Orozco's Family Makes Him Relentless in Ring

OrozcoFrederick Hoganphotos

re-lent-less: 1. steady and persistent 2. unyieldingly severe

For some, the way they work and live boils down to a simple philosophy. “I work hard for my family. Everything I do, all the time, is for their benefit,” 25 year old Antonio Orozco said. “My number one priority is to make sure they're always well taken care of and safe.”

Orozco, a junior welterweight (140 pounds) from San Diego with a perfect record of 17 wins, 0 losses and 13 knockouts, is set to fight Ivan Alvarez (29-3, 23 KO's) as part of the boxing card headlined by Abner Mares Vs. Jhonny Gonzalez on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Orozco's fight will be broadcast on Showtime Extreme.

He started his professional career in 2008 with a third round knockout of Ricardo Martinez at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario. Since then, Orozco's performances have caused a buzz among media and fans who've watched him fight live and on the Showtime Extreme network. His style is composed of heavy handed punching, a willingness to engage and unrelenting pressure. Hence the nickname “Relentless”.

“It fits me well,” Orozco said. “It's a nickname I want to live up to every time I step into the ring.”

Respected manager Frank Espinoza, who knows a thing or two about evaluating talent, agrees the moniker suits him perfectly. “When he fights, he's coming to inflict damage and there's no stopping him,” Espinoza said. “He's definitely relentless.”

Espinoza also manages the careers of Abner Mares, Daniel Ponce De Leon and Oscar Valdez just to name a few. With more than twenty years experience and eight world champions to his credit, he's seen just about everything in the industry. Espinoza believes Orozco's work ethic, skill level and intensity is indicative of a fighter with a bright future. “He's going places. He's got a killer instinct and a style that fans love,” Espinoza said. “He's a great kid too. Once people get to know him, they root for him.”

Orozco fought over a hundred times as an amateur. He had 5 professional fights when Espinoza signed him. “Frank has a lot of influence in the business and when he approached me to sign with him, I saw it as an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Orozco, who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. “He manages a lot of top fighters and thanks to him we're in a better position than before he signed us. I'm very grateful.”

Boxing fans around the world will soon get a chance to learn more about him. He just started filming a behind the scenes reality show which will broadcast on MundoFox.

His trainer, Carlos Barragan, thinks viewers will become fans of Orozco the fighter and the man. “He's a great father and husband. He's married to his high school sweetheart Claudia and he's a very deep and smart person,” said Barragan who owns the House of Boxing gym where Orozco trains. “He's a quality individual and I'm happy viewers will get to see that side of him.”

The TV show is intriguing but Orozco's priorities are clear. “All of this is new to me and it's very interesting but my focus is on winning Saturday night,” he said. “I always plan to be spectacular but getting my hand raised at the end of the night is what's important.”

This will be Orozco's first time fighting a the StubHub Center. The place was formerly known as the Home Depot Center. It's without a doubt the best outdoor venue for boxing in southern California. The setting has been host to some unforgettable fights. “It's an honor to fight in the same place where Israel Vazquez defeated Rafael Marquez. That was an incredible fight,” remembers Orozco of the 2007 fight of the year candidate. “It's a venue where very demanding boxing fans show up. I plan to put on a show for them.”

Barragan is confident Orozco will shine. “I think we're going to see an Antonio Orozco who's decisive and level headed. Someone who is relentless but in control,” he said. “He's matured quite a bit in the last few years and he's only getting better. He's mentally tough, he won't fold under pressure and has a very high work rate.”

“I believe in hard work. I did some vicious sparring with Carlos Molina and David Estrada for this camp,” Orozco said. “If you put the work in, you get results.”

Hard work was an example his parents provided for him and now he's passing the same lessons down to his two sons. “Because of them I learned the importance of work ethic, dedication and family,” he said. “I owe them a lot. I know I'm the one in the ring fighting, but this career isn't just for me, it's just as much for them too.”

Mares vs. Gonzalez

Three division world champion and current WBC featherweight king, Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO's), takes on Jhonny Gonzalez as the main event in what should be an exciting night of boxing at the StubHub Center. Mares has faced and defeated six former world champions in a row. Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KO's), also a former world champion, is a heavy hitter and always dangerous.

Also on the card, WBC super bantamweight champion Victor Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KO's) defends his title against Leo Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KO's). If you can make it to the StubHub, it's highly recommended you do so. The crowds are very vocal and the atmosphere can reach electric levels.

The main event and the co-main event will be aired on Showtime. The night of boxing is being promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.

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