Battle at the Boat 102

August 15, 2015

Brian Halquist and the

Emerald Queen Casino

Laatekwei Hammond's passport may not have a lot of stamps outside of his native Ghana, where the super middleweight boxer amassed an impressive record, but as of late, as a resident of Massachusetts, he has had the opportunity to see a bit of the United States and unfortunately, lose to a few good boxers. Mike Gavronski, on the other hand, has found a comfortable venue in Tacoma where he has now won five straight bouts. As Gavronski steps closer to a big exposure bout, Hammond was the opponent that would present him with the opportunity to show just how far he has progressed since suffering the only loss of his career just over a year ago.

That each man had respect for the other was clear in the first round. The pace was slow as each fighter threw jabs toward the other, but was a bit apprehensive about stepping in close or getting within range of the other's right. Gavronski had an edge in the number of punches thrown; Hammond showed he had the ability to slip out of trouble and avoid being hit. In the second round Gavronski's right came in to play as he launched it after throwing his jab. While he was able to catch Hammond's body, Gavronski was measured in his attack. Hammond, late in the round, walked Gavronski toward the ropes and threw punches to the body, some landed, but did little to slow Gavronski.

Gavronski scored a knockdown early in the third round with a crafty overhand right that caught Hammond while he was stepping forward. Hammond spent the remainder of the round moving to avoid getting caught again. That meant that though Hammond continued to throw punches, he did not get close enough to do much damage. Gavronski controlled the action of the fourth round behind his jab. He doubled it up and then when Hammond would turn or move away, Gavronksi would throw his right toward Hammond's head. Hammond proved that he could slip punches, but Gavronski landed some solid shots to the body and head. As the round drew to an end, Hammond stepped toward Gavronski and landed a few rights. At that point Gavronski showed that he too could slip a punch, or when caught, could roll with it to avoid getting solidly caught.

The pace of the fight was a bit slower in the opening minutes of the fifth round. Both men relied on the jab to score, and in so doing the edge went to Gavronski as he had the reach advantage. Hammond was able to land a few when he was in close. At the ten second mark the action really heated up. Gavronski caught Hammond with a hard solid right to the head. Hammond answered with a right of his own that caught Gavronski, and had there been more time in the round, this might have lead to a slugfest. Hammond adjusted his offense in the sixth and tried to stay in tight and close the distance between himself and Gavronski. The tactic was effective, and allowed Hammond to land some shots to Gavronski's body, but Gavronski then made his adjustment, shortened his punches and threw solid body shots. The accumulation of body shots forced Hammond to step out in the closing moments of the round to avoid getting hit.

In the seventh round Gavronski started to throw effective combinations. He followed his left with rights to Hammond's body, and he connected with a lot of them. Hammond tried to counter by throwing his right at Gavronski's head, but that meant closing the distance between them, and when Hammond got close, Gavronski threw combinations. The power behind Gavronski's combinations began to take a toll on Hammond in the eighth. Hammond was getting caught with the double jab right to the body combination and try as he might, he could not slip them all. While his offense was good, Gavronski showed that he possesses solid defensive skills as he slipped away from a number of Hammond punches.

As Hammond appeared to tire, he began to lean and hold a bit more. The referee told the men to break a number of times, and cautioned them against holding, but nearing the minute mark of the round Hammond locked Gavronski's arm with his and was not letting go. The referee called time and took a point from Hammond for holding. A frustrated Hammond tried to land his right, but again, Gavronski was slick in avoiding those shots. Hammond tried to get in to Gavronski's head a bit in the final round. While there was not outrageous taunting, Hammond's prior actions, throwing out his arms, complaining of a head butt, or shaking his shoulders were probably meant to frustrate Gavronski. Rather than take the bait, Gavronski remained cool and continued his assault behind solid combinations and slick defense.

At the end of ten rounds, all three judges scored the fight 100-88 for Gavronski whose record would improve to 19-1-1.

Gavronski scores with his left

late int eh fight Gavronski did the damage with a strong right hand

Weston connects with his left to counter Sanchez's right

Marquise Weston faced David Sanchez in a five round cruiserweight battle. While both men are early in their fight career, with only ten fights between them, Weston showed more polish in the ring. Sanchez exhibited some skill, but overall, he was not as precise or effective as Weston.

Weston quickly made use of the two advantages he had in the fight, his height and his quick jab, in the opening round. Sanchez tried to counteract Weston's height by stepping inside and keeping the action close. That however meant that Weston had only to shorten the distance of his jab. Sanchez threw more punches in the second round. He was able to walk Weston down at times and when he got close he threw scoring punches to Weston's body. Weston made the necessary adjustment and as the round progressed, when Sanchez stepped close, Weston moved out of range and fired his long armed jab.

Sanchez should he is a gritty fighter in the third round as he continued to take the fight in close while trying to land shots to Weston's lanky body. Weston countered by accurately throwing punches through Sanchez's defense, an often he connected to Sanchez's head. The men did not throw as many punches in the fourth round. Both of them resorted to throwing a jab, then moving out of the reach of the other.

Sensing he was losing the fight, Sanchez pressed the action in the final round. He walked toward Weston and threw his left and right while trying to keep constant pressure. For most of the round Weston stepped out of trouble and threw his jab at Sanchez to keep him from charging in.

