By Francisco Salazar at ringside
Heavyweight contender and former world title challenger Lance “Mount” Whitaker (33-5-1, 27 KOs) returned with a win against Danny Batchelder (25-7-1, 12 KOs), taking a ten round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach, CA. Batchelder started strong, however Whitaker dominated the middle rounds to take a 96-94 nod on all cards.
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
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Former world title challenger Lance Whitaker was not about to let an injury keep him out of an opportunity towards a title belt. Based on his performance against Danny Batchelder, he is on his way towards that goal.
Whitaker made the right adjustments against a determined Batchelder, winning a 10 round unanimous decision before about 350 at the Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach, CA.
The bout headlined a five-bout “Friday Night Bouts” card, presented by Southbay Promotions.
Whitaker last fought in August when he lost a 10 round unanimous decision to Jason Estrada. Whitaker cited a tear in his bicep that prevented him for fighting to the best he could on that night.
After surgery and rehab, the 37 year old Whitaker returned to the ring against a fighter in Batchelder, who had lost five of his last six bouts.
Things did not start out well for Whitaker as the shorter Batchelder was quicker to the punch, landing counter left hooks or right crosses to the head and body. He landed lead punches that at times surprised ad frustrated Whitaker.
In the fourth round, Whitaker began to find his range, something that he admitted he had a hard time putting together in the opening rounds of the fight.
“I couldn’t get my feet working right and my timing was off,” said Whitaker, who at one time went by the nickname “Goofi.”
Whitaker began to put his punches together in the middle rounds. Whitaker pressed the action and began to land right hands flush to the face of Batchelder. Whitaker worked behind a jab, sometimes landing straight right hands to the head.
Batchelder began to slow down, where his punch output noticeably dropped. At times, Batchelder would point to his chin, daring Whitaker to hit him there.
Sensing he was behind, Batchelder picked up the pace in the final two rounds. One of his best rounds was the 10th and final round where he threw more punches and was able to land left hooks to the head. Whitaker slowed down in the second half of the round, but Batchelder was not able to capitalize on this.
All three judges scored the bout 96-94 in favor of Whitaker. Fightnews.com scored the bout the same for Whitaker.
After the fight, Whitaker stated that he was content that the fight went 10 rounds, but there was a lot to work on.
“He came to fight and he caught me a few times,” said Whitaker, who feels that he needs to two to three more fights before he fights against a top 10 Heavyweight. “I trained really hard for this fight. I weighed 244 pounds, when I feel that I am better off at 250-255 pounds. I am not a good jabber, but I stuck with my game plan to work the jab a lot. I could have done better tonight. I am a little disappointed.”
Whitaker, from Van Nuys, CA, goes to 33-5-1, 27 KO’s. Batchelder, from Phoenix, AZ, falls to 25-7-1, 12 KO’s.
Heavyweights Mathew Ellis and David Johnson fought to a four majority decision draw.
Ellis started strong as he landed the more effective punches to the head and body of Johnson. Undeterred, Johnson moved in and threw his own punches. Johnson attempted to land lead left hooks to the head as well.
Ellis began to slow down in the second half of the fight. Ellis attempted to make the most of the fewer punches that he threw. Johnson was more active in the final round, landing more punches.
One judge had Ellis winning the bout 39-37, but was overruled by the remaining two judges, who scored the bout 38-38 even. Fightnews.com scored the bout 38-38.
Ellis, from Blackpool, England, goes to 20-8-2, 9 KO’s. Johnson, from Los Angeles, CA, adds another draw to his record, going to 5-21-7.
John Ellis Jr. made a successful professional debut as he stopped overmatched Dusty Calendar in the second round of a scheduled four round fight.
Ellis, from Redondo Beach, CA, set up his punches from the outside. The very limited Calendar, from Peru, IN, attempted to land jabs to the head of Ellis, but was caught numerous times to the head by Ellis.
Ellis scored a knockdown by an accumulation of punches that prompted Calendar to take a knee. Calendar stood up, but received more damaging shots to the head, prompting him to take another knee. Referee Ray Corona stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:05 of the round.
Welterweight Tatiana Anderson stopped Mariana Everett in the fourth round of a scheduled four round fight.
The shorter Anderson was more aggressive and took the fight to Everett, who was making her professional debut. Anderson scored knockdowns in the first, third, and fourth rounds.
After the final knockdown, referee Raul Caiz, Jr. stepped in and stopped the bout at 39 seconds of the round. Everett, from San Leandro, CA, was upset that the bout was stopped.
Anderson, from Las Vegas, NV, improves to 2-0, 2 KO’s.
Cruiserweight Alex Rivera stopped Roy Timmons in the second round of a scheduled four round fight.
Rivera was more aggressive and landed wild shots to the head of Timmons, who stood in front on Rivera and at times covered up and did not fight back.
Timmons dropped twice to one knee in the second round as he was overwhelmed by a series of punches by Rivera. After the second knockdown, referee Raul Caiz, Jr. stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:09.
Rivera, from Fayetteville, NC, wins his professional debut. Timmons, from Peru, IN, drops to 0-2.
- This was the debut card for Southbay Promotions. The next card is scheduled to take place on Friday, August 22nd at the Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach.
- Former Heavyweight champion of the world Mike Weaver, along with 1984 Olympian Paul Gonzalez took in the action from ringside.
- John Ellis, Jr. is the son of the promoter, John Ellis, Sr.
- Ring announcer was Danny Valdivia.
- Two mixed martial arts fights rounded out the card.