By David Finger
There’s a conventional wisdom about regional rivalries in boxing: they are sure to produce fireworks. And ever since kicking off in 2010, School of Hard Knocks Boxing has been creating some memorable Southwest boxing rivalries featuring some of Hobbs, New Mexico’s best young fighter. Tomorrow night (February 17) El Paso will be the latest city to try to derail the careers of two of New Mexico’s hottest prospects as light heavyweight Cesar Zamarripa and junior middleweight Shem Garcia Prieto come up from the Sun City to take on local boys Gerardo Quintana and Isidro Castillo Jr. respectively in the city of Hobbs, New Mexico.
In the main event the career of Gerardo Quintana is set to resume as he takes on the aforementioned Cesar Zamarripa. Quintana emerged as one of the most talked about prospects in New Mexico after turning pro in Hobbs in 2012. But after going undefeated in his first five fights he suffered his first setback in a loss to contender Anthony Mack from Texas in January of 2014. Since then Quintana’s career has been plagued by inactivity as he has fought only once against gritty Robert Sanders in December of 2015. Although Quintana still possesses the tools to make a serious run in the light heavyweight division he needs to shake off a fair amount of “ring rust” and can ill-afford another setback against Zamarripa.
In the co-main event Castillo Jr., son of promoter Isidro Castillo, looks to extend his unbeaten record against Shem Garcia Prieto. Castillo has jumped out of the gate since turning pro in September of 2016, winning three straight including a knockout on January 28th against Derek Perez at Buffalo Thunder Casino near Santa Fe. The activity of Castillo is what is making waves in the Southwest and has helped establish Castillo as one of the hottest young prospects in the State. Many boxing fans are anticipating a regional belt could be in the work before the end of the year for the quick-fisted Castillo. But before he can start polishing a title belt he needs to get past Prieto. Although Castillo is the favorite against the Texan, an upset would hardly be out of the question, particularly if Castillo is looking past his opponent.
Rounding off the card is Clovis heavyweight Elijio Sena (2-0-1, 1 KO) who is slated to fight in a four round affair. Light heavyweight Desmond Hill of Odessa takes on Joe Reyes of El Paso in a battle of rookies making their professional debut. Miguel Munoz of Hobbs will make his professional debut against Izaiah Hernandez of Lubbock in a lightweight fight. And Ricardo Urquizo (2-4-1, 1 KO) of Clovis will square off against Jordan Gregory (0-2) of Albuquerque in a four round junior middleweight fight.
Doors open at 6:00 PM with the first fight slated for 7:00 PM at the Lea County Event Center. Tickets start at and can be obtained at the box office. Tickets start at $34 for general admission and $64 for ringside.