Ricardo Espinoza confident of upset victory over Danny Roman

Ricardo Espinoza would be the underdog going into his conflict in opposition to Danny Roman, however he’s not in need of confidence he can pull off the upset victory.

The hard-hitting junior featherweight hopes to profit from the chance Saturday evening at Dignity Well being Sports activities Park in Carson, California. The 12-round bout will precede the principle occasion bout between WBC junior featherweight titleholder Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa.

Each fights will air dwell on Showtime (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).

At Friday’s weigh-in, Espinoza weighed 121.6 kilos. Roman weighed in on the junior featherweight restrict of 122 kilos.

Espinoza (25-3, 21 knockouts) final fought on August 15, defeating previously-unbeaten Brandon Valdes by unanimous resolution. The combat came about eight months after a stay-busy combat in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico, knocking out Andres Garcia Guzman within the opening spherical. 

Saturday will mark Espinoza’s second combat at Dignity Well being Sports activities Park. Espinoza squared off in opposition to John Riel Casimero in a world bantamweight title elimination bout in April 2019 in what turned out to be motion combat between the 2 boxer-punchers. Casimero would harm Espinoza in spherical 12, finally stopping him moments later.

Casimero would finally combat and knock out Zolani Tete of South Africa to turn out to be the WBO bantamweight titleholder. 

Espinoza believes the result made him a stronger fighter psychologically and the result could be totally different ought to he face Casimero once more.

“I had a combat a month earlier than the Casimero combat,” Espinoza advised The Ring over the telephone Tuesday. “I’ll not have the correct quantity of time to relaxation and bodily put together for the Casimero combat, however look how I preformed in opposition to him. Casimero was fortunate that evening as a result of I used to be the more-effective fighter and I believed I might’ve gained by resolution had the combat not been stopped.”

Photograph by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

The 23-year-old will take a significant step-up in opposition from his earlier fights when he squares off in opposition to Roman, who’s a former unified world titleholder at 122 kilos. Roman would lose the IBF and WBA titles to Murodjon Akhmadaliev on January 30 of final 12 months by split-decision.

Espinoza gained his final combat by outboxing Valdes, however he’s at his finest when he stands within the pocket and exchanges mixtures, which he hopes Roman does Saturday evening. 

“I don’t know what to anticipate from him,” mentioned Espinoza, who has not too long ago fought on All Star Boxing playing cards over the past couple of years. “I imagine I’m at my finest after I take the initiative. I hope he does stand and commerce with me within the heart of the ring. That’s what I would like. I admit I don’t field an excessive amount of, however I like combating in shut.”

Espinoza likes hitting his research the identical method he hits his opponents. He’s majoring in enterprise administration La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), hoping to finish his training within the subsequent 12 months. 

“I’ve at all times maintained a superb stability of coaching within the health club and finding out for my courses,” mentioned Espinoza. “After I’m finished boxing, I need to get into investing. That’s what pursuits me.”

For now, Espinoza believes he could make noise in a really aggressive junior featherweight division. A win over Roman will seemingly open extra doorways, together with more-lucrative purses and fights on the identical, if not larger platforms.

Espinoza believes he can’t solely pull off the upset victory over Roman, however may also compete in opposition to one of the best within the division.

“This combat on Showtime in opposition to Danny Roman is what we’ve labored arduous for. After we win, I do know there will probably be a number of alternatives that can come to me. Preventing and beating an ex-champion like Roman would be the starting. There are fights in opposition to (Luis) Nery, (Brandon) Figueroa, and different prime fighters within the division.

“I imagine I’m on the identical degree as these champions, roughly. I’m not going to say I’m one of the best. When the day comes after I face these fighters, together with Roman, then we are going to see who’s the higher man.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has coated boxing in Southern California and overseas since 2000. Francisco additionally covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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