After suffering a draw and two split decision losses in his last three outings, featherweight Isaac Zarate (13-3-2, 2 KOs) got back on the winning track with a strong performance over recent world title challenger Carlos Carlson (22-3, 12 KOs).
Zarate opened up a lead in the closing seconds of the second round when he connected with a right hook that dropped Carlson.
“I knew I could beat him,” said Zarate after the fight. “I could tell my punches were wearing him out. I stunned him quite a few times.”
Throughout most of the 8-round fight, Zarate and Carlson eschewed defense, preferring to let the leather fly, much to the delight of the sold out crowd. Zarate kept his foot on the gas from start to finish. He landed strong shots in each round and as a result, Carlson never developed any kind of momentum. Scores: 78-73 all around.
Carlson is now winless in his last two fights. His previous loss, a stoppage defeat at the hands of WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka in March.
In the “New Blood” 8-round co-feature, Cristian Ayala (12-1, 4 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico thoroughly dominated fellow countryman Pedro Melo (17-15-2, 8 KOs). Ayala peppered Melo with body shots early and often. Ayala was so focused on the midsection that he was deducted one point for a low blow in the seventh.
The point deduction, however, didn’t affect the final score, as Ayala won the lopsided decision 79-73 across all three scorecards.
Junior lightweight prospect Roberto Meza (8-0, 4 KOs) of Temecula, Calif. received a stern test from veteran Juan Sandoval (7-18-1, 4 KOs) of Bakersfield, Calif. Meza and Sandoval exchanged heavy shots throughout the four round fight, but it was Meza that landed the more telling blows.
Two judges scored the bout 39-37 for Meza, while one judge had it 39-37 for Sandoval.
Super bantamweight Mario Hernandez (3-0) of Santa Ana, Calif. protected his unblemished record by winning a unanimous decision (39-36 x3) against Larry Kloak (0-1) of Modesto, Calif.
In the third round, Hernandez landed a left hook upstairs that deposited Kloak on his back. Hernandez followed up with additional pressure in the following round to seal his dominating win.
Daniel Guzman (1-1) of Los Angeles tasted victory for the first time in his young career by outpointing Bakersfield’s Giovanni Noriega (0-1) through four rounds. Guzman, a bantamweight, threw a steady diet of jabs and power punches to sweep the decision win (40-36 x3).
Junior welterweight Wesley Diana (1-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas barely broke a sweat in his professional debut. Diana knocked out the still winless Carlos Apodaca (0-5) of Mexico at the 1:04 mark of the first round. Diana landed a crushing body shot that sent Apodaca to his knees.
Diana is promoted by Top Rank and managed by former world champion “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas.
Thompson Boxing Promotions’ next show is slated for Friday, Aug. 25 from Omega Products in Corona, CA. A formal announcement is forthcoming.