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Late stand-ins stand out

Last-minute replacements put on a show in super middleweight bout at Fight Club OC Thursday.

August 18, 2011|David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
  • David Tabatadze connects with a left to Lester Gonzalez's face in a Super Middleweight boxing match during Fight Club OC Thursday. Tabatadze won by decision.
David Tabatadze connects with a left to Lester Gonzalez's… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

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.

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In the opening bout, Alex Vlas of Laguna Hills expected to make his debut against Eric Mendez, but Mendez dropped out.

Vlas got a tougher draw in Marcus Robinson. The quick left-hander from Los Angeles went into the welterweight match undefeated in his first three fights.

Vlas challenged Robinson for most of the four-round action. Robinson's corner even cautioned the undefeated fighter, yelling, "Don't get careless. Keep your hands up."

Vlas was the sloppy one right before the final bell rang.

Robinson delivered a quick right, knocking down the newbie in the middle of the ring. Robinson raised his arms, knowing he was still perfect as a fighter, earning a unanimous decision.

Another fighter looking to avoid a blemish on his record was Vinc Pichel.

The MMA lightweight from Valencia kept his winning streak alive. Pichel improved to 7-0 after easily getting past David Gardner (15-15), with a technical knockout in the second round.

At the start, a woman in Gardner's corner had the nerve to scream, "He's scared Dave!" The amount of abuse Pichel handed out to Gardner frightened her and many sitting ringside.

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