Undefeated heavyweight LaRon Mitchell continued his knockout winning streak by taking out rugged veteran Epifanio Mendoza in the third round on Friday night from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
The stoppage win extends Mitchell’s (13-0, 13 KOs) consecutive KO win tally to thirteen.
“It’s not something that I think about,” said Mitchell, based in San Francisco and trained by Jimmy Ford. “I just try to get better with each and every training camp and each fight.”
Mendoza (42-23-1, 36 KOs), by far, was the most experienced opponent Mitchell has encountered in his young career. The Colombian native’s approach was to fight in close quarters, thus eliminating Mitchell’s height and reach advantage. In the third, Mitchell strung a couple of combinations together and connected with a left hook to the body. Mendoza crumbled to the floor and was counted out at the :52 mark.
In the co-main event, featherweights Erick Ituarte (14-1-1, 2 KOs) and Daniel Ramirez (11-4, 5 KOs) put on a thrilling fight that saw three knockdowns and relentless back and forth action. Ramirez got things started in the first round – landing a left hook upstairs that put Ituarte on his wallet.
Ituarte shook it off and followed up with a right cross in the third that sent Ramirez flying to the ground. The action continued in the fifth, with Ramirez landing a counter left hook. Iturate never saw it and suffered a second knockdown. Most boxers would be out of the fight at this point, but Ituarte found an extra gear and rallied in the final three rounds to force the judges’ hands. Ituarte won via unanimous decision with scores: 75-74, 76-73, 77-73.
One of the more exciting prospects in the Southern California boxing scene is the Joel Diaz-trained lightweight Manuel Mendez (10-1-2, 6 KOs) of Indio. Mendez, always a strong starter, dropped challenger Ricardo Maldonado (6-5-1) of Renton, Wash. in the first round with a counter right hook to the head.
In the second, Mendez continued his bruising style and battered Maldonado with powerful shots to the body. The two eventually bumped heads with Mendez suffering a nasty cut above his right eye. The ringside physician ruled Mendez unable to continue, consequently declaring the fight a technical draw.
Welterweight Eridanni Leon (3-2, 1 KO) of Los Angeles grabbed his first knockout win after routinely backing up Rasheed Lawal (1-4-1) of Ventura, Calif. The knockout came at the 1:31 mark of the fourth and final round. Referee Sharon Sands put a stop to the fight after Lawal looked deflated.
Opening the event were Los Angeles bantamweights Rudy Garcia (2-0, 1 KO) and Rafael Rivera (2-9). Garcia boxed his way to an efficient and one-sided unanimous decision win, sweeping it on all three scorecards (40-36).
“Locked n’ Loaded” was presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with LATV Networks.
Thomson Boxing Promotions returns to the Doubletree Ontario on Friday, July 29.