BOXING: Aaron Perez is cutting his pro path in the right direction — forward

By Andrew Rivera

For Enchantment Sports

Albuquerque’s own Aaron Perez had a Golden career as an amateur. So far, he’s been taking some nice steps as a professional.

Sure, there were a few early baby steps. But he’s certainly starting to get one foot in front of the other, and probably won’t be long before he steps back into the ring again.

In his most recent fight in late October, Perez captured a six-round unanimous decision over ring veteran Jose Antonio Martinez (12-14), of Durango, Mexico. It was part of the  Aztec Warfare 2 card at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Perez, a decorated amateur, finally stepped it up in competition after winning four get-your-feet-wet wins early in the pro ranks fights, destroying his overmatched opponents before his tough test with Martinez.

Aaron Perez
Aaron Perez. (Courtesy of Andrew Rivera)

Perez took control early when he landed a hard right to the head then followed up with lefts to the body midway in the first round, he continued his assault pressing forward with his jab to get inside his taller opponent.

“I wanted to take my time fighting a six-rounder and not have to worry of throwing a lot of punches in a four-round fight,” said Perez. “It gave me a chance to study his flaws and use against him.”

In rounds 2 and 3, Perez continued to press forward, but the durable Martinez was able to fire back occasionally with a hard right of his own,  but it was to Martinez’s credit in having a good chin that kept him competitive in the fight.

In latter rounds, it was much of the same with Perez continuing to double-up on his left to the body and head — to keep Martinez honest and not thinking of the left-right most fighters will throw to set up combinations.

“I wanted to make him think I was throwing the right but then would double the left to make keep it in his mind that I’d throw the right but come back with the left twice,” said Perez. “It’s a mind game in that ring.”

All three judges had it 60-54 for the Perez, who is now 5-0 (4 KOs) and looks to get back in action right away with a card in December promoted by Legacy Promotions.

Undercard action

In the co-main event, Willie Villanueva returned to action after six years away from the ring, winning a hard-fought unanimous decision over Alan Fernandez (3-10-4) by scores of 60-54 on two cards and 59-55 on the third official’s card.

Villanueva, who has fought a who’s who in boxing, is still at an age where he can make some noise, but the window is smaller for the 32-year-old, who raises his record to 11-5. He plans to stay busy this time around and try to make a bigger dent in boxing.

“In the past I would take short-notice fights in a week against top contenders or future champions, and that wasn’t the right thing to do,” said Villanueva. “I want to do things right and be ready when a fight comes up. I hope to do it right this time.”

In a featured women’s bout, Brandi Montoya returned to the ring after five years, capturing a unanimous decision over Cecilia Renova, 2-1. Montoya, now 6-2, finished her stint in the military, got married and had a son during her time away from the ring.

Isaac Luna from El Paso raised his record to 3-0 with a decision win over the previously unbeaten Ronnie Baca of Albuquerque (4-1-1), capturing the win by the scores of 40-36 on two of the judges’ cards and 39-37 on the third card.

In the opening bout of the night, Andre Galarza defeated the tough Daniel Garcia Flores by split decision by the scores of 39-36 for Galarza, and the same score of 39-36 this time for Garcia Flores.

In was a nice card put on by Legacy Promotions, and they are set to come back in December for another fight card featuring Josh Torres.

A few takeaways from the cards

The New Mexico Athletic Commission did the right thing by not allowing the Josh Sanchez/Anthony Hill fight take place. For one, Hill has lost 24 fights in a row. Also, Sanchez weighed 158 to Hill’s 147 — the agreed weight was 155 — thus Sanchez didn’t do his part in getting to the contracted limit.

In my opinion, it is a discredit to boxing when fighters don’t take it seriously enough to get to a weight against an opponent who has lost 24 in a row, and you were going to win no matter what your opponent weighed, albeit almost 10 pounds more than your opponent.

In the past, I have been critical of fighters who take on pro debut fighters who may have never stepped in the ring or have little or no experience. They might look sensational doing it, hearing it from the media outlets on how great they are, but it gives the public and fighter false presentations. Then same boxer fights someone with a heartbeat, and their corner and fighter have no answers or plan B. We saw this happen Saturday night.

Aaron Perez on the other hand showed me he is ready to keep going forward by fighting a fighter who had been in with top contenders. He fought a guy who gave him experience in rounds, and that’s where you learn, not by winning against overmatched foes.

Let’s hope Perez keeps going forward; this will show if he can go to the next level.

Andrew Rivera  is a contributor for Enchantment Sports. He is a former state Golden Gloves champion who has covered some of the biggest fights in the state and the world for decades. Email to provide tip or story ideas for Andrew.



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