Boxing

Breidis Prescott: Past, Present, and Future

Breidis PrescottBy Jaime Castro-Núñez - Colombia is a country not precisely known for its boxers. Other folks, such as Gabriel García-Márquez, Shakira, Juan Pablo Montoya and Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama are more familiar to the people around the world. But Colombians take pride on boxing legends like Bernardo Caraballo, Hall-of-Famer Antonio Cervantes “Kid Pambelé”, Rodrigo “Rocky” Valdés, Miguel “Happy” Lora, Robinson Pitalúa and Fidel Bassa.

Soccer is the main sport practiced in “The Land of the Coffee” and most Colombian kids do not dream about becoming the next Oscar de la Hoya. If they want to be like any glorious sportsman, then David Beckham, René Higuita, Pele, and Diego Armando Maradona will be the guys to follow. The country is divided into five regions, but boxing has its best and stronger roots in the Caribbean zone, especially in the cities of Montería, Sincelejo, Cartagena and Barranquilla. A good ninety percent of all Colombian boxers are born in the Caribbean coast. Look at the following examples: light flyweight interim champion César Canchila, superpower Ricardo Torres, title holder Daniel Reyes and top contenders Joel Julio, Carlos Támara, Richard Gutiérrez, Juan Urango, Johnny Pérez and all-of-a-sudden sensation Breidis Prescott, a Barranquilla-born pugil who last September 6th shocked the boxing world by easily dispatching British prospect Amir Khan.

Who is this banger labeled as “another Columbian tomato can with an inflated record” that in less than a minute ruined Khan’s perfect numbers? What is ahead for this kid who stole the show at Manchester’s MEN Arena? What can be said about this “veritable novice” whose unique decent opponent is an Olympic silver medalist? Who is this fighter to whom virtually nobody even gave the remote chance of getting lucky against Khan? Let us talk a little bit about Breidis Prescott, not the paper pugil taken from Boxrec, but a factual one. Let us talk about the prospect that could not knock out a real “tomato can” named Dunis Liñán (8-7-1) but who needed only 54 seconds to defeat a pompous Amir Khan (18-0-0, 14 KO´s)… Isn’t paradoxical? Here is the story of a hammer-fisted man who entered the Manchester ring holding a “somehow inflated record” and left it with the WBO Inter-Continental lightweight belt across his waist. Here we go…

Breidis Enrique Prescott Consuegra was born on May 3, 1983, in Barranquilla, Atlántico, but he grew up in the city of Valledupar, Cesar, where he started to box at the early age of eight. “I come from a boxing family. My grandfather was a Panamanian boxer who immigrated to Colombia. My father, Manuel Prescott, learned from grandpa how to box and eventually he became a well-respected trainer in Valledupar. My brother, Daulis, who is managed by Mr. Billy Chams, is also a professional boxer. How I started to box? I was eight years and there was a local tournament, but one of the kids did not show up and they were looking for a boy with certain weight. My father weighed me in and it happened that I met the requirements. Since then, I have been practicing the sport. My hero back then was Miguel “Happy” Lora, the famous bantamweight champion from Montería and my father taught me the basics of boxing, how to move, how to punch, and things like that.”

In 1999, the 16-year-old Prescott represented Cesar in the National Boxing Championship held in the town of Galapa, Atlántico, where he fought in the bantamweight division and won the gold medal. Two years later in Buenaventura, as a juvenile, he claimed gold once again in the same tournament, but now in the 60 kilograms. From 2002 to early 2004 he collected several gold medals in a variety of tournaments held both in Colombia and overseas. “By 2004 I was already a five-time national amateur champion, so I started to think about turning pro. I wanted glory, fame. I wanted to become a champion of the world and make the money I think I deserve. So it was that in 2005 I received an offer from Juan Carlos Devia of Probox del Caribe and I signed. I debuted on July 1, 2005, in Barranquilla against Óscar Pineda, whom I knocked out in the first round. The team was very excited, specially “Ñato” Guzmán, my trainer since I turned pro.”

2006 was an incredible good year for the Prescott team. In June he claimed the Colombian Light Welterweight Title and the WBC FECARBOX Light Welterweight Title, which he successfully defended six times. In June 2008, when he faced prospect Richard Abril in Fort Lauderdale, FL, seventeen of his eighteen bouts had ended before the limit. Fourteen of those victims had been out within the first three rounds! “When I returned from Fort Lauderdale my promoter informed that I was scheduled to fight in Panama, so my trainer and I kept working out, trotting, practicing combinations. Weeks before that bout, I was told about a fight in the United Kingdom against Amir Khan. I took it without hesitation because that one was for the WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight title.”

His trainer, Miguel “Ñato” Guzmán remembers that “Breidis had been training for three months when he fought Khan. Nobody in the UK knew who Prescott was. They took him too lightly and thought he was a sloppy boxer because he had most of his fights in Colombia. But we had been training hard and got some of Khan’s fights. We studied the tapes and identified his mistakes. We realized two things: that he had no chin and that he was weak. I believe that the clue for that victory was not only the training, but also the serenity Breidis had to connect Amir Khan.” His pupil agrees. Prescott states: “I was the underdog, nobody there knew me. I knew Khan would not last four rounds. When I floored him the first time I understood he was over, I just needed to be relaxed to finish him off. The excitement came when the referee finished the counting. I was happy for my country, I was so proud of being Colombian, you know…”

Few days later Prescott landed in Barranquilla as a hero. He had done in Manchester what every single commentator outside his native land thought he would not be able to do: to be as good as his words and dispatch Amir Khan before the fourth round. They were so positive about Prescott being no more than a loser with an inflated record, that they forgot that Boxrec was created just as an aid, as a way to know the boxer’s history, but never to say how good/bad a boxer is. It is interesting to note that the same analysts who put Prescott down before facing Khan, called him “the next big thing in the division” after the bout. The following month, in October, he was relocated to Miami, FL., where he has been working out for almost two months under the tutelage of a Cuban trainer. Rumor has it he will fight next December 20th in Switzerland in the undercard of Hollyfield-Valuev.

The inevitable question is ahead of us: Is Breidis Prescott for real? I am not gonna try to answer it because I need to see more. In 54 seconds against Khan he ratified his amazing punching power, but there are many things we still do not know about him. One ESB reader made the following comment: “He Prescott knocked out the biggest and most over hyped china chinned joke boxing has ever seen. I will reserve my judgment until I have seen him face a world class operator with a chin”.

I do not know if Amir Khan is “the most over hyped china chinned joke boxing has ever seen,” but certainly his chin is not a good one. What calls my attention about that opinion is the second part, which I love because I find it wise. I definitely like Prescott, I want to see him as a world champion. I am looking for the day he makes huge money, but as a writer I can not forget that one thing is what I want and another one what he actually accomplishes. My pen will not help him against top contenders and so far the only thing I can do is to “reserve my judgment until I have seen him face a world class operator with a chin”. His future looks bright, though.

Article posted on 04.12.2008



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