Building a champ - not a record
Albuquerque’s Archie Ray Marquez co-headlines ShoBox Jan. 29
Story by Gerardo Martinez
Photos by Chris Cozzone
On January 29, Archie Ray Marquez (9-0, 7 KOs) will be putting his perfect record on the line against tough, more experienced Derrick Campos (20-7, 11 KOs) from Topeka, Ks. The fight, televised as the co-main on Showtime's ShoBox next Friday, not only marks his second TV bout, but packs the potential to create national recognition for the 21 year old New Mexico native.
Marquez was born and raised in Albuquerque’s North Valley - the same neighborhood that produced world champions Johnny Tapia and Danny Romero.
“I grew up right between Johnny and Danny” says Marquez.
And just like Tapia and Romero showed in their early careers, Marquez is showing great promise. Earning seven knockouts in nine bouts has the boxing community raising eyebrows at this potential champion.
Ever since signing with Gary Shaw Productions, boxing has been Marquez’ full time job. Just like everyone else right now who has a full time job, he is working hard to keep it. In order to do this, he maintains a regiment of running at least four miles a day, sparring in the gym, and making time to nourish his body. Training is intense, he says, but it does not consume his life; his wife and two children help him keep a balanced life.
Though coming off a busy 2009, fighting as recently as December, Marquez says that balance has enabled him to prepare for Campos without getting stale - never mind that he will be facing his toughest opponent to date.
"Campos is a durable fighter," says Marquez. "But I'm ready."
Campos has never been knocked out. All of his losses - including a 12-round battle with top contender Dmitriy Salita - have been by decision. Campos has also fought in different weight classes ranging from featherweight to welterweight.
Is the Marquz's goal to be the first to knockout Campos?
"If the knock out comes, it comes," says Marquez. "If not, I will win by decision."
Some critics in New Mexico are saying that Marquez is moving too quickly; that a match against Campos may be a bit premature.
"The time is right," says Marquez, who refuses to be coddled.
Manager Jacob Maes is in agreement:
“We are not here to build a record, we are here to build a champion," he says. "Archie is on his way."
Marquez aims to achieve that goal in about two-and-a-half years with the continued support of his grandfather Archie Marquez, trainer Sergio Chavez, manager Maes, the rest of his crew and family.
"He has the same potential that Danny Romero had," says his trainer, Chavez, who talks from experience, having been in Romero's corner during his championship days.
"First he has to conquer Campos," says Chavez. "Then, we'll continue stepping up the competition."
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