Undefeated Abel Navarrete Jr. headlines in Amarillo this Saturday

Guest Writer David Finger

2019 has been a slow year for boxing fans in West Texas and New Mexico, but all that is set to change this summer with a handful of exciting cards, starting with a School of Hard Knocks boxing and Golden Eagle Promotions promoted show this Saturday (June 29th) at the Azteca Music Hall in Amarillo, Texas.  The “Amarillo Ambush 2” card features talented undefeated super featherweight prospect Abel Navarrete Jr. (4-0, 2 KOs) as he fights for only the second time in front of his hometown fans in a scheduled six round affair.  Navarrete is widely seen as one of the most talented young fighters in West Texas but has yet to face a serious test as a professional.  His opponent, Alamogordo’s Dwayne Bonds (3-2-1, 1 KO) is not seen as a major prospect but he is nonetheless regarded as a solid fighter who should give boxing fans an idea about what the long term prospects will be for the Texan.  In his six professional fights Bonds has stepped into the ring with four fighters who were at the time undefeated and has a respectable record of 2-1-1 against them.  However, he also was stunned by way of first round TKO against journeyman Thomas Smith back in October of 2017 and many fans are also wondering if Navarrete will try and test the chin of Bonds early, a plan that could in fact play into the underdog’s hands.

The undercard will feature a handful of other local fighters from the Amarillo area, including undefeated heavyweight John King (1-0, 1 KO) in the co-main event.  King, who like Navarrete will be fighting in front of his hometown fans for only the second time, turned heads back in January when he blitzed Midland’s Mark Sanchez in the opening round.  He will be facing another debuting Midland heavyweight on Saturday in Bryan Butler.

In an eagerly anticipated welterweight fight undefeated Rudy Montenegro (2-0-1, 1 KO) looks to erase the only blemish on his record as he steps into the ring with Belen New Mexico’s Derek Perez (2-10-1, 1 KO).  Despite Perez’s less than impressive record he has nonetheless earned a reputation in and around the Southwest as a fighter who gives it his all and should be expected to push the undefeated Montenegro, a fighter he held to a four round draw back in May of 2018.  The draw remains the only blemish on Montenegro’s record and Montenegro has promised that the fight will be much different than the first time they squared off in the ring.

Also featured will be another talented Amarillo prospect in Mobley Villegas (1-0, 1 KO).  Mobley excited his local fans in January when he scored a first round stoppage over Michael Petersen but he should be in for a tougher night on Saturday as he steps in with the durable Mexican Israel Camacho (1-2, 0 KOs).  Camacho, who now fights out of Houston, went the distance in his last two fights with San Antonio prospect Jose Martinez and has never been dropped as a professional.  Although Villegas showed excellent speed and power in his first fight his fight with the Mexican will almost certainly be a much tougher affair.

Undefeated middleweight Dylan Nicholson (1-0, 1 KO) of Amarillo is another local kid who will be fighting in Amarillo for the second time.  Nicholson showed flashes of brilliance in his professional debut back in January and will be looking to continue to grow his fan base as he takes on Isaac Sifuentez (0-2) in a four round fight.  Rounding off the card will be two debuting local kids in Eloy Valverde and Darrius Battles.  Valverde will be fighting fellow rookie Nikko Nathan in a four round middleweight fight while Battles will do battle with debuting John Rendon of Midland, Texas.

The fight card will take place at the Azteca Music Hall, located at 500 N FM 1912.  Doors open at 6 PM with the first fight taking place at 7 PM.  Tickets start at $35 for general admission and run only $75 for ringside.  They can be purchased by calling promoted Isidro Castillo at 1-575-263-4942.