Up-To-Date with Promoter Ken Thompson
With the dwindling days of summer upon us, there’s nothing better than watching live pro boxing at an outdoor venue. Last Friday night, SoCal boxing fans were treated to plenty of entertaining matches at Thompson Boxing Promotions’ “Path to Glory” series with headliner Mauricio Herrera taking on Hector Alatorre. Check out these candid shots from last weekend’s show where sluggers Alfredo Angulo, Kassim Ouma, Kaliesha West, Bobby Chacon, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Paula Cortez, trainer Jack Mosley and other familiar faces took in all the action at ringside.
Here in the Southland, the temperatures have exceeded 100 degrees–and things are also red hot with Thompson Boxing. They just had their summer shows (July 31 Doubletree Hotel in Ontario and August 20 at Omega Products International in Corona) and are already gearing up for their next card on September 17 back at the Doubletree. Their boxing event series of “Path to Glory,” “New Blood,” and “Locked ‘N Loaded” are always popular sell outs.
I had a chance to catch up with promoter Ken Thompson last weekend at the fights and also this week in Orange County, where the entrepreneur is based. Finding some free time to chat these days is a rare occurrence as the President of Thompson Boxing keeps an extremely busy schedule in and around the ring. Celebrating their 10th Anniversary, Thompson Boxing keeps their focus full steam ahead as we chatted about some upcoming fights.
The crown jewel in their stable is WBO Light Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley, who recently went up to 147 in a convincing win over Luis Carlos Abregu just last month. The boxer, who’s co-promoted by Gary Shaw, continues to make the headlines as the question of “Who’s Next?” is being asked of the fighter, nicknamed “Desert Storm.” While Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana, Victor Ortiz, Devon Alexander–and those two marquee names of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao–have been bandied about, it looks like it will be Devon Alexander stepping in as the next foe for the unbeaten Bradley.
Right after Alexander’s unanimous decision win in a close battle against Andriy Kotelnik on August 7, the pride of St. Louis was seen holding up a shirt loudly declaring “Bradley U Next” during his post-fight interview. And the amiable promoter shows a good-natured sense of humor too. After seeing Devon Alexander on the HBO broadcast holding up that “Bradley U Next” message, Thompson answers back with his own playful jab and a “Devon U Next” signage. But there’s no real animosity toward Alexander, as Ken mentions he saw the recent HBO profile of the fighter from St. Louis. Coming from a large family, Alexander managed to escape the temptation of street life which unfortunately claimed his brother who’s currently serving time in prison.
In calling out the champ, look for the undefeated southpaw, who goes by “Alexander the Great,” to get his wish. Last Friday night, General Manager/Matchmaker Alex Camponovo confirmed to me that plans were in the works to make this fight happen. And Thompson confirmed this week that the plans are for the two to meet next year. Mark the proposed date of January 29th on your calendars for this exciting Bradley-Alexander duel as final negotiations are made.
But with all due respect to Devon, Thompson is still predicting a decisive Tim Bradley victory.
“He’s the best 140 pound fighter in the world!” Thompson says of his fighter. I ask his co-promoter if Bradley’s going to stay at 140 or go up to 147 again?
“He can fight in both divisions!” Ken answers with confidence. “Timmy’s got it all.”
But the Texas-born promoter and former World Boxing Hall of Fame President is fond of the 140 weight division. “We’ve got three other fighters who are 140–Patrick Lopez, Mauricio Herrera and Julio Diaz.” This talented trio are all coming off recent wins. Diaz won his matchup against Herman Ngoudjo this past May, Lopez scored an impressive third round TKO over Prenice Brewer on August 6, and Herrera was victorious last Friday night. His promoter also adds that the Herrera camp is now calling out Victor Ortiz in a fight that Thompson would also like to see.
As I chat with the businessman, he also speaks of the highly-anticipated rematch between Yonnhy Perez vs. Joseph Agbeko taking place on November 6. As co-promoter (along with Gary Shaw) of Perez, Thompson says he is really looking forward to this bantamweight brawl.
The talk then turns toward another boxer from the Thompson stable with a perfect ledger , Juan Carlos Burgos. “Miniburgos” is currently the World Boxing Council’s #1 ranked featherweight with his 25-0 and 18 KO record. After champion Elias Rojas was injured, the WBC has issued a mandate for a world title fight between Burgos (nephew of boxer Victor Burgos) and a challenger to be named soon. The sharpshooter from Tijuana, who’s co-promoted by Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions, is now the target of many foes seeking the opportunity to face off in this future world title bout. In fact, Matt Remillard has made it known this week that he’d like to square off against Burgos for the belt. Whoever it is who gets the shot, look for fireworks inside the ropes.
Besides Bradley, Perez, Lopez, Herrera, Diaz and Burgos, other names in their stable of warriors are Efrain Esquivias, Dominic Salcido and a couple of other tough Lopezes in Josesito Lopez and Abraham Lopez.
Including last Friday’s “boxing under the stars” show, Thompson and Camponovo promote about ten shows a year of their own while also traveling the world for other promotions their fighters are in. And one other of their most sought-after events is an yearly celebrity golf tournament held in Palm Springs where the boxers get to tee off against skilled golfers.
And with less than four weeks of summer remaining, expect Team Thompson to keep a sizzling schedule as their champs and contenders are showcased in the ring.
See you at the fights!
Photos by Michele Chong
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