Ontario, California – Southern California promoter Ken Thompson of Thompson Boxing Promotions has been raising pugilistic talent in Inland Empire with a simple formula: bring young hungry fighters together for competitive match ups. It’s a win-win situation;Fighters go through a tough development and fans love it and pack up the sold out shows.
Such was the case on a rainy Friday night’s card dubbed “New Blood” with 1800 knowledgeable boxing fans pack up the Double Tree Hotel Arena in Ontario like a can of sardines, enjoying sizzling action between young prospects. With all the hard work and well planned matchmaking, Thompson Boxing Promotions has enjoyed a measure of success in last two years, developing two world champions Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and Yonnhy Perez who were on hand to cheer on their young stable mates.
The opening bout of the evening was a thriller, a four round light welterweight contest, a professional debut for both combatants, Anthony Reyes, from Riverside, California and Jonathan Garcia from Watsonville. It was the kind of fight that got the capacity crowd right into the action; both guys left it all in the ring. Taller Garcia, using his reach advantage, landed more accurate and more telling blows while Reyes’s shear aggression earned the respect of his adversary and fans alike. In the first round Anthony Reyes slipped off balance, but the referee David Denkin called it a knock down which proved to be the difference in the fight. Garcia earned a split decision victory with one judge scoring it for Reyes 38-37 and two judges for Garcia: 39-36, 38-37. No matter who was the winner, both guys showed a great spirit and courage and determination, captivating the hearts of the fans in the audience.
In the main
event of the night, an eight round bout, rising light welterweight prospect Patrick Lopez (18-2.12KO), trained by Joel Diaz, took on a forty one year old veteran John “The Eastern Beast” Brown (24-17-2,11KO’S) who had former champ Virgil Hill in his corner. With all the talent in and out of the ring, it turned out to be one ugly fight due to clash of styles. Younger and stronger, southpaw, Lopez, with a huge reach advantage, pressed the action and chased illusive midget veteran John Brown around the ring. Brown knew that his only chance was to get inside, but every time he did get there he tied up, perhaps not being able to deal with a much stronger opponent. In the third round the awkward styles and jerky movements of Brown produced a cut on Patrick’s right eye. That might have been the only damage John Brown cased in a fight. This was about the same time the crowd started to get restless and voiced their displeasure with loud boos.
Despite best efforts of Lopez and occasional body hooks that landed, Brown refused to engage. In the eight frame Lopez turned up the heat and landed a vicious body combination that finally dropped Brown on the canvas grimacing with pain, but the old brave veteran managed to get up and finish the fight under heavy fire. All three judges scored the contest wide for Lopez: 80-71, 80-71, and 79-72.
The best fight of the night was a six round featherweight attraction between undefeated Efrain Esquivias Jr. (7-0, 5 KO’S) from Carson, California, who brought his own cheering section, and a tough and lanky Randy “Savage” Arrellin (2-2,1KO) from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The battle started at a brusque pace bringing fans on their feet from the onset. Arrellin found home for his overhand right and was causing a considerable amount of damage and produced a bloody cut on the right eye of Esquivias. In the second Arrellin landed a few big right hands and had Junior in the corner absorbing shot after shot. Just when I thought that referee might stop the fight Esquivas weathered the storm and landed some big left hooks that got him back into the fight. Taking all the best shots from his opponent in the second, Esquivias Jr. took over the bout in the third with vicious body assault; he forced Arrellin to take a knee in the fourth and fifth and convinced the referee David Denkin, although it was a round too late, to stop the mayhem at 2:40 of the sixth frame.
Crowd favorite, light middleweight Alberto Herrera(7-0,5KO’S) from Riverside, California, brother of Mauricio Herrera, recently featured on ShoBox The New generation, dominated his opponent from Idaho Hilario Lopez(1-9,8KO’S) over six rounds. Herrera set up his attack with body punches that softened up his adversary for the head shots. Despite being outclassed, Lopez kept busy making the fight competitive. All three judges scored the fight 60-54 for Herrera.
Undefeated junior welterweight from Huntington Park, California Hector Serrano (11-0.3KO’) had to put in a day’s full of work winning a workman’s like unanimous decision over a tough veteran from Los Mochis, Mexico, Christian Favela(17-24-6,10KO’S). A gate keeper veteran Favela is a lot better than his record would indicate, came to fight and gave a much more polished Serrano six hard rounds. Judges scored it for Hector Serrano, unanimously: 60-54 twice and 59-55.
Body shots seemed to have been a theme of the night as yet another undefeated lightweight prospect Daniel Hernandez ( 9-0, 5 KO’S) ended the night of his opponent, Baudel Cardenas (18-20,2KO’S) with a body hook. Hernandez from South Gate, California was a superior boxer – puncher and landed some powerful combinations early on in the fight, but it wasn’t until the fourth when Hernandez dropped his foe with a body shot that it started to look like the fight would not go the distance. Tough Mexican veteran Cardenas survived the round, but went down early in the fifth and was not able to beat the count.
Great night of boxing ended up with effervescent fans taking pictures with other Thompson Boxing alumni, heavyweight contender, Christobal Arreola, as well as two champions Timothy Bradley and Yonnhy Perez. Would Thompson Boxing produce another world champion this year? Stay tuned.