COSTA MESA — An hour before Fight Club OC returned to Costa Mesa, a couple of fighters swung at each other in the ring.
They whiffed almost every time. They were acting.
Fight Club OC’s second solo act at the OC Fair & Event Center was just as unimpressive Thursday night.
A sell-out crowd of 1,382 came to the Hangar in hopes to see an undefeated rising star in Antonio Orozco. The Mexican-born fighter with a 9-0 record withdrew from his junior welterweight bout due to food poisoning.
Much of the scheduled eight-bout card was hard to stomach.
The best fight was between two women and one of the boxers, Holly Lawson, had only fought once and the other, Adriana Leal, zero times. Their inexperience showed, but Lawson won by split decision, earning her first victory. Fans cheered anyway.
The biggest round of applause came when the ring announcer said former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was in the building.
Holyfield stood up and waved to the fans with his hands. Only if he could still use those hands effectively in the ring at age 48, he might have rescued the evening.
The opening fight needed a heavyweight. Make that two heavyweights.
The heavyweights were not even on the original card. The last-minute entries, Andre Carthron and Giovanni Sarran, went the distance, four rounds.
Fans heard more grunts, the kind you hear at a women’s tennis match. Carthron grunted the most, and the sounds helped the Los Angeles fighter score points with the judges. Carthron won a majority decision and the decision drew boos.
The night was off to a shaky start as it was the first of a couple of omissions.
The next fight, an mixed martial arts match, between Mike Gahan and Tyler Freeman did not happen after Freeman did not make weight at 150 pounds. Gahan offered to fight Freeman, giving him an additional 10 pounds, but Freeman was still over.
Remember, Gahan traveled all the way from San Luis Obispo. He showed up in the ring in street clothes, still with his 2-0 record intact.
The crowd was able to see another fighter earn his way to staying perfect.
Heavyweight Lionel Davis improved to 9-0 after easily getting past Ray Lopez, winning by technical knockout when the referee stopped the fight at the 1:57 mark in the fourth and final round.
Davis’ corner kept telling the 6-foot-7 boxer out of Carson to use his jab and to post up Lopez. Made sense since Davis played basketball at the University of Idaho.
The height and long reach of Davis kept the left-handed Lopez (3-4) at a distance. When Davis attacked Lopez in the fourth round, Lopez was wobbling, a sign the fight was over.
Newport Harbor High graduate Steffan Lugo’s undefeated start to his career is now over.
The former water polo player could not go the distance in his second professional fight. If he had, he might have improved to 2-0, but Lugo collapsed in the corner.
Stockton’s Robert Lopez tagged Lugo and Lugo was finished at the 2:14 mark in the fourth and final round. Lopez picked up his first win after losing his debut.
In MMA action, Seth Dikun of Victorville improved to 8-4 after beating Fullerton’s Tyler Weathers (7-7).
The fill-in main draw, since Orozco was unable to fight, showcased undefeated welterweight Hugo Centeno. The Oxnard fighter displayed his quickness and boxing skills in improving to 8-0 after scoring a unanimous decision against Santa Rosa’s Jovanni Rubio (7-14).
It was the first time Centeno did not win by knockout. Rubio was hard to knock down to the canvas, since he looked like one of the stocky actors in the ring before the supposed real fighting began.