Q&A: On His Recent Loss and Moving Ahead
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Artemio Reyes Jr. is returning to the ring THIS Friday, June 22. Nicknamed the “King,” the WBC Fecarbox champ has been waiting for a chance to lace up again after what he calls a “fluke” defeat by Alan Sanchez on April 13 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The fight proved to be an “unlucky” Friday the 13th for the popular Southern California slugger who was coping with the passing of his father just 10 days before the bout. In the first round of the bout, an aggressive Sanchez scored a TKO over the favored Reyes.
Since then, the lanky welterweight is focused and reinvigorated–and looking forward to his bout tomorrow night on Thompson Boxing Promotions’ “New Blood” card to be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario. Promoter and President Ken Thompson and General Manager/MatchmakerAlex Camponovo have always been big on this kid with the knockout power (15-2, 12 KOs). Reyes first earned his spot on boxing’s radar after his upset win over 2008 Olympian Javier Molina in November of 2011. But in his last match, he was stopped in the first round by Sanchez, who Reyes had beaten in a split decision back in 2010. Artemio wanted a chance to continue in the bout and vows to get revenge when/if the foes meet for a third time on the canvas. This was just the second loss on his record; the only previous loss was in 2008 in his second pro outing versus Mike Dallas Jr.
Coincidentally, Artemio Reyes, Javier Molina and Mike Dallas Jr. will all be fighting Friday night, in different bouts. Reyes in the “New Blood” show; Dallas Jr. and Molina are slated in separate bouts at Soboba Casino.
For Thompson Boxing’s Reyes, he hopes to avenge the loss to Alan Sanchez and hopes to settle the score in the future. But for now he will be facing Enrique “Scorpion” Gutierrez (10-4, 8 KOs) in his first foray back in the squared circle. Reyes-Gutierrez will be an eight-round welterweight war and Artemio can’t wait to lace up again. Considering this recent loss a fluke, Artemio keeps his dreams alive on someday adding another championship title to his mantle.
I caught up with Team Reyes as they were headed to the weigh-in today. Artemio (known as “Junior) trains with Capital Punishment Gym’s Ruben Castanon, Charlie Perez and Willie Tubbs in Riverside. Balancing college with managing the El Taquito Restaurant in Colton, Reyes has never taken the easy way out in anything he’s done. After his shocking loss two months ago, the Mexican warrior is confident he will continue his ascent in a prizefighting career. Hear what he has to say in our latest interview!
Michele Chong: Hi Junior. So you’re on your way to the weigh-in for tomorrow’s fight. Can you talk a little about what happened in the last fight with Sanchez?
Artemio Reyes: It’s just that I got caught. Simple as that. It was a fluke. I really wanted the opportunity to get back up and continue and that didn’t happen. So after that, I got back to the gym and training hard as usual.
MC: Would you like to fight Alan Sanchez again?
AR: Oh yes, of course! I WANT THAT THIRD FIGHT. I think it was stopped abruptly and I want to close the deal. I want to fight him again–and show who the real victor is!
MC: Your loss came on the heels of your father’s passing. (Artemio Reyes Jr. had been in a comatose state since a 2008 auto accident).
AR: We’re coping with it…We’re trying to close that chapter. And every week, we visit his gravesite. But now I’m trying to build a new chapter in my life.
MC: You will be facing Enrique Gutierrez tomorrow night. What do you hope to prove in this fight?
AR: I want to prove that my last fight was a fluke! That sometimes that happens. But I’m the same fighter I was before that and even more improved now. And I plan on dominating tomorrow night.
MC: What do you know about your opponent?
AR: Not to much, really. But I’ve learned you can never taken ANYONE lightly…I know he’s gonna come forward and I hope he does. (Laughs)
MC: Your team is famous for bringing busloads of fans packed with friends and family. I know your mom and sisters always have banners, noisemakers, drums and more to greet you in your walkout. So what are they gonna bring tomorrow night?
AR: (Laughs) Oh man, I know my mom has something in store! It’s gonna be a surprise to me. Last time I didn’t know they made that huge banner and that was a really cool surprise when I saw it.
MC: Any predictions for your fight?
AR: Once the bell rings, we’re ready. I’m gonna dominate. But if it goes the distance, I’m ready for that too.
MC: What would you like to tell your fans in your return to the ring?
AR: I want to say it’s gonna be a great show! And I want to tell them thanks for the GREAT show of support they bring.
MC: Thanks, Junior and have fun tomorrow!
AR: Thank you, Michele!
Look for a determined Artemio Reyes Jr. battling tomorrow in his comeback fight after the Sanchez loss. He knows he will get another opportunity in the future to prove he’s still the “King.” And yes, he will always carry his memory of his father in his heart–he will always “Fight 4 Pops” in this brand new chapter of Junior’s life.
Thompson Boxing Promotions
Friday, June 22
Tickets: (714) 935-0900
Photos by Michele Chong and Marlene Marquez (Ring photos)
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