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Boxer is still valuable to local promoters despite 1-27 record

Anthony Hill’s professional boxing career got off to a promising start, with a victory by majority decision in June 2014 over an opponent with a 10-9-3 record.

Since then, though, things haven’t gone terribly well – more like terribly. Hill is now 1-27, and that’s no typo.

Yet, Hill continues to get fights, the next one on Saturday in a scheduled junior-middleweight four-rounder against Albuquerque’s Clinton Chavez (2-0, two knockouts) on a Legacy Promotions card at Tingley Coliseum.

It will be the Oklahoma City resident’s seventh appearance in New Mexico, his fifth for Legacy.

Legacy’s Jordan Perez, asked why he continues to bring Hill to Albuquerque despite his abysmal record, says the answer is simple. He much prefers “Chavez vs. Hill” to “Chavez vs. TBA” or “Chavez vs. nobody.”

“We use Anthony when we’re having trouble finding a match,” Perez said on Thursday in a phone interview. “If we can’t find an opponent, thankfully, he’ll fight.”

And Hill does fight, though no one will ever call him the second coming of the late Arturo Gatti.

In a Dec. 1, 2018 bout against Albuquerque’s José Luís Sanchez, Hill – clearly outgunned – threw enough punches to make the six rounds interesting but too few to win a round, slipping away whenever Sanchez threatened to end the fight early.

And Hill’s fights almost never end early, another quality that promoters value. Of his 27 defeats, only four – none on a Legacy card – have ended short of the prescribed distance.

Simply put, Perez said, it’s difficult for a local promoter to get fights for local fighters without occasionally calling on people like Hill, who, while certainly not a good fighter, could be called a competent one. It’s likely he’ll be the best fighter that Chavez, whose two previous opponents were 0-1 entering those bouts, has faced thus far in his young pro career.

Perez, for that matter, believes Hill could have been a successful fighter if given the right opportunities along the way.

“I don’t know why, where he’s at (in Oklahoma), no one looks after him,” Perez said, “because he has natural ability. He’s not that easy.”

Perez puts Belen welterweight Derek Perez (no relation) in essentially the same category.

On Nov. 1, Derek Perez (2-13-1, one KO) lost by four-round unanimous decision to Donald Sanchez (no relation to José Luís) on promoter Pat Holmes’ card at the Marriott Pyramid North.

Saturday, one day after serving a seven-day suspension levied by the New Mexico Athletic Commission, he’s scheduled to face Albuquerque’s Gabe Gabaldon (2-0) in a four-rounder.

“If we need to find a match, (Hill and Derek Perez) are the ones that always come to the table and are willing to take a fight,” Jordan Perez said.

It is not, Jordan Perez said, as if Saturday’s card was slapped together at the last minute. He’s particularly excited about a scheduled six-round welterweight bout between José Luís Sanchez (10-1, four KOs) and Issac Luna (5-1, one KO) of San Elizario, Texas.

The fast-handed Luna has defeated Albuquerqueans Ronnie Baca and Matthew Esquibel on previous Legacy cards. Sanchez is unbeaten in eight fights since his only loss to fellow Albuquerquean Josh Torres, who’s fighting Saturday’s main event.

“That (Sanchez-Luna) is a fight that I definitely want to see,” Perez said.

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