Local fighters shine in Silver Gloves debut

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Lopez wins division; Gold takes second

By Dave Kavanaugh

Compared to almost everyone around him at Crespin’s Gym for this past weekend’s New Mexico Silver Gloves Championships, Amadeo Lopez didn’t bring much of a resumé of boxing accomplishments.

He’s gone toe to toe with a number of opponents — on the tennis court.

In the boxing ring?

Not so much.

In fact, the 15-year-old Las Vegan has only been training seriously for a few months, and his experience as a pugilist prior to the Silver Gloves event had been limited to a few sparring sessions.

But rookie or not, Amadeo Lopez came away with the state Silver Gloves championship in his division (132 lbs., ages 14-15), beating Jordan Ward of Clovis in the final match of the bracket.

And — to the nervous delight of his parents Martin and Sally Lopez — he also had his first highlight reel moment, too. That came on Saturday with his technical knockout victory — another first in his budding boxing career.

“He showed a lot of power, actually,” said Carlos Crespin, his trainer and the proprietor of Crespin’s Boxing Promotions.

“He almost knocked a guy through the ropes,” marveled Sally Lopez.

Sally and Martin readily admitted they were nervous watching their son make his ring debut. They accompanied him to the recent pro boxing card, “Boxeo En Las Vegas II,” at Gillie Lopez Gym. While Amadeo grinned and fidgeted joyously in his seat while watching the action, one could almost see the trepidation in his parents’ eyes as they pondered his upcoming introduction to the ring wars.

“It’s a whole different world,” Martin Lopez said in comparing boxing to tennis. “In tennis, there’s a net separating you from your opponent.”

The Lopezes are longtime tennis players and coaches, and Amadeo started to follow suit, playing a year for Robertson’s storied boys’ program. But his attention drifted to other things, including the boxing ring.

Why boxing?

“I wanted to try it,” Amadeo said.

Tall, lean and lanky, he doesn’t necessarily fit the bill visually as a power puncher. But Amadeo has shown raw power in his early bouts, as Crespin attests.

That power will be tested Jan. 6-10 in Pasadena, Calif., when he competes in the Region 8 Silver Gloves tournament. Fighters from across several neighboring states will vie for titles in that tourney, and the gap in experience figures to be more pronounced.

It’s a lot to adjust to in such a short time, but mental focus shouldn’t be a problem, Amadeo’s parents said.

“He’s always been able to tune (other) things out,” Martin Lopez said. “Other kids can get distracted. He doesn’t.”

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In contrast, Mateo Gold is a  boxing veteran.

Well, sort of, anyway.

Gold, a 9-year-old Union Elementary student, took second place in his division of the Silver Gloves tournaments. He lost to Santiago Giron of the Tuff Boxing camp in the final of the 55-pound, age 8-9 bracket.

Gold has been training since last April and had a couple of show bouts as experience prior to the Silver Gloves tourney.

“He’s improving a lot, getting stronger,” said Crespin.

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Crespin said he is available to train other young prospective fighters at his gym and may be reached at 429-4068.