Overtime: A boxing hit at the OC Hangar

August 22, 2014

Costa Mesa, Calif. -- “If this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight," explains Brad Pitt of a rule in the cult film Fight Club that readily could be applied to the Overtime Fight Card put on by Roy Englebrecht Promotions and held at the Orange County Hangar Thursday night in front of some 1,430 fans who turned up to enjoy seven intriguing matchups.

Every fight card at the Hangar brings in a growing legion of fans, and in a switch, Englebrecht has decided to assign most seats on a first come-first served basis. This encourages fans to get to the venue early, and those who failed to arrive by the start of the first fight missed some interesting bouts.

Junior Welterweight David Lopez (1-0) made his professionals debut in sensational style, dropping Anaheim’s Tony Thompson (3-1) with an impressive knockout.

In the first round, Thompson was scoring to the body against Lopez, but Lopez, who has studied Sugar Ray Robinson, unloaded a straight right that wobbled Thompson in the second, and soon the fighter was down for the count.

In the second fight of the evening, Tavorus Teague (2-1-1) took on Tevin Watts (3-0-1).  Watts, who won Round One on the DSH's scorecard, appeared to have Round Two in the bag and had dazed his opponent with an uppercut.  However, he was soon stunned and wobbled himself by an overhand right.

Fortunately for Watts, Teague was largely evasive throughout the fight, and appeared to lack the power or skill to finish Watts when he had him on the ropes, as his ineffective flurries were often unleashed in an effort to steal the round in the final ten seconds.

The 38-38 Split Draw was not a bad outcome overall, although the DSH had Watts winning the fight.

In a lightweight fight, Oscar Santana may have been the local favorite, but his opponent from Grand Rapids, Michigan, James Thomas, had a fast jab and sneaky hook that allowed him to stay in the fight, temporarily.

Nevertheless, Santana was more aggressive -- almost a little too aggressive -- and nearly did a rugby-style tackle of his opponent at one point.  Santana's aggression ultimately won him the fight, as he knocked out his opponent with one of the most brutal right hands you will ever see.

In the only women’s fight of the evening, Nadja Ropac (1-1) was outclassed by Kristie Simmons (4-1), as Simmons prevailed by KO in the third round.

After an even first round, Ropac was floored with roughly a minute to go in Round Two.  Ropac at first seemed alright, but that did not last very long.  Two minutes into Round Three, Kristie "Kriss Cross" Simmons proved her nickname was well-earned, landing a criss-crossed left and right to essentially end the bout.

The fight, seemingly even on paper, was a mismatch, as the difference between having one fight versus four under one's belt is a world of difference in women’s boxing and at the 120-pound weight class,

Kim versus Rin, Lose, or Draw -- the rematch of an exciting earlier draw and controversial decision between Daniel Kim and Sopaun Rin -- proved to be one of the more interesting fights of the evening.

The two lightweight fighters took contrasting styles into the ring, as Rin seemed eager to prove himself.   The first round was a draw, but Kim pulled ahead 2-1 on the DSH card at the start of Round Four mainly due to his effective counter-punching.

Throughout the fight, Kim was obviously more affected by the hard-punching Rin, or at least Rin had a great poker face.  Rin’s awkward style -- where he is often off-balance when he throws punches -- needs to change, but he won this one in the end, 48-47. Kim, a UCI graduate, may have been affected by a broken nose suffered in the fight.

The final fight of the evening featured another California-Michigan matchup, as California's Kevin Watts faced off against Michigan-based Larry Ventus. Watts fought on the outside, swinging from afar, but also got hit with a brutal uppercut in the second round.

Several unintentional head-butts occurred throughout the bout, as Ventus sought to close the distance.  However, Kevin Watts overcame the butts, got to work, and had his opponent hurt later in the fight, earning him 6-0 mark with the win.  He is a prospect to watch, while Ventus (6-6) remains an intriguing journeyman.

By Joe Hammond
Contributing Writer for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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