A Tale of Two Boxers

On June 18, 2011, two young, professional boxers (Christian Lao and Josh Crespo) were scheduled to appear on a Bulldog Cartel Promotions fight card at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.  This boxing show was part of The New Generation Boxing Series and featured mainly Connecticut based fighters.  Both fighters were interviewed prior to entering the ring.

Christian Lao is a 21 year old junior welterweight who weighed in at 141 lbs.  He was born in Hartford and currently lives in Meriden.  He is a high school graduate who has completed a semester of general studies at Naugatuck Community College.  He is employed at the Home Depot in New Haven where he unloads trucks and does set up work.

He had an impressive amateur background with over 70 fights, winning 50.  He captured Golden Gloves titles in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.  His pro record to date is 2-0-0.  Both his fights were at the Foxwoods Casino.  In his first fight, he scored a one round knockout.  His second was a four round unanimous decision.

Josh Crespo was making his pro debut as a 122 lbs. junior featherweight.  He is 22 years old and has had 31 amateur fights.  His record was 16-15.  He advised that most of his losses were split decisions that could have gone either way.  He lives in New Haven and is employed as a factory worker in Branford, CN, making automobile brakes.  He hopes that boxing will open doors that to date have been closed to him.

Both boxers train at the American Martial Arts Gym in East Haven which is owned by movie actor Chuck Norris.  Mike Conroy manages and trains them.  He is assisted by John Spehar.  Collectively, Conroy and Spehar have had over 60 years experience as participants and trainers in boxing and mixed marital arts sports.

Unfortunately, Christian Lao’s third pro fight proved to be a disaster – he was stopped in 26 seconds of the second round by a rugged Puerto Rican fighter named Jose Calderon.  Josh Crespo fared  better.  He fought a four round draw with Frankie Garriga, a Bronx, NY, fighter.

After their fights, Lao and Crespo seemed upbeat.  Although Lao had been stunned at the start of the second round, he felt that the referee had stopped the fight prematurely in the interest of boxer safety.  I agreed with him.  Crespo was happy that he had survived his first pro fight against a tough New Yorker.  Both indicated that they would be back in the boxing gym soon hoping to succeed in the toughest of sports.

Ed Campbell
Campbell Boxing Report