By Barbara Pinnella
Photos by Andrea Kaus
This past Friday night Thompson Boxing Promotions put on Locked ‘N Loaded at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California. The main event featured Carlos “Memin” Carlson (22-1, 12 KOs) facing off against Alex “Xhino” Rangel (17-6-2, 11 KOs) in a fight for the NABF bantamweight title. The bout was scheduled to go 10 rounds.
After not a lot happening in the first minute of the opening round, a right hand by Rangel dropped Carlson. It didn’t appear to be thrown that hard, and it was a bit of a surprise to see Carlos on the canvas. He got up quickly and continued, but scoring damage done early in favor of Alex.
Carlson came back like gangbusters in the second as he really went on the attack. Rangel’s face showed the wear and tear, as the blood was evident. Even though Carlos wasn’t able to put Alex down, he certainly came close with really hard and damaging shots.
Memin came out strong again in the third, and was now doing some real harm. A barrage of punches put Rangel down, and even though he was able to get up, referee Caiz Jr. waved the fight off at 1:00. Carlson became the NEW NABF champion in this gritty performance.
Super featherweights took to the ring in the co-main event as Erick “The All American Boy” Ituarte (15-1-1, 2 KOs) took on Alberto Mora (5-5, 1 KO) in a fight that was scheduled to go six rounds. Both men were able to land some leather on the other in the opener, with Ituarte possibly getting the upper hand early. He was successful utilizing combinations and body shots.
Mora was more active in the second then he had been as the men stood toe to toe for most of the round. But the combinations that Erick displayed in the opening round came into play in these three minutes, as Ituarte was able to drop Alberto with yet another one-two punch. The third round again had activity from both men.
Mora was able to land a lot more punches in the fourth – by far his best round. Ituarte would then answer back. This was a good showing for both fighters. Erick took back control in the fifth, as he was connecting with a good percentage of his shots. We moved into the sixth and final.
That round was more of the same, as we saw Ituarte connecting with a lot more punches than Mora. But even though it seemed as if Erick’s shots were landing cleanly and solidly he was unable to get the knockout, and we went to the scorecards. The judges all saw the fight the same however, 60-53, with the victory going to Ituarte.
Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs) went up against Erick Martinez (12-6-1, 6 KOs). This fight was scheduled for eight rounds in the junior welterweight division. Mendez was just deadly with his body punches in the first round. His left hand to the body of Martinez was frequent and powerful, not to mention the punches to Erick’s head. Manuel was also able to put Martinez on the ropes and keep him there.
Erick was able to land a few punches in the second, but they did no damage. It was almost as if Manuel was just toying with him. In the third, Mendez was landing those punishing body shots with both hands once again. But as he wound up and threw yet another damaging body blow, the glove landed way low. This caused Martinez to drop to his knees, and referee Raul Caiz Jr. to take a point away from Manuel.
The fourth was another strong one for Mendez. He had been battering his opponent from rope to rope, and this round was no exception. Referee Caiz Jr. decided he had seen Erick take enough hits, and waved the fight off at 1:41 of round four.
In a fight scheduled for four rounds, Ruben Villa IV (2-0, 2 KOs) faced Jose Mora (0-1-0, 1 NC). This fight was in the featherweight division. Not even halfway through the first round a well-placed right dropped Mora. He got up, but Villa just kept after him, landing hard rights in succession, finally causing referee Thomas Taylor to step in and stop the contest at 2:41 in that initial round. Besides losing the fight, Mora suffered an injured right ankle and after limping out of the ring, was put on a stretcher and taken from ringside.
Super flyweights faced off as Danny Andujo (2-0, 1 KO) took on Cesar Guzman, who was making his professional debut. Great first round by these two men. Both were able to really land some solid shots against the other. Each of them had a mean uppercut, and they also showed that they could take a punch. Both fighters landed body shots in the first and they upped their body counts in the second, especially Guzman, who was very accurate.
The action had been non-stop and that continued through the third round. These men were really taking it to each other, throwing and landing a lot of punches. The bell had barely rung to begin the fourth and final when a right hand by Andujo put Cesar on the mat. But Guzman fought back valiantly, and the fans cheered their approval of the efforts.
We went to the scorecards. The scores were varied, 39-36, 38-37, and 40-36, but all for the same fighter. Andujo won his second fight, while Guzman chalked up his first loss. But kudos to both men as they gave it their all, and this was a great fight to open up the evening.
From top to bottom this was a really fun fight card. We saw a little bit of everything and some good and action-packed fights. The only disappointment to some was the fact that Giovani Santillan, who was supposed to be on the card, had his fight canceled when his opponent apparently had some visa problems. He is slated to fight at Doubletree next month.