Sparks flew at this special edition of LA FIGHT CLUB in front of a sold-out crowd this Friday night at downtown Los Angeles’ historic Belasco Theater.
This event marked the beginning of the summer season for LA FIGHT CLUB with LA’s finest officers taking on the NYPD boxing team all to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Tonight’s can’t-miss event was attended by the likes of boxing legends old and new: Oscar de la Hoya, Ronny Rios, Carlos “The Solution” Morales, Ivan “Striker” Gonzalez, Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez, Alexis Rocha, Nick Arce, Jason “El Animal” Quigley, Gilberto “El Flaco” Gonzalez, and Pablo “The Shark” Rubio Jr were all witness to the action ringside.
In the televised main event of the night, undefeated Colombian bantamweight warrior Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete (14-0, 5 KOs) of Los Angeles took on Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s Jose “Flash” Bustos (11-6-3, 7 KOs) in a 10-round televised fight airing live nationally on Estrella TV’s Boxeo Estelar. Fight fans did not go home disappointed after witnessing the all-out brawl between rising Colombian fighter Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete and Jose “The Flash” Bustos. The Estrella TV Televised event demonstrated Negrete’s endurance and slick moves, as Negrete strung together several combinations to the head and managed to slip several of Bustos offenses throughout the fight. Neither man backed down, as Negrete and Bustos both stood their ground in their exchange of bashes on the inside to finish the fight. Bustos attempted to work the jab, however Negrete dodged many of them, looking to land counter strikes. With his movement, aggression and clean punching, the “Jaguar” won over the judges and earned a unanimous decision victory over Bustos to remain undefeated.
The live telecast, co-main event featured still undefeated super bantamweight prospect Emilio Sanchez (13-0, 9 KOs) of Los Angeles facing off against Hugo “Olímpico” Partida (20-8-2, 15 KOs) of Mexico City in an eight-round bout. There was much attrition throughout the fight, as both fighters launched their blows correspondingly. Partida’s left upper hand cut punches were distinctive of the fighter, however the fighter ran out of breath by the second round causing the referee to pause the fight. By the end of the second round, Sanchez began to dominate, over powering Partida with his punches while cornering him against the ropes. During the fight, the heated exchanges caused Partida to lose a point in the sixth round for spitting out his mouth guard three times. By the eighth round, Sanchez attempted to close out the fight with a bolstering amount of combination punches to the face. The judges all agreed–Sanchez was the clear winner, maintaining his undefeated record status via unanimous decision.
“My uppercuts were the key to pulling out the decision,” said Emilio Sanchez. “He kept his head low, so I thought my uppercuts were hurting him. He was a tough fighter and had great experience. I feel after this, I can continue facing tougher opponents and keep climbing the ladder in the super bantamweight division.”
Opening the televised portion of the night, Miami’s Niko “Baby Face” Valdes (2-0, 2 KO) fought in a scheduled four-round, super middleweight match against Michael Andrews (0-2) of New Mexico. In the first and second rounds, Andrews tripped over his foot, losing his balance as Valdes landed various left and right arm punches to the face leaving Andrews stunned various times throughout the rounds. Valdes kept putting the pressure on Andrews, overwhelming him with a series of jabs. By the end of the third round, Andrews suffered a bloody nose, resulting in his corner stopping the fight. The stoppage awarded Valdes with a technical knockout victory.
“I’d give myself a B+ after that performance,” said Niko Valdes. “I was keeping my hands too far down during that fight and wasn’t putting together my combinations, but I felt very comfortable out there, maybe the most comfortable I’ve felt in the ring. It was very important for me to be patient when I saw he kept coming back, I didn’t want to flurry and unleash my entire punch load at once.”
The last amateur fight of the night presented action from Daniel Rosales of the LAPD Southwest division taking on Nelson Cordero of NYPD participating in a three-round middleweight match showcasing both of the fighters’ intensity. In the second round, Rosales knocked Cordereo down, but Cordero bounced back quickly to retaliate against Rosales. The third round was difficult to watch for fight fans, as both fighters tackled each other in the ring. The judges all unanimously decided that Rosales was the clear winner.
“It felt good out there, I felt strong,” said Daniel Rosales. “The atmosphere, the officiating, and the preparation made you feel like a superstar, and we’re doing it for a great cause so it was an all-around great night.”
“It was an intense fight,” exclaimed Nelson Cordero. “Coming into the second round it felt close, my opponent was tough. I always say that the best man should win, and tonight it was him.”
