Artemio “The King” Reyes & Loaded Thompson Fight Card


Artemio Cruz Jr. by San ManuelLoaded.

Talk about overkill. Southern California based Thompson Boxing Promotions has fired up the guns with an array of boxing talent beginning with Artemio “King” Reyes facing Victor Correa in the main event on Friday, Feb. 24.

That’s the signature bout but there’s a lot more in the rack.

First, San Bernardino’s Reyes (14-1, 11 KOs) fights Mexico City’s Victor Correa (14-4, 9 KOs) on the main event at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario. Then you have Efrain Esquivias, Aron Martinez, Dashon Johnson, Sindy Amador, Gloria Salas and Richard Contreras to name most of the participants.

If you don’t recognize any of these names, trust me, you will know them very soon.

Let’s start with the string bean power puncher Reyes. A few months ago he tangled with undefeated former US Olympian Javier Molina and handed him his first loss. For those who had witnessed his climb, it was not a surprise. He has power especially to the body in those sinewy arms.

“He’s a hard working kid with a great story,” said Alex Camponovo who administrates the Thompson boxing cards. “He believes in what we’re doing.”

Reyes has belted out almost every opponent he’s faced and with every fight he continues to show great improvement in all aspects of boxing. He trains in Riverside.

Next, let’s take a look at Carson’s undefeated Esquivias (15-0, 9 KOs) who trains at the Wild Card under Freddie Roach and company. He’s a blistering counter puncher who’s been wearing out opponents with his slick moves and battering punches that tend to take the legs and heart out of opponents.

A junior welterweight clash pits East L.A.’s Aron Martinez (15-1-1, 3 KOs) against Escondido’s Dashon Johnson (13-4-3, 4 KOs). It’s grit versus speed in a fight that should serve as a jump start for the winner.

A female junior flyweight contest features Coachella’s Gloria Salas (3-6-1) against Riverside’s undefeated Sindy Amador (6-0). Don’t be fooled by Salas’s record. She’s fought top notch competition and is unafraid to face anybody. Amador is a non-stop punching machine and trains out of Riverside’s notorious Capital Punishment Gym. A lot of new talent has emerged from that hillside boxing haven.

Two prospects people in the area are mentioning often are bantamweight Richard Contreras (9-0, 8 KOs) a big punching 118-pounder and speedy welterweight Joshua Conley (1-0) out of San Bernardino.

Thompson Boxing has been rooting out talent for 10 years in the Inland area and has had great success. Among those discovered and promoted were world champions Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and Yonnhy Perez, plus contenders Mauricio Herrera, Josesito Lopez and several others.

“We took Bradley and Yonnhy Perez to a world title. That’s talent that nobody would have been able to see,” Camponovo said.

For a decade they’ve nurtured the area with regular fight cards that have sparked massive interest in the sport of prizefighting.

“I wish I had a particular formula but there is talent out there that is willing to work with us,” says Camponovo. “I’d rather give a kid that’s willing to fight seven fights a year instead of the kid that has over 100 amateur fights and national titles but wants only one fight a year.”

Despite the success, one fighter did slip through.

“I think the one is Chris Arreola. We probably would have been able to develop his career. We had him for over six fights but we were just beginning and not ready for him,” says Camponovo. “Timing in life is everything.”

The Thompson Boxing fight card begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information call (714) 935-0900.

Trust me. About three or four of these prizefighters will be fighting on a national scale.

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Juan Carlos Burgos (28-1) vs. Cristobal Cruz (39-12-3).

Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Jessie Vargas (17-0) vs. Lanardo Tyner (25-6-2).

Sat. pay-per-view, 6 p.m., Frankie Edgar (14-1-1) vs. Ben Henderson (15-2); Rampage Jackson (32-9) vs. Ryan Bader (14-2); Mark Hunt (7-7) vs. Cheick Kongo (27-6-2).

Sat. HBO, 7 p.m., Adrian Broner (22-0) vs. Eloy Perez (23-0-2); Marcos Maidana (31-2) vs. Devon Alexander (22-1).

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