By Francisco Salazar
Welterweight Konstantin Ponomarev wants to follow along the lines of Russian fighters that want to succeed in the United States. Recent boxers such as Ruslan Provodnikov and Sergey Kovalev come to mind.
While Ponomarev may have to perfect his craft to reach that lofty status, a victory over a veteran fighter is a start.
Ponomarev stopped Rogelio Castaneda after the third round of a scheduled eight round bout at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, CA on Thursday night.
The bout headlined an eight-bout "Hollywood Fight Night VI" card, presented by Bash Boxing and Art of Boxing Promotions.
Ponomarev was making his United States debut after fighting most of his fights in Europe and Russia. He was taking on Rogelio Castaneda, a former fringe contender who has seen better days.
Right away, Ponomarev displayed faster hands and decent ring generalship. He cut Castaneda on the forehead with a punch early in the first round, although it did not seem to bother The Mexican-born fighter.
While Ponomarev displayed decent skills, Castaneda was able to counter him at times with multiple right hands to the head. Still, Pnomarev was in control, never in any real danger throughout the bout.
At the end of the third round, Castaneda told referee Dr. Lou Moret that he was unable to continue because of an apparent injury to his left leg. Official time of the stoppage was 3:00 at the end of the third round.
Ponomarev, from Miass, Russia, goes to 22-0, 10 KOs. Castaneda, from Sacramento, CA, drops to 26-19-3, 8 KOs.
- There was a silent auction to benefit former fighter Mike Carracela, who was injured on the job as a construction worker in nearby Long Beach. Fight fans could bid on boxing memorabilia signed by Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Robert Guerrero, Oscar De La Hoya, and others.
- Ring announcer was Jim Fitzgerald.
Light heavyweight Vyacheslav Shabransky stopped Rafael Valenzuela in the second round of a scheduled six round bout. Shabransky (6-0, 5 KOs) had a significant height and reach advantage over Valenzuela. Although his telegraphed his punches, Shabransky landed at will to the head of Valenzuela, who took some of the steam off the punches by rolling with them. Valenzuela (8-2, 1 KO) tried to get on the inside, but had little success landing anything significant. In the second round, Shabransky attacked the body of Valenzuela with lefts and rights. But it was a lead, right cross to the head that dropped Valenzuela down onto the canvas. Valenzuela tried to get up, but referee Dr. Lou Moret waved the fight over at 1:58.
Heavyweight Charles Martin stopped Joey Dawejko (8-3-2, 2 KOs) at the end of the fourth round of a scheduled six round bout. The southpaw Martin (12-0-1, 10 KOs) had a height and reach advantage, but Dawejko was able to use his ring generalship to slip lead, counter hooks to the head of Martin. Undaunted, Martin continued to work Dawejko down, landing repeatedly with counter or lead left hands to the head and body. Near the end of the fourth round, Martin dropped Dawejko with a straight left hand to the head. Dawejko got up and tried to fight back. While the action continued, Dawejko's corner tried to get referee Wayne Hedgpeth's attention to stop the bout. Hedgpeth did not acknowledge the corner until after the bell sounded to end the round. Once the corner advised Hedgpeth to stop the fight, Hedgpeth waved the fight over.
Welterweight Zachary Wohlman won a workmanlike four round unanimous decision over Stephen Conkin. Wohlman (6-1-1, 1 KO) was busier and landed the more telling punches. He stunned Conkin in the third round with a barrage of punches. However, Conkin (4-7-1) fought back, scoring to the body. Wohlman slowed down in the fourth round, allowing Conkin to press the action. It was too little, too late as Wohlman won on all three judges' scorecards by scores of 40-36.
Super featherweight John Quigley of England won a one-sided four round unanimous decision over Dominic Coca (8-6-2, 2 KOs). The southpaw Quigley (10-0, 2 KOs) would keep his hands down, enticing Coca to throw at him so he could counter. Quigley would switch back and forth between southpaw and conventional stances, landing at will to the head of Coca, who had no answer to Quigley's offense. Referee Dr. Lou Moret would warn Quigley for landing below the belt of Coca, but that was the only blemish on a night when Quigley made his United States debut. All three judges, as did Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Quigley.
Bantamweight Erik Ruiz stopped Rigoberto Casillas in the first round of a scheduled six round bout. Ruiz (10-1, 5 KOs) dropped Casillas with an overhand right to the head. Casillas (9-12-1, 7 KOs) got up on shaky legs and tried to fight back. A barrage of punches from Ruiz put Casillas down again, promoting referee Wayne Hedgpeth to step in and stop the bout at 1:36. Ruiz trains out of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard.
Super lightweights Dimash Niyazov and Joaquin Chavez fought to a six round split decision draw. Niyazov (4-0-1, 3 KOs) controlled the action in the first two rounds by landing the more telling blows. Chavez (6-10-3, 2 KOs) did not throw enough punches, probably expecting Niyazov to throw so he could counter. Chavez heeded the advice of his corner by pressing the fight and letting his hands go. Chavez was able to land more as Niyazov's punch output dropped. Both fighters had their moments until the final bell sounded. One judge scored the bout 58-56 for Chavez, one judge scored the bout 58-56 for Niyazov, while the third judge (along with Boxingscene.com) scored the bout 57-57.
Heavyweight prospect Thanasis Michaloudis (6-0, 6 KOs) stopped Robert Dunton in the first round of a scheduled six round bout. The taller and stronger Greek fighter kept measuring Dunton until he landed a two right crosses, dropping Dunton to the canvas. Dunton (9-10-1, 6 KOs) tried to fight back, but left himself to be countered with a hard right hand to the head that sent him sprawling backwards against the ropes. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:22.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Knockout Nation, and Ring TV. He could be reached by email at [email protected] or on twitter at FSalazarBoxing