People who enjoy watching a great sporting event, almost always have total recall of what made that contest special. From the first pitch, opening tip-off or sound of the starter’s pistol, it becomes etched in their memory. This reporter has more than a few extraordinary memories to store away from Saturday’s Muay Thai show at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.
First up, in Bout #8 there was this battle between Bruno Borges from the Alliance MMA & Training Center, Chula Vista, Calif. and Clifford Passmore from Buhawe Muaythai USA, Fresno, Calif. who were fighting for the IAMTF Super Lightweight USA title. The taller and what looked to be heavier Passmore appeared to be the odds on favorite. Plus, this was Borges’, the former champion’s first fight back after a long absence. Borges had switched over to boxing. Then, as luck or bad luck would have it, Borges hurt his hand. Passmore, who couldn’t help but notice Borges’ painful look, immediately went on the attack. Little guy with hand hurt versus big guy who nobody really knew. We’re not talking about one breath taking moment, a one punch knockout, a shot at the buzzer, we’re talking about Borges in this lengthy survival mode and he managed to survive. At first he switching to mainly kicks to save the bad hand. Then every time that Passmore got a bit too cocky, Borges would hit him square with the injured hand. How Borges was able to survive the five round fight and on top of that win it, was simply amazing.
Bout #9, between Joe Gogo and Anthony Castrejon was another battle between athletes with different specialties. Just looking at Gogo’s ultra fit body, Castrejon must have understood his limitations. He had to use the full ring. He had to avoid any constraints. He needed to be a sniper. Land that one good shot, a windmill or roundhouse kick and keep Gogo, this physical phenomenon from cornering him and prevent any the toe to toe striking. Guys as strong as Gogo need to be outfoxed and then outworked. To his credit, Gogo never lost his composure or got to the point where he looked to the crowd for some self-aggrandizement or help in belittling his opponent’s strategy. Gogo never stopped coming forward in hopes of exchanging punches with his elusive opponent.
By the end of the third round, Castrejon had become this human tether ball with his circling of the ring and wind-up kicks. Entering the fourth he finally slow down. This development gave Gogo an opportunity to get in close and start landing his power shots. After Gogo finally reached Castrejon, down he went. Granted, Castrejon kept getting up off the canvas and showed amazing resiliency, heart and determination. Anyone who missed this clash of styles or saw no value in it, missed a great fight.
“Knockout of the Night” has to go to David Huerta of Team Zarate from East Los Angeles, who caught Raj Patel from Team Oyama from Anaheim, Calif., flush on the chin in Bout #6. After getting up from the canvas, Patel somehow managed to convince the ref that he was alright and able to continue. Soon after he was issued a second 8-count and this time the referee could plainly see that his eyes were glazed and stopped the bout.
In Bout #1, an IAMTF Welterweight Ranking Bout, it was Ismail Iziz from the UFC Gym, San Diego scoring a second round TKO victory over Michael Ray from the Boxing Club, La Jolla, Calif. The key to victory for Iziz was to have his opponent fight while backpedaling.
In Bout #2, you had Alexis Cardova from Carrillo Muaythai of Santa Ana, Calif. winning a split decision victory over Adrian “Savage” Diaz from Valor Muay Thai, National City, Calif. in an IAMTF Flyweight Ranking Bout. After Diaz took round one, back came Cardova to take round two. Then, even though Diaz was the more active of the two in round three, Cardova won the judges over by landing the more powerful punches and kicks.
In Bout #3 it was Jair Rocha from Steel MMA, San Diego, winning a majority decision over Demitry Lopez from Buhawe Muay Thai, Fresno, Calif. in their IAMTF Bantamweight Western Title bout.
In Bout #4 it was Chad Berry from 8 Tribe who trains at the Undisputed Gym, in downtown San Diego winning a unanimous decision over the Russian Roman Lychenko from The Boxing Club, La Jolla, Calif. Plain and simple Berry made Lychenko look bad in rounds one and two with his kicks and punches to the head. Then, in the final round, Lychenko (blue gloves), knowing he was behind in the scoring, had to go all out to stop Berry to gain the victory. As a result, he did pull out all the stops with serious knee kicks to the head and chest. Lychenko took that final round, but it wasn’t enough to dent Berry’s insurmountable lead.
Bout #5 was almost a repeat of what happened in Bout #4 with Lychenko and Berry as James Gregory dominating in both rounds one and two and then held on in the third round to earn his 29-28 unanimous decision victory over the taller, slow starting Ryan Rahimpour from the Art of Eight Training Center, Kearny Mesa, Calif.
Bout #7: With Alyisha Madison’s original opponent pulling out of their contest at the last minute, Madison and the less experienced Paola Lopez from Valor Muay Thai, National City, changed Bout #7 from a war to an exhibition.
In Bout #10, it was Jason Belangoy of Jhanex Muaythai winning a split decision victory over Angel Salazar from Buhawe Muay Thai, Fresno, Calif. Even though Salazar excelled in round one by delivering the harder and better placed kicks and Belangov only concentrated on his combinations, by round two, Belangov had his opponent pegged and started making more headway in the scoring to secure the victory. Just as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway did at the Academy Awards this year and Steve Harvey did in 2015 at the Miss Universe Contest, the wrong winner was announced. However, before the boxers left the ring, the problem had been resolved and Jason Belangoy got his proper recognition as the winner.
In Bout #11, an IAMTF Welterweight Ranking Bout, they had Eddie Perez of Progressive Martial Arts in his debut going up against Kurban Kurbanov from the Boxing Club, La Jolla. In the end, it was Kurbanov winning a unanimous decision victory by virtue of his superior stamina and use of high knee kicks.
In the final bout of the evening, Bout #12, it was Susan Wallace of Steel MMA versus Megan Tammadong of Oyama Muay Thai of Anaheim, Calif. In each and every exchange, Wallace was right there making certain that she got the best of each exchange. As far as accuracy goes, Wallace’s kicks and punches were right on target throughout the match to insure the victory in this IAMTF Women’s Flyweight Western Title match.
We have not yet received word as far as the date for the third of four Dennis Warner WCK Muay Thai Shows at this same venue but we will keep you posted.