Saturday night’s “Battle at the Beach VIII,” in Miami, FL, successfully brought boxing and mixed martial arts together under one roof. Boxing promoters Don King, Gary Shaw, and Tuto Zabala all teamed up with Jeff Gibson of Elite Promotions and brought the impressive bouts that dazzled showgoers from both disciplines. The South Florida Chronicle was there to bring you the action that you may have missed out on.
In the first MMA bout, local fighter, Jimi “Ninja” Chaikong (1-5) had his first win over Steven Jenetis (0-1) who was making his pro debut. Jimi, a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, was more than pleased with his win by a triangle submission half way into the second round. Severely breaking his back in 2001, it has been an intense struggle for him to make it back to professional fighting, and he was more than relieved to finally take the W.
One of the night’s most intense boxing matches was between light welterweight fighters Roberto Lopez (3-0) who won by unanimous decision over Xavier Burges (4-1). Lopez was consistent with his punches and didn’t seem phased going toe-to-toe with the Southpaw, Burges. A true fight to the finish, you can be sure that both of these fighters will be seen again.
Of course, a show wouldn’t be a show without a little bit of drama, especially when one of the MMA heavyweight fighters didn’t show up. Sidney Carlton out of Fort Pierce, FL, and South Florida local, Cedric James, were both present the day before at weigh-ins; Sidney weighed in at an impressive 261 lbs and Cedric weighed in 20 lbs heavier at an intimidating 281. Sidney wasn’t bothered by the weight difference, and both fighters agreed to meet in the ring Saturday night. This was a bittersweet victory for Sidney because although he was given the “win” for showing up, he had come ready to fight.
Lastly, was the main event between heavyweight boxers, Mike Marrone (19-1) and Joseph Rabotte (8-14). Marrone was victorious with a big knockout in the fifth round, leaving Joseph’s corner men to peel him up off the canvas.
Jeff Gibson truly gave the event a personal feel without a bad seat in the house. From general admission to the VIP tables, you could see all angles of the fights. The food was great, the waitresses were quick with the drinks, and the DJ kept it rockin’! Not to mention, there was a great after party with VIP treatment all night. With a successful night in the bag, we look forward to more events from Elite Promotions.