The action never stops at PNW Harmony Hall fights in Lacey, Washington. This was another top show for boxers honing their skills. Fans won't find any big names here, although the local boxers draw many fans. This is a venue for what we, in Vietnam, called FNGs. ( F__ New Guys) These, more appropriately should be called FNBs. (F__ New Boxers) Because they are fairly new they fight for something bigger than small money. They fight for heart and status and a chance to take those first steps as they learn to walk. Few organizations offer such an opportunity. PNW is devoted to just these kinds of fights. The boxers on the card seldom disappoint. Even opponents slated as mere opponents manage to put up a decent fight, as if, by surprise, they might actually win. Something about the crowd brings out the best in them. These shows have brought FUN back to boxing. The improved lighting at the venue was also a nice touch.

Special thanks to Kieth and Nathaniel for helping me buy used cameras for orphans in Viet Nam. Every September I travel to Viet Nam and teach simple photography to orphans in desolate areas. The kids have absolutely nothing. I give the cameras to them when I leave. These little cameras are often the only tangible things they will ever have. Nathaniel and Kieth have shown the same generosity with these kids as they do with their own young boxers.

Rob Diezel (11-7) unanimous decision over Philip Adyaka (7-9)

 

It’s always a pleasure to watch two consummate professionals earning a little spending money on a Saturday night. Diezel looked better than ever before in his win over Adyaka. He constantly used his jab to set up punches.  Adyaka, 5’4”, suffers from being short. He is not short of heart. Reaching the taller Diezel with any shots proved difficult. Diezel, like the arch of an artillery round, fired down and let the punches explode. A nice fight with two skilled boxers.

Marquice Weston (9-1-1) TKO .50 round 3 over Carlos Villanueva (2-2)

 

Weston, with an impressive win, is another young man who continues to grow. His long arms do long work and they worked plenty hard against Villanueva. His jab did the trick. Villanueva is what was once called a “tough customer.” He tumbled to the canvas twice in the 1st round from hard Weston left body shots but came back each time with plenty of power. It almost seemed as if Weston was safer not putting him down. But Weston continued and dropped him again in the 2nd. Weston seemed to like him on the canvas and dropped him again in the 3rd. At that point the referee stopped the bout, much to the anger of Villanueva who was on his feet and ready to continue. What are four knockdowns, anyway, but a way to stretch the legs and grab a breather? Villanueva is full of guts but also full of fat. If he dropped two or three weight divisions he would be a real powerhouse.

Steven Villalobos (4-0) KO 1:51 round 1 over William Fernandez

 

The most impressive fighter of the night was Villalobos. Villalobos carries enough tattoos to make the Illustrated Man seem like a pencil sketch. Apparently the tattoos work because he is a real powerhouse, good balance, nice developing skills, and a boxer’s heart. Even though this was really a non-fight (Fernandez was so over-matched he could have phoned in his defeat) those skills were still evident. Fernandez gave it his best shot, he was simply overmatched.

Victor Morales Jr. (6-0) unanimous decision over Kevin Davila (1-4-2)

 

Morales continued his undefeated shadow boxing career against another fighter with a poor record. Some shadows show a bit of substance and actually put up a fight, as did Davila. He continued to draw Morales in then exposed him to some picture perfect right hands and even a left. If he carried any power he would have dropped Morales. He fought a nice fight, better than his record indicates.Unfortunately shadows are more illusion than substance. Morales is a bright and likable young man but his opponents are so poor that he is learning nothing. The opponents you get for a rising star are opponents from which can learn, not just a string of tomato cans to build up a record. Any fight for a kid with potential and from which he does not learn is a wasted fight. A fight from which can learn might be with Adyaka.

Nicholas Jefferson (1-0) KO .50 round 1 over Alex Eastman (0-3)

 

In the most pathetic match-up of the night, Jefferson knocked out Eastman who spent his short time in the ring with his hands over his head hoping not to get hit. It is always interesting to see a boxer make his pro debut after the ring announcer runs off a string of sterling accolades: awards, armature championships, outstanding record, then he is matched with the local gopher. If he is supposed to be this great upcoming champion, why not give him an opponent that is not on life support. Oh well, that’s boxing and it's not the boxer's fault. It’s still a win on the records and if people did not see the fight no one knows the difference. Jefferson might have some skills. He needs to be in with someone who will, at least, hang in for a round or two. He deserves better than this.

Eric Cronkite (1-2) split decision over Jonathan Arias (2-2)

 

These two touched gloves and apologized so often to each other during the match it seemed they might start dating. You do not have to hate each other to fight.  But when they fought they fought, and that was enjoyable to see. Neither man has much skill but they were not afraid to mix it up. It is almost pleasant to see two gentlemen box. I suspect these are MMA guys, especially Cronkite. They are always tough and awkward and seldom win against a boxer although Cronkite managed to do enough to pull through. A nice fight between friends who would not back down.

Kevin Torres (3-0-1) KO 2:32 round 1 over Josh Solis (0-4)

Torres is another man to watch: good skills, well balanced, an offensive heart. Solis, totally void of any boxing skills, was no slouch in heart as he went toe-to-toe against the better Torres but it was only a matter of time before he succumbed to Torres’ perfect body shots. He went down fighting – but he went down and that what counts. On the plus side he was a photographer's delight. You can't find those great expressions just anywhere.  

Frankie Orr (2-1) unanimous decision over Dylan Porter (0-1)


These two staged a nice opening bout to get the night started. Porter was dropped in round 3 but came back strong. He was down again in the 4th, mostly from exhaustion. It was a fun fight to start off a fin night. When fighters are evenly matched you always get a decent fight, even if the skill is lacking. 

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