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Combat sports: Torres gets his shot at Judah

Nothing ventured …

Albuquerque welterweight boxer Josh Torres has little to lose and a great deal to gain, his Albuquerque promoter says, when he steps into a Las Vegas, Nev., ring against former world champion Zab Judah on March 12.

Torres (15-4-2, seven knockouts) announced on social media last week that he had accepted the fight. Later in the week, Chavez, who has promoted Torres’ most recent four bouts, said contracts have been signed.

The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds at the Downtown Las Vegas Event Center, Chavez said, and will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Judah (42-9, 29 knockouts), a world champion at 140 and 147 pounds, is 38 years old. He has not fought since a loss to Paulie Malignaggi in December 2013 but has decided to return to the ring.

Two scheduled comeback fights for Judah have fallen through.

For Torres’ sake more than Judah’s, Chavez hopes this one happens. He’s betting that Judah, who lost three of his last four bouts before his short-lived “retirement,” isn’t the fighter that went undefeated (27-0 with one no contest) from 1996-2001 and has defeated the likes of DeMarcus Corley, Cory Spinks and Lucas Matthysse.

Torres, 26, certainly will have youth on his side.

“It’s a shot,” Chavez said. “Like I told Josh, fighting somebody with that kind of reputation, this is the kind of guy that we were looking for.

“(A victory) sure would put Josh on another level, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The Torres-Judah fight is scheduled a week after Albuquerque MMA fighter Holly Holm’s UFC bantamweight title defense against Miesha Tate In Las Vegas at the MGM Grand and on the final day of the Mountain West Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at the Thomas & Mack Center.

He’s hoping the Lobos hang around long enough to get some Albuquerqueans in the door for the fight that night.

“You never know what’s gonna happen with the Lobos,” he said.

No, you never do.

JACKSON’S MMA SERIES: The main event of Jackson’s MMA Series XVII at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino came to an unsatisfying end Saturday night when the fight between Nick Urso and Jordan Espinosa was declared a no contest.

According to reports on social media, the fight was stopped on doctor’s orders after blows landed by Urso to a downed Espinosa’s head were ruled illegal. Both Albuquerque flyweights’ records remain the same: 8-2 for Urso, 7-4 for Espinosa.

In the semi-main event, Colorado fighter Audrey Perkins (1-0) defeated Santa Fe’s Natalie Roy (2-2) by unanimous decision.

RUMBLE AT THE ROCK II: According to social media, Albuquerque super flyweight boxer Matthew Griego (1-0, one KO) has been added to Saturday’s card at Camel Rock Casino, north of Santa Fe.

Griego, a state and regional amateur champion, defeated Ramon Lopez by first-round TKO in his pro debut at Buffalo Thunder on Jan. 30.

The Journal was unable to reach promoter Eric Martinez for comment, but boxrec.com lists Saturday’s main event as a bout between EspaƱola super bantamweight Tony Valdez (an improbable 8-4-6, seven KOs) and Los Angeles’ Raymond Chacon (5-17, no KOs).

Marcus Vinicius de Oliveira (24-2-1, 22 KOs), a Brazilian light heavyweight, is listed as facing Michael Gbenga (20-24, 20 KOs) from Accra, Ghana. Gbenga left Ghana to campaign in the U.S. in 2014 and is 1-14 since the move.

The Camel Rock card as listed also marks the return of power-punching Albuquerque super bantamweight David Proa (7-3, seven KOs).

Proa last fought in 2011. At Torres’ most recent fight in December, Proa was introduced in the ring and took the opportunity to call out Valdez, Saturday’s headliner.

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