February 24 Fighters Showcased in Fontana
A tough team of prizefighters took to the ring this past weekend at Thompson Boxing Promotions’ (TBP) Open Media Workout showcasing the boxers on the upcoming “New Blood” card taking place February 24 at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario.
Southern California fight fans had the opportunity to watch the fighters spar in an outdoor ring set up at the sprawling Thompson Building Materials in Fontana.
Lacing up were WBC Latino Welterweight titlist Artemio Reyes Jr., NABF Super Bantam champ Efrain Esquivias, 21-year-old Richard “El Terminador” Contreras, the “Pride of East L.A.’s” Aaron Martinez and sizzling female slugger Sindy Amador. Saturday’s event was hosted by Ken Thompson (TBP President and Founder) and TBP Matchmaker/General Manager Alex Camponovo.
Weather reports had threatened rain during the weekend but as luck would have it, the skies remained clear for all of us during the open workout–just long enough for the pugilists to thrill the large crowd in attendance. Hitting the mitts, shadowboxing, jumping rope and sparring, the spectators in Fontana got a treat in watching the athletes hone their skills.
Ring announcer Sonny Franco introduced the boxers and celebrities in the audience. In addition to the February 24 Thompson fighters, also getting action inside the ropes were Dashon “Fly Boy” Johnson (who will be facing Aaron Martinez on the 24th), Manny Robles Jr., Juanito Reyes, Alejo Guzman, among others.
Also joining the boxers and their respective trainers and teams were female superstar Kina Malpartida (fighting March 24 in her native Peru), amateur champs Ryan Garcia and Sean Garcia, actor Burt Ward (“Robin” from “Batman” and the Gentle Giants dog food company), WBC Supervisor Rudy Tellez, boxing veteran Dr. Joe Noriega, trainer/sculptor Steve Harpst, and the Street Team from KGGI’s 99.1 the “Hottest Music.” And two very special “guests” holding court were a pair of prized automobiles. Fans got to see the legendary “Batmobile” (provided by Nate of Star Car Central) and “KITT,” the talking car from “Knight Rider.”
There were also food trucks, craft vendors and a prize raffle for the guests who all were excited to meet their favorite action heroes–the professional punchers gearing up for their “New Blood” battles which will feature matchups Artemio Reyes Jr. vs. Victor Hugo Correa, Efrain Esquivias Jr. vs. Adolfo Landeros, Richard Contreras vs. Daniel Quevedo, Aaron Martinez vs. Dashon Johnson, Sindy Amador vs. Gloria Salas and more. During the Meet & Greet autograph and photo session, the team signed fight posters for their long line of fans.
I caught up with one petite powerhouse who caught the eye of the crowd–female fighter Sindy “La Alacrana” Amador. On Saturday, the dynamo sparred with a male, something she says she’s used to doing. “I usually spar with guys,” the amiable boxer tells me with a smile. “It’s easier to find sparring that way.” Amador trains alongside stablemate Artemio “King” Reyes, and coaches Ruben Castanon and Capital Punishment’s Charlie Perez.
And all of the hard hitters at Saturday’s bash shared their excitement and anticipation for their upcoming bouts that are just around the corner on Friday, February 24.
Trainer Joe Esquivel and his rising star Richard Contreras said they can’t wait till their fight. The coach and student were wearing Team Contreras T-shirts, which were a popular item offered at the open workout and outdoor fest. “I’m ready!” Richard (clad in red,white and blue trunks) told mewith a confident grin. The boxer, just 21, wears glasses when not in the ring and with his friendly disposition surprises many once on the canvas.
“Richard’s a beast!” chief second Esquivel says as I chat with the pair. “People see this nice kid with the glasses–but he is relentless in training and a beast in the ring!”
This was Contreras’ very first media workout and the team said they had a great experience on Saturday.
Now they will await February 24.
Lookin’ mean and lean less than two weeks before their matches, this crop of “New Blood” fighters are all looking to pound their way to victory.
Check out my snapshots of this pound-for-pound group of fighters at Thompson Boxing’s media workout!
“NEW BLOOD” Tickets: (714) 935-0900
Photos by Michele Chong
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