Combat sports: Golden Gloves, etc.

Traditionally, New Mexico has not fared well in its annual Golden Gloves regional competition against Colorado. And again, at least on paper, our neighbor to the north appears to have the edge.

Still, just as there’s a reason they play the games, there’s a reason they fight the fights.

The 2021 New Mexico-Colorado regional is scheduled for Saturday at FIT-NHB, 1010 Candelaria NW. First bell is at 1 p.m.

The winners will form a New Mexico-Colorado team that will compete at Golden Gloves nationals, scheduled Aug. 10-15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The New Mexico team, to be sure, is not bereft of high-level experience.

Albuquerque’s Sharahya Moreu is a highly decorated, well-traveled international veteran who has represented the United States in India, Germany and Bulgaria. Getting a bout in her hometown, she posted on Facebook, is a welcome novelty.

“Haven’t fought in Albuquerque in almost 4 years,” she posted on Facebook.

Moreu is scheduled to face Colorado’s Vanessa Villereal in a 152-pound bout on Saturday.

Las Cruces’ D’Angelo Sanchez and Bloomfield’s Rolyn Nez also are accomplished amateur veterans. Sanchez was a 2018 U.S. junior nationals finalist; Nez was a semifinalist at the 2018 USA Boxing Western Elite Qualifier at the Convention Center in Albuquerque.

Nez is scheduled to face Colorado’s Reynell Del Rosario at 152 pounds. Sanchez has drawn a tough and experienced opponent at 125 pounds in Jeremiah Perales, a 20-year-old Nebraskan who’s stationed in the U.S. Army at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. Perales advanced to the semifinals in April at USA Boxing nationals in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Topping the Colorado team, though, is 114-pounder Salaam Gonzales, a 2017 USA Boxing national champion and a finalist at the recent nationals in Shreveport.

Gonzales lost to Albuquerque’s Abraham Perez at Golden Gloves regionals two years ago — Perez went on to win the national title — so he likely will be highly motivated when he steps into the ring on Saturday against Albuquerque’s Elijah Chavira.

Two more Colorado boxers, 112-pounder Jelena Vigil and 132-pounder Heather Cirka, fought at nationals in Shreveport. Bosque Farms’ Katherine Linderumun is scheduled to face Vigil; Peralta’s Alexa Garrobo is matched against Cirka.

Six New Mexico boxers are listed as unopposed for regionals. The list includes 165-pounder Jocelyn Shade, the victim of a curious-at-best referee stoppage in her second-round bout at nationals in Shreveport.

Admission for Saturday’s card is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and veterans, $5 for youths ages 5-17. There is limited seating.

SHIELDS UPDATE: Claressa Shields, it appears, will be back in the cage before she’s back in the ring.

As first reported by independent MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, Shields is expected to fight on an Aug. 27 Professional Fighters League card in Hollywood, Florida.

The Olympic and professional boxing champion made her MMA debut on June 10, defeating Brittney Elkin by third-round TKO on a PFL card in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shields, a Flint, Michigan native, trains for MMA at Jackson-Wink in Albuquerque.

The Aug. 27 bout is unconfirmed as yet, though Shields appeared to do so on her Twitter feed, retweeting a post from espn.com reporting the news and tweeting, “That’s (MMA) where they paying at.”

TROUT BOUT: Las Cruces boxer Austin Trout’s fight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is now scheduled for Aug. 13, after previously being slated for July 10 and then Aug. 7.

The identity of the opponent, Mexico’s Alejandro Davila (22-2-2, nine KOs) remains the same.

Trout (33-5-1, 18 KOs) is a former WBA junior middleweight champion.

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