ORANGE, Calif. - The "Locked n' Loaded" main event between Isaac Zarate (12-1-2, 2 KOs) and Heriberto Delgado (11-3-1, 6 KOs) ended in a majority draw Friday night with two judges seeing it even at 76-76, and the third scoring it for the southpaw Zarate (78-74).
Both fighters had their moments, and most of the rounds were razor sharp close. Delgado, looking to stop a three fight-losing skid, came out hungry. He peppered Zarate in the opening stanza, and Zarate, for his part, returned the favor.
Each round was fraught with drama. The fight had more of an ebb and flow than the California coastline. The back and forth action lasted the full eight round rounds, with neither fighter backing down from the confrontation.
"It's not the decision that I trained for, but I have to live with it," Zarate said. "He's a tough opponent that came to fight."
"I think I did enough to get the win," Delgado said afterward. "I guess the fight was closer than I thought."
In the co-main event, heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (10-0, 10 KOs) of San Francisco continued his knockout winning streak by dispatching Quincy Palmer (9-8, 9 KOs) of Little Rock, Ark. in the second round.
After feeling him out in the first, Mitchell moved on Palmer in the second. He punched him into a neutral corner and unloaded a series of headshots that dropped Palmer cold.
"I never go in thinking knockout, but when I feel it, I go for it," Mitchell said. "I knew I hurt him early in the round. Once I had him in the corner, it was game over."
Former IBF world champion Jhonatan Romero (28-1, 15 KOs) of Colombia had everything going for him against Arturo Badillo (20-9, 18 KOs) of Mexico. The junior featherweight was in mid-fight form right from the start. Romero dropped Badillo in the first round with a pinpoint combination.
In the fourth, Romero dialed up another combination that sent Badillo into the ropes and onto the ground. In addition to showcasing a sharp offense, Romero displayed a stingy defense that never allowed Badillo to get going. Badillo's corner ended up throwing in the towel at the :59 mark of the fourth round.
"It felt great to be back in the United States fighting again," said Romero, who's last four wins have come in his native Colombia. "I want to get a world title shot soon. That's all I'm thinking about."
Junior middleweights Miguel Trejo (3-0, 2 KOs) and Cesar Hernandez (0-1) thrilled the sold-out crowd with non-stop action. Trejo, fighting out of Anaheim, Calif., earned a unanimous decision win by being the more accurate puncher. Hernandez, from Lathrop, Calif., was extremely busy and landed his shots, but it was Trejo that ultimately caused more damage.
Opening the "Locked n' Loaded" card were a pair of junior welterweights. Jared Papazian (2-0, 2 KOs) of West Hills, Calif. jumped on Benjamin Vinson (1-5, 1 KO) of Vancouver, Wash. early and often. Papazian, who doubles as an MMA fighter, stunned Vinson in the second round with a three-punch combination. In the third, Papazian poured it on, prompting referee Jerry Cantu to call the fight at the 1:56 mark.
"Locked n' Loaded" was presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with LATV Networks.