LOS ANGELES-Normally when a guy gets knocked down during a fight, skepticism emerges, but not when the prospect is a kid named Antonio Orozco. A dominating win convinced many that a phantom knockdown is not the norm for the youngster from San Diego.
Orozco, 23, has convinced Golden Boy Promotions that he’s got star quality and fits the bill for the future on the Los Angeles-based company’s constant search for the next Oscar De La Hoya.
Orozco arrived Wednesday morning at the downtown office of Golden Boy with his team, including manager Frank Espinoza and co-promoter Frankie Espinoza Jr. Golden Boy signed the San Diego fighter and will be the lead promoter with Espinoza Promotions sharing credit.
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” says Orozco (11-0, 8 KOs) a junior welterweight who spent years in Tecate, Mexico. “It’s a promotion company respected by everyone.”
Many envision Orozco as a bigger version of Israel Vazquez, a slugger who can box and defend while forging forward in an impressive and aggressive manner.
“We hope to show our skill,” said Orozco, 23, who now lives in National City.
Espinoza signed to manage Orozco last year and the junior welterweight fought on several Golden Boy cards. Top Rank also got a look at the likeable prizefighter whose style captivates all that see him. Even last Friday when he was dropped by a punch that seemingly nobody saw.
“Even I didn’t see the punch,” joked Orozco, who got up quickly without hesitation and mowed down the clever Josh Beeman in three rounds.
So far his biggest win came against Manny Aguilar who had 14 wins and one defeat when they met last March in Orange County. Orozco knocked him out in one round.
“I’m here to make my dreams come true,” Orozco said.
Other boxing chatter
Pico Rivera’s Rico Ramos (19-0, 10 KOs) fights Japan’s Akifumi Shimoda (23-2-1, 10 KOs) for the WBA featherweight world title on Saturday July 9. The speedy Ramos is making his first bid for a world title. Shimoda is making his first world championship defense. The title fight takes place in Atlantic City, New Jersey. On the same card former middleweight world champion Paul Williams meets Cuba’s Erislandy Lara.
Featherweight prospect Ronnie Rios (14-0, 6 KOs) recently signed a five-year contract with manager Frank Espinoza. The Santa Ana boxer is scheduled to fight at Las Vegas on July 23, when WBA junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan defends his title against Zab Judah. Rios, 21, fights under the Golden Boy Promotions banner.
Oxnard’s Javier “Pelos” Garcia (4-2-1, 4 KOs) stopped Japan’s Takashi Takenaka (0-1) in round two at Commerce Casino on Friday July 1. Other winners were Carlos Rodriguez (1-0), Herbert Acevedo (4-0), and Allan Benitez (1-1). Heavyweights Steve Fierro and Cornell Davis fought to a draw in the All Star Promotions fight card. MMA results: Riverside’s Keith Carson (4-2-1), Dylan Martinez, Adam Tua and Nicholas Navarro all won their bouts.
Coachella’s Randy “El Matador” Caballero grabbed the WBC Youth super bantamweight title by unanimous decision over Arizona’s talented Alexis Santiago after eight rounds at Fantasy Springs Casino. Other winners were East L.A.’s Frankie Gomez and Seniesa Estrada, San Diego’s Antonio Orozco, San Bernardino’s Juan Sandoval and Coachella’s Lupe Salcido.
WBA flyweight world titleholder Hernan “Tyson” Marquez (31-2, 24 KOs) knocked out Edrin Dapudong (22-4, 13 KOs) of the Philippines at 1:49 of round three to retain the title on Saturday in Hermasillo, Mexico. It was the southpaw slugger’s first defense of the title he won by stopping Luis Concepcion of Panama last April.
WBA junior bantamweight titleholder Hugo Cazares (34-6-2, 24 KOs) defends against Arturo Badillo (20-1, 18 KOs) on Saturday July 9, in Mazatlan, Mexico. Cazares is making his fourth world title defense. He’s a former junior flyweight world champion. Badillo fights out of Tijuana.
Jesus “El Martillo” Gonzalez (26-1, 14 KOs) meets Henry Buchanan (20-2, 13 KOs) for the vacant NABF super middleweight title on Friday in Phoenix. Both fighters need the win to become part of the super middleweight sweepstakes when a victor is declared for the ongoing Super Six Super Middleweight tournament.
Canada’s Lucian Bute (28-0, 23 KOs) defends the IBF super middleweight world title against France’s Jean Paul Mendy (29-0-1, 16 KOs) on Saturday July 9 in Bucharest, Romania. Bute is originally from Romania and is making his eighth world title defense.
Mexico’s Jhonny Gonzalez (48-7, 42 KOs) defends the WBC featherweight world title against Tomas Villa (23-7-4, 14 KOs) of Chihuahua, Mexico. The fight takes place in Atlantic City on Saturday. Gonzalez is also a former bantamweight world champion from Mexico City.
WBA featherweight titleholder Jorge Barros (33-1-1, 18 KOs) retained the world title by split decision over former champion Celestino Caballero (34-4, 23 KOs) of Panama. The title fight took place last Saturday in Barros country Argentina. It was his second title defense.
WBO, WBC and IBF heavyweight titleholder Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) of Ukrained beat Great Britain’s David Haye (25-2, 23 KOs) to take his WBA heavyweight title. However, Klitschko’s consecutive knockout streak was snapped at five. The contest went to a 12-round unanimous decision in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday.
IBF flyweight titleholder Arely Mucino (13-0-1, 8 KOs) knocked out Soledad Macedo (10-7-1) to keep the title. IBF junior flyweight Jessica Chavez (12-3-2, 3 KOs) stopped challenger Mayerli Altamar (10-2-2, 5 KOs) of Colombia in round five; and IBF minimum weight titleholder Katia Gutierrez (13-3) beat Ana Arrazola (20-7-3, 17 KOs) to keep the title. All three fights took place in Monterrey, Mexico on Saturday.
WBC flyweight titleholder Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (81-3-1, 44 KOs) defeated Japan’s Takuya Kogawa (17-2, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision to retain the title in his country Thailand on Friday. Wonjongkam, 33, is a two-time flyweight world champion.
WBA junior featherweight titleholder Chanttall Martinez (14-4, 6 KOs) won by knock out over Colombia’s Paulina Cardona (18-9-4) at 1:11 of round eight. The fight occurred at Panama City on Friday.