If you have a prospect, its common sense to bring them along slowly. If your young hopeful is thirty-five, you don’t have the luxury of time. Which explains why manager Steve Garcia is taking a chance putting Donald Sanchez (5-2-0, 3 KO’s), in the ring with young hard-punching Austin Williams (4-0-0, 3 KO’s), a southpaw, from Houston, TX. People who attended the USA amateur Western Regionals in Albuquerque, NM two years ago might remember Williams who won the tournament in the 165-pound class. I was impressed with his talent, considering he had very few bouts in his record book.
One might wonder why Sanchez has had so few fights at the age of thirty-five. That’s easily explained. His first love was MMA and he would box on occasion if there was enough time between cage matches. Unlike many MMA fighters, Donald was able to take his power into the boxing ring. He had no trouble making the adjustment of sitting down on his punches. Last year he decided to box exclusively under the watchful eye of trainer Steve Garcia and so far, it has worked well for both men. If you’re worried about Donald’s age being a handicap, you can relax. I’ve never seen him in a boxing ring when he was not in excellent shape.
I could copy the previous paragraph changing the boxers’ names from Sanchez to Williams and lowering the age from thirty-five to twenty-three. I spent a lot of time with Williams during the aforementioned tournament and even met his sister who was there to support her brother. I was impressed with both as it was obvious, they came from a good home. Well-mannered and polite were the first things you noticed in talking with either of them. Please don’t think that Sanchez is not a nice person, as I’ve met his three children and it’s obvious, he has given them a great deal of quality time.
Tonight when the opening bell rings at the Meridian at Island Gardens, Miami, Florida two nice young men will collide with the intent of advancing their careers. When I started this article it was going to be about the local fighter from Albuquerque. In doing background for the fight I realized that I also was acquainted with Mr. Williams. Williams and Sanchez don’t hate each other it’s just business. When the fight is over they will embrace at the final bell in mutual respect. I’m not going to make a prediction about the contest as I like both men. I just hope that they perform to the best of their ability and both leave the ring in good health.
When you know the background stories of both men in a boxing match, you get a sense of drama that you would not ordinarily experience. I wish that I could be sitting ringside when the match unfolds, unfortunately, that is not possible.