Sports Desk: Brian Mendoza hopes to impress in PBC debut

FOX New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Brian Mendoza is excited about August 29. That’s when he will make his PBC debut against Thomas LaManna in a 154-pound clash at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

“It’s a big fight man, big opportunity,” said Mendoza. “Fighting a tough guy, he’s 28-3, only lost three times and stuff. It’s my first fight on PBC. I get to make my PBC debut and it’s just big man. Come back off that last loss, lot to prove in this one.”

Mendoza suffered the first defeat of his career in a split decision against Larry Gomez last November. Mendoza said he has cleaned up a lot of things since his last fight and is a new boxer. Mendoza is hoping to follow in the footsteps of another New Mexico boxer who left the state to train in Las Vegas, Angelo Leo. Leo recently became the WBO junior featherweight champion.

“Angelo put in a lot of work over the years,” said Mendoza. “He earned it. He deserves that and I’m just trying to guide my own way now, build my own path to get my own world title, keep representing for New Mexico in that way.” Mendoza has an 18-1 record.

In other sports, MMA bantamweight fighter John Dodson returns to the octagon Saturday to face Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 252.

“He likes to take people down excessively, all of the time, like kind of flashy,” said Dodson. “He doesn’t hold anybody down. The only reason is so he can set records for the most take downs ever because everybody can keep getting back up. We are going to see how well he can get up and how well he can hold me down. I am going to knee him in the face.” Dodson and Dvalishvili are on the main card. Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic are the headliners.

When New Mexico United returns to the pitch Saturday, they will have forward Devon Sandoval back in the lineup. Sandoval is back from injury and his presence was missed during United’s 5-2 loss at Phoenix last week.

“There’s a calming presence to Dev,” said New Mexico United Head Coach Troy Lesesne. “He’s not a loud guy, not necessarily. He’s a really strong personality and I think that that type of personality in a match, where it’s getting a little bit stretched or, in the match versus Phoenix, that is, where it’s getting a little bit stretched or it’s getting a little bit chaotic, Dev has the ability to just have a calming presence. That’s what we’re looking for in having him back in.”

New Mexico United is at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Lastly, Chaise Wolf enjoyed a strong season in the pool as a swimmer for the Artesia Bulldogs. He just didn’t get a chance to put the finishing touches on his senior season in track and field. That part of his athletic career landed in The Lost Season.

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