By Francisco Salazar
Cleotis "Mookie" Pendarvis wanted to end 2012 with a victory and the opportunity to make a name for himself at 140 pounds.
His victory on Friday night may be an indication of good things to come.
Pendarvis stopped Michael Clark after the fifth round at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, CA.
The scheduled 12 round bout headlined an 11-bout card, presented by Art of Boxing and Bash Boxing, in association with Pitbull Boxing Promotions.
Pendarvis had won his last five bouts in a row since a 10 round split decision loss to Terrance Cauthen in June of 2010. He defeated Robert Frankel by unanimous decision over 12 rounds in his last fight on May 25th.
Clark is famous for appearing on the first season of the reality series, "The Contender." In his last fight on July 21st, Clark won an eight round majority decision over Jake Giuriceo.
Both fighters were able to score in the first two rounds of the fight. At times, the action was sloppy as both would throw wild hooks or crosses. Clark tried to land straight right hands, while Pendarvis attempted to counter.
In the third round, after an exchange, Clark went down to one knee after a delayed reaction. While he was on knee, Clark pointed to his left eye, blinking repeatedly as if he had been inadvertently thumbed.
Moments later, Clark went down again after an exchange and again, complained to referee Wayne Hedgpeth that he could not see.
To his credit, Clark fought on, finding success with some straight right hands to the head. The tide turned in the fifth round when Clark was dropped by an inadvertent low blow by Pendarvis. Clark got up and finished the round.
To the surprise of those in attendance, referee Hedgpeth waves the fight over after the round when Clark told him he was not able to continue.
With the victory, Pendarvis defends his regional title belt and maintains his top 15 ranking in that sanctioning body.
Pendarvis, from the south central portion of Los Angeles, CA, improves to 17-3-2, 6 KOs. Clark, from Columbus, OH, falls to 43-8-1, 18 KOs.
Welterweights Arthur Brambila and Jaime Ocegueda fought to a four round split decision draw. Brambila dropped Ocegueda (7-0-1,5 KOs) with an overhand right to the head on the opening moments of the first round. Ocegueda rebounded well to beat Brambila (9-17-1, 4 KOs) to the punch. However, Ocegueda began to tire in the third round and was exhausted by the fourth round that his mouthpiece popped out a few times. Both landed their share of punches in the fourth, with Brambila landing more, snapping Ocegueda's head back a number of times. One judge scored the 39-38 for Brambila, another judge scored the bout 38-37 for Ocegueda, while the third judge scored the bout 38-38. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 38-37 for Brambila.
Middleweight Tony Hirsch won a six round unanimous decision over Louis Rose. Although Rose (5-1, 1 KO) entered the bout unbeaten, Hirsch schooled the younger fighter during most of the fight. Hirsch (14-5-2, 6 KOs) was able to set up right crosses to the head of Rose. He used effective ring generalship and controlled the tempo of the fight, not allowing Rose to land anything effective. When Rose did throw punches, they mostly landed on the arms of Hirsch. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Hirsch, 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Hirsch.
Cruiserweight Vyacheslav Shabranskyy stopped Michael Glenn in the second round of a scheduled four round bout. Shabranskyy (7-2-1, 3 KOs) had a six and reach advantage, allowing him to rain punches down on a gutsy Glenn. A Shabranskyy left hook to the body dropped Glenn to the canvas in the first round. Although Glenn (2-5-2, 1 KO) survived round, it was only a matter of time before Shabranskyy's power was going to end the fight. In the second round, Glenn was dropped by a Shabranskyy left hook-right hand to the head combination. After getting up, Glenn was knocked down a second time in the round by an accumulation of punches by Shabranskyy. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth saw enough and stopped the bout at 1:51.
Light heavyweight Marat Kulumbegov stopped Billy Bailey in the fourth round of a scheduled six round bout. There was good two-way action between the two, with Kulumbegov (9-0-1, 6 KOs) getting the better of the exchanges. Although Bailey did not back down and countered to the head and body, Kulumbegov landed the stronger and effective punches. In the fourth round, Kulumbegov dropped Bailey (12-16, 4 KOs) with a hard left jab to the head. After Bailey got up, he was dropped again with a left-right combination to the head. Referee Eddie Hernandez immediately waved the fight over at 47 seconds.
Heavyweight Jonathan Hamm won a one-sided four round unanimous decision over Ray Lopez. The taller and more athletic Hamm (4-0, 3 KOs) consistently landed right hands to the head of Lopez, who would land the occasional left hook to the head. As the fight progressed, Lopez's face reddened from the amount of punches Hamm landed, as well as blood dripping out of his nose. Lopez's heart kept him in the fight, even though referee Jack Reiss kept a close eye on him until the final bell. All three judges, along with Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Hamm, who was announced as a 2011 National Amateur champion.
Welterweight Alexander Filichkin stopped Jesus Vallejo in the third round of a scheduled four round bout. Although he did not sit down on his punches, Filichkin (12-0, 4 KOs) was busier, working off the jab by throwing left hooks to the body or straight right hands to the head. Vallejo (5-8-1, 5 KOs) tried to counter with right hands to the head. In the third round, Filichkin hurt Vallejo with a right cross to the head. Vallejo backed up against the ropes as Filichkin followed up with hooks and crosses. Once Vallejo showed he was not able to protect himself, referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 2:01.
Heavyweight Charles Martin knocked out Terrence Perro in the fourth and final round. The southpaw Martin (3-0, 3 KOs) was busier, consistently landing straight left hands to the head of Perro. Undaunted, Perro (1-2, 1 KO) tried to counter with right hands, but did little to engage with Martin in exchanges. In the third round, an accumulation of punches by Martin dropped Perro to one knee. After surviving the third, Perro was knocked down by a Martin combination. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth counted Perro out at 41 seconds.
Super bantamweight David Clark won a four round unanimous decision over Daniel Modad. Clark (6-2, 4 KOs) controlled most of the action and punctuated the victory with a knockdown in the third round. All three judges scored the bout 39-36 in favor of Clark. The Tijuana-based Modad drops to 6-8, 4 KOs.
In the opening bout, junior welterweight Dinmukhamed Niyazov knocked Ralph Prescott in the first round of a scheduled four round bout. Nivazov (3-0, 2 KOs) dropped Prescott with a body shot within the first minute of the round. Prescott (2-8) got up and tried to fight back. However, he was hurt by a Niyazov uppercut, prompting referee Eddie Hernandez to step in and stop the bout at 2:09.
In the walkout bout of the evening and with Robert Garcia in his corner, featherweight Erik Ruiz won a four round unanimous decision over late-replacement DeWayne Wisdom. The action was sloppy at times, as both ended up in a clench, where they continues to hold. Ruiz (7-0, 3 KOs) landed more punches, but was not as busy as Garcia implored him to be. Wisdom (2-8, 1 KO) would land an occasional left hand to the head of Ruiz, keeping him honest. However, Ruiz was the more effective fighter of the two. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Ruiz, while Boxingscene had it 39-37 for Ruiz.
- Welterweight world titleholder Paul Malignaggi, unbeaten middleweight world titleholder Peter Quillin, super bantamweight contender Rico Ramos, unbeaten super welterweight Hugo Centeno, famed ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr., and actor Faizon Love watched the action from ringside.
- A two round boxing exhibition was filmed between two female fighters. The fight will air on a new reality series titled "Taking it Outside", which will air on the A & E network.
- Ring announcer was Jim Fitzgerald.
Follow Francisco Salazar on Twitter: @Salazar_soccer