Battle at the Boat 108

November 19, 2016

Brian Halquist and the

Emerald Queen Casino

One of the big contrasts between the combatants in the main event for the Battle at the Boat 108 had to be the comfort in arena. Mike Gavronski is at home and has crowd support in Tacoma. Thomas Awimbono has lost each time he has fought outside of his home in Ghana. Nonetheless, Awimbono has amassed an impressive record of 20 knockouts in his 24 wins.

Gavronski was the busier fighter in the opening round. He kept his jab in Awimbono's face and that kept Awimbono from being able to mount much of an offense. Awimbono was content to stand in front of Gavronski, looking for a opportunities that did not arise often. Awimbono opened up in the second round and began to throw punches. His main weapon was an overhand right, and he did land a few. Gavronski continued to answer with the jab to keep Awimbono's right out of striking distance.

Awimbono continued to be active in the third round, though he did not use the overhand right as often as he looked to counter punch. That tactic favored Gavronski as he was able to add his right to his arsenal. That also meant that Awimbono had to be aware of the damage inflicted with a well aimed power shot. The fourth round may have been Awimbono's best. he came right after Gavronski at the opening bell and controlled much of the action in the opening minute. He then appeared to tire some and that meant resorting to leaning and holding while trying to fight in close.

The fifth round was rather ugly as it featured more holding than scoring punches. Awimbono continued to be aggressive, but much of his action took place in the form of shooting short punches when in close. At the midpoint of the round the referee stopped the action to warn both men to fight clean and stop holding. After the talk, Gavronski again worked to create distance and thus make it easier to land his right. As the round drew to an end Gavronski did land a solid right to Awimbono's head. Awimbono opened the sixth round throwing a flurry of punches, but Gavronski threw more punches. He was throwing two and three punches at a time, and with many of them he was able to score. Awimbono's pace began to drag at the end of the sixth round.

Gavronski threw effective combinations in the seventh round. The number of punches he threw began to take a toll on Awimbono. Whether Awimbono was serious or not, he leaned against the ropes and slumped, trying to pull Gavronksi in close. Gavronksi obliged and Awimbono was again aggressive to the end of the round. Awimbono did not throw a punch in the opening minute of the eighth round. That enabled Gavronski to reassert his jab and control the action of the round.

The ninth round was much like the eighth in that Gavronski jabbed and kept Awimbono at a distance while Awimbono threw very few punches. The fight closed with Gavronski fighting as he had early, throwing combinations and keeping Awimbono from throwing many. Awimbono stepped up his pace in the last 30 seconds, but his move came too late.

After ten rounds the judges scored the fight 100-90; 99-91 and 98-92 all in favor of Mike Gavronski who would claim the unanimous decision win.

Gavronski's reach, and the ability to connect set the tone early

Awimbono was occassionally able to shoot is left and score

Reyes lands an overhand right

When Andres Reyes and Marco Cardenas met a year ago, they fought to a draw. That fight showed just how closely matched these to man are. Both are skilled boxers; both can land heavy punches though they each seem to favor a tactical fight as opposed to looking for a big punch to end a fight.

The opening round was very close because each man fought behind the jab while throwing a right when the opportunity presented itself. As the round neared an end, Cardenas caught Reyes with a hard right hand. Reyes recovered and just before the bell, he caught Cardenas with a right. The most telling aspect of the second round came with Cardenas' body work. He was able to control the latter portion of the round. Up to that point Reyes was fighting smart and scoring. The brief opening Cardenas found gave him an edge in the round.

The third round was another close round. Reyes found opportunities to target Cardenas' head early, and when he did, Cardenas focused his attack on Reyes body. There were a number of momentum shifts in the round. Reyes took steps to control the action in the fourth round, and in so doing he had to be aggressive. That created an opening for Cardenas, and when he found that opening threw, landed and scored a knockdown. Reyes rose and again fought aggressively.

As a testament to how evenly matched these two men are, the fifth round was very close. Reyes began to shoot more punches towards Cardenas' head while Cardenas worked Reyes' body. Both men slowed some in the final round. Even so, there were a fair number of punches thrown.

At the end of six rounds, the judges all scored the fight 59-54 in favor of Marco Cardenas who would score the unanimous decision win.

A fight fan would be hard pressed to find a tougher fighter than Nate Serrano. However, being tough does not, unfortunately translate in to wins. Andre Keys has also proved to be tough, and he carries power.

