Cold War III Boxing Match

Atonio Martinez
Española Boxer “Tone” Martinez Back In The Ring At Buffalo Thunder
Valley Daily Post

Brandon Holmes, right,  celebrated victories in September at Buffalo Thunder. He will return to the venue on Jan. 28. Photos by Robert Naranjo\

Española boxer Antonio “Tone” Martinez gets back into the boxing ring Jan. 28 at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino. Martinez will be one of the co-main events on the “Cold War III” boxing card promoted by Holmes Boxing. The popular local fighter has consistently been able to put fans in the seats for Holmes Boxing in his previous seven fights at Buffalo Thunder.
“Antonio is stepping into the light and showing he’s capable of carrying a card on his own,” owner Pat Holmes said. “We have the highest ticket sales in the state and he’s a big source of it.”
Santa Fe’s Brandon Holmes, son of Pat Holmes, will fight in the other main event against an opponent yet to be named. After ‘Cold War III, Brandon Holmes will be taking a hiatus from his boxing career to pursue other business interests. Pat Holmes is grooming Martinez to be the main event in his next card scheduled for April 29 at Buffalo Thunder.
“It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy,” Pat Holmes said. “He’s worked hard for it. Other fighters get a lot of bad publicity, but he’s (Martinez) is a really straight guy. Once he finishes his shift at work he goes straight to the gym to train. It’s a total sacrifice constantly.”
Martinez, 30, has a career record of six wins, two losses and four draws (six-two-four).  He works for the Department of Corrections in Santa Fe. Martinez knocked out Ivan Lucero in his most recent bout Sept. 27 at Buffalo Thunder. His opponent Jan. 28 will be Derek Cranford of El Paso, Texas. Cranford has a record of 1-0 as a boxer and also has a background in mixed martial arts. He has a reputation as a hard hitter and a stand up fighter
“He (Cranford) is looking to make a name for himself and “Tone” is the perfect guy for him to do that,” Pat Holmes said. “(Cranford) is a stand up fighter who’s fast and strong. That compliments “Tone.” He (Martinez) doesn’t want you to run. He doesn’t like to beat around the bush. He wants it up close and personal.” Martinez will fight as a welterweight at 147 pounds against Cranford. That’s heavier than his previous bouts as a junior welterweight at 140 pounds.
“I’m confident I’ll be able to handle it,” Martinez said. “I won’t have to lose nearly as much weight.” Martinez feels that he has become a better boxer, rather than a brawler, under Holmes’ training. He is constantly working on ways he can improve.
“We’ve been working on a little more head movement,” Martinez said. “Slipping punches a little better. Boxing is about being able to hit and not get hit. I’ve always known that I could take a punch, but being able to slip that punch and get off your own combination makes me a better boxer.”
Martinez has also learned to be patient and not to just look for a knockout.
‘I used to  look for that one punch to end the fight,” he said. “I still look for that shot, but now I let it come. If it happens, it happens. If not, I’m willing to go the distance.”  Martinez appreciates the support of Northern New Mexico boxing fans. “They are the best fans,” he said.
“I know they’re going to show up and support me. Fans like to see a fighter who lays it on the line and gives his all. I feel I do that.”