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  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 hands.
 

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 shots.
 

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.



 

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