Welterweight Artemio Reyes (22-2, 18 KOs) needed two rounds to dispatch Abraham Alvarez (16-5-1, 7 KOs) on Friday in the 10-round “Path to Glory” main event. Reyes, who came in winning six straight, ended it in typical Reyes fashion, inside of three rounds. Only one of his last six knockout wins has lasted to the third round.
In the first, Reyes did whatever he wanted. He rocked the Mexican-born Alvarez with power shots to the head and body.
“I knew I hurt him in the first, the way he was wincing after taking a shot,” said Reyes, who fights out of nearby Riverside, Calif. and is trained by Joel Diaz. “My team and I never go in searching for a knockout, but if it presents itself early, like it did tonight, we’ll take it any day of the week.”
The second round proved to be the clincher with Reyes scoring a brutal knockdown that could have been enough for the referee to step in and call it, but the fight continued. Seconds later, Alvarez was on his wallet yet again, this time a three-punch combination left him looking dizzy and confused. Alvarez continued, but got slammed to the canvas a third time and that is when the referee put an end to the carnage at the 2:01 mark.
The co-main event from the Doubletree Hotel Ontario featured junior welterweights Giovani Santillan (13-0, 7 KOs) of San Diego and Joaquin Chavez (7-14-3, 2 KOs) of Los Angeles. Santillan preserved his flawless record with a tactical approach that awarded him a unanimous decision win (79-72, 78-73, 77-74).
The 22-year-old Santillan, fighting in his fourth straight 8-round bout, is showing signs of developing into a complete boxer. He out-boxed Chavez, cut off the ring when he had to, and largely neutralized most counter punches. He scored one knockdown in the first and essentially picked Chavez apart the rest of the way.
Super bantamweight Danny Roman (9-2-1, 4 KOs) of Los Angeles put on a tremendous performance by dismantling Jonathan Arellano (13-3-2, 3 KOs) of Ontario, Calif. through eight hard fought and thrilling rounds. Roman takes home a unanimous decision win (79-71, 80-72 twice) and it could not have come at a better time, as Roman was 1-1 in his last two fights.
If there is a knock on Arellano, is that he is heavily reliant on the counter punch. That may work against a methodical boxer, but Roman is a high motor, volume puncher that thrives against counter punching. Roman threw every punch in the book from a variety of angles and Arellano just could not keep up with the constant onslaught. Arellano was showered with punch after punch and Roman appeared to grow stronger as the fight progressed.
While Roman will never be confused with the power-punching likes of Israel Vazquez, who was ringside commentating for LATV Networks, or Mexican legend Rafael Marquez, Roman is surely in the same league when it comes to work rate and relentless pressure. He never tires, always outworks his opponents, and fires at will.
A standing ovation in the sixth round by the knockout-hungry crowd contributed to both boxers trading a significant amount of punches, but it was Roman who carried the round. Roman finally dropped Arellano in the eighth and final round with a series of punches to the head. He knocked him down again seconds before the final bell rang.
Observers would not know it from his record, but Phoenix-native Cesar Valenzuela (8-3-1, 3 KOs) is a crafty and talented junior lightweight that uses his height and reach advantage to frustrate and confuse opponents. His latest victim, previously unbeaten Erick Ituarte (7-1-1, 1 KO) could not find the rhythm required to slow down the always-advancing Valenzuela.
In the fourth round, Ituarte appeared to get knocked down by a Valenzuela combination, but the referee ruled it a slip. Ituarte, sensing he needed to change the feel of the match, came out hungry in the fifth. Valenzuela, however, did not back down from the immediate pressure. When Valenzuela gets hits, it appears to motivate him even more, and for every Ituarte punch, Valenzuela was all too ready to send a handful of punches his way.
Valenzuela cruised to a 6-round unanimous decision with scores: 58-56, 59-55 twice.
Lightweights Ken Alvarez (6-0-2, 3 KOs) of Puerto Rico and Joshua Marks (8-5-1, 8 KOs) of Indio, Calif. kicked things off with a thoroughly entertaining 6-round scrap.
Alvarez and Marks offered a spirited exchange in the second round with both fighters landing power punches. In the third, Alvarez appeared to be trying to regain his balance while back pedaling when a Marks left hook to the body dropped him to the canvas. Alvarez calmly stood up and followed up with a combination upstairs that scored a knockdown for the Puerto Rican native.
While both fighters showed guile and a commitment to exchange, the judges could not source a winner leaving the fight a majority draw. One judge scored it 59-55 for Marks, and the other two settled on 57-57.