Story: Chris Strait
Photo Credit: Richard De La Cruz (35 Raw)
A packed house at The Burbank Marriott Events Center played host to Bash Boxing’s latest incarnation of Valley Fight Night on Friday April 20, 2018. The promotion’s industry wide reputation of stellar matchmaking did not disappoint once again. Nearly every fight on the 8-bout show was a brawl, featuring 6 decisions that were book-ended by KOs. Friday’s show was also broadcast CBS SPORTS DIGITAL’s OTT service, CBS SportsLive.
In the featured bout of the evening, Burbank’s own Damien Lopez won a hard earned TKO victory over Rodolfo Gamez in a welterweight battle. Gamez showed the same toughness that led him to an upset victory over previously undefeated Ronnie Biggers on the last Valley Fight Night show. But this time Gamez was clearly bothered in the first three rounds by the local favorite’s body shots and relentless attack. The referee kept a close eye on things at the end of round 4, as Gamez was taking punishment along the ropes. Only 8 seconds into the 5th round of a scheduled 6, Lopez dropped Gamez with a left hook and the bout was waved off. Lopez moves to 5-0-1 with 3 KOs. Gamez, who has now fought an undefeated fighter in all 7 of his professional bouts, drops to 2-5.
In the co-feature, another welterweight battle took place. This time between young unbeaten prospects with decorated amateur backgrounds. Egis Klimas, manager of Vasyl Lomachenko and Sergei Kovalev among others, brought a new prospect into the Bash Boxing ring. Kazakhstan’s Sagadat Rakhmankulov won a unanimous 6 round decision, moving to 2-0- 1KO, over Bogota, Colombia’s Jhon Sanchez Leon. Leon (3-1- 2 KOs), who was coming off two consecutive wins over undefeated fighters, tried many different approaches and had some offensive success. But steady work, round by round, was done by Rahkmankulov. Leon definitely proved to ringside observers that he belongs at a high level in the sport. But the Kazakh, who is now boxing out of Oxnard in the Lomachencko camp, trumped the Columbian’s efforts on all 3 scorecards.
Houston’s Josue Morales returned after posting a draw with Alexander Enriquez in his last foray into the Bash Boxing ring. The tough Texan did what he has done in all 15 of his professional fights as he went the distance with popular local icon Rudy “Tiburon” (Shark) Garcia. It was a tactical 122lb battle in which neither fight was hurt. But it was Garcia who outboxed Morales over 6 rounds. Garcia showed good technique and innovation in finding new ways to split Morales’ guard. improving his undefeated record to 7-0 in the unanimous decision win while Garcia drops to 5-7-3 (0 KOs)
In a stunner, Jesus Cruz Bibiano (17-13) was awarded a controversial 6 round decision over previously unbeaten Humberto Velasquez (6-1-2). Southpaw Velasquez seemed to outwork Bibiano in most rounds, although the former WBF champion landed good counters and kept it somewhat close. The split decision, by 56-58, 60-54, and 58-54 went against “El Camaron de los Pobres (Poor people’s shrimp)” Velasquez.
In the Super Bantamweight opener, former Olympic hopeful and current Tim Bradley protege Santos Ortega needed only a few seconds to end the night of fellow pro debuter Giancarlo Espinoza. A right to the temple dropped Espinoza, who made no attempt to rise from the crushing blow.
Pro MMA fighter Derrion Chapman continued his moonlight run as a boxer and gave another good account in the Bash Boxing ring as he ran his record to 1-1-1 after a draw with Debuting Gerardo Alvarez in a 4 round welterweight fight. There was great two-way action throughout, making each round tough to score, as evidenced by 2 judges each having it 40-36 in different directions. The 3rd judge had it even 38-38.
Lightweight Ricardo “El Conejo (The Rabbit)” Quiroz of Oxnard won a tough majority decision over spoiler Archie Weah. Weah used movement and gamesmanship to pull even on one card after 4 rounds. But the steady work of Quiroz took the decision on the other 2 cards. Weah (2-10) continues to impress against undefeated prospects, but Quiroz improves to 6-0.
