Artemio Reyes Jr. Wins By KO; Chris Martin Edges Beranza at Doubletree in Ontario, CA

Prospect Theran (right) went to 11-0 with the W on the Thompson card.

Nearly three months into 2013, the normally busy Inland Empire saw their first fight card when Thompson Boxing Promotions opened up their year with several of their prospects and contenders.

San Bernardino’s Artemio Reyes Jr. knocked out Arizona’s Rodolfo Armenta (12-10-1) early in a welterweight fight on Friday at the Doubletree Hotel in front of nearly 2,000 fans. Many of those were Reyes fans who drove 15 miles to the Ontario hotel where the fight was held.

Reyes (19-2, 15 Kos) was in command from the beginning using his longer reach and precise punching to shoot a counter right to send Armenta (12-10-1) flying against the ropes. The referee could have ruled it a knockdown but when Armenta straightened himself up, he didn’t show signs of being hurt by the punch. That would come later.

A very short left hook by Reyes on the chin ended the fight at 1:47 in round two. Armenta had been looking to land the overhand right for most of the two rounds and just didn’t see the Reyes left hook that traveled less than 16 inches squarely on the chin. Armenta tried to get up but collapsed again and referee Wayne Hedgepeth stopped the fight.

San Diego’s Chris Martin (26-2-3, 8 Kos) avenged a loss to Mexico’s Jose Beranza (35-26-2, 27 Kos) to win by unanimous decision after eight rounds in a junior featherweight contest. If not for a knockdown Martin would have been dealt a draw.

Martin scored a knockdown of Beranza in round five and that proved the difference in the fight. During the last three rounds Martin was out-hustled by Beranza who also won over the crowd with his busier work. The judges scored it 78-73 and 76-75 twice for Martin.

Riverside’s Juan Reyes (9-1-1) barreled through Palm Spring’s Hugo Ramos (3-12-2) to win by unanimous decision after six rounds of a competitive junior featherweight contest. Reyes averaged near 150 punches a round but was met with stiff punching by Ramos who seemed to be going for the knockout. It never came as both continued to trade punches till the very last second. Two judges scored it 59-55 and one judge 60-53 all for Reyes.

Colombian import

In the last several years Thompson Boxing has found success with several Colombian imports. Last weekend “Momo” Romero defeated Mexico’s Alejandro Lopez to capture the IBF world title in Tijuana, Mexico. Previously another of their Colombian fighters Yonnhy Perez was the IBF bantamweight champion. Now another from the South American country has been brought north.

Colombian middleweight import Alex “Principe” Theran (11-0, 7 Kos) used all of his physical advantages to defeat Hawaii’s Michael Balasi (10-2, 7 Kos) by knockout in the fourth round at the Doubletree Hotel on Friday. Both fighters were southpaws.

From the first round the size difference proved a problem for the Hawaiian boxer. Balasi showed good skills but the busier Colombian fighter simply wore down the shorter opponent with rapid combinations including right hooks. Balasi tried to counter with right hooks to the body but found it difficult to get close enough.

After three solid rounds Theran opened up with a burst of punches that sent Balasi backward. The tall Colombian moved in behind another barrage of eight punches and down went the Hawaiian. He beat the count but was met with another flurry of punches that connected and forced referee Wayne Hedgepeth to stop the fight at 2:22 of round four.

Other bouts

San Bernardino’s Joshua Conley (5-0, 4 Kos) waited a little too long to get started against Mexico’s Juan Carlos Rojas (4-5, 4 Kos) but managed to pull out a split decision win. Both middleweights had won all of their previous fights by knockout, but not this time. Rojas was the busier fighter throughout but Conley landed the bigger shots especially with the right hand. One judge scored it 39-37 for Rojas, but the other two favored Conley 39-37. It was the first win by decision for Conley who is trained by Henry Ramirez in Riverside.

Las Vegas featherweight Pedro Toledo (2-0-1) edged past East L.A.’s Xavier Montelongo (2-1-1) to hand him his first loss as a pro after four rounds. Toledo was accurate with the right hand but hung on during the last round to win by unanimous decision 39-37 on all three judge’s cards. Toledo lost steam in the last round but Montelongo was unable to take advantage in a competitive fight.