While the boxing world’s focus tonight will be on “The Moment,” namely Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana, a thousand miles south of Las Vegas in Culiacan, Mexico (famed for being the home of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.), former strawweight world title challenger Carlos Velarde will face fellow Mexican Jose Argumedo.
The pair clash for the IBF Latino 105-pound title, with the winner becoming the leading available contender to the current IBF champion Katsunari Takayama.
Last May, Velarde, 25-3-1 (14) travelled to Japan where he challenged then-WBA 105-pound champion Ryo Miyazaki. After four rounds, the 23-year-old Mexican was fighting on even terms with the Japanese titlist. However, in the final minute of the fifth round, he walked into a vicious left hook from Miyazaki that saw “Chapito” on his way out via TKO. Since then, Velarde has won two comeback fights.
Velarde-Argumedo will be chief support to Omar Chavez-Daniel Sandoval on TV Azteca in Mexico.
Anson Wainwright - Just before Christmas, you outpointed seasoned veteran Valentin Leon over eight rounds. That must have been a good, stay-busy fight for you? What would you say of that fight?
Carlos Velarde - It was a complicated fight because I got cut by a headbutt, a big cut, but thank God we handled it and we won by decision.
AW - What are your goals for this year?
CV - First of everything, win a fight at the beginning of this year and then win the IBF Latino title this May 3rd to get an opportunity for the world title.
AW - Who are the members of your team? Where do you train?
CV – My trainer is Miguel Molleda; my manager is Moises Cota and my promoter is Jesus Zapari. I train at the Chavez Boxing Gym.
AW - You’re from Culiacan, Mexico. Could you tell us about your youth growing up?
CV - I had a beautiful childhood. I practiced football, baseball and started boxing at nine years old. I did around 45 amateurs fights. I debuted in pro boxing at 16 years old.
AW - What was your path into boxing? How did you first become interested in the sport?
CV - I got interested in boxing because my father was a pro fighter as well and my grandpa used to be a trainer. My father made a living by boxing. He raised us fighting; that’s why I became a boxer. I was raised and grew up in boxing.
AW - What would you say to us about your career so far?
CV - I have a clean career. I’ve been learning more every time that I fight. Thanks to my promoter and my trainers, I can reach my goal pretty soon.
AW - Last May, you challenged then WBA 105-pound champion Ryo Miyazaki for the world title, you were doing well up until you got caught in the fifth round. What would you say of fighting in Japan, the fight and the knockout loss?
CV - It was a good experience for me. I learned a lot. The fight was even but I got caught with a good shot. He didn’t hurt me; I just got knocked out for a few seconds but everything was OK.
AW - The strawweight division doesn’t get the recognition many other weight classes do. Over the past few years Roman Gonzalez and Kazuto Ioka fought there and going further back, Ivan Calderon and the legendary Ricardo Lopez were strawweights, so there have been very good boxers in the division.
CV - It’s a good division for me because I’m Mexican. Lots of good fighters are here in Mexico and Latin America.
AW - When you look at the strawweight division today, what are your thoughts?
CV - It’s a good division. I would like to fight the best to be the best.
AW - Away from boxing, what do you enjoy doing?
CV - I like eat sushi, pizza, go to the movies, enjoy my daughter and my family and watch boxing.
AW - Who is your boxing hero?
CV - Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
AW - In closing, do you have a message for the strawweight division?
CV - I’m hoping to fight the best of my division in the world and be the number one. I want to get good opportunities.
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