Brewer annihilates Onolunose
Ringside by Felipe Leon
Photos by 'Big' Joe Miranda
TKO Boxing Promotions had a resounding southern California debut with their “Brawl For it All” at the Pala Casino and Resort located 30 miles north of downtown San Diego, Calif. Over 1,000 energetic fight fans witnessed a six-fight card topped off with “The Contender, Season Two” Champion Grady Brewer devastatingly stopping previous undefeated Albert Onolunose for the IBC jr. middleweight title.
Despite both fighters being cautious, Onolunose of Calgary, Canada by way of Nigeria, took the initiative early as he landed a strong three-punch combination to the body of Brewer early on in the first. Soon after, both fighters slowed the action to one punch attacks, trying to measure each other’s speed and power.
Onolunose landed a thundering left hook followed by a right to begin the second, but the veteran 38-year-old Brewer kept his cool and continued to pressure his opponent looking for an opening.
It came soon enough as he landed a straight right hand that sent the Nigerian sprawling against the ropes for the count. Onolunose was barely able to beat the count on shaky legs and Brewer was ready to swoop in for the kill, landing flush punches to the head that sent the former soldier reeling, first towards the neutral corner, and then to the opposite side of the ring looking for cover. Once trapped against the ropes, Brewer landed the kill shot with a left hook that knocked out Onolunose where he stood, sending him down with a short tight right hand uppercut.
Official time was 2:32 of the second round. Now with the win, Brewer is crowned the new IBC jr. middleweight champion.
"As soon as he went down, I knew I was going to finish him off," Lawton, OK’s Brewer stated immediately after the bout. "I am ready to defend the title tomorrow since I didn't get any work in tonight."
Noons settles for decision
In the semi-main event, former MMA champion turned boxer KJ Noons (11-2, 6KO) of San Diego, CA, had trouble exciting the hometown crowd while trying to make a fight against Norristown, PA's Randy Pogue (8-9-2, 2KO), who was more than willing to just survive the six rounds and collect a paycheck.
In the first round, both fighters were hesitant to establish any type of game plan. Noons did score mid way through the round with two quick stiff jabs that seem to bother Pogue but for the most part, both fighters were content with holding and punching their way to the end of the round. Early in the second, Noons let go with a flurry of punches as he trapped his opponent against the neutral corner. The southpaw Pogue seemed to be the one that initiated most of the holding after trying to score with a sneaky straight left that never found its target. Midway through the round, Noons scored with a hard left hook to the body followed with a left hook to the head that stunned Pogue but Noons failed to capitalize.
In the third, Noons turned up the pressure by landing a hard right hand that prompted Pogue to smile and touch gloves acknowledging that it bothered him. Pogue seemed not to have any other strategy, but to throw two or three uncommitted punches, then go for the hold, which Noons was too much happy to oblige. Noons began to put punches together in the fourth as he landed a series of flush uppercuts and right hands as well as improving his work on the inside when Pogue opted to hold which was often.
Early in the fifth Noons was able to land another hard right hand that made Pogue once again. Noons continued to try to make a fight out of the bout as he landed various flurries and moved around the ring trying to leer Pogue into a match up but the Norristown, PA native was not having it, as he was satisfied to throw futile punches and hold on until referee Tony Crebs separated the two.
In the sixth and final round, Noons went for broke as he tried to bring some excitement to the ring for his hometown crowd as he carried on with a pressure attack all the way to the final bell. The result was an afterthought as KJ Noons deservedly earned a unanimous decision with scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55.
Dat wins unpopular sixer
Following a ring walk that could only rival Naseem Hamed or Jorge "Travieso" Arce which included a Vietnamese Dragon and various percussion, featherweight Dat "Be Dat" Nguyen (16-1-0, 6 KOs) won an unpopular six round decision over the game Noe Lopez (5-2, 4 KOs) of Nogales, MX.
Nguyen, who trains out of Vero Beach, FL, with famed trainer Buddy McGirt but hails out of Bien Hoa, Vietnam, took control of the action early as he used controlled aggression to make Lopez back down in the first and second round.
By the third round, the southpaw Lopez had figured out Nguyen's strategy of jab and straight right hand and had no trouble slipping the punch and countering with his own. The fight became a firefight in the fourth and fifth as both fighters landed hard effective punches from all angles as well as brawling to the delight of pro Lopez crowd. Nguyen won the sixth round and in turn the bout with all three judges scoring it 58-56.
Santa Cruz survives DaLuz
In a stern test, nearby San Gabriel, CA native Leo Santa Cruz (9-0-1, 2KO) remained undefeated as he survived a fourth round knockdown but was able to earn a controversial unanimous six round decision over tough journeyman Robert DaLuz (12-20-3, 9KO) of Providence, RI in bantamweight division.
After a very patient first round where DaLuz controlled most of the action, Santa Cruz took over the action in the second landing cleaner and straighter punches as he walked down his opponent against the ropes.
Early in the fourth, DaLuz caught the young Santa Cruz with a big roundhouse right that caught Santa Cruz behind the right ear and put him on wobbly legs eventually dropping him down to the canvas. With former champion and now elite level trainer Robert Garcia in his corner, Santa Cruz was able to beat the count and regain his composure and return to his strategy of straight punches upstairs and hard hooks to the body.
DaLuz seemed to win the fifth round with non-stop action as his offense prevented Santa Cruz in launching his own. Santa Cruz took over the sixth with his own assault, which led for all three judges to score it for Santa Cruz 58-55.
Chudinov II survives knockdown
After surviving an early scare in the first round when he was dropped by a flush left hook to the chin, older brother Dmitry Chudinov (2-0, 1KO) earned a unanimous four round middleweight decision with workmanlike body work over Eddie Hunter (1-1) of Seattle, WA.
After knocking down his opponent in the first, Hunter seemed to be waiting for another opening by launching one punch attacks and failing to put punches in bunches. Official scores were 38-37 three times.
Chudinov I stops Lyubarsky
Recent TKO Boxing signee Fedor Chudinov of Serpukhov, Russia needed all of 71 seconds in the first round of a scheduled four to stop Mikhail Lyubarsky with a hard left hook to the chin which prompted referee Tony Crebs to wave off the fight.
Hollywood, CA's Lyubarsky met the canvas earlier in the round after being hit with a straight right hand followed by a left hook to the chin that sent him against the ropes and then to his knees. Super middleweight Chudinov stays undefeated at 2-0, 2KO while Lyubarsky drops to 3-11-1, 1KO.
Faces in the crowd: Terry Norris, Sergio Mora, and Timothy Bradley