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Hollywood Fight Nights Series Returns Friday on UFC Fight Pass

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Hollywood Fight Nights Series Returns Friday on UFC Fight Pass
Photo Credit: 360 Promotions / Hollywood Fight Nights

Baseball has its minor leagues. The NFL and NBA have the NCAA system. In boxing, the equivalent is regional club events featuring aspiring local prospects. Boxing fans can see the potential stars of tomorrow in smaller venues close to the action with reasonable ticket prices. Often, they also get to see skilled fighters rebuilding after a loss due to boxing's unforgiving attitude.

Feeling disappointed about the big matchups not getting or postponed due to misdeeds or injuries? NYFights.com recommends returning to boxing's pure basics. Thanks to the advent of streaming, fans aren't limited to the club cards in their backyard.

UFC Fight Pass Features First 2023 Card

Promoter Tom Loeffler brings back his successful club series, Hollywood Fight Nights, on Friday, Jan. 27 on UFC Fight Pass. Photo: 360 Promotions Hollywood Fight Night Series

Promoter Tom Loeffler brings back his successful club series, Hollywood Fight Nights, on Friday, Jan. 27 on UFC Fight Pass. Photo: 360 Promotions

Start with Hollywood Fight Nights' card this Friday, January 27, from Montebello's Quiet Cannon Conference & Event Center. It airs on UFC Fight Pass starting at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT. RING Magazine editor Doug Fischer, broadcaster Beto Duran and former trainer of the year Abel Sanchez will call the card.

Tom Loeffler of 360 Promotions has worked with Hall of Fame champions in the most significant worldwide venues. But he retains a sincere enthusiasm for the club fights.

“We've promoted on the biggest level at Madison Square Garden or the T-Mobile (Arena), with or the Klitschkos and the big soccer stadiums over in Europe,” said Loeffler. “But it's just as exciting watching a pro debut fighter.

“It doesn't really matter what level you're on as long as you're putting on the right quality of entertainment for the fans. It's just as exciting for me to watch those guys fight and develop those fighters on the highest level,” as Loeffler did with Gennadiy Golovkin. “The excitement level is there, as you can tell by watching these young fighters grow and develop and giving them a launching pad to get to the top.”

Loeffler says his team made a commitment to their partners at the UFC to make entertainment a priority. 360 Promotions has been rewarded with more calendar dates this year. “We're really looking to build boxing on that UFC Fight Pass platform,” Loeffler told NYFights.

Loeffler: ‘They Have To Put on an Entertaining Fight'

Tom Loeffler has worked with top talent, including promotion of the "Superfly" series. (L to R) Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalez, Tom Loeffler, Carlos Cuadras, Antonio Nieves, Brian Viloria. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hoga Photos Hollywood Fight Night series

Tom Loeffler has worked with top talent, including promotion of the “Superfly” series. (L to R) Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalez, Tom Loeffler, Carlos Cuadras, Antonio Nieves, Brian Viloria. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos

“The fighters to fight on our shows know, especially to be on TV, they have to be in a competitive fight and an exciting fight. Our philosophy, just like we brought up with Triple G, was – fans pay for entertainment. Whether they're buying a ticket or tuning in on TV, they want to be entertained. That's been the philosophy of the fighters that we work with. They have to put on an entertaining fight, and sometimes, you have to put a little bit more risk in the ring. But the reward is much greater after that. If you come out on top, there's no sense in having non-competitive, non-entertaining build-up fights on these shows.”

Serhii Bohuchuk of Ukraine is riding a three-fight knockout streak, looking to rise in the rankings with a win on Friday. Photo: 360 Promotions

Friday's main event features the third Hollywood Fight Nights appearance in Montebello by super welterweight Serhii Bohuchuk of Ukraine (21-1, 21 KOs), rebuilding after a loss in 2021 to Brandon Adams against veteran Nathaniel Gallimore of Illinois via Jamaica (22-6-1 17 KOs), who's faced the top names in the division including Sebastian Fundora, Erickson Lubin, and Julian Williams.

“In order to make a compelling fight or a compelling promotion, we need to put them in with challenging opponents. We feel Gallimore is perfect with the experience that he brings to the table. The only way we can put on the best content is to put all the fighters in risky fights,” said Loeffler. Loeffler says he prefers to work with trainers like Manny Robles, who works with Bohuchuk, Freddie Roach, or Marvin Somodio, who all employ this approach.

“(Trainers) want to know what they have. Fighters can look great in the gym and sparring and everything like that. But as soon as the lights go on, and the TV cameras are rolling, you gotta know where your fighters at. It's better to be tested early than sort of wasting people's time and fans' money. The guys we work with, we make it pretty clear to them when we sign them what's expected.”

