Battle at the Boat 97

August 23, 2014

Brian Halquist and the

Emerald Queen Casino

Louis Rose and DJ Johnson squared off in an early main event, the second fight of the night. The opening round was unusual as neither man was overly aggressive, and what is usually a round to gauge the opponent looked more like a round to gauge how close one man could get to the other, make contact and not get caught. Both men spent most of the round covering up and shooting the occasional jab. There was a bit more action in the second round, and the pace increased. Rose fired his left to Johnson’s body. Johnson peeked through his defense looking for an opportunity to throw his right, targeting the taller Rose’s midsection.

Most of the work in the third round consisted of bodywork. Both men were content to wait for an opening to land a right hook. Johnson loaded up his right a couple of times and just missed Rose whose quick feet enabled him to slide out of trouble. Johnson had a decent fourth round as he came out of his defensive stance and began to step towards Rose. He was able to score to Rose’s body early in the round.

Rose outworked Johnson in the fifth round, throwing more punches and moving out of trouble when Johnson pressed him. Rose’s barrage meant that Johnson had few opportunities to return shots. Johnson was able to back Rose in to the corner a few times in the sixth round, and when that happened, he also scored landing shots to Rose’s body.

Rose returned to throwing combinations in the seventh round and again, that kept Johnson from getting free enough to throw back. Johnson did however open up enough to throw a couple of big looping rights at Rose’s head, though again, Rose’s reactions meant he avoided being caught. The men stepped back from each other in the eighth, and rather than the in close cover and jab tactics, they were able to use their reach and throw a few more power punches. Rose, due to his height, had a slight advantage, though Johnson’s quickness enabled him to avoid getting seriously tagged.

The men returned to fighting in close in the ninth, and that meant that Rose returned to landing shots to Johnson’s body. Johnson did land a few good shots to Rose’s ribs to close the round. There was a bit of chest thumping from both men in the tenth round as each man tried to lure the other to step in close. As most of the fight had been in close, here too the advantage went to Rose.

At the end of the ten round main event, one judge scored the bout 99-91, the other two saw it 98-92 all in favor of Louis Rose who would claim the unanimous decision win.

Rose fires a left through Johnson's defense

Johnson answers with his right

Sevilla-Rivera's inside body punches scored

Cameron Sevilla-Rivera and Dave Courchaine faced each other in a four round feature bout to close out the evening.  Sevilla-Rivera has not lost in four fights, winning each by knockout, while Courchaine’s two wins have also come by way of the knockout.

There were not a lot of power shots thrown in the opening round, each man showing a bit of respect for the other’s power. Sevilla-Rivera kept his jab in Courchaine’s face while backing him around the ring. The pressure meant that Courchaine was limited to throwing punches one at a time while moving out of trouble. Courchaine had a better second round as he threw more punches, but Sevilla-Rivera’s constant pressure while throwing punches meant that often Courchaine could only fire one shot before he had to cover up.

The third round was close as Courchaine began to fall in to a rhythm and as a result of that, he was able to land some heavy shots. Those scoring punches slowed Sevilla-Rivera, but he was still able to throw more punches in the round, and land more, than Courchaine. The fourth round was also close. However, it was Sevilla-Rivera that continued to gain an edge by outworking Courchaine. Sevilla-Rivera closed the round by landing a couple of stiff rights to Courchaine’s chin.

At the end of four rounds, all three judges scored the fight 40-36 for Sevilla-Rivera who remains unbeaten.

The second featured bout matched Frankie Orr against Dennis Hallman. Perhaps most of the interest in this bout came because both men have experience as MMA combatants. Orr had one bout as a boxer, and in that fight he suffered a second round knockout. Hallman was making his debut as a boxer after coming of a loss in his last UFC match.

Though he has only been in the ring as a boxer once, Orr carried himself more like a boxer than Hallman to open the fight. He fired his jab and used footwork to keep out of trouble. Hallman, when he did throw punches, threw only one at a time and he had trouble catching Orr. Orr, in the second round fired his jab and moved to create an angle from which to throw shots at Hallman’s body. While he did not land many, Hallman was not quick enough to avoid Orr’s jab.

The pace of the third round slowed as both men looked for opportunities to land a big punch to the other’s head. When the two stood close, Orr was able to land his uppercut, though Hallman withstood the punishment. Hallman pursued Orr through the fourth round, trying to find an opening to land a couple of heavy right hands. Orr was able to slip away from Hallman’s right while firing back with his jab.

After four rounds, two judges scored the fight 40-36, the third saw it 39-37 all in favor of Frankie Orr who would take the unanimous decision win.

