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Appreciating Thompson Boxing

Meet Thompson Boxing, a local family-run outfit, headed by Mr. Ken Thompson, his right-hand man Alex Camponovo, and their hard-working staff who have created a boxing promotion that presents incredible opportunities.  They’ve been in operation for over 20 years and are remarkable in what they do. For those unaware, Thompson Boxing runs shows every single month from February to November.  These shows are free for all of us fans to enjoy live on YouTube, Facebook, and their website.  Ticket prices are very affordable for the fans to go see these fights live. 

They have their home market of Ontario, California, and frequent the DoubleTree Hotel, as their home venue with a few venues in Northern and Southern California that they alternate, between, but mostly they focus on Ontario, California, as they keep their fighters busy. 

The promotion has been a stronghold for fight fans for the past two decades as Hall-of-Famer, Tim Bradley Jr., got his start with Thompson Boxing, even having one of his best wins early in his career, against Miguel Vazquez during his stay with the promotion. Daniel Roman suffered a few early losses in his career, only to become a unified world champion as Thompson Boxing guided him masterfully, and Josesito Lopez, “The Riverside Rocky”, became the “feel-good story” in boxing when he upset Victor Ortiz in a main event fight on short notice. 

Another great aspect of watching Thompson cards is there is no favoritism.  The “A” side fighters will sometimes get upset when stepping up in competition. Not sure if that is a good thing for the business aspect of things, but it’s fun to watch. Everyone knows when you watch a Thompson boxing card, anyone could win, the “A” side or the “B” side. This is why we watch it month after month.

If Thompson Boxing were a person, it would be a successful blue-collar business, run reasonably. Never scaling too big or too small, but just right. What Thomspon does well, is living within their means and as well as being organized, something that boxing in general struggles with. 

A big part of this is Alex Camponovo, the general manager, who also wears many hats as he puts together the fights as well. Camponovo has helped create a well-oiled machine, that puts on fight card after fight card. Very few promoters can run ten shows in a calendar year, and I can’t think of any, who can do it without a major network deal, yet Thompson Boxing is completely independent, developing their fighters through the accessible means of YouTube, as the fighters grow a cult following. 

The often Friday night cards typically feature Beto Duran, Dougie Fischer, and Rich Marotta, as Duran serves as a Joe Bob Briggs-type character from my childhood, who is often zany, but interactive with the fans. At first, it seems different, because it is, but after a few listens, it would be jarring if Duran didn’t lead the charge of being the voice of Thompson Boxing. Duran sets the tone for Thompson Boxing’s culture. Thompson Boxing creates accessible fights for fight fans and opportunities for fighters to become world champions. Doug Fischer, editor of Ring Magazine is an encyclopedia when he gives insight when commentating on the fights.  His ring knowledge is unprecedented. Rich Marotta, a veteran ringside commentator, brings his 50 years of experience to the set, as an invaluable asset. 

Though boxing is cut-throat and heartless, as it is pure free-market, unregulated capitalism, Thompson Boxing is a family-run business that keeps its fighters very active, as seeing George Acosta rebuild his career on Friday nights is an underrated story of 2022. When Acosta gets a big opportunity, I am more invested in his career than ever, and his fights being free via streaming services helped add to my excitement.

Thompson Boxing is that old friend, loyal like a dog, a California institution, one in which if you have nothing to do, and you are at home, you will never be mad to throw on some Thompson Boxing fights on a Saturday night. If it were to be gone, I feel I’d miss it more than ever.

Rarely do you use the words likable, and boxing promoters in the same sentence, yet for Thompson Boxing, the two seemingly go hand-and-hand. 

Here is to one of the most underrated promotions in the sport of boxing, which continue to help young fighters along the way. As 2022 comes to a close, I wanted to write this article to show my appreciation to Thompson Boxing, a promoter for the fans. 

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle