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  Santillan Improves Win Streak;
Ituarte Beats Martinez

By Barbara Pinnella
Photos: William Trillo


The first Thompson Boxing Promotions event of 2017, Path to Glory, played to a full house at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA. The main event featured Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (21-0, 11 KOs) facing off against Omar “Heroe” Tienda (18-4, 11 KOs). This fight was in the welterweight division and was scheduled to go eight rounds.

Tienda jumped right into the fray with a brawling type of style, and his awkward approach made it hard for Santillan to handle his offense. Omar was like a bull in a china shop, and continued that into the second round. Giovani was trying to slow things down but was not always successful at it in this early going.

The fighters settled down a bit in the third and Santillan was able to start controlling the pace of the fight and landing more of his punches. Tienda went back to diving right in again in the fourth but Giovani was able to put some leather on his opponent anyway. Still, Omar was making things difficult for Santillan.

Giovani landed the best punches of the fight through the five rounds; a nice little combination that rocked Tienda. Both men are tough, there was no doubt of that. In the sixth the left hand of Santillan landed again, but Omar was not afraid to continue to leap in head first and take his chances of getting hit in order to get in a shot or two on Gio.

The referee called a low blow on Santillan in the seventh caused Tienda to fold up in pain for a short time – although many questioned the placement of that punch – but then the fight continued. Giovani was able to land his punches at will this entire round, and Omar was definitely taking a beating.

In the eighth and final round it was a replay of the previous one. Santillan had tried to make it a pleasing fight, but Tienda would have none of that. We went to the scorecards and all three judges saw the fight the same, 80-72 all for Giovani. With that victory, he also kept his win streak alive.

The co-main event was also scheduled for eight rounds and saw super featherweight Erick Ituarte (16-1-1, 2 KOs) going up against Naciff Martinez (17-10-2, 5 KOs). The first round was a bit slow while these two sized up each other. Ituarte decided he didn’t need to see anything else and began going on the attack in round two, landing combinations to both the head and body of Martinez.

Naciff tried to rally in the third and did land punches, but a lot of them were answered right back by Erick. There was a lot of activity in the fourth and Martinez found a home for many of his punches. The fifth round was a good one for both fighters as both men were connecting a lot, and the fans were really into the action.

The sixth was much like the fifth, with Martinez and Ituarte showing a lot of aggression throughout the round. More repetition in the seventh, as they continued to keep the heat turned up, but Erick did more damage. The final round stayed right in line with the second half of the fight, with a lot of punches and solid shots landing. Since were finished eight rounds we went to the scorecards. Two of the judges saw it 80-72, while the third one had it 79-73, giving the unanimous decision to Ituarte.

Super featherweights took to the ring as Ruben Villa (4-0, 2 KOs) faced off against Francisco Camacho (2-7-1, 1 KO) in a fight that was slated to go four rounds. Villa was controlling the early action here in the first, making Camacho swing and miss more than land. Along with that, he was able to get some leather in on Francisco.

Camacho came alive a bit more in the second round, but Ruben was not going to just sit back and take the punches. He continued to land on Francisco. But in the third Camacho showed his best effort in the fight, both landing and keeping Villa at bay a bit. It wasn’t that Ruben wasn’t able to land, but more that Camacho was connecting in the round. We moved into the fourth and final.

The ball was back in Ruben’s court in the last round as he got his strong rhythm back to finish off the fight. Still, we went to the scorecards. The judges all agreed on the decision, 40-36, for Villa.

"Camacho had an awkward style,” Villa later said. “I had to chase him around the ring, but that wasn't anything that I hadn't seen before. I got my shots in every round and dominated the decision win." 

Two undefeated super featherweights took to the ring in a fight scheduled for four rounds, when Rudy Garcia (5-0, 1 KO) went up against David Martino (2-1, 2 KOs). We saw a very active and competitive opening round between these two men, with each one scoring some points.

There was action in the second as well, but more grabbing and throwing than actual punching for most of the round. They managed to get back to hitting in the third, and once again they each landed some shots. The last round was dominated by Garcia, and we went to the scorecards. The judges saw the fight the same, 40-36, all for Garcia. He kept his win record alive and handed Martino his first loss.

Michael Dutchover (3-0, 3 KOs) faced off against Jose Mora (0-3) in a super featherweight fight that was scheduled for four. A quick right / left combination put Mora down and out in the first round. He took a double hit, as the punch got him and then he hit his head hard when he fell. Mora lay on the canvas for a couple of minutes before finally sitting up. As soon as he hit, Dutchover went to a neutral corner and took a knee, concerned for his opponent.

"I was sitting on my punches well and when I saw an opening, I went for it. I caught him flush with the left hook and that was it. I'm glad I was able to finish it early."

In the opener, Francisco Armenta (3-0) stood toe to toe with Cody Peterson (1-2). This fight was scheduled for four rounds in the junior welterweight division. There was a lot of action in the first, with Peterson landing a lot of hard shots to the head of Armenta, while the shorter Francisco got in some great body shots as well as punches upstairs.

While Cody was able to land some of his punches in the second round, the majority of the punishment came from Armenta. He just loaded up with right hands to Peterson’s head, and scored with many body shots as well. Cody was lucky to get out of the round.

The tide turned a bit in the third, as Francisco looked to be a bit tired after his onslaught the previous three minutes, but Peterson was not able to capitalize as much as he might have wanted to. The fourth offered up more action, but the punches were not landing with as much authority as they had been earlier. We went to the scorecards. They read 39-37 once and 40-36 two times, giving a unanimous decision to Armenta.

In all, a good start to the Thompson events of the year. All of the winners looked impressive in their respective bouts and it will be exciting to see what each of them does in the future.


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