One theme in Leanna Martinez’s camp as she prepares for her next bout is: redemption.
The 28-year-old Cordova native and boxer who holds a 4-2 professional record has been waiting patiently to get back in the ring after the conclusion of her last fight on Aug. 17, 2019, a fight that ended with a loss and controversy.
Martinez’s official record states a loss by TKO to Lorraine Villalobos at Embassy Suites Albuquerque, but the fight is currently under investigation and there is an ongoing case with the Association of Boxing Commissions, Holmes Boxing promoter and trainer Pat Holmes said.
The fight was stopped after Villalobos had accidentally headbutted Martinez, causing head welts strong enough to end the fight, in the referee’s opinion and judgment.
“There was an accidental headbutt and knowing the ABC rules we went to the Commission,” Holmes said. “They put it down as a loss because that’s the judgment they made that night. When there’s an accidental headbutt, they go to the scorecards after that, where he (referee) just stopped the fight. What he should have done or the right thing to do is say, ‘Timeout, we have an accidental headbutt,’ and that’s all the judges know and then the fight continues.”
Instead, Martinez enters her Feb. 8 fight in Cold War 5 at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North against Indeya Smith (0-0) coming off two consecutive losses after beginning her career 4-0.
“I’m ready to make my comeback after my last fight got stopped near the end of the last round,” Martinez said. “There’s unfinished business, you could say, and unfinished business with that girl (Villalobos), but I’m just ready and so focused on this fight.”
The physically and mentally stronger Martinez faces an opponent in Smith who is making her professional debut, but her achievements as an amateur are none to be overlooked.
“She was in the World Series of Boxing and that says it all,” Holmes said. “That’s in the whole world, not just her home state of Texas, so she’s been in international competition and she has the experience and she’s in great shape.”
The fight will be fought at 112 pounds and is scheduled as a four-rounder. In preparation and over the current camp, Martinez said she has focused on her head movement and specific counters for Smith’s style.
“She (Smith) will have a busy four rounds and we will be ready for her,” Holmes said. “She throws punches in bunches and in an in-and-out style. She has quick feet and she throws in fours, baby steps and then throws in fours again, so she’s really in-and-out, really busy and really active.”
Cold War 5 will be the fourth Holmes Boxing event to take place in Albuquerque after Holmes’ past stomping ground was Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino in the Pueblo of Pojoaque.
Martinez’s bout with Smith will be the co-main event of the seven-fight card, while Roberto Durán Jr. (3-1) takes on David Vargas in the main event.
Durán Jr. is the son of Roberto Durán, a Panamanian boxer who competed over five decades and held world championships in four separate weight classes.
“This card all starts with Roberto Durán Jr. and with the legacy of his dad, I don’t know if you get anymore legendary than that,” Holmes said. “He had wars with (Sugar Ray) Leonard and (Thomas) Hearns and the list goes on and on. Now, his son is fighting and we’ve developed a really nice friendship with him and he’s a nice guy. His promoter is out of New York and he fights out of Fort Lauderdale.”
The remainder of the card features Andres Quintana (0-1) versus Angel Villanueva (0-0), Bryant McClain (5-2-3) versus Desmond Hill (5-0), Estevan Segura (0-0) versus Armando Cornejo (0-0), Mario Gonzales (1-0) vs. Shane Hall (0-0) and Javier Davio Aragon (3-1) vs. Anthony Jones (0-1). All fights will be four rounds.
Holmes expects the event to sellout like his previous cards in The Duke City, but tickets are still available and can but purchased by calling 505-795-2772.
Antonio “Tone” Martinez will not be a part of Cold War 5, but the Española boxer was training hard at the Holmes facility on Jan. 29 in preparation for his next bout coming in the spring.
Martinez (11-5-4) is scheduled to take on Xavier Wilson (11-1-1) on March 7 at Isleta Resort and Casino.