The New Mexico Athletic Commission has opted to take no action on a complaint filed by Albuquerque combat-sports athlete Diego Sanchez, finding no merit in his allegation of “greasing” on the part of Las Cruces’ Austin Trout during their bare-knuckle fight on Feb. 17.
Trout, a former world boxing champion, defeated Sanchez, an accomplished MMA fighter, by fourth-round stoppage (cuts) in the semi-main event of a BKFC card at Tingley Coliseum.
In his complaint, obtained by the Journal through an Inspection of Public Records request, Sanchez said he believed that “some sort of lubricant” applied to Trout’s “neck, face, shoulders and back,” prevented Sanchez from clinching effectively and caused Trout to gain an unfair advantage “leading to doctors stoppage from a cut.”
A cornerman did apply a thin coat of a substance believed to be Vaseline to Trout’s shoulders and upper back in the ring immediately before the fight, but this was witnessed by observers from both the BKFC and the Athletic Commission.
The BKFC has no published rules regarding the application of Vaseline/petroleum jelly. Athletic Commission rules allow for “discretional use of petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline) … on the face, arms, or any other part of the contestant’s body.”
NICCO GOES PRO: Nicco Tapia, the 18-year-old son of the late New Mexico boxing legend Johnny Tapia, left Albuquerque on Tuesday for Connecticut, having signed with the fledging Team Combat League.
The TCL is fielding boxing teams from eight U.S. cities. Albuquerque is not one of those, but Tapia is representing Las Vegas, Nevada, where he lived as a small child and where his mother, Teresa Tapia, still owns a home.
He’ll be competing at middleweight, 160 pounds.
Nicco Tapia has had only a few amateur fights, and his mom admits to some nervousness.
“I think about what (Johnny) would think a lot,” she said of her late husband, who died in 2012 when Nicco was 7. “I always wonder, what would he think, how would he feel, what would he say.
“I don’t know. I’m excited for (Nicco), but it’s always bittersweet.”
The Team Combat League began competition on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, and the Las Vegas team was scheduled to debut on Thursday. But Teresa Tapia said Nicco isn’t expected to fight until sometime next month, when the Las Vegas team will be competing in Frisco, Texas.
MARIJUANA: Three fighters who competed on the Feb. 17 BKFC card at Tingley Coliseum tested positive for THC (marijuana) after the event, the Journal learned as the result of a IPRA request.
Christian Torres, Chevvy Bridges and Kevin Croom were suspended as a result, but their suspensions were lifted by the Athletic Commission on March 20.
Croom and Bridges fought each other that night, Croom winning by first-round knockout.
Torres lost by second-round TKO to Joshua Moreno.
UPCOMING: Albuquerque MMA fighter John Dodson (23-13) is scheduled for a fight on Rizin 42 in Tokyo on May 6. He’s matched against Japan’s Tatsuki Saomoto (18-2).
Rizin is an MMA circuit in which fights are contested in a ring rather than a cage and with a few rules that differ from those of UFC, Bellator, etc.
… Albuquerque welterweight/super middleweight boxer Jose Lu í s “G ü ero” Sanchez (12-3-1, four knockouts) is scheduled to face unbeaten Rashad Shahid (10-0, seven KOs) in the eight-round main event of a pro boxing card in Odessa, Texas on May 13.