After coming out flat footed and suffering a first round knockdown because of it, Carlos Carlson shifted into overdrive in rounds two and three to claim the vacant NABF 118-pound Championship Friday night from the sold-out Doubletree Ontario.
Carlson (21-1, 12 KOs) got stunned early in the first by an overhand right by the much shorter Alex Rangel (17-6-2, 11 KOs). Carlson, who fights out of Tijuana, Mex., bounced back in the second with a furious output. He staggered Rangel on multiple occasions with sweeping hooks to the head and body.
By the third, Carlson had knockout on his mind. He imposed his will on the overwhelmed Rangel. Carlson connected with a right hook, left hook, left uppercut combination that put Rangel on the floor and out of the fight (1:00).
“I didn’t start the way I wanted to,” said Carlson, who likely moves up from the number 11 position (WBC) after Friday’s win. “But I turned the tide in the second and third rounds. I felt him getting weaker with each power punch landed. I knew he was going down.”
Featherweight Erick Ituarte (15-1-1, 2 KOs) used his usual consistent pressure to wear down Alberto Mora (5-5, 1 KO) to the tune of a six-round unanimous decision win, 60-53 all round.
Fan favorite Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs) of Indio, Calif. used his bruising, punishing style to stop Mexico’s Erick Martinez (12-6-1, 6 KOs) in the fourth round. Martinez absorbed a great deal of punishment, even getting hit with a low blow in the third that prompted referee Raul Caiz Jr. to deduct a point.
In the end, it didn’t matter because Mendez was just too strong for the often-backpedaling Martinez. Mendez mixed his punches well, landing shots to the body and power punches upstairs. Mendez is trained by the well-respected Joel Diaz.
Featherweight Ruben Villa (2-0, 2 KOs) continues to look like a blue chip prospect. The southpaw from Salinas, Calif. applied a powerful jab early to back up Mexico’s Jose Mora (0-1).
Villa, who came from an elite amateur background that saw him win back-to-back national Golden Gloves championships, flattened Mora with a straight left midway through the opening stanza. Mora would barely beat the count. Villa wasted no time and poured it on, only for the fight to be stopped at the 2:31 mark.
“The fight went as expected,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “Ruben looked sensational in earning his second straight knockout win. It’s very early in his career, but you can already tell how special he is.”
Villa is co-promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions.
The “Locked n’ Loaded” opening bout thrilled fans from start to finish. Both Danny Andujo (2-0, 1 KO) and Cesar Guzman (0-1) came out swinging for the fences. The Temecula, Calif. natives set defense aside to produce a back-and-forth affair that had the sold out crowd on its feet for most of the fight.
In the end, it was Andujo that delivered the most punishing shots. He dropped Guzman in the fourth and final round to seal his unanimous decision win. Scores: 40-35, 38-37, 39-36.
Thompson Boxing Promotions returns with an action-packed, Heavyweight Championship featuring LaRon Mitchell (14-0, 13 KOs) and Scott Alexander (12-1-2, 6 KOs). The 10-round title fight takes place Friday, Oct. 21 from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
Additional details will be announced soon.