By Ricardo Ibarra
Photos by Mike Blair/Boxingprospects.net
Adding to a recent string of success, Seattle journeyman Rob Diezel (12-7, 4 KOs) claimed his third consecutive win on Saturday night at the Washington Land Yacht Harbor in Lacey, Washington, shutting-out Saint Paul, Minnesota’s Phillip Adyaka (7-9, 4 KOs) over six rounds. The featherweight bout was the main event of Pacific Northwest Professional Boxing Promotions’ fourth ‘Brawl at Harmony Hall’ card, which featured a total of eight bouts.
Diezel proved to be the quicker and more technically skilled fighter throughout the fight, working off his jab from the start and positioning himself to land consistent right hands on the aggressive, yet ineffective Ugandan native.
Early in the third, Diezel buckled the knees of Adyaka with a left hook and again with a one-two later in the round, but was unable to score a knockdown. He finally did so in the fourth after rocking him back with a barrage and unloading in the corner, where Adyaka sat on the ropes, prompting referee Paul Field to issue a count.
Diezel rocked him once again at the end of the fifth and went on to dominate the remainder of the fight with a busy stream of accurate combinations. The official tallies read 60-53, 60-53, and 60-52, giving Diezel his twelfth career win.
“It was a great win,” said Diezel after the fight. “I probably could’ve stopped him but it went the rounds. He can take a punch, but skill-wise I had him, so I figure I could get the work in and come back next time. I got three wins and a belt in my last three fights so I’m feeling really good.”
Seven bouts made up the remainder of the card with some popular regional prospects scoring wins. In the co-main event, Tacoma’s Marquice Weston (9-1-1, 5 KOs), who had a loud throng of supporters in the crowd, stopped the game but outmatched Carlos Villanueva (2-2), of Yakima, Washington, in the third round of a cruiserweight contest. Villanueva started the fight well, stepping into the pocket behind his jab and forcing Weston into an inside fight. The 6’6” Weston fought well in tight quarters, though, and began to push Villanueva off with hooks, bringing the fight out to the center of the ring where his longer wing-span gave him a big advantage. Mid-way through the round a thudding left hook to the body sent Villanueva down. Villanueva was up at four and stormed at Weston as the action resumed, letting his hands go with a sense of urgency, but moments later another left hook put him down again. Weston went to work quickly after the count, unloading with harsh shots to the mid-section, seemingly looking for the knockout, but Villanueva hung in there and made it out of the round.
Weston went back to working from range in the second round, patiently shooting one-twos at his shorter opponent, keeping him on the end of his punches. A precise right hand deposited Villanueva on the canvas again late in the round. Weston dropped Villanueva once more in the fourth with a body shot before referee Jeff Macaluso waved it off at :50 of the third round, giving Weston his second straight win.
Hard-hitting Steve Villalobos (4-0, 4 KOs), of Burlington, Washington, continued his knockout streak, disposing of Puyallup, Washington’s William Fernandez (0-6) in the first round. Villalobos stalked from the start, looking to cut off the ring on his taller and mobile opponent who did well in the first thirty seconds working off his jab. Villalobos quickly cut the distance, though, and began to unload with heavy hooks to the head and body. A vicious uppercut rocked Fernandez back to the ropes, where Villalobos unleashed a precision attack, finding his mark with the majority of what he threw. A short overhand right to the chin sent Fernandez to his knees where he would stay as referee Paul Field hit the count of ten at 1:51 of the opening round. Villalobos, who had his first three fights in the Jr. middleweight division, was testing the waters at 147 lbs. and looked sharp at the weight, adding a knockout win over an opponent who had never been stopped. Fernandez, meanwhile, loses for the sixth time.
