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Crossroads sparring partners to face off in Houston ring

Dec. 10, 2011 at 6:10 a.m.

Abel Resendez, 17, gets a congratulatory hug from his twin brother, Aaron, after winning his professional debut fight against Frankie Oliva at the Victoria Community Center earlier this year.

Considering their similarities and prior history with one another, one might think Saturday's boxing match between Victoria resident Abel Resendez and El Campo resident Henry Hernandez would be elsewhere.

Nevertheless, the two former sparring partners, with strong fathers guiding their boxing careers, will meet in Houston for a fight at the 135-pound classification.

For two years, Hernandez, 20, said he would drive down to Victoria to spar with the 18-year old Resendez. Both said their previous history in the ring will provide another element to Saturday's match.

"I'm going to have to change my game," Hernandez said. "It's harder to land combinations against someone who knows them."

Expect a flurry of punches at the outset of the four-round fight. Resendez said he wants to throw more punches early as opposed to his professional debut, while Hernandez said his strongest attribute might be his heart and unwillingness to quit.

Resendez (1-0) has not fought, since Aug. 13, while Hernandez (1-1, 1 KO) competed over Thanksgiving weekend in Tyler.

Resendez took a short break from boxing after his debut victory. However, with the help of his Coach Candy, father Jorge Resendez and his sponsors, he is ready for his second fight.

In that period, Resendez has worked on his quickness and endurance so he does not fade, as he did toward the conclusion of his debut against Frankie Oliva. Part of that preparation is sparring with fighters nearly twice his weight, so he is used to the sting of punches from people in his weight class.

"I saw that whenever I would connect, I would wait for him to catch his breath instead of coming back with more punches," Resendez said. "I was waiting too much. Now, my strategy in this fight is when I do connect, come with three or for more punches after the punch I land. Instead of waiting for him to catch air, (I want to) actually come with it."

The fight will be at the Arabia Shrine Temple in Houston. Also on Saturday's nine-fight slate is Houston-native Juan Leija, who fought in Victoria the night of Resendez' professional debut.

"I'm feeling great," Hernandez III said. "I am really motivated. I am ready to get this fight over with and I am ready to take myself to the next level."

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