COSTA MESA — Fighters began falling before they entered the ring at Fight Club OC on Thursday.
The card lost fighters before anyone threw a punch at the OC Fair & Event Center. Fans still came out strong, 1,435 sold out the Hangar.
The rest of the boxers and mixed martial artists made up for the dropouts.
The two boxers who stepped in at the last minute after the main attraction, 6-foot-7 heavyweight Lionel Davis (9-0), pulled out of his fight with Andrae Carthron (5-7-2) put on a show. It took just one round for super middleweights David Tabatadze and Lester Gonzalez to exchange heavyweight-type blows.
The shots mostly came from the left side, making sense since both are left-handed fighters. Through six rounds, it looked even, Tabatadze, a Ukrainian, worked the body while Gonzalez, a Cuban, used his quick hands to strike Tabatadze's head.
The three judges did not view it as a close fight at the end, giving a unanimous decision to Tabatadze, 58-56, 59-54, 60-54. Gonzalez (12-5-2) looked disappointed, while Tabatadze (8-1-1) celebrated his third straight victory.