Serrano opened the round fighting to his strength, standing in close and working Keys' body. Keys was patient, looking for openings and moving out of reach as Serrano stepped close. Keys found a rhythm in the second round and behind that he was able to land his left which enabled him to move in tight and when there, he landed body shots. Serrano was slow to answer Keys, and Serrano's punches were just missing the target.

Keys continued his assault in the third round. His quickness enabled him to land shots then move away from the counter punches. Serrano was tough at the end of the round, but he had not done enough to slow Keys assault. Early in the fourth round Keys caught Serrano and momentarily stunned him. Serrano was more cautious in the following moments, but stepped up his aggressiveness as the round ended. Keys also remained aggressive as he closed the round landing shots to Serrano's head and body.

After four rounds two judges scored the fight 40-36, the third judge scored the bout 39-37 all in favor of Andre keys who would score the unanimous decision win.

Keys did some damage with his left

Cooper (right) shoots his left

Antonio Neal and Zach Cooper were looking to gain some consistency in their record. Recently they have experienced a win, then lost in the next outing. they matched up well as both men possess the skill to box behind the jab and create openings and when the opportunity presents, both can throw some power shots as well.

The opening round did not follow a script that favored either fighter. Much of the action took place in close as the men leaned on each other and tried to land short swift body shots. In the second round, while leaning in, the men knocked heads which opened a cut over Coopers left eye. The referee stopped the bout to enable the doctor to take a look at the cut. As there was not blood flowing, the fight continued. That cut seemed to focus Cooper and once the fight started again, he threw more punches and connected more often.

Cooper continued to target Neal's body in the third round, and he often scored on the inside. Neal answered, but he was not able to land heavy shots as Cooper moved to avoid them. The fourth round was fought in a style that seemed to place both men in a more comfortable place. They maintained distance between each other and that meant shooting a jab and following it with a right. That favored Neal until Cooper stepped up his punch rate to regain the momentum.

After four rounds one judge scored the fight 39-37 for Neal, the other two scored the bout 39-37 for Cooper who would score the split decision win.


Niko McFarland has not found professional boxing easy in his first two bouts. He lost a unanimous decision in June in a fight that showed he could box well, but his opponent scored heavier shots. In this fight he would face a man with a different style. Giovanni Cabrera-Mioletti doesn't fight behind power shots, he fights behind a flurry of accurate punches that allow opponents little opportunity to gain footing or find a rhythm.

The opening round was close but only because each man was taking some time to measure the other. In the last minute of the round Cabrera-Mioletti opened up and battered McFarland in to the ropes. In the second round Cabrera-Mioletti showed a range of skill as he threw quick combinations, good footwork to create angles all while avoiding the punches McFarland threw.

McFarland had a good third round, and had he been facing anyone other than Cabrera-Mioletti he would have gained the edge. Cabrera-Mioletti threw three or four punches to each one of those McFarland threw. McFarland fought well in the fourth too, but again, his opponent did not make it easy to win the round. Cabrera-Mioletti caught McFarland with a solid combination early in the round, and while that did get McFarland's attention, he fought through it.

At the end of four all three judges scored the fight 40-36 for Cabrera-Mioletti who would score the unanimous decision and remain unbeaten.

McFarland (left) throws his left over Cabrera-Mioletti's right

Rocha catches Villenueva with his right


The night opened with a heavyweight bout featuring Carlos Villenueva and Jose Rocha. Villenueva was making his professional debut while Rocha lost his only pro fight.

Villenueva opened the fight keeping his left in Rocha's face. Avoiding Villenueva's jab meant that Rocha had to try to counter punch. Rocha's counter punches were often focused on Villenueva's body. The second round saw both men do more leaning and holding than punching, but when they were in close Villenueva was able to land his right to Rocha's head.

In the third round Rocha tried to move Villenueva with body shots, but Villenueva stood in close and fired back. At the end of the round Villenueva scored throwing his right to Rocha's head and when in close throwing uppercuts. Rocha was more active in the fourth round, but the round also featured a lot of leaning and holding. When in close the action favored Villenueva who was able to land short body shots.

After four rounds all three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Carlos Villenueva who would claim the unanimous decision win.



Team Gavronski after the win

Battle at the Boat returns in January for episode 109