Carlos Ocampo looks to re-enter the title picture, this time at 154 pounds
Fighting in a new weight class after suffering his first defeat as a pro has brought success to Carlos Ocampo. Now fighting at 154 pounds, Ocampo believes another world title shot is in his reach.
Ocampo must first get by Abraham Juarez, on Saturday night, at the Grand Hotel, in Tijuana, Mexico. The 10-round bout will air live on Azteca TV (Channel 7) throughout Mexico.
Saturday will mark the first fight card of 2021 for Zanfer Promotions.
Ocampo (27-1, 17 knockouts), who resides in nearby Ensenada, has not fought since December 2019, stopping Argentina’s Adolfo Moreschi after Round 4. He has won his last five bouts since losing by knockout in the opening round to IBF welterweight titleholder Errol Spence in June of 2018.
The 25-year-old believes he is on the cusp of a title opportunity, possibly later this year, but is not overlooking Juarez.
“I am very happy and grateful Zanfer considered me to headline the show that kicks off the year,” said Ocampo, who made his pro debut at the age of 16 in July 2012. “My opponent has a lot of experience, has fought a lot around the world and he has a lot of quality. I have seen him fight and I know I can beat him.
“I need to win to move up [the rankings], so I can be amongst the top five in the world. I want to fight for a world title belt at 154 pounds this year.”
Despite having not fought in 2020, Ocampo is confident he will not have any ring rust as he has been consistently training. One advantage Juarez does have over Ocampo is that he fought three times last year, losing two of those fights.
Juarez (17-6, 6 KOs), who resides in Mexico City, was victorious in his most recent bout on September 26, deferring Placido Perez Soria by unanimous decision. The 24-year-old suffered his most notable losses at the hands of unbeaten Christian Mbilli in October 2019 and to former IBF junior middleweight titleholder Carlos Molina on July 25.
In the co-feature, Jorge Luis Garcia (18-2, 16 KOs), of Los Mochis, Mexico, will face Tijuana’s Jose Bernardino Lozano (6-0, 6 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight bout.
Unbeaten junior lightweight prospect Humberto Galindo (12-0-1, 9 KOs), of Riverside, California, will square off against Gregorio Soto in a six-round bout. Soto (12-3-2, 8 KOs) of Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, will be the first opponent Galindo will face with a winning record.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.