By Austin Killeen
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Once again Pat Holmes Sr. will probably have a sellout card at Buffalo Thunder Resorts and Casino. Since holding a press conference four years ago to announce his intentions to be a major player in the “Land of Enchantment”, all Pat’s done is make his intentions come true. At that press conference, the only fighter in attendance was his younger son Brandon, who had never had a pro fight. Pat, Sr., has accomplished this by creating stars; his two son’s Pat Jr. and Brandon, the resurrection of Antonio Martinez and his latest finds Bryant McClain and Aaron Martinez. His attendance numbers consistently average over 2,000 patrons; numbers that no one else seems able to duplicate. Saturday’s card has some interesting bouts and one that seemingly makes no sense.
Lightweight Brandon Holmes (9-0- 0, 6 KO’s) of Santa Fe, NM faces Gene Perez (1-7-1) of Belen, NM. This is a fight that makes little sense to me. Turning pro few people felt Holmes would make an impact, but after a half dozen fights he was proving the critics wrong. Suddenly a bout between Pat Holmes’ son and undefeated Jason Sanchez was one of the most talked about contests in northern New Mexico. But in his last few fights Holmes has taken his foot off the pedal. Instead of seeking tougher competition, he’s content to face game but less talented opponents. In boxing, as in life, you’re either moving forward or going backward. Boxing is all about risk versus reward. I see little reward in beating Perez for a second time, but a loss to the game Belen fighter would be a disaster. I found out at today’s weigh-ins this will be Brandon Holmes last fight for the foreseeable future. Brandon is starting a new business which does not allow him sufficient time to devote to both his new business and boxing.
Welterweight Antonio Martinez (6-2- 4, 5 KO’s) of Española, NM faces Tavorus Teague (3-16-2, 2 KO’s) Bakersfield, CA. Don’t be fooled by the record of Teague, he faces nothing but hometown hero’s in their back yard. Martinez likes to explode out if his corner and crush his startled opponents; Teague won’t be startled. The boxer from California always shows up in excellent shape, and possesses some skills. At long range or in close he’ll present problems for Martinez. Give Martinez credit for taking on a live opponent who won’t crumble the first time he gets caught by a solid combination. If Martinez can leave the ring victorious, his career will have moved to the next level. At today’s weight ins it was announced that Brian Castillo (0-2-0) of El Paso, Texas would replace Tavorus Teague.
Lightweight Aaron Martinez (3-0-0, 2 KO’s) of Santa Fe, NM faces Alex Holguin (9-1-0, 6 KO’s) Albuquerque, NM. This is a contest between untested but successful boxers who are willing to take a risk. In his last fight Martinez made was appeared to be an easy bout difficult. Perhaps it was the southpaw style of his opponent, but Martinez appeared to be a raccoon caught in the high beams. In the final round of the bout Martinez finally figured it out, and destroyed his opponent. He can bang and will test Holguin’s durability. The “Duke City” boxer throws beautiful combinations, nobody questions his offense. But how will Holguin respond when somebody who can punch tries to put some dents on his body. Give both boxers credit for taking a big test against a live opponent with a winning record.
Light heavyweight Bryant McClain (3-0- 0, 1 KO) of Rio Rancho, NM faces Jordan Gregory (0-1-0) of Albuquerque, NM. On paper this appears to be an easy win for McClain, but the fight will take place in a ring. I was witness to Gregory’s pro debut, a contest which resulted in a split decision win for his opponent. Although I’ve been critical of McClain in the past, I’ve never criticized his physical preparation for a fight; he always shows up in shape. That will be important in this contest, because Gregory has a cast iron body. In his only fight, his opponent almost punched himself out going for the knockout. If Jordan can pick up his offense he’ll make this an interesting matchup. McClain should be considered the favorite, but he’ll have to be at his best if he hopes to be victorious.
Welterweight Isidro Castillo Jr. (2-0-0, 1 KO) of Hobbs, NM faces Derek Perez (0-4-0) of Belen, NM. Castillo has been very impressive so far in his career and appears to be a boxer/puncher. The Hobbs’ boxer displays a good judge of distance and is very patient, content to pileup points behind his excellent jab. When his opponent tries to turn the bout into a street fight, Castillo likes to step into the eye of the hurricane. He’s not looking to clinch but unload bombs to the head and body. The result is a young man who is quickly gaining a reputation as a skilled boxer/puncher. In his last fight, Perez shocked Antonio Martinez in the opening seconds of round one. Martinez appeared to be one punch from taking a seat on the canvas. Suddenly Perez stopped punching and lifted his hands in the air as a sign of victory. That was a big mistake, allowing Martinez to recover and eventually win by knockout. Castillo should win easy, but only if he doesn’t think his mere presence in the ring means victory. Roadrunners kill rattlesnakes, but sometimes the rattlesnake wins.
Middleweight Angel Avila (0-1-0) El Paso, TX faces Ivan Miranda (0-1-0) of Chili, MX. This is a Isidro Castillo matchmaker special, matching boxers with losing records against each other; the result an action packed bout with the winner being the fans. I saw the debut of both boxers and their bouts had lots of action, but defense was the downfall of both men. I’d be surprised if this one goes the distance, as both boxers look to be sluggers who have to be home early.