Battle at the Boat 103

November 7, 2015

Brian Halquist and the

Emerald Queen Casino

Mike Gavronski and Dashon Johnson squared off in the main event, the winner to wear the WBA/NABA Super middleweight Title belt. These two met in January, a bout in which Gavronski claimed a ten round unanimous decision win. Since then, Gavronski had won four fights, three by knockout. Johnson had won his two fights previous to this, and claimed a California state title in his last outing.

There was nothing flashy about the opening round. Gavronski walked Johnson down, throwing his jab to Johnson's head or body. Johnson used his quickness to step out of trouble and occasionally shoot a stiff left towards Gavronski. There were moments when the men stepped toward each other that the referee had to break them apart. Gavronski continued to pursue Johnson in the second round, and he was able to score behind his jab. Johnson remained patient, looking for openings, and when they occurred, he fired straight rights to Gavronski's head.

Johnson had a strong third round. He began to throw more punches and he began to either block or slip the punches Gavronski threw. Gavronski continued to step toward Johnson, but Johnson was able to throw punches that caught Gavronski to slow his assault. Gavronski returned to throwing his jab in the fourth, and in so doing the momentum shifted back to his favor. Johnson continued to block a lot of the punches thrown at him, but he did not counter as effectively as he did in the third.

Johnson began to land the heavier shots in the fifth round. Gavronski tried to move away from trouble, but Johnson's quickness gave him the edge while Gavronski appeared to tire. Much of the sixth round was fought in close. In that type of fight, Gavronski gained an edge as he was able to land the short hard punches, but Johnson proved crafty and created distance to throw hard straight punches that were beginning to break Gavronski down. Johnson closed the round with a number of hard shots that knocked Gavronski across the ring.

There was a moment in the seventh round when it appeared that Gavronski had gained his second wind and reached deep to regain control. He landed a hearty left, one Johnson felt, but he was unable to follow up with much of substance. Johnson pressed the action in the round, and as it closed Johnson was able to score with his right landing to Gavronski's head and body. Johnson was the aggressor throughout the eighth round. He walked Gavronski down and it seemed like every punch Johnson threw landed. Gavronski tried to fire back, but he was not as accurate as he needed to be to ward Johnson off. As the round drew to an end, Johnson backed Gavronski in to the corner and landed a flurry of heavy shots to his head and body. Gavronski dropped, leaning through the ropes. He was able to stand, he did hear the count, and he was able to move out of trouble for the remaining ten seconds to survive the round.

The story in the corners was quite different prior to the ninth. Johnson's corner was ready to celebrate, urging their fighter to be aware, but not let up. In the other corner the ringside doctor was examining Gavronski. When the bell sounded to begin the ninth, Gavronski's corner waved an end to the fight. Johnson's corner celebrated.

Johnson would claim the TKO victory at :01 of the ninth round in the rematch and wear the belt, his second in his last two outings.

Gavronski scored with his right early

In the late rounds Johnson's hard right did some damage

Tadeo's right was on target much through much of the fight

The semi main event pitted two rising super middleweight stars in Isaac Tadeo and Cameron Sevilla-Rivera. Tadeo had not been beaten entering the fight, and the only blemish on Sevilla-Rivera's record came in a loss to tough Canadian Aubrey Morrow. These two men will, before long, be fighting for a belt. Perhaps not against each other, but that too would be worth seeing again.

The opening round was close though Sevilla-Rivera gained an edge as he was able to land more shots to Tadeo's body. Tadeo, as the round progressed, began to slip the punches and moved o give himself an angle to return shots. Sevilla-Rivera effectively used his jab in the second round. He kept it in Tadeo's face, and that kept Tadeo from mounting a sustained assault. As the round drew to a close, Tadeo began to drop his punches to Sevilla-Rivera's body, and he landed effectively.

The third round was a good one for Tadeo. He fought using combinations early in the round, and late he fired his jab at Sevilla-Rivera's head. Sevilla-Rivera continued to shoot his jab, but he had to be wary of Tadeo's body shots. The pace of the fight slowed a bit in the fourth, but the tactics remained the same. Tadeo focused on body work; Sevilla-Rivera tried to land his jab and get close enough to fire combinations. the round ended in a flurry of punches from both men.

Round five was again close. Tadeo was the busier of the two,while Sevilla-Rivera fired jabs to set up shots to the body. Late in the round Tadeo landed a series of heavy shots, and Sevilla-Rivera felt a bit of pain. Tadeo appeared to get stronger in the sixth round. He was throwing harder punches and landing at a good rate. Sevilla-Rivera suffered a small cut over his right eye, and while it did not adversely effect him, he was not able to land with much consistency.

