Magdaleno outpoints Hovanissyan
On a hot mid-October evening Golden Boy Promotions staged yet another packed night of fisticuffs as part of their ‘LA Fight Club’ series from the gorgeous setting at the Belasco Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
The Estrella TV televised card featured multiple one-punch knockouts, unanimous decisions, a puzzling draw and was topped off with an entertaining main event between Art Hovanissyan and Jessie Magdaleno.
Both fighters looked sharp in the night’s main event, with the fighters setting out to establish a strong jab. It was the Joel Diaz-trained Magdaleno that looked to be the more effective fighter after 90 seconds.
In the second frame the crowd got behind Hovanissyan, who stayed on the outside and looked for one punch while Magdaleno threw in combination. During a trade it seemed Hovanissyan got the better of it, and the Glendale, California resident landed a right hand towards the end of the round.
Magdaleno, (29-2, 12KO) fighting out of a southpaw stance, shot in and out while throwing a stiff right-hand jab throughout most of round three. Magdaleno loaded up with three shots on the inside with 30 ticks left in the round and Magdaleno got in a shot just before the bell sounded to end the round.
Hovanissyan began putting his punches together just in time in round four, rocking Magdaleno slightly but later slipping to the canvas. A clinch on the inside saw both fighters hitting while tangled. As the round ended Magdaleno’s right eye was visibly bloodied.
Fighting through a leaking eye, Magdaleno became busier with his punches in round five. Another clinch was broken up and afterward Hovanissyan landed the biggest shot of the fight thus far via straight right hand. Magdaleno stayed firm and later was warned for a low blow which halted the action for a few moments. A fiery exchange then occurred later in the round which had the sold-out crowd roaring.
The six round was a proving ground for both veterans, as at that point each had their moments in the fight and the crowd now began chants of ‘Diego’ and Hovanissyan’s, (17-3-3, 9KO) left eye began to show signs of blood above the iris. A clinch and mild exchange ended the round.
Round seven began with both fighters in the middle of the ring looking for an upside. Magdaleno slipped in the blue corner and slickly moved out of harm’s way to the other side of the ring. The fighters were in the middle of the ring when Hovanissyan became more effective, yet Magdaleno stayed game and threw to the body. Hovanissyan slipped as Magdaleno threw a punch and nearly went down at the end of the round.
Magdaleno loaded up to start round eight and then fought off the ropes and corner, which gave Hovanissyan an opportunity that he squandered as Magdaleno worked his way back to ring center. Another clinch saw Hovanissyan hold Magdaleno, who punched his way out in response. More mid-ring action ensued later in the frame and Hovanissyan began landing his right hand with more conviction. At the ten second marker the fighters again clinched.
Joel Diaz did excellent work in-between rounds with Magdaleno’s cut and the ninth started with chants of ‘Diego’. Hovanissyan elected to stay outside as Magdaleno worked from the outside. Later in the round, another clinch transpired and shortly after a back and forth occurred. The action did not let up, yet the landed punches did as neither fighter gained an edge in round nine.
The final frame of the night saw both fighters start hot, looking for the KO punch that never came. Another clinch required a break-up of the fighters, followed by another and most of the round was wasted as the exchanges were few. Chants from the crowd for both fighters ended the fight as both threw with reckless abandon yet failing to land a telling blow.
After ten rounds 99-91 cards were turned in by all three judges in favor of Magdaleno.
The night’s co-main event saw Philadelphia, Pennsylvania super lightweight Damon Allen taken on Luis Arceo in a fight that was mostly a showcase for Allen, yet Arceo proved tough and the fight was declared a draw after eight frames.
Allen, (10-0-1, 4KO) the orthodox fighter from the city of brotherly love was swift of hand and showed a confidence that belied has 10 fight career thus far. Allen fought behind a stiff jab and showed finesse in both the offensive and defensive departments.
Arceo had his moments at the end of round two, yet the fourth, fifth and sixth minutes of the fight were dominated just like the first, second and third minutes were.
Allen fought behind his jab in round three and was able to catch Arceo from the outside with shots. Arceo stayed willing to trade and continued to mix up his punches; Arceo threw four shots in succession which landed as Allen tied him up on the ropes towards the end of round three.
In the fourth Allen had continued success on the outside with looping punches yet Arceo proved game and landed in spots of his own. Allen’s nose was visibly bloody by this time. A great exchange occurred for the rest of the round, which was fought in the middle of the ring. Allen sat down on a solid right a few ticks prior to the end of the round, which left Arceo unfazed.
Allen started frame five with intent, loading up on his shots and later deftly dodging his opponents return fire. The Philadelphian found a home for his straight right hand whenever he desired, yet Allen spent the rest of the round showcasing his defense.
Round six saw both fighters go to the body, and Arceo sat down on his punches with solid shots to both sides of Allen’s frame; Allen showed no visible warrying yet back pedaled a bit after the exchange. It was a round that may have went Arceo’s way.
