowed to resume, catching his opponent repeatedly with flush uppercuts and sharp hooks in the pocket. Mid-way through the round, a big right hand sent Davis crashing to the canvas again. Referee Bobby Howard stepped in and called it at 1:43.
“I was surprised to knock him out in the first round,” Reyes said after the fight. “I pictured it in the third round. I knew he could fight. It was a surprise to me, to knock him out in the first round.”
“This was a dream come true,” said Reyes of headlining his first card. “It was exciting to see the support. I felt the love from the people coming out. They give me the strength to knock these dudes out every time.”
With the win, Reyes added his seventh career victory and his second of the year. Meanwhile Davis, who took this fight on two days’ notice after Reyes’ original opponent Jose Marrufo unexpectedly pulled out earlier this week for still unclear reasons, suffered his second career loss.
In addition to the main event, an eventful five fight undercard rounded out the remainder of the line-up. In a four round Jr. welterweight contest, Chicago’s Nick Brindise (2-0-1,) and Seattle’s Niko McFarland (4-4-2, 1 KO) battle to a majority draw. Brindise, who was making his return to the ring after a near two-year absence, put McFarland on the defensive early, catching him with hard left hooks in close. Brindise continued to work at a busier pace and for the first two rounds dominated with a persistent attack as McFarland fought tentatively. In the third, though, McFarland finally began to open up, stepping forward with one-twos and trading hard hooks in close. Both fighters continued to work at a faster tempo in the fourth, with McFarland maintaining the busier output, and Brindise landing the harder shots in a close final round. Two judges saw the fight a draw with scores of 38-38, with the last seeing it for Brindise at 39-37.
In a highly entertaining welterweight rematch, Portland, Oregon’s Sean Gee (4-10-1) and Sunnyside, Washington’s Antonio Neal (4-10-1, 3 KOs) battled to a six round split draw. The two had met once before in 2015, with Gee taking a four round majority decision win in that fight. The return bout was another action packed and closely contested contest. Gee, fighting out of a southpaw stance, countered effectively in the first round, landing quick right hooks as Neal pressed his way in close. Neal cut down the distance more effectively in the second round, pressing his way into the pocket with one-twos and following up with hooks to the head and body. Gee used his movement well in the third, avoiding a lot of Neal’s attack and landing at a slightly higher rate. Neal gained an edge in the fourth and fifth rounds, pressing the action in close and exchanging with Gee. The sixth round was a wild one with both fighters stepping to each other and unloading with hellacious combinations, trading momentum throughout the round. Down the final stretch the two combatants blasted away at each other as the crowd screamed in appreciation. After six rounds the three judges were split, with one seeing the fight for Gee at 58-56, another scoring it for Neal at 59-55, and the last seeing it a draw at 57-57.
Former Northwest amateur stand-out Brittany Sims (1-0, 1 KO) made an impressive entrance into the paid ranks, scoring a first round TKO win over North Carolina’s Myasia Oglesby (0-2). Sims displayed her superior power early, smashing Oglesby with a thunderous right hand and depositing her on the canvas. Sims pounced moments after the knockdown, cornering Oglesby with a barrage and forcing referee Jeff Macaluso to step in and stop the fight at :52 of the opening round. The bout took place in the featherweight division.
Anchorage, Alaska’s William Parra-Smith (2-3, 2 KOs) claimed his second career win, scoring a vicious fourth round knockout victory over Seattle’s Jacob Kremer (0-1). Parra-Smith began the bout stalking patiently in the first round, working behind his jab and moving in and out of the pocket. Mid-way through the round Parra-Smith smashed Kremer with a vicious left hook, sending him flailing to the canvas. In the second, Parra-Smith worked at a more measured pace, picking his shots and landing with left hooks and right hands. He upped his tempo in the third, putting the pressure on Kremer and rocking him back with sharp left hooks. His aggression left him open late in the round, though, and Kremer capitalized, rocking him with a left hook. Parra-Smith recovered quickly, and by the fourth was back in control of the fight with the more effective assault. Two-thirds into the round, a vicious left hook slammed Kremer’s chin, sending him down again. Referee Jeff Macaluso didn’t bother counting as Kremer was clearly in no condition to continue. The end came at 2:01 of the fourth round. The match-up took place in the welterweight division.
In the opening bout of the night, Renton, Washington heavyweight Nicholas Mills (1-0, 1 KO) made a successful debut as a professional boxer, scoring a third-round stoppage win over Justin Milani (1-6-1, 1 KO), of Pendleton, Oregon. Mills came out swinging from the outset, repeatedly catching his opponent and pushing him back with a consistent attack. He maintained the pressure throughout the first round and buckled Milani’s knees on at least two occasion. Early in the second round, a big right hand from Mills dropped Milani. After the mandatory eight-count, Mills put on the pressure, but Milani showed some resiliency, weathering the attack and managing to mount his own rally late in the round. The turn in momentum lasted only momentarily, though. Mills stormed back as the third got underway, cornering Milani and unloading with a sustained attack that prompted referee Bobby Howard to step in and call it at :22 of the third round.
The next ‘Battle at the Boat’ card at the Emerald Queen Casino will be a Showtime televised ShoBox card on Friday July 12th. Tickets are on sale at the EQC box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information visit the Battle at the Boat Facebook page or www.halquistproductions.com