Zarate Fight Moves Up To Main
& Delivers For His Fans
By Barbara Pinnella
Photos: Marlene Marquez
It’s February, and that means that it is time for the first
show for Thompson boxing Promotions. On this night it was
Path to Glory, held at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA.
The original main event had to be scrapped when Jose Ramirez
could not make weight. That was unfortunate to say the least
for Erick Ituarte, who was primed and ready to fight.
But before the main event, Thompson Boxing and owner Ken
Thompson held a raffle for injured fighter Daniel “Twitch”
Franco. In case you forgot, Daniel suffered a very serious
brain injury in June of last year and had to endure
surgeries to repair two brain bleeds. The costs of his
hospitalization and rehabilitation are understandably huge.
Thompson promised to match all monies donated in the raffle
– way to go, Thompson Boxing!
Back to boxing, and our main event saw super bantamweights
take to the ring, as Isaac “Dinamita” Zarate (14-3-3, 2 KOs)
took on Christian Ayala (11-2, 4 KOs). This fight was
scheduled for eight rounds.
No damage was done to either fighter in the first round, as
they seemed to be measuring each other and feeling each
other out. That all changed in the second as both men picked
up the action and landed punches. In the third they
continued throwing and landing several punches in a row, not
just throwing one and stepping back. Zarate was proving to
Ayala that he had the most skill.
We saw some very good, heavy punches land for both fighters
in the fourth. Neither man was spending much time on the
body, Isaac a bit more, but the head shots were accurate for
both men. The fifth was much like the fourth, with some
solid leather landing for each fighter. But Christian was
getting sloppier, while Zarate stayed consistent.
As the fight went on, Ayala was holding more and more, and
that was very evident in the sixth round. Referee Raul Caiz,
Jr. had to break them up several times during those three
minutes. Zarate launched a good head hunting attack in the
seventh, and was able to find his target often.
We moved into the eighth and final of this hard-fought
contest. There had been “Isaac” chants during this entire
fight, and they picked up in the last three minutes. This
final round was a bit sloppy at times, but Isaac was still
able to find his target. That would cause Ayala to hold
again. This fight was also full of head butts, blood, and
several slips to the canvas. We went to the judges for their
decision. The three that count saw the fight all for Zarate,
77-75 twice, and 78-74.
In the co-main event, Ruben Villa IV (10-0, 4 KOs) went up
against Juan Sandoval (7-20-1, 4 KOs). The original opponent
for Villa had been Ruben Tamayo, but he fell ill, so
Sandoval stepped up to the plate and took the fight. This
bout was for a scheduled six rounds in the super
featherweight division. These two did not waste a lot of
time and went right to work on each other, with Villa
definitely showing the way in this opening round.
Sandoval was more aggressive in the second then he had been
in the prior round, and Ruben backed off a bit. In the
third, it was mainly no harm, no foul. The fight was lacking
punch, pardon the pun. Perhaps things would pick up in the
second half of the fight.
And so it did. Ruben decided to make a fight of it and
stayed on his opponent the entire three minutes. In the
fifth the men fought forehead to forehead. In the middle of
the battle Villa reached around and punched Sandoval in the
kidney. Referee Lou Moret was not pleased with that, and
warned Ruben that the next time he would take a point.
In the sixth and final they were still fighting, quite a
difference from the first three rounds. However, I can’t say
that this was necessarily an interesting fight. We went to
the scorecards. Two judges saw it 60-54, while the third had
it 59-55, all for Villa.
Saul Sanchez (7-0, 4 KOs) faced off against Pedro Melo
(17-19-2, 8 KOs) in a super bantamweight fight that was
scheduled to go four rounds. Both men came out and were able
to land punches in the opening round, but it was Sanchez who
was hitting with the crisper shots. The second was more of
the same. Melo was game and trying to hurt his opponent, but
Saul didn’t seem to be fazed by anything Pedro threw, and
was landing most of what he threw.
The third round was a war between the two. They both were on
fire, and it was a bit of a surprise that one of them didn’t
hit the canvas. It was by far the strongest round for Melo,
but Sanchez was still proving that he was the bigger puncher
The fourth and final continued to provide a lot of back
and forth action. Both men stayed on the attack. Still,
we went to the scorecards for the results. All three of
the judges saw the fight the same, 40-36, giving the
unanimous decision to Sanchez.
Bantamweights were up next featuring two undefeated
fighters, Mario Hernandez (5-0, 2 KO) and Jorge Careaga
(1-1, 1 KO). This fight was scheduled to go four rounds, but
it never got close to that. Mario just blasted Jorge with
body shots, dropping Jorge almost immediately. He got back
up, but just as quickly was put down again, and the fight
was waved off at :52 of that very first round.
In a fight scheduled for four rounds in the lightweight
division, Ruben Torres (4-0, 4 KOs) went up against Anthony
Ruiz (2-5, 2 KOs). Torres came out lightning fast in the
first round, and his quick skills really seemed to surprise
his opponent. Ruben was not only fast, but accurate.
A little left hand that seemed to be almost playfully thrown
out there put Anthony down, and just a few seconds later a
one-two combination, the last being a body shot, put him
down again. Right at the end of the round Anthony went down
yet again, but referee Caiz, Jr. took a point away from
Ruben for hitting Ruiz when he was down. After bell sounded
however, the fight was waved off as Ruiz could not continue,
giving the knockout victory to Torres.
The first of the night saw lightweights take to the ring for
a bout scheduled for four rounds. The current WBO Youth
world champion Zhora Hamazaryan (9-0, 6 KOs), who was
fighting in the United States for the first time, faced off
against Sergio Ramirez (3-1, 3 KOs). Sergio was by far the
aggressor in the opening round, with Zhora showing flashes
of brilliance, but not often enough.
In the second, a right hand from Zhora knocked Sergio down.
That came as a bit of a surprise, as he had not really shown
that much early on. Even with the knockdown, it was still
Sergio who landed punches with the most power. Both men came
out swinging in the third. As the round went on it was the
most competitive one we had seen thus far – much more evenly
matched, but Hamazaryan was coming on.
In the fourth and final each fighter took a turn working
each other on the ropes. I am not sure what took Zhora so
long, but he really came out looking for blood in this lat
round. No knockout though, so we went to the scorecards. Two
of the judges had it 39-36, while the third scored the bout
40-35, all for Zhora.
Overall it was a good night to open the 2018 Thompson Boxing
season. Too bad that Erick’s fight had to be pulled off the
table, but look for him soon. Finally, huge kudos to
Thompson Boxing and all of those who contributed financially
to the raffle for “Twitch”. It was great to see him there –
quite a miracle!