Battle at the Boat 110

March 18, 2017

Brian Halquist and the

Emerald Queen Casino

There are times when a boxing match is like a game of chess. One fighter is thinking a few moves ahead, trying to determine what he will do when the man across from him throws a left hook while that opponent is trying to outguess the other fighter. Then there are times when the boxing match needs to be a little less strategic and more aggressive throwing of punches. Aaron Coley and Dashon Johnson fought for ten rounds in a match that while intriguing, was more like the game of chess than the punchfest that many expected. Coley entered the fight with only one loss, and that came against an unbeaten Ukrainian. Johnson has been in tough in his last ten fights, and has shown moments of brilliance.

The pace of the opening round was slow, perhaps because Johnson was trying to determine how to attack the southpaw Coley. Coley was the more aggressive fighter in the round as he kept stepping toward Johnson, shooting his jab at Johnson's body. When Coley stepped in, Johnson took advantage of the closing distance and shot his jab and landed shots to Coley's midsection. The two men fought in close in the second round, but often when they were close, they ended up holding each other, forcing the referee to step in to break them apart. Coley did not throw as many punches in the round and that created an opening for Johnson who was able to land punches to Coley's head.

Coley adjusted his attack in the third round and shot his jab from a distance. He had a slight reach advantage over Johnson and that meant Coley could land shots while staying just out of Johnson's range. Johnson slipped a lot of those punches, and at times he jumped in to take the fight to Coley's body. Coley kept the pressure on Johnson through the fourth round, and Johnson did well to move and slip many of those shots. Moving out of the way of Coley's punches meant that Johnson was not able to step in to a rhythm and answer with punches of his own.

Johnson had a good fifth round, and that started early when he landed a solid right to Coley's head. The shot stunned Coley for a moment and Johnson used that to jump toward Coley targeting his head and body. The sixth round was close as both men landed punches to the body. That also meant they were fighting in close and when in close, they resorted to holding.

Johnson looked to increase the distance between himself and Coley in the seventh round. Coley pursued Johnson and threw his straight right to keep Johnson from getting close. In the eighth round Johnson stepped up his level of aggression; he shot his right through openings Coley created by moving away, but Johnson could only manage to throw one punch at a time. Coley closed the round throwing combinations, and though Johnson slipped many of them, Coley was scoring.

Coley had control of the early moments of the ninth round as he fired a number of jabs to Johnson's head. Those shots backed Johnson in to the ropes where Coley was able to pin him and score. Late in the round Johnson answered with a flurry of scoring punches. Johnson continued to fight tough in the tenth round. He threw a number of punches to Coley's head, and while he scored, he did not keep Coley from coming forward. Johnson scored with punches to Coley's head and body as Coley fired his right at Johnson's head.

At the end of ten rounds one judge scored the bout 96-94, the other two scored the fight 97-93 all favoring Coley who would claim the unanimous decision win.


Coley scored with his right late in the fight

Johnson was able to score behind the right

Reyes' left caught Szilasi's chin


Andres Reyes has proven that he is a solid skilled fighter, and coming off a loss in his last outing, he was looking to get on track in facing Jacob Szilasi. Szilasi, on the other hand, has been in tough in his last three fights after going unbeaten in his first four.

The opening round proved tactical from both men. Each was steady in his attack, and each was deliberate in his punches. Szilasi wanted to take the fight in close and fire at Reyes' body. Reyes used his quick feet to avoid getting hit while throwing his right at Szilasi's body. Reyes scored a knockdown early in the second round behind a left right combination, both shots landed solidly and Szilasi went down. Szilasi rose to answer the count, and as soon as the referee motioned for the fight to resume, Reyes jumped on Szilasi, backed him in to the ropes and unleashed a barrage of punches, both left and right. Szilasi had no answer, forcing the referee to step and wave an end to the fight.

Reyes would score the TKO victory at :59 of the second round.

One of the more entertaining fights of the night pitted Kian Heidari, making his professional debut, against Cameron Sevilla Rivera, a tough veteran with a wide ranging skill set. Heidari had a decent, if relatively short amateur career, though that seemed not to matter in this bout. Sevilla Rivera had dropped three of his last five.

