The undercard of Thompson Boxing Promotions’ “Locked n’ Loaded” event features five undefeated and promising prospects in divisions ranging from heavyweight to flyweight. The six-bout card takes place at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif., Friday, July 25.
“As undercards go, this is perhaps the most prospect-heavy show we’ve had in probably a few years,” said Alex Camponovo, general manager and matchmaker for Thompson Boxing Promotions. “Usually we try to mix in some veterans because they tend to perform better, but in this case, we were able to find excellent match ups at various divisions with fresh, young talent. Fans will see exciting fights from start to finish.”
On the other end of the spectrum, the 10-round main event features well-known super bantamweights Christopher Martin (27-3-3, 9 KOs) of San Diego and Efrain Esquivias (17-3-1, 10 KOs) of Los Angeles. Both are coming off unexpected defeats and will look to steer their respective careers in the right direction when they meet one week from Friday. Since both boxers are promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions, a coin toss prior to the fight will determine corners and order of walkout and introductions.
The first prospect to carefully watch is undefeated bantamweight Carlos Carlson (14-0, 10 KOs) of Mexico. He is making the first defense of his WBC Latino Championship that he won versus the always-tough Javier Gallo in February. Carlson faces fellow countryman Jose Cen-Torres (13-4, 1 KO) in the 8-round championship fight.
“Among the attributes that make Carlson a genuine threat in the bantamweight division is his knockout ability, long reach, and his tendency to mix it up inside,” said Ken Thompson, president and founder of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He has all the tools and motivation to be great. We feel it’s only a matter of time before he puts it all together.”
The next prospect on the list is junior welterweight Jonathan Garcia (14-0, 11 KOs) of Watsonville, Calif. He mixes excellent power in both hands with a smooth technical ability more commonly found in veteran boxers.
“Garcia is that rare prospect that has intriguing potential at various divisions,” said Camponovo, who signed Garcia to a promotional deal earlier this year. “We can match him at junior welter or at the full welterweight limit. He’s bigger and stronger than most junior welterweights, and faster and more technically sound than your typical welterweight project.”
Garcia fights Michael Balasi (10-4, 7 KOs) of Honolulu. The bout is scheduled for 8-rounds.
In recent years, several Colombians have carved out a place in boxing history for themselves and former Colombian Olympian Cesar Villarraga (3-0, 2 KOs) plans to do the same. He meets fellow lightweight prospect Dominic Coca (8-8, 2 KOs) of Los Angeles in a 4-round fight.
Villarraga, co-promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions, has been matched tougher than normal early in his career.
“Villarraga comes from an Olympic background which enables us to match him against better quality opposition,” said Camponovo. “He’s a gym rat that is developing quickly, and we believe he will shed that prospect tag very soon.”
Undefeated heavyweight prospect LaRon Mitchell (4-0, 4 KOs) of San Francisco, who recently signed with Thompson Boxing Promotions, looks to make it five straight wins via knockout against Zachary Bunce (2-1, 1 KO) of Las Vegas in a fight scheduled for 4-rounds.
“Mitchell possess raw power that cannot be taught, either you have it, or you don’t,” said Camponovo. “He has a lot of growing to do in terms of understanding the nuances of the sport, but that only comes through experience and we are going to keep him busy. His power, however, is undeniable.”
The last prospect on the card is flyweight Javier Lapizco (4-0, 1 KO) of Mexico. He fights Christian Lorenzo (2-1, 1 KO) of Los Angeles in the 4-round opener. Lapizco, like most young flyweights, is best described as a blur. He darts in and out of the danger area, all while delivering punishment to his opponents.
“Lapizco is an all-action type of boxer,” added Camponovo. “His fight against Lorenzo will set the tone for the rest of the night.”