An afternoon more than 60 years in the making delivered as anticipated. Promoting its first event in front of a live audience since February of 2020 – and the first outdoor event in Rhode …
An afternoon more than 60 years in the making delivered as anticipated. Promoting its first event in front of a live audience since February of 2020 – and the first outdoor event in Rhode Island since the late 1940s – CES Boxing returned to UFC FIGHT PASS Saturday at historic Cranston Stadium under the bright sunny skies for an action- packed afternoon of hard-hitting combat sports.
Compton, CA, featherweight Adan Ochoa kicked off the event with a firstround knockout win over Angel Luna to capture the vacant WBC USNBC title and female boxing pioneer Jaime "Hurricane" Clampitt closed the show with a thrilling, six-round draw against former world champion Olivia Gerula.
On what turned out to be a bright, sunny day with an occasional breeze, the action in the ring was as hot as the temperature outside.
The 23-year-old Ochoa (12-2, 5 KOs) wasted no time against Luna (14-7-1), scoring the knockout within minutes of the opening round, staggering Luna with a left hand before sending him through the ropes with an impressive flurry to close it out. The 31-year-old Luna never recovered, and referee Danny Schiavone stopped the bout before he could climb to his feet, awarding Ochoa the victory in his first title bout as a pro.
Ochoa was originally scheduled to fight Worcester’s Irvin Gonzalez, but Gonzalez was forced to withdraw due to an elbow injury. A second opponent fizzled within days, prompting Luna, a Dominican Republic native who now lives and trains in East Haven, CT, to step to the plate for an opportunity to fight for the green and gold belt.
Also on the main card, New Bedford, MA, super lightweight Wilson Mascarenhas (4- 1, 1 KO) scored his first career knockout win, stopping the tough Geoffrey Then (1-1) of Danbury, CT, at the 1:31 mark of the third round. Mascarenhas, who has now won four in a row, looked sharp from the opening bell, landing combinations and working the angles to keep Then at bay. Then kept pressing, so Wilson wisely remained patient and began to counterpunch effectively, dropping. Then twice in the second round and again at the start of the third before a double left hook – the second one sending Then crashing to the canvas again – finished the fight for good. Then, also a professional Muay Thai and MMA fighter, boxed for the first time since 2019.
Fighting for the first time since 2019, Providence super welterweight won a narrow majority decision over the hardcharging Martez Jackson of Georgia, 40-36, 39-37, 38-38. Peter Hary scored the bout a draw while Bob Paolino and Eddie Scuncio scored it in favor of Reynoso, who used his height advantage to occasionally stall Jackson’s and mixed in an effective jab to control the action.
Jackson fought well on the inside and really surged in the middle rounds, but Reynoso boxed efficiently in the final round to seal the win. Jackson dropped to 5-5-3 while Reynoso remained unbeaten at 7-0.
Just over a month removed from his eighth career MMA bout, light heavyweight Gary Balletto III (2-0), a Cranston native, returned to the ring for his second pro boxing bout, taking on newcomer William Dunkle (0-1) from Idaho. Dunkle, also a pro MMA fighter, ran out of gas midway through the scheduled four-round bout, but hung tough against the slick-boxing Balletto, who found his groove early in the fight and effectively out-boxed his opponent to earn a methodical 40-36, 40-36, 39-37 win on the scorecards.
In the finale, Clampitt (22-5-2) and Gerula (18-9-3) staged a back-and-forth war over six entertaining rounds, a fight so close all three judges scored it 57-57. Gerula appeared to come forward more consistently in the middle rounds, while Clampitt finished strong in the fifth and sixth, showing no signs of fatigue despite boxing for the first time in eight years.
The 42-year-old Gerula, a native of Winnipeg who now trains out of Las Vegas, fought to a draw for the third time in her career and first time since 2003, coincidentally against Mia St. John, whom Clampitt defeated in 2007 for one of her four world titles. Clampitt last boxed in 2013, defeating Dominga Oliva, and returned Saturday at the age of 44, also fighting to a draw for just the second time in her career and the first time since 2004. The two lightweights never let up from the opening bell, each rallying at various points in the bout to grab control of the momentum.
Highlighting the preliminary card, Mansfield, MA, welterweight James Perella (7-0, 5 KOs) made quick work of Mexican challenger Gael Ibarra (5- 4), stopping his opponent with a body shot at the 1:21 mark of the opening round.