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Thompson Boxing Celebrates 14 Years & Announces Solid Fight Card

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ONTARIO, CALIF.—After 14 years, a lot of boxing has passed under the bridge for Southern California’s Thompson Boxing Promotions.

A three title-fight boxing card will take place featuring IFBA junior flyweight titlist Sindy Amador defending against undefeated Maria Suarez on May 16, at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario.

On Wednesday, a large crowd saw the headliners and helped the promotion group celebrate their success the past 14 years, which has seen many stars come and go.

“I remember the first main even fight we ever had,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing. “It was Carlos Bojorquez and it brought all the drama and excitement you could want in a main event.”

Bojorquez, now 42 and retired, fought for the junior middleweight world title in 2004 and had wins over some notable fighters, such as Pernell Whitaker. The Mira Loma fighter now works with Thompson, along with three other former prizefighters.

It all began in the year 2000 with the city of Orange-based company promoting boxing cards primarily in Ontario, California which is about 20 miles north-east. From the very first fight card the boxing company was able to attract a large following.

“In our first fight card we had people coming from San Diego, L.A. and in Orange County,” said Thompson, who also owns Thompson Building Materials. “We’ve had 14 great years.”

In that span there have been 150 shows featuring 1800 prizefighters and they have sold 225,000 tickets. For a small promotion group it has become one of the most successful boxing companies of its size in the world.

During its first four years the company concentrated on producing good, entertaining fights for the boxing crazy fans in Southern California. The very first boxer signed by Thompson Boxing was Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez, who remains part of their promotion team. Others signed in the past were Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley, Jonathan “Momo” Romero, Victor Burgos, Mauricio Herrera and Colombia’s Yonnhy Perez.

El Colombiano

Perez captured the IBF bantamweight world title in 2009 by defeating Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko by decision in Las Vegas.

It remains one of Thompson’s most cherished moments.

“Some of the greatest people are in boxing,” Thompson says. “Most of the boxers are very humble and come from poverty.”

Alex Camponovo, who serves as the matchmaker and coordinator for the boxing events, said Colombia’s Perez is a perfect example of a boxer coming from humble beginnings and then achieving fame as a world champion.

“When Yonnhy Perez won the world championship he asked if he could go home,” said Camponovo, remembering the conversation. “He wanted to go home and build a house with his money.”

Perez returned to Cartegena, Colombia to cheers and adulation after defeating Agbeko. He returned with his promoters and trainers to share in the glory and visit his homeland. He showed them his small house that featured two bedrooms and a kitchen. The bedroom where he slept had two hammocks. The kitchen had a small refrigerator about the size of small barrel. With his money won he was going to purchase another refrigerator and give the older one to his sister.

“When Yonnhy fought for the world title in Staples Center he was staying at the J.W. Marriott,” said Camponovo. “He slept on the floor, not the bed. He wasn’t used to sleeping on a bed.”

Perez spent years training in the small suburban town of Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Despite not speaking a word of English, the Colombian bantamweight acquired a huge following from that city who loved his humility and kindness. Whenever he fought large crowds would caravan from Santa Fe Springs to Las Vegas or Los Angeles. Even today, his fans ask how he’s doing?

“It’s true. Yonnhy had a lot of fans in Santa Fe Springs,” said Camponovo, remembering the crowd that showed up at Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas when he won the world title.

Globe trotting

Thompson remembers traveling to Great Britain to see Bradley defeat Junior Witter and bring home the WBC junior welterweight world title. He also remembers going to Japan to see Burgos fight for the world title there. But his fondest moment remains a contest that was not a world title fight.

Of all the great moments and accomplishments, one event stands out over all others.

“When Josesito Lopez beat Victor Ortiz,” said Thompson, who co-promotes Lopez along with Goossen-Tutor Promotions. “That’s the high point.”

During the years they’ve signed fighters from Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico. They’ve also signed many from Southern California and one from Pennsylvania. Not all have been massive successes, unless you count the interest raised at each of their fight cards.

On Friday May 16, one of their new signees, Jose “Gato” Roman, meets Mexico’s Luis Solis in a battle of welterweights. The co-main event features Riverside’s sole world champion Sindy Amador defending her junior flyweight title against Santa Maria’s undefeated Marie Suarez.

Thompson has enjoyed the whole experience and looks forward to another 14 years.

“You meet some of the greatest people in the world in the sport of boxing,” he says.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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