By Austin Killeen (Click on photos for full size)
Nothing succeeds like success but with it comes the pressure for more success. Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico will host an eight-bout card on Saturday in which four young men will be asked to do it again. Josh Torres is on a six-bout win streak, five by stoppage. Rumors are circulating he’s one win away from getting a top ten opponent. Lose this weekend and he’ll be a story about what could have been. Five and a half years ago Jose Luis Sanchez suffered the only loss of his career. Since that time he has silently gone about winning eight consecutive contests. If he falls short on Saturday night he’ll be the kid who wasted his potential. Aaron Perez and Abel Navarrete bring undefeated records into the ring this weekend. Lose Saturday and the loser has to start the climb to the top all over. The remaining bouts have fighters who wish they could be in the same position as the above-mentioned boxers. Your view of life depends on where you’re standing, just ask the young men participating on the Tingley Coliseum fight card.
In the main event of the evening scheduled for 8 rounds at 147 lbs., Josh “Pitbull” Torres (21-6-2, 12 KO’s) 146.4 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM faces Juan Jesus Rivera Garces (19-26-0, 13 KO’s) 146 lbs., of Aguascalientes, Mexico. In Torres’ last fight he won a close controversial decision, he needs to be better than that if he hopes to crack the proverbial glass ceiling. Garces brings a reputation as a big banger but Torres has a granite chin. Also, Garces has a chin problem, it’s not made of granite. It would appear that Garces is handmade for “Pitbull” unless the hometown hero is looking beyond Saturday night. Will a win for Torres tomorrow be enough to get a fight against an opponent who has name value?
In the co-main event scheduled for 6 rounds at 154 lbs., Jose Luis “El Guero” Sanchez (10-1-0, 4 KO’s) Albuquerque faces Issac Luna (5-1-0, 1 KO) of El Paso, TX. Talk around the “Duke City” is that this is the fight of the night. In his last bout, Luna dropped undefeated Matthew Esquibel (12-0-1, 5 KO’s) three times on his way to a second-round TKO. Prior to this bout, Luna was regarded as a light hitter. As a result, Sanchez has to wonder which Luna he will be facing tomorrow night. Sanchez wants to revenge the only loss of his career, a stoppage to Josh Torres. An impressive win against Luna would certainly help Sanchez reach his goal of a rematch.
In an 8 round contest for the vacant ABF featherweight Continental Americas Title Aaron “Angel Baby” Perez (9-0-0, 5 KO’s) faces Isao Gonzalo Carranza (15-16-1, 9 KO’s) of Mexico City, Mexico. It’s unlikely that Carranza will be losing sleep over the prospects of facing “Angel Baby”, as he has faced some outstanding competition over the years. Unfortunately said competition has rolled over Carranza, often by knockout. Perez has been matched well, with a gradual increase in the competition each time out. Having witnessed much of Perez’s career, he’s been tested but able to meet the challenge. It would be a terrible setback for Perez if he was unable to win impressively, preferably by knockout.
In the fifth bout of the evening scheduled for 6 rounds for the ABF American West Title Defense at 135 lbs., Abel “Bobo” Navarrete, Jr. (6-0-0, 4 KO’s) of Amarillo, TX faces Jose Antonio Martinez (11-20-0, 6 KO’s) of Durango, MX. Navarrete is supposed to be the real deal if so he should be able to handle business tomorrow night. Martinez is no stranger to Albuquerque, having fought Aaron Perez here last year, losing a decision. All eyes will be on this contest as a Navarrete/Perez match-up could be in the future. I’ve seen Navarrete in the ring last year and he looked impressive, Martinez should be a good measuring stick regarding his improvement since that time. It goes without saying that Navarrete’s brain trust will be keeping an eye on Perez as his bout will be the next contest.
In the fourth bout of the evening scheduled for 6 rounds at 126 lbs., Jesus Xavier Perardua (8-6-0, 1 KO) of Albuquerque faces Jazzma Hogue, (3-10-1) of Fruitland, NM. This is a rematch of a few months ago. That bout was a lively contest in which Perardua won a unanimous decision. The rounds were competitive with Hogue pressuring his opponent all night. Between them, both boxers have one KO in twenty-eight fights resulting in some questionable decision losses for both when fighting on the road. If you like pure boxing you’ll like this one as they both have some impressive skills. The winner can expect some opportunities, most likely on the road.
The remaining bouts are scheduled for 4 rounds.
In the third bout of the evening at 147lbs., Gabriel Gabaldon (2-0-0) of Albuquerque faces Derek Perez (2-13-1,1 KO) of Belen, NM. Gabaldon was impressive fighting in his first bout in over four years. It was a contest I felt he would lose against the tricky veteran Anthony Hill. I was dead wrong, as Gabaldon had no trouble handling his opponent. In Perez, the “Duke City” boxer will be facing a difficult opponent who takes his opposition out of their comfort zone. This is the result of the southpaw Perez doing the unexpected, causing the opposition to lose focus. Gabaldon wasn’t fooled by Hill, can he accomplish the same against Perez?
In the second bout of the evening at 152 lbs., Clinton “Native Kid” Chavez (2-0-0, 2 KO’s) of Albuquerque, NM faces Anthony Hill (1-27-0) of Phoenix, AZ. There is no question that Chavez has been very impressive in his short career but in Hill, he will be facing a very elusive opponent. Look at some of the outstanding prospects that Hill has faced and gone the distance with, he is no joke. If you start forcing your offense on Hill, he will make you look foolish. This means Chavez has to stick with the basics if a KO comes it comes otherwise settle for a decision win. Hill represents a learning experience for Chavez, to underestimate his opponent would be a serious mistake.
In the opening bout of the evening at 160 lbs., Andre Galarza (1-3-0) of Albuquerque faces Adam Ramirez (1-0-0, 1 KO) of Belen, NM. I see this as a tossup fight that asks the question, who wants it more. Galarza has the edge in experience and has to capitalize on it. He has to make his opponent react which should allow him to control the flow of the bout. In watching Ramirez in his debut he seemed to have some power in his punches. If he can make Galarza respect his offense he can take him out of his comfort zone. This bout represents a good opportunity for both boxers with the winner getting some interesting offers.