Montebello Fights July 2019

Photo by Al Applerose

Saakyan and Panin Win at Battle of Rising Stars in Montebello



By Lauren Rodriguez


MONTEBELLO, Calif.-It was a Saturday night of rising stars for boxing. The Quite Cannon event center was filled with enthusiastic fans of the Martinez brothers, all sporting Martinez boxing gear and excited to be supporting the boxing brethren.


Several guest appearances were made throughout the night, among them were, up and coming singer Baby Girl Eileen, who sang alongside rapper NDUBK and a Spanish singer, who serenaded the crowd during the event intermission.


Headlining the night was younger Martinez brother, Jose “Hurricane,” (2-0-0, 1 KO), as he took the ring in the bantamweight division, against Anthony Torres (0-5, 4 KO’s). The fight commenced with a hesitant Martinez, as the 20-year old appeared to figure his strategy around the ring.


By the second round, East Los Angeles native and crowd favorite, Martinez began tossing his opponent around. The young orthodox fighter quickly had Torres against the ropes as he hurled a flurry of punches to his opposition.


It was evident by the third round that Torres was becoming exhausted. The scheduled four round bout ended shortly after a series of fired shots by Martinez knocked Torres through the ropes, forcing referee Raul Caiz Sr. to bring the round to a halt. The fight ended at 1:35 seconds of the third round, a knockout victory for Martinez.


The co-main event between welterweights, Vlad “Super Bad” Panin (5-0, 4 KO’s) and Luis Norabuena (3-3-1) was nothing short of a brawl. Norabuena who stood at the shoulders of Panin, made up for height with endurance and volatility.


Born in Eastern Europe and fighting out of Los Angeles, Panin was lanky, his lengthy arms turning from hits to hugs. By the third round, the stockier built Norabuena began bleeding from his left eye, before the two eventually engaged in an aggressive battle. It was in the sixth round that the explosive fight began intensifying, Panin pounding Norabuena with a powerful left hook before Norabuena fired off a series of combinations to the body and face.


The fight ended with scores 60-54 and 59-55, for Panin (6-0, 4 KO’s) as undefeated winner.



Fighting out of his hometown, in the welterweight division, Arthur Saakyan (7-1, 5 KO’s) went head to head with Virgil Winfield (2-2, 2 KO’s). From beginning to end, Saakyan remained the aggressor, executing more hits than his opponent.


Winfield, who fights out of Salisbury, North Carolina, was hesitant at times. In the second round, Saakyan made quick advances toward Winfield, resulting in the defenseless fighter hugging and then lifting his opponent as a way to buy time for his tiring self.


The four round-bout ended in a unanimous decision of 40-36, Montebello native Saakyan as winner. This is Saakyans (7-1-0) 7th victory.


The lightweight division bout between Ikeem Abdullah (2-0) and Anthony Zender (1-2) consisted of four intense rounds, despite a major height difference. Abdullah, a Chicago transplant, fighting out of Pasadena, CA was almost a head taller than his opponent, having clear advantage, with height and lengthy arms on his side. Zender, who hails from Tenino, WA, at times could be seen flying as he flung toward a lengthy Abdullah. Toward the end of the last round, the two engaged in a tumultuous quarrel, getting every hit in their final seconds. The fight was scored a unanimous decision of 40-36, Abdullah as winner. Abdullah improves his new professional career with two wins and zero losses to his name.


The super featherweight fight between Mike Sanchez (5-0, 2 KO’s) and Percy Peterson (3-14-3) was nothing short of action packed. The two orthodox fighters kept up energies in the ring, matching each other’s punches for the first two rounds. The bout ended after four steady rounds, Sanchez as winner. Sanchez remains undefeated.


In the super featherweight division, David Angeles made his pro debut against Alejandro “Thunder” Martinez (0-0-1). From beginning to end, Angeles, fighting out of San Bernardino, CA, was the aggressor. The fight ended after four rounds, giving Angeles (1-0) his first win.