ORANGE, Calif. (Nov. 18, 2013) – Thompson Boxing Promotions wraps up its promotional year with seven stellar fights, highlighted by welterweight Artemio “King” Reyes (20-2, 16 KOs) of Colton, Calif. looking for professional win No. 21 against Francisco “Pantera” Reza (12-7, 9 KOs) of Mexico in an 8-round fight, this Friday, Nov. 22, at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
The co-main event features a pair of southpaws, undefeated welterweight prospect Giovanni “El Gallo de Oro” Santillan (10-0, 6 KOs) of San Diego puts his flawless record on the line against Michael Balasi (10-2, 7 KOs) of Honolulu, Hawaii in an 8-round bout.
Tickets priced at $100 and $60 are sold out, but general tickets at $40 are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (714) 935-0900. For more information please visit www.thompsonboxing.com.
Additionally, Friday’s event marks the return of top lightweight prospect Jose Roman (14-1-1, 11 KOs) of Orange, Calif. Roman will be in a battle against the heavy handed Hector Miguel Zuniga (13-3, 8 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex. Both boxers are technically sound and carry power in either hand. Another fight that boxing fans will appreciate is the welterweight scrap between Oscar Godoy (11-2, 6 KOs) of Watsonville, Calif. and Ricky Duenas (12-2, 6 KOs) of Los Angeles. Godoy will look for his eighth straight win, while Duenas will try to notch another knockout win on his resume.
Headlining the event and making his last appearance of the year is welterweight Artemio Reyes. We asked him about his upcoming fight against Reza, the new wrinkle to his training regiment and plans after boxing.
You recently switched trainers to Henry Ramirez. How has the transition gone and how do the early returns look?
On top of experience and boxing knowledge, Henry has a great feel for the sport and can communicate strategies quickly and easily. He’s very up front with how he coaches and I respect that. He trains a bunch of Southern California fighters so the gym is always packed with familiar faces. So far it has been as smooth a transition as it could possibly be.
For most of your training camp you sparred with welterweight contender Josesito Lopez. What did you learn from sparring with him?
Jose and I sparred three times a week for most of my camp. It worked out well because he’s preparing for a fight in December (Dec. 13 Josesito Lopez vs. TBA) so we both needed high quality reps. Jose is a very intelligent boxer and adapts well to virtually any style so he was able to show me different looks throughout camp.
In addition to your regular training sessions you’ve added circuit workouts three days a week. In what ways has that helped you become a better boxer?
The circuit workouts are entirely different than what I would normally do in the boxing gym. Workouts last for about an hour and they’re designed to increase stamina, speed and quickness. Some days we work on explosive jumping drills for quickness, while on other sessions we do uphill sprints for speed. It’s a subtle enhancement that can make the difference between slipping a punch, or catching one in the face.
What do you know about your opponent Francisco Reza?
Francisco is a tough fighter that throws good combinations down the middle. We’ll stay away from that and control the tempo. If you take away a boxer’s preferred method of attack, their second and third options are far less effective and that’s when you can start to pile up points and work yourself into a knockout opportunity.
You’ve been on a recent knockout spree with four out of your last five wins coming by stoppage. What do you attribute this to?
Those knockouts have come naturally. I’ve been staying patient and sitting on my punches until the right moment. Most of those knockouts have come by pinpoint body shots. The midsection is such a large target area that if you connect at the right spot, they’re going to fall.
Boxing isn’t the only profession that interests you. You’re about three quarters shy from a degree in accounting from CSU San Bernardino. What are your plans after you retire from the sport?
I realize that I can’t fight forever and as much as I love the sport, the day when I can no longer fight is going to come sooner rather than later. That’s why I’ve been working toward a degree in accounting and I’m thinking about adding a double major in healthcare management. I want to be able to have options after boxing and getting my degree will allow me to pursue a new professional chapter in my life.
For full details on Friday’s fight card and to learn more about Thompson Boxing Promotions, please click here.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the first bell rings at 7:45 p.m. The Doubletree Hotel is located at 222 N. Vineyard Dr. Ontario, CA 91764 and can be reached at (909) 937-0900.
“New Blood” is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with Time Warner Cable Deportes.