Caballero just might be the next great pugilist we've been waiting for. Time will tell.
One gripe commonly sputtered in the boxing world is, where is the next great fighter coming from?
Who will be the next Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather?
Believe me people have been saying this since professional boxing began.
From John L. Sullivan to Sugar Ray Leonard fans and boxing media have claimed that there is no new star on the horizon. They’re all wrong. They’ve always been wrong.
Boxing’s next mega star may be right in front of us but is not getting the coverage at the moment. And the future stars are all prospects who we may not realize are going to fill the void.
Randy Caballero is one of these prospects and he’ll headline a fight card filled with great prospects on Friday, July 1, at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio. Golden Boy Promotions is sponsoring the talent-filled boxing show.
Coachella’s Caballero (11-0, 7 KOs) vies for the WBC Youth title against Arizona’s Alexis Santiago (8-0-1, 2 KOs) in a battle of undefeated super bantamweight prospects. It’s a crucial fight for both prospects early in their careers.
On most occasions the milieu of titles is superfluous. But the WBC Youth title brings more status than usual.
Timothy Bradley captured the WBC Youth title in 2007 and then 15 months later fought for the WBC world title and won. There are other examples.
Ironically both Bradley and Caballero fight out of the Palm Springs desert.
Caballero has won numerous boxing titles as an amateur but this will be his first as a professional. His speed and overall boxing skill has impressed those that have seen him perform in the ring.
One expert that was captivated by his talent was the great former champion Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor. When Pryor’s assistants wanted to leave the arena he convinced them to stay and watch Caballero in action. That night the Coachella speedster knocked out his opponent in four rounds. On Friday, Caballero will have a true test against another undefeated fighter. It should be a good one.
Lightweight prospect Frankie Gomez of East L.A. is another who experts predict will become a world champion some day. As an amateur he surprised many by plowing through many international amateur stars with his blistering offensive attack.
Gomez (9-0, 7 KOs) has adapted new weapons and a more strategic method of attack as a professional.
Facing Gomez will be Khadaphi Proctor (7-5-1), a strong rugged boxer from Hesperia whose last bout was a victory over undefeated Stan Martyniouk in Oakland.
It won’t be easy for Gomez who has been training in Big Bear with Abel Sanchez.
Also from East L.A. is Seniesa Estrada, a female flyweight who just recently departed from the amateur ranks and won her pro debut in May. She faces San Bernardino’s Blanca Raymundo (0-3), a talented flyweight who just hasn’t been able to get over the hump.
Estrada was considered to be one of the favorites to make the U.S. Olympic boxing team but opted to fight as a professional. After traveling to Argentina to partake in the International championships, she quickly saw that it was a losing cause.
“My style of fighting is not made for amateurs,” said Estrada, who tallied more than 95 amateur fights. “Every time I ducked under a punch the referee would warn me not to do that.”
Estrada said that in Argentina, with European and South American judges tallying the points electronically, she would blister her opponent with punishing combinations and not see a point on the electronic board.
“I would look up and she would be given a point when I was the one hitting her,” said Estrada, 19.
“My style is not made for amateurs,” said the petite girl fighter from the East L.A. area. “They want you to stand up straight in amateurs.”
The speedy flyweight has Willie Pep moves and that same “will o the wisp” set of reflexes that dazzle friends and foes alike. Estrada could very quickly emerge as a new female boxing star.
Another prospect comes from San Diego. Antonio Orozco has quickly garnered fan support with his aggressive but technical prowess that blends power with defense. The undefeated junior welter reminds some of former world champion Israel Vazquez.
Amateur star from San Bernardino
This weekend Edgar Alvarado made a splash at the U.S. Nationals in Colorado and now qualifies for the Olympic trials to be held later this summer.
Alvarado made it to the finals of the U.S. Championships and lost by one point to Chris Pearson of Ohio. Some people may be familiar with Pearson who fought for the L.A. Matadors this past year.
Though Alvarado did not win the U.S. championship as a middleweight, he will be included in the trials. Congratulations.
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Mark Melligen (21-2, 14 KOs) vs. Sebastian Lujan (37-5-2).
Fri. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m., Frankie Gomez (9-0) vs. Khadaphi Proctor (7-5-1).
Sat. Fox, 8 p.m., Hernan Marquez (30-2) vs. Edrin Dapudong (22-3).
Sat. HBO, 10:15 p.m., Wladimir Klitschko (55-3) vs. David Haye (25-1).
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?