In 130lb action, Roger Gutierrez, of Pacoima, CA moved to 7-1-1 with 4 KOs with a unanimous decision over Jordan Baletero (2-6). Nearly all of Baletero’s wins and losses have come by KO. And after getting dropped in round one, it looked to be happening again. However, Baletero showed toughness and made it to the final bell, where he lost 40-35 on all cards. Gutierrez maintained a steady attack throughout to delight his faithful fans in attendance.
Another successful event has already led to talk about the next show in late June, with rumblings of tournament style shows and the return of Bash Boxing’s popular Hollywood Fight Night series from 2012 to 2015.
California Xtreme Fighting (CXF), the top mixed martial arts promotion in the state of California returns to Burbank Saturday Aprill 12th for CXF 12 Burbank Beatdown. Brought to you by incomparable team of Lights Out Promotions and Bash Entertainment, the absolutely stacked eleven bout card is punctuated by three title fights in the lightweight, featherweight and bantamweight divisions.
CXF’s man on the microphone, Jonathan King, provides us with a preview of Saturday’s card:
CXF Lightweight Championship 155lbs
Estevan ‘El Terrible’ Payan (16-12)
vs. Dominic ‘All Day’ Clark (11-7)
You can expect all hell to break loose when these two bad-asses square off for the coveted 155lbs CXF lightweight title. Currently one of the toughest lightweights in the game, former champion Dominic Clark has climbed his way back into title contention and earned a second shot at the title he lost just last year. His opponent is none other than UFC veteran Estevan Payan. A short notice injury replacement for Darren Smith Jr., Payan brings a ton of experience, a relentless style, and has been asking for a shot to prove himself in front of the CXF fans. Opportunity knocked and Payan answered, creating a golden opportunity for Payan to upset the former CXF champion and claim CXF gold of his own. As with any bout where the CXF lightweight title has been on the line, you can expect a dynamic and explosive fight.
CXF Bantamweight Championship 135lbs
Georgie Garcia (6-3 MMA)
vs. Chris Beal (10-5 MMA)
Current CXF Flyweight champion Georgie Garcia (6-3 MMA) moves up to the bantamweight division as he looks to become the first ever multi-divisional CXF champion. But it will not be easy as the road to dual title put Garcia in the cage with undoubtedly his toughest opponent to date in the form of UFC veteran Chris Beal (10-5 MMA). The always exciting Beal is quite possibly one of, if not the most dynamic strikers to decorate the lighter divisions. However, Garcia will certainly hold the edge on the mat should the fight find the ground. Styles make fight and these styles have set this scrap up to be a violent chess match you do not want to miss. Get your popcorn ready for this one.
CXF Featherweight Championship 145lbs
AJ Bryant (7-2 MMA)
vs. Brian ‘The Bad Boy’ Del Rosario
The vacant CXF featherweight title will be on the line and it is simply a mind blowing proposition as CXF veteran A.J. Bryant (7-2 MMA) takes on undefeated prospect Brian Del Rosario (3-0 MMA). Bryant is looking to punctuate his current five fight winning streak in the CXF cage with his first professional title. However, he will have his work cut out for him in the form of Del Rosario. An explosive striker, in his last fight Del Rosario showed he is not a one trick pony using his submission skills to lock up a fight ending triangle early in the third round of his bloody war with Dontae Stubbs. The well-rounded skill set both men pose make this a fight you do not want to miss.
Featured Welterweight Matchup 170lbs
Mike Jasper (12-4 MMA)
vs. Justin Baesman (15-16-1 MMA)
When CXF welterweight champion Mike Jasper steps back in the cage on April 21, it will have been nearly a year since his last fight. A scrap that not only earned him his CXF welterweight title, but also cost him his leg as he tore his quad in the waning seconds of the fight. Fully recovered from his horrific injury, Jasper is set to square off in a non-title fight against the well-travelled veteran Justin Baesman (15-16-1 MMA). Baseman fell short of his title contender bid against Daniel Rodriguez in his last outing but he is back to establish himself as contender. With the fight set, only two questions remain: Can Jasper return to the form that earned him the title before his injury or will opportunity be the flavor of the day for the veteran Baesman?
