CORK, Ireland (Feb. 23, 2015) – Veteran boxing trainer Joe Goossen is high on Cuban super bantamweight prospect Marcos Forestal (1-0, 1 KO), especially after the former amateur star’s professional debut February 13, in which he put 56-fight veteran Ignac “The Test” Kassai to sleep in the second round of their fight in Queens, New York.
A three-time Cuban National champion, the 25-year-old Forestal defeated 2012 Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Rameriez 14 months ago and was unbeaten in three World Series of Boxing matches for undefeated 2014 team champion Cuba Domadores before he defected to the United States last April.
Forestal, now fighting out of Los Angeles, is a 5′ 8″ southpaw who put Kassai to sleep with a in the second round. He established himself in the opening round by assaulting an overmatched Kassai with a barrage of effective punches in the opening round. At the beginning of round two, Forestal nailed Kassai with a powerful, straight left-handed punch to the temple, dropping the dazed Kassai to the canvas. Kassai barely beat the 10-count but referee Ricky Gonzalez halted the action because Kassai was clearly in no state to continue.
“I thought he was explosive in his pro debut,” Goossen spoke about Forestal. “He is a very experienced guy with close to 300 amateur fights. He has a win over the 2012 Olympic gold medalist (Rameriez), who my fighter from Mongolia, Olympic silver medalist Tugstsogt Nyambayar, lost to in the Olympic final. Forestal and Nyambayar train and spar together. They’ve had some spirited sparring sessions, like it’s a real fight.
“Forestal is what I call a game player from what I saw in his first pro fight. He’s good fighting in the gym but, like a lot of champions, he lets loose when he’s in a fight without head gear and using lighter gloves. I saw him throw a fuselage of punches – non-stop, accurate and vicious – never letting his opponent to start punching. This guy had a lot of pro fights but he couldn’t get off against Forestal. Honestly, I was even more impressed by Marcos than I thought I’d be going into the fight.”
Goossen has trained numerous world champions including southpaws such as another Cuban, Joel Casamayor, as well as Michael Nunn and Frankie Liles. The Los Angeles-based trainer feels Forestal compares favorably, albeit as this early stage of his young career, to the aforementioned trio of world title belt owners.
“Joe Goossen is an amazing coach and I am delighted that he decided to train Marcos,” Forestal’s manager Gary Hyde noted. “He has trained many world champions, many of whom have been in epic fights. Marcos will greatly benefit from working with Joe.”
Forestal is tentatively scheduled to have his second pro fight March 6 against an opponent to be determined in Glendale, California.
“I trained another Cuban southpaw, Casamayor, who was explosive as a pro like Marcos,” Goossen added. “Marcos is like Joel, aggressive and he lets his punches go. In time, he will settle into his own signature style.”