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LaRon Mitchell faces Rodney Hernandez on Sat.

Undefeated heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (16-0, 14 KOs) defends his Junior NABF championship this Saturday from Omega Products International in Sacramento, Calif.

In his second title defense, Mitchell, 38, will face Rodney Hernandez (10-7-2, 2 KOs) in the 8-round “New Blood” co-main event.

Mitchell and Hernandez are aware of one another, having logged numerous sparring sessions through the years. Mitchell hails from San Francisco, while Hernandez represents San Jose. The pair, who are friendly outside of the ring, will be fighting for championship hardware and the unofficial title of best Bay Area heavyweight.


“Defending my title is very important, but we’re also fighting for Bay Area bragging rights,” Mitchell said. “There aren’t too many heavyweights in Northern California so this fight is about making my second successful defense and who’s the best from this area.”

To access the promotional video for “New Blood,” please click here or on the graphic above.

Mitchell, who has sparred against world champion Deontay Wilder, is making his first start of the year and first action since his initial title defense against Mike Bissett in August. At nearly a year, the long layoff is the longest of his professional career.

“It’s definitely strange not fighting as often as I have in the past,” said Mitchell, who is a former college football tight end. “But I’ve been in the gym non-stop. I never stop training. I always try to stay in shape between fights.”

Mitchell, in addition to maintaining a full-time career in boxing, works professionally as a physical education teacher at an elementary school in Oakland, Calif. The southpaw and graduate of San Francisco State credits his educator role for his success in the ring.

“The discipline that I need for a career in boxing comes from my teaching experience,” Mitchell said. “Every hour of every day is planned out. I can’t miss a day in training and make it up later in the week like most guys because there are no extra days for me.”

Remaining tickets for “New Blood” are priced at $60 and are available for purchase by calling 714-935-0900, or online at ThompsonBoxing.com.

In the 8-round main event, two-time national Golden Gloves winner Ruben Villa (11-0, 4 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. faces Mexico’s Ricardo Lopez (7-2-2, 6 KOs) in a featherweight bout.

All fights will be live streamed on TB Presents: New Blood via our Facebook page and ThompsonBoxing.com.

The livestream starts at 7:45 p.m. PT / 10:45 p.m. ET with Beto Duran as the blow-by-blow announcer and Steve Kim providing expert, color commentary.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. local time with the first bout at approximately 7:45 p.m. Omega Products is located at 8111 Fruitridge Road, Sacramento, CA 95826, and can be reached at 916-635-3335.

“New Blood” is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Everlast.