By Austin Killeen Ringside Photos by Lori Pina
Once again Pat Holmes Sr. had a sellout card at Buffalo Thunder Resorts and Casino. This makes it fourteen sellouts in a row, in an evening of entertaining bouts. If you’ve never been to the Buffalo Thunder it’s a beautiful venue to see a fight. There are large screens on each wall allowing anyone, regardless of seating, a good view of the bouts. Between fights highlights of the previous bout are displayed, helping to answer any question about a low blow, knockdown or any other infraction that resulted in controversy. In summary, you usually don’t find the amenities in a fight club that you find at Buffalo Thunder.
The final three bouts of the evening were scheduled for six rounds.
In the main event of the evening, Antonio Martinez (9-3-4, 6 KO’s) 139.1 lbs. of Espanola, NM won by UD over Gene Perez (2-11-1) 140.2 lbs. of Belen, NM. The opening round could have been fought in a closet as most of the action was toe-to-toe. The southpaw Perez used hooks and crosses to head and body to carry the frame. There was little clinching, making the job of referee Rocky Burke an easy one. The second round was a repeat of the first, with the addition of overhand rights by Martinez. His punches were accurate forcing Perez to retreat from time to time. Round three was very close making the judges task of picking a winner difficult. Perez was landing uppercuts and right hooks off the ropes, with eye catching effect. Martinez was dominating while fighting in center ring, employing good head movement and counter right hands.
Rounds four and five appeared to favor Martinez, who continued to score with overhand rights and combinations when he was able to pin his rival on the ropes. Perez certainly had his moments, but would voluntarily retreat after landing some clean combinations. By the end of the fifth round Perez was bleeding from the nose. In the final round both fighters were at their best, seeking to relieve the judges of the trouble of adding up their scorecards. Judges Theresa Ortega and Chris Tellez both scored the bout 58-56 for Martinez, while Judge Mark Sanchez had it 60-54 for Martinez. There was very little clinching in this bout as both boxers tried to send their rival home early.
In the semi-final, Frank Sanchez Faure (4-0-0, 2 KO’s) 207.8 lbs of Guantanamo, Cuba won by TKO over Manuel Eastman (2-6-1, 1 KO) Los Lunas NM. Sanchez Faure was a member of the Cuban national team having fought 214 fights for medals with 204 bouts ending in victory. This was a one sided contest, with the game underdog Eastman hoping to land one of his big overhand rights. The powerful built Sanchez Faure scored two knockdowns in the second round to cause referee Ray Chavez to halt the contest at 2:31 of the round. Sanchez Faure has a commanding left jab, is a good judge of distance, and has a tight defense. Keep your eye on the Cuban prospect, as he has the look of a boxer who will be a title contender within a year.
In the evening’s fifth bout, Jose Osorio (10-3-1, 4 KO’s) 132.8 lbs. of Albuquerque, NM won by UD over Derek Perez (1-8-0, 1 KO) 132.5 lbs. of Belen, NM. Like his older brother Gene, Derek captured the opening round of his contest. He has an awkward style and is difficult to prepare for. Osorio was coming off the biggest win of his career but found himself fighting the wrong fight. Normally the aggressor, Osorio appeared to be trying to counter punch the wild attack of Perez with little success. In the final thirty seconds of the round he started to settle down. In the second round Osorio started to get inside, score with clean punches, and then retreat. It seemed to leave Perez confused, and the fight now appeared to be even. The next four rounds were fought at a furious pace, with the wild swings of Perez against the more accurate punching of Osorio. Although Osorio captured a unanimous decision the result of some brutal combinations, he was on the receiving end of some solid shots by Perez.
The Perez brothers basically train themselves, but seem to be improving with each bout. Fans love to see them in action because they are very entertaining and come to fight. For Osorio, it was his sixth win in a row. He has faced some difficult competition in complying a winning record.
The first four bouts of the evening were scheduled for four rounds.
