Sunday, July 14, 2024  |


Erick Ituarte edges Isaac Zarate by split decision

Fighters Network

Erick Ituarte survived a knockdown to win a hard-fought eight round split decision over Isaac Zarate Friday night at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.

Ituarte goes to 17-1-1, with two knockouts, while Zarate falls to 12-3-2, with 2 KOs.

The fight was promoted to main event status when Giovani Santillan, who was scheduled to face Juan Garcia Mendez, but had to withdraw from the fight earlier this week when it was realized he could not be able to make the contracted weight of 140 pounds.

Ituarte and Zarate was a clash of Southern California featherweights who are both promoted by Thompson Boxing.

After an even opening round, Iturate stunned Zarate towards the end of the second round. Midway through the third round, the southpaw Zarate dropped Iturate with a left hand to the head. Ituarte was not visibly hurt and fought his way back into the fight to close the round.

Both fighters had their moments in the second half of the fight, but Ituarte was the more effective fighter. Iturate worked from the center of the ring, walking Zarate down, scoring more at will during the last two rounds.

One judge scored the bout 76-75 in favor of Zarate, while the other two judges scored the bout 77-74 and 76-75 for Ituarte.

In the co-feature, Christian Ayala fought back from an opening round knockdown to defeat Ricardo Espinoza by split decision over eight rounds.

Both Ayala and Espinoza went on the attack from the opening bell. Espinoza scored a flash knockdown in the first 30 seconds of the opening round, courtesy of a left hook.

Espinoza was the more effective fighter during the early rounds, but Ayala’s left hooks to the body began to pay dividends as Espinoza began to slow considerably during the second half of the fight. Both fighters opened up during the final round, providing solid exchanges for the sold-out crowd.

One judge scored the bout 76-75 for Espinoza, while Ayala got the nod from the other two judges who scored the bout 77-74 and 76-75 in his favor.

Junior welterweights Juan Garcia Mendez (19-2-2, with 12 KOs) and Cesar Villarraga (9-3-1, with 3 KOs) fought to a six round split decision draw. One judge scored the bout 58-56 for Mendez, another scored the bout 59-55 for Villarraga, while the third judge scored it 57-57.

In junior lightweight action, Ruben Villa broke down Anthony de Jesus Ruiz (2-3, with 2 KOs), stopping him at 2:43 of the fifth round. Villa, who defeated Shakur Stevenson twice in the amateur ranks, is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. Villa is now 6-0, with 4 KOs.

Bantamweight Mario Hernandez (2-0) won a four round unanimous decision over May Garduno, who was making his pro debut. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Hernandez.

Lightweight Brandon Trejo was successful in his pro debut, winning a four round unanimous decision over veteran Pablo Cupul (9-23, with 5 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Trejo.

Friday night marked the 17th anniversary of Thompson Boxing Promotions’ first fight card in May of 2000. Thompson Boxing also streamed the Friday’s fight card in its entirety on its website and Facebook page.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing