The CBZ Newswire

Johnson Stops Gavronksi, Claims NABA Title in Tacoma

by on Nov.11, 2015, under Boxing News

By Ricardo Ibarra

Photo by Mike Blair

Johnson, at right, attacks Gavronski en route to his stoppage win.

Johnson, at right, attacks Gavronski en route to his stoppage win.

In one of the biggest wins of his career, battle tested journeyman Dashon “Flyboy” Johnson scored an upset win Saturday night at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, securing a ninth round TKO over local fan-favorite Mike Gavronski and annexing the vacant WBA-NABA US Super Middleweight title in the process.

Headlining Brian Halquist Productions’ 103rd Battle at the Boat, Johnson and Gavronski fought a rematch of a bout held in January of this year in which Gavronski took a unanimous decision win. In the return bout, Johnson overcame Gavronski’s rangy style to claim an assertive victory.

Coming into the fight with a six fight win streak, Gavronksi (20-2-1, 13 Kos), began the bout working well from the outside with quick jabs and hard rights. For the first two rounds he controlled the tempo with lateral movement and a busy work-rate, keeping Johnson (18-19-3, 4 KOs) on the end of his punches, unable to close the gap.

Late in the first round an accidental head-butt in close opened up a cut on the top of Gavronski’s head. In the third round Johnson, who had remained undeterred up to this point, pressing forward even as Gavronski teed off, began to work his way in close with greater regularity and found success with hard overhand rights over Gavronski’s low left hand.

They traded momentum and traded heavy shots for the next few rounds, Gavronski effective when he boxed, Johnson taking the lead when he pressed his way into the pocket, giving the crowd some exciting exchanges.

Johnson began the seventh barreling forward with renewed aggression, pushing his way inside where he could do more damage. Other than a precise left hook from Gavronski, Johnson had full control of the round with unrelenting pressure in the pocket.

The pace continued in the eighth with Johnson letting his hands go as Gavronksi slowed his output. Late in the round a vicious left hook followed by a straight right rocked Gavronski in the corner and dropped him to a knee. Gavronksi made it to his feet and was allowed to continue, but he looked very unsteady on his legs. Johnson pounced, rushing his adversary with a flurry of unanswered punches.

The bell sounded before any truly debilitating punches could land, but in the corner before the next round referee Bob Howard, under advisement of the doctor, called it, giving Johnson TKO at :01 of the ninth round.

“I knew I had him after the second round,” Johnson said after the bout. “After he shot his wad I knew I was going to get him. I was just being patient and waiting for him to wear himself out.” When asked how he felt about his win Johnson proclaimed, “I’m blessed! I feel really good about this one. I don’t have a manager. I don’ have a promoter. I just work hard. If someone gives me an opportunity and I have time to train, I know I can do a lot in this sport.”

The win marked Johnson’s third consecutive victory and his second straight meaningful fight having just beaten Mexican prosect Elias Espada to claim the California State Jr. Middleweight title back in August.

Coming off a nineteen month lay-off, Auburn, Washington’s Issac Tadeo was able to keep his unbeaten record intact with a six round unanimous decision win over Cameron Sevilla-Rivera, of Tacoma in a Jr. Middleweight match-up.

Using quick lateral movement and working behind his long jab, Tadeo (6-0, 3 KOs) set the pace early. For the first two rounds Tadeo kept Sevilla-Rivera on the end of his punches. In the third and fourth rounds, though, Sevilla-Rivera (6-2-1, 5 KOs) began to close the distance with greater regularity and found some succes in close.

Tadeo went back to boxing more in the fifth and finished out the fight winning the last two rounds with the busier and more deliberate output. All three judges scored the fight for Tadeo with tallies of 60-54, 58-56, and 58-56.

In a great action fight, Tacoma, Washington’s Will Hughes overcame an early knockdown to claim a four round unanimous decision over Chicago’s Sean Gee. Gee (2-3) fought an effective first round, boxing well out of a southpaw stance. Mid-way through the round a hard uppercut buckled Hughes’ knees, causing him to touch the canvass with his gloves. Referee Bob Howard correctly ruled it a knockdown and issued Hughes (5-3, 3 KOs) a mandatory count.

This seemed to spur on Hughes, who in the second round came on strong with a barrage of accurate left hooks and straight rights, cutting the ring off and pushing his way in close. The fight quickly turned into a closed quarters slugfest, which favored Hughes who was quicker to land at short distance. For the remainder of the fight the two combatants engaged in wild back-and-forth exchanges, but it was Hughes who controlled the action with the more accurate and busier output. All three Judges scored the fight for Hughes with scores of 38-36, 38-36, and 38-35. The two fought at the Jr. Welterweight limit.

Local favorite Jeremy McClearly pitched a shutout, dominating Ft.Lewis, Washington’s Heath Cline over four rounds. McCleary (8-1) used quick lateral movement and brisk one-two’s to quickly take control of the pace of the fight. In the second round a hard left hook in close buckled the knees of Cline (0-6). McCleary pounced, opening up with a barrage of hooks in the pocket, buckling his knees once more in the round.

Cline proved to be a tough fighter, though, weathering the assault and mounting a sustained rally early in the third round. McCleary, though, patiently went back to boxing and took back control of the fight with quick combinations. The judges where in agreement with scores of 40- 35 all round. McCleary adds his second win since losing to Marcello Gallardo in March of this year. The fight took place in the Lightweight division.

Anchorage, Alaska’s Fatlum Zhuta added his first win as a paid prize fighter, knocking out Spokane, Washington’s Darryl Gardner in the first round. Gardner (2-7-1, 2 KOs) came out with an aggressive attack, as has been his usual approach in recent fights, swinging with hard, looping punches. Zhuta (1-0-1, 1 KO) quickly found his opening in between his opponent’s wild swings, countering with an accurate attack as Gardner pressed.

A counter right to the chin put Gardner on the seat of his pants early in the round. After the count, Gardner went back to pressing and was quickly met with more counters from his opponent. A hard straight right mid-round dropped Gardner once again. Referee Jeff Macaluso reached the count of ten at 1:26 of the first round. The bout was fought at the Middleweight limit.

In a four round Bantamweight bout, once beaten Isaiah Najera, of Yakima, Washington, opened the show with an impressive display, defeating Seattle, Washington’s Chris Wheaton via unanimous decision. Najera (2-1) opened the fight taking quick control of the action with quick combinations, moving in and out of the pocket with brisk footwork. Najera showed a solid skill-set as he outboxed his older opponent, firing off three and four punch combinations, keeping Wheaton at range. Wheaton (0-2), while a game fighter, had no answer for the fast hands of Najera. All three judges scored the fight a shutout at 40-36.

The 103rd installment of Brian Halquist Productions’ “Battle at the Boat” played to a sold out and raucous crowd. The 104th installment will take place January 15th with tickets already on sale at the Emerald Queen Casino box office and all Ticketmaster locations



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