Boxing: UIC card features three local fighters
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media April 12, 2014 8:38PM
Alex Martin (right), a Harvey Boxing Club product, will compete in a televised card Monday at the UIC Pavilion. | FIle photo
Updated: May 14, 2014 6:56AM
Undefeated prospect Jose “Chico” Arambula is headed for prime time.
Slated to fight on Golden Boy Promotion’s Monday night card at the UIC Pavilion, the 21-year-old Harvey native recently got wind his bout against David Diaz (4-0-1, 2 KOs) will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.
“I was beside myself when I found out I had a chance to not only be on the card but have my fight televised,” said Arambula, who’s 6-0 with three knockouts since turning pro in 2012. “It’s one of the biggest opportunities to come my way.”
Opportunity seems to knock frequently at Arambula’s door.
Last year, the Thornton graduate nabbed an invite to Canelo Alvarez’s camp in Big Bear, Calif., for the Mexican superstar’s fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Arambula said he basically talked his way into the camp after meeting one of Alvarez’s managers in Guadalajara, Mexico, while “training and vacationing.”
“You never think you’d wake up in the house of one of your idols,” Arambula said. “It was humbling at the same time to get the chance to be in the same room with those people.”
Arambula isn’t the only unbeaten prospect from the south suburbs hoping to turn heads on the Golden Boy card. Arambula will be joined by National Golden Gloves champ Alex Martin, a fellow Harvey Boxing Club product, and Jose Felix Quezada, a 2013 Shepard grad who went 88-25 as an amateur.
Martin (4-0, 4 KOs) is relishing the chance to get his name circulating in the professional circuit after a stellar amateur career.
“People are going to know a good boxer when they see one,” Martin said. “I like to show off my skills and stay humble. I don’t trash talk — maybe that’s why I don’t have a lot of fans yet — but I think I’ll win the hearts of fans because of my overall skills.”
While he might not be on the radar of casual fans, the slick southpaw has earned recognition from one of boxing’s biggest hitters.
Martin recently signed with manager Al Haymon, one of the most powerful men in the sport who also happens to represent Mayweather Jr.
“They took a chance on us somewhat,” said Mark Chaers, Martin’s boxing coach. “Usually they’re not going to sign you until you’re 10-0 or 12-0. But they’ve seen Alex spar world champions, so they know what he’s capable of.”
The youngest of the three local products is 19-year-old Quezada, who won his first professional bout by knockout.
Quezada put on a show in his debut, and his four-round lightweight fight against Antoine Knight has a chance to be televised live — stoppages permitting.
“I just want the city of Chicago to know who I am as a fighter,” Quezada said. “Then, hopefully, it’s nationally and worldwide. I see myself as a world champ in five years.”
The first fight starts at 6:15 p.m. and Fox Sports 1 picks up the broadcast at 8 p.m. The headliner pits undefeated Ronny Rios (22-0, 10 KOs) against Andrew Cancio (15-2-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-round junior lightweight tilt.
“I think this will be a perfect card to see the talent that Chicago has to offer,” Quezada said.