August was a month to forget for boxing fans. Not only was it a slow month, but it was also a constant reminder of the fights ahead of us and a September filled with epic matchups. It started last weekend with the HBO debut of Gennady Golovkin and will continue this weekend with a plethora of fighters competing on various networks and cards.
Of course, the biggest matchup on Saturday is between 168lb kingpin Andre Ward and 175lb titlist Chad Dawson. However, there are other relatively intriguing matchups, not to mention some fighters on showcase. Fights like Antonio DeMarco- John Molina, Ajose Olusegun- Lucas Matthysse, and Tomasz Adamek-Travis Walker offer up perceived competitive scraps. There will be other fighters on display Saturday such as Vitali Klitschko, Steve Cunningham, and Bryant Jennings.
Needless to say, we’re headed into a very busy Saturday.
However, one fighter fighting Saturday that will probably go under the radar is Corpus Christi’s very own Jerry Belmontes.
Belmontes (16-0) – nicknamed “The Corpus Christi Kid” — will be fighting on the Adamek-Walker undercard; he will be the first fight of the televised portion of the card. His opponent will be Joselito Collado and they’re scheduled for 8 rounds in the junior lightweight division.
Belmontes is coming off of a unanimous decision against Ramesis Gil in an 8 round contest back in May of this year. The May fight was Belmontes’ first fight back from an 11 month layoff, the layoff stemmed from promotional issues.
It started with Top Rank, the promotion Belmontes was signed to at the beginning of his career, who later dropped Belmontes due to what Belmontes described as a ‘lack of knockouts’ even though he remained undefeated under the Top Rank banner. He then signed with Marines Promotion, but lack of communication and a lack of fight opportunity led to a fallout. That fallout then led to free agency for Belmontes.
After a negotiation period, Belmontes and his manager Adrian Clarke ended up signing with Main Events. Needless to say, Belmontes is very happy with his current position and ecstatic about the opportunity he has under the Main Events Promotion.
“It feels great to be back on that level again, to be on big cards,” Belmontes said in a recent phone interview with Thaboxingvoice.com.
Belmontes has been offered significant fights with high level competition, in fact, he was offered a late replacement fight with Gary Russell Jr. last year, but the fight never materialized. Still, Belmontes prefers to take his time and do things the right way. This fight with Collado (13-1) will be a significant step up in competition, but that doesn’t alter “The Corpus Christi Kid’s” perception of his chances of winning and doesn’t feel that his opponent has what it takes to beat him.
“I really don’t see anything dangerous about him. I think I’m going to take him out in 5 rounds, honestly. I’m really going to hurt this guy, there’s nothing this guy can do to even faze me. This guy is the smaller fighter who comes in with his hands down, he’s a sucker for a counter-puncher and that’s what I am.”
The fact that Belmontes alluded to the fact that he’d take out his opponent in the 5th round is pretty interesting when you consider he only has 5 knockouts in his 16 victories. Belmontes suggests that it is the way he is training that leads him to believe he can make short work of Collado.
“We’re training like monsters, I’m [training] with better fighters than this guy and we’re going to take him out. We believe that we’re going to knock this guy out.”
This will be the 2nd training camp under the tutelage of Dallas trainer Derrick James, a former professional fighter who also trains Errol Spence. Belmontes said that this training camp has improved from his first with James due to the fact that the first one was more about getting rid of the rust of his layoff.
“My last training camp — first training camp from my 11 month layoff — I felt that there was something missing. This training camp I feel like everything is there, my counter-punching, my power, my speed; everything is coming together in this training camp.”
Another significant aspect to this fight is it will be Belmontes first fight on the East Coast of Newark, New Jersey. Belmontes has had the luxury of fighting most of his professional career in his home state of Texas. However, Belmontes insists that it won’t affect him in the slightest and the location doesn’t matter once the opening bell sounds.
“The nerves are the same for every fight, it could be an amateur fight or professional fight and there all the same. Until the first punch is thrown everything calms down.”
Belmontes is the pride of Corpus Christi and currently resides as the only real hopeful for a future world title. Even though he will be fighting far from his comfort zone of Texas, Belmontes insists that he will be representing his city to the fullest.
“Every fight is for Corpus Christi, I’m always going to have Corpus on my back no matter where I’m fighting at. Corpus Christi is a great city and hopefully we can get a fight there pretty soon before the year ends, but I’ll take care of business first.”
So do yourself a favor, while you’re waiting around for Ward-Dawson this Saturday keep in mind that the Adamek-Travis Walker on WealthTV starts at 3PM Eastern. Jerry Belmontes will fight first so you will have the opportunity to see him without any other boxing related conflict.