The boxing community first witnessed the power punching ability of Manuel “La Tormenta” Mendez (15-1-2, 11 KOs) last November on a SHOWTIME broadcast. He eviscerated the previously unbeaten Vitor Jones Freitas with a crushing left hook to the body in the first round.
On Friday night, Mendez plans to apply his signature power to fellow lightweight Mohamed Rodriguez (9-4, 3 KOs). The pair headline Thompson Boxing’s “Path to Glory” 8-round main event from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
Watch Mendez vs. Rodriguez and the rest of the 6-fight card on TB Presents: Path To Glory: live streaming on ThompsonBoxing.com and Facebook Live beginning at 7:45 p.m. PST / 10:45 p.m. EST.
Tickets for “Path to Glory” are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase online at ThompsonBoxing.com, or by calling 714-935-0900.
Mendez, who is from Ontario, Ore., but relocated to Indio, Calif. several years ago to train with Joel Diaz, has become well known among the boxing savvy fans of Southern California’s Inland Empire, where Friday’s fight takes place.
“I plan to reward the fans with a great fight,” said the 26-year-old. “Boxing is a spectator sport and I know what the fans want to see. I think fans understand the type of fighter that I am. Once they see my name on the card, they know what they’re going to get.”
Mendez has familiarized himself with Rodriquez’s style. He compares him to a former opponent, Cesar Villarraga, whom he knocked out in the third round.
“Rodriguez likes to move around a lot so I know I’ll have to cut off the ring,” Mendez said. “The plan is to make him fight my style. If I can get him to trade that’s going to be a losing fight for him. That’s where I’m at my best.”
Mendez is known for wearing down opponents with his bruising style, but lately he’s been working on the psychological aspect of the sweet science.
“I’ve been more focused on trying to control the fight mentally,” said Mendez, who’s nickname “La Tormenta” is Spanish for the “The Storm.” “Once I have him frustrated then I can make every punch count. I don’t need to throw a lot of punches to be effective. I want to be efficient with my shots.”
In the 8-round co-feature, the technically polished Jesse Roman (21-3, 10 KOs) of Santa Ana, Calif. puts his boxing skills to the test against Erick Martinez (13-7-1, 7 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex.
Also on the card, junior lightweight Michael Dutchover (4-0, 4 KOs) of Midland, Tex., who is one of the division’s most promising young talents, puts his knockout win streak to the test against the more experienced Miguel Carrizoza (10-1, 2 KOs) of Mexico in a fight set for 6-rounds.
Connect with Manuel “La Tormenta” Mendez on social media: Instagram: @manuelmendez90 & Facebook: Manuel La Tormenta Mendez
Connect with Michael Dutchover on social media: Instagram: @micaheld_00 and Twitter: @angelodutch7.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. local time with the first bout at approximately 7:45 p.m. The Doubletree Hotel is located at 222 N. Vineyard Ave. in Ontario, CA 91764 and can be reached at 909-937-0900.