Erick Ituarte Survives Early Knockdown in Route to Victory
May 20, 2017 Share

Erick Ituarte Survives Early Knockdown in Route to Victory

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

Photos by Cynthia Saldaña


Friday night Thompson Boxing Promotions celebrated it’s seventeenth anniversary by bringing a great night of boxing to the Inland Empire of California. Music blared and drinks flowed as the sold out crowd at the Double Tree and those who streamed the “New Blood” event were treated to a six great fights. Headlining the event was Erick Ituarte (17-1-1, 2 KO’s) of Santa Ana, California as he battled,Isaac Zarate (12-3-2, 2 KO’s) of San Pedro, California for the vacant NABF Featherweight Title. Ituarte, 22, who entered the ring riding a nine fight winning streak stood toe to toe with with Zarate as they both landed heavy exchanges on each other from the opening bell. Then in the third with one solid punch the tide shifted as Zarate landed a solid left hook flooring Ituarte. Ituarte rose off the canvas to beat the count and came out in the fourth round fighting with a sense of urgency. Ituarte stayed one step ahead of Zarate and used effective aggression to close out the fight in solid fashion. After eight rounds of blistering action Ituarte emerged victorious as two of the three judges ruled in his favor by the scores of 77-74 and 76-75 over ruling the third judge who had it 76-75 in favor of Zarate.


In the Co-main event it was a battle of two of Tijuana’s finest, as featherweights Ricardo “El Hindu” Espinoza (10-2, 8 KO’s) went to war with Christian Ayala (10-1, 4 KO’s). Like the main event it was fireworks from the opening bell as Espinoza and Ayala wasted no time in going for the knockout. In the first round it was Espinoza who landed a crushing overhand right that left Ayala off balance forcing him to use his gloves to hold himself up. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. stopped the action and began the count. After the knockdown Ayala went into second gear countering the aggressor Espinoza, Ayala landed several big uppercuts and solid body shots as Espinoza kept coming forward. In the middle rounds and late rounds it was much of the same as Espinoza and Ayala continued to land at will on each other, neither fighter took a step back and both showed great intestinal fortitude throughout the this epic war. After eight rounds of action the judges handed a split decision victory to Christian Ayala.


Also on the Friday night “New Blood” card was standout Ruben Villa IV (6-0, 4 KO’s) of Salinas, California. Villa, 20, as he took on Anthony De Jesus Ruiz (2-3, 2 KO’s) from San Luis Potosi, Mexico in a bout that was set for 6 rounds.Villa the southpaw, who is co-promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions looked impressive as he wasted no time in establishing his jab and counter left hook. Villa used great ring generalship and solid body work early in the fight and in the 5th round hurt Ruiz with a big combination and continued his onslaught forcing referee Ray Corona step in and call a halt to the bout at the 2:43 mark of the round.Villa who began his professional career last July with back to back knockout victories and last month came away with a big knockout victory over the then undefeated Luis Torres at the new MGM Harbor Arena in Oxon Hill, Maryland continues to shine as one of the top young boxing prospects.


Other fights included

(Super Bantamweights) Mario Hernandez (1-0) vs May Garduno (Debut) of San Bernardino, Result: Hernandez wins unanimous decision and moves to (2-0)

(Lightweights) Brandon Trejo (Debut) of Napa, California vs Carlos Apodaca (0-3) from Sonora, Mexico, Result: Trejo wins by unanimous decision and moves to (1-0)

(Welterweights) Juan Mendez (19-2-2) from Baja, California, Mexico vs Cesar Villarraga (9-3-1, 4 KO’s) from Bogota, Colombia,Result: Draw