Albert Baker
Photos: Lina Baker, IG @seeyouringside

The next entry in the fighter turned promoter saga has commenced as Leo Santa Cruz launched Last Round Promotions with its inaugural card held at the Radisson Hotel in Ontario California.

Ontario, with its heavy Mexican-American populace is no stranger to local fight promotion as club level fight cards are successfully and profitably held monthly by Thompson Boxing Promotions at the Double Tree Hotel across the street. Launching a new company never goes without its hiccups and the normal matters of putting on professional un-televised boxing occurred: starting a little late here, a fight falling out there. Other than the normal tidbits seen at every professional fight card, things were on their way.

The ballroom boxing show has and always will be my favorite type of fight to attend; young hungry fighters, fighting with their heart and pride on their sleeve, trying to please the crowd- boxing’s version of college sports. Young fighters hoping somebody loves watching them enough to propel them into a meaningful fight or a return performance for another paycheck.

Crowd favorite Jose Gomez 5-0 1KO of Huntington Park stopped opponent Daniel Gutierrez 0-2 in the second round when a flurry of punches punctuated by a right hand forced the referee to jump in and call a halt to the night’s action. Gomez had a sizeable crowd rooting him on as he headlined his first fight.
Francisco Ochoa 3-0 2KO’s destroyed opponent Mark Bello 0-2 in the nights co-main event dropping and stopping him in the first round. Bello’s corner threw in the towel to save their man as he was in bad shape thanks to a plethora of right hands.
Jose Luis Ramirez 27-6 16KO’s, best known for losing to Vasyl Lomachenko in his pro debut picked up an eight round unanimous decision victory over Juan Luis Hernandez 18-7-1 9KO’s in a one sided unanimous decision via scores 80-72 on all three judges’ scorecards. The best action of the fight was when referee Ray Corona threw Hernandez to the mat after the final bell when he didn’t stop throwing punches.
Flavio Rodriguez of South Central Los Angeles 4-0 3KO’s flattened Mario Angeles 1-9 1KO at two minutes in the second round with a savage right hand that brought the house out of their seats. Referee Ray Corona counted ten ending the fight. Rodriguez showed some decent talent and has just begun fighting in the tough club circuit of Southern California.
Saul Bustos of Los Angeles had an early 4-0-1 3KO’s had an early as he blasted out Eduardo “The Peezo” Del Rio 0-2. Del Rio had no business being in the ring with Bustos and was blasted out half way through the first round. Del Rio hilariously jogged around and yucked up the crowd before and after the fight until the bell rang and even after he was stopped.

Yovani Rodarte 2-1 picked up a unanimous decision victory over Kevin Salas in an entertaining fight that featured good back and forth action. Rodarte landed a good right hand that busted Salas’s nose open like a piñata. Fighting through the pain Salas stayed in the fight and kept it competitive throughout. Rodarte would get the better of the exchanges and roll to a four round unanimous decision victory. The scores were not announced.
Opening the evening’s action was Saul Sanchez 1-0 1KO making his professional debut with a third round knockout of tough Temoatzin Landeros 0-3 of Distrito Federal, Mexico City, Mexico. Sanchez had some early nerves in the second round but settled down in the third to land some big shots that put the Mexican in trouble. Referee Marty Denkin had seen enough and appropriately called a halt to the action.

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