An exclusive article written by celebrated boxing writer Marc Livitz
There are but a few places in the United States which do not experience a sweltering summer. Many of us are familiar with the type of infernal season which beckons unwelcomed beads of sweat long before we can even hope for the air conditioning in our car to appear functional. We observe the joggers and cyclists who are either brave or just crazed enough to ignore the heat to reach their respective goals. The fair city of San Antonio, Texas is no exception to the examples just mentioned and a certain resident of the Alamo City may have taken the concept of roadwork to an entirely new plateau. This is exactly where Armando Cardenas plies his trade as not only an up and coming professional boxer, but also a full time employee of the United States Postal Service.
Armando will be among several local as well as hometown boxers who will participate in a hotly anticipated night of fights at Nelson Wolff Stadium on Saturday, August 30.
The undoubtedly tedious act of balancing two careers could easily discourage some of us, but the man who hails from the city’s west side takes it all in a comforting stride just short of a typical fighter’s swagger. “I was born and raised in San Antonio. I’ve been a mailman for two years now and I figured if I had to work while I’m progressing as a boxer, then it may as well be at the post office”, said the undefeated twenty four year old in a recent interview. “It’s a pretty good gig. I grew up on the west side and I deliver out the mail out there now. I love being the mailman and getting recognized by friends old and new.”
Various routes lead a fighter to the ring for the first time. Something clicks, an interest is sparked and a new love is easily kindled. For Armando, who is aptly nicknamed “The Fighting Postman”, the first date between he and the sweet science is one of humble beginnings and almost expected motherly concern. Cardenas elaborated, “Although I never played sports in high school, I felt I could go in any sport I wanted. I had already started fighting at nine years of age with my cousin, (fighter) Alex Rios. Once I eventually stuck to going to the boxing gym, I made a deal with my mom that I'd keep my grades up and not come home too beat up.”
Pieces thereafter fell into place for the amiable and charming pugilist as he found his place at Angel’s Boxing Club in San Antonio, which holds its respective place in Texas boxing lore as the locale where former IBF super flyweight champion Robert Quiroga, whose life was tragically cut short ten years ago, honed his trade. Armando Cardenas (4-0, 3 KO’s) had 85 bouts as an amateur before he turned professional in 2012. Among his hard fought accolades was a spot in a local Golden Gloves tournament as well as participation in the Junior Olympics and one national title. Next weekend, “The Fighting Postman” will take part in a four round, light welterweight contest against fellow Texan James Burns.
Armando may be just four fights into his professional journey, yet he is fully aware there are fewer more foolish errors than overlooking an opponent, regardless of his record. “I’ve seen a few fights of his on the internet. He (Burns, 1-4-1, 1 KO) is 1-4 but I know he’s a tough guy and he’s never been knocked out. This will be a good test for me to see where I'm at”, said the San Antonio fighter, who shortly thereafter referenced one of his boxing idols. “Still, though I’m “The Fighting Postman”. I'm a boxer who always sticks to the basics. I admit that I have a little Diego (“Chico” Corrales) in me. I like to get in there and really fight. He (Corrales) could outbox guys but eventually he’d find himself inside and he had to throw back.”
As the days go by, Armando Cardenas remains grounded and of the opinion that pretension should stay away in all its forms. He is quick to draw from the example set by his hometown sports team, the five-time world champion San Antonio Spurs. “Of course, I want to be a contender but I look at the big picture all of the time. I’d like to build a fan base and remain humble just like the Spurs”, said Cardenas. “I'm trying to do good by my city and maintain the high standards. If you have your city behind you, then that's all you need."
You can meet San Antonio's own Armando "El Cartero" Cardenas tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, August 23, 2 p.m. at Còpa Ultralounge, located at 4429 Walzem Rd., where TMB Entertainment will stage a final press conference for the upcoming boxing event at Nelson Wolff Stadium, “Battle at the Ballpark”.
Tickets are priced at $25 in General Admission, $50 at ringside, and $500 for special VIP tables for the exclusive August 30th presentation at "The Wolff", and can be purchased at the ticket offices of Nelson Wolff Stadium (210-675-7275), or by calling 210-560-8181 & 210-387-6859.