By Francisco Salazar
Nostalgia and the future of boxing will meet on Thursday night in a city where dreams are born or fade away. Art of Boxing Promotions in association with Bash Boxing will present a nine-bout “Hollywood Fight Night” card at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, CA. All nine bouts will be scheduled for four rounds. Highlighting the card will welterweight Zachary Wohlman (3-0, 1 KO) taking on Jose Martell (2-2-1, 2 KOs).
After leaving behind a life of substance abuse, Wohlman has used boxing to guide his life to an unbeaten career thus far and, in the process, has gained a following in the Hollywood area. He trains at the nearby Wild Card Gym. In his last fight on March 31st, Wohlman stopped Clifford McPherson in the first round when McPherson was not able to continue due to a hand injury.
In what could be the fight of the night, super bantamweights Eric Ruiz and Raymond Chacon will do battle for Southern California bragging rights. Ruiz (4-0, 2 KOs) and Chacon (4-2) were supposed to fight each other on March 31st until Ruiz suffered a hand injury less than a week before the fight. Fighting late sub Shawn Nichol, Chacon would get dropped three times in route to losing a four round unanimous decision. Ruiz resides and trains in Oxnard, CA.
In welterweight action, Holly Lawson of Hollywood will fight Judy Garcia Tate of Victoria, TX. Lawson (3-2) is coming off a controversial four round split decision victory over Elisa Moreno in May. Garcia Tate (3-1, 1 KO) has won her last two fights in a row.
British middleweight Liam Vaughn will fight for the first time in the United States, taking on Cleven Ishe, who hails from Long Beach, CA. Vaughn (4-1) made the permanent move to train in Southern California, particularly the Wild Card Gym. Not only does Vaughn, who compiled an amateur record of 28-4, train at Wild Card, but he lives on the premises with roommate and unbeaten Jamie Kavanagh. Ishe (3-7, 1 KO) won his first three professional bouts before losing his next seven bouts.
Oscar Diaz (3-1, 1 KO) and Carlos Morales (0-1) will square off in lightweight action. Diaz lost his last bout on March 31st, a four round unanimous decision to Oscar Santana. Morales lost to Allen Benitez in his only bout as a professional in January.
In other bouts:
– Welterweights Michael Carracela (1-0) of Burbank, CA will fight Antonio Loeza (1-5-1, 1 KO) of Gilroy, CA.
– Welterweight Javier Albonica (2-1, 1 KO) of Los Angeles will fight Tasuro Irie (0-3).
– Terrell Williams (4-0, 3 KOs) of Compton, CA will fight Clifford McPherson (2-10, 1 KO) in welterweight action.
– In cruiserweight action, amateur standout Paul Parker will make his professional debut against Sacramento’s Larry Ward.
The Florentine Gardens opened in 1938 as a Supper Club. Over the years, the Florentine Gardens has served as a reception hall and more recently, as a nightclub. Art of Boxing, along with Bash Boxing, have decided to start a new boxing series to evoke memories from the Golden Era, where fight cards occurred on a regular basis at old Wrigley Field or Legion Stadium in Hollywood or at the Grand Olympic Auditorium near downtown Los Angeles.
Tickets start at $35 and could be purchased at bashboxing.com or by calling (626) 388-8888. Doors open at 7PM, with first bell scheduled for 7:15PM. The venue is open to those 18 and older.
The Florentine Gardens is located at 5955 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.