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Saakyan Wins and Other Results from Southern Calif.

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  • Saakyan Wins and Other Results from Southern Calif.

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    By David A. Avila

    COMMERCE, Calif.-Montebello’s Arthur Saakyan walked into the packed arena to thunderous cheers and showed fans the best version of his talent so far in his young career with an impressive knockout victory on Saturday.

    Saakyan (6-1) works with one of the smaller but more potent teams in Southern California and showed his hundred plus fans at Commerce Casino just how potent they can be. He knocked out clever Edgar Ivan Garcia (7-20-1) in two rounds with a well-placed body shot.

    Trained by Dean Campos and supported by American female boxing’s top light flyweight Seniesa Estrada, the Armenian welterweight (pictured with his team) looked like a sharp razor against the usually puzzling Garcia. In this bout, Saakyan would not allow the Mexican fighter known as “the professor” to dictate the pace or find an opening.

    After careful precision strikes, Saakyan lowered the boom with a right to the gut that dropped Garcia for the count at 1:34 of the second round. It was Saakyan’s best victory yet. His trainer Campos also coached former super welterweight world champion Sergio “the Latin Snake” Mora and works with Seniesa Estrada.

    In another welterweight bout North Hollywood’s Damien Lopez (9-0-1) defeated Moris Rodriguez (7-14-1) by majority decision after six rounds.

    A battle between Mexican middleweights saw Martin Saldana (12-0) use his long reach and persistent jab to keep Carlos Huerta (6-3-1) at the receiving end of the blows. Huerta had a brief moment when he stopped the onslaught, but Saldana’s defense and jabs kept the fight in his favor. No knockdowns were scored by either fighter but Saldana remained undefeated with a unanimous decision victory 60-54 on all three scores.

    In a super lightweight match San Francisco’s Willie Shaw (10-1) bedazzled Argentina’s Gonzalo Dallera (5-4) with slick movements and defense until catching the bull rushes of his opponent with a counter right to the belly. Dallera was stopped at 1:38 of the fifth round in an entertaining fight.

    Speedy bantamweights Ming Freeman (1-3-1) and Joseph Cuellar (0-1-1) clashed like roosters at the opening bell and battered each other back and forth. Both fighters showed speed and power with Cuellar the busier fighter. Freeman chose the counter-punching role and caught Cuellar several times. After four exciting rounds all three judges saw it 38-38 for a draw.

    Pacoima’s Pedro Valencia (8-0, 7 KOs) remained undefeated with a knockout victory over Mexican veteran Daniel Bastien (4-14) in the second round. Valencia, 18, has fought all of his previous bouts in Mexico. This was his debut on an American boxing card and he needed only 58 seconds of the second round to catch Bastien with a left hook to end the fight.

    Valencia has serious firepower.

    Chicago’s Ikeem Abdullah (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision over Florida’s Darel Harris (1-13-1) after four rounds in a super lightweight contest. Despite Harris’ losing record he put up a difficult fight for Abdullah who used his height and jab to victory. All three judges scored it 40-36 but ever round was competitive.

    A lightweight match saw Shamar Fulton (2-0-1) win by knockout of Micah Livingston (0-3) at 1:07 of the first round. A left cross during an exchange ended the fight abruptly. Fulton is a southpaw from Philadelphia.

    Photo credit: Al Applerose

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