Disco-Themed “War at Woodland Hills”!
Photography by: Michele Chong
Courtesy of: MyBoxingFans.com
Flashback Night Scores a KO
Some things just go well together. Like peanut butter and jelly. Batman and Robin. A cold beer on a hot day. And disco and boxing.
DISCO AND BOXING?
That’s right, the iconic decade of the ’70s was back in full force at the Art of Boxing and Bash Boxing’s “Saturday Boxing Fever” held at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills. Southern California promoters Kahren Harutyunyan (former WBO NABO super flyweight champion) and attorney/manager Steve Bash brought bell bottoms, polyester and sky-high afros back in vogue at this lively affair featuring eight bouts on the card. This latest installment of the popular “War at Woodland Hills” celebrated the glittering era of the 1970s complete with a disco ball hanging above the boxing ring!
From spirited matches to special celebrity guests, to film clips showcasing champions from back in the day to a trading card giveaway, the promoting duo thought of everything to ensure the sold-out crowd enjoyed a night like no other. In between rounds, a bevy of beauties decked out in their ’70s finest strutted on the canvas to the strains of the Bee Gees while ring announcer Jim FitzGerald donned his powder blue tux (complete with ruffled shirt and bow tie) and got the audience rocking during this funky fresh retro night held in the Grand Ballroom.
Former champs, current fighters and celebs taking in the action were former WBC welterweight champion Carlos Palomino, Oxnard’s Javier “Pelos” Garcia, Team Scrappy (in three generations of Robert Ortiz, “Scrappy” Ortiz and his young son who is an amateur boxer and MMA fighter), Moreno Valley’s Kevin Hoskins, actor Eddie Cahill (“CSI: NY”), who is a big boxing fan, among others enjoying the beats of “Get down, Boogie Oogie Oogie!”
And it was a real “Disco Inferno” inside the ropes as the 16 competitors gave it their all–”hustling” in the ring to claim that victory. Rising star Daniel Roman (3-1-1, 2 KOs) got the ball rolling with a fourth-round knockout win over the tough Jesus Adame (2-9-1). The Espinoza Boxing Club slugger (nicknamed the “Baby-Faced Assassin”) punished his foe, working the body until the time of stoppage at 2:09 in the fourth frame.
Another crowd pleaser was the Herbert Acevedo (7-0, 4 KOs) vs. Eddie Ramirez (6-11-1, 3 KOs) scrap. Team Ace keeps their perfect record as Acevedo bagged his seventh victory by halting Ramirez in the second stanza. The Oxnard fighter and his Texas challenger engaged in close quarters–trading bombs while battling toe to toe. In the second round, a barrage of punches aimed upstairs sent Ramirez down for the first knockdown. A solar plexus shot finished him off as referee Jack Reiss stepped in to end the contest.
Three local warriors also had the crowd on their feet as they brought in droves of fans all cheering their name. Wild Card’s Zachary Wohlman, Donyil Livingston and Tyrell Hendrix each walked out in their respective bouts to screams of support. Zac adds a third win to his pro ledger with a TKO over Cleveland’s Clifford McPherson, who falls to 2-9-1. In their opening round, the wild-swinging McPherson put up an awkward assault as Wohlman countered this offense. In the heat of battle, things suddenly came to a stop as McPherson went down in pain. Referee Lou Moret tended to the fallen Ohio pug as the action ceased. Citing a thumb injury, McPherson was declared “unable to continue” as Team Wohlman celebrated win #3.
Team Hendrix took care of business as Tyrell Hendrix (8-1-2, 3 KOs) outworked the game Reynaldo Rodriguez (6-4-1, 3 KOs) in a super middleweight match scheduled for six rounds. Hendrix only needed four rounds to wear down an overmatched Rodriguez in this co-main attraction. Official Jack Reiss waved off the contest at 2:09 of the fourth frame. After the win, Tyrell joined a huge group of family and friends who were all proud of “T’s” performance in the ring.
In the upset of the night, Palmdale’s Donyil Livingston (8-1-1, 4 KOs) was on the short end of a split decision defeat–his first loss as a pro. Hard-hitting Haitian Elie Augustama (6-4, 3 KOs) had his own plan going into this main event war. Using his speed, the taller Augustana surprised hometown favorite Livingston with a knockdown in the opening stanza of a scheduled six. With a big right hand, the Haiti boxer mounted his attack. Rebounding from this early KD, Donyil connected with his own offensive onslaught as Elie clinched to slow down the comebacking Livingston. In a close duel with Team Livingston doing all they could to bounce back, it wasn’t quite enough as judges Marty Denkin and Carla Caiz scored it in favor of Augustama 58-55, while judge James Jen Kin saw it in favor of Donyil 58-55.
All in all, the fans at the disco-themed “War at Woodland Hills” really got a lot of bang for their buck. It was Steve Bash’s idea to hold this first-ever disco night and the first-ever Saturday card for the promoting partners; their “War” events are usually held on Friday nights. This ’70s flashback may even become an annual bash since it was such a big hit.
And I gotta say, promoters Harutyunyan and Bash not only talked the talk but they walked the walk!
As all the special guests and fans in attendance raved about this festive disco night of boxing, the promoting pair stepped out in their own unique outfits rivaling John Travolta. In their shiny shirts, oversized shades and curly wigs, the promoters were barely recognizable. Burn, baby, burn. They say a picture tells a thousand words, so feast your eyes on some of my exclusive snapshots from “Saturday Boxing Fever” in this disco inferno.
And just in case you were wondering what Kahren and Steve have planned next…you better start working on your mullets, guys!
Harutyunyan (who also brought boxing back to the City of Glendale) and Bash told me they’re already planning their future show: an ’80s-themed fight night.
That’s right. Think Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Flock of Seagulls and Madonna.
Leave it to the Art of Boxing and Bash Boxing for giving fight fans an innovative way to take in the action. Trading in ‘fros for mullet hairdos, we can all look forward to bringing back leg warmers, MC Hammer pants, fluorescent leotards and huge shoulder pads in a “Totally ’80s” future flashback night. You’ve been warned.
Stay tuned for the next “War at Woodland Hills” series!