Battle at the Boat 96

June 7, 2014

Brian Halquist at the

Emerald Queen Casino

Forbes catches Lartey with a left ...

but it was Lartey's left that accounted for most of the scoring

Steve Forbes entered the ring trailed by championship belts he has worn in the past. That did excite the crowd, and that Forbes grew up down the road in Portland helped raise the roar, but he still had to fight Emmanuel Lartey. Then again, Lartey had been on the short end of decisions in his last two outings, and he needed a win over Forbes to get back on track.

The pace of the fight was slow in the opening rounds. Lartey popped his right jab in Forbes' direction while Forbes tried to step in close and land his jab to Lartey's body. There were a couple of times when both men, when in close, held the other's arm. The referee slapped at the gloves and told them more than once to stop holding. Forbes, in the second round, worked to close the distance between himself and Lartey. When he was in close he threw combinations, but most often he tried to score with the left to the body. Lartey countered well, and jabbed with his right almost in answer to Forbes' left.

Lartey scored a knockdown in the third round. There was little doubt that the left hook landed, but Forbes was caught slightly off balance and he popped up quickly. Forbes finished the round aggressively, and ended it with Lartey pinned in the corner taking punches to the body. Forbes worked hard to fight in close in the fourth round. Lartey allowed that to happen for a while, then he began to step back and shoot his right at Forbes. Midway through the round Lartey landed a solid right followed by a left that slowed Forbes.

The pace of the fight slowed again in the fifth. Lartey was content to double jab with the right, and that forced Forbes to counter punch. The effectiveness of the double jab and stepping back to take clear shots at Forbes seemed to place Lartey in a rhythm entering the sixth round. He moved Forbes around the ring and landed often.

In the seventh, Forbes returned to a tactic that proved successful early as he worked to pin Lartey on the ropes and land combinations to his body. Lartey took the shots for a while, then slipped out of trouble. Forbes, tasting some success while keeping Lartey on the ropes, put him there again in the eighth. lartey did not fire back as often, and Forbes was feeling a bit stronger.

Lartey took a deep breath to start the ninth and with that he appeared to find strength. His punches split Forbes' defense and Lartey scored. The tenth round did not see a lot of punches thrown. Lartey took some time to pose while each time Forbes stepped in close, Lartey stepped back.

At the end of ten one judge scored the fight 99-90, the other two saw it 98-91 all in favor of Lartey.

Sevilla-Rivera broke down Gardner fighting in close

Each fight that Cameron Sevilla-Rivera and Daryl Gardner have been a part of has ended in a knockout. The good news for Sevilla-Rivera is that he has been on the positive end each time while Gardner, after scoring a knockout in his debut, has been on the receiving end in the last two. Sevilla-Rivera opened the fight aggressively coming at Gardner. He threw punches at a rapid clip. Gardner tried to answer, but he found that tough as he was often defending himself. Sevilla-Rivera backed Gardner in to the corner at 1:45 of the round and landed a barrage of punches to Gardner's body and head. Gardner took the majority of the punches, and he tried momentarily to answer, but Sevilla-Rivera was simply throwing too many punches for Gardner to fend off. The referee stepped in to stop the fight at 2:01 of the first and Sevilla-Rivera would score his fourth win and fourth knockout.

Marcelino Pineda had been out of the ring for a year. Jared Teer was coming off a split decision win in March. Pineda carried the knockout power. Teer has shown the ability to use his height and reach to punish opponents. Both men are pretty calm in the ring. Teer opened the fight firing his jab at Pineda. Pineda stepped out of trouble, and then fired a right hand that caught Teer and dropped him. Teer rose, took the count and continued to throw his jab. Pineda then backed Teer to the ropes and landed a left-right-left combination and Teer collapsed. Fighting a bit more cautiously, Teer moved to avoid trouble. The problem with that is that Pineda has trouble in both hands. As the timekeeper whacked the board to signal ten seconds left in the round, Pineda stepped to Teer and landed a right that again dropped him. The official end would come at 3:04 of the first round. Pineda shook off a year of rust in short order to score his fourth win by knockout.

Pineda scored an early knockdown behind his right

McCleary's right stopped Wheaton's inside attack

Chris Wheaton of Seattle made his pro debut facing Jeremy McCleary of Buckley in a battle of Washington state super featherweights. Wheaton was a late replacement when McCleary's original opponent dropped out. The opening round saw both men fight behind their jab. McCleary gained an edge in throwing his more often. McCleary's jab kept Wheaton a bit off balance in the second.

Wheaton was able to catch McCleary a few times in the third round, but McCleary was the one landing the more effective punches. Wheaton answered the bell for the final round coming straight at McCleary. Wheaton's aggression slowed McCleary for a short while, then he adjusted by stepping away from Wheaton. Wheaton, instead of keeping up the pressure, was content to let McCleary gather himself and throw the jab.

After four rounds the judges were in agreement and all scored the fight 40-36 for McCleary who would remain unbeaten.

Perhaps the best fight of the night pitted Ricardo Maldonado against Manuel Mendez. Both men threw heavy shots and neither man backed away from the other. Maldonado established his jab and a bit of power early in the opening round. Mendez, in the middle of the round, settled his punches and scored, but by round's end Maldonado had regained his momentum. The second round was close and perhaps hinged on the combination that Mendez landed in the latter half. Maldonado had to make a slight adjustment, moving to avoid more punishment.

Maldonado opened a cut over Mendez's left eye in the third. The cut did not bother Mendez in the round, and he backed Maldonado across the ring and in to the corner. While there, Mendez landed a flurry of punches to Maldonado's body and head. Maldonado was able to slip out of the corner at round's end. The fourth round was close as well. Mendez appeared to gain a slight edge in that he was quicker than Maldonado and able to continue to land the head and body shots.

After four rounds one judge scored the fight even at 38, the other two scored the fight 39-37 for Mendez who took the majority decision win.

Mendez's power showed when he had Maldonado on the ropes

Bevens left was one weapon that broke down Milani

In a battle of bordering states, Washington's Harrison Bevens and Oregon's Cole Milani stepped in to face each other in a four round middleweight bout. Both men were coming off pro debut knockout wins. Milani did not have much time to throw punches as Bevens smothered him with body shots early and often. Bevens mot often targeted the taller Milani's head, and that meant that Milani had to move out of trouble, which meant bevens was just out of reach of his jab. As the Bevens' punches continued to land, and Milani's output slowed, the referee stepped in to stop the onslaught. The fight was stopped at 2:19 of the first. Bevens would score his second win by knockout.

The night opened with a battle of heavyweights. Mike Hayes made his pro debut facing Jared Torgeson. As is the case in a number of heavyweight fights, both men tried to establish the jab early. Torgeson occasionally threw a right hand at Hayes' head, though they did not slow Hayes. Hayes closed the round landing a few heavy shots. Hayes' jab found a target on Torgeson's body fairly often in the second. Torgeson tried to answer with heavy shots thrown form the outside, but he did not connect often enough.

Hayes slowed the jab output in the third, throwing only one at a time. That allowed Torgeson to close the gap, but his punches were still coming from the outside. Those that landed were solid, but he missed more often. Torgeson landed a heavy combination in the midpoint of the fourth round, and that forced Hayes to step back. Torgeson was unable to follow up though and Hayes cruised through to the end of the round.

After four rounds one judge scored the fight 40-36, the other two scored it 39-37. All were in favor of Mike Hayes who behind the unanimous decision claimed his first win as a professional.

Hayes' left lands to Torgeson's head

Battle of the Boat 97 is scheduled for August 23