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Torres stays busy while waiting for bigger fights

Saturday’s fight isn’t the fight Josh Torres has been looking for, but it’s still a fight.

For now, that’s all he needs to know.

Torres, an Albuquerque welterweight boxer, is scheduled to face Mexico’s Juan Jesús Rivera Garces in an eight-round main event on a Legacy Promotions boxing card at Tingley Coliseum. The two fighters’ records – 20-6-2 (12 knockouts) for Torres, 19-26 (13 KOs) for Rivera Garces – strongly point to a Torres victory.

Torres isn’t counting on that. Never, he said this week in a phone interview, does he take an opponent lightly.

“You can ask anybody that spends any time in the gym with me,” he said. “I train for every fight the same. I train like I’m training for a world title fight.

“I don’t think about how many fights (Rivera Garces) has lost, I don’t think about his last 10 fights, I don’t think about who he’s beat, who he’s lost to. I just hope that if I’m putting in my work and going out on fight night and doing what I need to do, I’ll be victorious.”

Twice during his 11½-year pro career, Torres has gotten fights that, had he won them, might have taken him to a higher level in the sport. He lost to Dusty Hernandez Harrison by unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden in 2013, by majority decision to former interim world champion Mike Alvarado in Dallas in 2016.

At age 29, Torres craves another such opportunity. That’s not likely to happen, he knows, if he should stumble against someone like Rivera Garces.

Still, a fighter fights.

“For me, this is more of a stay-busy fight,” he said. “I know the bigger fights are coming, and they’re real close. But at the same time, we can’t stay on the shelf collecting dust. We still have to stay active, and we have to still just continue winning.”

Legacy’s Jordan Perez said this week he plans to step up the opposition in 2020 for both Torres and Perez’s nephew, junior lightweight Aaron Angel Perez (9-0, five KOs), who’s scheduled to face Mexico’s Isao Gonzalo Carranza (15-16-1, nine KOs) Saturday night in a featured eight-round bout.

“I think this is the last fight that Josh is gonna have with this type of fighter (with a résumé like Rivera Garces’),” Perez said. “With us, anyway.”

That’s more than OK with Torres. But in the meantime, this is the fight he has – and he intends to deliver for the people who pay to see him fight.

“We’re more than ready (for a step up),” Torres said. “… (But) right now, we’re putting on great shows for the fans, because the local fans are grateful, regardless.

“They don’t care who I’m in the ring with; they could care less if the guy is 0-20. They’re coming out to support us local fighters, and that means the world to us.”

In pursuit of bigger and better things, Torres and his family have sold their far South Valley home – largely, he said, because of boxing. The Torres family is staying in Rio Rancho, with plans to break ground soon on a new home in the South Valley.

“The main reason was to expand my (home) gym,” he said. “I was working out of a two-garage. We loved our home, loved everything about it. But the main thing was to expand our gym. … That way I can eventually have a bigger amateur team.”

Torres weighed in on Friday at 146.8 pounds, two-tenths of a pound under the welterweight limit. Rivera Garces came in heavy at 148.6 pounds, but the issue was resolved and the fight will go on as scheduled.

A total of eight bouts are scheduled.

MMA: In Thackerville, Oklahoma, Albuquerque-based (Jackson-Wink) light heavyweight Christian Edwards needed only 16 seconds of the first round to defeat Cesar Bennett by knockout (head kick) on a Bellator card. Edwards is 2-0, Bennett 0-1.

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