At the end of six rounds two judges scored the fight 58-56, while the third scored it 60-54 all in favor of Isaac Tadeo who would claim the unanimous decision win to remain unbeaten.

A year ago, when Will Hughes stepped back in to the ring after a layoff, he showed few signs of ring rust and fought well enough to score a unanimous decision win. Then he dropped two. Sam Gee's path to the four round fight against Hughes had not been much easier as he had dropped his previous three fights after scoring two impressive wins.

Gee grabbed the momentum in the first round as he scored a knockdown early. Gee was quicker and more accurate than Hughes until the closing seconds of the round when Hughes stepped in close and landed a couple of stiff shots which sent a message that he was not going away easily. Hughes looked a bit tired in the early moments of the second round, but after he caught Gee with a couple of right hands to the head he found a second wind. That moved the action of the fight in tight. As the round drew to a close, Hughes had Gee with his back to the ropes and was landing a lot of punches. Gee did not throw many punches back, but he did not falter either.

Much of the third round was fought with the men standing toe to toe. Standing close to each other negated the effect of hard body shots, so each man slid to the side and tried to find room to throw the uppercut. Hughes gained an edge using that strategy. Hughes was the busier fighter in the closing round. He landed punches to Gee's head a number of times. Gee answered with a few shots, but Hughes' power appeared to cancel Gee's quickness.

After four rounds two judges scored the fight 38-36, the third judge scored it 38-35 all in favor of Will Hughes.

Hughes used his right to catch Gee's chin

McCleary steps in to land a left to Cline's head



Jeremy McCleary has become a fan favorite at the Emerald Queen, and his legion of vocal fans cheer each punch. They have had a lot to cheer about as McCleary has won seven bouts. Heath Cline is a fighter who had yet to experience a win in the boxing ring, but that did not mean McCleary would have an easy time in the fight.

The dominant feature of the opening round was holding rather than punching. When McCleary could create some space, he was able to throw his jab at Cline, but he did not have a lot of opportunities. The shots Cline threw were heavy, but often too wild to land. The second round followed much the same pattern as the first, the men got tangled when fighting in close, and each looked to land a shot after creating space. McCleary caught Cline with a solid shot two minutes in to the round, and Cline was on wobbly legs for the remaining minute while McCleary tried to get close enough to land another shot to end the fight.

In the third round the referee had seen enough of the holding and took a point from Cline. McCleary settled in to a rhythm and shot his jab at Cline to keep him from getting close, and behind that McCleary scored. Cline spent the final round stepping toward McCleary and throwing heavy shots from the outside. He was unable to land many. McCleary slipped the onslaught and fired back when he was within range.

At the end of four all three judges scored the fight 40-35, and Jeremy McCleary would score the unanimous decision win.


Daryl Gardner has found life in the ring more than a bit rough recently. He can box, but instead he seems to be looking to score with a big punch early to end the fight. The problem with that is when he misses, he leaves openings for his opponent. Fatlum Zhuta took advantage of Gardner's enthusiastic start and patiently awaited an opening to land solid shots to Gardner's head. The first of those shots came as the opening round neared the thirty second mark, and though Gardner bounced up and continued after the count, he did not settle in to boxing. There was nearly another knockdown just seconds later, but Gardner was able to spin and maintain his balance. Zhuta then gathered himself, used a slight height advantage, and moved to create an opening for his left. It landed flush on Garner's head and dropped him.

The fight ended at 1:26 of the opening round. Zhuta claimed the knockout win.

Zhuta's left spelled the end for Gardner

Wheaton loads an uppercut right

Isaiah Najera and Chris Wheaton opened the night in a four round bout. Wheaton was looking for his first win while Najera was coming off a majority decision win in August.

Najera showed his skill early in the opening round as he threw combinations that ended with a solid left to Wheaton's body. Wheaton withstood the shots, but as he worked to avoid being hit, he was unable to throw many punches in return. The second round was a bit closer as Wheaton moved to find openings and threw combinations as well. Neither man threw too many jabs, most punches were doubled with body shots.

The third round was close as well though some of Wheaton's punches began to miss as he threw a bit more wildly. Najera remained focused on Wheaton's ribs and he often landed his left hand on target. Wheaton slowed a bit in the final round, but he kept throwing heavy punches. His problem was that he could not land any of them solidly. Najera moved to avoid trouble and fired the combination he used to score behind throughout the fight.

After four rounds all judges scored the fight 40-36 for Najera who would claim the unanimous decision win.




Dashon Johnson claimed the WBA/NABO Super Middleweight Title with his TKO victory