Lugo ready for next fight

Competing in his first pro fight, Steffan Lugo grew anxious to step into the ring March 18.

But then Lugo became nervous and developed negative thoughts as he waited in the locker room at the Hangar at OC Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa. Lugo, a former Newport Harbor High water polo player, didn't like the feeling when his fight went from the third of the night and was moved to the second to the last bout.

"I was sitting there for four and a half hours," Lugo said Thursday before starting his shift as a waiter at the Pelican Grill in Newport Coast. "I was going through a roller coaster of emotions, of anxiety."

Nothing seemed to be going right for Lugo before his first pro fight. Lugo noticed that boxers in the blue corner were losing throughout the night and he was heading to the blue corner.

"It brought down the whole morale of the locker room," Lugo said.

When Lugo finally came to the ring, the wrong music played for his entrance. He said the speakers blared, "TNT," by ACDC. But Lugo wanted, "Someday," by Flipsyde. The song is close to Lugo's heart. It's a tune that reminds him of his friend, Grant Kidman, who died five years ago.

Lugo said the song was appropriate for the middleweight fight.

The lyrics of the chorus back that up: "Someday we gonna rise up on that wind, you know. Someday we gonna dance with those lions."

Despite a rough start, Lugo did indeed rise up and scored a third-round knockout against J.J. Ambrose of Lakewood.

Lugo plans to take that momentum into his next fight April 21 with Fight Club OC at the Hangar again. This time Lugo will face Robert Lopez (0-1). Lugo's KO of Ambrose was before a sellout crowd of 1,524. About 125 of those came to see Lugo, as he sold tickets to family and friends for the fight close to home.

He'll try to get a big group there again. The fights are fast becoming a hot ticket for promoter Roy Englebrecht of Newport Beach.

Englebrecht plans to continue to deliver the excitement with hometown product Lugo and some intriguing bouts that will also feature mixed martial arts fights. As part of the six bouts, Oxnard's Hugo "The Boss," Centeno Jr. (7-0), with all wins by knockout, will take on Santa Rosa's Jason Davis, who recently won the Marconi championship belt, in a 149-pound boxing match.

Also on the card will be the first female fight at the Hangar, as Holly Lawson goes up against Adriana Leal.

Tickets for the upcoming Fight Club OC show can be purchased at

Lugo is eager to get back in the ring, as he tries to grab his second pro win. He believes he's over the nerves. He said the first two rounds combined with the pre-fight emotions were nerve-wracking. But before the third round, Lugo's trainer, Jason Parillo of Costa Mesa, told the boxer to, "stop [messing] around."

Lugo broke through in the third round and took control of the fight. He wants another victory April 21. He plans to use the "Someday," song for his entrance music. He plans to rise up again.

"I'm glad to have another fight coming up so that I can have that momentum going," he said.

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