Dilmaghani and Cave look destined for clash after both impress in Mississauga
“We’ve come a long way from the Woodbine Convention Hall, eh?” laughed Lee Baxter as he walked past this reporter on Saturday night. It was said as a joke, but in fact, was completely truthful.
On that night two and a half years ago, Baxter promoted his first card. It was headlined by Samuel Vargas and featured Canadian standouts Shakeel Phinn and Brandon Brewer.
Just like that, Lee Baxter Promotions was on its way. The young Toronto promotor will be the first to tell you there’s been some growing pains along the way.
On Saturday, Feb. 10, the Lee Baxter Promotions product was in full swing. Five fights took place at the 17 Steakhouse in Mississauga, including two debuting fighters, a Hamilton veteran and two high-level fighters who are looking to use the other as a stepping stone. Those in attendance were all dressed in their best clothes for a night of food, drinks and pugilism.
The most interesting development of the night was a face-to-face between Alex Dilmaghani and Halifax fighter Tyson Cave. After the co-main event, which Cave won, he took to the microphone to call Dilmaghani and promoter Lee Baxter out for a fight between the two.
After Dilmaghani dominated his opponent in the main event, he took his turn on the mic to say that he would return for a fight April 20 at the Danforth Music Hall before a fight against Cave in the summer months in Toronto.
The two fighters chirped back and forth before posing together for the media in attendance. Baxter confirmed that an August date is likely if the contract can be made.
Dilmaghani dominates Almendras
In the main event, Alex Dilmaghani made easy work of an overmatched and overpowered Andy Almendras, punishing the Bolivian fighter to the body before an eventual third round corner stoppage.
Dilmaghani was in control throughout the fight, backing Almendras up the ropes and overwhelming him with a body attack that could be heard throughout the building. Almendras offered little resistance, spending much of the fight in a turtle shell, only throwing punches on occasion and simply looking as though he didn’t want to be there.
In the third round, Almendras took a borderline low blow. The referee, Donovan Boucher, began to count it as a knockdown before deciding that the shot had, in fact, been low.
Between the third and fourth round, Almendras’ corner stopped the bout. The win moved Dilmaghani’s record to 17-1.
Cave impresses against Perez
Tyson Cave has become known as one of the most arrogant, showboating fighters in the boxing world and his eight-round affair against Ulises Perez proved no different.
“The Prince of Hali” did enough to dominate the fight, using clever movement and tricky punches to keep his opponent at bay throughout the fight.
While Perez did find success in spurts – mostly when Cave became more interesting in dancing and gyrating than throwing punches – it was Cave who controlled the pace of the bout, dictating where the fight took place.
Cave slipped at one point during the middle rounds and no punch appeared to land, however the referee called it a knockdown .
In the end, Cave took a unanimous decision on scorecards of 78-73, 78-73 and 76-75.
Higson wins over game Castellano
Kevin Higson started out of the gates a little slow, but ultimately put in a workmanlike effort en route to a unanimous decision victory.
In the first round, it was Higson coming forward and throwing the volume of punches, but Castellano was able to land the more clean, effective punches. The second round saw Castellano do much of the same, but it became clear that Higson’s relentless pace would ultimately be too much.
Through the middle rounds and into the final round, Higson continued to come forward with effective movement, landing more punches by the round.
And while this reporter saw it slightly closer than some judges, the end result was ultimately the same. Higson took a unanimous decision victory on scorecards of 60-54, 60-54 and 59-55.
Hughes shows abilities in decision win
For a guy that hasn’t fought in two years and was making his professional debut, Morgan Hughes was impressive. The Bracebridge fighter out of Mississauga’s HUF Gym came out aggressive throughout the opening minutes of the bout, putting pressure Francisco Hernandez.
Hughes stalked his opponent, throwing the higher volume of punches and landing the more effective shots. Slightly more plodding than his stablemate Kane Heron, Hughes found a way to control the ring against an opponent who outweighed him by a significant amount.
Hughes was never able to string together his power punches, relying more on his straight punches to close the distance and dominate ring control. His opponent complained multiple times of fouls, but Hughes showed maturity in not allowing it to get him off his game.
Hughes was forced to settle for scorecards of 40-36, 40-36, 40-36 across the board.
Membreno wins via injury
While we may have only got to see about three minutes of Roland Membreno, it was clear that the Brampton fighter has some skills.
A moderate amateur standout, Membreno clearly has a developed pro style. Throughout the first round against Luis Alcarez, Membreno was able to plant his feet inside and land effecting, powerful blows to the body and head.
Membreno dominated the first round before a freak arm injury early in the second round stopped the bout. While the two were exchanging along the ropes, Alcarez turned away and acted as though he had suffered a forearm or elbow injury. The doctor took a quick look before the bout was called off.
Officially, Membreno was victorious at :35 of the second round.
Lee Baxter Promotions is expected to return April 20 at the Danforth Music Hall with a card headlined by Kane Heron. Alex Dilmaghani is expected for the co-main event slot against Horacio Cabral, ranked #53 in the world by BoxRec. Also on the card will be light-heavyweight fighter Nick Fantauzzi.
We’ll have more follow-up on this event in coming days, including interviews and a photo gallery.