In the evening’s fourth bout, debuting Travis Foster 166.5 lbs., of Newark, NJ won by MD over Bryant McClain (4-1- 2, 1 KO) 164.9 lbs. of Rio Rancho, NM. When Foster entered the ring, he quickly gained the attention of the audience with his impressive build. Early in the first round he showed he had more than just a nice build when he dropped McClain with a devastating left hook. Although he beat the count, the game McClain was dropped again from a combination of punches to the head and body. Once again McClain beat the ten count, but it was obvious to everyone he was in deep trouble. Pinned in his own corner, McClain used his defense to survive the onslaught of the New Jersey import. The sound of the bell did what McClain couldn’t do, stop Foster from punching.
Foster continued his assault in the first minute of the second round in an effort to end things, while the stubborn McClain refused to quit. Suddenly it appeared Foster had punched himself out and McClain started to land some jabs to the face of his opponent; but did it make up for all the punches Foster scored in the opening minute. In rounds three and four it was clearly evident Foster had punched himself out, while McClain was landing his jab to the head and solid rights to the body. But he needed to score his own knockdown and not settle with winning the rounds on points. Judge Mark Sanchez had the bout even at 37-37, but was overruled by judges Theresa Ortega and Chris Tellez who scored the contest 38-36 for Foster. If Foster learns how to pace himself, he could be a beast. As for McClain, he showed if you don’t give up you might still have a chance at victory.
In the evening’s third bout, Leanna Martinez (2-0-0, 1 KO) 110 lbs. of Espanola, NM won by MD over Kristen Montano (0-3-0) 112.5 lbs. of Albuquerque, NM. It didn’t take long for spectators to realize this would be a war. Martinez laid some heavy shots in close on Montano, but had no answer when her rival was able to work at long range. In the second round the shorter Martinez was able to keep her opponent on the ropes much of the round, where she was able to score on the inside. Round three was like the opening round, difficult to score as neither boxer was able to maintain their advantage long enough to dominate. Montano appeared to capture the final round with lateral movement and clean punches from the outside. Judge Mark Sanchez had the bout even at 38-38, but was overruled by judges Theresa Ortega and Chris Tellez who scored the contest 39-37.
In the evening’s second bout, Jordanne Garcia (2-0-1) 158 lbs. of Albuquerque, NM drew with debuting Karina Mendoza 159.5 lbs. of El Paso, TX. I had seen Garcia fight at least a half dozen times in the amateurs and pros and knew she was a skilled fighter with an overpowering attack. But in fighting Martinez, she must have thought she was fighting a clone of herself. Garcia used nice footwork, a left jab and overhand rights to score effectively the entire fight. Martinez was like a train coming down the tracks, working her way inside and unloading punches with bad intentions. Neither girl wanted to concede space, but was unable to break the spirit of her rival. This was what you got for four rounds. Judge Theresa Ortega had it 39-37 for Mendoza, judge Chris Tellez had it 39-37 for Garcia, while Judge Mark Sanchez had the bout even at 38-38. I think both girls would benefit by fighting in a lower weight class, and both girls have potential in this business.
In the evening’s opening bout between debuting boxers, Jee “Mega Boy” Kim 119 lbs. of Los Angeles, CA won by KO over Joseph Veloz 129 lbs. of El Paso, TX. Although there was a ten pound difference on the scales it appeared the muscular Veloz enjoyed a twenty pound advantage after re-hydrating. That is why I strongly favor same day weigh-ins. When the opening bell rang Kim acted as if he couldn’t have cared less if Veloz had a fifty pound weight advantage. For a debuting boxer Kim looked very polished, working behind a jab that allowed him to control the action most of the round. Veloz was a live opponent who landed some solid shots, but the LA import showed no reaction when hit.
In the second round Kim landed a solid left hook to the liver ending things for the night. Veloz lay on the canvas, his back in pain from Kim’s devastating shot to the liver. The time of the knockout was 1:43. I shouldn’t go overboard based on one fight, but Jee “Mega Boy” Kim might be the complete package. Like Frank Sanchez Faure in the semi-final, this young man has some impressive skills.
This was an excellent fight card and it would be very difficult to pick the fight of the night. There were some hotly contested matchups and all the boxers came to fight. If anyone left Buffalo Thunder dissatisfied, I have no idea what it would take to please them. This was another quality show by Pat Holmes.