New Faces: Manuel Avila
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MANUEL “TINO” AVILA
Hometown: Fairfield, California
Weight class: Junior Featherweight
Height / reach: 5-7 (170 cm)/ 66 inches (168 cm)
Amateur record: 48-6
Turned pro: 2010
Pro record: 16-0, 7 knockouts
Trainer(s): Al Legardo, Phil Mondello (cutman)
Manager: Cameron Dunkin
Promoter: Golden Boy Promotions
Best night of pro career: Avila has come into his own over the past year, finding his “man strength” and knocking out his last two opponents.
In his last fight he hurt both hands but was able to continue with the gameplan before putting the exclamation point on performance, knocking out hardnosed Mexican Sergio Frias in the eighth round. “My best performance would be my last fight,” Avila told RingTV.com, “because in every fight I try to improve a little bit and look for perfection.” He also owns an eye catching win over David De La Mora, who had challenged for world title honors against former WBA bantamweight boss Anselmo Moreno. Avila was able to stop De La Mora quicker than Moreno; Avila won in two rounds, whereas Moreno needed nine rounds. “Yeah, people were telling me about that,” he said. “I caught him with a left hook and finished him.”
Worst night of pro career: The Northern-Californian prospect feels he was less than his best on a couple of fights.
“There are two fights,” he said. “One was a southpaw (Jamal Parram) and he cut me, the other one I was still recovering from a car accident (Raymond Chacon) and wasn’t as recovered as much (as I should have been).
Next fight: Avila ends a near nine-month hiatus when he faces Erik Ruiz on Thursday in the main event of an LA Fight Club show at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes will televise the fight.
Ruiz (13-2, 6 KOs), a 24 year old from Oxnard, went the distance in a losing effort against touted prospect Jessie Magdaleno in his last bout.
Why he’s a prospect: Avila had a modest amateur career of just over 50 fights. His biggest successes came when he won bronze at the Junior Olympics in Marquette, Michigan. He also competed in the men’s open class in Colorado. He was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation at one time in the 114-pound division.
“As an amateur in Northern California, I was pretty much top dog,” he said. “I didn’t have 200, 300 fights but anybody they put me up against I was going right through them.”
Living in Northern California, Avila was something of a secret. “In my second to last fight, it was a loss (versus fellow up-and-comer Vic Pasillas), Cameron Dunkin discovered me,” explained Avila. “He liked my left hook. At 17 years old he gave my dad a call and asked me if I wanted to turn pro.”
He also fought 2012 Olympian Jose Ramirez, though was outpointed in what he described “a chess match.”
Avila gained valuable experience sparring with Nonito Donaire. The former four-weight world champion passed on some impressive comments: “He loved my jab; he was really impressed with it.” Avila believes he has several impressive attributes but says his left hook is a key weapon along with his composure under-fire.
Why he’s a suspect: Looking at Avila’s record, he only has a 43 percent knockout ratio. However, if you look closer at his record you can see that his power is rather deceptive.
“It’s just starting out in my career, in my second and third fights they started giving me a lot of people who wouldn’t stay there and go toe-to-toe with me,” he said. “Now they’re giving me tougher opponents but they’re right in front of me, so it kind of gives me my chance to unload on them and show my power.
In his last two fights Avila has stepped up the level of opposition and knocked both out.
“I know I have power but if they want to see it that I don’t I’ll let them see in the ring and give them a little test,” he said.
Avila is his own toughest critic: “In every fight I look for perfection. I try to be the best, there is always a mistake I make and I look to perfect it. I get a little wild, if I don’t throw enough jabs in one fight, I have to make sure I stick to the gameplan and keep using my jab or if I don’t go to the body enough, I have to look for total perfection.”
Story lines: As a child he says he was a little more spoiled than his sisters because of sport, initially he played baseball and soccer. When he was 9, his father asked him, “Do you want to try boxing” he said, “OK” though admits “never did I think I was going to turn it into a sport and compete.”
From then onwards he fell in love with boxing and it came easily to him: “It wasn’t even something hard to learn. Everything just clicked, I was able to pick things up real fast and I loved it.”
Although he wasn’t interested in boxing when he was young, the fighter that got his attention was Roy Jones Jr.
Over the past decade Andre Ward, Robert Guerrero and Nonito Donaire have helped put boxing on the map in Northern California. Avila hopes to supplant that in the coming years.
“I’m going to be the next guy; I’m going to make the difference. I’m the new kid, I’m coming up.”
He’s not married but has a girlfriend and enjoys going to the movies and working on cars.
Nov. 18 – Alexis Hernandez – UD 4
Feb. 11 – Jose Garcia – TKO4
Mar. 25 – Frank Gutierrez – TKO2
May 20 – Jesse Padilla – UD 4
Jun. 24 – Salvador Sibaja Cifuentes – UD 4
Oct. 15 – David Reyes – SD 4
Mar. 3 – David Reyes – UD 4
July 28 – Raymond Chacon – UD 4
Aug. 25 – Vicente Alfaro – TKO3
Sept. 22 – Jhon Alberto Molina – UD 8
Dec. 1 – Ricky Lopez – TKO8
Jun. 8 – Jamal Parram – UD 8
Oct. 28 – Jose Angel Cota – TKO2
Feb. 17 – Enrique Quevedo – UD 10
May 15- David De La Mora – KO2
Aug. 22 – Sergio Frias – KO8