Navarrete, Perez headline in Amarillo Saturday

By David Finger

There is no question that Southeast New Mexico has emerged as something of a boxing hub ever since Isidro Castillo and School of Hard Knocks Boxing promoted their first show back in July of 2010.

In the last eight years, the Permian Basin has more than proven itself to be “boxing country.” But if there is one thing that every oil man looks for it’s that untapped oilfield. And for promoter Isidro Castillo and his partner Eric Gutierrez there is a recognition that there are still a lot of attractive boxing wells that are just waiting to be tapped. All the two need to strike black gold is a knack of knowing where to start drilling…and the ability to deliver high quality fights to hungry fans.

That is why they have been slowly moving into West Texas where they plan to deliver another an exciting night of boxing, this time for the North Texas city of Amarillo on Saturday, January 26th. The Golden Eagle Promotions “Amarillo Ambush Battle” card will take place at Azteca Music Hall and will feature undefeated Amarillo native Abel Navarrete Jr. (3-0, 1 KO) as he takes on fellow Texan David Waters in a four round lightweight fight. Water, from Corpus Cristi, will be making his professional debut and although Waters may not have any professional boxing experience but he does have a solid background in MMA and has promised an upset in Amarillo.

“I’m just excited to compete in another sport,” Waters said in an interview posted on Facebook. “I know our opponent is undefeated but it makes it little more sweeter when we get that W.”

In the co-main event, Benjamin Vasquez (3-4-1, 3 KOs) of Amarillo will have the unenviable task of trying to break .500 against a solid prospect and doing it in his own hometown. Vasquez is slated to take on Isaac Luna (3-1, 0 KOs) of El Paso in a four round welterweight fight. Luna did lose his last fight, a six round decision to Kevin Johnson back in November, but he is still seen as the favorite against the local boy, who is coming into the fight on the heels of a three fight losing streak that saw him get stopped early in each fight. But local boxing fans recognize that Luna isn’t seen as much of a puncher whereas Vasquez has also scored KOs in all three of his victories. It is an interesting class of styles that could prove favorable for the local brawler.

In a special feature, Aaron Perez (5-0, 4 KOs) of Albuquerque will take on journeyman Raymond Chacon (7-35-1, 0 KOs) of Los Angeles in a four round lightweight fight. Despite having a terrible record, the 31-year old Chacon has proved to be one of the most durable journeymen in California, having only been stopped twice in his career. Although Perez is expected to win, there are questions as to if he will be the third man to score a stoppage over Chacon and an impressive KO could establish Perez as one of New Mexico’s hottest prospects overnight.

Rounding off the card is Richard “Rico” Urquizo (4-6-2, 2 KOs) as he takes on Michael Sanchez (2-3, 2 KOs) in a four round cruiserweight fight. Urquizo stopped Sanchez last year, but Sanchez did nonetheless have some moments in that fight and did show the ability to bother Urquizo with the jab. If he can avoid another devastating body shot like the one that felled him in Hobbs last year he could pull off the win. Rookie John King of Amarillo takes on Mark Sanchez (0-1) of Hobbs in a four round heavyweight fight. Amil Ramos of Longview Texas and Nick Tipton of Midland Texas square off in a four round heavyweight fight as well. Both men are making their professional debuts. Debuting Dylan Nicholson of Amarillo takes on Larry Sanchez (0-1) of Midland in a four round middleweight fight. Also on the card Mobley Villegas of Amarillo takes on Michael Petersen (0-2) of Clovis in a four round junior lightweight fight. Villegas will be making his professional debut. Rudy Montenegro (0-0-1) of Amarillo takes on Levi Lucero (0-2) of Albuquerque in a four round junior welterweight fight to open the night.

Doors open at 6pm with the first fight starting at 7pm. General admission tickets start at $35 and can be obtained at the door or by calling Isidro Castillo at 575-263-4942.

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