It was a packed house tonight at The Belasco Theater, and the stellar sold out show saw the likes of Golden Boy stablemates Jason “El Animal” Quiqley, Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia, Carlos “The Solution” Morales, Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis, Hector “El Finito” Tanajara Jr., Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete, Joet Gonzalez, and Pablo “The Shark” Rubio were in attendance, along with television star Mario Lopez and Golden Boy Promotions President & CEO Oscar de la Hoya, who met and mingled with fans during this action-packed night.
Former WBC Continental Americas and former NABF Welterweight champion, Soto Karass was matched in strength and power by opponent Kamegai, former OPBF Welterweight Champion. The two fighters refused to give the other the upper hand and battled it out until the end, exchanging hits, jabs, and blocks. Both boxers remained adamant against their opponents, each counter punching speedy hits and hard blows. Unable to decide a victor, the judges named a match a draw with scores of 97-93 (Kamegai), 96-94 (Soto Karass), and 95-95.
“This fight was a war, exactly what the fans expected,” said Jesus Soto Karass. “The people truly won tonight. I felt really good in the ring, but Kamegai was a true, Japanese warrior. I feel we both delivered an exciting night of boxing.”
“I’m still getting used to the time zone here, but I feel really good about my performance tonight,” said Yoshihiro Kamegai. “Soto Karass did catch me a few times, but every time he did, he was met with my counterpunches. Soto Karass was the kind of fighter I was expecting to fight-a true warrior.”
Golden Boy Promotions fan favorite, Vyacheslav “Lion Heart-Chigonsky” Shabranskyy (16-0, 13 KOs) of Los Angeles added another knockout under his belt tonight with his epic takedown of Chicago’s Derrick “Superman” Findley (23-19-1, 15 KOs) in the eight-round cruiserweight co-main event match-up. From the beginning of the first round, Slava delivered swift blows to Findley’s chest and by the second round, Shabranskyy had his opponent cornered. Findley could only fend off “Lion Heart-Chigonsky” with his blocks for so long as Shabranskyy boxed around his opponent and executed power punches securing him a third round knockout victory.
“I have the best teams and the best fans. I’m so happy Los Angeles has welcomed me to in to their familia,” said Shabranskyy of his victory. “In the ring, I’ve learned to become more patient, waiting for my opponent, but I’m also ready to pounce for an attack. I embrace my “chingonsky” and I’m looking forward to training hard to give my fans more shows.”
Starting off his professional career with a knockout victory, Genaro “El Conde” Gamez, (1-0, 1 KO) took on Archie Weah (1-6) of Norcross, Georgia in an impressive professional debut. The fight began with fire, as both fighters pounced to get their win. However, Weah could not keep up with Gamez’s speed and hard punches, landing a series of punching combinations that put a stop to Weah in the first round.
“I made sure to start the fight slow so I could figure out Weah,” said Genaro Gamez. “Once I was aware of Weah’s style I proceeded to take control of the fight and I am glad I was able to stop him early. I feel excited about this victory as my professional debut and look forward to the next fight.”
Making his professional debut tonight on the super middleweight division, Miami, Florida’s southpaw star Niko “Baby Face” Valdes (1-0, 1 KO) faced Roberto Ramirez (0-3) in a ground shaking first round knockout bash. Beginning the bout, Valdes knocked down his opponent with a hit, after Ramirez got back on his feet he was met first with a body punch and then a series of combination punches to the chest which stopped him the first round.
“Today was the day my dreams came true, just as I envisioned it,” said Valdes of his victory. “As I look forward to my career, I want to aspire to have a career like Canelo, because he is a world champion super-star. In Miami, I train alongside amazing world champs, and they have built me to be an aggressive fighter, prepared for it all.”
Representing East Los Angeles, Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro (5-0, 4 KOs)brought some serious rumble in to the ring with his third round knockout over Tavorous Teague (3-11-2, 2 KOs) of Paramount, CA in their scheduled six-round welterweight fight. Navarro was applying pressure to Teague the second the bell rang, with his consistent heavy-hitting jabs. In the second round, Navarro’s aggression was mounting and the force proved too much for Teague to handle as he lost his footing, but rebounded looking to catch Navarro. After an exchange of hits and jabs, Navarro came back and took his opponent down in the third round to win the fight via knock out.
“It was a good fight tonight. I came in more patient, waiting to strike,” said Navarro. “I learned a lot from this fight because it was my first time coming across my opponent’s fighting style. I feel ecstatic about adding another knockout, and I am very excited for my next fight.”
Eager to begin his professional boxing career, Glendora, California’s Jousce Gonzalez (1-0, 1 KO) entered the ring with a bang knocking out opponent Noe Perez (1-2) of Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico in the first round as the opening bout of the night. Gonzalez has boxing in his blood as his brother Joet Gonzalez is a professional fighter and his sister is Jajaira Gonzalez is a finalist for the 2016 Olympic Women’s Boxing Team. Gonzalez impressively knocked down Perez three times before the fight was called off by the referee, awarding him his first victory by knockout.
“I feel so blessed to start off my professional career how I did tonight,” said Jousce Gonzalez of his winning knockout. “Coming out to my song, to the lights, and to the fans, I can’t help but feel excited for the future. I’m from a boxing family, and having Joet Gonzalez as my brother makes me really competitive against him, so I push to train harder in the ring and this is what makes me a better boxer.”