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Suleymanov KOs Gallo

Ringside by: Rocco Morales
Photography by: “Big” Joe Miranda
Courtesy of:

Khabir “The Crazy Russian” Suleymanov took his time to get warmed up, but once he got started, Friday night in Glendale, Calif., there was nothing his opponent, Javier "El Girito" Gallo, could do to stop his momentum.

By the time the ninth round rolled around, although both fighters were bloodied and battered, Suleymanov still seemed to have plenty left in the tank, while Gallo was clearly running on fumes.

Gallo had racked up the early rounds with his aggressive, straightforward style of fighting. Despite being noticably shorter than Suleymanov, Gallo was able to get inside and frequently land chopping right crosses. Suleymanov, meanwhile, was content to counterpunch and land punches when he could.

By the end of the fifth round, both fighters were bleeding from cuts over their eyes from unintentional headbutts. Things were not looking good for Suleymanov and one could only think that the more experienced Gallo was en route to a points victory. Instead, however, from the sixth round on, it was all Suleymanov as Gallo faded, his breathing became more labored and Suleymanov finally made a concerted effort to the body of Gallo which was wide open due to Gallo keeping his hands held very high.

Both fighters enjoyed tremendous support from the crowd, with Suleymanov seeming to win favor from the Russians and Armenians in attendance while Gallo enjoyed tremendous support from the large Mexican fan base in attendance. Things got so impassioned that attention from the fight inside the ring was momentarily suspended to instead focus on hostilities that broke out ringside, that led to junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan being ejected from the arena, along with others.

While Suleymanov never lost his cool while losing the early rounds to Gallo, but Gallo seemed to panic after losing a couple rounds. This led to Gallo taking more chances which only opened things up for Suleymanov who began landing both body shots and hard uppercuts making things go from bad to worse for Gallo. With the fight pretty even through eight rounds, it was still anybody's fight going into the ninth round, yet all the momentum was with Suleymanov.

Gallo continued his gritty straight forward charge while the craftier Suleymanov continued using angles and counterpunching to neutralize his opponent. Then, with the ninth round drawing to a close, Suleymanov sidestepped the charge of Gallo and landed a tremendous looping right cross that found the bullseye and dropped Gallo with sledgehammer like effect to the canvas.

Somehow, Gallo was able to get up at the count of nine but clearly was in no position to continue, prompting referee, Raul Caiz Jr., to call an end to the fight. By way of knockout victory at 2:59 of the ninth round, Suleymanov earns his biggest victory to date and wins the vacant NABO bantamweight championship. Meanwhile, Gallo suffers a heartbreaking loss in a fight in which that seemed like he was on his way to winning until Suleymanov made the proper adjustments.

With the victory, Suleymanov improves to 11-0 (5 KO) while Gallo drops to 16-3-1 (9 KO).

Dudchenko wins decision

In semi-main event action, a scheduled six-round cruiserweight contest, Anatoliy "Dragon" Dudchenko met 6'4" Chris Thomas, an experienced 39-year-old journeyman fighter with plenty of experience against upper echelon cruiserweights, but with nine losses in his last 10 bouts.

It was a very sloppy fight with more wrestling than boxing as neither fighter seemed interested in throwing any meaninful combinations. Instead, each fighter would duck the other's haymaker overhand right cross and then would come up and hold. If nothing else, however, Dudchenko was forced to pay attention and show more respect to Thomas than he had to lesser opponents whom he had fought in recent fights.

Round two saw Thomas get deducted a point for holding but it did little to alter the fight between the two fighters. The first four rounds of the fight mirrored each other, and the fighters were booed loudly by the crowd.

Finally, in the fifth round, things opened up a bit and both fighters started letting their hands go. With a lead right cross followed by a left hook, Dudchenko floored Thomas who seemed more annoyed than hurt. However, towards the end of the round, Dudchenko landed a perfect right cross counterpunch that floored Thomas again. This time, Thomas was visibly hurt and rose on very unsteady legs only to be saved by the bell.

The sixth and final round saw Thomas get on his bicycle in order to survive as he no longer had any interest in either fighting Dudchenko or even in wrestling Dudchenko as he had done for the first four rounds of the fight. Even so, Dudchenko found the mark and floored Thomas once more for good measure. Thomas, however, was able to get up and before Dudchenko could land the one last shot he needed for the knockout, the bell sounded to end the fight.

With three knockdowns and the point deduction, it was no surprise that Dudchenko was the unanimous decision victor by scores of 60-50 on all three judges scorecards. With the victory, Dudchenko wins his sixth in a row and improves to 10-2 (6KO) and with his 6'3" frame, good speed and good power, he looks perfectly capable of staying in the cruiserweight division and making some noise against tougher opposition. Thomas, meanwhile, falls to 17-14-2 and keeps his record a perfect five losses in five fights in 2010.

Christian decisions Lawson

In a highly entertaining match between females, highly touted debuting Holly Lawson, an amateur gold gloves winner, met Brittney Christian in a four round junior middleweight contest. Christian, however, was not impressed by the hoopla surrounding Lawson and attacked from the opening bell.

Although Lawson appeared to be the better pure boxer, she had little answer for the swarming offense of Christian who just kept punching and didn't care if she was hitting Lawson's head, body, arms, gloves or just air. Lawson seemed flustered from the beginning but seemed to find a groove in the second round.

The third round was all Lawson who began landing a good jab and very effective straight right cross as opposed to the wider punches being thrown by Christian. Wide or not, however, Christian's punches were landing and she frequently had Lawson on the ropes.

Christian was able to reassume control of the fight in the fourth round while Lawson had no answer for the onslaught. Instead, Lawson's best hope was that she had done enough in the second and third rounds to somehow eke out a victory or, at a minimum, salvage a draw.

Instead, however, the judges scored it 39-37, 38-38, 39-37 in favor of the more aggressive Lawson. FightNews had it scored a 38-38 draw. With the victory, Christian improves to 2-1 (1 KO) while Lawson drops to 0-1.

Hernandez stops Marquez

In opening action, a four-round lightweight contest, undefeated Jesus "El Pollo" Hernandez met veteran Steve Marquez who came in the loser of 14 of his last 17 fights. In an all out slugfest, Marquez dropped Hernandez twice in the opening round and appeared headed for an upset victory. Instead, however, Hernandez was able to survive the round and come back strong in round two to drop Marquez. For the remainder of the fight, it was all Hernandez as he battered the game Marquez.

Marquez was able to survive until the final bell but even with his two knockdowns in the first round, it was clear that he was behind on the cards. By scores of 37-36 on all three judges scorecards, Hernandez pulls out the victory and improves to 9-0 (2 KO) while Marquez drops to 9-16-1 (7 KO).

A scheduled four round light middleweight bout between Hugo Centeno Jr. and Todd Willingham was a late scratch when Willingham became ill prior to the fight and was ruled unable to compete by the ringside doctor.

Co-Promoters for the event dubbed "Glendale Glory III" were Art of Boxing Promotions and Bash Boxing and the venue was the Glendale Civic Auditorium.

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