Serob Minasyan (8-11 MMA)
vs. Spike Carlyle (4-0 MMA)
145lbs Featherweight Division
The very violent and always aggressive Serob Minasyan (8-11) returns to the CXF cage for the fifth time, taking on undefeated San Diego native Spike Carlyle (4-0 MMA) in a fight that is certain to make a mess of the CXF cage. Carlyle brings an impressive grappling pedigree coupled with some solid muay thai experience. Carlyle’s pension for submissions and Minasyan’s propensity to bang could end up making this fight the classic ‘striker vs grappler’ matchup.
Edmen Shahbazyan (5-0 MMA)
vs. Daniel McWilliams (17-38 MMA)
185lbs Middleweight Division
Undefeated middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan looks to keep his unblemished record intact against the always savvy, and slick submissions of Daniel McWilliams. McWilliams a jiujitsu specialist is looking to build on his current two fight winning streak that included a victory over Eddie Jackson in December of last year. Expect Shahbazyan to maintain an edge in the striking department, but he will certainly have to keep his wits and his limbs in check, as the crafty McWilliams can end the fight in a heartbeat if you give him something to grab!
David Roberts (1-0 MMA)
vs. Raul Mota (Pro Debut)
170lbs Welterweight Division
Extremely popular drift racing champion David Roberts (1-0 MMA) steps out of the car and back into the cage as he looks to build off his impressive debut win over Jose Marroquin. Standing in his way this this time is heavy-handed slugger Raul Mota (0-0), who steps into the professional ranks for the very first time. Don’t get comfortable in your chairs folks…these two guys like to throw hands, so expect a frenetic pace from the opening bell.
Arutjun Pogosjan (2-0)
vs. Arian Sharifi (4-0 MMA)
155lbs Lightweight Division
Undefeated records are on the line when lightweights Arutjun Pogosjan (2-0) and Arian Sharifi (4-0 MMA) square off in their CXF promotional debuts. Both of these young men have been chomping at the bit for the chance to fight in the CXF cage and now they finally have the opportunity. But it will cost one of them his unblemished record. Whoever wins this fight will certainly to establish themselves as a contender in the rather deep waters that make up the CXF lightweight division.
Donte Stubbs (3-2 MMA)
vs. Tigran Grigoryan (0-1 MMA)
145lbs Featherweight Division
Welterweight slugger Donte Stubbs (3-2 MMA) returns to the CXF cage on the heels of his war with current title contender Brian Del Rosario. Although that fight went down as a loss for Stubbs, his stock as a fighter continued to rise due to his spectacular effort. His opponent Tigran Grigoryan (0-1 MMA) finds himself in the same predicament as he looks to rebound from his lone loss to Josh Jones back in 2016. Expect blood in the water when these too sharks get locked inside the CXF cage.
Mark Alvidrez (0-2 MMA
vs. Jose Aparicio (Pro Debut)
135lbs Bantamweight Division
In the unusual storm that is CXF MMA, the lightning will follow the thunder young as bantamweights Mark Alvidrez (0-2 MMA) and Jose Aparicio (Pro Debut) square off in a featured bout that takes place in the 135lbs division. Looking to right the ship after two consecutive losses, Alvidrez returns to the CXF cage in search of his first win as professional. His opponent Jose Aparicio will be looking steal the spotlight as he makes his way to the pro ranks after amassing an impressive 5-1 record as an amateur.
Jose Marroquin (3-1 MMA)
vs. John Saroyan (Pro Debut)
185lbs Middleweight Division
Kicking off the evening will be a couple of heavy handed middleweights who will be looking to set an early and thunderous tone. Top 185lbs prospect John Saroyan (Pro Debut) will be making his pro and CXF MMA debuts against the always aggressive Jose Marroquin (0-1 MMA). Marroquin will be looking to right the ship in his second appearance in the CXF cage after dropping his debut back in December.
Top female featherweight prospect Brittney Victoria (1-0 MMA) is also scheduled to appear.
This event will mark the sixth consecutive year that Lights Out Promotions and Bash Entertainment have commemorated those who were lost during the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Tickets can be purchased online at