Undefeated Boston Butchers Pull Off

Late-Round Heroics to Salvage 225-225 Draw

Against Strong LA Elite Team


Week six of Team Combat League’s second season got off to an electrifying and nail-biting start at the Royale in Boston, as the injury-hampered Boston Butchers team (now 1-0-1) had to rely on some “Money” round heroics late in the match from Demek “Hightower” Edmonds, “Speedy” Rashidi Ellis, Alejandro Paulino and especially Keno Luna, to pull out a 225-225 draw with a determined LA Elite squad (now 0-1-1).


Fighting in front of a raucous sold-out crowd, with former NFL Linebackers Brandon Spikes and Pepper Johnson in attendance, the coach Marc Gargaro-led Boston Butchers team jumped out to an early lead in the opening eight “Launch” rounds off the strength of a 10-7 knockout by Steven Sumpter over LA’s Jaivion Cardinal, which made the score 67-64.


Cardinal was down twice during the action. “My plan was to move around and bait him in because he’s a taller opponent,” said Sumpter post-fight. “I saw he was falling for my feints, so I faked down to the body and came over the top.”


However, the Boston momentum was brought to a grinding halt in the middle eight rounds, as the Manny Robles-guided LA Elite clawed into the lead off Jose Pablo Rodriguez’s quick knockout of Boston’s Tevin Regis which grabbed them back three points, and a subsequent pair of strong showings by Elijah Espadas in an exciting firefight win over Anthony Hines, and Cuban light heavyweight Brayan Leon’s impressive work against a capable Francis Hogan of Boston.


Despite a second impressive victory by Boston heavyweight “Hightower” Edmonds over Belgium’s Michael Pirotton to tie the score at 188 each, things appeared to turn dire for the Boston club late in the final eight “Money” rounds, when LA’s Osvel Caballero followed up his opening round win over Irvin Gonzalez of Boston by knocking Gonzalez out in the rematch round, which brought the overall team score to 198-195 for Los Angeles with just three fights to go.


Missing three of their regular fighters due to injury, Melanie Costa, Mike Fontanez and Thomas O’Toole, the Boston squad needed big finishes in the final three matches to pull out a tie.


And that’s what they did. Well-known contender “Speedy” Rashidi Ellis of Boston repeated his opening round victory over LA’s Alex Esponda to bring the score to 207-205 LA. Alejandro Paulino reversed his opening-round loss to Daniel Morales of LA with a hard-found rematch win to bring his team within one and set up Luna’s final-fight heroics to pull out the 225-225 tied final score against a tough opponent in Angel Munoz of Los Angeles.


“My team told me it was up to me that I had to pull it off, so that’s what I did,” said a happy Luna. “I was under pressure and I’m glad I got the job done. It’s me alone, but my team is with me in spirit. They were all cheering me on from the crowd. It was up to me to do it for them.”


Team Combat League President Dewey Cooper was impressed at the excitement TCL had delivered in this hotly-contested matchup. “If this were a playoff, we’d have to do a sudden death round, but unfortunately in the regular season a draw stands. What a great show by both teams. It’s only right that it ends in a draw.”

Philly Smoke Team Remains Undefeated with Convincing Victory Over Miami Stealth

In the other Team Combat League event held Thursday, May 2, the juggernaut that is coach Bob Kane’s Philadelphia Smoke moved their team record to an undefeated 4-0 with a steamrolling of coach Herman Caicedo’s Miami Stealth (now 1-1) by a final score of 233-221.


Fighting out of their adopted headquarters of the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia, the Philly Smoke squad got out to an early lead, saw it vanish on the strength of a highlight-reel knockout by Miami’s Victor Abreu over Angel Pizarro to start the middle rounds, then rattled off 13 consecutive wins to seal the night’s deal.


In addition to Abreu’s starching of Pizarro, of particular distinction were the all-out war of a round between Miami’s Yunieski Gonzalez and Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson, where both men landed eye-catching power shots nearly at will throughout and the determined and unstoppable effort put in by Philly’s expert Money Rounds closer Brittany Sims against Miami’s Rosalinda Rodriguez. Philly prospect Isaiah Johnson flashed his dazzling hands in two dominant wins over Miami foe Jimmy Brenes.


About Team Combat League:

Through its innovative event structure, Team Combat League (“TCL”) has disrupted the professional boxing industry. With a roster of 12 teams competing out of major U.S. markets, TCL combines rising talent with seasoned veterans in a format that lends itself to non-stop action. Weekly events feature male and female boxing across a series of weight classes in 1 round contests within a tournament format culminating in the Money Rounds where winning and losing is determined by overall team performance.


FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit or follow on Instagram: @teamcombatleague and Youtube:


The Team Combat League Concept:

There are 24 three-minute rounds of continuous action, with competitors competing in one-round matches across eight weight classes (six male and two female).

Each match consists of three periods: Launch Rounds (1-8), Middle Rounds (9-16) and Money Rounds (17-24). Scoring is based on a 10-9 system for decision wins, 10-8 for knockdowns and 10-7 for two knockdowns or a stoppage.

Three judges from a state athletic boxing commission score each round individually, and the team with the highest total score after all 24 rounds wins!