The Finger Post Boxing (August 14, 2022)
The New Mexico boxing commission had an unusually busy weekend as the Land of Enchantment hosted a rare doubleheader featuring four of hottest prospects in the Southwest. On Friday night, undefeated super middleweight Jorge Tovar improved to 4-0, 4 KOs as he blasted out journeyman Tavorus Teague in the second round at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces. Nobody was expecting Teague, 165.6, to threaten the former amateur national champion, but the dominance and ease upon which Tovar, 165.4, dispatched the 43-fight veteran was nonetheless impressive. Having never been forced to go past the first round as a professional, Tovar almost made it four straight first round KOs when a solid body shot dropped Teague in the closing seconds of the opening round. Teague was able to rise, but the damage was done and Tovar easily finished him off in the opening seconds of round two with another body shot, prompting the stoppage. With the loss Teague drops to 6-33-5, 3 KOs.
On the undercard of the Tovar-Teague fight, popular lightweight Stephanie Han, 134.4, improved to 2-0 with an entertaining decision over former amateur standout Destiny Jones, 136.4. Han comes from boxing royalty in El Paso (her sister Jennifer is a former world champion and her brother Abraham was a former ranked contender) but in two professional fights she has clearly established that she is more than just a fighter with a famous last name. Jones, who came into the fight with an impressive 2-0 record, had a solid game plan as she tried to bully her way inside and rattle the taller Han by turning the fight into a phone booth war. But Han possessed a seasoned approach to the aggressiveness of Jones and counterpunched with picture perfect precision. Although the fight was close after three rounds, Han put an exclamation point on her performance in round four, rocking Jones with a right hand and dominating the exchanges. One judge scored the fight a shutout for Han while the other two scored it 39-37 for the local girl. With the win, boxing fans in El Paso can safely say they have a real shot of having another world champion in their city before long.
The following night in Albuquerque former Olympic trial winner Abraham Perez made a strong argument that he is the hottest prospect in New Mexico as he scored a tough six round decision over a fellow undefeated prospect named Isaac Angulano in dominant fashion. Although Perez won comfortably on the judges’ scorecard, it was still a solid test for the Albuquerque native. Perez faced a determined and dangerous opponent who battled effectively over six rounds and landed a few solid shots on the local boxer. With the win Perez improved to 5-0, 2 KOs while Angulano dropped to 3-1, 1 KO.
In a featured undercard fight in Albuquerque, undefeated heavyweight prospect Leonid Grachev improved to 5-0, 3 KOs as he won a unanimous six round decision over Manuel Eastman, who fell to 3-7-1, 1 KO. It was a tougher than anticipated fight for Grachev, who was expected to be the fifth man to stop the Los Lunas native. Nonetheless, Grachev still looked solid as he scored a shutout on two of the judges’ scorecards (with the third judge scoring it 58-56).
Boith fight cards had stacked undercard bouts featuring new and familiar faces in New Mexico and Texas. In Las Cruces heavyweight Nick Tipton, 270.4, of Midland, Texas fell to 2-2, 1 KO after he elected to take a knee and surrender against former college football standout J.D. Ordunez, 277, in a four rounder. Tipton started the fight boxing well against the shorter Ordunez, but he quickly gassed out and was unable to fight through his fatigue. The fight was waved off at 0:59 of round three after Tipton took a knee two times in the round. In a battle between 0-2 local junior middleweights, Garrett Lopez scored a devastating knockout over Anthony Jones in round four in middleweight fight. Debuting Mike Bueno scored a stunning upset over fellow debutant Nick Hernandez of El Paso in a lightweight fight. Hernandez was the more polished fighter, but Bueno used his lanky southpaw jab to brutal efficiency, scoring the stoppage at 2:47 of round two. And in the opening fight of the night on the School of Hard Knocks Promoted show, Elijah Sweat of Las Cruces won a unanimous decision over Clovis New Mexico’s Antonio Matos in a heavyweight fight. Both fighters were making their professional debut.
Rounding off the card in Albuquerque on August 13th, Katherine Lindenmuth won a tough split decision over Amanda Lovato in a four round women’s fight. Two judges scored the fight 59-55 and 58-56 for Lindenmuth, who improved to 2-0. The thirds judge gave the fight to Lovato by a score of 58-56. Lovato sees her record fall to 1-2-1. Heavyweight Dwight Maters stopped Brandon Heredia while Jordan Gregory won a hard fought decision over Lorenzo Benavidez over four rounds. Martin Armijo stopped fellow rookie Adrian Torres by way of third round stoppage. Cesar Alvarado won his professional debut with a decision over Daniel Garcia Flores (2-7, 1 KO) while undefeated Daniel Gonzalez improved to 3-0, 3 KOs as he stopped Ricardo Canales (0-1-1) in three rounds. And rounding off the card Bekhzod Usmonov won his professional debut by way of a four round decision over Ricardo Alan Fernandez, who came into the fight with a 3-14-4 record. The fight, which took place at the Manuel Lujan Jr. Exhibit Complex, was promoted by Legacy Boxing.