COLON, Panama (July 24, 2007) – With the sun nearly set and the temperature still a warm and humid 85 degrees Fahrenheit, Celestino “The Towering Inferno” Caballero finds himself leaning on a rail outside a non-descript boxing gym. He looks up at the near-darken sky and realizes its best to head inside for more work.
“The clouds are moving in again, we’re going to get some thunderstorms in the next few minutes,” said Caballero (26-2 18 KOs), who elected to remain in his native Colon, Panama, to train for his championship bout against Jorge Lacierva (32-6-6, 22 KOs), Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.
As soon as Caballero reaches for the door, thunder strikes and just as quickly as he hears the loud crashes, Caballero is back inside the squared circle working on combinations with long time trainer Francisco Arroyo.
After a half-hour of hitting the gloves, Caballero, who’s co-promoted by Sycuan Ringside Promotions and Seminole Warriors Boxing, pauses for a brief break. His body covered in sweat, he reaches for a towel hanging from the top rope.
“Just a few more days and I can get in the ring against Lacierva,” said Caballero, proud holder of the World Boxing Association’s super bantamweight championship. “He’s a tough fighter and I respect him like I do all my opponents, but he’s never seen anyone like me before.”
Caballero, indeed, is an imposing presence, aptly nicknamed “The Towering Inferno” for his five-foot-eleven-and one-half-inch frame.
“Caballero is the complete package,” bragged Sampson Lewkowicz, Caballero’s advisor, who just arrived shaking a soaked umbrella. “He has power, he can box and he is exceptionally tall for his weight division which makes him incredibly difficult to hit.”
Caballero, long considered one of the jewels of the 122-pound division, is looking for his eighth straight victory. His past three fights haven’t gone the distance and the smooth southpaw hopes to take care of Lacierva early.
“He’s a veteran fighter so he is going to be real confident coming in,” said Caballero, who has begun to remove his gloves as he prepares to hit the showers after yet another grueling workout. “My job is to go in there well prepared and stay sharp throughout the fight.”
With nightfall spreading over the seaport city of Colon, Caballero throws on a Sycuan Ringside Promotions sweat shirt as he walks out of the gym and into the humid night. The rain, for the moment, appears to have stopped, but Caballero warns about the constantly changing weather conditions.
“The storm has come and gone, but there can be another one at anytime,” Caballero said.
Like storms, champions come and go, but there is only one Caballero, of that much the boxing world is sure.
About the card Aug. 4:
Caballero and Lacierva are the semi-main event to “Marquez-Vazquez 2: “La Venganza!” In that 12-round main event Rafael Marquez defends his World Boxing Council super bantamweight championship against the man he upset and dethroned last March, former WBC and International Boxing Federation 122-pound champion, Israel Vazquez.
The card, co-promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Sycuan Ringside Promotions, is televised by Showtime.
About Sycuan Ringside Promotions
Sycuan Ringside Promotions of San Diego is considered to be the fastest-growing and most dynamic promotional entity in the sport. Sycuan Ringside Promotions made its promotional debut during 2004, but already has or had six current or former world champions and has promoted and presented world title bouts across the country on premium cable networks.
Sycuan Ringside Promotions has many notable boxers in its stable, including International Boxing Federation lightweight champion Julio Diaz, former World Boxing Council welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir, former WBC super bantamweight and IBF junior featherweight champion Israel Vazquez, teenage lightweight sensation Jorge Paez Jr. and undefeated cruiserweight prospect Shawn Hawk.