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Estrada: "I want to be world champion and Broner is not gonna stop me"

Daniel Estrada
(Photo © Annel Guzman Alcantara)

Interview conducted by Anson Wainwright

Before Christmas, Daniel Estrada took on Japan’s Nihito Arakawa in WBC lightweight final eliminator. Arakawa was the toughest opponent “Tremendo” had been matched with in his eight-and-a-half-year pro career, the bout taking place (like all of his previous 32 bouts) in Mexico. He boxed well, building a lead before the action was stopped at the end of the 10th round due to a nasty cut Estrada received from an accidental elbow. The fight went to the scorecards and Estrada was given the nod via scores of 98-92 (twice) and 99-91 thus retaining his WBC “Silver” belt and upping his record to 30-2-1 (22) in the process. The win also put him in line to meet current WBC lightweight kingpin Adrien Broner. The 27-year-old lives in Mexico City but was born and raised in one of its 16 boroughs, Iztapalapa, which is on the east side of town. Estrada has won an assortment of various minor WBC trinkets and the organisation currently ranks him at number one. He also recently cracked The Ring magazine’s ratings at 135 pounds, coming in at number 10.

Anson Wainwright – Firstly, back in November, you won a 10-round technical decision over Japan’s Nihito Arakawa in a WBC lightweight eliminator. Can you tell us about the fight and how your injury came about?

Daniel Estrada - I had a great preparation with my team. As it happened, we were expecting a very tough fight, facing off in a final eliminator which was for the WBC number one ranking. Effectively, Arakawa is a great fighter who always sought the victory. He demanded the best of my ability but I could clearly dominate him and win, which was reflected in the scorecards of the judges. From the start, I dominated the fight. Anyone who sees the scores might mistakenly think I had a picnic that night but that did not happen. It has been one of my toughest fights. Just thanks to my preparation, I had the ability to dominate Arakawa’s attacks and I hurt him on several occasions. During the fight, Arakawa gave me two injuries, a cut on the left eyebrow by a headbutt and the injury that blocked my right eye. That was the result of an elbow. I do not think those hits had been malicious but they were illegal blows, hitting with the elbow. He gave it to me when I leaned in an offensive to hit the body of Arakawa and he dropped his elbow. He said it was to cover his body but he hit me with his left elbow in the right eye, which immediately swelled too. Anyway, I could still take several more rounds, in which the eye was severely hurt. I widely mastered my rival despite having a virtually closed eye. I think the doctor was wrong to stop the fight. If he didn’t, I’m sure that the next round, I would’ve knocked out Arakawa. Also, he was very hurt at the end of round 10. I think he was saved by the bell. I feel that the actions of the doctor to stop the fight prevented me adding one more knockout to my record and made my triumph look bad.

AW - How are you now? How long did your eye take to heal?

DE - I’m fine. The next day after the fight, I could see and my eye was completely healed in a week by my doctor immediately working [on it].

AW - What are your plans for 2013? Who are you targeting and when are you looking at being back in action?

DE - My goal is the world championship in 2013, getting more international recognition to show the boxing world that I have the qualities to shine on the world stage. This year, I plan to reclaim my right as rated number one and face Adrien Broner. He’s a great fighter and champion but to be the best, you must beat the best and, well, nobody is invincible. Also, I’m gonna fight next in March, maybe at Dubai or Colombia. My manager/agent is looking into that; I just fight.

AW - Who are the members of your team, your manager, trainer and promoter? Also where do you regularly train?

DE - My manager and agent is a lawyer, Cuitlahuac Maldonado, who has been with me since my time as an amateur boxer. He coordinates the other members of my team, who are currently my personal fitness trainer, Alejandro Barrera, who makes my fitness strong routines in Ambar GYM, my boxing coach, Carlos Rosales, and the trainers, Sergio Hernandez, Guillermo Flores, Jose Manuel Contreras and Roberto Lopez. I practice in the gym, Pancho Rosales. At the time, I haven’t an exclusive promoter; we have worked with different ones but we are also open to work with whomever and can make conditions we all agree on. Do you know someone? Tell him about us! (laughs)

AW - You’re from Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal, Mexico. Can you tell us about your younger days?

DE - I was born, grew up and lived in the neighbourhood, Vicente Guerrero in Iztapalapa, one of the most difficult and dangerous areas in Mexico City. My parents were always by my brothers and me to get us on the right path. They instilled sports in me and have always been by my side, pushing me and supporting me. They have been a major factor, one being in a conflict zone, so [for me to make] no mistakes. However, my character was forged there, living very difficult and seeing dangerous things, many of them impossible to describe. And that has made me not afraid of anything in boxing. With all this and thanks to [my parents and sports], I can say proudly I was forged in the Vicente Guerrero neighbourhood in Iztapalapa.

