West Coast Notes – Scouring the Southern California landscape and all of Latin America for those missing gems has made Thompson Boxing Promotions one of the most under-rated boxing companies in the world today.
While the major boxing powers claim the blue chip fighters out of the Olympics and amateur international tournament winners, the small Southern California promotion company based in the city of Orange scoops up those dusty looking prospects others miss.
They have a large bundle of world championship belts to flaunt.
A good example of their talent pool takes place when Danny Roman (18-2-1) defends the NABA super bantamweight title against Christian Esquivel (28-9) on Friday, May 20, at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. Also, Nicaraguan prospect Roberto Arriaza (11-0) faces Cameron Kreal (8-9-2).
Who knows which of the prospects coming out of the Thompson Boxing roster will move on to better things in a year or two. They have a remarkable success rate so far.
From the beginning they’ve rolled out prizefighters from Southern California like Carlos “El Elegante” Bojorquez to Josesito Lopez and Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera who fought for world titles. And then there were South Americans who didn’t look world title-capable, but grabbed them, like Yonnhy Perez, Jhonatan “Momo” Romero and Darleys Perez.
Thompson Boxing has shown a great aptitude for guiding contenders to the world championship.
Perhaps its greatest feat was Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley beginning his pro career with the promotion company headed by Ken Thompson, and streaking all the way to multiple world titles. The Palm Springs fighter was ignored by major boxing promoters and then proved them all wrong in winning super lightweight and welterweight world titles. Now he’s recognized as one of the best fighters pound for pound in the world. His only losses were to Manny Pacquiao and that is it.
On Friday, Roman takes his turn in the ring to see how far he can go as one of Thompson’s gunners. He currently has a 10-fight winning streak.
“Esquivel is a dangerous opponent, there’s no doubt about that,” stated Roman about his opponent who formerly fought a world champion (Shinsuke Yamanaka). “But I’ve been extremely focused in the gym, training hard like always. I’m looking forward to defending my title and giving the fans a great show.”
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Those Riverside prizefighters keep showing up in the headlines.
Saul “Neno” Rodriguez kept his undefeated streak going with a knockout win over Colombia’s Daulis Prescott last Saturday in Studio City, Ca.
Rodriguez’s contract with Top Rank is ending soon and negotiations have not been successful. One major point has been the purses. While his contemporary Puerto Rico’s Felix Verdejo makes more than $200,000 for his fights, Rodriguez barely cracks five figures. Both have a common opponent in Ivan Najera. Verdejo won by decision after 10 rounds. Rodriguez knocked him out in the first round. The Puerto Rican was ringside that night and witnessed the destruction. Both chatted amicably after the fight.
Another problem, Rodriguez has never fought closer than Los Angeles. His home area (Riverside/San Bernardino counties) includes some of the most rabid fans in the world, who on average – according to one casino marketing expert – travel to more boxing cards in Las Vegas than those fans coming from Los Angeles. That crowd has never been put to use with a hometown fight. Still, more than 100 traveled to Studio City a 160-mile roundtrip trek for fans from Riverside.
Rodriguez trains under Robert Garcia and Eduardo Garcia in Riverside. He’s also a stable mate of Mikey Garcia who has preferred to not fight under the Top Rank banner for two years.
Will Rodriguez stay with Top Rank or will he go to other pastures?
UniMas and British television both named him one of the most electrifying prospects. Now that he’s a contender, will he finally get the electrifying money like Verdejo?
Triple G vs. Canelo
Negotiations are underway with Golden Boy Promotions releasing a statement Wednesday that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez would rather relinquish the belt than be hedged into a time constraint during negotiations.
But he also said he wants to fight and beat Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. It’s all about the money at this point. Who gets how much? And where will the fight be located?
That’s what concerns me most of all.
The choices are many with Las Vegas leading the way because of the money they can put into the bid with casinos pooling their money to bring the mega fight to the Nevada desert. Other leading locations are Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City and even Mexico City.
If it’s Las Vegas, Los Angeles or New York City those are my preferences.