Apparently the show will go on at the Arrowhead Pond. On the night of the arena’s last scheduled boxing card, Arrowhead Pond General Manager Tim Ryan announced that he is close to signing a multi-year deal with Forum Boxing and Top Rank Inc.
“If we’re able to pull this together, this will be one of the more formidable partnerships in boxing,” Ryan said Monday. “We want to take all this momentum and take it up a notch as far as the quality of fights. We feel pretty confident that something exciting is going to happen in the next two weeks.”
Until recently, it appeared that the new partnership would consist only of Top Rank and Forum Boxing. But Ryan said Ogden Entertainment, which owns the Pond, would be the group’s main financial backer.
“If we hadn’t seen steady improvement in sponsorship and attendance, we wouldn’t have taken such a prominent role,” Ryan said.
The final Monday night show drew a all-time high in attendance of 4,367 for the four-year series. Although there are no confirmed dates for next year, Ryan said he is hoping to stage five shows at the Pond and a few more in Las Vegas. All the fights would be shown on KCAL television on Friday and Saturday nights.
In four years of staging Monday night cards at the Pond, Forum Boxing never gave the fans of Orange County a world title fight. But Forum Boxing promoter John Jackson indicated that will surely change with the new group.
In the main event, Luis Perez (16-0-1, 11 knockouts) of Montebello survived a second-round knockdown to stop Pat Thorns (21-5-1) of Detroit at one minute 42 seconds of the 11th round. Perez, who claimed the World Boxing Hall of Fame Junior Welterweight Championship with his victory, put down Thorns in the first round and the fourth and twice in the seventh. Finally, in the 11th, Thorn did not beat referee Lou Moret’s count after being hammered with a powerful combination. Perez led on two of three scorecards at that point.
The co-main event between bantamweight Mauricio Martinez of New York and Guadalupe Gastellum of Mexico turned into a blood bath after an accidental head butt in the second round opened up a nasty cut over Gastellum’s right eye. Martinez (16-3-1, 11 knockouts), who was knocked down and penalized a point for a low blow in the first round, took control in the second round. In the fourth, he sent Gastellum (16-7-2, 13 knockouts) down with a right hook to the chin and opened up a cut over Gastellum’s left eye. After the seventh round, ringside physician Paul Wallace stopped the bout.
On the undercard, junior featherweight Victor Carpio (9-5) of Mexico took only 1:21 to knock out Orland Rojas (2-3) of Rosemead.