'New Blood' no dud
Mirabal outboxes Gonzales on first pro-am show at Isleta
report by Chris Cozzone and Trevor Trujillo
Photos by Chris Cozzone
A sparse crowd, a late sub for a late sub who got cold feet and hoofed it out a town, and a comebacking fighter who got the axe for failing his medical exam, might’ve been the downers at yesterday’s first-ever pro-am card at Isleta Resort & Casino, south of Albuquerque.
But “New Blood,” the first-time promotion for Mirabal Boxing and the Isleta Boxing club, with 21 amateur bouts, three pro fights and one-and-a-half exhibitions, did not fail in staining the white canvas red on the all-day, all-ages card.
The small percentage of Duke City fight fans who came out to support the latest attempt to rejuvenate local boxing were treated to three solid pro bouts that ended with an acid test for welterweight Vincent “Li’l Man” Mirabal.
Against Daniel “Latin Heat” Gonzales, Mirabal passed his test with a ‘A’ grade.
In six fast rounds, Mirabal not only took all the “Latin Heat” dished out by the game and gutsy Gonzales, but, having shaken off the rust of a year’s layoff now, he had his best showing yet as a young professional.
It was apparent from the start of this fight that neither fighter wanted to leave the ring with a blemish on their record. Round one began with Gonzales pressing and boxing forward, while Mirabal was working quick combinations while going backward. The bout was even until a big right to the body sent Gonzales to the canvas mid-round. Daniel seemed to be sparked by the knockdown, but could not find a flame to fuel the fire and Mirabal ran away with the round.
Round two was all Mirabal—to a point. He found a stiff jab that kept Gonzales at bay for most of the round, but got careless later on. After a barrage of Gonzales punches, Mirabal ate a big right hand, sending him to the mat. Springing up quickly, Mirabal took his count, just as the ten second bell rang.
A more cautious Mirabal and a seemingly rejuvenated Gonzales entered the third round. Neither fighter was afraid to trade big shots in the center of the ring, but it was the stiff right paired with the straight left of Mirabal that won him the stanza.
The fourth round began with a quick onslaught of Gonzales punches, some landing squarely, but most being avoided by the fastest-seen-yet Mirabal. Gonzales was bleeding freely at this time, but the blood coming from his nose never inhibited his confidence.
The Mirabal game plan, however proved to be too well developed for “Latin Heat,” as rounds five and six were all Mirabal. He seemed to have a lock on his target and rarely missed his foe.
Thought it was a very gutsy performance by Gonzales, it was the superior boxing skills of Mirabal that earned him the victory.
Scores were 58-54 (Saiz), 58-54 (Perez) and 58-55 (Lopez), all for Mirabal.
NewMexicoBoxing/Fightnews had it 58-54 for Mirabal, now 3-0.
“I felt rusty come off a year’s layoff, a couple weeks ago,” said Mirabal, who’d shaken off most of the cobwebs in a hard-fought fight April 24 in Ignacio, Colo.
“I felt much better tonight, and think I improved. My main technique is to go straight forward—that’s what I like doing—but, given the style we were up against, I stuck to game plan and outboxed.”
Richard Mirabal, trainer, father and promoter of the card, was satisfied with his son’s performance.
“It was exactly what we wanted,” he said. “He was much more focused and he boxed. We stuck to game plan and Vincent reached a new level in beating Gonzales.”
Mirabal will keep the rust at bay by fighting again August 15 on the next Sky Ute Casino card in Ignacio.
With his fifth straight loss, Gonzales falls to 2-5.
The co-main was supposed to be a six-round jr. middleweight bout between Carlos “El Gallo” Sanchez (2-0) and John Anthony “Jaguar” Gallegos (1-2), both of Albuquerque.
After the comebacking Gallegos failed his medical exam, the bout was changed to a four-round exhibition, sans headgear, between Sanchez and retired veteran Rudy “Bad Boy” Lovato.
Showing the aggressive Sanchez a few old tricks, Lovato still proved slick in the ring.
Cisneros, Ortiz draw in four
In a four-rounder, Duke City welterweights Freddy Cisneros (1-0-1) and Antonio Ortiz (1-2-1) fought a four-round majority draw.
