To quote the Zagat rating system: “The sound system at the Fluxx Night Club in San Diego’s Gaslamp District hits hard. The decor and lighting are next level at this glitzy, Vegas‑style nightclub with its exclusive feel.”
On Monday night, the Fluxx Night Club, in association with Victory MMA of Point Loma, hosted their fifth in a series of Boxing Shows and had an announced attendance of 1,400. That would be 1,400 exuberant, elbow to elbow, fight fans chattering away while either a husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, work mate or neighbor courageously did battle in the boxing ring after their short training periods. This scenario is not unlike what the writer George Plimpton went through. He’s the gentleman who wrote the books “Out of My League” (baseball, 1961); “Paper Lion” (football, 1966); and “The Bogey Man” (golf, 1968) which dealt with the exploits of an average joe, Plimpton, while attempting to compete in a professional sport. On Monday night, 30 Plimpton-like combatants, ages 20 thru 41, got in the Fluxx boxing ring to face a like opponent with the same intent – knock your rival’s head off.
How so many people were able to fit in such a small venue is baffling. The way the crowd composed themselves and the security people were able to maintain order – simply amazing. One thing is for certain – there’s no such thing as an early night when you visit the fun-loving Fluxx Night Club.
For the gentlemen attending, there was no shortage of gorgeous babes. From the high fashioned to those wearing the skimpiest of dresses, with their splash of Chanel or Black Opium the majority of the ladies present would be ranked limited edition. However, after more than four hours of liquid refreshments, some of these damsels lost some of their glitter – like the one gal who started whipping her boyfriend’s face with her long locs. Holiday gift suggestion for that boyfriend – pay to have your girlfriend’s hair braided. There was also one gent who managed to slip by the doorman ignoring the club’s strict dress code. The message on his T-shirt read, “Out on Bail.”
Without further ado, here are the results from the 15 bouts. In Bout #1, it was 22 year-old John Butts from The Colony, Denton County, Texas (154 lbs.), a sailor stationed in San Diego and working out at Victory MMA going up against David Gates of Chula Vista (153.2 lbs.) who trains with Sergio Melendrez at the Alliance Training Center, Chula Vista.
Early on both boxers took their turn wailing away at each other and at times used two and three punch combinations. Before long, Gates’ harder and straighter punches started to take their toll and after consecutive 8-counts, referee Dana Kaplan called a halt to the match.
Bout #2 featured a 22 year-old righty by the name of Joseph Albani (144.4 lbs.) of the Alliance Training Center going up against a 27 year-old southpaw by the name of Tristen Dingsen (143.2 lbs.) from Victory MMA with an Amateur record of 4-1. In this back and forth tightly contested match, Albani won over the judges with his dandy footwork and straight right hands to the head.
Bout #3 had 27 year-old bartender Ryne Fogleman (159.2 lbs.) of Miss B’s Coconut Club of Mission Beach which will be having its Grand Opening in March of 2016, going up against 23 year-old Ryan Rahimpour (161.2 lbs.) of San Diego who works in the meat department at Ralph’s. Both men may have trained at Victory MMA but they were coming at this proposition from different perspectives. Fogleman figured he’d take the fight on a lark after only training for two weeks. “I did see that movie Southpaw and I also watched several Rocky movies.” He figured it would be a great public relations stunt for the new Mission Beach hotspot. The more serious Rahimpour had been in the gym for 18 months and had been sparring for a year.
In round one, Fogleman figured he’d go all out and gave it everything he had. The strategy worked and he soon had Rahimpour either pinned in a corner or back-peddling. However, as soon as Rahimpour settled in and got his baring, the more accurate punches, especially to face, had referee Hondo Fontan issuing Fogleman an 8-count. Being such a hard nosed competitor, Fogleman returned the favor, and the ref was soon issuing Rahimpour an 8-count. For someone so limited in respect to the time spent in the gym, Fogleman made it interesting. Not enough to win on the scorecards but certainly enough to represent his employer well.
In Bout #4 it was 23 year-old Christopher Tran a 160.6 pound photographer going up against 26 year-old Faron Rodriguez (157.8) of DTown Productions who is originally from Coffeyville, Kansas. Both boxers had been training at Victory MMA, Tran, off and on for 5 years, while Rodriguez had been at it for just one year. Both had one win and no defeats in USA Amateur competition. With Rodriguez having an advantage as far as reach, he was able to potshot Tran and soon had a respectable lead in points to earn the win.
