ONTARIO, Ca.-Carlos Carlson may have been napping before awakening to rally from a first round knockdown and roar back with a knockout win of fellow Mexican Alex Rangel (17-6-2) and win the vacant NABF bantamweight title on Friday.
The fight went from near disaster to ecstasy in a heartbeat.
Although a co-main event failed to transpire due to unexplained legal problems, the remaining fights proved pretty emphatic before a smaller crowd than usual at the Doubletree Hotel. But Carlson (21-1, 12 KOs) won the title and the smaller crowd was more than pleased by the Thompson Boxing Promotions card.
Tijuana’s Carlson has a habit of not looking great on occasion. Against Rangel it looked to be one of those off nights again, especially when Carlson was floored from an overhand right in the first round. Rangel was firing overhand rights and windmill lefts and everything was connecting. Meanwhile, Carlson seemed to be like an off-key piano.
When the second round began Rangel discovered that those same punches he fired with such great effect in the first round were nowhere to be found. Instead, Carlson was suddenly zeroed in like a cruise missile and just as deadly. For three minutes Carlson inflicted so much pain that it could have easily been scored a 10-8 round for Carlson.
The third round saw Carlson even more aggressive and more accurate and seemingly unwilling to allow the fight continue beyond the three minutes allotted. He pummeled Rangel with such a vengeance that he felt pity for his fellow Mexican and motioned to the referee to stop the fight. When no stoppage looked imminent, he fired a combination and finished it with a left hook that sent Rangel to the deck like a broken folding chair. The fight was over 1:00 into the third round.
Carlson looked almost apologetic that he allowed fans to think he was beatable. But not on this night as he strapped on the NABF bantamweight title belt.
The co-main event was supposed to feature San Diego’s Giovanni Santillan versus Brian Jones of L.A. but there were legal problems that could not be circumvented. After trying to find a last-minute alternate, it was decided on Friday that Santillan would not be fighting.
Santa Ana’s Erick Ituarte (15-1-1) floored Mexico’s Alberto Mora (5-5) in the second round with a counter left hook and then cruised to victory by unanimous decision after six rounds. Ituarte was nonstop in his attack and Mora never could hurt Ituarte. All three judges saw it in favor of featherweight Ituarte 60-53.
Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs) powered his way to a fourth round knockout over Tijuana’s Erick Martinez (12-6-1, 6 KOs) with a vicious body attack in their super lightweight clash. Mendez, who is trained by Joel and Antonio Diaz, was the stronger and faster fighter from the opening bell. Martinez tried to maneuver his way from Mendez’s body attack but was unable to find an antidote. At 1:41 of round four referee Raul Caiz Jr. saw enough punishment and stopped the fight.
Newly signed Ruben Villa IV (2-0) of Salinas, Calif. won by knockout of Tijuana’s Jose Mora (0-1) at 2:41 of the first round in their featherweight bout. A quick right hook from the southpaw Villa connected to Mora’s jaw and down he went. He beat the count but was met with a combination that forced referee Tom Taylor to halt the fight.
A battle between young super flyweights from Temecula was won by Danny Andujo (2-0) versus Cesar Guzman (0-1) but it was touch and go until the fourth round. A short right by Andujo caught Guzman at the right moment and down he went. Guzman rallied hard but it wasn’t enough to convince the judges who scored it 39-36, 40-35, 38-37 for Andujo.
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