Professional boxing talent scouts are already pursuing Kirtland southpaw Elija Martinez, though he’s only 15 years old. It’s easy to see why.
Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Martinez coolly outboxed Texan Leonel Cardenas to win the Junior (ages 15-16) Male 138-pound title at the USA Boxing Western Elite and Regional Open Championships.
All five judges scored the fight for the New Mexican. It was the second straight title for Martinez in this tournament, which also was held at the Convention Center last year.
“He’s working, and it’s all paying off,” said Eli Martinez, his son’s co-trainer with his wife, Charmaine. “He’s real smart. He sees, he adjusts and he reacts.”