ORANGE, Calif. – Undefeated junior welterweight Giovani Santillan (18-0, 10 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. made quick work of Mexican national Rosbel Montoya (18-8, 16 KOs), knocking him out in the second round of Thompson Boxing Promotions’ “New Blood” main event Friday night.
In the first, Santillan landed a hook to the body that sent Montoya to one knee. Seconds later, Santillan pounced on Montoya and dropped him once more as the round was ending. The second round was a mirror image of the first. Santillan connected on yet another knockdown, which prompted Montoya’s corner to stop the fight.
“I knew he was hurt after the first knockdown in the first round,” said the 23-year-old Santillan. “I’m glad I was able to finish the year with a knockout win.”
In the co-feature, Carlos Carlson (19-1, 11 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex. power-punched his way to a unanimous decision win over hometown rival Jose Estrella (14-9-1, 10 KOs). Carlson, who is the No. 9 ranked bantamweight by the WBC, boxed effectively from the outside through a consistent jab that routinely backed up the shorter Estrella. Once inside, Carlson registered left hooks to the head and body. Scores read 79-73, all around.
“I want to keep climbing in the rankings to get a world title shot,” Carlson said. “Every win, every fight is important.”
Joel Diaz trained lightweight Manuel Mendez (8-1-1, 4 KOs) of Indio, Calif. cruised to a unanimous decision win over Jose Luis Ramirez (7-3-1, 4 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex. In the third, Mendez landed a combination that shook Ramirez to the ground. Ramirez would continue, but only served as a punching bag for the much stronger Mendez. Scores read 60-53, all around.
Undefeated and highly touted middleweight prospect Rudy Puga (6-0, 5 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. produced a unanimous decision win against Juan Carlos Rojas (8-14-1, 7 KOs) of Saltillo, Mex. Puga, who is promoted by Roc Nation, staggered Rojas throughout the fight, yet found it difficult to drop the iron-jawed Rojas. Scores read 59-55, all around.
Junior bantamweight Ricardo Espinoza (5-0, 4 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex. remained unbeaten with a tough, majority decision win over Francisco Javier Lapizco (7-3, 2 KOs) of Ciudad Obregon, Mex. Both Espinoza and Lapizco landed heavy shots, but it was Espinoza that connected consistently throughout the 6-round fight. Scores: 59-55, 58-56, 57-57.
Opening the “New Blood” event were a pair of super bantamweights. Jhordy Ramirez (1-0, 1 KO) of Santa Maria, Calif. impressed in his professional debut by knocking out Joel Cano (0-2) of Ciudad Obregon, Mex. in the first round (1:36 mark). Ramirez punched Cano into a neutral corner and fired a series of punches to the head and body that crippled Cano to the floor.
Thompson Boxing Promotions returns to the Doubletree Hotel Ontario in February.
“New Blood” was presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with LATV Networks.