Albuquerque boxer Jason Sanchez picked up two wins along with a WBO Youth Title in 2018
It was a breakout year for Albuquerque, New Mexico boxer Jason Sanchez in 2018. The pinnacle of it came with a convincing unanimous decision victory in Panama this past October over heralded prospect Jean Carlos Rivera of Puerto Rico.
(Featured photo credit: Lester Silva)
The Top Rank signed, Rivera, came in with a 15-0, 10KO record and was easily the most talented fighter that Sanchez had ever faced. In the bout, Sanchez (13-0, 6KOs) was able to find his distance and outbox Rivera with little difficulty in the second half of the fight on his way to claiming the WBO Youth Featherweight title.
The victory would lead to Sanchez signing a 4-year, 12-fight deal with Top Rank. It would also yield a top 15-ranking the WBO Featherweight world rankings allowing Sanchez to be in line for a potential title shot. The sanctioning body’s current feather champion is Oscar Valdez of Mexico.
In front of his hometown fans this past March at the Route 66 Casino, Sanchez earned a wide unanimous decision victory over 106-fight veteran German Meraz of Mexico. In the months that followed, Sanchez was rumored to be in talks talks undefeated, 2018 Olympic Silver Medalist, Shakur Stevenson. The fight never materialized but the negotiations demonstrated the level of talent that Sanchez is to set to face in the years to come.
Sanchez is currently scheduled to fight January 26 in Amarillo, Texas. An opponent has yet to be named for the date, and while he waits, Sanchez has also been slated to take on Daniel Olea (13-6-2, 5KOs) on February 2, at the at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The bout is set to take place on the Eleider Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev, WBO Light Heavyweight card.
Sanchez becomes the 6th recipient of our 2018 New Mexico Boxer of the Year award, and just the third Albuquerque boxer joining Fidel Maldonado Jr. (2013), and Jose Osorio (2017).
Here’s our top-5, 2018 SWFight New Mexico Boxer of the Year rankings:
1. Jason Sanchez (13-0, 6KO overall; 2-0 in 2018 where he claimed WBO Youth Featherweight Title)
2. Angelo Leo (15-0, 8KO overall; 4-0, 1KO in 2018)
3. Jennifer Han (17-3-1, 1KO overall; 1-0 in 2018 where she defended the IBF Featherweight Title)
4. Josh Torres (19-6-2, 11KO overall; 3-0, 3KO in 2018)
5. Ayanna Vasquez (5-0-1, 1KO overall, 2-0 in 2018)
SWFight.com New Mexico Boxer of the Year past recipients:
2018: Jason Sanchez (Albuquerque)
2017: Jose Osorio (Albuquerque)
2016: Jennifer Han (El Paso, TX/Las Cruces, NM)/ Jose Salinas – Las Cruces
2015: Jennifer Han (El Paso, TX/Las Cruces, NM)
2014: Abraham Han (El Paso, TX/Las Cruces, NM)
2013: Fidel Maldonado Jr. (Albuquerque)
2012: Austin Trout (Las Cruces)