By Zeke Gonzales
PureCombat started to crown its first lightweight champion on Saturday during its 'Hometurf' show at the Visalia Convention Center.
Eight fighters begin the single-elimination 155-pound tournament that will culminate in a champion being crowned over the next two shows.
Hometown favorite Darren Crisp was joined by Marc De La Cruz, Josh McCartney, and Doug Hunt as first round tournament winners. Promoters will determine the semifinal matches at a later date.
Crisp from Visalia and a Redwood High graduate won by a unanimous 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 decision over North Hollywood’s Jared Papazian. FUNews.net had the score 29-28 for Crisp.
“It was a real great fight,” Crisp said. “I figured it would be a war, but not that big. My punches and that liver kick wore him down, I think.”
Crisp got off to a slow start as Papazian was able to takedowns at will in the first round and halfway through the second round. In the second round Papazian tried to get Crisp in a guillotine choke but was never able to get it dug in. Crisp was able to get out and dominated the rest of the fight with strong punches to the head.
De La Cruz defeated Cody Canterbury, who was a late substation into the tournament, in 2:17 of the first round as De La Cruz forced Canterbury to tapout by a triangle. Canterbury took De La Cruz down but he was never in control as De La Cruz, from Exeter, nearly forced Canterbury, of Sacramento, to tapout several times before.
“It’s going to be tougher now,” De La Cruz said. “I need to maintain my cardio and build it even more, and also I have to work on my weaknesses.”
De La Cruz improves his record to 4-3 and Canterbury is now 1-6.
Hunt won a unanimous 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 decision over Lemoore’s Joey Cabezas. Hunt, from Bakersfield. FUNews.net scored it 29-28 for Hunt.
Hunt dominated the first two rounds as he was able to get several takedowns and on several occasions nearly got submission moves on Cabezas.
In the third round it looked as if Cabezas would pull out the victory when he was able to get Hunt’s ankle and began twisting it, but Hunt fought out of the move and was able to get to his feet, and fend off Cabezas the rest of the way.
Hunt is now 5-3, while Cabezas is 3-2.
In a battle of two Bakersfield fighters it was McCartney who came out on top against Justin Cummings. In the final 30 seconds of the second round McCartney went on the offensive and struck Cummings with several punches to the head, but it was two knee kicks that ended the fight. The first knee rocked Cummings and the second one knocked him out as the referee stopped the fight in 2:51 of the second round.
In an alternate fight-off for the tournament Tin Denham of Hanford meet Anthony Vidal of Fresno. The two fighters were meeting to see who would get into the tournament if one of the original eight fighters were injured during the course of the tournament. Vidal improved his record to 1-1 when the referee stopped the contest in 1:35 of the first round.
In other fights:
Zoila Frausto defeated Leanna Jenkins: Fresno’s Frausto stayed undefeated as she won a unanimous 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 victory over Hanford’s Jenkins. Frausto is now 3-0 while Jenkins is 0-1. FUNews.net scored it 29-28 for Frausto.
“It was a very exciting fight,” Frausto said. “She was tough. She definitely gave me a run for my money.”
Jenkins used her height advantage in the first round as she used kicks to get inside of Frausto and smother her. In the second Frausto let her hands go, and scored on several big punches during a couple of big flurries. She connected with big punches and a couple of big kicks to the Jenkins head.
The third was more of the same as Frausto used her superior boxing skills to keep Jenkins off her, and she was able to get a couple of takedowns during the final round that won her the fight.
Jesse Bowen defeated Phil Perez: Stockton’s Bowen won in 4:49 of the first round when he got Madera’s Phil Perez to tapout. The first two minutes of the round was a boxing match where Bowen got the best of Perez, and then Bowen took Perez down with two minutes left to go in the round, and later got his arm that forced him to tap.
Anthony Ruiz defeated Dan McGee: Oakhurst’s Ruiz pulled out an improbably main event win over 6-foot-11 McGee from San Luis Obispo. McGee dominated the first two lackluster rounds by using his height and weight advantage by just laying on Ruiz when the two were on the ground. In the third round Ruiz started to throw punches that connected and after several big punches landed a right hand dropped McGee at 1:14 of the third round. FUNews.net had it 20-18 for McGee entering the final round.
Steve Ramirez defeated Darvin Wattree: Tulare’s Ramirez got the knockout of the night with a one punch knockout of Bakersfield’s Wattree. The two fighters came out to meet in the middle of the ring, Ramirez threw a big overhand right and the fight was over in three seconds. Ramirez is now 7-5 and Wattree is 2-3.
Martin Sandoval defeated Mitch Wykoff: Sandoval, from Oakdale, won by a third round knockout in 45 seconds as the referee stopped the fight. Sandoval connected with a big punch that buckled Wykoff and put him on his back, and several punches to the head ended the fight. FUNews.net had the score 20-18 for Wykoff entering that final round. Sandoval is now 4-1, while Wykoff, from Exeter, is 1-3.
Ron Guidry defeated Ron Carter: Both fighters made their professional debut and it was Guidry getting the win. The fighter from Fresno got an 11 second knockout after the referee stepped in to stop the fight. Guidry came out aggressive and connected with a punch and kick that stopped the 265-pound bout.