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  Thompson Boxing Starts Year Out With A Bang

Report & Photos By Roy & Marlene Marquez

Thompson Boxing Promotions ‘ New Blood fight series kicked off the new year in style with a sold out show at the Ontario Doubletree. Left hooker Jose Reynoso and veteran Santo Pakau headlined a talent laden fight card featuring undefeated prospects Abraham Lopez, Efrain Esquivias Jr. and Jonathan Arellano.

Jose Reynoso out-hooked tough customer Santo Pakau on route to a brutal, eight round junior welterweight win. Reynoso (14-3-1) landed the only telling blows of the first; a right-left combination that landed high on Pakau’s forehead. The action picked up in the second though neither fighter established dominance. Reynoso punctuated the round with a left that sent Pakau into the ropes.

Reynoso whipped hooks upstairs to start the third but nearly put Pakau on the canvas with a hook to the mid section. A moment later Reynoso landed a hook flush on the face and Pakau landed on the seat of his pants. Reynoso punished Pakau to the body throughout a dominant fourth round. Pakau (27-7-2) changed to southpaw in the fifth but found no more success from the switch.

The contestants traded hooks and displays of machismo in a brutal round. Pakau unleashed a four punch combination to the body early in the sixth. Reynoso fired back with a four punch combination that had Pakau reeling. From this exchange it was clear Reynoso had the heavier hands. During a brutal exchange at the start the seventh Reynoso’s hooks to the body buckled Pakau’s knees.

As the round progressed Pakau continued to trade hooks at his own peril. At one point referee Jerry Cantu hovered over Pakau and commanded him to “Show me something!” Reynoso closed the show by pulverizing Pakau over the eighth. The final score cards favored Reynoso by scores of 80-71, 80-71 & 79-72.

Efrain Esquivias Jr. was pushed for eight tough rounds before finally subduing Shawn Nichol at 1:08 of the final round. Esquivias (12-0) started slowly in the first, uncertain or unable to land clean blows against the southpaw from Denver, CO. A stiff right caused Nichol to bleed from the nose early in the second. Nichol (5-3) fought through the distraction and hung tough in a close round. Esquivias finally got started in the third and raked Nichols with lefts from the southpaw stance.

Esquivias started the fourth in the conventional stance and countered Nichol with rights. Nichol landed a pair of thumping hooks to the belly in an effort to slow the surge. Esquivias reverted to southpaw by round’s end where he apparently felt more comfortable. Esquivias peppered Nichol with rights early in the fifth. Nichol stood his ground and fired his left. Nichol’s left lost some zip and was increasingly countered by Esquivias. Though tired and slowing, Nichol pinned Esquivias against the ropes and lathered him with hooks to end the round.

Esquivias took control of the sixth by landing clean, hard shots during in-fighting. Nichol caught a second win in the seventh and landed flush 1-2s. Esquivias rallied late and landed several combinations in a great round of action. In the eighth both fighters let it all hang out. The entire round was a vicious exchange until referee Ray Corona stepped between the fighters and closed out the bout. The crowd jeered the stoppage believing Nichol deserved to finish the contest on his feet.

Artemio Reyes hung a hook on Francisco Rios Gil that dropped Gil for the count in the first round of their junior welterweight contest. Reyes (10-1) fired the left from distance and planted it squarely on the solar plexus.

Gil (11-15) sunk to mat and writhed in pain. Referee Jerry Cantu reached the count of ten at 1:36 of the opening stanza.

Bantamweight prospect Jonathan Arellano out-boxed Francis Ruiz over six rounds and secured a business-like victory by unanimous decision. In the first, the jab of Arellano (7-0-1) may have been the best punch of the round. Both combatants picked up the pace in the second but largely remained out of reach. An Arellano right hand at the ten second warning brought the crowd to their feet.

Arellano dictated both tempo and distance in the third with a stiff jab. Ruiz (9-3) amped up the aggression in the fourth round and things got chippy. Arellano fired a nice check hook to the cheek of the oncoming Ruiz. Ruiz remained aggressive in the fifth and moved Arellano around the ring. Ruiz landed a stiff body shot but failed to follow up.

A wicked exchange erupted in the waning seconds of the round. The fight ended as it began, with both fighters feeling their way around the ring. The judges rewarded Arellano with scores of 59-55, 60-54 & 60-54.

Featherweight Abraham Lopez remained undefeated in his campaign as a professional pugilist after defeating journeyman Felipe Almanza by unanimous decision. After a cautious start to the contest, the action heated up in the second. Lopez (13-0) unleashed a torrent of punches but landed few and inflicted little damage. When the exchange ended Almanza motioned for more.

Almanza (19-22-3) threw fewer punches but landed the best punch of the round. The give and take continued in the third as both fighters landed meaningful blows during toe to toe exchanges. Lopez landed lead rights in an otherwise slow fourth. Reminiscent of the second, Lopez trapped Almanza against the ropes and reigned hooks to the body to start the fifth.

Almanza countered off the ropes as before, but with less zip on his punches. A head butt opened a small cut along Lopez’ left eye early in the sixth. The blood spewed but did not bother Lopez who remained the aggressor to the bell. All three of the judge’s scorecards tallied 60-54.

Jhon Ortega overwhelmed fellow junior welterweight Rudy Gamez, dropping him twice before stopping him in the third. Ortega (3-0-1) jumped on Gamez to start the contest and the two traded leather in the first. Ortega’s punches had more pop and did more damage. Gamez (1-1) was game but outgunned from the onset. Ortega (3-0-1) stayed in attack mode in the second and delivered a right cross that sent Gamez to the canvas.

Ortega beat referee Ray Corona’s count as the round came to a close. Ortega surged in the third and dropped Gamez with an uppercut. Once again Gamez got to his feet but the end of the round could not save him. As Ortega swarmed, Corona stepped between the fighters and called off the bout at 1:19 of the third.


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