RENO — A pair of promising young boxers hit the canvass on Saturday.
Reno’s Oscar Vasquez and Ecuador’s Ytalo Perea co-headline the sixth annual Rural Rumble at the Churchill County Fairgrounds. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the bouts begin at 7 p.m.
Vasquez (4-1) makes his third appearance in Fallon and is coming off two straight wins in the junior flyweight division. He faces Alejandro Solorio (4-7, 3 knockouts) of Los Angeles.
Despite his record, Solorio is one of the most feared lightweights in boxing, according to Terry Lane, CEO of Let’s Get It On Promotions.
Solorio carries knockout power, while Vasquez said he has been working on his counter-punching. Vasquez’s speed has lifted him through the early stages of his career, but Saturday’s main event is his first six-round fight.
“I expect a good fight and for the fans, I’m well prepared for this,” Vasquez said. “I just know hit punches hard and tries to knock you out with one punch.”
His improvement over the past year has shown in his counter-punching, he added. Vasquez said he can adapt better to his opponents using his speed and technical skills to control the bout.
As for the transition from indoors to outside, Vasquez said it doesn’t make a difference for him.
“It’s cool because it’s outside with fresh air,” he added. “At the end, it’s whoever has better preparation.”
Vasquez, though, has an advantage as he is boxing in his backyard. The past two years, his loyal group of friends, family and fans have made the trip to Fallon to watch Vasquez begin his pro career.
“That pumps me up,” he said. “The last time I lost, I promised myself I would never lose again. I can’t lose in front of my mom.”
Perea, meanwhile, was a decorated amateur coming up through the ranks in Ecuador. He possess fericous power has knocked out John Orr with one punch in the first round earlier this year in New York City.
Perea, 21, became the youngest Pan-Am Games heavyweight champion at age 19. In addition, he qualified for the 2012 Olympics as a super heavyweight, losing in the preliminary round to eventual Silver medalist Roberto Cammarelle of Italy.
Like Vasquez, the 6-foot, 245 pound Ecuadorian is also entering his first professional six-round bout against Avery Gibson (2-2-2, one knockout).
“I have a dream to become champion of the world and I will fight anywhere I have to,” Perea said through translator/manager Ely Mackay. “Any event in or out, on top of mountain is fine with me.”
As for what fans can expect, Perea said his fights on YouTube show his different styles. He has power to end fights quickly or can transition to a more technical bout.
“I have power and will use it when I have to,” Perea said. “I will do whatever it takes to win.”
The other bouts feature Carson City’s Justin Benitez, who is making his professional debut against Jimmy Jones (0-1) of Las Vegas. Another Reno boxer, Carlos Gaytan (3-1-1, 3KOs) battles Hector Hernandez of Mexico (10-6-2, 4KOs).
Fans can meet the fighters today at 6 p.m. at the Old Post Office, 90 N. Maine St. The fighters will gather for the official weigh-in. After the weigh-in, fans can mingle with the MMA fighters at CC Communications, 1750 W. Williams Ave., to kick off the Cantaloupe Pub Crawl.