New Faces: Yahir Frank
Hometown: Hermosillo, Mexico
Weight class: flyweight
Height: 5-foot-3 (163 cm)
Amateur record: 95-25
Turned pro: 2020
Pro record: 10-0 (7 knockouts)
Trainer: Alfredo Caballero
Manager: Alfredo Caballero
Promoter: Mario Abraham (Max Boxing)
Best night of pro career and why: Frank is most pleased with taking a rival’s unbeaten record last summer.
“It was against Ivan ‘Tsunami’ Garcia,” Frank told The Ring. “It is well-known that he is a strong fighter, and I knocked him out impressively.
“It was important for me; it was a fight everybody thought I would lose because Ivan Garcia was a good prospect with a good record. I prepared well for that fight because I knew it was a good opportunity for me. The plan was to work the body first. The moment of the knockout was a good hook to the body, and then I went up with the left hook and knocked him out in Round 4.”
Worst night of pro career and why: The 20-year-old is an attack-minded fighter and is disappointed when he’s not able to stop his opponents.
“All the fights that went to the distance,” he said of the performances he believes came up short. “I know all those fights. I went up to bantamweight to fight, and the opponents have a better opportunity because of the weight. It was complicated for me to fight a bigger guy. That is why I don’t like those fights. It was an advantage for my opponents. I feel better at flyweight or junior flyweight.”
What’s Next: Frank will face Raul Rubio at the TV Azteca Studios in Mexico City on the Zanfer undercard of Yamileth Mercado-Mariana Juarez on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Rubio (14-1, 7 KOs) turned professional in 2018. The 21-year-old Los Mochis native has fought between junior bantamweight and flyweight. He won his first 14 fights before losing to Rogelio Romero (MD 6) in December 2021.
Why he’s a prospect: Frank had over 100 amateur contests, which gave him a basic foundation before switching to the professional side of the sport in 2020.
He has gained invaluable experience spending time and sparring with current Ring junior bantamweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada.
“I sparred four times with Estrada, a total of 10 rounds,” he said. “He has good punches to the body. He moves a lot in the ring.
“It was a great experience, because Estrada is a great technical fighter — a great fighter.”
Frank is keen to soak up any advice from one of the best fighters in the world.
“In general, I felt good,” said Frank. “But when ‘Gallo’ Estrada started moving, it was complicated for me. ‘Gallo’ told me I need to be a better technical fighter and improve my side steps to have better opportunities in the fights.”
Frank feels a few things set him apart from the competition.
“My hook, my concentration and my coordination,” he said. “Hitting to the body is one of the best things in the ring because you are softening up your opponent, and then you go for the finish.”
His trainer, Alfredo Caballero, who is famed for his work with former WBC 130-pound titleholder Miguel Berchelt as well as Estrada, says his fighter has the key skills that will take him a long way.
“His courage and insistence of discipline in training and his punch impress me,” said Caballero.
Frank is promoted by Mario Abraham, who formed Max Boxing in 2010. Abraham has been around boxing since he was a child and is embedded in the scene in southern Mexico.
“My father had four world champions: Guty Espadas, Freddy Castillo, Juan Herrera and Lupe Madera,” he explained. “In that time, there were only two organizations and fewer weight divisions. I have had two world champions: Guty Espadas Jr. and Miguel Berchelt.”
Having been so many top-level fighters, Abraham knows what to look for.
“His hard punch, his body work — every punch [Frank] lands hurts his opponent,” said Abraham.
Why he’s a suspect: It’s still very early in Frank’s career, and he is finding his feet and getting used to the professional side of the sport. He needs time to grow and gain experience.
Frank acknowledges he has been reckless in past fights.
“Years ago, I was a very different fighter,” he said. “I went without thinking, and we have worked on that a lot in the gym to improve that. I think better now and stand in the center of the ring thinking.
“I have to work more my straight punches and uppercuts. I don’t throw a lot of straight punches and uppercuts. I always throw the hook and big punches. I don’t throw a lot of jabs, but I’m working on that. In defense, I receive a lot of straight punches, but every fight I receive, it’s less. I’m improving every fight.”
Caballero says his young charge needs to work on two things: “His defense and in throwing more uppercuts.”
It would benefit Frank to slow his approach down and not look to make every punch the knockout blow.
Storylines: Frank, who is the youngest of four brothers, was born and raised in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico.
“Like every childhood, I had happy and difficult moments,” he said. “My parents always looked after me and my brothers.”
Street fighting led him taking up boxing at a young age.
“I had a cousin who trained boxing, and my uncle put me in the gym,” he said of his introduction to the sport. “I arrived and he put me in a fight and I liked it — I was only 7 years old.”
There are two boxing icons that Frank looks up to.
“I really like Mike Tyson because of his aggressiveness and wanting to take the head off whoever they put on him,” he said. “And then Julio César Chávez because his technique and his hook.”
The Mexican has one short-term target.
“I want to fight for Youth title and have strong opponents so people can know my name,” he said. “I want to fight the best names in my division and go up in the rankings and to have a good opportunity for a title soon.
“I want to be a world champion and to be one of the best Mexican fighters.”
Frank lives 150 miles from home in Hermosillo but maintains a strong relationship with his family.
“My parents are in Obregon. When I get chance, I go to visit them,” he said. “I always have a good time talking about all the things they’ve done while I’m not in town. Also with my brothers I have a good relationship. I love to spend time with my family.”
He also enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, running and watching movies.
June 25 – Carlos Meija – TKO 1
Dec. 18 – Christian Pachecho Marroquin – UD 4
Aug. 28 – Ivan Garcia Balderas – KO 4
May 13 – Edwin Medina Chin – UD 4
April 24 – David Villalobos Noriega – TKO 1
Feb. 6 – Jose Loreto Salcedo – KO 1
Nov. 27 – Javier Vera – SD 4
Oct. 22 – Diego Salazar – TKO 1
Aug. 21 – Marvin Romero – TKO 2
March 7 – Brayan Barrios – KO 1
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].