New Faces: Joseph Adorno
Hometown: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Weight class: Lightweight
Height: 5-foot-6 (168 cm)
Amateur record: 156-22 (65 knockouts)
Turned pro: 2016
Pro record: 11-0 (10 KOs)
Trainer: Anibal Adorno
Manager: Robert Garcia and Anibal Adorno
Promoter: Top Rank
Best night of pro career and why: Adorno is most pleased with his victory over Kevin Cruz last October.
“Lots of people believed that Cruz was better because of his experience. He was 8-0 and southpaw, so people believed that it was going to be very difficult. I knocked him down twice but the fight ended in unanimous decision,” Adorno told RingTV.com. “I proved that night that I have power and have the capacity to get the distance with no problem and I showed how to cut my opponent’s rhythm.”
Worst night of pro career and why: The 19-year-old is least pleased with his most recent performance against Mexican journeyman Luis Gerardo Avila. It was his first fight in Puerto Rico, which may have attributed to his occasional reckless approach.
“My opponent visited the canvas twice but I got carried away by myself and not by my corner instructions,” he explained. “That’s why the fight extended a little bit more until my dad and my team screamed at me in the corner to make adjustments, use the jab more, etc. and I ended with a TKO victory in the fourth.”
Next fight: Adorno kicks of his 2019 campaign against tough trialhorse Victor Rosas on his promoter’s big St. Patrick’s Day show at Madison Square Garden.
“I never underestimate my opponents,” he said. “I know that every fight is difficult although the records do not say that. An undefeated record does not mean it’s strong. Victor is 10-8 and he can be stronger than Kevin Cruz and Victor is left-handed too. It’s the second time I fought at the MSG and I cannot wait. I loved that experience.”
Rosas, 31, turned professional in 2012 and although he has a near-.500 record, is durable and has only been stopped once in his eight losses. He went the distance with Olympic gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (L UD 8) and fellow up-and comer Jamaine Ortiz (L UD 6).
Adorno figures to be too skillful for the rugged Rosas but if he can get the stoppage, that would be a statement of intent.
Why he’s a prospect: Adorno won a plethora of titles and tournaments in nearly 200 amateur fights. He is a 13-time National champion and won Silver Gloves, Ringside and Junior Olympic tournaments. At just 16, he finished third at the Golden Gloves. That experience was pivotal to him turning professional at 17.
In the unpaid ranks, he beat Olympic silver medalist and rising professional prospect Shakur Stevenson twice, first when he was 10 years old and again when he was 12.
Adorno has sparred with four-division titlist Mikey Garcia, IBF junior lightweight titlist Tevin Farmer and former 130-pound title challenger Christopher Diaz, among others.
He fought six times in 2018 and hopes to be just as active this year.
“I can fight six times in 2019,” he explained, “but it will depend on how I get on in each fight and how we perform.”
Adorno feels his jab is his single best weapon.
“Every time I use the jab, I can see their faces’ expression of pain and it works great,” he said. “In my last fight, the jab was the opening to grab the win.”
Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman feels Adorno has another key strength: “He’s a real good puncher; he can knock guys out with one shot, especially his left hook.”
Why he’s a suspect: It’s still very early in the youngster’s career for anything significant to show up. He’s taking everything in stride and not getting ahead of himself.
“I need to improve in everything,” he said. “I can win in one round and there’s always some space to fix mistakes in that short time when you watch the replay. We always work on all aspects of fighting styles.”
The Puerto Rican got overly excited when he hurt Avila in his first appearance on the boxing-crazy island. As he gains more experience and matures, that will likely disappear from his game.
Goodman feels “Blessed Hands” will benefit greatly from a training camp on the West Coast.
“He needs to go to the Robert Garcia camp,” said Goodman. “He needs more experience and get better sparring, go to a real good training camp. Once he steps up in opposition, that’s what he’s going to need.
“His next fight will be an eight-round fight and if he fights somewhat of a decent type of opponent, he’ll probably go out to Riverside and train.”
We have yet to see how he reacts to some adversity, such as not getting things his own way, getting cut, hurt or dropped.
Storylines: Adorno was born in Union City, New Jersey. His family moved to Puerto Rico when he was eight months old before returning to the United States when he was nine, settling in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Adorno first began boxing when he was five years old with his younger sibling Jeremy, who will make his professional debut on March 30.
“I always loved to fight and take punches,” he said of his youth. “I was very quiet in school but when there was trouble and other students were provoking me, I was ready to fight and give it my all. I love boxing; I want to be a star in this sport and have fame.”
His early years were difficult; his family didn’t own a house and they lived with his grandmother.
“My dad never stopped training me and my brother Jeremy until we found a gym 20 minutes from Grandma’s house,” Adorno said. “We did not know English; we had to adapt to the language and then we found a house where my dad made his gym in the garage and, from there, a boxer, Miguel Diaz, trained with us and become a WBC Youth champion at 115 pounds.
“From that garage we became National champions. Many children and adults were attending the gym since my dad did not charge them. He did it for the love of the sport.”
Although he has was born in the States and has lived there for a decade now, Adorno considers himself Puerto Rican first and foremost.
“I’m Puerto Rican 100 percent, from Manuel A. Perez (public housing in Puerto Rico, a subsidized system of housing units, mostly consisting of housing projects),” he said proudly of his heritage.
His boxing hero is Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Adorno is single and he enjoys relaxing and spending time with his family when he’s not training and keeping away from the streets.
November 24: Luis Gerardo Avila – TKO 4
October 20: Kevin Cruz – UD 6
August 18: Agustine Mauras – TKO 1
July 7: Guadalupe De Leon – KO 3
April 28: Jorge Hugo Padron – KO 1
March 17: Ivan De La Madrid – TKO 1
November 21: Corben Page – TKO 2
May 26: David Quay – TKO 1
March 10: Marco Antonio Ocano – TKO 1
February 3: Jonathan Hernandez – KO 1
December 2: Guy Newman – TKO 1
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