This past Friday proved to be a day of deliverance for each one of the fighters seeking their “Path to Glory.” The sold-out crowd at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario witnessed the 13th consecutive year of Thompson Boxing Promotions pugilist action featured at the now famed venue. From young novices making their way up in the professional ranks, to schooled prospects looking for room in the upper echelons of the sport, “Path to Glory” had it all. Knock outs, raw power and stylistic battles that had the crowd elated to be back for more action.
To christen the evening, Las Vegas featherweight Pedro Toledo (2-0-1) edged East L.A.’s Xavier Montelongo (2-1-1) and handed him his first loss as a pro after four rounds. Toledo won by unanimous decision 39-37 on all three judge’s scorecards.
The following bout saw San Bernardino’s Joshua “YG” Conley improve his record to (5-0, 4 KOs) in a battle against Mexico’s Juan Carlos Rojas (4-5, 4 KOs). The knockout fighters went at it for four hard rounds but in the end Rojas became a victim to Conley’s right-handed power shots. The final tally gave Conley 39-37 on two of the judge’s cards and 39-37 for Rojas by one judge for a split decision.
In the next bout of the evening, Colombian Alex “El Principe” Theran faced off against Hawaii’s Michael Balasi. The skillful Balasi did his best but could not keep up with the busier Theran who focused on using his rapid combinations. Theran unleashed his attack and overpowered Balasi, which caused referee Wayne Hedgepeth to stop the fight in the fourth round. Theran’s record improves to (11-0,8 KOs).
Riverside’s Juan Ramo “El Pochito” Reyes (9-1-1) tangled with Palm Spring’s Hugo Ramos (3-12-2) to win by unanimous decision after six rounds of a competitive featherweight contest. Both Reyes and Ramos were on the attack and fiercely traded punches. In the end two judges scored it 59-55 and one judge 60-53 – all for Reyes.
In the co-main event of the evening, San Bernardino’s Artemio “The King” Reyes Jr. knocked out Arizona’s Rodolfo “Bam Bam” Armenta (12-10-1) with a quick left hook that landed flush on his opponents face. The fight ended near the middle of the second round at 1:47. Reyes, whose record improved to (19-2, 15 KOs), was able to control his opponent with the advantage of his reach and punching power which prompted referee Wayne Hedgepeth to stop the fight with Armenta still on the canvas.
In the main event of the evening, San Diego’s Chris “Marvelous” Martin (26-2-3, 8 KOs) avenged his loss to Mexico’s Jose Beranza (35-26-2, 27 KOs) to win by unanimous decision after eight – action packed – rounds. With the win Martin won the super bantamweight WBC US title.
Martin scored a knockdown in round five with a straight combination and that proved the difference in the fight. Beranza, knowing he was behind, put up a valiant effort during the last three rounds and Martin seemed to be out-hustled by his opponent’s busier work. The judges scored it 78-73 and 76-75 twice for Martin.
After the fight Chris Martin had this to say, “Beranza is one tough guy, our first fight was pretty much the same and he beat me by a split decision. I think our styles are so even that we would always have the same type of fight,” said Martin with the new WBC US strap hanging from his shoulder. “I’m not known for my power but that is what made the difference on this fight, I was effective during most of the fight and I’m certain I won a close decision. I got redemption with this rematch, now I can move on and go after bigger fights.”