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Ken Thompson tribute service precedes March 10 ‘Path To Glory’ show

Fighters Network

ONTARIO, Calif. – Promoter Ken Thompson never wanted the spotlight to shine on him throughout his many years as a promoter. On a rainy Friday night, it was only fitting that close friends and associates decided to honor him by recognizing the legacy he left in boxing.

Thompson passed away last month at the age of 85. He started Thompson Boxing Promotions in 2000, leading a small company that became a staple of monthly boxing shows in Southern California and promoting some of the top fighters in boxing.

Notable fighters who were promoted by Thompson Boxing include hall of famer Timothy Bradley Jr., former bantamweight beltholder Yonnhy Perez and former unified junior featherweight titleholder Danny Roman.

Prior to Friday’s Thompson Boxing card, which took place at the DoubleTree Hotel in this Los Angeles suburb, a memorial service was held in honor of the Texas native who became a successful businessman by opening a series of stores throughout California that sold building materials. Fighters who fought or currently fight under the Thompson Boxing banner were in attendance, as well as trainers, managers and promoters who also paid their respects to Thompson.

Readings from the New Testament, musical performances by local musicians and gospel choirs filled the ballroom, keeping in line with Thompson’s jovial personality, which he shared with whomever he crossed paths with.

The highlight of the service was the presentation of floral arrangements brought into the ring by fighters who fought at the DoubleTree Hotel, including Josesito Lopez, junior lightweight prospect George Acosta, and Michael Dutchover. The customary 10-count also took place during the service.

For former junior welterweight contender Mauricio Herrera, who fought on several Thompson Boxing cards 10-15 years ago, Friday meant catching up with familiar faces but also to honor Thompson.

“(Signing with Thompson Boxing) was a good thing to happen to me,” Herrera told The Ring. “It was the beginning of my career. You have to start somewhere and I started with Thompson (Boxing). He made you feel like the top dog. For anyone starting out, Ken Thompson and his team made you feel important. He was good to be around. It felt like a family. They invited you everywhere. All the functions were nice. It felt good to be back here.”

Other boxing personalities in attendance were promoter Artie Pelullo, manager Frank Espinoza, trainer Joel Diaz, former world junior lightweight titleholder Carlos Hernandez, fringe welterweight contender Artemio Reyes and female contender Sindy Amador.

Alex Camponovo, the general manager and matchmaker of Thompson Boxing, fulfilled Thompson’s wish of “moving on with the show.”

“He wanted to move on and continue with the promotion and his legacy,” Camponovo told The Ring earlier Friday. “‘Full tilt’ as he used to say. We will have heavy hearts, but we are moving forward the way Kenny wanted. The fights we planned for at the beginning of the year are what we are following through on.”

At the request of Ken Thompson, donations could be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]