Weigh-in alert: Jesus Saracho and Tarik Zaina ready for battle in California
Either Jesus Saracho or Tarik Zaina could become a legit prospect at 140 pounds after tonight’s bout.
A lot is at stake as Saracho and Zaina square off at the Doubletree Hotel Events Center in Ontario, California. The 10-round bout will headline a six-bout card that will stream live on the Thompson Boxing Facebook and YouTube pages (11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT).
At Thursday’s weigh-in, Saracho weighed in at 143.7 pounds. Zaina came in at 139.8 pounds.
Saracho (13-1, 11 knockouts), who is originally from Guanajuato, Mexico and now resides in Auburn, Washington, has faced unbeaten opposition in recent fights. The Zaina fight will mark his fourth unbeaten fighter he has faced in his young career.
In his last fight on January 25, Saracho defeated Cesar Francis by unanimous decision. Francis entered the bout unbeaten.
Over four months prior to the win over Francis, Saracho stopped Nick Jefferson in the fifth round. Jefferson also entered the Saracho fight unbeaten.
The 21-year-old has won his last three fights since losing to Deonte Brown by knockout in the ninth round on March 12 of last year in a clash of unbeaten junior welterweight prospects. Saracho believes he will be victorious because of the level of opposition he has defeated, including once-beaten fighters Edwing Davila and Oscar Mora.
“I’ve been in the gym for the last five months working on all parts of my game,” said Saracho, who is managed by Ray Frye. “I feel sharp going into this fight. My whole perspective on training has changed for the better since my lone defeat last year. I feel I’m a better fighter now and it showed in this training camp.
“The fact that Zaina is unbeaten, I know he’s coming into this fight with a lot of confidence. I too feel great with a lot of confidence, since I just beat two undefeated fighters, back-to-back. This fight will be explosive. We are going to give the fans a great fight.”
Zaina (12-0, 8 KOs), who was born in Tangier, Morocco and now resides in Tijuana, Mexico, defeated Arley Carabali by unanimous decision in his last bout on November 26. The win over Carabali came seven weeks after Zaina defeated former fringe contender Aristedes Perez by decision over eight one-sided rounds.
The 28-year-old Zaina has been active in the ring, fighting four times last year and six times in 2021. Tonight, he will be making his United States debut against Saracho.
In the co-feature, junior welterweight Emiliano Moreno (5-0 1 NC, 4 KOs) of nearby Long Beach will face Las Vegas’ Cristian Dominguez in an eight-round bout.
Moreno stopped Luis Cuevas Veloz in the third round of his last fight on April 1. The 18-year-old is also managed by Ray Frye.
Dominguez (11-5 1 NC, 6 KOs) fought to a no-contest against Angel Estrada in his last bout on June 3. An accidental clash of heads over the eye of Estrada was deemed too deep to continue. The 32-year-old had lost his previous three bouts.
Also on the Thompson Boxing card, welterweight Angel Beltran (16-1, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico, who has won his last seven fights, will square off against Ghana’s Abraham Afful (12-4-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Junior middleweight Nelson Oliva (6-0, 5 KOs) of nearby Los Angeles will face Guadalajara’s Miguel Angel Barajas (3-3, 2 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Two more fights will round out the card.
Beto Duran, Ring magazine editor Doug Fischer and Rich Marotta will be calling the action from ringside. Jessica Rosales will serve as roving reporter and host on the stream.
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]