By Andrew Rivera: Albuquerque’s Josh Torres fresh off his victory on Saturday night over Cristian Cabral to claim the New Mexico Welterweight title has some thinking to do. Having won his third consecutive fight Torres is now looking for greater challenges but instead keeps getting called out by other local welterweights.
Torres is one of Boxing’s good guys, is always great the fans, the community and is a good family man, yet he is public enemy #1 with local fighters.
Jr welterweight Fidel Maldonado Jr. and his stablemate Brian Mendoza both have been calling Torres out to fight them albeit through their trainer Fidel Maldonado Sr and most recently by Jose Luis Sanchez, who called Torres out Saturday night asking for a rematch.
“I don’t know where the Sanchez call out came from, it came from left field.” Said Torres “I think he knows who the top one in the city and state is so they want to get a bigger fight with me.”
Torres wants to move on past the local scene for the bigger fights, he has fought tough Dusty Harrison and former ex world champion Mike Alvarado, dropping close decisions to both. Torres was in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2016 when a fight with former champion Zab Judah was to take place but due to Judah not filing out the correct paperwork the fight was scratched.
All of the welterweights have sparred with each other at one time or another and most thought were friends but when Maldonado Sr started calling out Torres for his charges Mendoza and Maldonado Jr. through social media after Torres’ last win this past March, it was the buzz for a bit.
“Yes, Fidel Sr called me and offered me to fight either fighter but at the time I passed due to wanting to look what’s out there outside of Albuquerque.” Says Torres “Were all friends or thought we were and have no reason to fight each other, unless we’re making outrageous money.”
A few local bloggers on the local scene want to see the match ups but I’m one who doesn’t think fighters gain anything doing the local circuit. But It seems to be the norm with the fight scene here.
Will it do something for Maldonado Jr ? No, he has established himself on the national scene and himself should be looking for things outside NM.
Mendoza on the other hand does need to get some sort of signature win, having defeated opponents with combined records of 45-126-9. His 16-0 record looks great on paper until researched. Does Mendoza have talent? Yes, by all means but since turning professional in 2014 hasn’t progressed with quality of opposition.
This fight does nothing for Torres as well, but it can help Mendoza with getting a win over Albuquerque’s current most popular draw.
As for Jose Luis Sanchez, 7-1, again does nothing for Torres unless he gets paid well, second Sanchez has mostly fought at middleweight and looked to have a few extra pounds on him when he challenged on Torres Saturday.
Yes, with one of the WBC commissioners living in Albuquerque it’s not too hard to get a minor trinket of a belt, they can make up any version if the price is right.
I have seen a 29 year old fight for the WBC youth belt that has an age limit of 23 years 11 months. I’ve seen a Non Latino fight for the wbc Latino belt, so getting title fights to bring in a bigger crowd isn’t an obstacle.
I have been an advocate against the locals continuously fighting each other. It’s like a professional smoker. I do understand local promoters have a budget as well and thus get the local matchups set up easier, yet for fighters like Torres, Maldonado Jr , they are a little beyond the backyard rivalry and it does nothing to enhance their career. It is great for the fans to see a local rivalry but to progress a career, nothing. I’ve always said no matter where you fight, if you are good and have the goods it will not matter.
Let’s hope they all look beyond the local challenges and do what they all say they want to be when interviewed, win world titles. Fighting each other won’t progress anything to another level unless it’s a Danny Romero Jr vs Johnny Tapia world title fight unification and that hasn’t happened in over 20 years.