Saturday, October 6, 2021 saw the return of the G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time) Boxing Promotions group to Houston, Texas, with it’s “High Stakes 2” professional boxing card. The outdoor event was held in the parking area of The Mancuso Harley Davidson (Crossroads) location in Jersey Village. The card featured five bouts between local and out of town prospects that kept the crowd entertained throughout the afternoon. The co-main and main event were title bouts, (Texas Title and A.B.F. Title) and the card even produced a couple of upsets. The results were as follows:
The opening bout saw featherweights Chaise Nelson (Mansfield, Ohio) and Jahaziel Vasquez (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico) battle for four rounds with Nelson emerging as the unanimous decision winner. [Winner Nelson]
In the second bout, heavyweights Juan Torres (Houston, Texas) and Allen Melson (Houston, Texas) fought each other in a four rounder that was competitive until Melson seemed to run out of steam in the fourth round. In that fourth round Torres began landing hard, unanswered punches, forcing the referee to stop the bout. [Winner Torres] by TKO.
The third bout featured the United States debut of highly touted Gagan “Pitbull” Sharma of India versus Nathaniel Tadd (Puerto Rico) in a four rounder fought at super-middleweight. The bout began with Tadd employing his unorthodox movement and footwork while Sharma went right to work throwing hard punches and applying suffocating pressure. Both boxers landed solid punches in the first round but Sharma was able to win the round and take the momentum by landing several solid body punches to end the round. The second and third went much like the first with Tadd still trying to find an answer for Sharma’s pressure while struggling to get his own punches off. Midway through the third round Tadd got caught trying to switch from the orthodox to southpaw stance while throwing a combination, and was knocked down by a short, right hook from Sharma. Tadd was able to beat the count but from there the bout was all Sharma, as he kept Tadd pinned on the ropes for the remainder of the third and throughout the whole fourth round, while he landed hard punches to the head and body. The scores were unanimous with all three judges giving every round to Sharma, giving him an impressive win in his first bout in the United States. [Winner Sharma] by decision.
The fourth bout and co-main event was a six round contest that matched Joe Sombrano (Pleasanton, Texas) against Noe “Skinny Boy” Lopez of Houston, Texas. The bout was for The Texas Super-Lightweight Title and did not disappoint. Both men started the first round fighting at a torrid pace and both landed hard punches. Sombrano moved forward throwing sometimes straight and sometimes wide punches, while Lopez controlled the round and pace with his superior footwork, ring generalship, and the crisper punches landed. The second round continued in the same manner as the first but early in the round Lopez seemed to have stopped and grimaced after landing a combination on Sombrano and finished the round throwing almost exclusively left jabs and hooks. Even with the sudden change in strategy Clutch City Boxing saw Lopez winning the second round. The third round picked up where the second ended and continued in much the same way, except now Lopez was relying solely on his left hand, only throwing the right to the body a few times when the fighters got tied up in clinches. Clutch City Boxing gave the round to Lopez on superior ring generalship and the sharper punches landed, mainly the left hook, but Sombrano was now landing his overhand right much more frequently and although we saw him losing the round, he had his best round of the bout up until that point. Sombrano brought his momentum from the third round to the fourth and was landing combinations to the head and body of Lopez when Lopez took a knee near the ropes. Lopez wisely took an eight count and gathered himself, being able to finish the round strongly, but the fourth was still a two point round for Sombrano. The fifth and sixth rounds saw both fighters fighting hard and with determination, Sombrano moving forward and fighting aggressively, ending many combinations with the overhand right, while Lopez moved well and counter-punched effectively, but still mostly only with left hands. Clutch City Boxing saw Sombrano edging the fifth round and Lopez taking the sixth giving the bout to Lopez by one point on our card. The official ringside judges Ray Zaragoza, Kellie Issac, and Barry Yeats saw the bout differently, scoring the bout 56-57, 55-58, and 55-58 all in favor of Sombrano.
The unanimous decision win earned Sombrano the Texas Super-Lightweight Title and in the opinion of Clutch City Boxing the fight of the night against the game Lopez. Although Lopez made no excuses, Clutch City Boxing would later find that Lopez did indeed injure his right shoulder sometime in the early rounds. A solid win for Sombrano, who came to fight and never wavered, but credit also goes to Lopez for making the bout a close and entertaining one, using only his left hand for the majority of the bout.
The main event brought together two outstanding prospects in former local amateur standout D’Angelo “King” Keyes (Houston, Texas) and Johnny Arellano (Austin, Texas) in an eight round bout fought at super-lightweight, for the American Boxing Federation (ABF) USA Super-Lightweight Title. Keyes came into the bout with an excellent record of 7 wins and 0 loses while Arellano came into the ring with a record of 8 wins and 1 loss. Arellano, who had a significant height and reach advantage was also making his ring return after being inactive for approximately four years.
The first round saw Arellano immediately begin to establish his jab and straight right hand, sometimes as the aggressor and other times countering Keyes as he came in throwing combinations with both hands. Although Keyes did land combinations on the inside at times and occasionally with an overhand right as he was coming in, Arellano had the better ring generalship and sharper punches landed, especially the one-two. Clutch City Boxing scored the first round for Arellano. The second through fourth rounds were similar to the first with Keyes trying to employ an aggressive, mauling style with limited success, while Arellano stood his ground and landed his straight punches from long range almost at will, and also punishing Keyes with uppercuts and hooks when Keyes was able to close the distance. The only difference between rounds two through four was that Arellano was having more success each round while Keyes had fewer positive moments. Clutch City Boxing scored rounds two through four for Arellano.
By the fifth round Arellano was in complete control of the bout and although Keyes was still trying and giving a remarkable effort, he just didn’t seem to be able to make the proper adjustments to turn the fight around. Rounds six and seven saw Arellano battering Keyes around the ring, while landing almost every punch he threw while Keyes resorted to lunging in while throwing wide hooks, with little success. Clutch City Boxing had every round in the bout scored for Arellano at this point. As the eighth and final round began the ringside doctor signaled to the referee that he wanted to take a look at the cuts and swelling on the face of Keyes and a halt to the action was called so the doctor could do so. After taking a hard look at the injuries on Keyes’ face the doctor advised the referee to stop the bout, despite Keyes asking the doctor to let him continue.
Arellano showed little to no ring rust and put on a dominating performance, which earned him the ABF (USA) Super-Lightweight Title. D’Angelo Keyes took a tough loss but all credit to him for taking on a tough challenge and displaying indomitable spirit.
Commission: Texas Combative Sports Program
Promoter: Goat Boxing Promotions-Antoine Williams
Judges: Ray Zaragoza, Barry Yeats, and Kellie Isaac
Referees: James Green and Danny De Alejandro
ABF Supervisor: Clare Burke