Mountains

Cortez boxer punches way to victory

Courtesy Photo/Joel Priest

Zamir Young bends low and connects with a jab to Grant John’s body.

Zamir Young impressive in unanimous decision win

BY IAN MACLAREN

Journal Sports Editor

Although the Rumble in the Rockies II boxing card at Sky Ute Casino included a future hall-of-famer, it was a young gun who managed to steal the show. Fighting June 28 on James Toney’s undercard, Cortez boxer Zamir Young (1-2-1) looked impressive in recording a unanimous decision victory over the previously undefeated Grant John (2-1-0). Following the crowd-pleasing performance, Young appeared eager to continue to make a name for himself as he climbs the Middleweight Division ladder.

During the early stages of Young’s fight, things looked bleak for the Cortez fighter. Following the opening bell, Young quickly ate a series of hard shots while fighting on the inside. Very quickly however, Young moved to the outside and began to establish an effective jab.

“When I went out there, I was really nervous,” explained Young. “I spent the beginning of the first round trying to figure [John] out. Once I started using my quickness, things turned around.”

Continuing to utilize his left jab to set up right hooks and uppercuts, Young raked John with multiple hard shots throughout second round. Although John looked visibly shaken, he refused to go down.

“John took a lot of my best shots,” said Young. “He is obviously a tough guy. I need to continue to add strength and muscle so I can knock guys like him out.”

Throughout the third and fourth round, Young continued to pound John until finally, with roughly 20 seconds remaining in round four, Young recorded a knockdown. For a brief second, it appeared that the fight would end, but John showed impressive toughness to beat the standing eight count.

In the fifth round, Young’s superior conditioning became apparent as he continued to circle and out throw his visibly tired opponent. Employing a combination of foot speed and head movement, Young continued to hit John while avoiding any punishment.

“My conditioning really helped me in this fight,” said Young. “I probably could have fought at least three more rounds.”

“[Young’s] endurance was much improved in this fight,” echoed trainer Frederick Hatch Jr. “He really went after [John] and the crowd appreciated that.”

By the end of the fight, there was little doubt as to the winner. The judges at ringside confirmed what everyone already knew, and Young’s arm was raised in victory. For Young, the win represented an important moment, but was by no means the end of the road.

“I have to stay on point, I can’t get too happy about this,” said Young. “This was not a title fight. I have to maintain and remember that my main goal is to get to the top.”

Although Young’s next fight has yet to be determined, plans are in the works for an August fight in Hobbs, N.M. If Young is successful there, he could possibly fight in California later this year.

Regardless of where he fights next, Young plans to continue training and improving. After Young’s latest victory and in light of his impressive work ethic, it appears that the Cortez native’s boxing future could be bright.

imaclaren@cortezjournal.com

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