David "Gatti of the Rockies" Medina
WBC USNBC Middleweight Champion, Former WBC USNBC Super Welterweight Champion, Former GBU America’s Middleweight Champion.
Born: October 28, 1978, Rocky Ford, Colorado
Record: 20-2, 10 KO’s
For middleweight prospect David “Gatti of the Rockies” Medina (20-2, 10 KO’s) October 30th will provide him the opportunity to finally establish himself as a legitimate world class contender on the undercard of one of the most exciting PPV cards of the year. The popular Kansas based brawler will step into the ring with a former star of ESPN’s “The Contender” in Miguel Hernandez in an eight round fight that could put him in the top ten if he impresses.
“I’ve been promoting David for several years now,” commented Zeferino Ramirez, who in association with Golden Boy Promotions is promoting the October 30th card in El Paso, “and we have been working hard at putting him in this position: to show boxing what a tremendous fighter he is.”
Although Medina has shown flashes of brilliance in his career, it was hardly an easy road to the top. In fact, after his professional debut, it looked like the young prospect’s career might be over before it even began. Fighting highly regarded Kansas light heavyweight prospect Donny McCrary in March of 2005 (a fighter who had ten fights under his belt) Medina struggled with the size and experience of the future star of ESPN’s third season of “The Contender”, losing by way of stoppage. Some fighters would have let the loss discourage them, but Medina was determined to put the fight behind him.
Two months later Medina stopped Yosef Lee in Topeka Kansas before he traveled back to the state of his birth to fight highly touted Colorado prospect Alex Trottier in July of 2005 in Pueblo. Moving down to middleweight Medina shined in scoring a first round knockout, and many Colorado boxing fans were excited about the prospect of Medina emerging as a legitimate prospect despite the loss to McCrary. Three more fights in Kansas followed before Medina teamed up with promoter Zef Ramierez back in Pueblo again to fight the highly regarded journeyman Julio Lanzas in a four round fight. Lanzas will never be mistaken for the second coming of Tommy Hearns, but what he did posses was what is widely seen as one of the best chins in the sport. In fact, Lanzas had only tasted the canvas once before, when he fought middleweight contender Alfonso Gomez in Denver the previous year. And prior to his fight with Medina he gave light heavyweight prospect Ronald Johnson fits en route to a split decision loss. But Medina showed world class power in dropping Lanzas en route to a four round decision victory. To this date it is the last time Lanzas hit the canvas (and his resume includes sixteen fights that followed his loss to Medina).
A knockout over undefeated Robert Smallwood followed in February of 2006, followed by an impressive win in his birthplace of Rocky Ford over Khalif Shabazz in March. Medina then fought for his first title, winning the GBU America’s Middleweight Championship in an eight round fight against Alfred Salinas in his hometown of Junction City, Kansas. After following up that win with a quick title defense over Manny Castillo in Rocky Ford, Medina made his first appearance on the national stage when he fought in a ESPN televised fight against Charles Blake in Colorado Springs back in July of 2006. The end result was one of the most devastating knockouts in recent ESPN history as Blake was brutally stopped in the opening round.
With the win over Blake, Medina was ready to take his first step up, and it seemed he had the perfect foe in Ohio based welterweight prospect Chris Overbey in August of 2006. The fight, which also took place in Junction City, looked to be a tough test for Medina on paper. Not only would it be his first for a major title (the WBC USNBC Super Welterweight title), but it would also pit him against another prospect for the first time. But the power and determination of Medina carried the day as he stopped Overbey in the second round.
Two more wins in Kansas followed before Medina took his next step up, fighting tough journeyman Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor in April of 2007. But Medina made the dangerous mistake that many young rookies make in failing to take his weight training seriously, and a badly dehydrated Medina was stopped when he dropped over thirty pounds in the weeks leading up to the fight. It was a hard lesson to learn, but one Medina took to heart. He quickly bounced back with a majority decision win over Patrick Thompson in Junction City and then starched Ohio’s Dean Nichols in the first round in September of that year.
By November of that year Ramirez was ready to test the waters with medina again, pitting him against fellow prospect Skyler Thompson in a televised fight from Kingman, Arizona. Thompson had a flashy 11-1 record and a reputation as being a slick boxer puncher and after one round it looked like he might just upset the popular Medina. But Medina gritted his teeth and won a lopsided decision after dominating the final rounds.
A PPV fight against Texas based prospect Victor Lares followed in April of 2008, and although Medina was dropped in the tenth, and final round, many observers were nonetheless impressed with the grit and determination shown by Medina in winning the unanimous decision.
Although most insiders feel that Medina has bounced back nicely from the loss to Taylor, and has repositioned himself as one of the more attractive middleweight prospects in the Midwest, all are in agreement that on October 30th he will need to score an impressive win over former “Contender” Miguel Hernandez.