Tacoma Boxing Results: Brooks KOs Chavez, Referee Unjustly DQs McFarlane
Caryn A. Tate on August 28, 2023
Brooks landed a sharp left hand go that caught Chavez on the chin and dropped him.
On Saturday, August 27, a six-bout professional boxing event took place in Tacoma, Washington. Almost 2000 fans were in attendance at Emerald Queen Casino for the card headlined by super featherweights Austin Brooks (11-0, 4 KOs) and Anthony Chavez (11-4-1, 3 KOs).
The 10-round main event was a skillfully contested match. Brooks, whose previous fights have been televised on ESPN, FITE TV and UFC Fight Pass, fights out of the southpaw stance. Against Chavez, Brooks utilized good foot positioning and hand speed to control the action for the most part.
As an amateur, Chavez was a bronze medalist at the 2015 USA National Championships, and his experience showed a bit early in the contest. He was able to have his moments against Brooks.
But after the first and second rounds, Brooks largely had his way. It was a technical fight where both boxers fought at a controlled pace, without the high level of activity typically seen from super featherweights. But Brooks’ accuracy, quick counters, and anticipation of anything Chavez tried to do offensively helped establish Brooks’ control of the action.
In the sixth round, Brooks’ mental quickness really showed up when Chavez momentarily dropped his hands while he had his back to the ropes and Brooks was on the attack. Brooks took advantage of the opportunity and immediately let a sharp left hand go that caught Chavez on the chin and dropped him to the canvas.
Referee Joel Scobie, who did an excellent job, gave a count and Chavez, though clearly hurt, rose to his feet and continued. Brooks pounced on his opponent and landed a few more clean shots on Chavez, who at that point was largely defenseless. The referee jumped in and waved off the fight. It was a very well-timed stoppage from referee Scobie, whose positioning and mechanics were on point throughout the card but particularly in the main event that was fought at a higher level than the other bouts.
Earlier in the evening, the entire event was somewhat tainted for much of the crowd due to the poor performance of the referee in a 4-round welterweight contest between Axl Melendez Salgado (7-0, 4 KOs) and Lyle McFarlane (2-2, 1 KO). The referee, Louis Jackvony, seemed to have a bone to pick with the underdog McFarlane. McFarlane had his moments early in the fight, and utilized the strategy of fighting Salgado more on the inside instead of trying to box Salgado from the outside (where the undefeated Salgado clearly had the advantage).
In round 2, referee Jackvony took two separate points from McFarlane. To begin with, the referee didn’t make it clear to the audience what the points were being deducted for, but perhaps for holding. It must be said that McFarlane was not holding excessively; any amount of holding was simply done to protect himself on the inside from possible headbutts or unseen punches, as is commonly seen from professional fighters.
Later, Jackvony deducted another point from McFarlane—again, with unclear mechanics which only amplified the displeased crowd’s frustration—and finally in the 4th and final round, Jackvony stopped the action altogether after the fighters had gotten tied up momentarily in a standard clinch. Yet again, the referee’s mechanics were completely unclear—the spectators couldn’t tell whether the fight was being stopped (as in a TKO), or if there was some other sort of issue. It should be noted that two separate Washington state commission officials got up on the apron during this time to speak with the referee, seemingly to confirm whether he did indeed want to end the fight this way.
Finally it was officially announced that the referee had called an end to the fight via the disqualification of McFarlane. The crowd expressed their extreme displeasure with the referee’s unnecessary intervention and over-officiating of the contest.
This sort of poor officiating is awful not only for the fans watching, but more importantly for the fighters involved. In a 4-round fight, point deductions have an extreme effect on the outcome of the fight if it goes to decision. Ideally a referee should try not to get too involved as far as point deductions or other influences on the outcome of any fight, but particularly for 4- or 6-round contests since there are so few rounds to be scored. If a referee gets overzealous and deducts points or worst case—disqualifies a fighter in these short bouts, it could negatively impact that fighter’s entire career moving forward for no good reason. And in the majority of cases, it’s a situation that could have been avoided if the referee had just exercised better judgment and/or skill.
For the Salgado-McFarlane bout, even the promoter of the card released this statement following the event: “Highly questionable work by referee Louis Jackvony tarnished the outcome…The competitive match-up was marred by the referee’s overshadowing of the two boxers, ruling three dubious—at best—deductions against McFarlane. Salgado was leading fairly comfortably when Jackvony waved off the fight in the fourth round, unfairly declaring a win for Salgado by disqualification, resulting in a chorus of boos from fans.”
Also on the card:
-Featherweights Gregory Cruz (5-2-1, 3 KOs) vs. Roberto Negrete (4-1-2, 2 KOs) faced off in a 6-rounder. The fighters threw a lot of punches and there was a lot of activity, but neither boxer threw with bad intentions, so the contest went the distance and resulted in a split-draw—which was a fair result.
-Lorenzo Caldera (7-0, 4 KOs) faced Jake Bornea (14-6-1, 7 KOs) in a 6-round super lightweight bout. Though Bornea is an experienced fighter compared to Caldera, he also appears to be fighting far above his correct weight class based on the extra weight he was carrying around, and the much taller and longer Caldera was able to secure the stoppage in the second round.
-In a 4-round lightweight contest, Josue Cadena (2-0, 1 KO) fought Dan Hernandez (2-3, 1 KO). Again, the referee of this fight was Louis Jackvony, and in round 2, Hernandez appeared to knock Cadena down but the referee called it a slip. Cadena came on stronger as the fight went on and was able to secure a unanimous decision win over the game Hernandez.
-Super lightweights Richard Ray Howell (4-4-2, 2 KOs) and Wesley Rivers (2-3) fought an exciting back-and-forth match. Rivers, the underdog in the bout, knocked Howell down in the final round which helped secure him the unanimous decision win for Rivers.
-Angel Rebollar (7-3, 3 KOs) vs. Esteban Munoz (7-4, 4 KOs) was an unusual 5 round bout and was contested at the super lightweight limit. The fighters delivered all-out action for the five rounds, and Rebollar won a split decision victory.