Matt Griego in Career Defining Fight Versus Jeronil Borres

By Austin Killeen     Photos by Anthony Arthur Aragon

Life is all about risk versus reward.  Whether it’s putting your entire wealth into a turbulent stock market, risking your perfect social existence to capture the heart of another or gambling your perfect record in a boxing match against seemingly insurmountable odds. For Matthew “Diamond Boy” Griego it appears that he’s taking an enormous leap up the food chain of boxing. If you were asked to look at the records of Griego and Borres but covered their names with masking tape to hide their identity there could only be one conclusion; Griego is in over his head. This is the main event in the re-entry of Lenny Fresquez into the world of boxing promoting.

At today’s weigh-ins held at the Isleta Resort and Casino fans and media were introduced to the boxers who will be participating in Fresquez Productions’ latest boxing showcase called March Badness. In the main event Jeronil Borres (11-4-1, 6 KO’s) 110.8 lbs., of Carmen, Cotabato (del Norte), Philippines will face Matthew “Diamond Boy” Griego (10-0-0, 8 KO’s) of Albuquerque, NM. This contest is for the American Boxing Federation Continental American’s Flyweight Title scheduled for 10 rounds at 112 lbs. Borres has had a much stronger list of opponents, with Griego having faced only one opponent with a winning record. Is promoter Lenny Fresquez destroying his latest find in his re-entry into the sport?

In the semi-final, fans will see a rematch of an exciting draw from last year.  Lorenzo Benavidez (3-1-1, 1 KO) 174.6 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM faces “Irish” Bryant McClain (5-3-3, 1 KO) of Rio Rancho, NM. In their first encounter, Benavidez overwhelmed a sleepwalking McClain during the opening two rounds. The only question seemed to be whether the Irishman could last to the end of the fight. Somebody must have given McClain a can of Popeye’s spinach between rounds as he dominated the final two rounds. Usually, fight fans don’t like draws but the verdict was well received by the majority of those in attendance.

The remaining four bouts are scheduled for four rounds.

In the evenings’ fourth bout Clinton Chavez (3-0-0, 3 KO’s) 147.0 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM faces debuting Luis Marez 143.8 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM. I’ve seen all of Chavez’s pro fights, this boy can punch. Tall and lean, he displays surprising durability when getting hit to the body. He fits the description of a live prospect. I know nothing about Marez but did enjoy talking to him after the weigh-ins. But being a nice person is not the first requisite one needs when entering a boxing ring.

In the evenings’ third bout Jordanne “OMG” Garcia (4-1-1) 164.6 lbs., Albuquerque, NM faces debuting Jozette Cotton 159.8 lbs., of Omaha, NE. Garcia has a sharp left jab and power not reflected by her record. I’ve seen most of her pro fights, she has good endurance and is very strong. She has been matched tough and not wilted in the heat of battle. I know nothing about Cotton, but she was feisty at the face-off.

In the evenings’ second bout debuting Brad Greick 155.2 lbs, of Gillette, WY faces Mario Gonzales (2-0-0, 1 KO) 154.0 lbs., of Hobbs, NM. I do not know anything about Greick but he was polite during the face-off. Gonzales is a beast, who can bang with both hands. In his last fight, he displayed a nice jab but seldom uses it. Although it’s early in his career he seems to have the basic tools needed in the profession.

In the evenings’ opening bout Travis Foster 167.6 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM faces Nikko Nathan (1-1-0) 169.4 lbs., of Clovis, NM. I saw Foster’s debut an impressive majority decision of “Irish” Bryant McClain. My only knock on his performance was his inability to pace himself, something that is easily correctable. I never had the opportunity to see Nathan in action but he does have some experience in the pro ranks.

Tomorrow night boxing fans with have the opportunity to purchase some outstanding memorabilia from Lenny Fresquez years in combat sports. The money from the sales will be donated to New Mexico amateur boxing, in particular, the Police Athletic League boxing program. This is a chance to purchase some quality items from the legends of the “Land of Enchantment.”