Training for a Special Delivery words photos Esteban Erik Stipnieks all rights reserved

It was a biting wind…slicing from the pole in the height of winter like a knife blade. It blew hard cutting through clothing the wind itself compared the distance from the earth's surface to top of atmosphere was shallow. Yet for the first six and half feet from the earth's surface to the top of the runner's head it was brutal not quite freezing but forceful. Over the top of it there was a layer of clouds warm tropical moisture was overrunning that brutal cold. It was this layer of air that like the silver lining in a multi-use freezer bag for groceries or space blanket made things as cold as a the inside of a refrigerator. The clouds all day the silver lining reflected the energy which would have turned the day into a pleasant one back into outer space. He ran with an issue that loomed large over an upcoming athletic competition there was a joker in this deck.

The scenario I described goes for an athlete that ran in Canberra Australian Capital territory July 1991 it also applies to Armando Cardenas training for his upcoming fight at Cowboys dance hall January 26 2015 Golden Boy Leija Battah promotions. Armando braved the cold January 13 2015 road work before a workout at Angels boxing club. Armando's road work took from near one of San Antonio's parks to Woodlawn totally west side. It was a route that well you try to avoid running after dark. Armando is a postman this was after he delivered mail to the near east side walking route east of I-35 near the Alamo dome. This route by itself would wipe out many couch potatos or well the route's length is a good workout in itself. Years before he and the runner that ran in an Australian winter shared the same gym…he was a middle school student then silver gloves Junior Olympic level he was driven by the runner who trained in Australia to the state silver Gloves McKinney Texas.

Armando will be facing Alberto Espinosa who is trained by Carlos Sacrieste. For San Antonio boxing fans this represents a bit of a grudge match between the corners. Joe Lopez of Angels boxing club was where John Michael Johnson got his start, Robert Quiroga trained at Angels his portrait painted dominates the east wall of the compact gym. Strangely enough one of the amateurs training bears a faint resemblance to Bam Bam with thinning black hair. Carlos is the bad boy of local boxing who well you gotta know when sign the contract the correct letters of a title sanctioning organization and who it is run by and not letting a reporter know….on the other side Carlos spoke bitter truth during the training session about another aspect of local boxing which I have covered. There is a huge age difference between the two trainers and huge attitude difference. The two trainers seemingly only have one thing in common they train boxers in San Antonio.

Watching Armando work I noticed he had learned some lessons from his previous bout. Boxers with his reach in that weight class are not supposed to get into close in exchanges but sometimes they do. He has sparred with Benjamin Whittaker recently as Benjamin Whittaker is preparing for a road trip to Laredo he will facing a Laredo fighter on his home turf.

This bout will not be televised so you have to go to Cowboys dancehall to see it live. The bout is interesting because Carlos is in my opinion despite his youth ONE OF THE BETTER trainers of boxers in San Antonio. Kinky Friedman one quipped about Dallas Cowboys of the early 1990s that DFW rooted for Goliath over David. Well Armando has more in common with the cowboys teams who lost at Lambeau whether the QB the Dandy Don or Tony Romo. Back to Main page