A new addition to the Bear River Casino fight night proved to be a huge success on Saturday, in front of yet another sold-out crowd for the event.
The first of four scheduled fight nights at the casino in 2019 featured 11 fights and didn’t disappoint, with a capacity attendance of 1,250 fans, making it one of the two largest crowds in the event’s four-year history.
“It was a home run. A home run for sure,” fight promoter Brian Wilson said. “We sold an extra 200 standing room only tickets.”
The action was just as intense, with a pair of pro fights, as well as two championship fights, and two kick boxing fights for the first time.
And the crowd seemed to embrace the new addition.
The debut kick boxing showdown featured a pair of locals, Shlomo Guetta out of the Lost Boys gym in Arcata and Tim Hayden out of Redwood Muay Thai in Fortuna, with Hayden taking an exciting battle.
“It was fantastic,” Wilson said. “It was action packed, the crowd really took to it, 100 percent we’d do it again. The crowd was very excited to see it.”
The packed house got a treat when a second kick boxing fight was added at the last minute, when one of the fighters, Darius Ayers, did not make weight for a scheduled championship showdown with Tyler Watkins.
Instead the two agreed to a kick boxing fight, with Watkins taking another thrilling battle on a decision.
Two pro fights
One of the two pro fights on the card saw Bakersfield’s Trey Branch defeat Jay Pulliam out of Sacramento with a TKO in the second round.
The other was won by Frederick Doherty, from the Dragon Hose club in San Francisco, who defeated Oregon’s Shane Sargent with a first-round TKO, catching him with a devastating knee to the head.
The fight of the night was won by a local favorite, Andrew Guisa, who also fights out of the Lost Boys.
Guisa won a split decision in a title showdown with Kaes Ishun, another fighter from the Dragon House, which always brings a large contingent of fighters to the Bear River events.
“It was arguably one of the best fights we’ve ever had,” Wilson said. “It was really competitive.”
Guisa improved to 6-2 with the win.
In a second title showdown, Ulysses Molina, also out of Dragon House, knocked out Ukiah’s Nate Montano to take his belt.
In other action, Ross Lopez from the Lost Boys defeated Christian Gardner from Grants Pass in a unanimous decision.
Hoopa Valley’s Wilfred Ferris lost his fight with Point Arena’s Oscar Flores on a TKO, while another Lost Boys fighter, Walter Craig, won his fight against Dragon House’s Ryan Patrick on a second-round TKO.
Also fighting out of the Dragon House, Jummah Muhammed defeated Point Arena’s Mayo Rodriquez, while Thomas Mlakar out of Lost Boys defeated Willow’s Christian Trancito with a very quick 16-second TKO.
Fight night will return to the Bear River Casino on May 18.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.