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Saturday, March 26, 2022

Shawn Sarembock Earns Eighth Stoppage Victory

Junior middleweight Shawn Michael Sarembock earned his eighth consecutive stoppage victory last night at the famed Big Punch Arena in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Sarembock defeated Miguel Reyes Gonzalez by TKO in the fourth round when Reyes Gonzalez could no longer continue due to cuts.

This was Sarembock's fourth fight at Big Punch Arena. Opened only in 2018, Big Punch Arena is quickly becoming to Tijuana what the Blue Horizon was to Philadelphia or Roseland Ballroom was to New York: a hub of club boxing with an atmosphere matched by few other venues around the world. Home to concerts and wrestling shows, boxing is usually the focus of Friday and Saturday nights. Tim Boxeo, who covers live-streamed club shows all over the world, calls it his favorite spot for boxing.

Gloves on, Sarembock shadowboxes towards a rectangular window in a room painted purple in order to work up a sweat before his fight. He shares the room with three other boxers. Christian "Star Boy" Santiago, whose hands are taped, stretches, and Rudy Macedo, a Uruguayan welterweight set to fight 45-year old 80+ fight veteran Cosme Rivera, sits and watches his trainer wrap his hands. Sarembock's dad Neil, a veteran of combat sports himself-  donning jean shorts, a white towel draped across his shoulder, his long hair resting on the back of a black shirt with Shawn's name written in yellow- carefully watches his son's warmup.

The room is tiny. Too small with all of those boxers and their teams to feel comfortable. It sits directly next to the elevated stage where musicians will blast out their notes in between rounds and after fights. There's little worse than a boxing card in silence. Years ago, spectators at a boxing event in Tel Aviv broke the quiet by politely clapping when the home fighter landed a solid punch. It's unlikely that will ever be the case in raucous Big Punch Arena.

Last night, as the band hammers out upbeat songs, multi-colored lights flash frantically across the arena. With their hearts pounding, it's impossible for the crowd not to buzz, even when an out-of-towner like Sarembock enters the ring. If Madison Square Garden is the mecca of boxing, Big Punch Arena, which might never be as holy as MSG, is fast becoming something like The Big Lebowski of boxing.

Reyes Gonzalez proves durable, lasting in to the fourth round. Referee Miguel Hernandez waves off the bout a minute and 36 seconds in the round. Shawn Michael Sarembock improves to 8-0 with all eight victories coming by way of KO. Reyes Gonzalez is now 3-4-2 with two KOs.

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