ORANGE, Calif. - Thompson Boxing Promotions celebrated sixteen years as a promotional company with a top-notch card that saw Danny Roman successfully defend his NABA Super Bantamweight Championship in electrifying fashion.
Additionally, Taras Shelestyuk showed off his extraordinary skill set in capturing the vacant WBA International Welterweight Title.
In the "New Blood" main event, Roman (19-2-1, 7 KOs) lived up to his WBA ranking (No. 14) with a sizzling performance over Mexico's Christian Esquivel (28-10, 21 KOs).
The Los Angeles-based Roman methodically wore down the crafty Esquivel with a steady jab and power left hook. The heavy punches ultimately took a toll on Esquivel, with Roman landing a series of combinations that knocked out Esquivel at the 1:52 mark of the fifth round.
"I mentioned in my pre-fight interviews that I was going to teach Esquivel a lesson for not making weight," said Roman, referring to Esquivel coming in six ounces over the 122-pound limit. "I think he got the message early and often."
In the "New Blood" co-feature, the fundamentally sound Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs) bruised and battered the outmatched Erick Martinez (11-5-1, 5 KOs) to win by third round technical knockout.
Shelestyuk, Ukraine's 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist, showed tremendous skill in registering the stoppage win. Instead of counter punching, he pushed forward throwing every punch in the book with quick succession and incredible accuracy. The southpaw, who lives and trains in Los Angeles, executed his game plan with remarkable efficiency.
"From the start, I tried to end the fight early," said Shelestyuk, who is co-promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. "I hurt him early and I could tell his punches were getting weaker."
After the third, Martinez was visibly worn down and opted not to come out for the fourth round.
"Danny and Taras delivered noteworthy performances that will no doubt lead to bigger fights down the road," said Ken Thompson, who launched Thompson Boxing Promotions sixteen years ago this month. "Both Danny and Taras are seen as emerging talents in their respective divisions. The impressive knockout wins will certainly raise their national profile."
New Blood Undercard
Roberto Arriaza (12-0, 10 KOs) preserved his flawless record with a hard fought unanimous decision win against Cameron Kreal (8-10-2, 1 KO) of Las Vegas. Arriaza, a Nicaraguan fighting for the first time in the U.S., displayed an aggressive style on his way to the unanimous decision win (77-75 twice, 78-74).
Junior bantamweight Ricardo Espinoza (6-1, 5 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex. tasted defeat for the first time after Sam Rodriquez (4-1, 3 KOs) of the Bronx, N.Y. picked him apart through six rounds. Rodriquez dropped Espinoza in the third and never looked back. He absorbed Espinoza's counterattacks and punched him onto the ropes on numerous occasions. Rodriquez heads back to the East Coast with a unanimous decision win (59-54 x3).
Heavyweights Scott Alexander (11-1-2, 6 KOs) and Tracey Johnson (3-2-4) fought to an entertaining majority draw with each boxer having their moments in the 4-round scrap. Johnson, who stands five-foot seven to Alexander's six-foot three, routinely found his way inside with power punches. Alexander preferred to box on the outside, using his superior reach to halt Johnson's attack. Two judges scored the bout even at 38-38, while the third had Johnson ahead 39-37.
Junior welterweight Chris Bautista (4-0) of Madera, Calif. extended his unbeaten mark against Brandon Broussard (3-2, 1 KO) of Lafayette, La. Bautista used a steady attack to stymie the left-handed Broussard. The 4-round unanimous decision scores read: 39-37 twice, 40-36.
Backed by a raucous home crowd, Los Angeles native Rudy Garcia (1-0, 1 KO) opened his career with a knockout win over Joel Cano-Castro (0-3) of Mexico. Garcia, a bantamweight, fired shots at the slow-footed Castro in relentless fashion. Garcia dropped him in the opening round, and continued with the same pressure in the second. As a result, Castro failed to answer the bell after the second round.
Thompson Boxing Promotions returns to the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. on Friday, June 24. A formal announcement will be released in the immediate future.