ORANGE, Calif. (June 29, 2015) – In the “New Blood” main event, lightweight Jose Roman (21-1, 14 KOs) soundly defeated veteran Marco Antonio Lopez (24-7, 15 KOs) through eight rounds in what amounted to a satisfying win for the Los Angeles area native.
“Lopez came in with a lot of experience against world class competition,” said Roman, who won with scores 78-73, 79-72, 77-74. “I dropped him in the second, and from there I was able to settle into a nice rhythm.”
It was a left hook upstairs that downed Lopez. Roman appeared to grow stronger as the fight continued. He consistently landed heavy punches in virtually every round. Lopez, for his part, countered nicely and backed up Roman on several occasions, but the veteran from Mexico didn’t have enough to win on Friday night from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
Cesar Villarraga (8-0, 4 KOs), a former Colombian Olympian, thoroughly outpointed veteran Jose Araiza (34-13-1, 25 KOs) in the “New Blood” co-main event. Villarraga started slow, but eventually picked up momentum in the middle and late rounds. Scores read 60-54, and 59-55 twice.
It took heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (8-0, 8 KOs) about two-and-a-half rounds to figure out Roy McCrary (4-4, 3 KOs), but once he did, the San Francisco native put his knockout power on full display. Mitchell, who is also a teacher at St. Elizabeth Elementary in Oakland, connected on a combination in the middle of the third round that dropped the heavier McCrary.
McCrary would get up, but Mitchell wasn’t done. With the crowd on its feet and salivating for a knockout, Mitchell put the pressure on and connected with a left to the chin, just before the bell. McCrary crumbled to the floor and Mitchell went home with a third round knockout win, his eighth in a row.
“I’m getting more and more comfortable in the ring,” Mitchell said. “He was a little bit awkward, but I was able to outmaneuver him and land combinations in the third.”
Junior featherweights Fernando Fuentes (6-5, 1 KO) and Joe Perez (5-4-1, 4 KOs) entertained the sold out crowd by routinely engaging one another in the middle of the ring. Fuentes, from Hemet, Calif., touched up Perez to the tune of a unanimous decision win with scores 39-37, and 40-36 twice. Perez was unable to keep a tight guard throughout the fight, which made it easier for Fuentes to find seams and land telling blows.
Opening the “New Blood” card was crowd favorite Humberto Rubalcava (3-0, 3 KOs) of Westminster, Calif. He smashed his way to another knockout win. It was Washington native Isaiah Najera (0-1) that took the beating this time. Rubalcava connected flush with a left hook for the first knockdown. The second was a straight right that spelled the end for Najera. The referee stopped the fight at the 2:36 mark of the first round.
PHOTO CREDIT: CARLOS BAEZA / THOMPSON BOXING PROMOTIONS