By Austin Killeen May 12, 2016 (Click on thumbnails for larger images.)
If you hope to see all three young men in action this weekend, you’ll have to own your own jet. Angelo Leo will be boxing in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua Mexico, Brandon Homes will headline at the Buffalo Thunder Casino in Santa Fe, NM, while Elijio Sena is featured in the first fight card to be held in Cloves, NM in forty one years. All three boxers are undefeated and hope to remain so when the clock strikes twelve on Saturday evening.
For Leo it will be a home coming of sorts, as his father Miguel was born in Chihuahua and has many relatives still living there. When Leo climbs into the ring Saturday, his opponent might be surprised that the visiting American has a solid cheering section. This is Angelo’s second trip south of the border and the exposure fighting in a foreign country can only help in his boxing maturity.
In preparation for the fight, Leo has sparred with local featherweights Brandon Holmes and Jason Sanchez in addition to world champion Leo Santa Cruz. Outside the ring Leo attends college, working towards a degree in Business Administration. This is a good thing, because if he keeps winning he’ll be in line for some big money fights. Then he’ll be able to hire himself as his own business manager. I hope to have the result of his fight for my article on Sunday.
As I’m writing this article Brandon Holmes still is looking for an opponent for his fight on Saturday. Since Holmes sells out the Buffalo Thunder every time he fights there, it safe to say that Holmes could sellout the building fighting an overcoat. In addition to Holmes the undercard will be filled with local hero’s Antonio Martinez, Matthew “Diamond Boy” Griego, Alex Holguin, Bryant McClain and Daniel Flores.
Antonio Martinez was labeled an opponent prior to hooking up with Pat Holmes Sr. Their partnership must have been made in heaven because Martinez has been 4 and 0 with three KO’s since teaming up with Holmes. In forty eight hours he’ll be facing the biggest test of his career against Benjamin Vasquez. This should be the fight of the night, I’ve seen Vasquez in action and this boy has power in both hands. I’ll be surprised if the contest goes to a decision. All that’s needed is a referee who can count to ten.
I don’t know who Matthew “Diamond Boy” Griego will be facing, but he better be good. This young man is a self promoter or as the Jewish people like to say “he has a lot of chutzpa.” However you describe him, when he gets in the ring he backs up his talk with action. Turning pro at the end of January, Griego has already had four pro fights with all of them ending by stoppage. At the pace he’s been fighting, he should be ten and zero by the end of the year.
Since turning pro three years ago, lightweight Alex Holguin has been flying under the radar while building a 7-1-0 record with four KO’s. In appearance and temperament he reminds me of former lightweight great Alexis Arguello. If you wait on Holguin he’ll throw some nasty combinations with power, testing anyone’s defensive skills. If you try to overpower him, the tall and lean Holguin strikes with the speed of a rattle snake. In summation, he gives the impression that he enjoys himself in the ring and gives the fans value for their dollar.
Speaking of giving fans value for their dollar, light heavyweights Bryant McClain and’ Daniel Flores will be hooking up in a rematch of an action packed bout they had four months ago. That fight was a debut for both boxers, however, it was expected that the two time defending state Golden Gloves champion McClain would overwhelm Flores, who was having his first fight pro or amateur. Apparently Flores never saw the memo. He gave McClain a terrific bout. I see no reason why the rematch will not be just as good as their first contest.
The Clovis Civic Center, will be hosting the third fight card, is the one I’m interested in. It features hard hitting 260 pound Elijio Sena. When I attended his pro debut, I thought it would be a complete mismatch. I was right about the fight but had the wrong fighter being outclassed. Sena employed the basic 1-2 to demolish his opponent in less than two minutes of the first round. He snapped his opponents head back with a powerful left jabs and followed up with crushing overhand rights. What I didn’t realize about Sena was his stellar amateur background of over ninety bouts, including fights at the national level If his pro debut was not a fluke, Sena could resurrect the boxing scene in Clovis.
The undercard has one of my favorite boxers, Richard “Rico” Urquizo also of Clovis. He is sly, fights well off the ropes and acts like he has something hidden in his trunks. But Mr. Rico has also disappointed me at times by entering the ring out of shape. He tells me that he’ll be in excellent condition fighting in front of a hometown crowd an plans to rejuvenate his career. I hope so, because he has a lot of talent but doesn’t always show up with a full tank of gas.
Also on the card is undefeated lightweight Abel Mendoza of Pecos, Texas. I saw Mendoza win the Golden Gloves title a couple of years ago and was impressed by his style. Although he had a chunky build he had a nice rhythm and glided around the ring as if he was listening to music. I remember he had a nice bob-n-weave and could walk across the ring like he was walking down the street. The show is being promoted by Isidro Castillo who always puts on an entertaining card.
I’m looking forward to Saturday night and wish I could be in three places at once. As I haven’t figured how to accomplish that I’ll be in attendance at the Buffalo Thunder card, but hope to have the results of all three matches at night’s end. There is a lot of talent in New Mexico and much of it will be on display this weekend.