TORRES FACES KRAEL AT GRANTS ON AUGUST 1ST WITH HIS TITLE ON THE LINE
By Austin Killeen
On Thursday afternoon Chavez Promotions held a press conference at the La Cascada Hotel in Albuquerque to introduce the boxers taking part in the August 1 Fight card. Headlining the program will be Josh “Pitbull” Torres defending his WBC United State National Boxing Championship (USNBC) 140 pound title. His opponent will be Cameron Krael at the outdoor venue, Fire and Ice Park, in Grants. For Torres and his trainer Danny Perez this is a dangerous matchup, offering high risk and little reward. To say that the citizens of Grants are ready for this fight would be an understatement. The last boxing match held in the “Uranium capital of the world” occurred on December 12, 1976; on that evening, the power punching of Bob Hazelton KO’d Jack Thomas in two rounds. For the team of “Pitbull and Pitbull” it will be their second time working together. If all goes well it will provide Torres will valuable experience against a durable and skilled opponent. Friends in Arizona and Nevada have informed me fans should not underestimate Krael, as he is a proven spoiler. Translation; if Josh wins it will cause boxing purist across the country to yawn. The benefit to Torres, he’ll leave the ring a better fighter than when he entered it.
Alex Holguin will face John “Smiley” Herrera at featherweight in a six round matchup that Holguin should be considered the favorite. A former GG’s champ, Holguin has a solid background and is a skilled boxer/puncher. Unfortunately for Holguin his last few opponents have offered little in the way of serious opposition. That’s not the fault of Holguin, as he can only face what promoters put in the opposite corner. Herrera should solve that problem as he has a solid chin, having never tasted the canvas in his entire career. The resilient Herrera will provide Holguin a stern test a week from Saturday.
Jose Osorio faces off against debuting Andre Galarza in a six rounder. Like Holguin, Osorio is a former state GG’s champion, but unlike Holguin has faced some stiff opposition so far in his pro career. In his last fight he fought to a thrilling six round draw against Alex Hipolito of Texas. I confess I have little knowledge of Galarza, but he better have some skills or Osorio will make it an early evening for his debuting opponent.
A pair of four round bouts round out the evenings program; Ambrosio Bautista faces Andre Galarza in a battle of bragging rights in the “Duke City” as both boxers are from Albuquerque. The other bout will feature a solid matchup of veterans with heavyweights Ronnie Baca and Manuel Otero colliding. Otero, of Peralta, NM, is a rugged switch hitting southpaw who I’ve had the pleasure of seeing perform. He makes a difficult matchup for anyone as Mr. Baca will find out after the bell sounds to start the fight. At 5’ 11” and weighting as much as 285 pounds, Baca is an anomaly in the square circle. Having followed most of his career, he always elicits the same response from fans who have never seen him perform; laughter. It takes only one round to change those smirks to respect, as the Gallup heavyweight has excellent footwork accompanied by a solid left jab. Baca has built a winning record fighting in Texas and Louisiana. This fight could steal the show. Boxing fans in Grants have waited almost fifty years to see the return of pugilism to their town. Bob Hazelton has retired a long time ago and won’t be in attendance. But Promoter Joe Chavez and matchmaker Martin Narro have put together a solid card from top to bottom and this looks to be an exciting evening of boxing. If past experience is an indicator, boxing fans in Grants should mark their calendars for August 1st!