Zarate Wins Hard-Fought War Against Robles
By Barbara Pinnella
Photos: Marlene Marquez
Thompson Boxing Promotions brought us New Blood, which took
place at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA. The main event
featured Isaac “Dinamita” Zarate (15-3-3, 2 KOs) facing off
again Ramiro “Zurdo” Robles (15-8-1, 8 KOs). This fight was
scheduled for eight rounds in the bantamweight division.
These two came blasting out of there as if this was a four
round fight, giving us action from start to finish.
Sometimes things were a bit sloppy, almost as if their
adrenaline was running too high at the start, but they
certainly wanted to exchange. In the second, Robles wanted
to push Zarate to the ropes and keep him there, and
sometimes that worked. Most of the time Isaac would work his
way out of there, but when he didn’t he paid for it a bit.
Robles had a very good third round, as many of his head
shots found their mark. He was also still able to keep
Zarate on the ropes at times. The two fighters were able to
exchange some good punches in the fourth round, and each of
them threw leather that connected.
The fifth round was more of the same, with nothing much
changing with regard to dominance or a difference in
strategy. This was not a very pretty fight but they were
taking each other into the trenches. Isaac was able to land
some good shots in the sixth, but Ramiro would still tie him
up on the ropes occasionally. As the round went on Zarate
almost racked up more power shots than he had been able to
land in all the other rounds.
There was quite a big mouse that had formed under Isaac’s
right eye as we went into the seventh. This round was a bit
wild for both men. In the eighth and final Zarate came out
firing on all cylinders and was landing power shots again.
Robles was missing more than connecting at this point, while
Isaac’s punches were landing. Zarate finished the round with
a great overhand right. We had to go to the scorecards. Two
of the judges had it 77-75 with the third seeing it 78-74,
all for Zarate.
In the co-main event, Manuel Mendez (16-2-3, 11 KOs) went up
against the undefeated Gilberto Espinoza (9-1, 5 KOs). This
fight was scheduled for eight rounds in the lightweight
division. Mendez started off a bit slow against Espinoza,
but he was able to shake loose a few times. He came out
better in the second, and was not waiting so long to let his
hands go. When he landed it was with authority; he had heavy
The third was another good one for Manuel, but in the fourth
the two men went back and forth a lot with each one landing
punches. In the fifth, as they had off and on since the
fight began, they fought in close most of the round, with
Mendez being on the winning end of the action once again. At
the 10-second warning in the sixth, Manuel went headhunting,
really trying to put Gilberto down and out. But that didn’t
happen, and we moved on.
There was a lot of action in the seventh, with most of the
punches that counted being thrown and landed by Mendez.
Manuel just hammered Espinoza in the eighth and final,
landing many power punches. We went to the judges’
scorecards, and they saw the fight 78-74, 77-75, and 79-73,
giving the unanimous decision to Mendez, and handing
Espinoza the first loss of his career.
Saul “The Beast” Sanchez (9-0, 5 KOs) and Leonardo “La Pulga”
Torres (4-12, 1 KO) were up next and were fighting in the
bantamweight division. The bout was to go a scheduled six.
Sanchez immediately showed his skill. Torres would jump in
there, and Saul would sit chilly until he knew he could hit
his mark, and then land several punches at a time. He
continued to do this throughout the round.
Sanchez showed great skill with his body punches, landing
many of them with a lot of pop. He proved he is a very
calculating fighter. With one second left in the second
round, he just unloaded on Torres and put him down. Leonardo
waited until the count of nine and then jumped up, knowing
the bell would sound. Maybe a minute into the third a hard
left hand body shot finally proved too much for Torres and
he went down once again, but there was no quit in him. He
got up and continued on. Too tough for his own good, referee
Rudy Barragan finally waved the fight off at 2:24 protecting
Leonardo so he might fight another day. The Joel
Diaz-trained Sanchez is indeed “The Beast”.
It was time for the super bantamweights, as Brendon Valdes
(11-0, 6 KOs) faced off against José Fabian Naranjo (3-9-2,
1 KO). This bout was scheduled for four rounds. Naranjo got
in a big right hand about midway through the opening round,
which was the best punch of the first three minutes. But the
much more technical Valdes came out a lot stronger in the
second, which also saw both men were connecting with body
The third was a back and forth round, with the nod probably
going to Valdes. But José was fighting back harder than his
record might indicate. In the final round Naranjo landed a
great punch that snapped Brendon’s head back, but one nice
punch isn’t normally enough. We went to the scorecards. All
of the judges had the same score, 40-36, for Valdes. He kept
his win streak intact.
George Acosta (6-0, 1 KO) stood across the ring from Juan
Alberto Castillo (1-1, 1 KO) in a fight in the lightweight
division that was scheduled for four rounds. Acosta came out
fast to open the round and Castillo hit the canvas very
early on in that opener. He was able to get up and last out
the round. Acosta was the more skilled fighter in the first,
but he became a bit wild in the second. Castillo was wild
most of the time, but got some of his punches in.
Juan was able to land some decent body shots in the third
round. George seemed to have lost a bit of momentum, and a
lot of the shots he threw, Castillo was able to duck and
avoid. In the fourth and final, Castillo was able to land a
solid shot on Acosta that rocked him back and stunned him
for a moment. He wasn’t able to capitalize on it and knock
him down, but it certainly made an impression. We went to
the scorecards. The judges saw the fight 40-35 twice, and
39-36, all for Acosta.
Featherweights took to the ring to open the evening as
Anthony Chavez (6-0, 2 KOs) went up against Josafath Vazquez
(5-4, 3 KOs). This fight was to go a scheduled four rounds,
but those rounds were unnecessary. Chavez came out with a
vengeance and his opponent had to take a standing eight
count after that assault by Anthony early in the first
round. Not a minute later Vazquez became a punching bag for
Chavez and the referee Barragan jumped in to stop the
contest at 1:45 of that very first round.
This was another good night of boxing from Thompson. Zarate
stayed in there and passed the test. Keep your eyes on the
Sanchez, who is trained by Diaz. This is a talented fighter
who is fun to watch, as is Chavez.