As featherweight and North Bergen, New Jersey-native Kevin Asmat (2-1, 2 KOs) prepares for his upcoming fight against Bronx-native Rafael Castillo Rosendo, who is making his professional debut on the Thursday, October 5 installment of the Mohegan Sun’s Rising Stars Boxing Series, he will once again work with his long-time trainer, Diego Rosario, and his biggest fan, his father.
Kevin grew up listening to his father talk about his days fighting as an amateur boxer in Peru before he immigrated to the United States 29 years ago. Asmat’s father dreamt of becoming a professional fighter, but after his wife became pregnant with their first child, he opted for a career in law enforcement instead. Kevin explained, “Over there, pros, when they start off, they don’t pay well. But he was very known because of the boxing. They offered him a job in police and stuff. He took the job then boxing just died for him.”
Despite no longer being a fighter himself, the elder Asmat continued to take an interest in the sport, but did not necessarily want his son to follow in his footsteps. According to Kevin, “As I was growing up and he was telling me all his stories. He was showing me how to throw a right hand, how to throw a hook, how to throw a jab. I always asked him, ‘Dad, if you would’ve put me in boxing when I was little, I probably would have been in national teams and everything.’ But he said, ‘I know all the suffering you got to do, all the training you got to do and I rather you not do that. Because I went through that and I don’t want you to go through it.'”
However, as Kevin’s interest in the sport increased, so did his father’s support. “When I first started boxing, I didn’t like getting hit,” said Asmat. “I’m in the contact sport but I don’t like getting cut. I don’t like getting hit. I like keeping my face pretty. My father liked that, so he allowed me to continue. He knew that I would protect myself in the ring. I’m pretty sure that if I was just a Mexican-type fighter getting hit a hundred times, my father would’ve not let me box.”
Now that he has begun his professional career, Kevin trains with Diego Rosario in Paterson, New Jersey but his father still works his corner. He said, “My father helps me and Diego in the corner. He comes to the sparring too. He’s very supportive. He worked my corner as an amateur. I went to the Olympic trials with him. I went to a lot of national tournaments with him. He was in my corner. As a pro, now he’s my second. Diego’s my first and then he comes in the ring with me.”
With his father and Rosario in his corner, Kevin’s confidence continues to grow. He concluded, “As time was going by as amateur, I kept racking up a lot of fights. Then I went to Peru. I made the Olympic team in Peru but they wanted me to stay over there for two years and I didn’t want to do that. I started seeing that a lot of people were turning pro that I had beat. They were making money and I already beat them, like Shakur Stevenson. He went to the Olympics and got a silver medal. When I fought him, I made him look like a regular fighter. If he could win a silver medal and I made him look like a regular fighter, I could do something with this. With my parents support and my family, I knew I could do this.”
About October 5: The Mohegan Sun’s Rising Stars Boxing Series hosts its third installment with a rare Thursday Night edition at the Arena at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. The Main Event features a ten-round middleweight match-up between Rising Stars’ staple Vaughn Alexander and former middleweight title contender Elvin Ayala. The series is presented by Mohegan Sun and Main Events and feature boxing prospects from New England and around the world. Tickets start at $40 and are available now through Ticketmaster and the Mohegan Sun box office.