This past Saturday night at the Omega Products International Event Center in Corona, CA, Thompson Boxing held it’s popular “Path To Glory” event in front of a sold out crowd. Ruben “Ace” Torres (19-0, 16 KOs) defeated Cristian Baez (18-2, 17 KOs) in their scheduled 10-round lightweight main event.
From the opening round, both fighters we in some heated exchanges, setting the tone for a spectacular fight. Torres was hit with a powerful left hook from Baez at the end of round one but showed an incredible chin. In round two, both fighters scored knockdowns, Torres landed a left hook, sending Baez to the canvas. Baez recovered and followed up with a knockdown of his own as he landed a left hook-right hand combo to Torres’ head. In the middle rounds, Baez was starting to take over the fight as he was landing powerful left hooks to the body and head, a punch Torres was trying to adjust to. In round seven, Torres scored a flash knockdown with a straight right hand. When Baez got up, the referee made sure he was ok, before letting both fighters return to action. In an incredible turn of events, Baez made the mistake of trying to touch gloves and was blasted with a deadly left hook by Torres and was brutally knocked out. Time of the knockout was the 1:53 mark of round seven.
“They always say protect yourself at all times,” said Torres. “This is boxing and fighters like myself are always on the attack. The referee gave the signal to start fighting again and I came out guns blazing, especially after I knocked him down. I hit him with a left hook and that was it, the fight was over. I’m ready to move on to bigger and better fights as I march up the rankings.”
In the 8-round welterweight co-feature, Louie Lopez (12-1-1, 4 KOs), defeated previously unbeaten prospect, Elias Diaz (11-1, 6 KOs), by unanimous decision. Both fighters were engaged in some explosive flurries. Lopes hurt Diaz with a right hook in round one, but Diaz shook it off and came back in round two with bad intentions. A slugfest emerged and Lopez come out on top as he was landing the cleaner blows. Scorecards read 77-75 twice and 78-74 for Lopez.
“This was a stiff test against another undefeated fighter,” said Lopez. “I had a lot of pressure on me as I was fighting in front of my hometown fans. I’m getting better with each fight. I got the victory and now I’m looking at fighting ranked opposition.
In a battle of unbeaten lightweights, Pedro Valencia (11-0, 7 KOs) kept his undefeated record in place as he defeated, Adrian Corona (9-1-1, 2 KOs) by way of unanimous decision. Valencia, who was switching from orthodox to southpaw, outworked Corona throughout the fight. Corona had his moments but couldn’t stop the momentum Valencia gained in the early rounds.
Scorecards read 79-73, 78-74 twice in favor for Valencia.
"I felt I dominated this fight," said Valencia. "Corona was a worthy opponent but I showed I can rise to the occasion when facing another undefeated fighter. I'm happy with my performance and can't wait to see what's next. I'm hoping to be ranked sometime in 2023.
The third bout of the night saw middleweight Nelson Oliva (4-0, 4 KOs) continue his knockout streak as he stopped Eduardo Reyes (10-18, 6 KOs) at the 1:38 mark of round two. A straight left by Oliva sent Reyes to the canvass in the early part of the round before he ended the fight with a flurry.
In the second bout of the night, super lightweight rising star, Ioannis Manouilidis (2-0), defeated Edgar Palacios (3-2, 1 KO) by split decision. In an all-out war, Manouilidis prevailed by landing the harder punches throughout the fight. Palacios did wobble Manouilidis in the opening round, but Manouilidis recovered and landed some hard shots of his own as both fighters were letting their hands fly. Scorecards read, 39-37 apiece and 40-36 for Manouilidis.
In the opening bout of the evening, super welterweight prospect Anthony Saldivar Jr (2-0, 1 KO), defeated Antonio Duarte (2-5) by unanimous decision. Duarte did his best to make the fight competitive, throwing wild punches with bad intentions, but Saldivar stayed poised and controlled the action with a long jab. Scorecards, in favor for Saldivar read, 40-36 twice, and 39-37.