In a lightweight contest, Vancouver, Washington’s Victor Morales, Jr. (6-0, 2 KOs) defeated the tougher than expected Kevin Davila (1-4-2), of Puyallup, Washington, to add a sixth win to his unblemished record, scoring a clear-cut five round unanimous decision victory. Morales set a fast pace from the outset, firing off quick one-twos and opening up with flurries when he made his way into the pocket. Davila, who only has one win on his professional ledger, proved to be a dogged competitor, landing some attention getting counter shots when Morales would pull back with his hands down. Still, Morales’ hand-speed and busier pace where too much for Davila to contend with. The young former amateur stand-out, who had a vocal cheering section in the crowd, dominated the majority of the fight. All three judges scored it for Morales at 50-45, 50-45, and 49-46.
Former Golden Gloves Champion Nicholas Jefferson (1-0, 1 KO), of Tacoma, made an impressive start in the pro ranks, scoring a first round TKO of Blackfoot, Idaho’s Alex Eastman (0-3) in a Jr. middleweight contest. Jefferson went to work right away, stepping in behind crisp jabs and loading up with right hands. Moments into the fight a short right hand counter in close rocked Eastman as he was firing back, leaving him on unsteady legs. Jefferson quickly followed up, dropping him with a left hook-right hand duo. Eastman was up at three, but as the action resumed Jefferson pounced, catching his stunned foe with a precise one-two to the chin, sending him down for a final time. Referee Jeff Macaluso, seeing Eastman outmatched, waved the fight off at :49 of the first round.
The previously winless Eric Cronkhite (1-2), of Eatonville, Washington, added his first victory as a pro in a Jr. middleweight fight, claiming a four round split decision over local fighter Johnathan Arias (2-2, 1 KO). Cronkhite began the bout well, mirroring his opponent’s southpaw stance and pushing him back with the busier punching rate. Arias at first seemed bothered by the lefty stance from his opponent, but in the second he began to find his range and work well from it, with one-twos. Cronkhite cut the distance in the third, stepping in with hard shots in close. The fourth was a close round with both fighters having their moments, but Cronkhite’s pressure and more effective blows seemed to give him the edge. Two judges agreed, scoring the fight 39-37 for Cronkhite, with the last differing in opinion scoring it 39-37 for Arias.
Bellingham, Washington’s Kevin Torres (3-0-1, 3 KOs) added his second win of the month, stopping Josh Solis (0-4), of Patterson, Washington, in the first round. Solis stormed right at Torres at the sound of the first bell with a volley of punches, forcing the fight into a closed quarters slugfest, but Torres settled down about thirty seconds in and began to land solid right hand counters and left hooks to the bod, slowing his opponent’s early aggression. Torres began to dominate the round a minute and a half in, unloading with consistent right hands and left hooks to the torso, visibly hurting the now defensive Solis. Late in the round a big right stunned Solis, prompting Torres to open up with a debilitating left hook to the belly, dropping Solis. Referee Paul field made the call to stop it at 2:32 of the round. The bout was contested in the Jr. middleweight division.
In the evening’s opener, mixed martial artist Dylan Potter (1-0), of Olympia, Washington, made a successful entrance into the paid boxing ranks, defeating Frankie Orr (1-2) by unanimous decision in a four round cruiserweight fight. Potter and Orr had faced off once before, but in an MMA match, with Potter winning that by submission. Orr looked like he might he even the score in the ring early in the bout, using his superior defense to avoid Potter’s awkward assault and landing the more effective shots, taking the first round. In the second, though, Potter settled into a more boxing centered attack and began to land more. He stepped up his output more in the third and dropped Orr to a knee with a right-left to the head. In the fourth, Orr came out swinging but his aggression was quickly stifled by Potter’s longer, more accurate shots. Potter snapped a one-two mid-round that stunned Orr, following up with right that sent Orr to a knee once again. Potter unloaded as the action was allowed to resume, but Orr hung in there and ended the fight landing a flush right of his own as the bell sounded. The final tallies read 39-35, 39-35, and 38-36 all for Potter.
Pacific Northwest Professional Boxing Promotions will return to the Washington Land Yacht Center for ‘Brawl at Harmony Hall 5′ on October 14. For more info on the card, visit the PNW Professional Boxing Promotions Facebook page.