Lawrence Anzures wasn’t a boxer – not really, though he dipped his toe in that pool and perhaps he could have been.
Yet, Anzures’ ties to the Albuquerque boxing community were many and deep. He was a regular attendee at boxing events, worked out at boxing gyms and often served as a sparring partner for some of the city’s best fighters.
Mostly, he was a good and loyal friend.
Anzures, 30, was shot and killed Thursday night during an altercation at Ojos Locos sports bar on Louisiana NE.
Albuquerque boxer Matt Griego said he’d known Anzures for five years, perhaps longer.
“We’d see each other in the gym, or just out to eat, things like that,” Griego said. “He was just a cool dude, man. I don’t understand how anyone would have an issue with him.”
As of Saturday, it had not been established whether Anzures was targeted by the shooter, who has not been apprehended, or was a random victim. Three other people were wounded.
Griego, a super flyweight (115-pound) with an 11-0 record, never sparred with Anzures, who was considerably bigger. But he said Anzures had sparred with Atrisco Boxing teammate Fidel Maldonado Jr. and “a couple of other guys in the gym.
“He was strong, from what I’ve heard,” Griego said. “He had some power.”
Brian Mendoza can vouch for that.
Mendoza, a welterweight/junior middleweight boxer from Rio Rancho, who now lives and trains in Las Vegas, Nevada, sparred with Anzures while a member of the Atrisco team.
Mendoza’s memories of Anzures, though, transcend boxing.
He actually knew of Anzures before he met him, Mendoza said from Las Vegas in a phone interview.
“I heard about him through Facebook because he was always posting funny videos and stuff,” Mendoza said. “Being who he is, being funny.
“Then we finally met because he started training with us at Fidel’s gym.”
Anzures, Mendoza said, was a loyal fan.
“It didn’t matter where you were fighting, he’d try to make it,” he said. “… He had this really big, positive vibe about him.”
Anzures worked as a car salesman, but Mendoza said he might have become a successful boxer had he decided to do so. He recalled that he’d had a few amateur bouts in unsanctioned club shows.
“I know he did at least three of those, because he said he was, like, 3-0 with two KOs,” he said. “He was just a talented dude. He did a little bit of everything.”
Like Griego, Mendoza said he couldn’t imagine Anzures doing anything that would have made him a target for a shooting.
“He was just a good guy,” he said.
Boxer Matthew Esquibel posted a photo of Anzures and himself after a sparring session in preparation for Esquibel’s March 30, 2019 fight against fellow Albuquerquean Willie Villanueva.
Yet, Anzures and Villanueva, as well, were good friends.
“You treated everyone like family,” Villanueva posted on Facebook, addressing his departed friend. “There’s not one person I knew that has ever had anything negative to say about you.
“One of the most solid and funniest dudes I knew. Guaranteed laughing when you were around. Thanks for the good laughs and great memories.”
Griego remembers Anzures exactly that way.
“He’d light up the whole room because of his energy,” Griego said. “His personality was really outgoing.
“Every time I’d see him we’d be laughing like crazy, because he was just that guy.”
A car wash to help Anzures’ family with expenses is planned for Sunday at 2937 Coors SW, starting at 8 a.m.