New Faces: Lucas Bastida
Hometown: Mar del Plata, Argentina
Weight class: junior middleweight
Height: 6-foot-1 / 175 cm
Amateur record: 30-3
Turned pro: 2017
Pro record: 13-1, 7 knockouts
Trainer: Fernando Sosa
Manager: Mario Margossian
Promoter: Argentina Boxing Promotions
Best night of pro career and why: Bastida is happiest with his most recent win, a first round stoppage of compatriot Gonzalo Chaparro to become the South American middleweight titleholder in January 2020.
“I had always dreamed about becoming a champion,” Bastida told The Ring through Nicolas Samuilov of Argentina Boxing Promotions. “To conquer the title in my city, at home, in front of all my people, my family and friends, with a full packed venue, was unbelievable.
“The crowd that night was incredible. It is the first belt of what I expect to be a long list.”
Worst night of pro career and why: The recently turned 23-year-old is naturally most disappointed with his lone loss, against Hugo Roldán, in April 2018. However there were mitigating circumstances.
“I wasn’t working with my promoter and manager Mario Margossian at that time,” he said. “We took that fight because we needed to fight and I don’t reject any bout. I went as a visitor to his house [the fight took place 1,500 [kilometers/approximately 930 miles] north of Mar del Plata in Santiago del Estero], hoping things were going to be fair.
“But everything happened in the worst way, with local officials favoring the local fighter. First, they changed my gloves. And during the fight, Roldán headbutted me. That could have been accidental. I was able to continue, despite the cut. The referee [Mario Orellana] ruled it as a legal punch. After recovering from that, I was attacking and landing a lot [of punches]. The ref stopped the action and called the ring doctor, who said the cut was too deep, and they decided to stop the fight.”
Roldán was ruled the winner by third round TKO.
Next fight: Was scheduled to face Sergio Lopez for a regional junior middleweight title on March 27. However that fight was postponed due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
“Because of the importance of the belt, the winner of that would get a WBO world ranking,” explained Samuilov. “If everything had gone as planned, we were making arrangements to get Lucas to fight in the USA the following fight, around the middle of the year. As soon as the boxing activities resume, that is still the plan. But we will have to wait to see what happens.”
“El Tornado” is using the time wisely and looking to stay sharp.
“Everything changed, of course,” Bastida said. “I miss running every morning, training at the gym and sparring. I miss freedom. But this pandemic has changed everyone’s plans. I will have to wait a bit longer but I know I will get there. I respect every decision made by the experts and don’t go out.
“Nevertheless that doesn’t stop me training. I do regular exercise at home in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. I even have [heavy] bags and all kinds of equipment and I closely watch my diet. The good thing is that I have more time to watch videos and to look at every aspect I need to improve.”
Why he’s a prospect: Bastida was a good regional boxer and was the Buenos Aires Province champion, Atlantic Coast champion and Mar del Plata champion.
He has gained valuable experience sparring with a trio of light heavyweights Cesar Reynoso, Ruben Acosta and Ezequiel Acosta.
Bastida is a work in progress and believes his work ethic is key to his future development.
“I always like to be well trained, in the best shape possible,” he said. “That’s a key factor for me. I enjoy training and I am very hard on myself, the same as my coach. So that’s a good aspect. The rest comes with the hard work.
“I consider myself a boxer that has a bit of everything. I like to attack but if I have to use my legs and to defend myself, I can. If I have to get toe-to-toe and trade punches, I also do so. I try to be a complete boxer. Nevertheless I am still growing, learning, improving and have a long way to go.”
Why he’s a suspect: Bastida wasn’t a big amateur, so to do what he has already accomplished thus far is a testament to his ability.
The Argentinean scene is notoriously tough and if Bastida can rise above his contemporaries, that would be a significant achievement.
It’s still early in his career to see if he can step up a level and fight on the world scene. However he has time on his side to continue improving and he seems level-headed.
“There’s always a lot to improve and in every aspect,” Bastida admitted. “If you consider you don’t have to do so, that’s it for you; you are done. And not only in boxing and sports, in every aspect of life.
“That’s why I think I have to keep training every day and improving every aspect. Other than that, I would like to work more on my style, to have more precision. I want sparring sessions with tough and demanding fighters, boxers that have a higher level than me today, so to keep learning.”
Storylines: Bastida is the oldest of five children. His father is an electrician and handyman, while his mother looks after the family and is a housewife.
Initially Bastida took part in kickboxing for three months before turning to boxing.
“I was 16 years old,” he said of his introduction to boxing. “I wanted to start learning boxing but I didn’t have any gym near that I knew of. I found Fernando Sosa’s gym and everything started.
“On the second day, he made me spar, since I told him I was training [as a kickboxer]. Three months later, I had my first amateur fight.”
When he was 18, he was mugged and his left hand was severely injured.
“I went out with a few friends from school and, out of nowhere, a guy with a huge butcher knife appeared, demanding for money,” he said recalling the harrowing encounter. “I had almost nothing but the guy still demanded more. He stabbed me. I put my arms up to cover myself and he stabbed me a lot on my arms and hands as well.
“I ended with lots of injuries but most importantly three [damaged] tendons and a cut nerve. He even tried to stab me on my back when I was leaving and I managed to dodge him and he cut my jacket almost in half.”
Bastida had surgery and couldn’t move or feel his injured hand.
“They told me I was never going to be able to lift anything heavy, use that hand and parts of my arm and, of course, I had to forget about practicing any sports using arms, especially boxing, and to play any musical instrument,” he said. “I went to three different specialists, in order to get different opinions and they all said the same thing. It was the end for me.
“I couldn’t feel my hand, my fingers, part of my arm, I wasn’t able to move none of them. Even more, since my tendons were cut, I wasn’t able to stretch my hand. It was always in a curve shape.”
His rehabilitation included a type plastic that was tied to every one of his fingers.
“It was painful,” Bastida explained. “I only went running. That was all I could do.
“But after crying a lot, I knew this had to be another fight. It had to be something to overcome. When the plastic and the ties were out, I started with a physical therapy moving my fingers with my other hand. It hurt a lot but I had to do it. And I did. It motivated me.
“It took me six months just to recover that part. And eight months after the incident, I was back in the ring, with my first fight after that.”
His boxing hero is Muhammad Ali.
Bastida has a girlfriend with whom he has been for over 18 months. He likes to relax with his PlayStation and enjoys watching boxing and films and documentaries about boxers.
January 11 – Gonzalo Chapparo – TKO 1
October 25 – David Romero – TKO 1
August 30 – Felix Vargas – TKO 1
June 8 – Carlos Chaparro – UD 6
May 4 – Cristian Zarate – UD 6
February 9 – Arsovi Vazquez – UD 6
January 11 – Luis Vera – KO 5
December 7 – Nicolas Veron – UD 6
September 21 – Sergio Paysse – MD 6
August 17 – Facundo Sosa – KO 1
April 13 – Hugo Roldan – L TKO 3
March 9 – Ruben Salvatore – KO 6
November 11 – Nicolas Veron – TKO 1
August 20 – Nicolas Brito – UD 4
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