By Austin Killeen – (click on picture to enlarge)
Promoter Isidro Castillo will be putting on a seven bout fight card in the booming metropolis of Roswell, New Mexico, home of space aliens. As is the life of any promoter, Castillo is still trying to find late replacements for boxers who have pulled out of the show. If it wasn’t for Castillo boxing in the southeast part of the state would be dead. What makes Castillo special is his willingness to match fighters with losing records against each other. It has been five years since either main event participants Gene Perez or John Herrera have won a fight, but if past Castillo matchups repeat itself; his main event will be a barn burner. As for his undercard problems, perhaps the answer is space aliens. These little green people would make excellent replacements in the lighter divisions. There’s a reason Isidro Castillo is a top promoter. Because by the close of Saturday night, fans emptying out of the Roswell Civic Center will be talking about an excellent fight card.
In the main event, John Herrera (4-17-2, 2 KO’s) of Roswell will face Gene Perez (1-9-1) of Belen, New Mexico. Waiting for the opening bell to ring, both boxers will look into the opposing corner and think tonight is my night. Both boxers have been victims of some questionable decisions, but for the most part the reason for their records can be found when looking in the mirror. Herrera was considered a dangerous opponent early in his career, but at some point he became discouraged and appeared to no longer put in the effort needed to win. If he can’t see that Saturday is a golden opportunity to turn things around, he should retire. Perez is always in excellent shape and throws punches in bunches, but has never learned the basics needed to improve. He takes too many punches to get inside, the result of never having learned to bob-n-weave. I see this as an excellent matchup and can help revive one boxer’s career.
In the semi-final, Richard Villa (1-0-1) of Roswell is matched against Mauricio Lopez (0-1-0) of Elks City, Oklahoma at 180 lbs. Villa was originally matched against a cage fighter by the name of Cesar Zamarripa. This would have been a war, but Zamarripa was injured in training. Villa is a newcomer to boxing, but has been in combat sports since high school. As tough as Villa is, he’s not into the practice of making menacing faces for the purpose of intimidation. Instead he breaks into a big smile, because there is nothing he enjoys more than a good rough and tumble fight! In his last bout he fought a draw against veteran Tim Meek in El Paso, Texas. Meek fought behind an excellent left jab, while Villa responded with an “early caveman” offense. The fans loved the action and I hope they hook up again in the near future. There was not a long line of fighters looking to take the place of Zamarripa, but Lopez has stepped up to the plate. I know very little about Lopez, but he obviously has confidence in his abilities to take this fight on short notice.
Isidro Castillo (6-0-0, 3 KO’s) of Hobbs will face last minute sub, debuting Brendan Trujillo of Albuquerque, NM. In his six bout career Castillo has proven to be a gifted boxer/puncher with a great deal of potential. He is very patient who takes advantage of opportunities. If he sees an opening he can close the show early, but he never forces the action recklessly. He appears to be ready to move up to the next level.
In a matchup of debuting fighters, Augustine Perez of Roswell will face Ricardo Reyes of Hobbs, New Mexico at 130 lbs. Both Perez and Reyes have always hung around gyms and have a great deal of experience working with pros. Augustine is the younger brother of Aaron and Jordan Perez who are the promoters of Legacy Promotions in Albuquerque. Interestingly Isidro Castillo often works for Legacy Promotions as matchmaker and knows he’s in the embarrassing position of finding an opponent capable of knocking off the younger brother of the Perez’s. This fight could be the fight of the night as both Perez and Reyes are in excellent shape and not averse to walking into deep waters.
In another matchup of debuting fighters, Raymond Lara of Roswell is matched with Tim Ruiz of Herford, Texas at 147 pounds. Lara has had very few amateur bouts, but has participated in several unsanctioned bouts. He’s a favorite of the promoter already, as he is proving to be a surprisingly good ticket seller. As the saying goes, you need fans in the seats or nobody gets paid. Ruiz has had approximately 35 amateur fights, which indicates he should have a degree of composure when the opening bell rings.
In an interesting matchup, debuting Ysidro Portillo of Odessa, Texas will oppose Oscar Espinoza (1-1-0, 1 KO) of Hobbs, New Mexico at 160 lbs. Although Portillo is making his pro debut he does have some limited amateur experience; he is undefeated 6-0 in amateur boxing and is 3-0-0 in amateur MMA. I’ve seen both of Espinoza’s pro bouts and this young man can fight. In facing veteran Edgar Zubia he put on an excellent fight, climbing off the canvas to lose a very close decision. Just answering the second bell was amazing, but to win rounds takes skill.
In a heavyweight matchup, Israel Huerta (1-2-0) of Roswell faces Omar Acosta (0-1-0) of Durango, Mexico. I know very little about these two boxers, but Acosta lasted four rounds with hard hitting Elijio Sena in 2016. Regardless of ability the big boys tend to have a great deal of power, so this matchup could end early.