Villa, Espinoza and Andrews Shine on Hobbs Card

Middleweight Castillo

Austin Killeen ringside          (click on photos to enlarge)

Next to the word ingenious in the dictionary is a photo of Isidro Castillo. How else do you explain a promoter putting two MMA fights and a Kick Boxing match on a boxing card and making it work. In addition, there was a cage set up next to the boxing ring for the MMA bouts. The venue was the Corral Arena which was designed for rodeo and cattle shows. Although the final ticket count was still to be taken, it appeared that the promotion was in the black. Richard Villa, Oscar Sanchez, Michael Andrews, and Stacey Sigala all performed well and gave their careers a boost. Apparently none of the boxers listed above have been training any harder than Isidro Castillo himself. As you can see by the photo on the left he has lost some serious weight. Is he planing on fighting on one of his futures promotions?

All six boxing matches were scheduled for 4 rounds

In the main event of the evening, heavyweight Nicky Tipton (2-1-0, 1 KO) 249.6 lbs., of Midland, TX won by DQ over Mark Martinez (1-1-0, 1 KO’s) 239.4 lbs., of Hobbs, NM. In a close opening round, Tipton’s left jab gave him the edge over his aggressive opponent. Martinez was swinging for the fences but was slightly off the target. Although I gave the round to Tipton, he was carrying his hands very low. The second round was a repeat of the first, but Martinez was starting to find his target will some success. As in the opening round, Tipton threw a lot of right-hand leads, but they lacked power because he wasn’t putting his body into his punch. In the third round a right hand to the head of Tipton sent him to the canvas. While on his hands and knees, Martinez leaned in an delivered a sucker punch to his rival’s head. This resulted in his disqualification.

Referee Velez, Villa and Lupe Perez

In the semi-final, Richard Villa (3-0-1, 2 KO’s)216.2 lbs., of Roswell, NM won by TKO over Ruben Sanchez (1-2-0, 1 KO)218.4 lbs., of Hobbs, NM. Waiting for the bell to ring it was obvious that Villa was carrying some excess pounds into his fight with Sanchez. But it didn’t seem to have any negative effect on his performance. He was smooth as butter getting inside his taller opponent and delivering some serious firepower to his rival’s head and body. Sanchez found himself on the canvas three times before the referee stopped the bout at 2:18 of the round. Sanchez was game, but unable to get untracked against his heavy-hitting foe. If Villa could get down to the light heavyweight limit, he would be a bad dude at 175 pounds.


Espinoza in the shades

In the evening’s 4th bout, Oscar Espinoza (3-1-0, 3 KO’s) 178.6 lbs., Hobbs, NM won by TKO over Mark Sanchez (0-3-0) 174.2 lbs., of Midland, TX. This was an action-packed contest, with both boxers at their best. I’ve seen all of Espinoza’s fights and he shows improvement in every contest. Tonight, Espinoza was slipping punches and countering off his opponents’ punches. But to do that he needed a live opponent and Sanchez was a live body, who came to win. By the third round, the “no quit” Sanchez was running out of gas and the referee halted the proceedings at 2:03 of the stanza. At 175 pounds an Espinoza/Villa contest would sell a lot of tickets.


Stacey Sigala

In the evening’s 3rd bout between debuting boxers, Stacey Sigala 133.4 lbs., of Hobbs, NM won by TKO over Tiffany Martin 130.8 lbs., of Amarillo, TX. A veteran of the cage, Sigala just had too much firepower for her game but inexperienced foe. The willing Martin landed some punches but leaned back when throwing them. Martin’s mistakes are easily correctable and she obviously was in good condition. Sigala looks to be someone to keep an eye on. The contest was halted at 2:48 of the opening round.



In the evening’s second bout Ricardo Reyes (2-2-0, 1 KO) 131.0 lbs., of Hobbs, NM won by TKO over Michael Petersen (0-4-0) 133 lbs., of Clovis NM. Reyes caught his opponent with some serious offense before his rival could get warmed up. Petersen walked into a left hook that sent him to the canvas. Beating the count, Petersen walked into an avalanche of leather resulting in a stoppage at 1:12 of the opening round. The happy Reyes is being interviewed by ring announcer Ricky Barrientes.


Michael Andrews

In the evening’s opening bout Michael Andrews (2-3-0, 1 KO) 159.6 lbs., won by TKO over Dylan Nicholson (2-1-0, 2 KO’s) 155.6 lbs., of Amarillo, TX. I had seen Andrews in action before and he was always in shape, but tight as a drum. As a result, he made for a nice opponent who made his rival look good. Against the undefeated Nicholson, it was the new and improved version of Andrews who had some kick to his punches.



1 Kick Boxing match

Kelly Harrison

Kelly Harrison 207.4 lbs., of Hobbs, NM won by TKO over Bryan Butler 204 lbs., Midland, TX. In the opening round, Harrison had some nice moves, using sweeping kicks to score on Butler. But Butler landed a right to the head to drop his rival just before the bell. Any questions regarding Harrison’s condition going into the second round were answered when he landed a left hook to the head to drop his opponent. Butler was in no condition to continue.




2 MMA bouts

l-r) Rendon, Ref, Villagrand

In the feature MMA match, Billy Villagrand 170 lbs., of Hobbs, NM won by TKO over John Rendon 170 lbs., of Midland TX. Rendon opened the contest, scoring a takedown, but Villagrand was able to escape before suffering any meaningful damage. In the second Villagrand was able to get a takedown and secure a front mount, but Rendon had some nice defensive moves. Clearly, Villagrand had the advantage in riding time. In the final round, Villagrand scored a takedown and a side mount to attack the head of Rendon. The referee had seen enough and halted the match. This was a very competitive contest and both athletes were in excellent shape.



Jonathan Felps

Card Girls

In the opening MMA match Jonathan Felps 194.6 lbs., of Hobbs, NM won by TKO over John Hayes 193.2 lbs., of Roswell, NM. Felps opened the contest with a kicking attack while Hayes favored a standup approach. Suddenly Felps scored a takedown and was able to get a front mount, where he was able to score to the head of Hayes at will. The stoppage came at 51 seconds of the opening round.



The judges for the evening were Ester Lopez, Joel Perez, and Mark Sanchez, but they never got to use their pencils as all nine contests ended in stoppages. Referee Robert Velez handled the six boxing matches, while Robert Romeral handled the MMA and Kick Boxing contests. The ring announcer was Ricky Barrientes.