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Tapia to promote boxing pro-am

Team Tapia is back.

Teresa Tapia, widow of the late five-time world champion Johnny Tapia, is promoting a pro-am boxing card in southern New Mexico on Oct. 5-6.

The card will be held at Vado Speedway Park, off I-10 between Las Cruces and El Paso. It will feature amateur bouts the afternoon of Oct. 5, followed by the professional card that evening. More amateur bouts are scheduled for Oct. 6.

This will be Teresa Tapia’s first promotion since 2014. She has enlisted the help of Robert Tapia (no relation), who worked for 15 years with the Texas Combative Sports Program.

“Then I retired and went into matchmaking and coordinating and all that good stuff,” he said in a phone interview. “The fun stuff.”

The card features three unbeaten Texas prospects: Henry Arredondo (6-0, three knockouts) of San Antonio and Abel Mendoza (19-0, 14 KOs) and Zach Prieto (7-0, five KOs), both of El Paso.

Robert Tapia is particularly high on Arredondo, a fighter he says is on the verge of signing with a major promoter.

“He’s also a candidate for knockout of the year,” Tapia said, a reference to Arrendondo’s stunning, second-round KO of Jahaziel Vasquez with a left hook on March 28.

Arrendondo, a featherweight, is matched against Belen’s Gene Perez (2-15-1) in a scheduled six-rounder.

Mendoza, a super featherweight, is scheduled to face Mexican veteran Gustavo Molina (24-20, nine KOs), by far the most experienced opponent Mendoza has faced.

That’s true as well for Prieto, a middleweight, who’s scheduled to face Mexico’s Ernesto Berrospe (11-13, five KOs).

Mendoza’s bout is scheduled for six rounds, Prieto’s for four.

The six-bout card features a six-round heavyweight fight between New Mexicans Randy McCarty (2-3-1, no KOs) of Clovis and Manuel Otero (2-7, one KO) of Peralta.

ANGEL FLIGHT: Unbeaten (8-0, five KOs) Albuquerquean Aaron Angel Perez is scheduled to face Mexico’s Ricardo Alan Fernandez (3-12-4, no KOs) on Friday in a scheduled super featherweight (130-pound) six-rounder in Midland, Texas.

The challenge for Perez will not be so much to beat Fernandez but to look good doing it. The bout is on a “Shobox” card scheduled to be telecast live on Showtime. (Showtime subscribers should check their listings for the start time).

It’s not clear whether Perez’s bout will make the telecast. Whether it does or not, he’ll be fighting in front of major promoters from the East Coast (Banner Promotions) and the West Coast (Thompson Boxing).

Shobox has come to Midland because it’s the hometown of lightweight Michael Dutchover (13-0, 10 KOs), a Banner contract fighter who’s scheduled to face Thomas Mattice (14-1-1, 10 KOs) of Cleveland in a 10-round co-main event.

The headliner is a 10-round WBO International featherweight title fight between champion Ruben Villa (16-0, five KOs) of Salinas, California, and José Enrique Durantes Vivas (17-0, nine KOs) of Mexico by way of Montebello, California.

Of mild concern for Perez might be the weight issue. Fernandez, who has fought and lost to Albuquerqueans Matthew Esquibel and Willie Villanueva as a welterweight (147 pounds), weighed in at 131¾ on Thursday. He easily could be back above 140 pounds by fight time.

Also on the card is Santa Fe lightweight Aaron Martinez (5-1, three KOs), who’s matched against Abel Navarrete (6-0, four KOs) of Amarillo.

Five of Martinez’s six bouts took place on Pat Holmes-promoted cards at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Pojoaque. Martinez has not fought since May 2018.

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