Erick Ituarte edges Isaac Zarate to claim vacant NABF title

On Friday night at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario Ca., Thompson Boxing Promotions celebrated it’s 17 year anniversary with an all action main event that saw two local talents go to war for eight tough rounds.

Santa Ana’s Erick Ituarte (17-1-1, 2 KOs) came off the canvas to edge out a split decision over San Pedro’s Isaac Zarate (12-3-2, 2 KOs) in a battle for the vacant NABF featherweight title. Ituarte came out and pressed the action at the opening bell while Zarate boxed and countered when Ituarte got over aggressive. In the third round, Ituarte was on the attack when he was hit with a left hook that put him down for the count. He recovered well and finished the round strong. Zarate stayed elusive throughout and took advantage of openings between exchanges. When the dust settled one judge had Zarate on top with a score of 77-74, unfortunately for him that card was overruled by the deciding two who both had it 76-75 for Ituarte.

In the co-main event, bantamweight Christian Nieto-Ayala (9-1, 4 KOs) pulled out a split decision over Ricardo Espinoza (10-1, 8 KOs) after eight rounds. While Nieto-Ayala was a bit more aggressive throughout, Espinoza seemed to be more accurate and did land the bigger shots. The action was back-and-forth, just like the judges score cards. One judge seeing Espinoza in front with a score of 76-75 but giving way to the deciding judges that saw it 76-75 for Nieto-Ayala.

Also on the card,

Unbeaten featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (6-0, 4 KOs) stopped Anthony de Jesus Ruiz (2-3, 2 KOs) in the fifth round of a scheduled six. Villa got off to a slow start but soon found his rhythm around the third round and opened up. An all out assault had referee Ray Corona stepping in and waving it off at the 2:43 mark of the fifth round at the request of the opposing corner.

Bantamweight Mario Hernandez (2-0) scored a unanimous decision May Garduno (0-1) who was making his pro-debut. Hernandez dominated the action to earn shut out scores of 40-36 all around.

Jr. welterweights Juan Garcia Mendez (19-2-2) and Cesar Villarraga (9-3-1, 4 KOs) battled to a six round split decision draw.

Lightweight Brandon Trejo (1-0) was successful in his debut, dominating Pablo Capul (5-22, 3 KOs) en route to a shut out unanimous decision victory.

Side Notes:

The event was streamed live at and on the Thompson Boxing Facebook page.

The original main event was to feature Giovani Santillan who was pulled from the card due to dehydration.


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