New Faces: Roberto Marroquin
Junior featherweight prospect Roberto Marroquin (right) catches Anthony Napunyi with a right hook en route to a third-round stoppage of the tough journeyman last November. Photo by Chris Cozzone / Fightwireimages.com
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Weight class: junior featherweight
Height / reach: 5-7 / 70
Amateur record: 165-15 (reported)
Turned pro: January 18, 2008
Pro record: 12-0, 9 knockouts
Trainer: Raul Martinez
Manager: Lou Mesorana
Promoter: Top Rank
Best night of pro career: Stopped young journeyman Julio Valadez with a single punch in the fourth round of their bout that took place in Las Vegas, Nev., last May. Valadez was able to duck under Marroquin’s potent right hook during the first three rounds so the teenage southpaw faked a hook and turned it into an uppercut that laid the normally durable opponent out cold.
Worst night of pro career: Tried too hard to knockout wily 44-fight veteran Jose Garcia Bernal and was occasionally counter-punched by the seasoned journeyman en route to a one-sided six-round decision last October. Marroquin dropped Bernal in the fifth round but wasn’t focused or settled enough to finish the vet.
Next fight: Takes on fellow Dallas native Samuel Sanchez (4-1-1) in a scheduled eight-round bout on the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey undercard at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday..
Why he’s a prospect: Marroquin was an amateur standout who made it to the finals of the 2007 U.S. Olympic Trials where he lost to Gary Russell Jr. Marroquin has an amateur victory over Russell (now 8-0 as a pro) and as well as other former amateur stars who are now considered pro prospects, including Mexican standout Carlos Cuadras (14-0, 13 KOs), Ronny Rios (9-0, 4 KOs), Sammy DiPace (7-0, 4 KOs), Victor Valenzuela (7-0, 1 KO) and Derrick Wilson (5-1-1, 2 KOs). Marroquin is an aggressive southpaw boxer-puncher with solid technique and good instincts.
Why he’s a suspect: Like most young fighters gifted with power, he needs to improve his defense as he sometimes looks too hard for the knockout and gets into exchanges he shouldn’t.
Story lines: Marroquin’s a good-looking young man with a solid family and educational background. His promotional company, Top Rank, believes he can be developed into a bona fide attraction in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and eventually into a world titleholder. Ten fights into his career, Marroquin drew high praise from Top Rank’s hall-of-fame mantchmaker, Bruce Trampler, who likened him to a mini-Oscar De La Hoya.
“He's a kid who can box and who can hit,” Trampler said. “He’s bilingual and has a great attitude and a good education. He’s the complete package. We hope we have the same boxer as De La Hoya.”
While it’s doubtful Marroquin will come close to accomplishing all that De La Hoya has in and out of the ring, there’s one thing he might do that the Golden Boy never did — get a college degree. Marroquin, who still lives at home with his parents, is a sophomore at Northland College in Dallas where he’s majoring in accounting with a minor in economics.
Lou Mesorana, Marroquin’s manager, says it’s not uncommon for the young man to be studying in his dressing room less than an hour before he enters the ring.
Jan. 18 Genaro Castorena RTD 2
Feb. 29 Luis Angel Paneto TKO 2
July 11 Roberto Perez RTD 2
Sept. 5 Gino Escamilla UD 6
Dec. 6 Isaac Hidalgo TKO 1
May 1 Julio Valadez KO 4
May 16 Robert DaLuz UD 6
June 19 Jose Garcia TKO 3
Aug. 29 Steven Johnson TKO 2
Oct. 17 Jose Bernal UD 6
Nov. 13 Anthony Napunyi TKO 3
Feb. 6 Robert Guillen TKO 1