COPPERAS COVE — Boxers from Texas met in the ring for a series of boxing matches on Saturday set up by Copperas Cove boxing trainer Manny Morales of the Cross Box Fitness Club.

While Miguel Espitia came in as the aggressor in the first round, his opponent, Ulyssess Landeros, danced around him with fancy footwork and was even more aggressive than Espitia.

It was the first fight of the day, with both boxers weighing 114 pounds.

Espitia hails from Cross Box Fitness Club in Copperas Cove and is trained by Morales, who is a former boxer himself.

Morales last fought in 2010 but still retains the rugged frame and demeanor of his boxing days. And while he wasn’t available for an interview at the event due to setting up everything and preparing his fighters, he spoke with the Herald earlier this week.

In order to host the event on Saturday, Morales said he must have at least five boxers in his gym registered with USA Boxing, which is the governing body for Olympic-style boxing events. Morales said he currently has 10 who are registered as amateur fighters with USA Boxing.

“I wanted to do this show because I knew it was going to bring more shows down the road,” Morales said. ” That’s what he does. I have officials who want to do different fights with different services, like army and navy and stuff like that. It’s just starting to expand. »

And Saturday’s event was a success as people filled the Copperas Cove Civic Center with crowds close to a hundred when the event kicked off around 2pm on Saturday. More than 20 boxing matches were scheduled in the afternoon and evening.

With the ringing of the bell ending the first round, Espitia regrouped in his corner with his trainer and rushed to the ring to greet Landeros with a right punch to the gut, but Landeros countered with a shot in the face of Espitia which brought the young fighter to the ground but only for a second. He stood up quickly with an icy gaze fixed on Landeros.

At the start of the third round, the fighters got to the middle of the ring and threw flurries of punches at each other as the seconds ticked away, but the hammer met the bell, ending the opening bout.

And just like that, the two shook hands and stood in the ring to see who scored the most points. The judges favored Landeros giving him the first victory of the day.

While this may have been the first fight, it showed customers what kind of an event this was going to be.