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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.”