By Austin Killeen
The Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort will host a nine-bout professional boxing card on Saturday night. The promoters will be the Perez brothers, in their first endeavor in the north country. Headlining with be Santa Fe’s Joaquin Zamora, a seventeen-year pro looking for his fifth straight win. The semi-final features a showdown between Aztec’s Joseph Martinez and Las Vegas, NM’s Arturo Crespin, a fight that both boxers need to win. Five undefeated boxers, Any Salinas, Aaron Perez, Matthew Esquibel, Gabriel Gabaldon, and Clinton Chavez hope to keep their records unblemished. Albuquerque’s Jesus Xavier Perardua and Fruitland’s Jazzma Hogue face each other in a comeback for both fighters. While the show opens with debuting Angelo Valencia against Guillermo Alvarez. This is a solid fight card with some good match-ups for the fans in attendance.
In the main event of the evening, scheduled for 6 rounds, middleweight Joaquin Zamora (22-4-1, 12 KO) 164 lbs., of Santa Fe, NM faces Josue Obando (17-26-1, 12 KO’s) 171.5 lbs., of Guadalajara, Mexico. Zamora has more moves than a revolving door, that usually leaves his opponents confused and bewildered. He has an awkward but effective style that allows him to land punches from impossible angles. It’s hard for opponents to find sparring partners who can duplicate Zamora’s style. As a result, he hasn’t lost a fight in over eight years, with over half his wins coming by knockout. The hard-punching Obando has twelve KO’s in his seventeen wins and is coming off a hard-fought victory in his last outing. He’s a pressure fighter who plans to take Zamora out of his comfort zone.
In the semi-final scheduled for 6 rounds, middleweight Joseph Martinez (22-8-1, 10 KO’s) 164.8 lbs. of Aztec, NM faces Arturo Crespin (13-8-1, 4 KO’s) 168.8 lbs., of Las Vegas, NM. Martinez is your classic boxer who likes to work off a stiff left jab. This allows him to create openings for his other punches, leaving his opponents exposed. Although Martinez is not known as a puncher, he’s capable of scoring a knockout when over-aggressive bangers get careless on offense. Crespin is a mugger who likes to turn every fight into a brawl. He asks no quarter nor does he give any. I’ve never seen Crespin turn to a referee and complain about rabbit punching or low blows, he just returns the favor. This is a fight of contrasting styles which will make for an exciting bout and has the potential for the fight of the night.
In the seventh bout scheduled for 6 rounds, super flyweight Amy Salinas (2-0-0) 115 lbs., of Las Cruces, NM faces Samantha Salazar (6-5-2) 115.3 lbs., of Houston, TX. Salinas is a highly decorated amateur who won her pro debut at Buffalo Thunder earlier this year over local favorite Leanna Martinez. Don’t be fooled by her lack of knockouts this girl can hit. Her first two bouts were against live opponents, her KO’s will come. Salazar hasn’t lost in her last five fights and is more than capable of giving Salinas a stern test. After getting off to a rough start at the beginning of her career she has put her career in over-drive. This is another bout that should contend for the fight of the night.
In the sixth bout scheduled for 6 rounds, featherweight Aaron Angel Perez (7-0-0, 5 KO’s) 126.8 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM faces Danny Flores (15-16-1, 8 KO’s) 128 lbs., of Mexico City, Mexico. Like Salinas, Perez has an outstanding amateur pedigree on his resume. In his seven-bout pro career, he has more than lived up to all the hype surrounding him. He can box or punch his way to victory, has fast hands and is built like a little bull. Flores won’t be intimidated by Perez as he has faced some difficult competition in his pro career. He’s capable of boxing or banging his way to victory. This will be a good test for undefeated Perez, a test that he has to pass if he is truly relevant and not a blown-up nothing as many prospects turn out to be.
In the fifth bout, welterweight Matthew Esquibel (12-0-1, 5 KO’s) 146.2 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM faces Isaac Luna (4-1-0) 147.6 lbs., of San Elizario, TX. The soft-spoken Esquibel has quietly gone about building up his undefeated record. It easy to overlook Esquibel, but his accomplishments speak for themselves. In Luna, he will be facing an excellent boxer, who has built his record the hard way, on the road. He may not have shown much power in his early career, but I’ve seen him leave some heavy hitters bewildered when they were unable to touch him. This is a strong matchup between excellent boxers who are not afraid to put it all on the line tomorrow night.
The remaining bouts are scheduled for 4 rounds
In the fourth bout, welterweight Gabriel Gabaldon (2-0-0) 148.3 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM faces Larry Sanchez, Jr. (0-3-0) 151.9 lbs., of Midland, TX. After a five-year layoff, Gabaldon showed some impressive body punching in a fight I thought might be a difficult test for him. I’ve seen Sanchez fight before, and I think this is a difficult matchup for him. If Gabaldon displays the same body attack he used in his last fight it could be a long night for Sanchez. I think Gabaldon gets his first stoppage win tomorrow evening. I wrote my comments about Sanchez before he stepped on the scales. I had to do a double-take, as he was built like he had been in training since his last fight. The outcome of this fight might cause me to eat my words.
In the third bout, Junior middleweight Clinton “Native Kid” Chavez (1-0-0, 1 KO) 151.6 lbs., of Albuquerque faces Eloy Valverde (0-1-0) 159.2 lbs., of Amarillo, TX. In the amateurs, Chavez showed some heavy hands in winning most of his fights. Chavez is very tall, has a long reach, a good chin and is durable. Valverde has been given a tough assignment tomorrow night and will need to show a lot more than he did in his pro debut to pull off an upset. I see Chavez winning most likely by knockout. Hearing my comments, acquaintance who is well regarded in the boxing community said “it’s a mistake if your sleeping on Valverde chances.
In the second bout, featherweight Jesus Xavier Perardua (7-6-0, 1 KO) 126.6 lbs., of Albuquerque faces Jazzma Hogue (3-9-1) 132.2 lbs., of Fruitland, NM. I like this fight as I have seen bout fighters in the ring before. Some fighters are groomed to win while others are tossed in tough. Perardua and Hogue are in the second category but have learned to deal with it. This is a fifty-fifty fight where both boxers can win. I like Perardua by decision in a very competitive bout.
In the opening bout of the evening, debuting junior lightweight Angelo Valencia 127.9 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM faces Guillermo Alvarez (0-1-0) 132.1 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM. I know nothing about the debuting Valencia, but he might have a difficult assignment in front of him. I saw Alvarez in his lone fight where he lost a decision to a very talented Jose Osorio in six rounds. If he can duplicate that effort against Valencia, Alvarez might very well have his first win.