Austin Killeen Ringside Photos by Octavio Vera (Click on photos for full size)
Promoter Pat Holmes put on an entertaining six-bout card Saturday night at Marriott Pyramid Hotel in Albuquerque, NM. Roberto Duran Jr. attracted a great deal of attention the week of the fight as a result of his famous father. At the end of the evening, he proved he was his own man as his father was not in the ring with him when he scored a devastating knockout. The Quintana/Villanueva and Hill/McClain bouts were evenly matched hotly contested battles. Fan favorite Leanna Martinez was upset by debuting Indeya Smith in a shocker. Hobbs’ hard hitting Mario Gonzales looks like he could be a force in the middleweight division. While Santa Fe’s Estevan Segura showed a lot of polish for a debuting boxer. All in all the fans were treated to an enjoyable evening of boxing.
In the main event of the evening, Roberto Duran Jr., (4-1-0, 3 KO’s) 150.4 lbs., of Hollywood, FL won by KO over David Vargas, Debut 146 lbs., of El Paso, TX. The son of a legend, Roberto Duran Jr. lived up to the hype scoring a devastating KO at 45 seconds of the opening round. Unlike his dad, Duran Jr. is a southpaw and he landed a straight left to the face of Vargas, dropping him to the canvas. There was no doubt that the contest was over as Vargas rolled under the bottom rope onto the ring apron. The doctor at ringside had him placed on a stool where he was given medical attention. After the contest, Duran mixed with the fans for at least thirty minutes, shaking hands, signing autographs, and posing for pictures. New Mexico has a new hero, as the fans loved the fighter from Florida.
In the evening’s fifth bout debuting Indeya Smith 110.6 lbs., of Dallas, TX won by TKO over Leanna Martinez 108.8 lbs., of Espanola, NM. Smith charged out of her corner with bad intentions in mind. Exchanging combinations with Martinez at close range, Smith exploded a right hand off the chin of her game rival. Martinez landed on the canvas hard and bearly beat the count. Referee Ray Chavez made sure she was able to continue before allowing the contest to go on. Unfortunately for the Espanola boxer, the first knockdown was repeated two more times, when Referee Chavez halted the proceedings at 1:03 of the opening round.
In the fourth bout of the evening, Andres Quintana (0-1-1) 149.2 lbs., of Roswell, NM fought to a draw with debuting Angel Villanueva 148.8 lbs., of Odessa, TX. The shorter but muscular Villanueva dominated the opening round switching his attack from head to the body and back again. Quintana appeared to not have warmed up properly and was caught cold. The second round was a complete reversal of the opening round with Quintana dominating behind a powerful left jab to the head. The Texas import was often off balance and unable to respond. The third and fourth rounds were hotly contested with neither boxer seemingly able to sustain an advantage. I gave the third to Villanueva and the fourth to Quintana. Judge Mark Sanchez had the score 39-37 for Villanueva, Chris Tellez scored the contest 38-38 a draw, and Juan Nunez scored the bout 39-37 for Quintana, resulting in a draw. This was a difficult contest to score and both men fought hard, most people seemed satisfied with the draw verdict.
In the third bout of the evening, Desmond Hill (5-0-0, 3 KO’s) 166.5 lbs., of Odessa, TX won by MD over Bryant McClain (5-3-3, 1 KO) 169.8 lbs., of Rio Rancho, NM. This was a hotly contested contest between two very determined combatants. The first three rounds saw Hill the aggressor forcing McClain to the ropes with some solid combinations to the head and body. McClain would respond with some nice counter punching behind jabs and uppercuts to force Hill to retreat to the center of the ring. Hill dominated the final round with a non-stop attack for the vast majority of the final three minutes. Judges Mark Sanchez and Chris Tellez both had Hill winning on scores of 39-37, while Juan Nunez scored the fight 38-38, resulting in a majority decision in favor of Hill. Like the fourth bout of the evening, this match was loaded with action to the enjoyment of the fans.
In the second bout of the evening between debuting fighters, Estevan Segura 126.8 lbs., of Santa Fe, NM won by TKO over Armando Cornejo 129.0 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM. The word on Segura was that he was a stylish boxer who could bang if he had to. Cornejo, a southpaw, was game with an awkward but at times effective defensive style. Segura kept his left foot outside of Cornejo’s lead foot allowing him to find a home for his left hooks the entire bout. In the third round, Segura landed a solid left hook to the body dropping his stubborn opponent. Referee Chavez had seen enough halting the contest at 2:23 of the round. I wouldn’t fall in love with a fighter based on a single fight, but Segura looks to have some serious potential. If Cornejo can expand his offense, he’ll see improvement his next time out.
In the evening’s opening bout, Mario Gonzales 156.8 lbs., of Hobbs, NM won by TKO over debuting Shane Hill, 158.8 lbs., of Clovis, NM. Gonzales a former NM State GG’s champion is a beast who can bang. He quickly figured out his game southpaw opponent with some blistering shots to the head and body. A left hook to the head dropped Hill and referee Rocky Burke had seen enough stopping the contest at 1:14 of the opening round. With a few more fights under his belt, Gonzales will be making some noise in the 160 division, in the “Land of Enchantment.” (I’d like to thank Immortal Boxing for the Mario Gonzales photo.)