Come Saturday night, boxing fans will be like pigs in cool and fragrant slop.
Fights screening on Fox, and on HBO as well. Should be, maybe, a fight of the year candidate emerging from the pack, with Roberto Guerrero-Omar Figueroa headling the PBC tangoes on Fox, and with Miguel Berchelt-Takashi Miura promising heaping helpings of sweat and blood on HBO’s main event.
But there are other viewing options available to those who might want to watch some fights while they are at their local club or tavern, or doing a Walmart run with the fam. Roy Jones is promoting a fight card in Phoenix, Arizona which will stream free on Facebook, as part of the Facebook Fightnight Live series, produced by Linacre Media. And indeed, I will be ringside, helping call the action with Miguel Flores and Mike Lee, the light heavyweight contender.
Super welterweight John Vera, 16-0 with 10 Kos, scraps with Daniel Rosario (11-2 with 10 Kos) in the main event of a seven bout card, matches mad by Guy Taylor.
I chatted up Vera and Rosario to get a better sense of where they comes from, and maybe a hint of where they’re going.
“Some neighborhood friends and I walked into the gym when I was about 10,” said Vera when I asked how and why he got into boxing. “They all eventually quit, but I stayed with it. Pure joy for me. I just like it.”
He grew up in Fort Worth, TX. and as we hear from so many fighters, mom was a real deal champion in that household. “Never a father, but my mother raised my two sisters, brother, and I. My mother has been my main influence.”
And where does he think he is right now? Contender? Prospect? “Good question. What do you think? Whatever you think, that’s what I am. I know where I’m going, but I leave where I’m at to those who can look from the outside.”
What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
“Work ethic is my number one strength,” the 28 year old said. “I will outwork anyone. Consistency and discipline are my thing. I have boxing skill, power, but perhaps my best tool is my boxing brain. Now, I could see myself overtraining if I’m not careful,” he continued. “Also, my Mexican side comes out from time-to-time, and I like to exchange perhaps more than I should.”
What fight to this point taught has taught him the most and why?
“Hard to say. My last 5 or 6 have been very useful to me. Perhaps my fight versus Joey Ruelas.”
Tell me about Daniel Rosario, your foe at the Wild Horse in Chandler, Arizona, and on Facebook Fightnight Live.
“Warrior. Heavy handed. Looks like he works hard. Good luck to him.” And his prediction for Saturday night’s rumble? “Stoppage within six round,” said Vera.
Rosario also shared how he got into the sweet and savage science. “A friend brought me to the Aguas Buenas boxing gym at age 10 and I fell in love with the sport. Then I moved to a gym nearer my home. It happened to be the legendary Bairoa gym in Caguas. There I trained alongside Miguel Cotto, Juan Urango, and David Estrada just to name a few. The rest is history.”
About you, where did you grow up?
“I grew up in Caguas, Puerto Rico. My mother is Nivia Cruz and my father is also Daniel Rosario. I’m the second of four children. An older brother, Malachi, and two younger sisters, Tamaris and Katherine,” said the man who describes himself as a “future world champ.”
What are his strengths? His weaknesses?
“I had a solid amateur career with nearly 200 fights. I can box and I can knock you out with one punch. I also have a good chin,” he said. And which bout taught him the most, since he turned pro in 2009? “Each fight is a learning experience. The fight I learned from the most was the one against my former promoter who sidelined me for more than a year. That almost broke my spirit. But here I am to win.”
Tell us about John Vera.
“He’s a good fighter. Don’t know him as a person.”
And his prediction for Saturday?
“I will win in any way,” the Puerto Rican said in closing.
Ex WBA super bantam champ Rico Ramos is also on the card vs 12-2 Tony Lopez, also a solid pug.
My take: Watch some Fox, and DVR the HBO, and check in with our stream. We are interactive so you can touch base with me and Migeul and Mike during the fights.