Resetting Boxing's Perspective on Undefeated Records

Promoter Tom Loeffler says he and his partners at the UFC have ambitious plans for 2023. Photo: 360 Promotions Hollywood Fight Nights series

Promoter Tom Loeffler says he and his partners at the UFC have ambitious plans for 2023. Photo: 360 Promotions

But along the lines of the UFC philosophy, a loss in a tough fight isn't a dealbreaker.

Some of the fighters put such an emphasis on their undefeated record. That has kind of ruined the perspective of some of the fighters and boxing fans. Not everyone's gonna have an undefeated record. It's better to know that early and know exactly where you're at and what you can learn from rather than go to 20 and 0 and then find out at that point where you've really wasted a lot of time and energy,” explains Loeffler.

Prospect Watch: Daniel “Chucky” Barrera

Daniel “Chucky” Barrera is on a steep learning curve in the competitive super flyweight division. Photo: 360 Promotions

Opening the show is Daniel “Chucky” Barrera of Riverside (1-0-1, 1 KO), the 21-year-old super flyweight who already has a devoted Inland Empire fan base. He'll face 32-year-old Victor Hernandez Martin making his pro debut. Barrera's last bout in November ended in a majority draw. Barrera and trainer Al Franco reviewed the video of the fight, and he's got his goals to fight behind his jab and employ more combination punching.

“I don't need to go rushing for a title right away. I still need experience, like the guy that I'm fighting (Friday). More 32-year-olds and grown men to hit me so I can be cautious and aware of that grown man's strength,” said Barrera.

Barrera admits that he can't hear Franco in small venues. “I cannot hear any instructions from my corner just because of how loud it was. I mean, I can't complain. I can't tell people to stop buying tickets!” Barrera says he works to stay calm and remain calm despite the pressure and excitement of the fans. “Yeah, it's definitely a good feeling. They just want to see a smoke fight,” laughed Barrera. Barrera's goals for 2023 are to book five bouts and improve his rankings in a highly competitive division.

“I plan a great performance for everybody, an explosive one. Definitely a better performance than my last fight, and be more hungry. I can't wait to show my real ability in each and every fight. So stay tuned with me. Keep following me, and hopefully, I can exceed everybody's expectations.”

Streaming Boosts Club Fight Scene

Power punching light heavyweight prospect Umar Dzambekov returns to the ring Friday. Photo: 360 Promotions Hollywood Fight Nights series

Power-punching light heavyweight prospect Umar Dzambekov returns to the ring Friday. Photo: 360 Promotions

The advent of streaming has changed the club fight game. “Our philosophy is to keep them active. That's been our commitment to the fighters we sign,” said Loeffler. “But they understand that the commitment from their side is they must be in tough fights. They have to put 100% into the promotion. It works out both ways. That's how we can build future stars. Not everyone will be a star in boxing, but that'll be the fastest way to find out.

Fight fans understand that a high ranking and impressive record doesn't always guarantee a fighter is entertaining. Pay-per-view cards sometimes deliver less than compelling contests for the price tag.

The Hollywood Fight Night series has a loyal fan base who are sure to start 2023 with a sellout in Montebello Friday. Photo: 360 Promotions

“These fights at Quiet Cannon have a great energy in the crowd. They're always sold out,” said Loeffler. The series may be moving to larger venues as a result. Loeffler promises an announcement soon. “I think you'll be pleasantly surprised about the strategy that we've developed with the guys at UFC and Dana (White), who are 100% behind Callum Walsh,” the rising Irish prospect training in Los Angeles, who plans his Hollywood Fight Nights return to the ring in March.

Also, on the Friday Hollywood Fight Nights card, the co-main features Omar Trinidad of Los Angeles (10-0-1, 8 KOs) vs. Jose Luis Ramirez of Oxnard (28-8, 16 KOs). Ramirez hasn't fought since 2018, with previous bouts against Oscar Valdez, Abner Mares, and Vasiliy Lomachenko, while Trinidad hopes to extend a three-fight knockout streak.

Russian-born light heavyweight prospect Umar Dzambekov (2-0, 1 KO) takes on Anthony Fleming (2-0. 1 KO) of Hammond, Indiana. Marvin Somodio trains Dzambekov out of the Wild Card Boxing Club. He already shows plenty of speed, power, and precision.

Bantamweight Stefi Cohen of Miami (2-1, 1 KO) fights Kedra Bradley of Virginia (1-5-1). Bradley recently faced rising star Mikiah Kreps and retired after four rounds.