By Francisco Salazar
CORONA, Calif. - Carlos Carlson did enough to get a decision even though he may not have deserved to win.
Carlson pulled out an eight round decision win over Pedro Melo before a sold-out crowd at the outdoor Omega Products International.
The Tijuana, Mexico resident has not lost since his pro debut and has become a fringe contender in a competitive bantamweight division. Melo entered the bout on Friday having won four of his previous six bouts.
After a slow first round, Melo dropped Carlson with a barrage of punches. Rather than administer an eight-count, referee Ray Corona warned Melo about punching Carlson while he was on the canvas. Melo went on the attack when action resumed.
Carlson increased his punch output during the middle rounds, walking the shorter Melo down during the process and mixing his attack from head to the body of Melo.
Just when it seemed as though Carlson was on his way to a win, Melo hurt Carlson with two consecutive right hands to the head in the seventh round. Melo attempted to follow up, but Carlson was able to make it out of the round.
Melo was able to get in the inside and had success in the eighth and final round, but came up just short.
All three judges, along with BoxingScene.com, scored the bout 76-75 in favor of Carlson.
Carlson goes to 19-1, 12 KOs, while Melo drops to 13-10-2, 6 KOs.
Heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (9-0, 9 KOs), who is an elementary school teacher in San Francisco, made quick work of Curtis Lee Tate, stopping him in the first round. Mitchell, who is a 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Finalist, dropped Tate with a barrage of punches. Tate stood up, but was dropped again by a right to the body from Mitchell. Tate barely made the count, but Mitchell ended matters with a left cross to the head, dropping Tate a third and final time. Referee Ray Corona stopped the bout at 1:18.
Erik Ruiz won a hard-fought six round split decision over Fernando Fuentes. Ruiz, who took the fight on a day's notice, was the more-effective puncher, countering Fuentes on the inside. Fuentes (6-6, 1 KO) mounted a rally in the middle rounds and found success landing labs or lead right hands. But Ruiz was able to land telling hooks and counter rights to the head. One judge scored the bout 58-56 for Fuentes, while the other two judges scored the bout 58-56 and 60-54 for Ruiz, who is trained by Robert Garcia.
Junior welterweight Manuel Mendez (6-1-1, 3 KOs) stopped Luis Silva in the second round. Mendez dropped Silva (2-6, 1 KO) with a straight right to the head near the end of the first round. Silva made it out of the round, but was dropped with another right about 20 seconds into the second round. Silva was able to stand, but referee Raul Caiz, Jr. stopped the bout at 37 seconds.
In a battle of unbeaten middleweights, Miguel Trejo (2-0, 2 KOs) stopped Brahmabigi Montgomery in the opening round. Trejo pressed the bout from the opening bell, hurting Montgomery (1-1-1) with a right cross to the head. Trejo followed up with a barrage of punches, eventually putting Montgomery to the canvas. Referee Ray Corona immediately waved the fight over at 1:37.
In the opening bout of the Thompson Boxing Promotions card, Joseph Rios won a four round unanimous decision over Jose Mejia (1-3, 1 KO). Rios, who was making his pro debut, started out aggressively, but his punch output dropped as the bout progressed. Both took turns fighting in spurts during the middle rounds, and while Rios looked spent in the final round, Mejia was not able to capitalize. All three judges scored the bout for Rios, 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing