(INSIDE BOXING) They call him "Panchito" but when he steps into the ring there is nothing petite about him. Except maybe his age, he recently turned eighteen. I'll refer to Francisco Bojado as SuperMex plain and simple.
Lee Trevino earned the name SuperMex in the sport of Golf, a sport not common place to Mexicans. He dominated the sport in late sixties and seventies. Trevino retired from the pro tour in 1985, his 32 tour victories placed him second on the total career earnings list, at the time of his retirement. Trevino earned his money by striking a little white ball.
The nineteen hundreds are gone and the new millennium has started as has Francisco Bojado.
Bojado takes his pro tour in the sport of boxing which is common place to Mexicans. And it does not matter what colored balls you place in front of him. He is ready to earn his money.
Bojado made his pro debut on January 13, 2001 by knocking out Detrick Castor in the 2nd round. He hasn't looked back, knocking out Alejandro Rivera, Mario Lacey, David Montes and just this past Saturday (May 19) Ernesto Fuentes. His professional ring record stands at 5 wins, 0 losses.
The rest of the Olympians starting their professional careers are being fed lethargic opponents. Opposition with losing ring records and absolutely no chance of winning. Bojado is being made to prove himself. Only his first 2 opponents had losing records of 0-1 and 0-1-1. From then on its been opponents with winning records, Lacey was even undefeated at 3-0 when he fought Bojado. In Bojado's last fight he fought Ernesto Fuentes, a tough fighter from Mexico with a record of 9-2-1, far from a guaranteed win.
It doesn't bother Bojado, he'll take on whoever you put in front of him. One things for certain, Bojado will never lose a fight because he was afraid of his opponent. Making Bojado prove himself will only make him a better fighter sooner. While the other Olympians records will rise to 20 or 30 and 0 before they are ready to face real opposition, Bojado will be ready to take on the world champions in a dozen fights or so.
Bojado was born in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. His family came to the United States in 1985 where they now live in Commerce, California. He has one sister and three brothers. When asked if anyone else in his family boxed he replied "only my baby brother". His baby brother is 7 years old.
Although Bojado grew up in the U.S. he elected to represented Mexico in the 2000 Olympics. He was the youngest member of Mexico's 2000 Olympic team. Bojado fought 183 times as an amateur. 168 wins with only 15 losses and an impressive 85 knockouts. Bojado defeated Pan Am Games bronze medalist Jorge Martinez to qualify for the Mexican team. Bojado won the gold medal at the Mexico-Puerto Rico tournament, he defeated Puerto Rico's top amateur Miguel Cotto in Sydney. In 1998, Bojado won a bronze medal at the Junior World Games, deafeating Mike Anchondo.
How will Mexican (nationals) boxing fans except Bojado? Oscar DeLaHoya did everything he possibly could to win the hearts of the Mexicans. He interviewed in Spanish, sang in Spanish and catered to the Mexican nationals. Although he gained their respect he came short of getting 100% support. "He beat Julio Cesar Chavez, that's the biggest reason." Said Bojado. Bojado also says that by carrying two flags into the ring did not help Oscar with the Mexican people. "The Mexican people have a lot of pride and Oscar entered the ring with two flags." "I represent my country, I'll carry only one flag." said Bojado.
Determination is what Bojado is all about, "I work out 3 times a day, about 8 hours total Monday through Saturday." says Bojado. Bojado tells us he trains and spars in the mornings then will go to the Commerce gym where he Jumps rope and cardio. Late training he goes to yet another gym where he works out with kids and incorporates strength, weights and aerobics workouts. I completely forgot to ask Bojado if he had time for a girlfriend.
Bojado fought featherweight as an amateur but elected to start his professional career at 130lbs. (superfeather) "I may go up to 135 (lbs.), it's not easy for me to make 130". Bojado even anticipated going up to welterweight. "I'm only eighteen and my body is growing, I will listen to my body". Said Bojado. I asked Bojado about the tough fighters in the superfeather weight division, Frietas, Casamayor and Mayweather he responded "I know I'm in the toughest division and they will be going up in weight, I'll see them there".
Bojado can adapt to anyone's style. He can box and punch, he can bob and weave. "Boxing is an art. Boxing is hitting without getting hit." says Bojado.
In his first 5 bouts as a professional he has had 8 total rounds of work. One would like to see Bojado gain a little more ring experience. But you certainly don't tell your fighter to "carry" a guy for the sake of getting in more rounds. That can be the kiss of death (or defeat). When the opportunity arises for victory, you take it and end the fight.
Some may say I'm premature in calling Bojado "SuperMex" but I'm known for going out on a limb. But this one is not a limb, it's a branch and a pretty thick one at that. Besides, I see a little Salvador Sanchez and a little Oscar DeLaHoya in this kid.