After five rounds two judges scored the fight 50-45, the third judge scored the bout 49-46, but all three agreed that Weston had won by unanimous decision to remain unbeaten.

Jason Davis and David Lopez are a couple of fighters looking to gain some consistency and score a few wins. While Lopez's numbers in the loss column are large, Davis, as of late, has been finding that true of his record as well. Lopez's excuse for the number of losses could be that he has fought a long string of unbeaten fighters. That both men might have felt desperate for a win could explain the manner in which this fight began.

The action in the first round was constant, though neither man appeared to gain a clear advantage. Davis threw his right hand at Lopez's head while Lopez threw his left at Davis. Davis threw the heavier punches, but even that did not slow the Lopez attack. The men threw fewer punches in the second and because the action took place while they were in close, there was a bit more leaning and holding than punching. As the round neared its end, Lopez began to step away and when he did he threw his left which caught Davis a few times while he tried to stay close.

Lopez had a solid third round as he kept Davis moving while pursuing him. Lopez was able to slip many of Davis's punches while he scored with his left. At one point, near the middle of the round, when the two men were leaning on each other, a woman in the crowd hollered for Lopez to throw the left. Lopez, still leaning on Davis, turned toward her and winked. Perhaps he was feeling confident, or sensing that he was about to gain an edge in the fight. Lopez threw more punches than Davis in the fourth. As the round wore on, Davis did not return punches and seemed to be doing all he could to stay as far away from Lopez as he could.

The fight was scheduled for five rounds, but Davis's corner called an end after the fourth. Lopez would score the TKO win.

Lopez lands his left through Davis's defense

McCleary steps in to counter Vinson's left


Bennie Vinson made his pro debut losing to Jeremy McCleary a year ago. Since then, McCleary has lost, and Vinson has won, so the rematch would show how the men have improved.

McCleary, coming off his only loss, established early that he wanted to take control of the bout. He did that behind quick shots targeting Vinson's head. Vinson spent much of the round moving away from McCleary, which meant he was throwing punches while stepping backward. With five seconds left in the round McCleary landed a heavy right hand on Vinson's head which staggered, but did not drop him. As Vinson cleared his head, the bell sounded to end the round. McCleary continued to land the heavier shots in the second round. Vinson appeared stunned a few times, but he would not be dropped. Vinson countered McCleary, but his punches were not able to land with much power.

Vinson had a good third round as he began to come forward and threw his jab to get close to McCleary. Vinson landed a shots to McCleary's head, but only one at a time; he was unable to land combinations or double the right. When McCleary threw, he threw power punches, and Vinson was unable to block them all. McCleary's power punch attack continued in the fourth round, and Vinson withstood most of it. Vinson took some heavy shots and kept coming forward.

After four rounds all three judges scored the fight 40-35 in favor of McCleary.


Cameron Sevilla-Rivera is a heavy puncher who has found himself in tough in his last two bouts. Steven McKinney's record, while not overly impressive, does not reflect the level of competition he has faced. The scheduled four round middleweight bout would be an opportunity for either man show his boxing ability.

As if to show that he wanted more than to control the action of the first, Sevilla-Rivera scored a knockdown in the first half of the round when he landed a big right hand to McKinney's body and followed it with his left. McKinney rose and listened to the count, and he did not back away. He kept coming forward and while he threw punches at Sevilla-Rivera, he caught more of them. Sevilla-Rivera used his right quite effectively in the second round. He battered McKinney and often Sevilla-Rivera's punches found their way through McKinney's defense.

The assault continued in the third round as it seemed that almost every right hand Sevilla-Rivera threw landed either to McKinney's body or on his head. McKinney fired back, but he most often appeared to throw with little idea of where his target would be. While the round wore on, Sevilla-Rivera landed more punches causing McKinney's corner to mount the steps and motion for the referee to stop the fight.

Sevilla-Rivera would score the TKO victory at 2:46 of the third round.


Sevilla-Rivera lands his left over McKinney's defense

Luk's right catches Gee's chin

The night began with a very entertaining welterweight clash. Sean Gee brought his unbeaten record in to face Alan Luk who was making his pro debut.

The action was fierce in the opening round as both men abandoned the traditional jab your way in approach and resorted to throwing combinations. Gee threw to target Luk's body; Luk answered that with body shots of his own, though he also fired some punches toward Gee's head. Gee scored a knockdown with the first punch of the second round. When Luk rose, Gee battered him in the corner, but Luk withstood the barrage and at the end of the round was landing punches to Gee's body.

Luk took control in the third round as he was busier and landing more punches. Gee appeared to tire a bit and thus his punch rate declined. As Luk threw punches, Gee was forced to cover up and block shots, something he proved to do quite well to avoid getting hit with a solid punch. The action of the final round mirrored that of the first as both men returned to throwing combinations. The primary target for each of them was the other man's head, and in so doing, Gee gained a slight advantage while Luk scored with body shots.

At the end of four rounds one judge scored the fight 38-37 for Gee, the other two scored it 38-37 for Luk who would claim the split decision victory in his professional debut.



Oh - Those Ring Card Girls ...How they make the crowd come alive