SANTA FE, N.M. — Pat Holmes, like most proud fathers, has made it a point to document all of his son Brandon’s firsts.
There were his first steps.
His first time on a bicycle.
“I even have the first time he ever worked with mitts,” said the boxing trainer and promoter. “There’s even me and him arguing when he was a 7-year-old – he fired me and rehired me.”
But while Pat was too busy working in his son’s corner to document Brandon’s first-ever professional fight, it’s safe to say they’ll be able to find a recording of it somewhere. That’s because, the only difference with this home movie is that it was broadcast live before a national audience, as the opening bout of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” at the Santa Fe Indian School’s Pueblo Pavilion.
And, by the way, it also turned out to be a video of Brandon delivering his first professional knockout.
“I wasn’t going for the knockout – it just happened,” Brandon said.
Despite suffering from flu-like symptoms prior to the four-round bout, the 22-year-old Santa Fe High graduate stopped Verardo Javier Esparza just 36 seconds into the final round to the delight of his hometown crowd.
“I wasn’t really nervous,” he said. “(Former world title contender) John Molina told me before coming out to just do my job; it’s just like the gym.
“I just did what he said and it worked.”
Holmes controlled the first three rounds, before pressing the action at the start of the fourth. He caught Esparza with a left hook, which threw him against the ropes, and then finished the fighter from Mexico with a flurry of body punches.
“It took me a few rounds to realize it, but he wasn’t very strong on the inside,” Holmes said. “Even after I landed that hook, I wasn’t sure if he was done because he’s so strong – I thought he would keep going. But he got counted out.”
When Pat Holmes was asked what he thought of his boy’s performance, he smiled and replied: “I’m proud of him. Even with the flu he put on a hell of a fight. He wasn’t a 100 percent, but he did it.”
GALLEGOS GETS FIRST WIN
Michael Gallegos knew he was due.
The 34-year-old Las Vegas, N.M., native said he fought a lot of close fights – he just never caught a break.
“My problem is I always fight fighters with good records,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday. “And the only way to beat good fighters is to really beat them – like knock them out.
“Like my last fight – I beat the crap out of that guy but got a draw.”
So, on Friday night, Gallegos wasn’t taking any chances.
The scrappy middleweight charged straight at his opponent – Alejandro Hernandez of Santa Fe in his pro debut – stunning him with a straight right jab. From there, he said, he knew it was only a matter of time.
“That same hit with good guys, you can see it in their eyes – they’re like, ‘Holy crap,’ ” said Gallegos, who is 1-10-1. “But because they have experience, they know how to get away from it. This guy didn’t know what to do. He was like, ‘Oh crap,’ but didn’t have anywhere to go.”
Gallegos earned the KO at the 1:11 mark of the opening round. And while Gallegos said it was a relief getting his first win out of the way, he prefers his life as a journeyman.
“I have to get back to the top competition – I have more fun with the undefeated guys,” he said.
In the main event, John Molina (25-2, 20 KOs) delivered a blistering overhand right to knock out Dannie Williams (22-3) at the 2:16 mark of the fourth round to capture the North American Boxing Organization lightweight title. … In the co-main event, super middleweight Brandon Gonzales (17-0-1) earned a unanimous decision against Don Mouton (11-4-1). … On the undercard, Española Valley’s Amberly Trujillo lost a unanimous decision to fellow debuter Cecilia Renova of Albuquerque in a bantamweight bout. … In the final televised bout, Josh Montoya (0-2) of Santa Fe lost a unanimous decision to Eduardo Dominguez of Los Lunas in a junior middleweight fight. It was Dominguez’s professional debut. … In the final bout of the evening, Archie Ray Marquez (14-2) of Albuquerque earned a unanimous decision over Rynell Griffin (6-12-2) of New Orleans.