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Torres set to defend his title in Grants

Albuquerque boxer Josh Torres, right, is shown fighting Mexico's Francisco Lira in May 2014. Torres headlines a fight card at Fire & Ice Park in Grants next week. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Albuquerque boxer Josh Torres, right, is shown fighting Mexico’s Francisco Lira in May 2014. Torres headlines a fight card at Fire and Ice Park in Grants next week. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

The more clubs in the bag, the better.

Albuquerque’s Josh Torres, though, wants to get back to using the driver.

Actually, Torres is a boxer – not a golfer. He’s scheduled to face Las Vegas, Nev., fighter Cameron Kreal on Aug. 1 outdoors at Fire and Ice Park in Grants.

The bout is a defense of the Albuquerquean’s WBC USNBC 140-pound title.

A professional since 2008, Torres entered the pro ranks with an aggressive, high-pressure style that earned him the nickname “Pit Bull.” But two trainers, first the late Johnny Tapia and now Daniel Perez, put more clubs in the bag – more movement, more angles, more patience.

In April at the Albuquerque Convention Center, with Perez in the corner, Torres (14-3-2, six knockouts) boxed superbly in decisioning hard-punching Ranee Ganoy for the WBC USNBC title.

Against Kreal, whose 7-7-2 record includes only one victory by knockout, Torres hopes to bring back the pressure his nickname suggests.

“It’s definitely two different styles,” Torres said Thursday at a news conference. “The last time we boxed, we used our angles. This time, we want to come and show (the fans) why they still call us the Pit Bull.”

But Perez, the trainer, said he doesn’t want Torres to abandon the tools that were so effective against Ganoy – only to expand the tool kit.

“This camp, we have to switch over a bit,” Perez said. “Use a little bit of the Ganoy stuff and add to it to make up a whole other fight plan.”

Kreal, Perez said, shouldn’t be underestimated based on his .500 record. The seven fighters who’ve beaten him had a combined 44-12 record when they faced him. Kreal has victories over Demond Brock, who was 8-2 at the time, and Manuel Damairias Lopez, who was 5-0.

And Kreal’s only win by knockout came in his most recent fight – a first-round stoppage of Moris Rodriguez in March.

“He’s a lot better than his record shows,” Perez said. “I’m sure he’s coming in for Josh’s head.

“He can bang and he can box. … (But) I don’t see him just banging like Ganoy did. We’re looking at more of a chess match.”

Whatever it takes to beat Kreal, Torres said he’s eager to do it for the fans in Grants. According to boxrec.com, the western New Mexico city hasn’t been the site of a professional boxing card since 1976.

“It’s a small piece of history in the making,” Torres said. “I feel like we’re paving the way for the future of New Mexico boxing.”

Promoter Joe Chavez said he was approached by Grants town officials earlier this year about staging a card there. Now, he said, Gallup is interested in hosting a boxing card at Red Rock State Park. Grants, as well, he said, would like a return engagement.

Chavez said he’s tentatively planning two more cards in 2015, but an event at Gallup or a return to Grants probably wouldn’t happen until next year.

NEXT FOR TROUT: Las Cruces junior middleweight boxer Austin Trout (29-2, 16 KOs) has confirmed reports that he’ll face Miami’s Joey Hernandez (24-3-1, 14 KOs) on a Premier Boxing Champions card Sept. 6.

No site or TV has been announced for the card, which is expected to feature middleweight Peter Quillin against an as-yet unnamed opponent in the main event.

The Trout-Hernandez match was first reported by Southwest Fight News.

CONDIT-LAWLER: The Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter, citing multiple anonymous sources, reports that Albuquerque MMA fighter Carlos Condit (30-8) will challenge champion Robbie Lawler (26-10) on Dec. 5 for the UFC 170-pound title in Calgary, Alberta, as the main event of UFC 194.

There has been no confirmation from the UFC, Condit or Lawlor.

WATERSON’S HAND: What was feared the night of July 12 has been confirmed. Albuquerque MMA fighter Michelle Waterson suffered a broken right hand during her victory over Farmington’s Angela Magana in Las Vegas, Nev., and will have the hand in a cast for the next six weeks.

In her UFC debut, Waterson (13-4) stopped Magana (11-8) via third-round submission (rear naked choke). Afterward, the hand was sore and swollen. Waterson confirmed the break this week on Twitter.

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