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
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
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
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