Roy Englebrecht, a longtime fight promoter from Newport Beach, billed Thursday's Fight Club OC six-bout card at the OC Fair & Event Center as his best show in the last 10 years.
He is keeping the expectations high, even after his featured boxer, Lionel Davis (9-0, seven knockouts), pulled out of his heavyweight bout at the last minute.
Without the 6-foot-7 Davis in the ring with Andrae Carthron (5-7-2), Englebrecht believes the crowd at the Hangar will not be disappointed when the event starts at 7:30 p.m. He credits his matchmaker, Whit Haydon, for finding a better fight.
Fans will get to see David Tabatadze (7-1-1), a top prospect from Ukraine, against San Diego's Lester Gonzalez (12-4-2) in a six-round fight at 162 pounds. The matchup pits two southpaws against each other.
One will try to earn the right decision.
Tabatadze, who trains in Los Angeles, has won his last two bouts, while Gonzalez will try to bounce back from last month's loss to Matt Korobov (16-0) at the Home Depot Center.
The rest of the card has three boxing matches and two MMA matches on tap. Tickets are still available by calling Englebrecht at (949) 235-6155.
There are a handful of fighters hoping to remain undefeated.
Alexander Flores (4-0) is one of those looking to keep his record perfect. The heavyweight from Rowland Heights faces Ukraine's Serhiy Karpenko (6-1).
Karpenko has prevailed in every fight since losing his debut a little more than 18 months ago, knocking out four of his opponents during the stretch.
The MMA main event has Santa Ana's Neil Cooke (6-1) against Rancho Santa Margarita's Manny Lara (3-1), who is coming off his first loss. The three-round heavyweight bout is a first at Fight Club OC.
In the other MMA fight, Vinc Pichel (6-0) meets a veteran in David Gardner (15-14) in a lightweight match. No fighter has been able to last past the second round against Pichel.
Alex Vlas of Laguna Hills is expected to make his boxing debut against Hawaiian Gardens' Eric Mendez, who last month won his first light middleweight fight via knockout.
Another light middleweight boxer, Los Angeles' Brandon Adams (2-0), fights San Clemente's Josh Smith (0-1).