Where Are The Colombian Prospects?

Jaime Castro-Núñez - On November 30, 2009 I wrote an article about Colombia’s best prospects and I think it is time to make an update on these fighters. ESB readers understand the fact that many Colombian boxers have fancy records, only to be schooled when fighting in the US, so most of the times we really don’t know about their boxing abilities until they match here. That is so true that when Ricardo Torres faced Miguel Cotto in 2005 the wise Larry Merchant exclaimed Who knows what we have here! Two years have passed since my 2009 article and I hope readers are by now familiar with some of the boxers I believed would entertain the USA audience in the following years..

Darley Pérez, 28
Record: 24-0-0, KO’s 18
Boxed rounds: 97
Knock out percentage: 75%
Division: lightweight
Residence: Barranquilla, Atlántico
Manager: Billy Chams (Cuadrilátero)
Trainer: Orlando Pineda
Next bout: Alain Hernández (18-9-2) Ontario, CA. April 6.
Comments: With five victories in The United States against fighters such as José Reyes and Fernando Trejo, Darley Pérez is Colombia’s biggest hope for another world title. He is strong, intelligent and disciplined. He made his USA debut in December 2010 defeating Ramesis Gil by way of technical knockout in the fourth round. Later he defeated José Reyes in Florida. In the second half on 2011 his managers sent him to Santa Fe Springs, CA where he has been training since then. Scheduled to fight in Ontario, CA against Alain Hernández this coming Friday, I think Pérez is getting closer to a championship match.

Eléider Álvarez, 27
Record: 7-0-0, KO’s 5
Boxed rounds: 21
Knockout percentage: 71%
Division: light weavyweight
Residence: Montreal, Quebec
Manager: Yvon Michel (GYM)
Trainer: Marc Ramsay
Next bout: April 20, 2012. Opponent TBA. Montreal, Quebec
Comments: Álvarez moved to Montreal in early 2009 and won his three fights, two via knockout and one by UD. In December 2009 he returned to Colombia for the New Year festival, but he had problems with his Canadian visa and had to remain in his native Apartadó all 2010. In 2011 he was able to return to Quebec and resumed his boxing career. Undefeated in seven professional bouts, his last fight was last December when he captured the vacant WBO NABO light heavyweight title after dispatching the more experienced Emilio Cayetano (21-3-0) in just one round.

Óscar Rivas, 24
Record: 9-0-0, KO’s 6
Boxed rounds: 29
Knockout percentage: 66%
Division: heavyweight
Residence: Montreal, Canada
Manager: Yvon Michel (GYM)
Trainer: Marc Ramsay
Next bout: April 20, 2012. Opponent TBA. Montreal, Quebec
Comments: Rivas shared with Álvarez the same fate in 2010. Inactive for a year, Kaboom returned to Quebec in 2011 and fought six times with the same amount of victories. He is tough and hard-hitter. Even though a heavyweight from Colombia is an oddity, Rivas found in Canada a land where he can learn and train in order to be Colombia´s first heavyweight champion. With the Klitschkos around becoming a champion will not be an easy task, but not impossible.

Jhonatan Romero, 25
Record: 20-0-0, KO’s 12
Boxed rounds: 87
Knockout percentage: 60%
Division: super bantamweight
Residence: Barranquilla, Colombia
Manager: Billy Chams (Cuadrilátero)
Trainer: Orlando Pineda
Next bout: TBA
Comments: Known in Colombia as Momo, Jhonatan Romero is another of the many Colombian boxers brought to the USA thanks to the hard work of Barranquilla-based manager Billy Chams. Romero´s biggest asset is his ability to move and walk through the ring. He debuted in the USA on June 24, 2011 defeating Cecilio Santos in Ontario, CA. Born in the beautiful city of Cali, Romero´s biggest achievement so far is a SD victory over Chris Ávalos in late 2011.

William Urina, 26
Record: 20-2-0, KO’s 17
Boxed rounds: 92
Knockout percentage: 76%
Division: super flyweight
Residence: Barranquilla, Colombia
Manager: Billy Chams (Cuadrilátero)
Trainer: Orlando Pineda
Next bout: TBA
Comments: 2011 was not a good year for William Urina. Early that year he had a tremendous fight against Mexican Johnny García in Cancún, but he did not do enough to win the war. Later he faced Argentinian Omar Narvaez for the WBO super flyweight title, but failed to defeat the tough champion. I think Urina has the talent to shine in his division and eventually get another title chance.

Anuar Salas, 24
Record: 11-1-0, KO’s 9
Boxed rounds: 44
Knockout percentage: 75%
Division: flyweight
Residence: Montería, Colombia
Manager: Andy Espinosa (Sinubox)
Trainer: Pedro Vanegas
Next bout: TBA
Comments: Anuar Salas had only three professional fights when he faced in Mexico the more experienced Wilbert Uicab for the WBC silver flyweight title in July 2011. Salas officially lost that fight, but those who watched it may have a very different opinion. Anuar Salas is a skilled fighter and if he is properly managed I am sure he will capture a world title in one or two years.

Article posted on 02.04.2012

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