By Mark Giardini, Twitter and Instagram @knockoutnews
Photo Credit Albert Baker, Twitter @thealbertbaker Instagram @mr_albert_baker
Corona, California- On Friday night, the Omega Products Outdoor Arena played host to Thompson Boxing’s fight card billed as “New Blood.” The main event featured a bantamweight WBC Latino Championship fight between WBC #11 ranked bantamweight, Carlos “Memin” Carlson (18-1, 11KOs) and Pedro “Pedrito” Melo (13-9-2, 4KOs). Melo previously fought at 126 pounds, almost 10 pounds above the bantamweight limit. This helped him stand up to Carlson’s power throughout the fight having already faced bigger and stronger punchers.
The sold-out crowd’s boos echoed throughout the first round due to lack of action, but things heated up quickly after. The early rounds were competitive, Melo threw a flurry of punches that sent Carlson to the canvas then hitting him twice while he was down. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. warned him shortly after.
After the knockdown and the flurries that followed, Melo relied on his movement, jab, and an occasional right hand. Carlson had a bit more mustard on his punches, with face beginning to swell, he effectively ripped hooks to Melo’s body and began landing upstairs in the middle rounds. Carlson who goes by “Memin” also found success in shooting short uppercuts while on the inside throughout the fight.
Just when it looked like Carlson was ready to steal the fight away, Melo came out with a vengeance in round seven landing big shots upstairs to remind him he was still in the fight. In round eight, Carlson snapped Melo’s head back with a right hand, but that didn’t slow Melo’s attack. Melo finished strong in the eighth round. Many ring-side observers believed that the fight could have been scored a draw or a close decision in either fighter’s favor. Judges Max DeLuca, David Mendoza and David Denkin all scored the fight 76-75 in favor of the new WBC Latino Bantamweight Champion, Carlos “Memin” Carlson. Despite the decision, Melo made some new fans in Corona after his performance.
In the bout’s co-main event, hard hitting heavyweight prospect and full-time elementary school teacher (yes you read that correctly), LaRon Mitchell (9-0, 9KOs) of San Francisco squared off against Curtis Lee Tate (7-7, 6Kos) of Memphis, Tennessee. Mitchell entered the bout with a three inch height advantage and twenty pound weight advantage. Mitchell’s southpaw stance paired with his right hooks to the body proved to be a lethal combination. Scoring his first knockdown soon after the opening bell then quickly following up with a right hook to the body sent Tate to the canvas again soon after. Shortly after getting up a second time, a right hand to the head of Tate dropped him a third time causing referee Ray Corona to stop the fight.
Featherweights Fernando Fuentes (6-6, 1KO) of Hemet and Erik Ruiz of Oxnard (14-3, 6KOs) fought in a six rounder. The Robert Garcia trained Ruiz landed nicely upstairs to start the competitive bout. Fuentes flashed a nice jab in what was a close fight overall. Ruiz was content to counter punch Fuentes for a majority of the fight. Though Ruiz started using his jab more in round five, it would have served him better to use it a bit more early on. The two had some nice exchanges, but neither was bothered by the other’s punches. The end result was a split decision victory for Erik Ruiz. Judges scored the bout 58-56 for Ruiz, 58-56 for Fuentes, and a questionable scorecard of 60-54 for Ruiz.
The third fight was a Middleweight scheduled four round scrap between rookies Miguel “El Mero Mero” Trejo (2-0 2KO) of Anaheim, CA and Brahmabigi “Rowdy” Montgomery (1-1-1) of Apple Valley. Trejo landed crisp shots from the opening bell. He scored a First round stoppage when he connected on a brutal overhand right.
Indio’s own Manuel “La Tormenta” Mendez (5-1-1,2KO) and Luis “Wisho” Silva (2-6, 1KO) of Tijuana, Mexico fought in a scheduled four round junior welterweight bout. Mendez (trained by Joel Diaz) came out boxing. The first round was close until Mendez scores a knockdown late in the round. Mendez made quick work of Silva in the second round connecting with an overhand right that landed directly on the chin of Silva, dropping him to the canvas. Silva got up but was visibly shaken and unable to continue.
In the opening bout, junior welterweight Joseph “El Rey” (1-0) Rios of Hemet, CA made his pro debut against Jose Mejia (1-3 1KO) of Palmdale, CA in a four rounder. This was a phone booth fight. Both men traded hard shots upstairs and down. Rios flashed some nice combinations. Rios edged most of the rounds by sheer volume. “El Rey” flashed nice combinations that didn’t always land, but did enough to win the round. Mejia had his moments in the fight as well. He landed some decent power shots, but his punch output just wasn’t enough. Joseph “El Rey” Rios won a unanimous decision 40-36 x2 and 39-37.
Overall the “New Blood” card yielded entertaining fights with a 50% overall knockout ratio. The atmosphere was lively. The card had its share of action and drama. Not a bad night of boxing in Corona. Not bad at all.