By Francisco Salazar
Super middleweight contender Maxim Vlasov needed some rounds. Mark Suarez was able to give him some in defeat.
Vlasov won a one-sided eight round unanimous decision over the former welterweight contender before a boisterous crowd inside San Miguel Hall at the Fairgrounds in Ventura, CA.
The bout headlined a seven-bout "Ice vs. Fire" card, presented by Top Players Promotions and the Players Casino.
Suarez, who was returning to the ring since a stint in prison, started off well in the opening round. He was able to beat Vlasov to the punch and picked his shots well.
However, that was the only round where he was effective. Vlasov increased his punch output and had Suarez on the defensive a lot of the time.
Suarez looked rusty, had a hard time building a rhythm, and looked a step slower than Vlasov. At times when he landed a punch, Vlasov was able to connect with two or three punches.
Vlasov slowed down the last couple of rounds. Suarez tried to press the action, but a straight right hand or cross would stop that rally.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Vlasov, 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 79-73 for the Russian-born fighter.
Vlasov is managed by Cameron Dunkin and is ranked in the top 11 in three of the sanctioning bodies.
Vlasov, who now lives and trains in Oxnard, CA, improves to 26-1, 12 KOs. Suarez, from Riverside, CA, falls to 25-4, 13 KOs.
Javier Garcia stopped Dustin Caplinger in the third round of a scheduled six round bout.
Garcia was fighting 10 pounds above his normal fighting weight between 135-140 pounds.
Caplinger (2-5, 1 KO) was able to connect from the outside early in the fight but Garcia was able to come on after suffering a cut in the first round.
Garcia (10-2-2, 9 KOs) came on aggressively in the third round, aggressively attacking the body. A left hook dropped Caplinger to one knee, although Caplinger thought the punch was low.
Caplinger got up and tried to fight back, but another Garcia left hook to the body dropped Caplinger face first to the canvas. Referee Dr. Lou Moret immediately waved the fight over at 2:59.
Light heavyweight Ilshat Khusnulgatin (10-0, 5 KOs) survived two knockdowns to stop Nathan Bedwell in the fifth round of a scheduled six round bout.
The southpaw Bedwell (5-14, with 4 KOs) dropped Khusnulgatin with counter right hooks to the head in each of the first two rounds. However, Bedwell was exhausted by the start of the fourth round, allowing Khusnulgatin to land more frequently.
In the fifth round, Khusnulgatin stunned Bedwell with a barrage of punches before a straight right hand dropped Bedwell onto the canvas. Referee Jack Reiss counted Bedwell out at 2:27.
Welterweight Vatch Martirosyan, the younger brother of unbeaten super welterweight contender Vanes Martirosyan, was victorious in his professional debut, winning a four round unanimous decision over Corey Muldrew (0-4). Martirosyan dropped Muldrew in the first round en route to all three judges scoring the bout 40-35.
Super bantamweight Emilio Sanchez (3-0, with 3 KOs) of North Hollywood, CA spoiled the professional debut of Lionell Kelly, dropping him twice in the first round en route to a technical knockout victory. Referee Dr. Lou Moret stopped the bout at 56 seconds.
Super featherweight Ian Weaver (2-0, 1 KO) dropped Karihi Tahei (3-2, 2 KOs) twice in the first round en route to a first round technical knockout. Time was 2:33.
Super welterweight Malik Bazille of Los Angeles (1-2) won a four round majority decision over Compton's Carl Hill by scores of 40-36, 39-37, and 38-38.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper. He could be reached by email at [email protected] or on twitter at Salazar_soccer