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  Thompson Boxing Promotions’ Locked ‘N Loaded Saw Saracho & Zaina Battle To Majority Draw

By Barbara Pinnella
Photos: Chris Suchánek

This Friday night, Thompson boxing presented Locked ‘N Loaded, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Ontario, CA. The main event was for the WBO Latino Super Lightweight belt, and was between Jesus Saracho (13-1-1, 11 KOs) and Tarik Zaina (12-0-1, 8 KOs). This fight was scheduled for 10 rounds. Not many punches were thrown in the opener, as it seemed to be more of a range-seeking mission, but Saracho was already starting to show Zaina his strengths.

In the second, the fighters charged at each other and threw a lot of punches throughout the three minutes. They sometimes got a bit wild in their quest, particularly Zaina, but no harm, no foul. The third was a lot of the same. Both men connected, but they also had some awkward moments as well.

Saracho settled down a lot in the fourth, landing most of the punches he threw, while at the same time avoiding most of those thrown by Zaina. Jesus also began to find the body a lot more, and doubling up on his punches as well. The fifth was a good one for both men. Zaina would throw those long arms out there and made quite a bit of contact, and Saracho would stay in tight and land his own shots.

Headed into the eighth, Saracho was staying strong, and a lot of his punches were continuing to land. He was much more controlled than his opponent, and had been showing that throughout most of the fight. He applied a lot of pressure in the ninth round.

The tenth and final round saw the jab of Saracho being very effective, as it had been for most of the night. He did take a hard shot from Tarik in this round, but bounced back, continuing to be the aggressor.

With the number of knockouts between them, many of the fans were waiting for that to happen. It was not to be, and we went to the scorecards. When the scores were revealed, the fighters must have been wishing they had gotten that KO, as the cards showed the scores as 95-95 two times, and with one judge seeing it 96-94, making this fight was a majority draw.

The co-main event had Nelson Oliva (7-0, 6 KOs) battling with Miguel Angel Barajas (3-4, 2 KOs). These two lightweight fighters were to fight for six rounds, but it didn’t come close to that. A body shot dropped Barajas in the first round. A few seconds later he was hit and his knee touched the mat, calling for another count. Instantly, another body shot put him down again, and the fight was waved off at 2:25 seconds of the very first round.

In a bout that was scheduled for six rounds in the welterweight division, Jesus Gonzales (6-1-1, 2 KOs) stood across the ring from Levy Josue Garcia Benitez (3-0-1, 2 KOs). A lot of action from these two fighters to start us off, but neither one really did much damage. A bit of a sloppy second round, with head clashes and some holding on the part of each man.

Hard to say who was actually scoring points in the third. Still a bit sloppy, and then both men would rush in and land, then step back and stalk each other. Points were scored on both sides in the fourth, and this appeared to be a close fight thus far. But the edge looked to be with Benitez.

Fifth round much of the same. Who wants it more? We moved into the sixth and final round. A lot of action with many punches thrown throughout this round, with both men trying to put the other on the canvas. Neither could do so, and we went to the scorecards. The judges saw the bout 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56, all for Benitez. Levy remained undefeated, while Gonzales suffered his first defeat.

Tayden Beltran (6-0-1, 4 KOs) faced Gerardo Alberto Fuentes (2-8-1, 2 KOs). These were two super lightweights scheduled to fight for four rounds. Beltran demonstrated his accurate use of combinations in the first, finding both the head and body of Fuentes. In the second round, a well-placed body shot put Fuentes down, but he managed to get up right near the end of the count. A few seconds later, another hard punch to the body put Gerardo down for good. The stoppage came at 1:29 of that second round.

Emiliano Moreno (6-0-1, 4 KOs) faced off against Cristian Dominguez (11-6, 6 KOs). This bout was scheduled for eight rounds in the super lightweight division. A quick left hand put Dominguez down in the first. Another left saw the ropes hold Cristian up for the second recorded knockdown of the initial round. He made it out of the round – barely.

The second round showed a lot of action, while the third was quite a bit slower. The action picked back up in the fourth, with Moreno taking control once again. Dominguez landed some good leather as well, but Emiliano was always the aggressor. We saw much of the same in the fifth.

We had seen some back-and-forth action in the last couple of rounds, and that continued into the sixth and seventh. In the eighth and final the two men spent most of the time fighting in close and peppering each other. We went to the scorecards. Two of the judges saw the fight 80-70, while the third one had it 79-71, all for Moreno.

The fight that opened up the evening was between welterweights Angel Beltran Villa (17-1, 10 KOs) and Abraham Afful (12-5-1, 12 KOs). This fight was slated to go eight rounds. There was no wait and see attitude in the first round, as Beltran spent most of the three minutes taking it to Afful, landing many hard blows. So hard in fact, that the fight was waved off on advice of the corner of Afful before the second round began.


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