February 22, 2013
On Friday evening, Thompson Boxing Promotions of Orange, CA returned to the Empire Ballroom of the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA for their first show of the year. Dubbed “Path to Glory” they featured San Diego’s Christopher Martin (25-2-3, 8 KOs) in a rematch with the veteran of 62 fights, Jose Angel Beranza (35-25-2, 27 KOs) from Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico, the man who dealt Martin his first loss.
When you’re rating Beranza as a boxer, be sure you take into consideration the fact he’s fought more of the top people than most. The people he has faced over the last three years have a combined record of - 157 wins -15 losses - 5 draws.
Sitting there at Ringside and being sound of mind, showing no prejudice for either boxer, I decided to be my own scorekeeper for this all important match.
Round #1, Beranza threw and landed more punches. 10-9 Beranza
Round #2, Martin threw and landed more punches. 10-9 Martin
As it turns out Round #3 became the most pivotal round of the fight. In that round Martin threw and landed two more punches than his opponent. 10-9 Martin
Round #4 was the first round in which either boxer distinguished themselves. Martin was clearly on his game, on target and landing the heavier blows. 10-9 Martin
Round #5 was the back breaker for Beranza. With Martin clearly in charge and starting to land two and three punch combinations, Beranza got careless and became the victim of a flash knockdown. Clear headed, Beranza was up in an instant and finished the round with two solid flurries that not only spoiled Martin’s perfect round, but renewed Beranza resolve that he could still pull off the win. 10-8 Martin
In Rounds #6, #7 and #8 Beranza became the man in charge. He took over and clearly led in the punch count stats. Twice, he had Martin in trouble and on the verge of going down. Martin survived by having his head go with the punches or he’d duck under one of the fierce attacks. He also kept Beranza wary by occasionally returning fire with his big overhand right or land a more accurate and technical punch. Beranza certainly had his opportunities but he couldn’t finish. Scoring totals for rounds six, seven, and eight. 30-27 Beranza Totals from all eight rounds: 76-75 for Martin.
At the close of this fight, Martin laid claim to the vacant WBC United States USNBC super bantamweight title after receiving the favorable scores of 78-73, 76-75 and 76-75. The crowd erupted with boos that later turned to cheers when Beranza stoked the fire by raising his hand to protest the decision. The boos might never have come if it weren’t for that 78-73 score from judge Wayne Hedgepeth. In totaling my round by round scoring, I came up with the same numbers as judges Marty Denkin and Carla Caiz 76-75.
When quizzing fellow boxing reporters, they too had mixed opinions. Barbara Pinnella of Leave it in the Ring and Renzo Novara of Boxeo Hispano had Beranza winning 76-75. From Fight News, Felipe Leon agreed with the 76-75 assessment. From the same publication, Miguel Maravilla saw it 76-75 for Martin.
In the Co-feature, Artemio “King” Reyes of Colton, CA (19-2, 14 KOs) scored a second round KO over Rodolfo Armenta (12-10-1, 9 KOs) of Rio Rico, Arizona by way of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.
In one corner, you had a tough guy prepared to stand up to anyone. In the other was Reyes, a polished technical boxer/puncher who realized sometimes it takes a little finessing to size up an opponent before lowering the boom.
With Armenta’s resolve, it took Reyes until 1:47 of the second round to lower that boom. After a huge shot to the head, Armenta went crashing to the canvas. Without further ado, referee Raul Caiz Sr. stepped in to end the bout.
Easy to root for, difficult to score for
The early forecast for the bout between Juan Reyes of Riverside (now 9-1-1, 1 KO) and Hugo Ramos (3-11-2, 1 KO) of Palm Springs had Reyes making quick work of his opponent. Things don’t always go as planned. Not to discount Reyes’ efforts but he couldn’t have stopped Ramos even if had brass knuckles stuffed in his gloves.
For six solid rounds Ramos was able to walk through each of Reyes’ huge right hands. If Ramos landed a punch, the crowd would cheer, “Hugo! Hugo!” What made Ramos a crowd favorite were the sounds he’d make when throwing a punch, either “Wop, wop!” or “Bop, bop!” and then his trainer would often join in with words of encouragement, “That’s it, walk him down!” It was as if Ramos had been offered a bonus for every punch he took. In Round one he took four punches for everyone delivered. In Round #2, he was on the receiving end of 8 punches to one.
The crowd got pumped when Hugo came on at the close of Round #5. With blood streaming down into his left eye, the crowd chanted, “Hugo!! Hugo!!”
In another crowd pleaser, it was Alex “El Principe” Theran (11-0, 6 KOs) scoring a fourth round TKO victory over Michael Balasi (10-1, 7 KOs) of Hawaii. Theran dominated the action in Round #1 with the help of his lethal jab.
Both fighters were rocked hard in the second. By the third round, Theran had begun to establish his dominace. In the fourth round, Theran unleashed a flurry of shots to the head to send the Hawaiian down to one knee. Another flurry of unanswered blows followed moments later which prompted referee Wayne Hedgepeth to call a halt to the action.
Despite his patience, casual demeanor and excessive holding, Joshua Conley (5-0, 4 KOs) put together enough punches to earn a split decision victory over the game but overmatched Juan Carlos Rojas (4-4, 4 KOs).
Every time Rojas got careless, there was the more talented Conley to make him pay. In Round #2, he made him pay with four solid shots to the head and an impressive combination. By Round #3, Rojas was taking punches from every angle.
Round #4 was the “Wow round” as the aggressive Rojas pulled out all the stops and gave it everything he had until a late reversal by Conley. It was unsurprising to see how Rojas had won over the crowd.
In the end, one judge actually had Rojas ahead 39-37, however he was overruled by the two sane judges who weren’t swayed by the E-for-effort affliction and awarded the San Bernardino fighter, Conley, identical 39-37 scores for the split decision victory.
In the opener, East LA’s Xavier “The Mongoose” Montelongo Jr. (2-1-1) suffered the first defeat of his career at the hands of Pedro Toledo (2-0-1).
Toledo not only out worked Montelongo in the opening three stanzas, he looked fierce in doing so. Even though Montelongo battled backed in the final stanza, there was no way he could overcome the deficit without a knockout. All three judges had Toledo winning the first three rounds with Montelongo taking the consolation round.