By Ricardo Ibarra
Photos: Mike Blair/Boxingprospects.net
Putting on a thoroughly dominant performance, Jr. lightweight prospect Giovanni Cabrera-Mioletti (14-0, 5 KOs) claimed his fourteenth career win on Saturday night at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, stopping the previously undefeated Headley Scott (11-1, 10 KOs) in the seventh round.
In the headline bout of Brian Halquist Productions’ 118th edition of the long-running ‘Battle at the Boat’ series, Cabrera-Mioletti bashed Scott for six rounds before unloading a final volley that went unanswered in the seventh, forcing the referee to step in and call it.
Cabrera-Mioletti, who fights out of Chicago but is originally from nearby Seattle, took control of the fight from the start, working out of a southpaw stance and catching Scott with precise straight left hands. For the first two rounds Cabrera-Mioletti worked patiently from a distance, popping his opponent with quick combinations before moving away from his looping, wild retaliations.
In the third round Scott, of Atlanta, Georgia, tried to rally but his awkward style and wild swings only allowed Cabrera-Mioletti more opportunities to counter. Late in the round a series of hooks seemed to daze Scott. Cabrera-Mioletti continued to counter effectively in the fourth and hurt Scott twice in the round, once with a right hook in the middle of the round and again late with a body shot.
Cabrera-Mioletti upped his aggression in the fifth, unloading with quick flurries in the pocket throughout the round and repeatedly snapping back the head of his opponent. The pace intensified in the sixth with Cabrera-Mioletti teeing off, slamming Scott with vicious hooks to the head and body.
As the seventh round commenced, Scott looked exhausted and was bleeding profusely from a cut over his right eye. Cabrera-Mioletti quickly went to work, punishing his foe with blistering combinations, teeing off on the visibly weary Georgian fighter. Late in the round a hard-right hook sent Scott reeling back to the ropes. Cabrera-Mioletti followed, unloading with a punishing barrage. Referee Jeff Macaluso, seeing Scott unable to defend himself, stepped in and waved the fight off at 2:27 of the round.
The victory was the fifth of the year for Cabrera-Mioletti, and his fourth win over an unbeaten opponent in the last eighteen months.
In addition to the main event, promoter Brian Halquist and matchmaker Andy Nance lined up an entertaining five fight undercard.
In the semi-main event, Salem, Oregon’s Marcos Cardenas (7-7-1, 3 KOs) made a successful return to the ring after a fourteen month long lay-off, scoring a fifth-round stoppage win over the game but outmatched Jorge Linares (4-3, 3 KOs). Cardenas got off to a fast start in the opening round, pressing forward and catching his opponent with hard right hands and left hooks. A minute into the round, Cardenas stunned Linares with a flush right hand. In the second, Cardenas caught Linares with a monstrous right hand as he moved in close, sending him crashing to the canvas. Linares was up at nine and looked wobbly as the action was allowed to resume. Cardenas pounced, peppering his foe with thudding hooks to the head and body. Linares fired back, showing the heart that has made him a popular fighter with the local crowds, but Cardenas walked right through most of what was being thrown his way. Late in the round another Cardenas right hand dropped Linares to a knee. In the third Linares mounted a bit of a rally, standing his ground and engaging in some intense exchanges, but Cardenas seemed to land the harder shots and do more damage. Cardenas stepped up his tempo in the fourth and again buckled Linares, catching him with a left hook as they traded. Moments later a right hand sent Linares down once again. Cardenas went on the attack after the mandatory count and closed out the round teeing off on his reeling opponent. Cardenas continued to unload in the fifth and after a series of shots went unanswered, referee Terrance Moody wisely stepped in and called an end to the fight, awarding Cardenas the TKO win at 1:12 of the round. The bout was contested in the Jr. welterweight division.
In a closely contested four round Jr. lightweight battle, Yakima’s Juan Gomez (3-0, 2 KOs) took a split decision win over Renton’s Carlos Hernandez (0-1). The pace was fierce between the two combatants from the start, with each firing off heavy artillery, looking to do damage early. Gomez was the first to do so, buckling Hernandez with a right-hand mid-way through the first round. Gomez went on the attack, seeing an opportunity, but Hernandez rallied back, making for some intense action and a close opening round. The tempo continued throughout the fight with both fighters exchanging leather and trading momentum. Gomez appeared to do enough to bank the second round, using the ring better and landing the more effective shots, but Hernandez came back in the third, pressing the action and getting in close. In the final round Gomez used his movement more, countering well and catching his opponent as he barreled forward, appearing to do enough to secure the win. Two judges agreed, giving Gomez the nod with scores of 39-37 twice, with the last seeing the fight for Hernandez at 40-36.
Niko “Suave” McFarland (2-4-1, 1 KO), of Auburn, Washington, claimed the second win of his seven-fight career, taking a four round unanimous decision victory over Kevin Davila (2-8-2, 1 KO), of Puyallup, Washington. Davila came out like a buzz saw in the first round, pushing his opponent back with a relentless attack. McFarland, who at first seemed hesitant to engage, stood in the pocket with his opponent in the second round and began to take over, cracking the shorter Davila with hard hooks in close and snapping back his head with uppercuts. McFarland continued to land the cleaner, more effective shots for the remainder of the fight, out-working his opponent in close and finding his mark from the outside with long one-twos. All three judges scored the fight for McFarland with scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice. The fight took place at the welterweight limit.
Yakima’s Gilberto Duran (2-1, 2 KOs) scored a brutal first round knockout of Luis Gomez-Ventura (0-2) in a Jr. featherweight bout. Both fighters were active early, but a massive right flush to the chin deposited Gomez-Ventura on the canvas a minute into the fight. Gomez made it up quickly but looked to be in bad shape as he wobbled back to the ropes. The referee allowed the fight to continue, but only momentarily as Duran followed up fairly quickly with a left hook-right hand combo to the chin that had Gomez out before he hit the canvas. Referee Jeff Macaluso immediately called it, awarding Duran his second knockout win at 2:48 of the opening round.
In the card’s opening bout, Tacoma’s Juan Jackson (1-0) had a successful start to his professional career, taking a four round unanimous decision win over Pasco, Washington’s Roman Avetisyan (0-1), who was also making his pro debut. Both fighters were tentative early in the first round, appearing tight and unsure of how to approach each other. Jackson was the first to loosen up, letting his jab fly and racking up points with follow up rights. Avetisyan came out in the second with more confidence, letting his hands go and cutting down the distance with a sustained attack. The third was close with Jackson using his movement to set up his one-twos while Avetisyan pressed forward, landing well when he got in close. Jackson clinched the win in the final round, sending Avetisyan to the canvas with an uppercut to the chin. The final tallies read 40-35, 39-36, and 38-37. The fight was held in the light heavyweight class.
The Emerald Queen Casino’s I-5 showroom was packed with a lively boxing crowd for this pre-holiday fight card. The next ‘Battle at the Boat’ is scheduled for January 11th. Tickets are now on sale at the EQC box office and all Ticketmaster outlets.