In Bout #5, it was 21 year-old Arjuna Arreola from Tijuana (6 foot tall, 163.8 lbs., no relation to the heavyweight contender Cris Arreola), coming away with the stoppage victory over the 30 year old Henry Fuentes who hails from the Bronx, New York (5’7”, 165.8 lbs.) and trains at the National City CYAC. As in the Tran vs. Rodriguez match, Fuentes failed to get inside and do the necessary bodywork to get the win while Arreola kept peppering Fuentes with hard jabs and an occasional right hand that eventually had Fuentes’ nose bleeding.
During the brief intermission you had time to look around at the many celebrities in the crowd which included Dean Lister, a two-time National Sambo Champ, four-time Machado National Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champ, 2005 Abu-Dhabi tournament champ, King of the Cage Champ, you name it. Also present you had pro boxer/mixed martial artist Dashon “Fly Boy” Johnson who on August 27 defeated Elias Espadas to win the California Super Welterweight title and then on November 7th, upset Mike Gavronski to win the WBA-NABA USA super middleweight title. The Fluxx also had MMA fighter Nick Barnes as a guest, fresh off his Bellator #147 victory over James Terry on Saturday night. Barnes was sitting next to boxing trainer Jose Cital who was likely keeping an eye on his hot prospect super bantamweight Jorge “Tito” Ruiz (9-2, 3 KOs) who is now in negotiations to face Prince Tiger Smalls (9-0-1, 2 KOs) at the Viejas Casino on January 27th.
After intermission, ring announcer Sal Arellano was back to making his introductions: “Bout #6. First out of the red corner, standing 5’8” tall and weighing 163.2 pounds and representing City Boxing and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, from San Diego by way of New York City, New York, is Raphael “Mr. International” Delaquia. And his opponent, fighting out of the blue corner and standing 5’11” tall and weighing 167.8 pounds, training at The Pride of San Diego Gym in Bonita, Calif. is Hector “Chaos” Gomez.”
Since the 23 year-old Gomez (now 2-0), who works at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in Kearny Mesa, had an advantage as it pertained to hand speed over the 37 year-old Delaquia, this one didn’t get passed the first round before referee Hondo Fontan stepped in to call for an early stoppage. Gomez won by going fast and furious at Delaquia, attacking nonstop with the hard rights and lefts.
In Bout #7 it was 27 year-old Suzie Alvarez (135 lbs.) formerly from Los Angeles and now working at the Fluxx Night Club. For this fight, Alvarez had been training for a year. Her opponent on Monday night was Lex Houston (130.4 lbs.) of the Barleymash Restaurant & Sports Bar, a morning jogger who never boxed and had just one month to prepare. Knowing the circumstances, the USA Amateur Boxing officials kept a keen eye on this match and stopped the fight abruptly after Houston had been punched squarely in the face just three times. Victory by TKO went to Alvarez. At first Houston was bewildered, dumbfounded and finally perturbed at the quick stoppage. It should have been explained to Houston that referee Dana Kaplan will go to any length to protect such a pretty face.
In Bout #8, it was 28 year-old Geoff Villareal (137 lbs.) of AD Nightclub going up against 21 year-old Jesus Corral (131 lbs.) of the Tilted Kilt who had been training for eight months. This turned out to be a terrific scrap but unbeknownst to many, Mr. Villareal had a handicap when you consider his missing left hand and recent struggles with three life threatening illnesses. Corral dominated on the scorecards to win an unanimous decision.
In Bout #9, it was 29 year-old Ashley Randall, formerly from 1000 Oaks, Calif. (132 lbs.) who not only trains at the UFC Gym in Point Loma, she’s an instructor there with a degree in kinesiology from San Diego State. Randall’s opponent 25 year-old Deidra Destefano (131.4 lbs.) who hails from Cranston, Rhode Island and trains at Victory MMA had just three weeks to train. She works at both The Rabbit Hole and The Tavern in Pacific Beach.
From the outset, this one went the way of the free swinging barmaid, especially after she landed this big overhand right on Randall’s chin. Randall’s strategy involved the less effective tying up her opponent and going to the midsection with the shorter arm punches.