In the seventh, both fighters looked for an edge and Arceo slipped midway through the round. Allen threw pot shots from the outside in spurts, with Arceo chasing after the elusive Allen. Arceo, (28-15-5, 19KO) got in a few straight lefts to end the round.
The final frame was fought on almost even terms with both fighters landing heavy blows that delighted the crowd. Arceo got Allen to the ropes on both sides of the ring but could not turn out much offense from it. The fight ended with a small exchange on the inside.
After eight rounds all three judges turned in identical cards that had the fight a draw.
Allen was joined in the ring by fellow Philadelphia native and future Hall of Fame inductee Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins provided ringside commentary for the Allen bout with RingTV reporters Doug Fischer and Steve Kim.
Los Angeles native Maricela Cornejo was featured in the nights television opener in a super middleweight contest against Eliza Olson of San Bruno, California.
Cornejo, (5-2, 2KO) landed a right hand at the start of frame one and walked back Olson with head and body shots. Cornejo stayed bust throughout the round but was punched into the corner as the round ended.
Round two as much of the same; Cornejo staying on the outside and throwing at Olson with success. Olson mostly tied up and did not land much offense. In the third, Olson became less willing to trade, instead trying to time Cornejo with a big shot. Olson bullied Cornejo against the ropes and got an open right hand out of it, yet the shot was not much of a game changer.
Frame four saw Cornejo connect with a right hand that had Olson looking to return, yet Cornejo smartly continued her game of hit and not get hit. The Los Angeles native was lighter on her feet and had the better skillset, which ultimately provided her with a unanimous decision win after mostly one-sided six rounds.
“I used my jab, and kept my distance because Olson is known as an unpredictable fighter,” said Maricela Cornejo. “I wasn’t pleased with the outcome — we all want to win via knock out — but I love the fact that I got to demonstrate good footwork and skills that will continue to empower women’s boxing. I’m excited to be a part of LA FIGHT CLUB, and I know that I’ll be back.”
Joel Diaz-trained super lightweight Joseph Aguirre took a few rounds to warm up against opponent Roberto Rivera. Rivera, more than held his own from bell one and served as the busier fighter from the outset.
Rivera went to the body very effectively in the third frame, which was a dominant round for the Tijuana native. The pair traded to end the round to the crowd’s delight.
Round four was tactical, with each fighter trying to time the other, with Aguirre finding more success. Rivera gamely fought off the ropes and threw back in defense, yet the tide had turned noticeably from that point on. Aguirre landed two stiff right hands at the close of the round.
Rivera was busier in round five but Aguirre was more effective, dropping Rivera with a body shot, dropping Rivera a few seconds later and eventually notching a stoppage at 1:45 of the contest.
Aguirre, (15-0, 9KO) donned pink gloves in the fight, a regular staple of Golden Boy Promotions annually promoting cancer awareness. Several GBP banners were pink, as were the ring-posts.
“He had a tough punch, and his uppercuts were a wall that kept me from going in,” said Aguirre after his knock-out win. “I wanted to finish him off earlier, and I knew that I had to work him by starting with the body and working myself up. It was a tough match, but I got the knock out for being the better fighter.”
Santa Monica’s David Mijares looked sharp and steady against Tijuana’s Jason Gavino in a welterweight matchup that served as the night’s second fight of the night. Mijares, (4-0, 3KO) started off the night with a straight right that caught his opponent off guard and snapped Gavino’s head back.
Later in the round Mijares went to the body and had Gavino pinned on the ropes on two occasions; the second time landing solid uppercuts that ended up dropping Gavino. Before Gavino hit the canvas referee Jerry Cantu waived off the bout before the end of round one.
“I knew entering the ring I had to take him seriously, especially after one of his jabs to my lead hand,” said David Mijares. “I knew that my punch to the body had hurt him because I felt him shake. I am excited to go eat some food, and then hit the gym again to train.”
The night’s action started off with Marvin Cabrera making his professional debut as well as making quick work of Tucson, Arizona’s Jose Caro.
Mexico City’s Cabrera (1-0, 1KO) dropped Caro with a body punch and Caro made it to his feet, yet decided once he was there he no longer wanted to trade leather and the fight was waived off by the referee.
“It feels great to get my first win here at the Belasco,” spoke Cabrera. “I have made a lot of sacrifices, especially leaving my entire family in Mexico, and this first win has proven that it is worth it, and those sacrifices are paying off. It’s only the beginning of my career.”
Estrella TV and semi-retired fighter Daniel Ponce De Leon pulled double duty, serving as both trainer to Cabrera as well as calling the televised fights.
The next LA Fight Club is scheduled for November 4.
Fighters in attendance: Bernard Hopkins, Jesus Soto Karass, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Ivan Delgado, Jason Quigley, Gerald Washington, Oscar Duerte, Roy Tapia.
About Raymundo Dioses
A life-long fan with a former boxer's namesake. Professional boxing writer on the beat since 2007.
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