Erick Ituarte Beats Zarate at Thompson’s New Blood in Ontario

Drew Ruiz

Photo @Decomp Jason Robles

On Friday night, Thompson Boxing Promotions celebrated its 17th Anniversary of being in the business and hosted “New Blood,” eight bouts of fighters from different classes from all over California and Mexico inside the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA. Thompson also streamed the fight for the first time on Facebook Live with play-by-play announcer Beto Duran and color commentator Steve Kim.

 Erick Ituarte (16-1-1, 2 KOs) vs. Isaac Zarate (12-2-2, 2 KOs)
Ituarte and Zarate put on a spectacular main event for those in attendance since 8 p.m. The final fight of the night finished in Ituarte’s favor with a split decision (77-74, 76-75 and 76-75) after ring announcer Sonny Franco called Erick “All American Boy” Ituarte’s name. Ituarte used his power to his advantage in the first two rounds, causing Zarate to fight backing up. The momentum shifted in the third round after Zarate delivered a left hook to Ituarte that knocked him to the canvas. As the fight progressed, Ituarte picked up where he left off and hit Zarate with two consecutive rights and another huge body shot to Zarate’s left ribs in the sixth round.

 Ricardo Espinoza (10-2, 8 KOs) vs. Christian Nieto-Ayala (10-1, 4 KOs)

 After eight exciting rounds in the co-feature fight of the night, Nieto-Ayala came out with the win by split decision (77-74, 76-75 and 76-75). From the moment the fight began, it was an all-out slugfest as the fighters, both from Tijuana, MX, threw and countered with punches of their own. Nieto-Ayala seemed as if he was running out of gas trying to one-up Espinoza’s intensity in the fourth round, but managed to find his second wind and hang until the final bell rung.

 Ruben Villa (6-0, 4 KOs) vs. Anthony de Jesus Ruiz (2-3, 2 KOs)

 During the fifth round, a spectator yelled, “Tira la toalla,” insinuating that de Jesus Ruiz’s camp throw in the towel because Villa’s punches were too much for him to handle. Shortly after, ringside physician Dr. Robert Ruelaz waived to referee Ray Corona to call the fight with 2:42 left in fifth round, giving Villa the win by TKO. Throughout the fight, Villa made de Jesus Ruiz look more like his sparring partner and less like an opponent before the decision was made. When de Jesus Ruiz showed signs of fatigue, Villa increased the intensity and threw a slew of combinations to the body that continued to wear down Ruiz before the fourth round bell sounded.

 Mario Hernandez (2-0) vs. May Garduño (0-1)

 “Mighty” lived up to his nickname during all four rounds and remained undefeated after winning his bout with Garduño by a unanimous decision. Both fighters wasted no time, fighting each round like it was the only round they were given tonight. Hernandez connected with an overhand right that made Garduño to lose his balance before landing another shot in the third round to draw first blood, causing Garduño to bleed from his left eyebrow. Hernandez controlled the tempo of the fight for all rounds.  

 Juan Garcia Mendez (19-2-2) vs. Cesar Villaraga (9-3-1, 4 KOs)

Although the intensity picked up in the second bout of the night, the decision came down to a draw (58-56, 59-55 and 57-57) from the judges after six rounds. The fight initially began in the second round after Mendez and Villaraga tried to figure out each other’s tendencies and capitalize off any visible weaknesses. The crowd gave a roar after Mendez connected with a two-punch combo and connected with a left straight to Villaraga’s face.


Brandon Trejo (1-0) vs. Pablo Capul (5-23, 3 KOs)
Trejo’s pro debut started off on a positive note after defeating Capul by unanimous decision after four rounds. The southpaw from Napa, CA, came out as the aggressor as soon as the bell rang, not letting his record dictate anything as he landed a plethora of punches from uppercuts to hooks. Capul felt Trejo’s power in the second round after he connected with a left uppercut. While Trejo’s punches looked precise and crisp, all of Capul’s looked half a step too late and he never really connected throughout the night to have a shot at coming out victorious. 

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