Saipan’s Mylo “Bam Bam” Lassiter won by TKO against France’s Ferrid “Hurricane” Kheder in the main event in the Rites of Passage 15: Wrath of the Warriors last Friday at the Royal Taga Hall of the Saipan World Resort.
Lassiter earned the TKO victory, his fourth, at the 4:17 mark of the third and final round, as he unleashed a flurry of punches while on top of Kheder and referee Keith Nabors stepped in to stop the fight. Had Nabors did not pull the plug on Kheder, Lassiter would have won on scorecards anyway, as he was the aggressor in the majority of the bout. Kheder was on the defensive side of the 200 plus-lb fight, opting to go for his grappling skills, which Lassiter countered with consistent strikes on his foe’s body, face, and even the legs every time he managed to get out of the former’s hold.
With the former Olympian Kheder failing to neutralize Lassiter while down the canvas in the first round, the visiting fighter once tried a Guillotine choke on the Trench Tech bet in the second round while up midway in the second round. However, Lassiter got out of trouble and the heavyweight bout went back down to the canvas.
Kheder employed the same grappling techniques, using his legs and arms to fight Lassiter in the third round, and just when spectators were ready to see the fight go down to the judges’ scorecards, the Saipan bet managed to get out of his foe’s hold, went on top, and threw a string of strikes.
Meanwhile, though Lassiter and Kheder top-billed ROP 15, it was the stand-up, no holds-bar, punching duel between Kevin “Big Stack” Patubo of Steam Slice and Japan’s Tiger Yatsui that drew the loudest cheer from the crowd.
Both heavyweight fighters came rushing toward each other like raging bulls right into the opening bell and though they threw some wayward punches, they still landed heavy strikes. Blood was starting to drop from the left side of Yatsui’s left ear after the first round, while Patubo’s cheek began to swell. Gassed out after the eventful first round, Yatsui and Patubo just stood up on several occasions in the second round with their hands in fighting position, but once one fighter made a move, the other quickly fought back. The action-packed boxing bout continued in the third round with both fighters’ faces taking the punishment, but in the end Patubo got the victory via split decision.
After the exciting Patubo-Yatsui bout came the encounter between Marianas Elite’s Derrick “El Peligro” Rangamar and Spike 22’s Roman ‘Boom Alvarez. The first round of their 135-lb bout was pretty even as fighters felt each other out. Then early in the second round, Rangamar went after Alvarez, trying to pin him down, however, the latter got hold of the former’s neck (Guillotine choke) and the Marianas Elite bet tapped out at the 57-second mark of that frame.
Results of the 10 other bouts in ROP 15 will be reported in Saipan Tribune later this week.