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Espanola card has plenty of Las Vegas flavor

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By Dave Kavanaugh

“The Final Chapter,” as a July 17 professional boxing event is called, won’t be held in the Meadow City, but the card has an unmistakable Las Vegas flavor to it nonetheless.

The card, headlined by the third — and theoretically final — fight between six-time world champion Johnny Tapia and Frankie Archuleta, is set for 7 p.m. July 17 at the Ohkay Casino in Española.

The event had originally been scheduled for this coming Saturday, June 12, but that date was cancelled.

Tickets, which start at $18, are available at the Ohkay box office (1-877-840-0457) and online via ticketforce.com.

As of press time, five of the card’s scheduled fights feature boxers from the Las Vegas area.

Archuleta (26-7-1, 14 knockout wins), of course, leads the list.

He and Tapia (57-5-2, 29 KOs) battled memorably in their first two encounters, both of which went the distance. Archuleta took a split decision victory on March 5, 2004, before a packed Wilson Complex crowd in Las Vegas. But Tapia had the edge in their rematch April 15, 2005, at Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, winning a unanimous decision.

Stretches of inactivity — including jail time for Tapia in a narcotics case — have perhaps delayed the staging of the third featherweight fight. Older and closer to the ends of their respective ring careers, both men demonstrated their old skills by winning handily in their most recent bouts. Archuleta took a unanimous decision over Lorenzo Estrada in August at Wilson Complex. Tapia stopped Jorge Reyes in the fourth round of their March fight as Tapia returned to the ring from a three-year absence.

“This is a fight you definitely can’t miss,” Archuleta told those gathered at a recent press conference at Carlos Crespin’s Las Vegas gym.

Arturo Crespin (5-1), who took a unanimous decision over “Latino Heat” in April at Gillie Lopez Gym, is slated to box Trenton Titsworth of Omaha, Neb., in a four-round middleweight event.

“It’s an honor to be on a card with Frankie and Johnny — and also my sister,” he said at the press confab.

Amanda Crespin (2-2-1) is riding a two-match winning streak. She is also scheduled to fight fellow super featherweight Crystal Hoy.

“I feel like I’m on top of my game,” she said, crediting her father with helping to get her in shape for the last couple of fights.

Light welterweight Shawn Gallegos (17-4), who, like the Crespin siblings, was victorious in the April card at Gillie Lopez Gym, is to fight Jorge Reyes (21-28-3) of El Paso.

Rounding out the bouts of local interest, middleweight Joaquin Zamora (18-2), who hails from the Pecos area, is slated to compete in a six-round semi-main event.

Three or four other matches are also on the card. It was unclear as of press time whether any would be bumped due to the late schedule change.