Though the harder puncher, Cisneros was outgeneraled for the majority of the time by a much-improved Ortiz, though two of three judges didn’t see it quite that way.
Cisneros, coming off a two-year layoff, appeared a bit rusty in round one, while Ortiz, working behind a well-used jab, outworked his opponent.
Fighting from the outside, Ortiz pecked away at Cisneros, who was unable to close the distance effectively. Ending the round with a bloody nose, Cisneros landed a couple big left hooks to make the round somewhat close, but Ortiz’s generalship should’ve racked up the chapter.
Big punches from Cisneros crashed into Ortiz early in the third—mainly that left—but continued jabbing from an increasingly aggressive Ortiz, kept him on the winning end.
Throwing caution to the wind, Ortiz went toe-to-toe with Cisneros in the final frame. Big rights from Cisneros, bleeding again from the nose, made the round close though Ortiz finished by outboxing his opponent in between the exchanges.
Judges Perez and Lopez had it even, 38-38, while Judge Saiz scored it for Ortiz, 39-37.
NMB had it for Ortiz, as well, 39-37.
Four-rounds to no-rounds
A four-round lightweight bout between Four Corners fighter Thaddine Swift-Eagle Johnson (4-0, 4 KOs) and Sandra Valdez was nixed at the last minute.
The debuting Valdez, an MMA fighter from Durango, Colo., was subbing last minute for Amanda Aragon, an MMA fighter from Albuquerque, who’d also been subbing last minute for Stephanie Reynolds (0-1), who’d pulled out two days before.
Valdez showed up the night before to weigh-in but got cold feet at the last minute.
Instead of fighting, the disappointed Johnson shadow boxed for half a round.
Sanchez, De La Torre draw
In the first professional bout of the evening, a four-round female bout at jr. lightweight, Santa Fe’s Clare de la Torre (1-6-1) ended her six-bout losing streak with a hard-fought majority draw with debuting Muay Thai champ Jessica Sanchez (0-0-1), of Albuquerque.
Sanchez began the fight with a dazing stiff right while de la Torre answered with an uppercut and snappy combination of her own.
De la Torre’s long, lanky frame did more harm than it did good in the second round. Her long, lingering jabs meant translated into eating leather in her short exchanges with the quicker Sanchez. Sanchez worked well, counterpunching off of de la Torres’ telegraphed straight left.
In round three, however, de la Torre’s punches finally began to see some light; she began to land cleanly against the head of her opponent.
The fourth round was a barrage of four- and five-punch combinations thrown by each fighter, both landing their fair share of shots.
Though on the receiving end of the significant punches, de la Torre displayed tremendous heart in all four rounds, and, by the fourth, cheers of “Clara! Clara!” from the crowd further fueled her fire to end her on-the-road, six-bout losing streak.
Though not able to pull off the win, de la Torre, at least, did not lose.
The scores were 38-38 twice (Saiz and Perez) and 39-37 (Lopez) for Sanchez, making it a majority draw.
NMB/FN had it 39-37 for Sanchez.
Jessica Sanchez’s trainer, Fenando Calleros had only one comment: “I’m pissed.”
First bout of the afternoon, Lonnie Lucero of Kansas took on Santiago Cordova of DMB Boxing. Immense pressure from the Albuquerque fighter won him the bout.
Fight number two had Isaac Perez, Ghost of the 505, up against Luis Maldonado of TNT. These 68-pound fighters went to war early, but it was Perez who came away with the victory.
In the 62 lb., nine-year-old class, Cisco Tewaheftewa (Isleta) won a decision over Sammy Guevara (Kansas). Tewaheftewa’s aggression and greater punching output won him the first over Guevara, who showed some fancy footwork and gutsy counter-punching. In the second, Tewaheftewa continued moving forward, throwing and throwing at Guevara, who duked it out in spots, while countering going backward. In the final round, Tewaheftewa’s sheer aggression sealed the win for him, Guevara receiving one standing eight-count.
