Brothers Aaron and Jordan Perez did not come to New Mexico intending, or even expecting, to become boxing promoters.
Yet here they are, preparing to stage their 13th card — all within state lines — under the Legacy Promotions banner.
Then like now, they say, it’s about providing opportunities for boxers in New Mexico.
Flyweight Abraham Perez (2-0, two KOs), Aaron’s son and Jordan’s nephew, is set to face San Diego’s Mulapi E Njani (9-7-3, six KOs) on Friday in a six-man main event rounds on a nine-bout card slate at the Empire Event Center, 933 Sunset SW.
The brothers took different routes to Albuquerque.
Jordan, the eldest of the two, was born in Juarez, Chihuahua and later lived in El Paso. He moved to Albuquerque because his stepfather lived here.
Los Angeles-born Aaron grew up in El Paso but moved to Roswell, following his mother and other family members.
Boxing had long been a part of the Perez’s life. Aaron was not a boxer but got involved in the sport as a trainer and judge in El Paso. In Roswell, his sons Aaron Angel and Abraham began training in the family garage and garden, sometimes trading blows with their cousins.
Later, Aaron and his wife, Cynthia, moved to Albuquerque – still without thinking about promoting boxing.
“What brought me to Albuquerque was that I wanted to work at Intel,” Aaron said, hoping to put a computer electronics degree to good use. “I went to a few interviews, Intel, Sandia Labs. I wasn’t desperate, but they never called back.
Meanwhile, Jordan Perez was working in an auto paint and body shop. Aaron had also worked in this field, doing odd jobs while going to school.
“So I said, ‘Let’s just open (our own) shop,'” Aaron said.
Thus, Perez Collision, the auto repair shop that pays the bills for Legacy Promotions, was born.
As for the birth of Legacy, it began with Eric Martinez.
Martinez, a businessman from northern New Mexico, was close friends with Spanish boxer Tony Valdez and in 2015 decided to start promoting – mainly to help Valdez fight.
By then, the Perez brothers had become part of the New Mexico boxing community. Abraham and Angel were promising amateurs. The Perezes had become friends with Albuquerque trainer Jose “Pepe” Sanchez and his sons, boxers Jose Luis and Jason.
When Martinez went looking for partners in his fledgling promotional venture, the Perezes signed.
In 2017, seven events into Legacy’s existence, Martinez died unexpectedly. The Perezes continued, even when the COVID-19 pandemic sidelined the business from March 2020 until last October. Legacy returned with a card at Kiva Auditorium at the Albuquerque Convention Center, with Aaron Angel in the main event and Abraham making his pro debut.
Friday’s card won’t include Aaron Angel (10-1-1, six KOs), who is taking a break from boxing after suffering the first loss of his pro career by a close but unanimous decision to San Diego’s Diego Elizondo. October 26.
For his younger brother, Njani is a major improvement over the opposition Abraham faced in his first two professional fights.
On October 26, Matthew Melton (pro debut) gave up on his stool after the first round. At Hobbs on November 13, Kenneth Jamerson (0-1 at the time) lasted just one minute, 37 seconds from first.
Matching his youngest son appropriately, Aaron Perez said, has been difficult due to the reputation Abraham has earned as an amateur by winning the 2020 US Olympic trials, as well as the US national boxing titles and Golden Gloves.
Nevertheless, the father and coach said he was comfortable with the game against Njani.
“He’s not a dangerous fighter, but he’s a durable fighter,” he said. “He’s the kind of guy we need to be able to take out if we want to be anything in this game.”
In the seven years of their company’s existence, the Perez brothers have helped build the careers of new Mexicans like the Sanchez brothers (16-0 combined on Legacy cards) and Albuquerque welterweight Josh Torres (7- 1 under the Legacy banner).
Friday’s card, as listed on boxrec.com as of Wednesday, is heavily populated with New Mexicans. In all eight confirmed fights, at least one corner will be occupied by a fighter who lives within state lines.
That, the Perezes promised, will be the legacy of Legacy Promotions.