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Marquez and Tapia Make Winning Debut

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Duke City Boxer Scores Decision

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — ISLETA PUEBLO — Albuquerque boxer Archie Ray Marquez, surviving a fourth-round knockdown, pounded out a victory by unanimous decision over Mexico’s Noe Lopez Jr. in an eight-round bout Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Marquez, who weighed 135.2 pounds, improved his record to 13-2 with eight knockouts and snapped a two-bout losing streak in his first bout under the tutelage of trainer Johnny Tapia.

Lopez, who was dropped by a short Marquez right in the first round, is 9-11 with five KOs. A crowd estimated at 1,800 attended the show, promoted by Tapia and his wife, Teresa.

Marquez, taller yet also stronger and bigger-bodied, had his greatest success in trapping Lopez in the corners.

“I could have thrown more punches and been more dominant,” Marquez said, “but I put a lot of pressure on him, cut off the ring. I felt pretty good.”

But in the fourth, Lopez caught Marquez in a corner and dropped him with a flurry. A seemingly dazed Marquez was perhaps fortunate the knockdown came with just seconds left in the round.

“He caught me with a good little punch, but I wasn’t seriously (hurt),” Marquez said. “He caught me in the back of the head.”

Tapia, a five-time world champion, was proud that Marquez kept his poise after the knockdown.

“There aren’t too many fighters that can get dropped and get back up,” Tapia said. “But Archie did. I had him in great shape.”

A somewhat hesitant Marquez might have lost the fifth round, but re-asserted himself in the sixth and beyond — though Lopez continued to score with hard and accurate shots.

The official judges’ cards read 76-74, 77-73 and 78-73, all for Marquez.

The Journal scored the fight 76-74 for Marquez.

In a six-round co-feature, Josh “Pit Bull” Torres scored a devastating, second-round knockout of fellow Albuquerquean Carlos Sanchez.

The Tapia-trained Torres (7-1, four KOs), 149.8 pounds, dropped the strong-chinned Sanchez (4-4-1, one KO), 152 pounds, in the first. But in the second, flashing skills and quickness reminiscent of a young Tapia, he ended the fight with a left hook that dropped Sanchez like a stone and brought a towel of surrender flying from the Sanchez corner.

“It was all there,” Torres said afterward. “We’ve been working hard, and (Tapia’s tutelage) is rubbing off on me.

“I’m a hundred percent faster, a hundred percent better.”

An eight-round co-feature between Santa Fe’s Joaquin Zamora (18-4-1, 12 KOs) and Joshua Marks (8-3, eight KOs) was canceled because Marks never showed up. All attempts to reach Marks, said Team Tapia media spokesman Dennis Latta, were unsuccessful.

In other bouts:

⋄  Albuquerque’s Luís Montaño, 113.8 pounds, made a successful pro debut with a unanimous, four-round decision over Los Lunas’ Matthew Salazar (1-5-1), 116.6.

⋄  Albuquerque’s Nazareth Rojas (6-5-1, two KOs) defeated Belen’s Jeremiah Torres (7-17, one KO) by unanimous decision in an entertaining four-rounder.

⋄  St. Louis’ Derrick Murray (3-0, two knockouts), 127 pounds, stopped Socorro’s Miguel Armendariz (0-7-1), 126.4, by second-round TKO.

Montaño hadn’t fought in more than a year, and the inactivity showed in the first round of his bout with Salazar. The 20-year-old Montaño caught several hard shots, but gradually took control in successive rounds.
— This article appeared on page D2 of the Albuquerque Journal

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