Mayfield, Salazar roll to hometown glory

LONGSHOREMEN’S HALL — San Francisco’s Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield snapped a two-fight losing streak on Saturday night by pounding out an eight-round unanimous decision victory over Michael Balasi.

Mayfield won the main event of “Back to Business, War On the Wharf” by scores of 79-73, 80-72 and 80-72. SFBay scored the bout 78-74 in Mayfield’s favor.

In the co-main event, San Franciscan Martha Salazar seized the vacant WBC women’s heavyweight championship with a dominant 10-round unanimous decision win over Tanzee Daniel.

SFBay scored that bout exactly as the three official judges did at 100-90.

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

Mayfield (19-2-1, 11 KOs) landed his trademark right hand throughout his fight, though Balasi (10-6, 7 KOs) constantly pursued him and tagged him with hard shots during exchanges.

Mayfield almost closed the show in the eighth round when he staggered Balasi with a right hook that he followed up off an uppercut.

He then brought most of the crowd to their feet by blasting Balasi with an explosive barrage of left and right hooks that sent the Honolulu, Hawaii, native reeling into the ropes.

Despite the punishment he endured, Balasi willingly exchanged punches with Mayfield once more toward the end of the round.

The hometown bout was Mayfield’s first since stopping Sergio Joel De La Torre in the fifth round four years ago.

Mayfield went on a five-fight win streak before suffering his first professional loss at the hands of Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme in Atlantic City, N.J., on HBO earlier in March.

Dulorme utilized his slick boxing craft to tag Mayfield with jabs and left hooks en route to the unanimous decision victory.

Hoping to secure a rematch with Dulorme, Mayfield attempted to rebound against Emmanuel Taylor in July on an episode of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.

Taylor’s efficient hand speed and combination punching ultimately made the difference, earning him the unanimous decision victory.

Mayfield also experienced a couple of recent losses outside the boxing ring.

Just days before the Dulorme fight, Mayfield received the unexpected news that Marlon Sullivan – his friend and manager – was indicted on federal drug and murder-for-hire charges that were linked to the scandal involving state Sen. Leland Yee.

He was also dropped by his promoter Top Rank Boxing shortly after the loss. He is now promoted and managed by his brother LaRon, who also promoted the “Back to Business” event through his company Mo’ Betta Entertainment.

Salazar (13-4, 3 KOs) was relentless from the opening bell. She found vast success tagging Daniel with right hands, especially short right hooks she landed in succession.

She also exhibited great body work and inside fighting whenever she pinned Daniel against the ropes and trapped her in a neutral corner.

Despite the lopsided nature of the fight, Daniel (4-4-1, 1 KO) exhibited her durability by enduring Salazar’s best shots. Though she landed a fair share of punches, they lacked the power and commitment needed to help turn the fight in her favor.

The win is only Salazar’s second since returning from a six-year retirement following a majority decision loss to Vonda Ward for the same vacant WBC world title she and Daniel fought for Saturday night.

Salazar is also a former Women’s International Boxing Federation (WIBF) heavyweight champion, seizing the title from Pamela London via ninth-round technical knockout in November 2004.