Life is like a box of chocolates or something to that effect.
Antonio Orozco was just minding his own business at home at age 10 when somebody knocked on the door looking to sell a box of the chocolate stuff. It wasn?t Forrest Gump, or Forrest Griffin.
?There was a kid doing a fund raiser for his boxing gym selling chocolates. Then my parents asked him for more info. He gave us all the details. We checked it out, I liked the environment and liked the sport and went from there,? recalled Orozco.
More than 125 amateur fights later here is Orozco under the bright lights of prizefighting.
Orozco (7-0, 5 KOs) finds himself facing Culiacan?s rugged veteran Humberto Tapia (15-14-1) on Thursday Aug. 26 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. The San Diego prizefighter is making his first appearance in L.A.
Maybe it shouldn?t be said Orozco represents only San Diego, he also spent time in Torrance and in Tecate, Mexico. Anyway you look at it he?s a junior welterweight prospect that was discovered by manager Frank Espinoza.
?He?s a real good kid. I like the way he handles himself in and out of the ring,? said Espinoza who also manages world champions Israel Vazquez and Martin Castillo. ?The kid has good power.?
When Orozco first began boxing one thing that needed adjusting was taking punches.
?The first time I got hit I didn?t know if I was happy or mad,? Orozco, 22, says of feeling that first punch. ?It?s hard to explain but I knew I had to hit him back.?
Of the seven opponents he?s faced professionally five of those have been hit back pretty hard. Now comes a stiffer test against Tapia who?s known for his iron chin.
?It?s not an easy fight for Antonio,? said Espinoza. ?But he has a real good trainer in Carlos Barragan Jr. and Sr. They?ve done good things with him.?
Several boxing experts expect Orozco to be one of the rising junior welterweight prospects that have emerged in the past year. Youngsters like Frankie Gomez, Jose Benavidez and Gary Russell Jr. have sparkled and raised interest in the always competitive 140-pound weight division.
?I never did face Frankie Gomez and Jose Benavidez,? says Orozco. ?I believe I have the potential to be a great fighter also.?
After tomorrow, there might be one more name to add to that list.
?We?ve been working hard and were prepared. I?m pretty sure people are going to be entertained,? says Orozco. ?The pressure is on but I think I?m ready for it.?
Welcome to the bright lights.
Other boxing chatter
Riverside?s undefeated Michael Franco (16-0, 11 KOs) was forced to pull out of his bantamweight bout last Friday against Adolfo Landeros of Mexico City. A last-minute medical examination by Tucson officials revealed a slight tear in his left eye. Franco was told it was minimal and should heal in two weeks.
Mauricio ?El Maestro? Herrera (15-1, 6 KOs) easily won a unanimous decision over the entertaining and talented Hector Alatorre (16-11, 5 KOs) of Tulare, California. The Riverside boxer used his jab and body attack to win every round in the eight-round distance. In between rounds, Alatorre danced to the cumbia music playing at Omega Products International in Corona. Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions, said they?re targeting Victor Ortiz for a showdown with Herrera.
Argentina?s Marcos Maidana (28-1, 27 KOs) is healthy again and faces former world champion Demarcus ?Chop Chop? Corley (37-13-1, 22 KOs) on Saturday Aug. 28, in Buenos Aires. Maidana pulled out of a junior welterweight match with Timothy Bradley in July.
Puerto Rico?s undefeated Ivan Calderon (34-0-1, 6 KOs) faces his stiffest test ever in Giovanni Segura (24-1-1, 20 KOs) on Saturday Aug. 28 in Puerto Rico. Calderon holds the WBO flyweight title and Segura the WBA. It?s a unification match that pits Segura?s hard-charging style against Calderon?s fancy footwork. It will be televised on pay-per-view.
Junior welterweight contender Edner Cherry (27-6-2, 15 KOs) is matched with Omri Lowther (14-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight match in Quebec, Canada on Saturday Aug. 28. It will be televised on ESPN.
Mexico?s top bantamweight Zulina ?La Loba? Munoz (23-1-2, 17 KOs) fights Magdelena Leija (3-7-1) in a 10-round bout on Saturday Aug. 28, in Toluca, Mexico. Munoz, 23, fights out of Mexico City.
Filipino sluggers headline a fight card in Cebu City in the Philippines. Rey ?Boom Boom? Bautista (28-2, 21 KOs) fights Alejandro Barrera (20-3, 13 KOs) in a bantamweight match and AJ ?Bazooka? Banal (22-1-1, 18 KOs) faces Luis Alberto Perez (26-4, 17 KOs).
Monty Meza-Clay (28-3, 19 KOs) clashes with Allen Litzau (13-5, 7 KOs) in a junior lightweight bout on Saturday Aug. 28 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Meza-Clay has been trying to crack the upper tier for a while. Litzau is in the same predicament. It should be explosive. For tickets (724) 513-1416.
WBO cruiserweight world titleholder Marco Huck (30-1, 23 KOs) knocked out America?s Matt Godfrey (20-2, 10 KOs) at 2:18 of round four on Saturday in Thuringin, Germany.
In Tijuana, Joksan Hernandez (21-2, 14 KOs) stopped Ira Terry (24-4, 13 KOs) in 2:32 of the first round of their junior lightweight bout. Also, Jackie Nava (22-3-2, 11 KOs) stopped Maria Miranda (13-5, 8 KOs) in 1:31 of the fourth round to retain the WBC junior featherweight world title.
Marco Antonio Rubio (48-5-1, 41 KOs) knocked out Jose Luis Zertuche (21-7-3, 16 KOs) in a battle of Mexican middleweight contenders in Guanajuato, Mexico on Saturday.
WBC junior featherweight titleholder Marcela Acuna (35-5, 17 KOs) successfully defended her crown with a 10th round stoppage of Brazil?s Rosilette Dos Santos (21-5, 13 KOs) on Saturday in Argentina.
Who's the best Mexican boxer today?