Ward vs Brand Oracle Arena Undercard Bouts Maurice Hooker, Junior Younan, Daniel Franco, Darmani Rock & More
BY KID HERSH
First up on the undercard was Bilal Mahasin (8-3-1, 1KO) vs Luis Alfredo Lugo (14-25-1, 5KO's). Lugo looked like tthe perennial contender right from the start as he was very slow and very easy to hit. Mahasin was finding right hands easy to land flush and in the second round he stunned Lugo a couple of times with them. Mahasin looked like he was on his way to a stoppage but Lugo came to fight and continued plowing forward. In the fourth round he even fought back as the two men traded shots for the final thirty seconds of the round, to the crowds delight. Unfortunately we all thought that we had another two rounds but they would cut the bout from six to four, for times purposes. Mahasin would win the UD.
Next up was Daniel Franco (13-0-3, 8KO's) vs Marcelo Gallardo (7-3-2, 3KO's). Gallardo was only standing for about ten seconds due to a left hook from Franco that thudded home. I thought that was a wrap but he got up and showed pretty good recouperative powers in making it through the entire round. He took more hard shots and doesn't look to have much of a chance but he sure does have fighting heart. He would show it further in the coming rounds as he either was in forward gear trying his best to change the fight or in reverse, recovering while taking more punishment. In the fourth round he was hurt yet again in the final minute but showed great heart in unloading a haymaker right hand that hit flush to Franco's temple and backed him off from a surefire stoppage. Despite this, the fight was over in the fifth round when Gallardo took a massive right hand that sent him crumpling to the canvas. To his credit, he got up, but the referee waved the fight off.
Next up was the Bay Areas own Raquel Miller (1-0, 1KO) vs Gabrielle Holloway (0-1). Miller looked like a middleweight, which she is, and Holloway looked like a lightweight to kick this bout off. Holloway was holding her own where she could but Miller was bulling her around the ring before long once it was realized how much stronger she clearly is. The bout brisked by quickly with Miller being the dominant fighter and landing the more powerful and clean blows. They would cut the bout short two rounds just like the previous one and Miller would win the UD.
Next up was Darmani "Rock Solid" Rock (3-0, 3KO's) vs Mike Kyle (1-2-1, 1KO). In the first round Kyle showed that he did not come to get intimidated or lay down. He took some heavy shots - mainly right hands - from Rock. He took them well, but I don't necessarily say that as a good thing because he was easy for the fast-punching Rock to hit. He stunned almost everyone in the crowd when immediately in the second round he landed a right hand that snapped Rock's head back violently, hurting him momentarily. Kyle made the massive mistake that so many inexperienced fighters do in not following up when they have the more talented fighter hurt. Instead he stayed back but surprisingly controlled the ring for the remainder of the round. Rock was likely recouping still for the majority of the round though, as he had a smirk on his face that screamed to this writers eyes that he was playing mental games and not fully recovered. He held his own in the third, although getting outboxed, but we had ourselves a good little scrap (or should I say big) on our hands as the action got even hotter in the fourth and final round. Rock scored a knockdown off a left hand that he was measuring Kyle with, crouching and cocking it as if to tell him it was coming and then suddenly BAM - there it was behind the ear, putting Kyle down. Kyle rose and fought back, arguably even winning the remainder of the round as he finished strong in recouping and punching and backing Rock up. The crowd loved the action to end the fight and everyone was wishing that the fight was a six rounder as Rock won the UD.
Next up was Junior Younan (9-0, 7KO's) vs Jinner Guerrero (8-6, 6KO's). Guerrero came out swinging wildly and looking to blitz Younan. That did not happen though, as Younan bided his time and countered with a left hook to the chin that sent Guerrero backwards and onto the canvas. He rose bbut was clearly hurt and Younan chased him around the ring landing more left hands until he caught him with another bomb of a left hand that put Guerrero out cold. It would be quite a while before he got up and onto a stool with the entire arena worried about his safety. He would end up ok.
Next up was the final bout before the main event. It featured Maurice Hooker (20-0-2, 15KO's) vs Tyrone Barnett (23-4-1, 15KO's). The fight did not last long at all - just like the previous one - as Hooker dropped Barnett and then finished him off on the ropes for the emphatic stoppage victory. Suddenly we have another guy busting onto the scene just like Younan in the previous fight.