(June 21st ) The boxing community first witnessed the power punching ability of Manuel "La Tormenta" Mendez (15-1-2, 11 KOs) last November on a SHOWTIME broadcast. He eviscerated the previously unbeaten Vitor Jones Freitas with a crushing left hook to the body in the first round.
On Friday night, Mendez plans to apply his signature power to fellow lightweight Mohamed Rodriguez (9-4, 3 KOs). The pair headline Thompson Boxing's "Path to Glory" 8-round main event from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
Tickets for "Path to Glory" are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase online at ThompsonBoxing.com, or by calling 714-935-0900.
Mendez, who is from Ontario, Ore., but relocated to Indio, Calif. several years ago to train with Joel Diaz, has become well known among the boxing savvy fans of Southern California's Inland Empire, where Friday's fight takes place.
"I plan to reward the fans with a great fight," said the 26-year-old. "Boxing is a spectator sport and I know what the fans want to see. I think fans understand the type of fighter that I am. Once they see my name on the card, they know what they're going to get."
Mendez has familiarized himself with Rodriquez's style. He compares him to a former opponent, Cesar Villarraga, whom he knocked out in the third round.
"Rodriguez likes to move around a lot so I know I'll have to cut off the ring," Mendez said. "The plan is to make him fight my style. If I can get him to trade that's going to be a losing fight for him. That's where I'm at my best."
Mendez is known for wearing down opponents with his bruising style, but lately he's been working on the psychological aspect of the sweet science.
"I've been more focused on trying to control the fight mentally," said Mendez, who's nickname "La Tormenta" is Spanish for the "The Storm." "Once I have him frustrated then I can make every punch count. I don't need to throw a lot of punches to be effective. I want to be efficient with my shots."
In the 8-round co-feature, the technically polished Jesse Roman (21-3, 10 KOs) of Santa Ana, Calif. puts his boxing skills to the test against Erick Martinez (13-7-1, 7 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. local time with the first bout at approximately 7:45 p.m. The Doubletree Hotel is located at 222 N. Vineyard Ave. in Ontario, CA 91764 and can be reached at 909-937-0900.
"Path to Glory" is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with Everlast.
(June 19th ) Junior lightweight Michael Dutchover (4-0, 4 KOs), a highly accomplished amateur and recently turned professional, highlights Friday night's "Path to Glory" undercard from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
Dutchover, who trains in Southern California but resides in Midland, Tex., faces his toughest opponent to date: once-beaten Miguel Carrizoza (10-1, 2 KOs) of Hermosillo, Mex.
The bout marks Dutchover's second 6-round fight of his young career. He stormed into the paid ranks with four straight knockout wins.
"The plan this year is to up my level of competition," said Dutchover, who recently sparred with world title challenger Petr Petrov. "I know I'm ready for the challenge. I want to work my way to the top, and in order to do that I need to challenge myself."
Dutchover had a successful amateur run that saw him win nine national titles, a bronze at the 2015 U.S. Olympic Trials, and a runner-up finish at last year's National Golden Gloves competition. Dutchover, 19, believes he was built to fight professionally.
"As an amateur, I often boxed in the pro-style," said Dutchover, who counts Danny Zamora, older brother Junior Dutchover, and Javier Gomez as coaches. "I didn't really throw a lot of quick, small punches that define the amateurs. I was more aggressive in my approach. I worked the body and threw a lot of power shots."
Detailed opponent scouting reports in the early years of a boxer's professional career are often not available. Dutchover has an idea of what to expect from Carrizoza, but he will rely mostly on his extensive amateur background.
"I had such a long amateur career that I've seen basically every style in the book," said Dutchover, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. "I'm going to adapt in the ring and be prepared for whatever he brings. I had an excellent training camp. I'm in great shape and ready to go after another win."
(June 15th) Rising lightweight prospect Manuel Mendez (15-1-2, 11 KOs) hopes to extend his knockout win streak against Mohamed Rodriguez (9-4, 3 KOs) in the 8-round "Path To Glory" main event on Friday, June 23, from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
Mendez vs. Rodriguez will be streamed live on TB Presents: Path To Glory. Watch the action on ThompsonBoxing.com and Facebook Live beginning at 7:45 p.m. PST / 10:45 p.m. EST.
Mendez, from Indio, Calif. by way of Oregon, has dispatched his last four opponents by way of knockout. If not for a second round technical draw that occurred last June, Mendez's knockout win streak would likely sit at seven.
In that June match against Ricardo Maldonado - whom Mendez had defeated previously early in his career - the Indio striker badly hurt Maldonado in the opening round, scoring a knockdown with a counter right hook to the head.
In the second, Mendez continued his bruising style and battered Maldonado with powerful shots to the body. The two eventually bumped heads with Mendez suffering a cut above his right eye. The ringside physician ruled Mendez unable to continue, consequently declaring the fight a technical draw.
"I'm convinced I would have knocked out Maldonado if not for the head butt that caused that cut," said the 26-year-old Mendez. "I was hurting him pretty bad."
Delivering thunderous power shots has become a staple for the Joel Diaz-trained Mendez. He has become an expert at working his way inside and connecting with a series of power punches to the head and body. Rodriguez, who is based in Mexico, will have to box from the outside to stay competitive.
"Rodriguez is going to be in for a battle," said Mendez, who hasn't lost a fight since his professional debut nearly seven years ago. "I'll see what he has in the first few rounds and after that I'll start making my move."
In the 8-round co-feature, the technically polished Jessie Roman (21-3, 10 KOs) of Santa Ana, Calif. puts his boxing skills to the test against Erick Martinez (13-7-1, 7 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex.
The junior welterweight showdown is projected as a back-and-forth affair. The boxer that imposes his will on the other likely wins this highly intriguing match up. Roman comes from a boxing family with younger brother Jose considered a top prospect in the lightweight division.
The leading undercard fight matches undefeated featherweight Rafael Rivera (24-0-2, 15 KOs) against fellow Mexican native Ruben Tamayo (24-9-4, 16 KOs) in a bout set for 8-rounds.
Of the two, Tamayo boasts the more impressive resume having gone up against world championship talents like Jhonatan Romero, Oscar Valdez, and Jesus Cuellar.
Junior lightweight Michael Dutchover (4-0, 4 KOs) of Midland, Tex., who is one of the division's most promising young prospects, puts his knockout win streak to the test against the more experienced Miguel Carrizoza (10-1, 2 KOs) of Mexico in a fight set for 6-rounds.
Dutchover, 19, has shown an advanced skill set in his first four professional fights. He has displayed the ability to control a fight from the outside or in close quarters. Dutchover turned professional in October after a solid amateur career and is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions.
In other action, unbeaten junior bantamweight Saul Sanchez (2-0, 1 KO) of Indio faces Cristian Bartolini (2-3, 2 KOs) of Hermosillo, Mex. (4-rounds).
Opening the "Path To Glory" show are heavyweights Sergey Kuzmin (11-1, 7 KOs) of Russia and Malcolm Tann (24-4, 13 KOs) of Seaboard, N.C. (8-rounds).