Boxing: Seven to fill Houston Club card
A cast of seven upcoming Houston boxing prospects, ranging from feather to heavyweight, will do battle at the Houston Club on July 28. The event will be promoted by former heavyweight contender Lou Savarese.
The most competitive bout of the evening, on paper at least, will be between undefeated super middleweights Cesar Martinez, 3-0 (1 KO) and Emmanuel Sanchez, 2-0, of Laredo.
Martinez, 31, began boxing as a preteen and captured three Southeast Texas Golden Gloves titles, but he only began his pro career last year. He recently signed with Savarese Boxing promotions and hopes to fight as often as once a month to make up for lost time.
"I feel like time is running out, more or less," Martinez said. "My ultimate goal is a title. In another two years, hopefully I'll have a shot at the title and I'd like to hold on to that thing for as long as I can."
While most fighters typically pad their records against journeymen with dismal records early in their careers, Savarese has thus far matched Martinez against other undefeated prospects who are genuinely in it to win it. In his last bout, Martinez outpointed Edward Tigs, 1-1-1, over four hard-fought rounds.
Trained by his brother Noe, Martinez is a natural right hander who regularly switches to a southpaw stance mid fight. His foremost priority at this juncture of his career, he said, is to lose his amateur instincts and adapt to the pro game.
"I definitely need to sit down on my punches and get my punches off instead of being in such a rush like it was in the amateurs," Martinez said. "I expect to get that out of fighting more rounds and more fights and just getting comfortable in there."
In the main event heavyweight Skip Scott, 13-1 (8 KOs), faces Wayne Hampton, 5-5 (3 KOs), of Maryland in a six-round bout. A regular fixture at the Houston Club, Scott, 34, like Martinez, got off to a late start as a pro and has embarked on a hectic fight schedule averaging a bout every six weeks over the last two years.
"It really is learn on the job for me," Scott said.
Co-trained by Bobby Benton and Aaron Navarro, Scott intends to stay on the fast track to contention for a world title while picking up as much experience as he can along the way. Standing at 6-8, Scott said his focus is to maximize his height and reach advantage while remaining loose and relaxed in the ring. While his knockout ratio hovers just above 50 percent, he expects that to increase as he steps up to eight- and 10-round fights.
"My goal is to be at a 75 percent KO percentage," Scott said. "I am a boxer puncher and like breaking my opponents down with my Jab and body shots so as the fight gets longer I get stronger and my opponent breaks down. But also I have learned how to set my power shots up so there will also be a lot of early round KOs. I am becoming a complete fighter."
The youngest and probably most exciting fighter on the card is featherweight Miguel Flores who puts his undefeated record of 9-0 (6 KOs) on the line against Gerardo Dominguez, 1-12, of Tyler. Flores, 18, brought the crowd to its feet in his last two bouts at the Houston Club by engaging in action-packed brawls before stopping his opponents with murderous hooks to the body.
"We attack the body," Flores said.
"These are grown men I'm fighting. A lot of the time, I hit them to the head and they don't fall, but to the body it never goes wrong."
As devastating as Flores is offensively, his defense has been exposed as somewhat porous, especially in his last fight when he ducked smack into a right uppercut that has him momentarily out on his feet in the opening round. It was a gut check that Flores thought he passed reasonably well, he said.
"I got hit but I was able to come back strong," Flores said. "I moved and grabbed and did not just try to belt it out so I think I did pretty good.
"This is boxing and you're going to get hit. It comes with the territory," he added. "We've worked on improving our defense and hopefully everything comes out well."
In other bouts: Cruiserweight Craig Baker, 9-0 (8 KOs), returns from a 20-month layoff to take on Tyrone Jackson, 8-34-3 (5 KOs). Lightweight Bahodir Mamajanov, 2-0 (2 KOs), a recent transplant from Uzbekistan, faces Angel Christopher DeJean.
Middleweight Tyron Selders, 5-1 (5 KOs), takes on Billy Cunningham, 5-10 (4 KOs), and heavyweight Steven Moreno 2-1 (2 KOs), faces Gregory Gib.
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