ONTARIO, Calif. - Angel Beltran made the most of his opportunity Friday night.

Beltran dropped Luis Lopez once en route to a unanimous decision before a boisterous crowd at the Doubletree Hotel. 

Scores were 78-73, 78-73, and 77-74 for Beltran, who improved to 16-1, 9 knockouts. 

With less than a minute left in the first round, Beltran dropped Lopez with a left hook to the head. Lopez did beat the count, fighting on as the action resumed.

Beltran was the more-effective fighter, outboxing Lopez during many of the exchanges during the fight. Lopez did well in spurts, but Beltran was effective in varying his offense, at times keeping Lopez at bay. Late in the fourth round, Beltran momentarily stunned Lopez with a left hook to the body, followed by another left hook to the head. 

Lopez did well in spots during the second half of the fight, landing a lead or counter right hand to Beltran’s head. Undaunted, Beltran swung momentum back his way, again connecting with left hooks to the head and body.

The 27-year-old Beltran was coming off a decision victory over Rance Ward in his previous fight on October 20. Beltran has won his last seven bouts since his knockout loss to Damian Sosa in June 2020. 

Lopez, who resides in nearby Corona, drops to 13-2-1, 4 KOs. He had won his previous five botus since losing to Saul Bustos in September 2020. 

Junior middleweights Jesus Gonzalez and Keon Papillon fought to a split-decision draw over six rounds.

Each fighter won 58-56 on a judge’s scorecard, while the third judge scored the bout 57-57.  

Gonzalez was the better fighter from the opening bell, initiating exchanges and outboxing Papillon. As the fight entered the middle rounds, Papillon let his hands go with more urgency, connecting to the head and body of Gonzalez. 

Papillon was able to effectively move in and out of Gonzalez’s range, landing lead right hands and uppercuts or left hooks to the head. Gonzalez was not able to consistently connect with jabs the way he did early on in the fight, allowing Papillon to dictate the action. 

Gonzalez, who resides in nearby Riverside, goes to 6-0-1, 2 KOs. Papillon, a resident of Lafayette, Louisiana, goes to 5-0-1, 4 KOs. 

In super middleweight action, Marcos Hernandez of Riverside improved to 16-6-2, 3 KOs, defeating Jeremy Ramos by unanimous decision.

Scores were 60-53, 58-55, and 57-56 for Hernandez. 

Hernandez was the more-effective fighter of the two, especially during the first half of the fight. With about a minute left in the second round, Hernandez dropped Ramos with a left hook to the body. Ramos was able to beat the count and fought back competitively. 

Ramos found success by fighting in spurts during the second half of the fight. Both had their moments in the center of the ring, but Hernandez had built a lead from early in the fight to grind out a decision. 

Ramos, who resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado, drops to 11-14, 4 KOs. 

In the opening bout of the Thompson Boxing card, middleweight Rowdy Montgomery dropped overmatched Antonio Duarte (2-6, 2 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico twice en route to a second round knockout victory. After the second knockdown, Duarte’s corner threw in the towel, prompting referee Ray Corona to stop the fight at 1:32.

Montgomery, who resides in nearby Victorville, improves to 10-4-1, 7 KOs and has won four of his last five bouts. The 36-year-old last fought on January 28, defeating Cristian Olivas by unanimous decision.  

Friday’s Thompson Boxing card was the first since the death of promoter Ken Thompson, who passed away last month at the age of 85. A celebration of life ceremony took place prior to the fight card, where several fighters from Thompson Boxing’s early years came out to pay their respects, including Josesito Lopez, Mauricio Herrera, and Charles Huerta. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 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 by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing