Erick Ituarte Wins – ONTARIO, CALIF.-It wasn’t slated as the main event but it fit the purpose to perfection as Santa Ana’s Erick Ituarte survived two knockdowns to defeat Tijuana’s Daniel Ramirez by decision at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario on Friday.
Ituarte (14-1-1, 2 KOs) rallied from behind to win a disputed decision over the taller Ramirez (11-4, 5 KOs) after eight rounds. The crowd was not pleased by the decision, but very pleased by the Thompson Boxing Promotions super featherweight bout which was bumped up to the top of the marquee when the main event fell out.
Ramirez used his longer reach to drop Ituarte with a counter right in the very first round. Ituarte looked shook up but was not hurt and survived the round.
But in the second round, the shorter Ituarte ramped up his attack and defense to show Ramirez that it was not going to be an easy fight. He fired sharp combinations that surprised the Tijuana fighter.
Ituarte gained confidence from the second round rally so in the third he fired an explosive overhand right just as Ramirez had a notion to fire his own. Down went the Tijuana fighter who looked very pained by the blow. But he survived the round.
Ramirez realized that the momentum had changed and looked to reverse the fight. The fourth round was more strategic and conservative than all of the previous rounds.
Ituarte wasn’t about to let Ramirez grab the momentum. He mounted a sharp attack. In all the previous rounds both fighters showed power in their rights. It was the punch that caused problems throughout. In the fifth round, Ramirez reverted to a counter left cross that surprised Ituarte and down he went. He got up but lost the round.
Neither fighter wanted to lose momentum so the sixth round was a toss-up. Both fired blows but were careful about the return fire. It was a pivotal round.
Ituarte took command in the last two rounds with snappy combination punching. Those right hands were landing and Ramirez could not find the antidote. Ituarte was in charge and would not allow Ramirez a lucky counter shot. The fight ended with Ituarte pressuring Ramirez against the ropes. Both hugged at the end of the fight.
Surprisingly all three judges saw Ituarte the winner 75-74, 76-73, 77-73.
Undefeated heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (13-0, 13 KOs) belted out former light heavyweight contender Epifanio Mendoza (42-23-1, 36 KOs) of Colombia with a powerful left to the body at 52 seconds into the third round. Epifanio kept the fight at close quarters and never allowed Mitchell to fight at arm’s length. But in the third round Mitchell pivoted and delivered a left to the mid-section of Mendoza who was counted out by referee Raul Caiz.
Indio’s Manuel Mendez (10-1-2, 6 KOs) floored Arlington, Washington’s Ricardo Maldonado (6-5-1) in the first round, but an accidental clash of heads in the second round opened up a bad cut over Mendez’s right eye. The ringside physician advised the referee to stop the super lightweight fight and under California rules it was ruled a technical draw.
L.A.’s Eridanni Leon (3-2) won by knockout over Rashad Lawal (1-4-1) at 1:31 of round four in a welterweight bout. Leon was in control of every round against the southpaw. Lawal never touched the canvas but took a lot of punches throughout the four round fight.
Rudy “Tiburon” Garcia (2-0) of South Central L.A. defeated Rafael Rivera (2-9) of La Puente by unanimous decision after four rounds of a bantamweight fight. Garcia was in control every round but Rivera refused to give ground. All three judges scored it 40-36.