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DeMarco loves to fight

Story & photo by Felipe Leon

Many times, fighters who win their first major fight on a world stage tend to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Not Antonio DeMarco.

After his dismantling of Almazbek "Kid Diamond" Raiymkulov, DeMarco took a week off and then was right back in the CREA gym run by Romulo Quirarte and his sons, Bobby and Romulo Jr., in the heart of Tijuana, Mexico.

With the win as the semi main event to Darchinyan-Arce and broadcast on Showtime February 7th, DeMarco of Los Mochis, captured the NABO-WBO lightweight title and took a step in his career.

"That fight was a lot tougher than what was seen in the ring the night," says DeMarco. "But thanks to the preparation and the strategy that we had, we were able to get our hand raised."

Despite making stoppage of "Kid Diamond" look easy, the once beaten DeMarco (20-1-1, 14 KOs)  assures that it wasn't the case.

"I did have some trouble with his style but we had a strategy, we knew that we had to decipher his style in the beginning rounds," DeMarco says as he begins to warm up among the forty other fighters cramped in the small gym.  "I felt that in the fourth or fifth round I was starting to warm up and I noticed that he was beginning to tire."

"That is what we worked for.  To box him in the early rounds and then to pressure him in the later ones.  We knew that he would get tired in the later rounds and we knew that we needed to finish strong."

But DeMarco is sure to stress that the bout was more won with the work he and his team did in the gym which is located under the stands of the Municipal Sports Complex near the international border with San Diego, CA, than what actually transpired inside the ring of the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.

"We were very confident in my physical strength and my power.  We were very confident on that and we knew that we would come out stronger in the later rounds and be able to stop him."

"Mochis" as he is affectionally to all those who know him, stands a tall 5'10" for the lightweight division.  A physical attribute he thinks helped against the 5'7" Raiymkulov.

"I think it was height and my reach that I don't think he was able to figure out.  He had to reach to try to land punches.  He would reach a lot and I think he lost control besides I never went toe to toe with him except for the last rounds," DeMarco recalls.  "I think he got confused, I think he thought that I was going to come out brawling from the beginning of the bout and I didn't."

DeMarco, 23, who holds fourteen stoppages in his twenty two bouts accepts that at times he has lost his head in fights and opts to tussle when he should box, a trait he and his team decided to control for his first championship bout.

"It did cause me some trouble not to brawl with him.  Even here at the gym, getting ready for the fight, there were many times that my trainer Don Romulo would stop me from sparring and tell me what to do and what not to," he says smiling.  "Many people have said that I didn't throw a lot of punches but it was part of the strategy that we had for that fight."

Now as the latest champion to walk to the streets of Tijuana, DeMarco puts everything in perspective.

"It means a lot to me, it is my first belt, my first title.  More than anything, like I always say, I am do this for my daughter and for my wife.  They are a great motivation for me because I know that bigger things are coming," DeMarco says.  "We know that we must go to a higher level.  Opportunities have been presented to me and we have to know how to take advantage of them."

Those opportunities should be at his door step soon, but not soon enough as his promoter at the time of this writing, had not contacted the young fighter with his new assignment.

"I have not gotten any news about my next bout.  We are hoping that soon we know when we fight again because I am anxious to get in a ring again."

"I would choose anybody that my promoter and my trainers choose, I am only the fighter.  I am willing to fight anybody."


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