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Feb 23rd
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Home Boxing Ringside at Orange County's First Hybrid fight-Card
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Ringside at Orange County's First Hybrid fight-Card

battleintheballroom01In front of a pakced house at the Irvine Marriott, Thursday, 12/17, Roy Englebrecht brought MMA and Boxing as a fusion card to the ballroom, for the first time in the series' long history.  In a big upset in the main event, previously unbeaten Chika Nakamura, dropped a six round decision to journeywoman Gloria Ramirez.  Ramirez, despite a losing record, had been active in recent months, and carried a large cheering section. 
Nakamura had difficulty getting off throughout, and never seemed to solve the southpaw stance of Ramirez.  The shorter Ramirez, of Santa Ana, also showed excellent timing, as she was able to counter effectively throughout.  While it appeared that Ramirez may have swept the rounds, the judges saw it significantly closer, at 59-55, 58-56, and 57-57.  Ramirez wins only her second bout in her last ten starts, and moves to 11-16-7-1 KO. While Nakamura, fighting out of Wild card Gym in Hollywood , by way of Japan , drops to 9-1 (3 KO’s)
In the MMA main event, Aaron Miller of Gardena (announced as being from El Monte ) swept all three rounds against Irvine ’s Brian Abram.  In a bout fought mostly at striking distance, there were very few holds and take downs, but Miller was able to control the action with his boxing skills and land the more meaningful punches.  The bout was scored 30-27 by all three judges, and moved Miller’s record to 9-6, while Abram drops to 4-2.
Unbeaten featherweight Robert Vargas scored a unanimous decision victory over Carlos Luque.  Vargas landed hard shots throughout, and even took a few stinging right hands from Luque, yet neither fighter was able to do much damage.  Vargas moves his record to 5-0-1 draw, while Luque, of Tucson , drops to 1-5.
In a battle of light heavyweights, Billy Bailey of Bakersfield stopped Long Beach ’s Danny Perez in the first round of a scheduled six.  The two fighters began to trade early on, but it was Bailey doing much more work on the inside.  Perez was bothered at least twice by looping right hands to the temple from Bailey.  On the last occasion, he staggered badly, and almost looked to be complaining to the referee of a non-existent foul.  Bailey followed up with a barrage against the ropes, and referee Wayne Hedgepeth called a halt.  Perez drops to 8-7-1-5 KO’s, while bailey improves to 10-5-4 KO’s
Lightweight Jessie Roman was a winner in his professional debut, as he stopped Benjamin Rivera, of Fresno , in the 3rd round of a scheduled four.  While Roman, of Santa Ana, dropped and hurt Rivera in the first round, and continued to batter him the second, Rivera had landed his share of shots, and appeared to be rallying in the third.  Roman, however landed a few flush shots, prompting referee Wayne Hedgpeth to call a somewhat premature stop to the action.  Rivera, drops to 0-2.
The other MMA bout of the evening, Los Angeles ’ Ramon Franco remained unbeaten, as he submitted Carlos Fuentes, also of Los Angeles , with a rear naked choke midway through the first round.  Fuentes drops to 2-3, while Franco moves to 2-0- with 1 draw.  Both fighters have grappling backgrounds, and took the fight to the ground very quickly.
Director Oliver Stone was in attendance, and a moment of silence / memorial count of ten was issued for ring announcer Danny Valdivia, who passed away on December 10.  Valdivia had called the last battle in the ballroom series in October.
At Ringside, Chris Strait

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