Fighting and training in the Mexico City area brings out a certain level in a fighter. Juan Manuel Marquez can attest to that, having won world title belts in multiple weight classes.
A new generation of fighters hopes to emulate the success of Marquez, who is now promoting fight cards.
Bantamweights Brayan Rivera and Alejandro Gonzalez will square off tonight at the Auditorio Blackberry in Mexico City. The 10-round bout will be co-promoted by Marquez and another former world champion, Humberto ‘Chiquita’ Gonzalez, which will stream live on ProBox TV (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).
At Tuesday’s weigh-in, both Rivera and Gonzalez weighed in at 118.6 pounds.
Marquez is an investor in ProBox TV, which debuted last year and began promoting fights in Plant City, Florida. It is owned by Garry Jonas, who managed former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, and also includes investors, former unified light heavyweight champion Roy Jones, Jr., former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver and former world titleholder Paulie Malignaggi.
Rivera (11-3, 9 knockouts), who resides in Metepec, Mexico, last fought on October 29, defeating Odin Juarez Baez by unanimous decision. The victory over Juarez Baez came after back-to-back losses suffered by Rivera against Agustin Perez Balbuena and Luis Alvarado Morales.
The 25-year-old learned from the mistakes in those two losses and believes that have made him a better overall fighter.
“I’ve been in the gym training for four months and I got the call for this fight about a month ago,” said Rivera. “I did take a couple days off for Christmas – some celebrations with restrictions. In the couple losses prior to my last fight, I learned that I have to be a little smarter and more mature when I face tougher opponents. Gonzalez is an experienced fighter with a very good amateur record. He has power.”
Gonzalez (12-5-2, 7 KOs), like Rivera, also won his last fight. He stopped Gonzalez Garcia Duran in the fourth round.
The 23-year-old, who fought four times in 2022, has pulled off upset victories in recent months, defeating Christopher Lopez Rodriguez on September 23 and Billy Stuart in July 2021. Both entered the fight unbeaten against Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is familiar with Rivera and, although he has lost three of his last five bouts, goes into tonight’s fight full of confidence.
‘I got the call about six weeks ago for this fight,” said Gonzalez, who resides in Mexico City. “I had been training in Mexico City, where there is a lot of talent for sparring. We know each other very well going back to the amateurs. Rivera is smart and also a knockout artist and has championship boxing experience. My style is not about one-punch power, but it’s about combinations and being smart. I hurt my opponents with the combinations.”
In the co-feature, Francisco Araujo (10-1, 7 KOs) of Merida, Mexico will face Mexico City’s (10-2-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-round junior flyweight bout.
Junior middleweight Jesus Estrada (7-0, 4 KOs) of Mexico City will square off against Leyver Lopez Razgado (3-3-1, 1 KOs) of Oaxaca, Mexico in a six-round bout.
Emiliano Toscano Diaz (5-0-1, 3 KOs), another fighter from Mexico City, will face Sergio Manzo Rebolledo (3-2, 1 KO) in a six-round flyweight bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]