In the 107 lb., 15-year-old division, Brandon Munoz (Warriors) picked up a well-fought decision over Gabriel Gabaldon (DMB). It was a very close first round, between two speedy, skillful fighters, Munoz’s shots just an edge cleaner, harder. Munoz made Gabaldon, who was having trouble finding his range, come to him in the second, then let loose on him with cleaner shots. Munoz had much better luck in the third, finding his range and, behind a jab, let loose with an effective right.
In the 88-pound division, Jayce Morales of Kansas traded punches with Cruz Abeita of Isleta Boxing club. These two fighters left nothing in the ring, it was Abeita who out-slugged his opponent to victory.
In the 120-pound class Victor Inojosa of Sanchez boxing annihilated Chris Gomez of Kansas.
At 115 pounds, Julio Gomez of TNT Boxing traded blows with Johnny Tapia supporting Anthony “Angel” Gutierrez of Albuquerque PAL. The two fighters went to work early, Gomez working in close to counter the reach of Gutierrez. Ultimately, it was the hustle of Julio Gomez that won him the bout.
Gabriel Torrez, Ghost of the 505, met Andrew Abeita of the Isleta Boxing Club in the 85-pound division. Abeita dominated the fight utilizing quick combinations and head movement.
In the 80-pound division, Victor Bravo of Kansas and Matthew Griego of Mirabal met in the ring. Sporting a sweet pair of skate shoes and a stiff left, Bravo edged the Mirabal fighter.
In the first female bout of the evening, Nicky Benally of Badonis took on Monica Cruz of the Isleta Boxing Team. Benally never lost heart, but it was Cruz who came away with the victory.
Alec Castillo from Kansas met Pilar Lucero of Alderete Boxing for a 111-pound bout, Castillo, coming away with the win.
In the twelfth fight of the afternoon, Matthew Salazar of TNT Boxing took on Sef Jojola of Isleta. These 125 lb fighters brought the heat! Salazar planted Jojola midway through round one, but got sloppy late in the round. It only took one vicious right hand from Jojola to flatten Salazar in round two, but moments later, Salazar landed his own punishing left leaving Jojola’s legs wobbled and his eyes glazed. When Jojola stood for the third, it was clear he had not shaken all the cobwebs out. Salazar’s foot work and cleaner punches won him the bout.
In the 135-pound division Matthew Baca of DMB came to do battle with Diego Bautista of Warriors Boxing. Baca scored a first round knockdown and continued to press Bautista into the ropes. The boxing clinic was halted in the third round, as Baca ran away with the fight.
Marcus Ewing of TNT Boxing made short work of Kansas’ Miguel Burciga scoring a first round kayo.
Adrian Cummings of White Eagle scored a first round victory over Andre Garlarza in the 163-pound division.
Johnathan Bush of TNT Boxing came to the ring to face Devon Jojola of the Isleta Boxing team. The taller and leaner Bush started the fight working the outside, not allowing the shorter thicker Jojola to land any heavy shots. Jojola changed up his fight plan in round two, using head movement and a bulky frame to work inside and land some more punches. The busier Johnathan Bush out pointed his opponent to victory.
Grant John of Badonis met Luis Lopez of Perez Boxing at 175 lbs. These heavy handed fighters began landing monster shots early, but it was Lopez who was rendered bloody in the first round. John fought through punishing blows from Lopez and won the bout.
Victor Chavez came all the way from Kansas to face Warriors fighter Christian Cabral. These two 145-pound fighters spent round one feeling each other out and the next two, beating the tar out of each other. Both fighters hustled through every round, but it was Cabral who exited the ring with a belt.
In the 130 lb. division Isaac Bautista and Suanatu Hogue of Albuquerque PAL came to the ring for a four round battle. Bautista showed no hesitation and was willing to trade with the experienced Hogue. Crisp punches and superior ring generalship won Hogue the bout.
Albert Arerreola traveled from Kansas to face Charles Alderete of Alderete Boxing. These 175-pounders began a close bout, but Arerreola busted Alderete open in the second round and proceeded to treat him like a heavy bag throughout rounds two and three. The Kansas fighter exited the ring victorious.
The amateur main event had a pair of heavyweights in the ring. Trinidad Alvarez of Warrior Boxing came from Guymon, Oklahoma to face Richard Gutierrez of JLM Boxing. Alvarez lead from the time he woke up this morning till the closing bell.
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