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Boxing: Duke City’s Josh Torres dominates

Last Updated: 31 May 2014
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Albuquerque’s Josh Torres, right, scored a second-round TKO against Mexico’s Franciso Lira on Friday night in front of about 1,000 fans in an outdoor event at Hotel Cascada. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Albuquerque’s Josh Torres, right, scored a second-round TKO against Mexico’s Franciso Lira on Friday night in front of about 1,000 fans in an outdoor event at Hotel Cascada. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Mexico’s Francisco Lira is listed online as a right-handed boxer. Friday night, he fought Albuquerque’s Josh Torres as a left-hander.

For all it mattered, Lira could have fought with three hands. Torres was dominant in defeating the Agua Prieta, Sonora, boxer by second-round TKO in the main event of a five-bout professional boxing card at Hotel Cascada.

The card, labeled “Dia de Johnny Tapia,” was promoted by Teresa Tapia, widow of the late, five-time world champion.

Johnny Tapia died of heart disease May 27, 2012.

Staged outdoors in a parking lot, the event benefited from near-perfect weather. A near-sellout crowd of perhaps 1,000 attended.

Torres (13-2-1, six knockouts) said he wasn’t surprised to see Lira (4-4, two KOs) come out in a southpaw stance. Upon arriving in Albuquerque, Lira worked out at Tapia Boxing Academy, where Torres trains.

“We heard that he might (go southpaw),” Torres said.

Torres responded with a southpaw stance of his own. Late in the first round, he caught Lira with a big right hand and dropped him with a flurry.

Lira survived the round, but returned to his corner with a cut over his left eye.

Early in the second, Torres caught Lira in a corner and again drove him to the canvas.

“I stunned him with a right and came hard with leverage with a left hand,” Torres said.

Lira got to his feet, but his corner – taking into account the cut as well as the two knockdowns – asked the referee to stop the fight.

Albuquerque’s Brandon Salazar, right, had little trouble defeating Marcel Cloud on Friday night at Hotel Cascada. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Albuquerque’s Brandon Salazar, right, had little trouble defeating Marcel Cloud on Friday night at Hotel Cascada. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

In Friday’s semi-main event, Rio Rancho junior welterweight Shawn “The Educator” Gallegos (19-4, five KOs) schooled skill-bereft Jeremiah Torres (8-25) of Belen through six rounds and took a unanimous decision.

In other bouts:

Albuquerque super middleweight Frankie Quintana made his pro debut a successful and shocking one, dropping El Paso’s Tim Meek (2-1) with a big right hand in the fourth and final round and scoring a victory by TKO.

Moriarty junior lightweight Brenda Gonzales (3-1), as expected, overwhelmed professional loser D.J. Morrison of Denver. Gonzales dropped Morrison twice in scoring a victory by unanimous decision.

Lightweight Brandon Salazar (2-3) of Albuquerque twice floored Hobbs’ Marcel Cloud (pro debut) en route to a victory by first-round TKO.

Gallegos, a schoolteacher, had been absent from the ring for some 3½ years. He made his presence felt immediately against Torres, landing clean punches with both hands.

Torres, physically rugged but with no skills, managed to stay on his feet through the six rounds.

All three judges scored it 60-54, a shutout, for Gallegos.

The slick-boxing Meek, a highly successful amateur, appeared on his way to taking his third pro victory when Quintana landed a thunderous right hand.

The El Paso boxer clambered to his feet, but clearly was in no shape to continue.

While beating Morrison is no feat in itself, Gonzales was impressive in doing so. The Moriarty fighter scored a clean knockdown in the third round and was credited with another in the fourth, when the fighters got their feet tangled. Both boxers went to the canvas, but Gonzales rose immediately while Morrison struggled.

Salazar made short work of Cloud, first dropping him with a right hand, then with a flurry. Cloud, like Meek before him, got to his feet but was too dazed to continue.

Friday afternoon, in a highlight of an entertaining, seven-bout amateur card, Albuquerque’s Joseph Lajeuenesse defeated Hobbs’ Syan Salazar in a bout between 13-year-olds at 75 pounds.

After two closely contested, well-boxed rounds, Lajeunenesse turned round three into a slugfest – to his clear advantage – staggering Salazar several times and prompting a standing-eight count from the referee.

The judges scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 29-28 for the Albuquerquean.

At 114 pounds, 16-year-old Isaac Perez blasted out a unanimous decision over fellow Albuquerquean Braulio Trejo. Perez was voted the outstanding boxer of the amateur card.

Clinton Chavez, who competes for Team Tapia, won one for the home team. Chavez, 141 pounds, defeated Albuquerque Police Athletic League boxer Christian Anchondo by unanimous decision.

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