Bout #10 featured 31 year-old Tim Keller (218.2 lbs.) from Victory MMA and working at the PB Shore Club who was in his first fight ever and having just two months to train. His opponent was 40 year-old Rodrigo Iglesias, no relation to Julio, weighing 208 lbs. and unattached. After Iglesias appeared to have a ton of experience, and Keller none at all, referee Hondo Fontan quickly stepped in to call a halt to the thumping.
In Bout #11 it was the 41 year-old, 5’7” tall Errol Assuncion (154.2 lbs.) of Victory MMA recording the TKO victory over the 36 year-old, 5’4” tall photographer/videographer Huy Hoang (159 lbs.) of Oceanside, Calif. While Assuncion concentrated on peppering his foe with either the hard jab or straight right, Hoang seemed more intent on trying to land the knockout blow. Even though he did land several hard left hooks, he couldn’t match Assuncion’s output.
In Bout #12, they had 30 year-old Peter Lemke (177 lbs.) of Victory MMA going three full rounds versus the 30 year-old Chad Frazier (180.6 lbs.), no relation to Smokin’ Joe. Simply put, Lemke, who had been training for one year, found himself up against a large, immobile boulder. No matter what he did. No matter which punch he threw from whatever angle, he was no match for Frazier who blocked the punches and kept inching closer. With his nose bleeding from Frazier’s power shots to the face, Lemke spent rounds two and three backing up which appeared to be the only way for him to survive the fight.
In Bout #13 it was 32 year-old Cameron Allen, a bartender at Pacers International Show Girls on Midway Drive in Point Loma, going up against Tony Tata from The Duck Dive on Mission Blvd. in Pacific Beach. Allen, who grew up in Manhattan, Kansas, weighed in at 210.8 lbs. and had three months of training. His opponent Tata, a 241.2 pound Samoan who hails from Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, only had one month to train.
The size difference made this fight an adventure for Allen. After each of Tata’s pawing jabs came the big overhand right which eventually had Allen’s nose bleeding. Twice Tata had the fleet-footed Allen turn and run. With Tata’s hands being so big, the man in charge of handing out the gloves said he had a very difficult time finding a pair of gloves to fit Tata’s hands. To draw an analogy of the size difference, this was like a high school senior going up against a freshman. There was no way for Allen to defeat Tata without a lot more experience in the ring.
Bout #14 had 27 year-old Andy Martinez (138.2 lbs.) representing The Barley Mash and PB’s Shore Club going up against 27 year-old Ian Felicitas (140.8 lbs.) who is from Cebu City, Philippines. Even though they had been working out at the same gym, they had not sparred against one another. Martinez said he had taken up Boxing 14 months ago while Felicitas said he’d only been training for a month. However, Felicitas had trained extensively in the other fighting sports – the Mixed Martial Arts, mostly Jiu Jitsu and also wrestling.
As soon as the first bell rang, you could see Felicitas had more confidence by the way he was sitting down on his punches, while Martinez circled about in the uneventful first round. By the end of round three, the judges had the more relaxed Felicitas ahead on the punch count to secure the decision victory.
Bout #15 had 27 year-old Daniel Garcia (194 lbs.) of Victory MMA going up against 30 year-old Thomas Luhta (187 lbs.) of City Boxing Downtown, a former Marine. Luhta, who now works for the City of Chula Vista, had trained 11 months for this fight while Garcia, who outweighed Luhta by seven pounds, had only recently taken up the sport. With the punches flying in every direction and a lot of holding, this match was difficult to score. It depended on the value the judges gave to the more powerful blows in relation to the inside steady work done by Luhta. Just before the final bell, Garcia caught Luhta with a very hard shot to the head and that one devastating blow likely swayed the judges to give the close decision to Garcia in a contest that had everyone’s interest.
As a test of your familiarity with today’s top personalities who have either performed at or graced the Fluxx Night Club with their presence, try naming as many of these celebrities as you can from the collage below.
The next Amateur show in San Diego will be this Friday, December 11, first bell to ring at 7 p.m. at the Bound Boxing Academy in Chula Vista. The next Pro show is tentatively set for January 27, 2016 at the Viejas Casino – see you there.