Thompson Boxing Promotions Enters 15th Year
By David A. Avila
Fifteen years ago Thompson Boxing Promotions kick-started its first boxing program in the Inland Empire when few realized the sport had taken a foothold in places like Riverside, Coachella and San Bernardino.
“Carlos Bojorquez was our very first main event,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing. “I remember it like it was yesterday.”
Since that day the Orange County-based company has proven to be one of the most successful fight promotions in the country. They’re responsible for discovering Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley, Josesito “Riverside” Lopez, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera and many others.
It was matchmaker Alex Camponovo who nicknamed Lopez with “Josesito” because there were too many boxers named Jose Lopez. It was later Golden Boy’s Bill Caplan who tagged Lopez with the new nickname “Riverside Rocky” following his upset victory over Victor Ortiz.
On Friday, Thompson Boxing hopes to add another successful prospect to their list of successes with San Diego junior welterweight Giovanni Santillan (15-0, 8 Kos) meeting Rafael Cobos (15-5-5, 3 Kos) in the main event at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario.
Back in May 2000, local junior middleweight Bojorquez became the first main event at the Doubletree Hotel. At the time it was named the Oak Tree Inn. The fighter from Mira Loma faced Rosember Palacios. That fight ended in a knockout win for Bojorquez who would embark on a successful career that included a world title challenge against Verno Phillips. He came within an eyelash of fighting the “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya.
Bojorquez retired from boxing years ago and now works for Thompson Building Products. He’s best known for his technical knockout win over Pernell Whitaker who was recently elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It was a tremendous upset win for Bojorquez who still lives in Mira Loma.
One reason for Thompson Boxing Promotions success has been matchmaker Camponovo. Many experts consider him one of the top evaluators of boxing talent in the world. Some of those he discovered in the streets of Colombia were bantamweight world champion Yonnhy Perez and junior featherweight champion Jhonatan “Momo” Romero. He also brought Mexico’s junior lightweight contender Juan Carlos Burgos.
Camponovo has high hopes for new junior welterweight discovery Giovanni Santillan who remains undefeated after 15 professional bouts.
“Giovanni (Santillan) is a real good kid. He’s a real skilled fighter with a good punch,” said Camponovo.
After 15 years Thompson seeks even more success.
“We have big plans for bringing even more shows,” said Thompson whose love for the sport spans four decades. “It seems like yesterday we had our first show.”
For ticket information call (714) 935-0900.