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Mar 01st
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Home Boxing Battle In the Ballroom
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Battle In the Ballroom

battle_in_ballroomAnother packed house greeted the latest installment of the Irvine Marriott's "Battle in the Ballroom" Series.  Promoter Roy Englebrecht's recent focus on the heavyweight division continued with main event fighters Joe Hanks and John Clark.  Hanks, of Newark, NJ moved his record to 10-0 (6 KO's) with a lopsided six-round unanimous decision over Clark of Huntington Beach, CA.  Clark mauled Hanks early in an attempt to rough him up, yet never got his own offense started.  Hanks did his best work when establishing distance with a pawing jab, and landing sharp right hands.  Clark slips to 14-15-1 (9KO's)
Hanks is trained by former amateur standout John Bray.  Bray is now a notable trainer in the San Fernando Valley, even appearing on last season's "The Contender".  He also has his own namesake boxing foundation, the John Bray Boxing Foundation.  Another key trainer involved in that venture was David Martinez who was also present at the card in Irvine on Oct 29.
In the final bout of the evening, Jennifer "Razor" Barber, of Northridge, CA won a unanimous six-round decision over Santa Ana's Gloria Ramirez.  There was fast-paced action throughout, yet virtually every exchange began and ended with Barber landing the more effective punches.  Ramirez made little use of her southpaw stance, as she pursued aggressively throughout.  Ramirez falls to 10-16-7 (1 KO), while Barber rebounds successfully from her first career defeat (via split decision in a title bout in France), moving to 9-1-4 (KO's)
In other action, Santa Ana's Arquimendez Garcia suffered his first career defeat when he was KO'd in round 1 by Las Vegas' Renell Griffin.  Griffin, nicknamed "the best kept secret" let a bit of the secret out, as he controlled the action with boxing skills prior to dropping Garcia with a combination.  While Garcia tried to rise, he appeared to be having vision problems caused by a cut, and failed to rise in time.  Griffin rises to 6-2-1 (2 KO's).  Garcia suffers his first defeat, and drops to 4-1-1 (2KO's).  Griffin is trained by former top referee Richard Steele.
Robert Vargas achieved the only victory for the Santa Ana stable of fighters, as he fought off a tough challenge from Tucson's Carlos Luque.  Every round was close, and Luque frequently caught Vargas with sharp lead right hands.  However, Vargas was able to control the action in quieter moments, and prevailed 39-37 on all cards.  Vargas moves his record to 4-0-1, while Luque drops to 1-4.
In the night's opener, Heavyweight prospect Scott Alexander, of Los Angeles, won a four round decision over Phoenix's Chad Davis.  Davis was dropped in the first round, yet the bout regressed into a dull affair for the remainder, as both men were content to fight in spurts. Alexander did briefly wobble Davis in round three as well.  It was that plus the knockdown that made the ultimate difference, as two of the judges had the fight scored 38-37 for Alexander.  The third had it 39-36.  Alexander ups his record to 5-0 (3 KO's), while Davis slips to 1-5.
Taking in the action were former heavyweight champions Chris Byrd and Lamon Brewster.  Former Gold Medalist Henry Tillman and manager Jackie Kallen were also in attendance.
Chris Strait

 Related Articles:  Battle in the Ballroom Pro Boxing June 11, 2009

Photos by S.Arredondo

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