AW - How did you first become interested in boxing? When did you realise it was something you could do for a living?

DE - In the neighbourhood where we lived, my father took me jogging to work out but I didn’t like it. Along the track, there was a man training boxing and I went to watch and started training there and I kept going. I liked it; that was when I was nine years old. Since I can remember, I liked boxing and have always wanted to be champion. After you spend a long time in boxing you realize you’ve given up a lot to train. Dedicating myself 100 percent, I realized that, before, I had no way to stand out and living through boxing is what I liked, what I can do best and the way I can give my family a better life. I think it is something I could live through although it has not been easy. My job is boxing; I do it 24 hours a day. Very early in the morning, I do my road work then go home, eat breakfast and rest. At midday, I’m going to the boxing gym to work out, do sparring, punching bags and everything is set. I return home, eat [lunch] and rest. At night, I go to the fitness gym, do my routines, have dinner and rest. All the time I’m reviewing the errors and seeing new things in the gym. I watch videos of fights and even while I sleep, I sleep boxing. I eat, drink and sleep boxing, so I say I work 24 hours a day.

AW - That win put you in line for the WBC title currently held by Adrien Broner. What are your thoughts on him? What about the other champions, WBA interim champion Richard Abril, IBF champion Miguel Vazquez and WBO champion Ricky Burns?

DE - As I said before, Broner is a great fighter. He has great qualities and many good skills, so I respect him. It will be great for me when I face him and beat him of course because I want to be world champion and Broner is not gonna stop me. About the other champions, each one of them has different boxing skills; all are very good. They are champions. Miguel Vazquez is a very skilled fighter who comes to his battles in great shape, has good movement in the ring, good speed, hands that make great combinations. Richard Abril, despite his skills, has shown the world that he is a cowardly fighter since he shunned at all times when facing Brandon Rios. I can’t say he has good defensive resources because all he did was hugged for 12 rounds against Rios and bored the audience. I think he could do better. Ricky Burns is a great fighter, very skilled, technical and highly mobile in the ring and has proven to be a great fighter and extraordinary champion. To all of them, I am in a position to deal with. I have the qualities to overcome them. It will not be easy but I want to be world champion and that means I should beat any of them. If they are not afraid to stop being champions, I ask for the opportunity to face them.

AW - You’ve lost twice in your career but both were split decision losses. Do you feel you should be undefeated?

DE - True, both losses were split decisions. The first was in the final of a tournament in Mexico, professional boxers going four and six rounds. My opponent this time [Jose Emilio Perea] was a very skilled and talented fighter but I think if I had equal conditions, things would have been different. I remember the day before that fight, I had a 40-degrees Celsius fever and my manager/agent suggested not to fight. I didn’t want to let the opportunity go to be a champion of that tournament and went to the ring with a bad cold. I didn’t feel I lost the fight but didn’t feel completely well physically. At the end, two judges saw me lose and another saw me win. The audience was divided in opinion too. Another defeat [to Reyes Sanchez in a 12-rounder], not felt as such to me at the end of eight rounds, the three judges had me winning but in the remaining four rounds, I felt I lost a round and won at least two of them. It was all very strange but, anyway, we decided to turn the page and move on. And, yes, I think I should be undefeated.

AW - How do you feel your career’s gone so far and what are your goals in boxing?

DE - I do not think I have gone far yet. I think I’m making good progress but still do not feel I have gone far. I want to; I want to go far, as far as possible. My goal is to bring up my family and for that, I must be the best. I do not like to anticipate triumphs and give early expectations either but my goal, one step at a time, is to be World Lightweight Champion and beat the best of my division, then go up to super lightweight, then welterweight. I think I can be a champion in three divisions, at least two.

AW - Away from boxing, can you tell us about your life, your family and your interests?

DE - My parents are Estela Espitia and Pedro Estrada. I am the second of four brothers. We are a very close family. My wife, Danae Barrera, has been a great support and encouragement in my life. My son, Mosiah Daniel, is three years old and a second child is going to born in March. All of them are my motivation and life motivation. I want to provide everything they need, give my children education and a positive environment to grow up in, providing the tools for their development and life.

AW - Who was your boxing hero growing up? Who do you like to watch today?

DE - My favourite fighters and who inspired me are Tommy Hearns and Mike Tyson although the latter’s boxing style has no resemblance to mine. The boxer who I like to watch and who I admire at this time is Juan Manuel Marquez.

AW - Do you have a message for the lightweight division?

DE - In the beginning of this New Year, I want to send my best wishes for everyone. Also as a boxer, I say, I’m on my way and nobody will stop me. I’ll make history.


Questions and or comments can be sent to Anson at and you can follow him at Anson is also a member of The Ring magazine’s ratings panel.

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