Bronx Fighter Wins Pro Debut At Garden

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

Ismael Villarreal of the Bronx a promising prospect at 154 lbs. had a successful pro debut to open the card of boxing in the Garden Theatre. It was a unanimous four-round decision over Race Sawyer of Utah who is winless in five fights as Villarreal used jabs and went to the body. Judges at ringside had it 40-35 and 40-36.

The 20-year old Villarreal is  a two-time New York City Golden Gloves champion and the  son of former super lightweight fighter Otto Villarreal who fought against Hall of Famer Hector Camacho and former champions Zab Judah and Kermit Cintron.

“It totally felt different than the amateurs,” said Villarreal. “There were so many more people looking at me. I was trying to look good. I was focused on the knockout because it was my very first professional fight. I learned I have to work harder and be careful not to get hit.”

Villarreal, a physical education major at Bronx Community College, residing in the Bronx River area, used a solid jab in the first round and wanted to get the job done early and was focusing on disposing his opponent in the opening round.

“I was worried about the knockout and let it come naturally,” he said about nerves setting in before the debut.”Move my head more, jab more, keep my hands up,” he said about the next fight that awaits him in the next few months.

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