Heavyweight amateurs Carlos Rosas of the LAPD Newton Division went head to head with Luis Pena of the Oxnard PAL Program. Rosas was ready to take on his opponent, knocking the wind out of him at the top of the second round. Pena, in exchange, landed various uppercuts and jabs to the face, stunning Rosas. The fighters were in a crossfire for most of the fight, with the judges awarding a split decision to Pena.
“It was great,” spoke Rosas, “I hope Oscar De La Hoya keeps giving us this platform, it was such a great experience. These fans are awesome, they’re not just here for us but they’re also here for such a great cause, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and I hope we get to do more of this in the future.”
“Boxing at the Belasco Theater for a Golden Boy fight was amazing. The atmosphere and energy was electric, especially getting to fight and do what I love for such a great cause, there’s no better feeling,” said Pena of his victory.
Dennis Burgess of the NYPD defeated Brian Petrella of the Pasadena Police department in their scheduled three-round light heavyweight fight. During the fight, the fighters exhibited their resilience in the ring, enduring the explosive amount of punches exhibited by both fighters. The judges all agreed that Burgess was the clear winner, awarding him the victory via unanimous decision.
“I love participating in these events. Anything that I can do to help the community is a very rewarding experience for me,” said Burgess.
“This fight was an improvement for me and I want to thank the Pasadena Police department and my team for helping me participate in this great event,” exclaimed Petrella, “My mother passed away from cancer and this event was very important for me personally. I am thankful to have the ability, strength, shape, will and determination to continue to give back to those in need fighting cancer.”
The fourth fight of the night featured Dustin Rodriguez, of the Santa Monica Fire Department taking on amateur fighter Billy Ramirez of the NYPD. Dusty was quick with his punches, landing significant blows to the face. Ramirez retaliated, cornering Rodriguez and landing good shots by the end of the first round. In the second round, Rodriguez landed a power punch to the head causing Ramirez to lose his balance. The event turned into an all-out brawl by the last round, with both fighters engaging in a series of punches. Rodriguez landed the victory via unanimous decision.
“It feels great to perform in front of a crowd and also give back to the community,” said Dustin Rodriguez. “I am glad that the fight tonight will provide funds to find a cure for cancer.”
“This is my first event with the NYPD boxing team,” said Billy Ramirez. “And it has been a great learning experience. I will take back what I learned tonight and only improve for the next event.”
In the third fight of the night, Eriverto Montano of the LAPD Foothill Division,took on Jonathan Alvarez of the NYPD in a light heavyweight bout full of action. Both fighters traded blows equally with Alvarez consistently cornering Montano on the ropes. In the end, the judges gave the victory to Alvarez via unanimous decision.
“I feel privileged to have participated in this event. I have a family member currently battling cancer and I feel glad that the money raised today will help contribute to all of the people battling cancer,” said Montano.
“This is my fifth fight with the department and I am glad to give back to a great cause,” said Alvarez, “I’m always up to fight for charity and am a proud member of the NYPD.”
Dre Fonseca of the LAPD’s Northeast Division represented the red corner, as she took on fellow City of Angels PAL Program’s Isabel Reyes as the first female amateur fight of the night. The fighters were eager to get into the ring, landing their punches to the body and face. Fonseca’s uppercut punches dominated and wore down Reyes. In the end it was Fonseca’s consistent pressure on Reyes that lead her to claim a unanimous decision victory.
“I am just so excited to be able to represent LAPD in this positive light,” said Fonseca, “I wish more people could see all the work we do, and this event is proof of that-that we support charity organizations like Susan G Komen. I am filled with adrenaline after my win, and I love the fact that I am following some of my father’s footsteps being a police officer and fighting in these kinds of fights.”
“I am so glad that this was my amateur debut-I wish I had another three rounds to go in!” said Reyes, “The energy in the ring is incomparable to anything I have ever experienced, and hearing the fans shout in excitement was insane. I can’t wait to do this again.”
John Byun representing LAPD took on Alex Cintron of NYPD to kick off of the night in a light heavyweight match. The amateur fight featured two zealous fighters who were eager to land their punches. Byun’s effective right punches to the body went up against the right arm jabs to the face of Cintron. By round 3, the fury of punches were too much for Byun, and resulted in a TKO 55 seconds into the round.
“It was a good experience that made me determine my weaknesses,” said Byun, “I am taking this as a learning experience and I am proud to have represented by team in for a great cause. I have had people in my life that have dealt with breast cancer and I am glad that I can do my part to support their fight.”
“This is my first victory as a NYPD officer and I am glad I was able to share the ring with my LAPD brother,” said Cintron, “I want to thank Tiger Schulmanns of the MMA for all their help training for this fight.”