Recently, three Roswell men were honored for their contributions to boxing by the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame.
Dr. Reynaldo Martinez is a 61-year-old physician working in his home town of Roswell. He will tell anyone that the smartest thing he did in high school is join the Goddard wrestling team. He was amazed that you could work yourself to near-death exhaustion and then come back the next day and the next year eager to do it all again.
He is a proponent for and supporter of youth combat sports. He has witnessed many young lives redirected by activities such as boxing, wrestling, football, jujitsu and karate. He counsels the parents of young people that are getting in trouble or bullied to get them out from behind the screens and onto the mats.
Dr. Martinez is a veteran of the United States Navy and United States Army. He served for 12 years as both an NCO and a commissioned officer. During his military adventures, he was able to complete the Honolulu Marathon and the Greek Marathon.
Dr. Martinez got his start as a sports physician when he was a resident on an orthopedics rotation. He was invited to work the football sidelines on Friday nights and he has been on that line for all the Roswell and Goddard high school football games for the past 20 years.
Ten years ago, he was asked by his brother, Jerry Martinez, to help with the Golden Gloves physicals and to medically supervise the fights ringside. He has been doing this every year since then. He has worked ringside for almost all amateur and professional boxing and MMA events in Roswell for the past 10 years. Dr. Martinez’s most recent addition to his sports physician repertoire is women’s roller derby bouts.
Dr. Martinez also volunteers at a free clinic that primarily serves uninsured dairy workers. He is a Christian and attends Grace Community Church where he serves on the security team.
Dr. Martinez has been married to Lori for 32 years. They have sons Joseph and Lucas, both Eagle Scouts and warriors. In high school, they both wrestled and Lucas also played football. Joseph is married and is a state wrestling placer and the assistant wrestling coach at Roswell High School. Lucas is studying welding and mechanical engineering at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell.
Jerry D. Martinez, founder of the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame, is a boxing legend in New Mexico. He is known in the profession for his steely determination, iron will, artistic talent and absolute love of the sport. Martinez was born on Nov. 13, 1950, in Roswell. In school, he took to all sports but came to admire the individual challenge of boxing.
As an amateur, with a career of 100-plus bouts, he won three state championships at 125 pounds. His first trip to Nationals was to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1969 where he competed along with Ernie Shavers. His second trip was to Las Vegas, in 1970, where he competed at 127 pounds. After knocking out Harold Johnson of Toledo, Ohio, for a spot in the finals, he lost a close battle with “Stormin” Norman Goins to take runner-up. Known as a tremendous competitor, he turned pro in 1975.
By 1980, with a streak of 18 wins and no losses, it became difficult to find opponents. After an 11-month layoff, he went up in weight class to battle Pete Seward of Detroit, who, Martinez said, he hit with everything but the kitchen sink and lost. As a southpaw, he had a unique boxing style and a confusing, right-handed, perfect stance. Sandy Pino, 2018 honoree, judged several of his fights.
After his boxing career, he attended the University of New Mexico where he majored in English. He worked for the Roswell Police Department for 12 years and served in the Army National Guard for 23 years. Jerry is the oldest of his siblings: three brothers — Ray Martinez is a 2018 honoree — and nine sisters.
In 2000, Jerry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A 13-hour surgery successfully implanted A DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) device to control his brain rhythms, motor skills and speech.
His wife Linda, of 27 years, has been his great supporter. He was elected into the El Paso Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013. The New Mexico Board of Directors voted unanimously to formally induct Jerry as member and founder of the organization.
Jim Lilley has supported boxing for seven decades. He was born on Sept. 15, 1928, in Atlanta, Georgia and completed high school at the New Mexico Military Institute in 1945. After graduation, he joined the Army and served in the occupational forces in Japan until 1947. He attended the University of Texas but was recalled for active duty in Korea in the 187th Airborne RCT as a paratrooper. He boxed in the U.S. Army and at the University of Texas.
After moving to Roswell in 1953, Lilley began his association with Golden Gloves when he joined Sertoma — an acronym for Service to Mankind — which hosted the local and New Mexico state Golden Gloves tournaments. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Lilley helped train the Sertoma Club team and refereed boxing matches when he was not working the corners. He was instrumental in producing local, regional and state Golden Gloves tournaments for more than 20 years. He was director of the state’s Golden Gloves tournament for many years and accompanied the New Mexico champions to numerous national tournaments.
During his years of involvement with Golden Gloves, Lilley spent his weekends taking boys and young men to matches around the state. During the week, he and Charlie “Kid Chocolate” McGarrity trained boxers, and Lilley organized local matches. He was admired for his skill at organizing state tournaments, which at times drew more than a thousand spectators each night.
He was an associate of many of the big names in Golden Gloves during its heyday — Stan Gallup, Sammy Burke, Bob Stevens, Willie Hall and Carlos Anaya.
Lilley served on the New Mexico State Athletic Commission from 1997-2000. Until two years ago, he assisted in training boxers at the New Mexico Military Institute.
He and wife Pat Sommer Lilley raised 10 children: Joe, Mike, Frank, Chris, Tom, Ann, Danny, Monica, Jess and Kay.