Orr's right catches Hallman's chin

Gardiner's left comes inside to catch Bevens

Darryl Gardiner and Harrison Bevens are fighters that appeared to be moving in different directions. Gardiner won big in his first fight, and then dropped his next three. Bevens won his two fights by knockout.

Gardiner answered the opening bell aggressively. He threw combinations and forced Bevens to spend his time covering up. At the midpoint of the round, as Bevens turned to step away from Gardiner, Gardiner landed a left to Bevens’ chin and dropped him. Bevens stepped up his work rate in the second round as he shot his jab and coupled it with an occasional right. While he was busier in the opening portions of the round, the Bevens’ punches were not loaded with a lot of sting. Again, just past midway in the round, Gardiner caught Bevens, this time with a right, and again knocked him to the canvas. Bevens rose and finished the round.

Bevens had a good start to the third round. His right hand began to find a target on Gardiner’s chin and he appeared to be gaining some momentum in the fight. Then Gardiner landed a left hand that stunned Bevens. Gardiner followed that with a right that knocked Bevens off balance, causing him to stumble back in to the ropes. The referee quickly stepped in to wave the fight to an end. Gardiner scored the TKO victory at 1:37 of the third round.

In what was perhaps the best fight of the evening, Jeremy McCleary paced his unbeaten record on the line against Benjamin Vinson who was making his pro debut.

As might be expected, McCleary’s experience showed in the opening round. He jabbed, he moved, and as the round drew to a close, he added a few combinations. Vinson, showing some discipline, fired his jab and though he stayed in front of McCleary, he did not back away. McCleary continued to fight behind the combination I the second round. He effectively landed punches to Vinson’s body and coupled that with shots to his head. Though he was taking punches, Vinson did not back away, he kept coming forward, shooting his jab and looking to score.

Vinson had a good third round as he kept the pressure on McCleary and was able to catch McCleary with a right hand that snuck through his defenses. Though Vinson was being outworked and outscored, he opened the fourth showing no fear. Even when McCleary landed body shots, Vinson kept coming forward.

After four rounds, all three judges scored the fight 40-36, and McCleary would take the unanimous decision win, however, Vinson proved tough. He has some boxing skill, and the heart to match.

McCleary's bodywork scored points against Vinson

Gardiner loaded up the right to follow the left

Local fighter Taki Uluilakepa made his pro debut facing Jon Jackson in a four round bout. The pace of the opening round was slow and neither fighter showed much in terms of boxing skill. Uluilakepa was the busier of the two men as he shot his jab while Jackson covered up looking for an opportunity to fire his right hand at the taller man. The second round began much like the first until Jackson was able to reach Uluilakepa with his jab. From that point Jackson stepped out of his defensive posture and began to throw more punches.

Uluilakepa spend much of the third round trying to close the distance between himself and Jackson, but when he was in tight, he spent more time leaning than punching. When Jackson created space between himself and Uluilakepa, he was able to land his right hand and score. Uluilakepa lost one point in the fourth round for leading with his head. The referee had warned both men to be aware of clashing heads, and in the second round the doctor looked at Jackson’s right eye after the two men clashed. Jackson closed the round throwing combinations and moving to stay out of Uluilakepa’s reach.

After four rounds, two judges scored the fight 40-35; the third scored it 39-36 all in favor of John Jackson, who would remain unbeaten with the unanimous decision win.

The night opened with a four round bout pitting Cole Milani against Zach Marti who was making his pro debut. Milani had won a fight by TKO, and he lost his second fight, the victim of a TKO.

Both men were active in the opening round. The tactics were different however. Marti was busy throwing shots to the lanky Milani’s body; Milani returned shots trying to score by landing to Marti’s chin. Marti continued to attack Milani’s body in the second round. He also created enough space to throw his right at Milani’s chin. Milani did not answer as often as he did in the first, but when he threw punches, he was able to land effectively to Marti’s body.

Marti was the busier fighter in the third round. He stepped in tight and landed a number of body shots. Milani showed that he too could fight in close, and while that neutralized his reach and his jab, he landed to Marti’s body. Marti kept the pressure on Milani in the fourth round and in so doing he kept Milani from taking advantage of any power shots. Then, as the round entered the final ten seconds, Milani stepped back to create an opening and Marti followed. Milani threw a combination; the second punch was a looping right hand that caught Marti square on the head and knocked him out.

Marti was probably ahead on the judges’ scorecards, but the knockout, at 2:56 of the fourth round, meant Milani would escape with the victory.

Milani lands his right

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Battle at the Boat 98

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November 15th