DeMarco hot-blooded for cold weather
Story and photos by Felipe Leon
Whenever the temperature falls below freezing, southpaw Antonio DeMarco (24-2-1, 18 KOs) wins.
The Los Mochis, Mexico, native is hoping for just that in his first test of 2011 when he faces the WBC Silverlightweight champion Mexico City’s Reyes Sanchez (20-3-1, 11KOs) on Saturday, February 26th, at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Nebraska.
The 12-round championship fight will be televised by Showtime as the co-feature to the WBA title tilt between Brandon Rios and Miguel Acosta from Las Vegas.
In his first bout with snow on the ground, DeMarco stopped Ricky Alexander in two rounds in Lake Tahoe and two weeks later he stopped Joseph Davis in New Haven, CT.
Even though the warm weather favoring DeMarco, who lives and trains in Tijuana, is not looking forward to the cold in Nebraska, he is ready to meet the boxing fans of the “Cornhusker State."
"I am very motivated and anxious to go fight in Nebraska," says DeMarco. "I understand thatthey have never had a championship fight there and together with another Mexican, I hope to give them a great show. I want to conquer the people there and make them fans of the sport with my style and skills.”
DeMarco has not stepped in the ring since July of last year when he spectacularly dispatched former title challenger Daniel Attah in two short rounds on the undercard of Bradley-Abregu. The 24-year-old father of one was scheduled for late 2010 but his teamdecided against it.
“I have always said that things happen for a reason," says DeMarco. "That was the decision we made. We didn’t want to risk getting cut or hurt.
“When you are ranked in the top spots, the fights are less and far in between, its not like when you are fighting four or six rounds you fight once a month.”
The former interim WBC champ does not feel the lack of action will make a difference in his next performance.
“I don’t think it will affect us much, we have been in the gym since our last fight,” the affable DeMarco said. “It won’t be an excuse.”
Despite only having twenty-seven professional fights, DeMarco has a world of experience, from capturing the WBO NABO title in ‘09 to winning the interim WBC lightweight title eight months later to finally challenging for the full fledged title last year and succumbing in nine rounds to the late Edwin Valero. Those experiences are what DeMarco feels isgoing to give him the upper hand on Saturday night.
“I think my experience is my biggest advantage,” the 5’10” DeMarco stated. “Everything is pretty even, our height, our reach but I think I have faced the tougher and more solid fighters.”
DeMarco still admits that it will not be an easy task to dethrone Sanchez who captured the Silver title late last year when he defeated Daniel Estrada via split decision, “I have not seen him fight live but I have seen him on film. He is tall, he uses his jab-straight right hand combination a lot and he likes to use his distance. He likes to trap his opponents against the ropes. He throws a lot of punches, maybe not with power but they do score points with the judges. We have been noticingwhat he does right and his technical faults so that we can take advantage of them the night of the fight.”
Even tough having a firm grasp of Sanchez’s style, DeMarco knows that his fight plan will not be set in stone until thefirst bell rings.
“That is the key. Each fight is different. You have to have more than one strategy in case the first one doesn’t work,” the mature DeMarco explained. “You might get in the ring and notice something that you can take advantage of it. I think my experience and my intelligence is going to help. We are going to look to end the fight the earliest we can with one punch.”
With a win in Nebraska, DeMarco finds himself exactly where he did before the defeat at the fists of Valero in Monterrey last year, as the #1 contender to the WBC lightweight throne. Even though the Valero bout was easy to make but difficult to win, the hard part in challenging this time for the title would be not only the current champion but also their corners. Bobby Quirarte, son of DeMarco’s trainer, Romulo Quirarte, trains the current WBC champ, Humberto “Zorrita” Soto. Both fighters have stated that they willnever fight each other since they are trained by the same team but also because hailing from the Mexican boxing hotbed of Los Mochis, their friendship goesback years.
“We need to win this fight and then see what happens,” DeMarco said. “It’s in the hands of the promoters and also on the decision Humberto makes. It is not my decision or Romulo’s.”
Soto has expressed interest in joining the light welterweight ranks soon, maybe as soon as later this year.
As always, DeMarco is motivated for this tough and important test by the two most important women in his life, his wife and daughter. Tragically, the championship fight is also dedicated to a special person in DeMarco’s life who unfortunately has passed away, “I am very motivated, my biggest motivation is my daughter and my wife and then the rest of my family.”
“This fight is very special, it’s my chance to get back on Showtime and to prove to my promoter Gary Shaw that I am ready for a world title again,” DeMarco stated. “I want to be a world champion. Accomplishing that will help me reach other goals in my life. It is also special because I am going to dedicate this fight to my grandfather who passed away late last year. He always supported me and was the first one to believe in me and he always believed in me. It’s very special.”
For more coverage on the San Diego/Tijuana scene, please check out SDFights.com