‘Hollywood Fight Nights’ results: Denis Shafikov defeats Hector Suarez
Denis Shafikov beat Hector Suarez over the course of eight rounds to earn a unanimous decision (80-72, 77-75, 79-73) victory, Wednesday night, in the main event of a 360 Promotions “Hollywood Fight Nights” club show, at the Avalon, in Hollywood, California.
Shafikov, Miass, Russia, may not know any other way to do it. The lightweight contender and former title challenger, as he typically does, handed in a fight in which his opponent had plenty of moments of success but couldn’t overshadow the crafty work turned in by the the guy nicknamed “Djingis Khan,” who can’t find himself in a bad fight.
Suarez, 12-7-1 (6), didn’t have trouble dealing with the shifty head movement and feinting in the start of their eight-rounder. It had been close to four years since Shafikov, 39-4-1 (20), last fought in a fight scheduled for eight but, coming off two defeats in a row, a win was necessary and, frankly, set-up for the 33-year-old on this night. What Shafikov had to deal with was Suarez’s size but, like the smart fighter he is, there was no reaching when it came to attacking the body. Off his jab, Shafikov did his best work in the fight, with his left, which was as subtle as it was effective to those sitting at ringside. However Suarez, 22, toughed it out and answered back with right hands to the head and used movement that prevented Shafikov from outright teeing off on him against the ropes. The consistent pressure from Shafikov is one of his best assets, and, by exposing his head coming forward, also one of his detriments. Suarez exploited it, at times, and even marked a small cut on Shafikov’s forehead by the end of the fight. Shafikov paid it back with a nice left hook to the temple in the seventh, which was one of his better rounds of a fight that seemed closer than what it was scored. That’s the thing, when you have fighters like Shafikov leveling down, after going through an impressive stretch of lightweights. You can call it playing down to his opponent, or maybe he is, in fact, feeling the effects of a career going on 44 fights. It wasn’t a scare for Shafikov, when waiting for the scorecards but Suarez, as the loser, walked away feeling good about himself after going the distance with a very underrated fighter.
Shafikov, who is trained by Abel Sanchez, may not get as close to a title than when he went rounds with IBF beltholder Robert Easter Jr. last year, only to lose on the cards, in Ohio. Once finding himself in a bloodbath with Rene Alvarado in his next fight, another close decision loss, Shafikov found himself here as the headliner. Perhaps a nod to the Russian who has gone through plenty in his career without any complaint.
Welterweight prospect Brian Ceballo remained unbeaten after handing Adan Amuhada a slow beating for four rounds. The 24-year-old out of Brooklyn, New York, earned a shut-out unanimous decision (40-35 twice and 40-34).
Ceballo, 3-0 (1), was just a few seconds away from earning a stoppage. In the fourth, all the work he had done leading up to that point was taking a massive toll on Ahumada, and when Ceballo peppered him on the ropes with accurate combinations, Ahumada was held up by the ropes and given a standing eight-count by referee Sharon Sands. The bout could’ve been stopped then but, with about 10 seconds left in the fight, Sands let it continue and there was even another opportunity for her to stop it but the bell rang. Ahumada, 3-5-2 (2), was bleeding from his mouth going into that final round, and ended up a mobile punching bag for the prospect. Ceballo’s consistent body work throughout the fight was the catalyst to his success, and so was his uppercut upstairs. All of it started with a strong jab from Ceballo in the opening round, and slowly he gained confidence, as he put combos together. In the post-fight interview, he mentioned that he hoped he impressed, and, from someone who’s seen all three of his fights at ringside, it certainly was his best performance to date. A tactical beating.
Ukrainian junior middleweight prospect Serhii “El Flaco” Bohachuk showcased his power-punching ability in his second round technical knockout of Cesar Berumen. The fight was scheduled for six rounds.
Bohachuk, 8-0 (8), landed a straight right to Berumen’s face in the opening moments of the first, and it was all downhill from there for the 40-year-old Mexican. Berumen, 26-38-3 (16), reluctantly got up from his first knockdown, only to be dropped again by the end of the round, from a left hook to the head. Had there been more time, Bohachuk, who is trained by Abel Sanchez, may have been able to get Berumen out of there in that first round but he quickly got back to work in the second. A flurry of shots had Berumen in pain on the mat, and, once getting up, the fight was rightfully waved off by referee Jack Reiss.
Jonathan Esquivel remained unbeaten after flooring Sergio Gonzalez three times, en route to a stoppage victory in the third round. The middleweight contest was scheduled for six.
Esquivel, 6-0 (6), got off to a hot start with his left hand, belly-flopping Gonzalez with it to the mat in the opening round, and never looking back at his technically flawed foe. Gonzalez, 6-6 (2), had a tough time looking comfortable against the southpaw, and, in the second round, he found himself on the floor again when getting caught while trying to clinch. Fighting out of Anaheim, California, Esquivel stayed consistent with his jab, and, in the third, corralled Gonzalez into a final left hand in the third, when, after he got up, referee Jack Reiss decided he had enough.
Louisa “Bang Bang Lu Lu” Hawton earned a technical knockout victory over Elvia Trevino, after the ringside doctor stopped the fight before the fifth round could start. The female junior flyweight contest was scheduled for six.
Coming off her first defeat, Hawton, 8-1 (4), couldn’t wipe the smile off her face, as she boxed the ears off of her Mexican opponent. Trevino, 2-4, never looked seriously hurt in the match but she was in trouble, in terms of keeping up with Hawton’s onslaught. Hawton, Perth, Australia, focused her combinations at Trevino’s head, and kept her bottled up and helplessly backpedaling around the ring.
Female junior welterweight prospect Elvina White got the second win of her career, after earning a unanimous decision (40-36 on all three scorecards) over Annette Pabello after four rounds.
With Buddy McGirt in her corner, White, 2-0, outboxed her opponent well enough to have a convincing win, but the Austrian wasn’t too satisfied with her performance, in the post-fight interview, even taking the time out to apologize to herself. Pabello, 0-3, had a distinct height and reach advantage against White but found her way inside by the end of the second round, seldomly clipping White with left and right hooks. White didn’t show any weariness when the shots landed on her but the fight quickly turned into a good scrap, thanks to Pabello’s gutsiness. In the final round, Pabello’s hair got in her eyes, giving White plenty of opportunity to separate herself but perhaps that’s why White looked better in that moment, compared to the prior rounds.
Luis Rosales beat Roberto Pucheta via unanimous decision (59-55 twice, 58-56) after six rounds of junior featherweight action.
Rosales, 8-1 (3), popped his jab out and remained behind it to bank rounds and jump ahead to an uneventful lead, until an abrupt lead left hook in the third round had Pucheta backing up. Pucheta, 10-14-1 (6), found a small hole in Rosales’ game, thanks to a timed straight hand in the following round. It prompted the 24-year-old prospect to jump out of his corner to start the fifth and set a frantic pace of offense. Rosales, West Covina, California, was forced to settle down by the sixth, thanks to Pucheta’s ability to withstand a punch and prepare for the straight right hand but, even then, he wasn’t controlling the rounds like that of his counterpart.
In the opening bout of the 360 Promotions card, Mario Ramos earned a sixth round technical knockout over Guadalupe Arroyo to keep his record perfect. The junior lightweight contest was scheduled for six.
Fighting out of San Diego, California, Ramos, 5-0 (5), used his height and reach advantage to keep a comfortable distance, from his southpaw stance, but Arroyo was more than willing to take a few shots in order to give one. Arroyo, 3-12, managed to land a few winging right hands on Ramos head but none had much effect. The left hand from Ramos, 18, didn’t have much effect either and made for a good toe-to-toe scrap, until a body shot hurt Arroyo in the fifth round. An uppercut from Ramos stunned Arroyo again, early in the sixth, but, even then, Arroyo was trying to find his overhand right. At the 1:35 mark, referee Sharon Sands stepped in and stopped the fight with Arroyo trapped in a corner but on his feet. The Mexican disputed her decision of handing him his first defeat within the distance.