By Damien St. Pierre at ringside
“Smoking Hot Fight Night” went on despite some anxious moments caused by tropical storm Karen. Fans filled in the Houma Terrbonne Civic center and got to witness some good fights mixed in with some early knockouts. Prospects filled the 8 bout card put on by a co-promotion from BoxNCar Promotions and In Ya Face Fight Productions.
In a “homecoming” main event bout Louisiana born Morgan “Big Chief” Fitch turned in an impressive performance in front of his very vocal fan base. Fitch dominated Texan Tyrone Selders. After a very aggressive first round by Fitch. An uppercut followed by a nasty right hand hurt Selders in round two; Selders retreated to the corner where Fitch then unleashed a series of right hands that forced referee Kenny Santies to stop the bout at 1:18 of the round. The middleweight prospect moves his unbeaten record to 11-0. To his credit Selders was hurt but did not go down.
The co-featured bout of the night saw current Louisiana and UBO lightweight champion “Rock Hard Mighty” Mason Menard move his record to 26-1 with a first round demolition of New Mexico’s Joseph Brady (13-7). Menard could have finished the bout any time he saw fit and he did so at 1:04 into the very first round. Menard has now won 24 straight bouts since his lone defeat and is one of Louisiana’s brightest prospects.
Heavyweight Danny “Danny Boy” Batchelder (28-9-1) knocked out Larose, Louisiana’s Wesley “The Rebel” Barbier (5-2-2) in the first round of their 6 round encounter. Barbier took a knee after a well-placed right hand only to be knocked down again moments later. The official time of the stoppage was 1:08.
The fight of the night saw “Smilin” Martin Verdin score a 6 round split decision win over tough veteran Rayford “Iron Jaw” Johnson (8-12) of Longview, Texas. The shorter Johnson got off to a fast start when he charged Verdin to begin the bout and for most of the first round. Round two saw Verdin get into his rhythm with his jab and well-timed right hands. Verdin’s best round was round four as he nailed Johnson repeatedly with his overhand right. As the rounds went on Verdin got stronger and the spurts from Johnson got shorter. Neither fighter took a step back in the bout; Verdin seemed to have a little more in the tank. Judges scored cards read 58-56, 58-56, 56-58 for a split decision win for the Dulac, Louisiana native Martin Verdin. This was the 20th win of Verdin’s career; he celebrated the win by proposing to his longtime girlfriend Rose in the middle of the ring… she said yes.
Mexican middleweight Sergio Sarabia (5-0) who now lives and trains in Houma, Louisiana kept his unbeaten streak alive with a second round TKO over a gritty Phillip Lars (2-5) of Shreveport, Louisiana. Lars scored some nice right hands in the bout, but the constant pressure from Sarabia was too much for Lars to handle. Sarabia would land a left hook that put Lars on his knee. Lars would get up only to be met with the same left hook, it send him down to the canvas one more time, Sarabia then pressed the action forcing referee Barry Orgeron to waive off the contest. The official time of the stoppage was 2:35 of round two.
Co-promoter Justin Verdin (10-3) did more than just promote, he fought. Verdin blasted out Gulfport, Mississippi’s Cleo Rice (0-10) 1:05 into the opening round. Rice was down from an overhand right but would beat the count. Verdin would finish Rice off seconds later. With the win Verdin snaps a 3 fight losing skid.
Opening bout of the night saw New Orleans’ Devin Parker start his professional career off on a positive note as he notched a fourth round TKO victory of fellow rookie Payton Guidry (0-1) of Larose, Louisiana. Parker used his jab to keep the aggressive Guidry off of him. Parker who seemed to be in excellent condition hit Guidry with a body shot that forced him to a knee, he would get up only to be hit with a strong right hand, referee Kenny Santies would step in moments later giving Parker the TKO win. Official time of the stoppage was 1:12.
Fans were treated to a walkout bout that saw Terrance “Tank” Dumas (4-0) of New Orleans annihilate debuting Texan Terrance “Two Guns” Brown just 1:57 into the opening round. Brown would be knocked down twice in the bout. Dumas stand 6’5 and weighs in at 255lbs.