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Oscar Ibarra: “Tomas Rojas has been beating around the bush”

By Anson Wainwright

Many believe a loss or two along the way can ruin a professional fighter’s career, while others believe a fighter can learn more from a loss than a win. It may sound like tough love but it works, in many cases. In countries such as Mexico, you have to earn your reputation. Often you encounter a guy who’s just better than you. You lose but you learn from it; you build and eventually, you become a much better fighter than some of the mollycoddled ones plying their trades in more comfconfines. One such fighter is Oscar "Ceviche" Ibarra. The 25-year-old has a 27-4 (18) record, the last of the four losses coming nearly three years ago. Ibarra is the cousin of current WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez and owns the WBC “silver” super flyweight title while hoping to get countryman Tomas Rojas in the ring in an attempt to upgrade his own status to world champion. Currently, he’s ranked by three of the world governing bodies at number two by the WBC and eight by both the WBA and IBF. 


Anson Wainwright – Firstly, Oscar, in May, you stopped Juanito Rubillar in the seventh round. Can you tell us about the fight?


Oscar Ibarra - Look, it was a difficult fight in the first rounds but we knew that Juanito would be out of breath by punching him on the body, which we did from the first round, thus we worked hard on that and thank God I won.

AW - How happy were you with your performance?
OI - I think it was good as Juanito is a great fighter. He has faced the best boxers in the world and in almost all cases, he has gone to the 12th round. Regarding our fight, thanks to my preparation and good work we carried out, we were able to win.
AW - Do you know when we might see you in action next and who you may be facing?
OI - Look, the ones who are in charge of those things are my promoters, Oswaldo and Reginaldo Kuchle, but most likely, I will be back in August.
AW - You’re on a 13-fight winning streak with 11 KOs since your last loss. What has happened from your point of view to go on such a good run after losing three out of four fights before?
OI - Look, motivation is very important. I feel very strong and I have very clear goals. I am also in a stage of maturity, which is very important in my life and that has helped me a lot, being OK with my family, with my wife and my children. Now my goals are clearer and I will not stop until I achieve my main goal: becoming WBC world champion.
AW - What are your thoughts on the current champions at super flyweight, the WBC’s Tomas Rojas, the WBA’s Hugo Cazares and Tepparith Singwancha, the IBF’s Cristian Mijares and the WBO’s Omar Narvaez? Who are you targeting?
OI - Look, I am targeting “Gusano” Rojas and Cristian Mijares but they have been beating around the bush. I was even very close to fighting Mijares, which would have been a great bout for Mexican fans but they never sent the contract. And “Gusano” has also been beating around the bush. However, I hope that by the end of the year, one of them accepts the challenge and fights me.
AW - Could you tell us about your team? Who is your manager and trainer? Also which gym do you frequent?
OI - Look, my trainers are my uncles; their last name is Gonzalez. I feel very good with them, very comfortable and I feel like at home at the Diaz Miron Gym.
AW - How would you describe your fighting style? What are your strengths and what areas would you like to improve?
OI - I am a brawler; that is my style. I like to go forward; many times I do not care about being punched as I know my punches damage my opponents more. I believe that putting your rival under pressure and being on at them overwhelms them and I think that my hook to the liver is one of my most important strengths. I would like to improve my defence a little; you know, moving my waist more in order to not receive so many blows but in the end I believe it is part of my style.
AW - Could you tell us about your training? What is a typical day? What is your diet like and what weight do you walk around at between fights?
OI - Look, first at 7 AM, I go jogging for around one hour or one hour-and-a-half, then I get home. I have a light breakfast and I go training at Diaz Miron Gym for around two hours or two hours-and-a-half. After that, I go home to have lunch and there I try to spend the most time I can with [my family]. In the afternoon, on Mondays and Wednesdays, I play soccer to get a little entertainment and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go to a gym that is near my house to do some weightlifting. Basically, that is my day. I do not have a strict diet; I only try to keep my weight when I do not have a fight by eating chicken, fish and vegetables.
AW - You were born and live in Mexico City. Could you tell us about your early years growing up and how things were for you?
OI - Yes, I was a very restless teenager since I was very young. I used to like boxing very much because I joined my cousin, Jhonny, when he went training and that was when my love for boxing was born. However, as I was always at school, things would get complicated until I decided to drop out of it. I went to high school and I would do the three things at the same time (training, going to school and working) as things were getting financially hard.
AW - Did you have the typical tough upbringing many boxers do?
OI - Yes, like I remarked before, I dropped out of high school as my parents could not afford it anymore and I had to work. In addition to that, I trained, so I decided to stop studying and devote 100% to boxing. Then my promoters, Oswaldo and Reginaldo Kuchle, appeared in my life and started helping me.
AW - Many boxers lower in weight have to do a day job as well as box. Have you ever had to work a regular job at the same time as box?
OI – Yes, and it was a very difficult time because I would also study. Fortunately nowadays, I only devote [time] to preparing for my fights.
AW - Your nickname is "Ceviche." What does this mean and how did you get it as a nickname?
OI - “Ceviche” is a kind of fish and the nickname is very odd but my cousin, Jhonny Gonzalez, was nicknamed “El Pescado” (The Fish) and as I was always with him, well, I was nicknamed “Ceviche”. Nevertheless, Jhonny got rid of his nickname and I kept mine.
AW – Finally, do you have a message for the super flyweight division?

OI – Yes, to any of the champions: Give me the opportunity, especially to “Gusano” Rojas, as I think it would be a great fight for Mexican fans. And thank you guys and I invite you to visit, where you will find all the information about my upcoming fights.


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