By Chris Strait
Photos: Richard De La Cruz (35 Raw), James Hammond
A packed house at The Burbank Marriott Events Center played host to Bash Boxing’s latest incarnation of Valley Fight Night on Friday April 20, 2018. The promotion’s industry-wide reputation of stellar matchmaking did not disappoint once again. Nearly every fight on the eight-bout show was a brawl, featuring six decisions that were bookended by KOs.
In the featured bout of the evening, Burbank’s own Damien Lopez won a hard-earned TKO victory over Rodolfo Gamez in a welterweight battle.
Gamez showed the same toughness that led him to an upset victory over previously undefeated Ronnie Biggers on the last Valley Fight Night show. But this time Gamez was clearly bothered in the first three rounds by the local favorite’s body shots and relentless attack. The referee kept a close eye on things at the end of round 4, as Gamez was taking punishment along the ropes. Only 8 seconds into the 5th round of a scheduled 6, Lopez dropped Gamez with a left hook and the bout was waved off. Lopez moves to 5-0-1 with 3 KOs. Gamez, who has now fought an undefeated fighter in all 7 of his professional bouts, drops to 2-5.
In the co-feature, another welterweight battle took place. This time between young unbeaten prospects with decorated amateur backgrounds. Egis Klimas, manager of Vasyl Lomachenko and Sergei Kovalev among others, brought a new prospect into the Bash Boxing ring. Kazakhstan’s Sagadat Rakhmankulov won a unanimous 6 round decision, moving to 2-0- 1KO, over Bogota, Colombia’s Jhon Sanchez Leon. Leon (3-1- 2 KOs), who was coming off two consecutive wins over undefeated fighters, tried many different approaches and had some offensive success. But steady work, round by round, was done by Rahkmankulov. Leon definitely proved to ringside observers that he belongs at a high level in the sport. But the Kazakh, who is now boxing out of Oxnard in the Lomachencko camp, trumped the Columbian’s efforts on all 3 scorecards.
Houston’s Josue Morales returned after posting a draw with Alexander Enriquez in his last foray into the Bash Boxing ring. The tough Texan did what he has done in all 15 of his professional fights as he went the distance with popular local icon Rudy “Tiburon” (Shark) Garcia. It was a tactical 122lb battle in which neither fight was hurt. But it was Garcia who outboxed Morales over 6 rounds. Garcia showed good technique and innovation in finding new ways to split Morales’ guard. improving his undefeated record to 7-0 in the unanimous decision win while Garcia drops to 5-7-3 (0 KOs)
The show was broadcast on CBS Sports Digital’s OTT service, CBS SportsLive.