By: John Pinto
Thompson Boxing Promotions hosted the latest installment of their 2016 professional boxing series at the Ontario Doubletree Hotel on Friday, June 24th. Advertised as “Locked n’ Loaded”, the show featured 5 bouts of varying intensity before a near packed house, and included a scheduled 8 Round Heavyweight contest which featured Thompson Boxing regular, LaRon Mitchell, seeking his 13th straight KO victory.
A 4 round Super Bantamweight contest between Rudy “Tiburon” Garcia (119 lbs., Los Angeles, California, 1-0) and Rafael “The Ripper” Rivera (118 lbs., La Puente, California, 2-8) opened the show. After a “feeling-out” process in the opening round of about 45 seconds, Rudy Garcia seized the momentum, and dominated the remainder of the round, landing by far the better punches. Garcia continued his domination into the second round, though Rivera briefly seized the initiative toward the end of the round, but this came too late, as Garcia had dominated the better part of the round. To this point in the contest, it was apparent that Rivera had been waiting too long, so he started much faster in the third round (probably at the insistence of his corner between rounds), however, at around the halfway point in the round, Garcia reversed the momentum and dominated the remainder of the round. The fourth and final round was all Garcia, and the judge’s scorecards all reflected this. All 3 judges scored the bout 40-36, in favor of Garcia, the Winner by Unanimous Decision.
The 2nd fight of the evening was a scheduled 4 round Welterweight battle between Eridanni “El Chico Guapo” Leon (146.4 lbs, Los Angeles, California, 2-2) and Rasheed “The Nigerian King” Lawal (147 lbs., Ventura, California by way of Lagos, Nigeria, 1-3-1). Both fighters appeared somewhat tentative as the contest began. However, both contestants would be rattled by hard shots before the round ended, but neither really seized the momentum. This seesaw action continued in the 2nd & 3rd rounds, but in this writer’s opinion, Leon landed the much more effective punches, but credit must be given to Lawal for a very game effort, never quitting. This action continued into the 4th and final round, though Leon was definitely in control by this point. At the halfway point in the round, after Leon landed a series of blows upon Lawal, the referee had seen enough, and called a halt to the action at 1:31. Eridanni Leon was the winner by KO.
Next on the card was a scheduled 6 round Junior Welterweight battle between Manuel “La Tormenta” Mendez (139 lbs., Indio, California, 10-1-1, 6 KOs) and Ricardo “El Puma” Maldonado (139 lbs., Renton, Washington, 6-5). This fight started relatively slow, but quickly changed about halfway through the opening round, when Mendez landed a right “on the button” upon Maldonado, and Maldonado took a seat on the canvas. It was Mendez’s round after this, though Maldonado should be given credit for a game effort. Maldonado tried to force the action as the 2nd round opened, and appeared to be dominating the round. Unfortunately, because a “head-butt” caused a bad cut around the right eye of Mendez, the referee called a halt to the contest, on the advice of the Ringside Physician. The fight was only in the 2nd round when it was stopped, so because the rules of the California State Athletic Commission decreed that this contest needed to have at least three (3) rounds completed to be “Official”, the contest was declared a Technical Draw. The time of the stoppage was recorded as 2:10 of the 2nd round.
It was time for the Co-Main Event of the evening. This contest was an 8 round battle in the Super Featherweight Division between Erick “The All American Boy” Ituarte (127.7 lbs, Santa Ana, California, 13-1-1, 2 KOs) and Daniel “Huracan” Ramirez (128 lbs., Tijuana, Mexico, 11-3, 5 KOs). The pace of the opening round was slow for about the first two minutes then suddenly, a left hand from Ramirez sent Ituarte to the canvas flat on his back. Ituarte was able to weather the storm and was able to survive the round. Ramirez dominated round 2 as well, though Ituarte appeared to have “cleared the cobwebs”. In the 3rd round, Ituarte returned the 1st round favor he received from Ramirez by sending Ramirez to the canvas with a wicked right hand on the button, at the 1:30 mark. Ituarte dominated the remainder of the round. The 4th & 5th rounds were relatively uneventful. The momentum shifted back and forth in the 6th round. Round 7 was also rather uneventful, but they both “let it all out” in the 8th and final round. This round was a “fight to the finish”. The judge’s scores were 75-74, 76-73, and 77-73, all in favor of Ituarte, the winner by a Unanimous Decision. The introduction of Boxing Notables, Past, Present, and Future, which is always a part of every Thompson Boxing Promotions show, took place after the Co-Main Event.
It was time for the “Path to Glory” Feature Attraction, a scheduled 8 round Heavyweight contest to see if LaRon Mitchell would keep his KO streak intact. Mitchell’s opponent was a veteran of many battles, Epifanio “El Diamante” Mendoza (230 lbs., Barranquilla, Colombia, 42-22-1, 36 KOs). As stated at the beginning of this report, LaRon Mitchell (introduced as “Educator by day, Warrior by night”) was seeking his 13th straight KO victory, Lucky Number 13, if you will. In typical Heavyweight fashion, the opening round consisted of a lot of wrestling, pushing, and shoving, with some good shots occasionally being delivered. Mendoza, the old veteran, proved to be quite slippery. Round 2 was a continuation of the opening round. Mitchell got down to business in the 3rd round. At the :52 mark of the round, a left hook from Mitchell to the body of Mendoza ended the contest. Mitchell had his 13th consecutive KO victory.
And an exciting evening of “knockout” professional boxing came to a close at the Ontario Doubletree Hotel. Thompson Boxing Promotions’ next show at the Ontario Doubletree will be on July 29th.