San Antonio native Armando Cardenas will be appearing in his 7th professional fight Thursday when he squares off against Marco Antonio Solis on the untelevised portion of the Francisco Vargas-Will Tomlinson (HBO Latino).
The 25-year-old junior welterweight prospect has the advantage of competing on his home turf in San Antonio, Texas at the Freeman Coliseum. Cardenas has fought 5 of his 6 professional fights in San Antonio with the other bout in Floresville, Texas. It is a luxury that Cardenas enjoys as he has become a decent draw with more and more upside with every outing.
Cardenas (6-0, 4KOs) is more than happy to continue fighting in front of a hometown crowd, at least at this early juncture in his career.
“I wish I could fight every time in San Antonio, Mayweather always fights in Vegas, maybe I can always fight in San Antonio,” Cardenas said jokingly in an interview with Thaboxingvoice.com’s Anthony “Rod” Rodriguez.
Even so, Cardenas is aware that in order to take his career to the next level he will have to take his skills on the road in order to achieve the greatness that he hopes to garner. “Eventually we’re going to have to get out, but for now I love fighting in San Antonio.”
Cardenas started boxing at the early age of 10, and he competed in approximately 85 amateur fights. He had some success and managed to win some national titles in the process, but ultimately he decided to turn pro because his style and skillset were better suited for the pro ranks. As a 6’2” fighter with a long frame, Cardenas still packs a punch. This is evident by the fact that he was able to earn knockouts against his opponents wearing headgear, and he often scored those knockouts while fighting above his weight class.
Cardenas career hasn’t been without setbacks. Last year, the junior welterweight prospect made just one in-ring appearance, this compared to the 4 outings he made the year before, and the layoff affected him in the lead up to his 2015 debut.
The weight was difficult for Cardenas to lose and his training camp in the winter months didn’t help. As a result, Cardenas missed weight in his last fight, and a deal had to be reached between trainers. He didn’t let it affect his performance as he destroyed Alberto Espinoza in the 2nd round of the bout.
Learning from his mistakes, Cardenas made the decision to have a quick turnaround and only took 3 days off from his last fight before getting right back in the gym. This decision was a smart one because Cardenas will be fighting Solis in his first scheduled 6 rounder.
However, the need for a quick turnaround is also a necessity for a professional fighter that works a full-time job. Nicknamed “The Fighting Postman,” Cardenas lives up to the moniker by working full-time as a postman in San Antonio, and he has to make the necessary sacrifices in order to make real strides in the gym.
Some cynics may consider Cardenas job as a postman to be somewhat of a novelty, but it is admirable to see a professional athlete work as a civil servant. Still, Cardenas knows that the sacrifices must be made, and it is no easy feat.
“Those 8 hours I put into work, it would be nice to put them in the gym, but right now we’re on the come up, so we got to do what we got to do.”
Solis (3-0, 1KO) is also undefeated and is not showing up to lose. He will offer Cardenas the test he needs to move forward with confidence and the hope to capitalize off of the early momentum he’s created in 2015.
“We’re ready. He’s an undefeated fighter, so I know he’s coming to win. Everyone comes to win, regardless of their record. We’re ready to put on a good show, and it’ll be a tough fight, I feel it, but we’re ready for it.
“We should keep him off with the jab. We’re 6’2” at 140lbs, so usually it’s the same game plan. We’re going to try to keep him away and if something lands pretty hard [then] hopefully we can get him out of there,” Cardenas said.
Cardenas has a size advantage in the fight, but he is driven by a desire to give more than a respectable showing. He is motivated by the fans that will show up to cheer him on, and that is the driving force behind is exciting nature in the ring. He may come across as an easygoing guy, but he is as fierce as anyone else once that bell rings.
“You get in the ring and you become someone else. We’re trying to get past everybody. We’re trying to get to the next step. We get a good knockout, and I see my fans raising their hands and it makes it better for me. I take it one fight at a time. Try to put on a performance, have people watching and eventually something will come up.”