Khurtsidze halts Hunter in five
By Rocky Morales at ringside
Photos: Peter Politanoff
Former IBO middleweight champion, Avtandil Khurtsidze (29-2-2, 18KO) made his west coast debut a successful one with an entertaining fifth round TKO over the game Eddie Hunter (10-11-2, 3KO) on Thursday night at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, CA. Hunter got off to a good start, fighting from the outside taking advantage of his sizable reach advantage over the 5’4″ Khurtsidze. Eventually, however, Khurtsidze, was able to bull in with his Popeye like frame to start beating down Hunter and dropped Hunter in the third round with a combination upstairs. Following the knockdown, Hunter went into survival mode but as he was taking punishment in the fifth round, Hunter’s corner threw in the towel in surrender. Time of the stoppage was 2:13 of the fifth round.
Khurtsidze’s last loss was four years to the day earlier against Hassan N’Dam for the WBA middleweight title, with this victory is now riding a seven fight winning streak and an improbable one at that given his height disadvantage in the middleweight division. However, Khurtsidze proved far more competitive against the talented N’Dam than did Curtis Stevens in their recent fight, losing a one point decision on two of the judges scorecards so with this win here, the tough Ukranian, by way of Georgia, Khurtsidze puts himself back into the middleweight picture.
In undercard action, super welterweight Stanyslav Skorokhod (8-0, 6KO) made quick work of David Lopez (4-11-3), landing at will against Lopez. A hard uppercut in the second round bloodied Lopez and as Skorokhod unleashed a barrage of punches, the corner of Lopez threw in the towel prompting a stoppage from the referee. Time of the stoppage was 1:46 of the second round and it was basically target practice the whole way with little opposition from Lopez.
In other preliminary action, a four round junior lightweight bout, Alim Jumakhonov (1-0-1), won a questionable split decision over debuting Davon Smith (0-1). Neither fighter was hurt in the fight but Smith seemed to do enough to win the fight with the better ring generalship and slightly busier punching. Judges saw the bout 40-36 (Smith), and twice at 39-37 for Jumakhonov.
A scheduled four round junior middleweight contest ended rather quickly as Urmat Ryskeldiev (10-3-1, 6KO) obliterated veteran Bernardo Guereca (17-22-1, 4KO) with a devastating left hook to the body. Guereca fell to the canvas in tremendous pain and was counted out at 2:27 of the first round.
In an all action four round lightweight fight, Percy “No Mercy” Peterson (1-5-1) was the unanimous decision victor over the tough, but outgunned, Minju Shin (1-1). Shin was down in the second round from a left hook to the head but would get up for further punishment. Judges scored it 40-35, 39-37 and 40-35 all in favor of Peterson who wins his first professional bout in his seventh fight.
Opening bout action saw debuting bantamweight Juan Roman (1-0) win a unanimous decision victory over Gabriel Braxton (1-6) in a four round bout. There were no knockdowns and all three judges scored 39-37 in favor of Roman.
“Hollywood Fight Night 8″ was presented by In Sync Productions in association with Lights Out Promotions and Bash Boxing and a capacity standing room crowd was on hand for a tremendously entertaining night of action to the tune of a Hollywood theme and a nightclub like atmosphere complete with go go dancers and a sexy costume contest.