Heidari answered the opening bell throwing punches with both hands. What he lacked in control he made up for in his level of aggression. Sevilla Rivera carefully chose moments to fire scoring punches when Heidari missed. Both men focused their attack on the other’s body in the second round. In close Sevilla Rivera landed the heavier shots, but Heidari, when he targeted Sevilla Rivera's ribs, was able to score. Fighting in tight made the round close.

Heidari put together a solid third round as he began to settle and throw punches with more control. Sevilla Rivera did well to sidestep many of Heidari's punches and counter with shots at Heidari's body. The fourth round was action packed, perhaps because both men sensed just how close the fight had become. Sevilla Rivera targeted Heidari's body with the majority of his shots, and many landed. The body attack did not slow Heidari, and he answered with body shots as well.

At the end of four rounds, one judge scored the fight 39-37 for Sevilla River; the second judge scored it 39-37 for Heidari; the third judge scored the fight even at 38. This bout would end in a split draw, and possibly set up an interesting rematch.



Heidari comes over the top with his right to land to Sevilla Rivera's head

Mioletti's left caught McFarland's chin

Giovanni Mioletti had faced Niko McFarland in November, and emerged with a unanimous decision win. McFarland had also been in tough in his pro debut, so facing Mioletti again would prove no easy task.

McFarland used his jab effectively early in the opening round. He shot it at Mioletti, and were it not for the fact that Mioletti has good head movement, McFarland would have scored. Mioletti was the busier fighter in the round both in his movement and in throwing more punches. While McFarland had a decent second round, he was not able to slow Mioletti's punch output. Mioletti dropped his attack to focus on McFarland's body and that led him to score late in the round.

Mioletti fell in to a rhythm in the third round as he threw his jab at McFarland's head, then shot his right at McFarland's body. That combination proved effective and slowed McFarland's assault. Mioletti maintained control of the fight in the fourth round. He moved well and threw combinations to keep McFarland off balance.

At the end of four rounds, all three judges scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Mioletti who would remain unbeaten behind the unanimous decision win.




Jon Jackson had been out of the ring for more than two years, so a big question coming in was how the layoff would affect his performance. Kevin Roberson was stepping on the ring as a professional for the first time. The two big men, the catch weight was 200 pounds, each carried some power.

Perhaps respecting each other's strength, the fight started slowly. Roberson did much of the punching early, shooting his jab at Jackson. Jackson fired back occasionally, but he appeared content to wait for an opening in which he could throw something heavy at Roberson. That opening came the two minute mark of the round when Jackson landed a solid right hand that dropped Roberson. Roberson popped up and listened to the referee count. When the fight resumed, Jackson stepped toward Roberson and threw a left right combination that knocked Roberson back, down, and in to the ropes. While Roberson moved to stand, the referee jumped in to wave a close to the fight.

Jackson would score the TKO win at 2:21 of the opening round to remain unbeaten, and show he had not lost much during a two year layoff.





Jackson's left was the first punch of a combination that would lead to the end

Skinner's right would open a cut over Barich's eye


Jesse Barich and Zach Skinner were each making their professional debut. Both men showed some skill in the offensive portion of the game, though each needs to refine their defensive skills.

Barich effectively used his jab in the first round, keeping it in Skinner's face. Barich's reach advantage played well for him until Skinner stepped in and forced the fight in close. When there, Skinner was able to score landing punches to Barich's head. Skinner shifted the momentum of the fight in the second round as he threw more punches and was avoiding Barich's long jab. When Skinner landed a right to Barich's head, he opened a cut over Barich's left eye. The referee called time so the doctor could look at the cut. The fight was allowed to continue, and with a chance to regather himself, Barich came back aggressively and he landed a heavy right that dropped Skinner near the end of the round.

Skinner shifted the momentum to his favor in the third round as he threw many punches at Barich. Skinner was able to score and in doing so he knocked Barich in to the corner. With Barich pinned, Skinner unloaded a barrage of shots for which Barich had no answer. The referee, noting that Barich was covering and unable to answer, stepped in to stop the fight.

Skinner would claim the TKO win at :35 of the third round.



The Ring Girls



Leo Randolph, Bobby Howard, Brian Halquist and Sugar Ray Seales

Battle at the Boat returns on June 3rd for episode 111