By Francisco Salazar
Cruiserweights Hamilton Ventura and Mitch Williams fought to an action-filled six round split decision draw at the Pier in Santa Monica, CA.
The southpaw Williams started out well in the opening round, beating Ventura to the punch by throwing and landing combinations, especially left hands to the head.
Ventura came on in the second, throwing and landing straight right hands to the head of Williams. Over the next few rounds, Ventura backed Williams up against the ropes where e continued to land.
Ventura scored a knockdown in the fourth round. A Ventura jab seemed to hurt Williams, backing him up against the ropes. Referee Daniel Sandoval ruled the ropes held Williams up, administering a questionable eight-count.
Sensing he was down on the scorecards, Williams pressed the action in the fifth round. He increased his punch output, at times keeping Ventura from getting off first like he did in the earlier rounds.
Ventura slowed down in the last round, promoting Williams to go more on the offensive. During an exchange, referee Sandoval deducted a point from Ventura for using his forearm to push Williams off of him. Sandoval had warned Ventura at least twice earlier in the fight.
Both had their moments in the final minute until the bell sounded to end the fight.
One judge scored the bout 58-54 for Ventura, another scored it 57-55 for Williams, while the third judge scored the bout 56-56. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 56-56.
Williams, from Jackson, MI, goes to 7-3-2, 5 KOs. Ventura, from Sao Paolo, Brazil, goes to 8-0-1, 8 KOs. According to advisor Rolando Arellano, Ventura had over 150 amateur fights.
Heavyweight Charles Martin (7-0, 7 KOs) knocked Sylverter Barron out in the second round of a scheduled six round bout. Both southpaw fighters measured one another for the first minute before exchanging punches. Barron (7-2, 2 KOs) attempted to hold on the inside, while Martin tried to counter with left hands to the head. In the second round, Barron made the mistake of attempting to move in with his hands down, as Martin landed a left cross. The punch connected to Barron's head, sending him sprawling face first to the canvas. Referee Daniel Sandoval immediately waved the fight over at 31 seconds.
Junior middleweight Terrell Williams (11-0, 10 KOs) stopped late replacement Devaris Crayton in the first round of a scheduled six round bout. Williams took the fight to Crayton (7-15-2, 3 KOs), who mostly spent his time holding onto Williams. A left hook hurt Crayton, prompting referee Daniel Sandoval to administer an eight-count. As the action resumed, Williams punished Crayton with hooks and crosses, until referee Sandoval saw enough and stopped the fight at 2:35.