Time is not on the side of Carlos Bojorquez.

Now 34, the Mira Loma prizefighter meets Mexico’s Jose Luis Zertuche (18-2-2) in a middleweight fight that can best be called a train wreck waiting to happen. It’s two locomotives at top speed unwilling to give up the track.

The fight takes place Thursday at Orleans Casino in Las Vegas and will be televised live by the Outdoor Life Network.

“I’m older now so I have to take all of the fights,” said Bojorquez (26-8-6, 22 KOs), who rebounded from a one-sided loss to Ike Quartey last December to knock out Marlon Thomas two months ago.

Waiting for Bojorquez will be Zertuche, the stocky former Mexican Olympian who’s beaten some very decent competition including Jesus “The Hammer” Gonzalez, Rito Ruvalcaba, Grady Brewer and Marcos Primera.

Of the 22 opponents that stepped into the ring with Zertuche, 13 were stopped by knockout.

“They asked me if I wanted to take this fight, I told them I don’t care,” said Bojorquez, who was originally scheduled to meet Irish sensation John Duddy, who fell ill. “Whoever they want me to fight I will fight. I’m too old to be looking for easy fights.”

In his last 10 bouts he has five wins and five losses. Many felt the fighter known as “El Elegante” had nothing left. But when you look at his competition it’s easy to understand why.

Aside from Quartey, he lost to undefeated Joachim Alcine, Kassim Ouma, Tarvis Simms and Verno Phillips. That’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Three of those fighters held world titles.

“I know Zertuche is a tough guy,” Bojorquez says. “I love tough guys.”

Ruben Castanon, who took over the boxing preparation duties a few months ago, said he worried that Bojorquez might not have the tools necessary to stay in the fight game at the top level.

“His main thing is his agility,” said Castanon who works Bojorquez daily on agility skills meant to make him more mobile and less of a target. “And he’s not used to jabbing.”

In his blowout victory over Thomas on June 30, Bojorquez was seen firing multiple jabs and moving his head to avoid blows. It was a complete reversal of his fight against Quartey who hit him at will with jabs.

“It ain’t the same Carlos,” says Castanon who with Charlie Perez works out Bojorquez at the newly built Capital Punishment Gym in Mira Loma. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can mold him a little bit.”

Nevertheless, Bojorquez favors a toe-to-toe pitched battle where both fighters throw their best power shots and the better man emerges.

“Those are the kind of fights I like,” said Bojorquez who never hit the canvas against Quartey despite the stoppage last year.

“If you stand in front of Carlos you’re done,” said Perez as a warning.

Time will tell.

Viloria Defends

WBC mini flyweight world titleholder Brian Viloria (19-0) defends his title against Omar Romero (23-2-1) at the Orleans in the main event. It’s Viloria’s second defense of the world title he grabbed with a sizzling knockout over Mexico’s Eric Ortiz last year.

The former 2000 U.S. Olympian, now lives and trains in Los Angeles under Freddie Roach. He’s fast become one of the more exciting fighters in the world with his blend of speed and power.

Romero, though 30, has never fought outside of Mexico. It might be over quick.

Prospect check

Top Rank claims Irish Andy Lee, a middleweight, has the goods to become a pretty good fighter.

“They say he had some real good sparring workouts with Jermain Taylor in Detroit,” said Lee Samuels, a Top Rank spokesman.

Lee (3-0) meets Danny Jevic in a six round middleweight bout.

Another young pro you might want to see is El Monte’s John Molina. He’ll be fighting in a six-round junior welterweight bout.

Molina is trained by Ben Lira, who knows a thing or two about talent. He started out the careers of Terry Norris and Lupe Aquino, to name just two. Now he has Molina. Don’t miss him.

Marquez brothers triumph

Mexico City’s Rafael Marquez successfully defended his IBF bantamweight title with a ninth round knockout over Silence Mabuza last Saturday. It was similar to their first pairing when Marquez hurt Mabuza in the first round again. But this time the South African stood upright and would not go down. But he took a steady battering and was simply not strong enough to withstand Marquez’s firepower.

In the other marquee bout, older brother Juan Manuel Marquez used pinpoint accurate uppercuts to disassemble Thailand’s Terdsak Jandaeng over seven rounds. It’s a big wonder how he lost to Chris John. Someone is going to have to bring that fighter over here so he can be properly judged. It’s hard to imagine John is better than Manny Pacquiao who ended in a draw with Marquez.

Fights on television

Wed. ESPN2, 6:30 p.m., Verno Phillips (39-11-1) vs. Teddy Reid (23-7-2)

Thurs. OLN, 6 p.m., Carlos Bojorquez (26-8-6) vs. Jose Luis Zertuche (18-2-2)

Fri. ESPN2, 6:30 p.m., Edner Cherry (20-4-2) vs. Daniel Alicea (30-5-2)

Sat. pay-per-view, 6 p.m., Hasim Rahman (41-5-2) vs. Oleg Maskaev (32-5)
Humberto Soto (39-5-2) vs. Ivan Valle (24-7-1)