By Francisco Salazar
Unbeaten Joselito Velazquez could possibly be Mexico’s best boxing prospect. That will not last long as he continues to impressively win.
The fast-rising flyweight will be in action tonight when he squares off against Martin Tecuapetla at the Plaza de Toros ‘Jesus Gonzalez Cortazar’ in Ahualulco del Mercado, Jalisco, Mexico.
The eight-round bout will precede the main event bout between WBA World Female junior featherweight titleholder Yazmin Rivas of Torreon and Venezuela’s Ana Maria Lozano. Both fights will air live on Televisa throughout Mexico.
Velazquez (9-0, 8 knockouts), who is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico and now resides in Cancun, was an amateur standout, representing Mexico in the 2016 Olympic Games. He would sign a promotional deal with Zanfer Promotions prior to his fourth pro fight in 2017.
The 25-year-old Velazquez last fought on Apr. 6 in Hermosillo, stopping veteran Angel Guevara in the fourth round. Velazquez scored the most impressive victory, on paper, in his previous fight on Feb. 23, stopping prospect Kevin Villanueva in the fifth round in Tijuana.
Velazquez is now trained by Freddie Roach and receives solid sparring at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California. Roach has raved about Velazquez’s work ethic and ability to quickly learn things and adapt them during training camps.
Velazquez may yet to his peak, but he continues to impress with each performance in the ring.
Tecuapetla (15-10-4, 10 KOs), who resides in Mexico City, could be the opponent where Velazquez would get rounds, but is a dangerous opponent who has pulled off upset victories over prospects and unbeaten fighters in recent months.
The 29-year-old Tecuapetla last fought for a world title belt in May of 2016, losing by split-decision to IBF junior flyweight titleholder Akira Yaegashi. He fought to a draw against fringe contender Maximo Flores in April of 2017.
Tecuapetla scored an upset win on Aug. 11, winning by split-decision over contender DeWayne Beamon in Mexico City. Beamon would win the rematch by decision two months later.
Many questions should be answered tonight on how Velazquez, who is managed by Frank Espinoza, does against Tecuapetla. An impressive knockout win or one-sided decision should tell Velazquez is ready to take the next step-up in opposition, likely against a B-level fighter or fringe contender.
So far, Velazquez is the goods. And an impressive victory tonight will solidify his standing as the best prospect from Mexico today.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing