Taking a chance, win or lose can help propel career
By Andy Rivera
”The problem with fighters these days, they build records up against inferior opponents, then when its time to step it up they aren’t ready for that smoke.”
Roy Jones Jr. on fighters today.
In the sport of boxing it is common for fighters to build their records to gain experience and of course hope tallying enough wins to get noticed by a big promoter, if not signed by one.
Padding a record doesn’t necessarily garner a place with the elite. BoxingnewMexico.com will look back at fighters who took chances and helped their career, win or lose.
Austin Trout (36-5-1) former WBA Jr. Middleweight champion
Trout made his debut in Albuquerque in September of 2005, he then hit the road fighting in the likes of Arizona, Alabama, Texas and Mexico to name a few. Trout continued to build his record and garnered a ranking by the WBA to fight for the vacant Jr. Middleweight Crown.
Trout would need to travel to the hostel home territory of Guadalajara, Mexico. He would take on local favorite Rigoberto Alvarez, yes Canelo’s brother. In beating Alvarez, Trout secured bigger fights and paydays. His biggest win was in December of 2012, defeating one of boxing elites Miguel Cotto, and doing it in New York, Cotto’s fighting home outside Puerto Rico.
In defeating Cotto, it propelled Trout to take on Canelo Alvarez, again in a hostile environment, San Antonio, TX. Canelo has a huge Mexican following in Texas. Trout did drop a disputed 12 round decision to Alvarez, yet he took the chance.
Trout has since fought a who’s-who in boxing, Erislandy Lara, Jarrett Hurd and both Charlo brother’s Jermel and Jarmal.
He has shown win or lose great things will happen.
Josh Torres (26-7-1) former WBC America’s welterweight champion
The “Pitbull” as he is known to his fans, has won some and lost some, yet he keeps going no matter. Torres was 16-2, when he took his chance, traveling to New York City and taking on the still undefeated Dusty Harrison in his hometown, Torres dropped a 10 round decision, but impressed others in defeat.
Torres was an underdog against Ranee Ganoy 36-11-2, at the time of their battle in Albuquerque. Torres overcame the odds and defeated Ganoy with a unanimous decision.
Dropping one of two fights next, Torres got the call to fight former World champion Mike Alvarado, in a fight many felt Torres won, he dropped an 8 round majority decision. Torres has gone 11-1 in is last twelve fights, the lone loss was to undefeated Cody Crawley, who is on the verge of a world title shot.
Both the Alvarado and Crawley fights were nationally televised.
Torres continues to be one of Albuquerque‘s favorite fighters, win or loss. dropping a few hasn’t slowed his progress In his boxing career.
Jason Sanchez (16-4), former WBO featherweight Youth Champion
Jason the older brother of Jose Luis (Guero) Sanchez, was 12-0, in the pro ranks, yet couldn’t get a chance to fight tougher opponents, that all changed with the help of local promoters Legacy Promotions. Sanchez took his chance traveling to Panama City, Panama to take on Jean Carlos Rivera. Sanchez was to be an opponent for Rivera, yet Sanchez dominated his opponent, capturing the WBO Youth world title.
Taking a chance propelled Sanchez to getting s deal with Top Rank, he fought one more time before getting a world title shot against Oscar Valdez, although game, Sanchez was outclasses in dropping a 12 rd decision.
Sanchez has dropped 3 out of last 5 fights, but they have been against good opponents on the road. In his last bout this past April, Sanchez went to England to battle Zelda Barrett, 28-2. Sanchez impressed promoter Eddie Hearn that he may be soon fighting again on the otherside of the pond.
Guero Sanchez (13-3-1), current NABF Jr Welterweight champion
Guero, as he is known was 10-1-1, when he took his chance to fight rising star Xander Zayas in October 2021, although valiant in defeat against the now 16-0 Zayas, Sanchez set himself and career up with bigger fights. Most recently he traveled to Odessa, TX, taking on promoter favorite,Rashad Shadid.
Shadid was dominated by Sanchez, getting dropped twice in dropping a unanimous decision, the win produced the minor NABF Jr. Welterweight title. It also propels Guero to defend is title again in Texas soon. He took his chance and is still making noise
Brian Mendoza (22-2), current WBC Intern Jr Middleweight champion.
Mendoza is the epitome of taking chances, his career was stagnant at 16-0, fighting locally mostly in Albuquerque. Mendoza decided to go all in and move to Las Vegas, fight capitol of the world in 2019. He hooked up with the Salas Academy.
Sharpening his skills, he was able to get fights, Mendoza went 5-2, since his move to Vegas, fighting tougher competition. His big break came on Showtime against former world champion Jensen Rosario, Mendoza was to be a tune up for Rosario, but he ruined those plans with a 5th round knockout. Mendoza‘s win set him up again to be the B-side of his most recent fight, this past February Mendoza shocked the world with a knockout of heavy favorite Sebastian Fundura. In defeating Fundura, Mendoza captured the intern WBC Jr Middleweight crown, setting up big fights in the future. Again someone who took a chance.
Angelo Leo (21-1) former WBO super bantamweight champion
Leo, like Mendoza took a chance as he to moved to Las Vegas, Leo went to the Maywether Gym and trained, there he gained attention of Mayweather Promotions. Signing a contract with the promoter they got Leo tune-fights that would lead to a challenge for a world title. Most of those fights he was showcased on Showtime.
Angelo, got his big break in 2020, fighting for the vacant WBO Crown, Leo dominated unbeaten Tramiane Williams in winning his world title.
In Leo’s next bout he did lose his crown to unbeaten Steven Fulton, Fulton captured a unanimous decision. Leo bounced back in his next fight defeating (25-1) Aaron Alvarado in June of 2021. Leo has since left Mayweather Promotions and is still in line for big fights.
Others who took chances in their career, no one can ever say Hector Munoz never took a chance, he ended his career at 25-20, but the majority of his loses were to top contenders or former world champions. He truly fought anyone taking chances
Aaron Perez took his chance in 2021 on PPV against unbeaten Raymond Ford, many felt Perez won the battle. The fight was declared a draw, yet Perez raised eyebrows. Perez did drop his next bout at a much higher weight if 135. He has is set to return July 15th in Albuquerque and looks to get back on track.
Women’s fighter Kathrine Lindenmuth (4-1), has been one of New Mexico’s busiest fighters, she has hit the road two times in her career, dropping a disputed decision to Yadira Bustillo’s in Utah, this fight and taking a chance got Lindenmuth a shot on a Golden Boy Promoted card against Golden Boy fighter, Lorraine Villalobos.
Lindenmuth‘s chance got her seen on national tv and a big win over Villalobos’.
Again taking a chance, she may be working her way to a women‘s title shot in the near future.
“If you have the goods, no matter where or who you fight, you will be successful” Roy Jones Jr.