Simonyan draws in Hollywood

By Raj Sharma


Simonyan draws in Hollywood

The comeback hopes of former world title challenger Art Simonyan hit a bump in the road in the co-feature. The Armenian pugilist was knocked down in the eighth and final round of his bout with Cleveland's Fred Neal, costing him a decision win and delaying his return to title contention.  Meanwhile, unbeaten heavyweight prospect Damian "Bolo" Wills added another quick knockout victory to his resume, scoring a highlight reel worthy first round knockout of Doug Kaluza last night in Hollywood, California. The bout headlined a six-bout card promoted by LB4LB Promotions at the Music Box at the Fonda Theater. 
Wills, 258, Los Angeles, walked down his smaller southpaw opponent, before blasting him to the canvas with a series of power punches. Once the well built Kaluza, 204, Omaha, rose to his feet, he was quickly the victim of a devastating left hook  and follow up right hand. Kaluza fell back to the canvas, and referee Ray Corona waved off the contest without a count. Time of the stoppage was 2:30. Wills improves to 18-0-1 with 15 knockouts, while Kaluza's record now stands at 17-5-1 with 10 stoppage wins.

"My plan at first was to box him, but he really threw me off my game coming out as a southpaw", said Wills.

"As soon as possible" he replied, when asked when we can expect to see him back in the ring. "This year we're just gonna keep stepping it up and stepping it up, and hopefully I won't have to fight anymore southpaws". 

Simonyan, 128 1/2, and Neal 130, engaged in a tactical junior lightweight eight rounder. The first two rounds were close, with Neal doing most of his scoring with a quick jab while Simonyan had some success with right hand leads. Art began to take control in the third, slipping a Neal jab and landing a hard left hook  to the body before following up with hard right hands to the head. By the fourth, it appeared that Simonyan had Neal figured out, as he was able to regularly slip the jab of Neal and land harder punches when the two exchanged. The fifth and sixth saw Simonyan continue to build a lead, as his hooks and right hands were doing more damage than Neal's occasional scoring jabs or power punches.

The seventh round saw Neal outhustle Simonyan, possibly because the Armenian took a breather. The eighth saw Simonyan have one of his best rounds of the fight, until the last few seconds. After being the aggressor for much of the round and landing a number of power shots, Simonyan was clipped by a powerful right hand in the last few seconds. Art fell to the canvas, but got up quickly before the final bell sounded. Two judges scored the bout 76-76, while one had it 76-75 for Simonyan. It appeared that Simonyan may have relaxed a few seconds too soon, and it cost him  the second win in a row on his comeback. Simonyan is now 15-2-2 with 7 KOs, while Neal is 17-3-3 with 12 stoppages.

In other action, local favorite Danny "Danny Z" Stanisljevic spoiled the unbeaten record of Houston's Carl Noons by winning a unanimous decision in an action packed middleweight six rounder. Stanisljevic beat Noons to the punch with a right hand in the first, dropping the Texan to the canvas. Noons rose and weathered the storm, winning the second by outlanding the shorter Stanisljevic on the inside. The two fighters split the third and fourth rounds, before Noons took the fifth with well timed counters as Stanisljevic tried to get inside. Stanisljevic rallied to win the sixth, throwing combinations to the head and body as Noons looked visibly fatigued. Danny Z evens up at 6-6-2 with 2 KOs, while Noons is now 4-1 with 3 KOs.

Deon Elam ran his record to 5-0 with 2 KOs, with a unanimous four  round decision over Joe Evans. The handspeed and reflexes of Elam were too much for his tough foe. Evans drops to 6-2 with 4 KOs.

"King" Carlson Jones wore down Julian "Super Bad" Townsend to win a six round majority decision. Townsend had two points deducted for pushing down on the back of Jones's head during this foul filled middleweight bout. The aggressiveness and superior conditioning of Jones earned him the verdict on two judges' scorecards, while the third had it 56-56. Jones is now 8-1-1 with 4 KOs, while Townsend falls to 7-5 with 3 KOs.

Vardan Gasparyan and Arnold Mainor drew in a tough four round middleweight bout. Gasparyan's record is now 4-1-1, while Mainor is 2-0-1.

Between bouts, the fans were kept entertained by go-go dancers and a live DJ. An after fight party was held on the building's rooftop. LB4LB Promotions returns to the Music Box @ the Fonda Theater on  March 16th.