LAGUNA PUEBLO – They call him Pit Bull, but (with apologies to a great fighter of the past) they could also call Josh Torres “The Body Snatcher.”
In the seventh round Saturday night at Route 66 Casino Hotel, Torres hurt fellow Albuquerquean Cristian Cabral with a left hook to the body, then swarmed him with punch after punch.
The referee stepped in and stopped the assault with just one second left in the seventh. The victory by TKO earned Torres a New Mexico welterweight title belt.
Torres improved his record to 18-6 with 10 knockouts. Cabral is 8-2-1 with four KOs.
In control from the outset, Torres dropped Cabral with a right hand in the second round. Cabral fought back gamely throughout and landed isolated shots, but it was Torres doing the damage.
“He hit me with a few good body shots, but I felt that his power wasn’t going to affect me to the head,” Torres said after the exciting, if one-sided, bout. “That’s why I moved forward. I knew I was gonna take over in the later rounds.”
Cabral said over-aggressiveness was his downfall.
“I should have moved a little more,” he said. “I was just trying to bang with him. … That was my fault.”
Throughout the fight, Torres worked the body a la Mike McCallum, the original Body Snatcher.
“It’s what we worked on in the gym,” Torres said. “We were hurting all our sparring partners with body shots. We knew it was gonna work.”
Torres weighed in Friday at 144.6 pounds, Cabral at 146.
In Saturday’s semi-main event, the highly anticipated grudge/rubber match between Albuquerque cruiserweights Max Heyman (25-13-4, 14 KOs) and Mike Alderete (7-7-1, three KOs) was ruled no contest after Heyman suffered an apparent back injury in the second round.
After a first round won by Heyman on the Journal’s scorecard, a charging Alderete bent Heyman back over the ring ropes in the second. Heyman sank to the canvas in pain, and after several minutes it became clear the fight would not continue.
They had split two previous bouts, Alderete winning the first, Heyman the second.
Heyman is 39 years old, Alderete 37.
Alderete weighed 181.2 pounds, Heyman 183.6.
In other bouts:
Matthew Esquibel (10-0-1, five KOs) 146.2 pounds, of Albuquerque, and Tavoris Teague (5-21-4, five KOs), 147.2, of Bakersfield, Calif., fought to a four-round draw.
Esquibel, unable to solve Teague’s crouching, splay-legged style, arguably landed more punches but took the harder shots.
Aaron Angel Perez (3-0, three KOs), 125.6, defeated fellow Albuquerquean George Roybal (0-6), 125.8, by third-round TKO.
Perez, one of New Mexico’s best amateurs of recent years, got a better workout than expected from Roybal, a tall southpaw, before putting him away.
“Angel Baby” withstood some hard body shots in the third before trapping Roybal in a corner – finally dropping him with a flurry just as referee Rocky Burke stepped in to stop the fight at the 1-minute, 54-second mark.
Isaac Luna (pro debut), 144.2, defeated Albuquerque’s Brandon Trujillo (0-3), 145.2, by unanimous four-round decision.
Luna outworked Trujillo through the first three rounds, then pummeled him from post to post in the fourth. Luna was penalized a point for repeated low blows in the third round.
Agustin Perez (2-0, one KO), 130.8, of Roswell, defeated El Paso’s Ernesto Hernandez (1-9) by first-round TKO.
Perez, the younger brother of co-promoters Jordan and Aaron Perez and Aaron Angel Perez’s uncle, unleashed a two-fisted attack to the head and body from the opening bell. Hernandez was down twice before Burke stopped the slaughter.
FIGHT SCRATCHED: A scheduled six-round featherweight bout between Albuquerque’s Jason Sanchez (12-0, six KOs) and Mexico City’s Danny Flores (15-13-1, eight KOs) was scratched. It was learned Friday night that Flores had been suspended for 60 days by the Florida State Boxing Commission after suffering a loss by second-round knockout in Key West, Fla., on June 9.
The New Mexico Athletic Commission is directed by Association of Boxing Commissions regulations to honor suspensions levied by other commissions.