Ricardo Pinell (5-0-1 4KOs) is not your average undefeated prospect. At just 5-0-1 with 4 wins by KO, you may be fooled by the record from the outside looking in to think Pinell is a brawler or relies on power heavily. “I wouldn’t say I watched them [per say], but I looked up to Parnell Whitaker.” Whitaker, a fighter most known for his defensive skill is one of the inspirations for Pinell. “Anyone can punch you, drunks do that all the time, but to make someone miss or use their power against them, that is what I enjoy.”
Pinell who returns to action on Saturday September 28th at Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, CA against Eric Mendez (2-1 1KO), “[Mendez] has a lot of amateur fights, he had a crazy record.” Mendez as an amateur could count on his two hands the amount of losses he suffered in 80 fights. Pinell thought he had a distinguished amateur career capturing the northern California golden gloves, only had 30 or so fights as an amateur. It is a step, yet this is nothing new for the man who is known for his calm, cool and poised demeanor.
“I work hard,” Pinell said with a laugh as he reflected upon the praise of the poise he shows with in his fights. Pinell has picked my interest as a prospect due to the fact that he is such a young professional fighter, yet fights like a veteran and continues to improve. Early in Pinell’s career, one might point to that he was getting tagged in the first round and would come back strong later in the fight, the Nathaniel Richardson fight comes to mind. Yet in his last two fights, Pinell has started fast and stopped both fighters he faced with in the 2nd and 3rd round respectively. It is the subtle things, that make you take notice and Pinell seemingly just keeps getting better every fight.
Another bit of the praise for his improvement, “Well part of that is Eddie.” The Eddie that Pinell speaks of is Eddie Croft, the fighter who once fought Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. Pinell explained how he found B St Boxing, the San Mateo boxing gym, that Croft runs that is a good 15 minutes outside of San Francisco, the place where Pinell calls home.
“My relative moved to San Mateo and he started taking my god son to the gym. Slowly we decided to go in and try it out, I didn’t even know who Eddie was and I had never fought.” Pinell explained as talked about the day in 2009 in which he first stepped foot in B St Boxing. “I started out taking kids classes, than teen and slowly I just started ending up there every day.”
It was the type of story words don’t do justice, but the one that is so honest you just want to sit back and listen to. Pinell went to the gym looking for something to do, and left finding a passion. Yet what makes Pinell so different is the way he approaches things now adding a strength and conditioning coach to his arsenal as well as his work at the San Mateo, CA based gym he trains out. The middleweight Pinell though states that in the bay area it can be tough to find sparring partners and the fact that Pinell is a slick southpaw does not help matters.
In an open workout in the middle of summer, Pinell put together a brutal display of sparring showing off a solid defensive style yet countering with hard punches. Promoter Paco Damian even explained to me “It is rare to see someone stay as poised as he does in the ring so early on.” Pinell would spare foes and then after a while they would leave and looking a little disheartened as members of the media watched them get off an onslaught only to get countered harshly to the point that it was just frustrating.
On Saturday, Pinell hopes to continue his trend of high activity and impressive victories as this will be Pinell’s fifth fight in just this year. Tickets are ranging from $65, $95 and $125 which are available on cachecreek.com, tickets.com and PacoPresentBoxing.com. The doors open at 5:00pm with the first bell being at 6:00pm at the Cache Creek Casino Resort in Brooks, CA. The weigh ins will take place at the Cache Creek Casino Resort on Friday September 27 at 3:00 PM