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Boxers prove tough enough

Jim Riggio

The Burbank Airport Hilton Convention Center is a venue that has

hosted its share of typical professional boxing events.

However, what took place Sunday was far from a typical fight card.

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No experience was necessary. Athletes fought for just three

one-minute rounds. And getting out of control and wild in the ring

was allowed -- and even encouraged.

In a change of sorts, street boxing made its debut at the Airport

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Hilton, as Top Shelf Entertainment held Tuff Stuff of L.A., an

amateur boxing card.

“We’ve had people from every walk of life,” co-promoter Sam

Martin said. “We had one L.A. police officer. We had a loan

officer.”

Martin said he and business partner Greg Davidson plan to hold

future events at the Airport Hilton.

“We initially sent out the applications and we must have received

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nearly 30 to 40 applicants willing to fight,” Martin said. “Today,

we wound up having roughly 17 or 18 fighters. The next one we do is

going to be even bigger because of the response we’ve gotten.”

Martin and Davidson chose the Airport Hilton to host the event

after attending a boxing card promoted by Ron Williams, the president

of RW Promotions. RW Promotions has hosted professional boxing cards

at the venue the past few years.

Martin said he thinks street boxing has a future because it

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appeals to fans with its rough nature.

“It doesn’t give you time to think,” he said. “You’ve got to get

in there and do what you have to do. [The fans] love it because there

is more action.”

Martin said he doesn’t want street boxing to be confused with

other forms of fighting.

“I don’t want this in any way, shape or form to be confused with

the tough-man [competitions]. This is not the tough man,” Martin

said.

The Tuff Stuff event differs from ultimate-fighting-type

competitions in a few ways. The main difference is Tuff Stuff

competitors wear gloves and are only allowed to box, unlike the other

fighting genre where all styles of combat are allowed.

Steve Warfield of Yorba Linda won the middleweight title,

defeating Burbank’s Dave Haslam by a unanimous decision.

Things got more exciting in the super-middleweight title fight, as

Jaime Reyes of Orange knocked out Alberto Gomez of Long Beach at 45

seconds of the second round.

“That’s part of the game. You’ve got to whip them before they whip

you,” Reyes said. “This whole fight is three minutes. Basically, you

have to go all out and show what you can do. There is no pacing

yourself. There is no taking your time. You’ve got to do what the

[expletive] you’ve got to do.”

The knockouts continued in the light-heavyweight championship

bought, as Michael Ardon of Winnetka knocked out Burbank’s Damien

Kramer at 28 seconds of the third round.

“It feels good,” said Ardon, a Texas native who was fighting for

the first time in California. “There were a lot of good athletes here

today. Everybody did their training, but some people just have more

experience than others and I think experience won out today.”

Cory Woodard of Pomona captured the heavyweight title, as he won a

unanimous decision over Fernando Toledo of North Hills.

“I had a lot of fun,” said the 26-year-old Woodard, who weighed

in at 231 pounds. “I’m trying to get serious with this and they had a

lot of good competition. I’m trying to start a career and I feel like

I’m in my prime.”


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