Albuquerque’s Diego Sanchez, soundly defeated by Las Cruces’ Austin Trout during Friday’s Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship event at Tingley Coliseum, has accused Trout of cheating by having Vaseline applied to his back and shoulders in the ring immediately before the fight began.
Trout, while not denying that Vaseline was applied, said he broke no rules in doing so — adding that the Vaseline had no effect on the outcome. Trout defeated Sanchez by fourth-round TKO when a doctor stopped the fight due to facial cuts suffered by Sanchez.
The Vaseline was applied by a member of Trout’s team in full view of a New Mexico Athletic Commission deputy inspector and of Guillermo Perez, who works for the BKFC as a cutman.
On Instagram, Sanchez said he should be declared the winner because of what he claimed was a violation of the rules.
The slick substance, Sanchez said, was applied “so heavy I could not utilize the clinch this is cheating everybody so with that being said, I am the victorious champion and I count this as a win.
“Hopefully we can get the decision overturned. I will be talking to my lawyer soon.”
In a response on Instagram, Trout called the accusation unfounded. It was Trout’s superior boxing skills, he said, not a light and permissible coating of Vaseline, that decided the outcome.
“Vaseline?” he said. “That was the Kryptonite? Not the jab, not the footwork, not the left hand?”
BKFC rules allow hitting while clinching, but Trout argued he, not Sanchez, was more effective during the rare moments when the two engaged in a clinch — and not because of the Vaseline.
“If you watch that fight, in the first round, I initiated the clinch,” Trout said. “And I was beating his ass, busting his body up.
“It was the body shots that stopped him from clinching, not the Vaseline.”
Trout said different state commissions have different rules governing the application of Vaseline and said the amount applied was within New Mexico Athletic Commission guidelines. The BKFC, he said, has no rule that prevents the application of Vaseline.
A request by the Journal for comment from the BKFC on Monday received no response.
The responsive New Mexico Athletic Commission rule reads as follows:
Only discretional use of petroleum jelly (i.e., vaseline), and nothing else, will be allowed on the face, arms, or any other part the contestant’s body. The excessive use of petroleum jelly is strictly prohibited and the referee shall direct that any excessive petroleum jelly be removed.”
TOGETHER AGAIN: Friday, for the first time in more than six years, Albuquerque brothers Jason and José Luís “Güero” Sanchez will be boxing on the same card — provided Jason, the younger of the two, has an opponent. None was listed as of Monday on boxrec.com.
The two are fighting on a Tapia Promotions card at the Rio Rancho Events Center. According to boxrec.com, eight bouts are planned.
According to boxrec, Jose Luis (11-3-1, four knockouts), a welterweight and the older brother by two years at 30, is matched against Michigan’s Reggie Harris Jr. (7-2, three KOs).
The brothers last fought on the same card in December 2016 at Camel Rock Casino in Tesuque Pueblo.
That night, Jason defeated Sergio Najera by second-round TKO and José Luís beat Tavorus Teague by fifth-round TKO.
Their careers diverged after Jason (15-3, eight KOs), a featherweight, defeated Jean Carlos Rivera in Panama on Oct. 31, 2018 on a Top Rank, Inc. card, and subsequently was signed to a Top Rank contract. But the younger brother parted ways with Top Rank after his December 2021 loss by majority decision to Adam Lopez and has not fought since.
Harris, José Luís Sanchez’s scheduled opponent, lost to Albuquerque’s Josh Torres by unanimous decision on a Tapia-promoted card in June.
Torres is scheduled to fight on Friday’s card as well. Originally scheduled for a rematch against Harris, Torres now is matched against Sharif Rahman (7-0 four KOs) of Las Vegas, Nevada.