Friday, August 25, 2017


Photos by Sarah Fiske

The San Fernando Valley’s only professional boxing show once again delivered great matchmaking last Friday with 7 hotly contested bouts, including 3 draws and two majority decision. 
Local favorite Ruben Campos (2-0, 1KO) was scheduled to open the evening’s festivities but his opponent Omar Reyes showed up feeling ill, leaving Campos and his fans without a fight. Hopefully we get to see this exciting young fighter in the ring before too long.
With the first bout scrapped, undefeated super bantamweight Alexander Enriquez (3-0-3) took on a very tough Jose Fabian Naranjo (3-7-2) in a four-round battle that left the judges without a clear victor, forcing them to score the bout a majority draw. The one dissenting judge scored the fight for Naranjo.
Undefeated welterweight Humberto Velazquez (6-0-2) remained perfect as a professional, cruising to a majority decision victory over Luis Alfredo Cruz (0-2-2). Velazquez relied on his superior footwork and pure boxing pedigree to keep Cruz off balance for most of the fight. Although one judge did score the bout a draw, Velazquez clearly asserted himself as the better boxer.
Heavy-handed welterweight Travis Gambardella (2-0-2) came in bobbing and weaving and looking for the big knockout.  But it was his opponent Jordan Marriott (1-3-2) who landed the first big shot, catching Gambardella as he charged in aggressively. Gambardella appeared to get into more of a groove after the first round, but the awkward style of Marriott seemed to keep him at bay. Once again the fight ended up in the judges hands and after four rounds the evening’s second majority draw had been declared. The one dissenting judge saw the fight for Gambardella.
“You can’t teach reach!” and for six long rounds, Moris Rodriguez (6-10-1) learned that lesson as light middleweight Bryan Flores (7-1-0) continued to school his shorter more aggressive opponent in the finer aspects of the sweet science. Unrelenting like a junk yard dog, Rodriguez continued to press his taller opponent, but the long punches and counter work by Flores continued to accumulate points earning him the majority decision with one judge scoring the bout a draw. 

Hollywood stunt-man/Boxer Sam Horowitz (6-3-2) had the hometown crowd on his side, but his opponent Daniel Najera (7-1-1) came looking to steal the thunder by catching Horowitz.  Najera looked to steal the opening rounds but Horowitz began to come to life early in the third and continued his assault in the fourth. Once again, the four-round fight was unable to clearly define a winner, forcing the judges to declare a majority draw. One judge scored the bout for Najera.
Undefeated super lightweight Stylianos Papadopoulos (8-0-1) remained perfect as a pro as he cruised past well-travelled journeyman Jose Miguel Castro (5-8-0). Papadopoulos relied on his superior footwork and athleticism, creating angles and openings that Castro just could not defend. Out gunned and down on points, Castro did his best to make it a scrap. But in the end, Papadopoulos cruised to the unanimous decision victory.

Undefeated French import Jaber Zayani (10-0) impressed what was left of the capacity crowd by swiftly dispatching his opponent Angel Monrreal (10-10-1) via second round knockout. Early in the first round it was clear that Zayani held the cards in the power department, moving his opponent with every punch. Monrreal was never able to get comfortable as Zayani refused to give him an inch to breathe. The impressive performance for Zayani will certainly move his name up in the lightweight rankings, giving the Wild Card Gym yet another prospect.

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