Full Report

“Path to Glory” photogallery and report

thompson934AFelipe Leon and Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos by “Big” Joe Miranda

Thompson Boxing Promotions, one of the busiest promoters in southern California, opened their 2013 season this past Friday with the fan favorite “Path to Glory” series at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA, in front of a sold out crowd.

Super bantamweight Christopher “Marvelous” Martin (26-2-3, 8 KOs) of San Diego made his shot at redemption a good one with a razor thin but hugely unpopular unanimous decision over previous conqueror Jose Angel Beranza (35-26-2, 27 KOs) of Mexico City in the main event.

With the victory, Martin captured the vacant WBC USNBC title but left the ropes open for a third battle with his adversary from Mexico.

Martin and Beranza first met back in October 2011. Martin, who was undefeated at the time with a record of 23 wins and 2 draws, lost a ten-round decision to Beranza – who was then a veteran of 56 fights.

History was almost repeated Friday evening!

Like many rematches, this second go around began like the next round of the previous fight.

Beranza was not shy of what his intentions were as he began to stalk the mobile Martin around the ring. Martin looked hesitant to exchange with the Mexican warrior during the early rounds as he moved around the ring and endeavored to time Beranza with right hands or left hooks as his opponent rushed in.

By the third, Beranza appeared to slow down as he began to breathe out of his mouth although he was still having success pushing Martin against the ropes and sneaking in his left hook around the guard. Martin was still able to score with some well-timed punches and in the fourth he began to let his hands go more as he met the aggression of Beranza with some of his own. Martin’s strategy worked in the fifth as he dropped Beranza, catching him with a right hand as his shorter opponent charged in. Beranza did not look hurt and beat the count easily. Back on his feet, Beranza attempted to win the round back with effective aggression.

During the middle rounds, Martin used lateral movement to avoid the forward charge of Beranza while continuing his attack but the fighter from Mexico City proved to have a formidable defense as Martin was unable to connect solidly with his assault. With the contest close, Martin decided to become the aggressor in the eighth and final round. Beranza was the busier fighter however while Martin scored the more telling shots to close out the bout.

Judge Wayne Hedgepeth saw it 78-73 while Marty Denkin and Carla Caiz scored it a much closer 76-75. Regrettably for Martin, as soon as the scores were read, boos and jeers were heard from the crowd. Hopefully promoter Ken Thompson, who recently signed Martin, will put together a third fight to answer the question of “Who is the better fighter!”—Felipe Leon

Reyes knocks out Armenta in Two!

In the co-main event, local favorite Artemio “King” Reyes Jr. of Colton took on Rodolfo “Bam Bam” Armenta from Tucson, AZ, in a scheduled eight round welterweight bout.

Reyes stalked his opponent in the opening round while Armenta was clueless as to how to mount an offense. The strategy of Reyes was rewarded when he landed a thudding right hand that staggered Armenta back into the ropes. Armenta survived the round but his cautious manner in round two indicated that he still had no answer to stop the pursuit of Reyes. Reyes again connected with a hard right hand that knocked out Armenta. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth immediately stopped the contest at 1:47 of round two.

With the win Reyes improves to 19-2 with 15 knockouts while Armenta falls to 12-10-1 with 9 KOs.—Miguel Maravilla

“Pochito” Reyes brawls to Win!

In a good action six rounder between featherweights, Juan “Pochito” Reyes (9-1-1, 1 KO) from nearby Riverside, took a hard earned unanimous decision over game Hugo Ramos (3-12-2, 1 KO) of Palm Springs, CA, with the scores of 59-55 from judges Wayne Hedgepeth and Carla Caiz while Marty Denkin tallied his scorecard at 60-53.

The fireworks began early as the fighters went after each with power if not much technique. Neither had any issue with standing in the middle of the ring and winging heavy shots. The shots from Reye just seemed to get there a little quicker while Ramos was a half a step behind. In the fourth round, Ramos had began to move more and circle the perimeter as Reyes kept coming forward.

Ramos found his fifth gear in the fifth round and went after Reyes. Ramos succeeded in scoring a series of right hooks to the face of Reyes, one that opened a cut over the left eye of “Pochito” which began to bother him almost instantly. Ramos tried to mirror his punch output in the sixth and final round but Reyes was able to smother him enough to take the round and in effect the war.—Felipe Leon

Theran impresses against Balasi

Colombian middleweight Alex “El Principe” Theran (11-0, 7 KOs) took his time as he remained cool, calm and collected to stop Michael Balasi (10-2, 7 KOs) of Honolulu, HI, in the fourth round of a scheduled six. The much taller southpaw Theran was able to easily control the action from the outside as he used his long reach to keep Balasi, also a lefty, at the end of his punches. Balasi wasn’t going to go without a fight and had success in slipping Theran’s jab to score with over hand rights to the head of his opponent. Despite being occasionally caught with wide punches from his opponent, Theran did not panic and followed his game plan. Balasi attacked the body of “El Principe” with hard hooks from both fists and then doubled with a right one to the head. Theran proved that he could handle that and more.

As Theran seemed to be cruising to an easy decision win, he decided to step on the gas and went after Balasi, scoring with a multi-punch combination that forced the Islander to take a knee. Balasi beat the count but Theran was waiting for him to recover so that he could finish the battle which he did seconds later when referee Wayne Hedgepeth decided that Balasi had enough. Official time was 2:22 of the fourth round.—Felipe Leon

Conley vs. Rojas entertain the crowd

Joshua Conley (4-0, 4 KOs) won a split decision over Juan Carlos Rojas (4-4, 4 KOs) in an crowd-pleasing bout of junior middleweights. Rojas was aggressive as Conley boxed and countered during the four rounder. In round two, Conley landed a flush right hand that caused a cut below the left eye of Rojas. Rojas proved to be a tough combatant as he kept pressing despite getting rocked by a flurry of combinations toward the end of round four. The fighters kept exchanging punches until the final bell.

Judge Wayne Hedgepeth scored it 39- 37 in favor of Rojas and judges Caiz and Denkin scored it 39-37 for Conley. Conley continues his winning streak and improves to 5-0, 4 KOs. The game Rojas falls to 4-5, 4 KOs.—Miguel Maravilla

Montelongo suffers first loss

In the opening bout East LA’s Xavier Montelongo (2-0-1) and Pedro Toledo (1-0-1) went the distance in a scheduled four round super featherweight encounter.

The fighters came out exchanging leather in the opening round with Toledo landing the harder punches while Montelongo showcased the faster hands. Toledo roughed up Montelongo throughout the contest with heavy right hands that rocked back the head of his opponent.

Sensing the urgency in the final round, Montelongo connected with some solid shots but Toledo was still able to counter. All of the judges scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Toledo as he advances to 2-0-1 with 1 KO. Montelongo suffers his first loss as he slips to 2-1-1.—Miguel Maravilla

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