One of the preeminent 21-and-under professional boxers in the world, unbeaten bantamweight Max “The Baby Faced Assassin” Ornelas, has moved up three slots to No. 8 in the World Boxing Organization ratings.
The Las Vegas-based Ornelas (13-0-1, 5 KOs), who is celebrating his 21st birthday today (June 11), is coming off a sensational second-round stoppage of Mexican super bantamweight Alex “Xhino” Rangel (17-10-4, 4 KOs) in the co-featured event this past May 23rd in Tucson, Arizona.
(photo by Manny “Mitts” Murillo / RJJ Boxing)
The quiet, unassuming yet dangerous Ornelas is a criminal justice major at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, as well the reigning North American Boxing Association (NABA) United States bantamweight champion.
Ornelas’ parents insisted that Max attend college as a prerequisite for him to become a prizefighter, and this fall he will start his sophomore year.
A consummate boxer who was born in California, Ornelas was 38-5 as an amateur boxer, highlighted by his bronze medal-winning performance at the National PAL Championships. He was also rated in the 123-pound division as high as No. 2 in the United States.
Understandably late for the official weigh in for his first pro fight, due his high school graduation, Ornelas made his successful pro debut June 10, 2016, at home in Las Vegas, in which he knocked out Robert Ledesma in the first round. The following day Ornelas turned 18 and he signed a promotional contract with Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions, which immediately put Ornelas on the fast track at a throwback pace, fighting nine times during his first full year as a professional.
The lone blemish on Ornelas’ otherwise perfect pro record is a two-round technical draw against 6-0 Leopoldo Martinez, which Ornelas avenged three months later in a rematch by stopping Martinez in the fifth round.
Ornelas captured the vacant NABA USA bantamweight title April 20, 2018, taking an eight-round unanimous decision over 12-3 Juan Antonio Lopez.
Ornelas is the highest-rated American-born bantamweight in the WBO rankings.