Monday, May 29, 2023  |


Neeco Macias returns to action tonight after four-year retirement

Junior middleweight Neeco Macias
Fighters Network

Junior middleweight Neeco Macias succumbed to the itch to return to the ring.

Macias will return to action tonight at Emerald Queen Casino, in Tacoma, Washington, as he squares off against Ramon Ayala. The eight-round Macias-Ayala fight will precede the main event between featherweights Angel Contreras and Brandon Valdes.

The 31-year-old Macias (17-2, 10 knockouts), who resides in Tehachapi, California, retired from boxing after losing a split decision to gatekeeper Jeremy Ramos in March 2019. In his previous fight in November 2018, Macias lost by majority decision to Jesus Soto-Karass.

Known for his all-action style and throwing an enormous amount of punches, Macias decided to return to the ring after recently opening his own boxing gym in Tehachapi, known as MBT Gym.

“I retired four years ago,” said Macias. “Why? It’s complicated. I had a tough fight with Soto-Karass, which wasn’t the problem. I lasted 10 rounds against a top fighter. Then I fought a good fighter who is now my buddy (Ramos). Golden Boy (Promotions) had me in a special contract. Before the fight, the rounds were changed from 10 to eight, I got paid $15,000 less and they took the decision away from me.

“Jeremy is a super-cool guy. We had an eight-round war. When the scores were announced, his face was lumped up and I didn’t have a scratch, just a smile. I think Golden Boy wanted to get rid of me. I accepted it as part of my boxing destiny.”

After working out, Macias decided to return to action on a fight card, on April 29, in Bakersfield, California. After hearing discussions that the card may or may not take place, he touched base with promoter Whit Haydon about fighting on tonight’s card in Tacoma.

“I had been sparring Sebastian Fundora (who is ranked No. 3 by The Ring) for his fight [on Saturday] against Brian Mendoza on Showtime,” said Macias. “The stars were aligned. God spoke to me. I took the fight and I’m ready.”

Macias is not worried about ring rust or whether or not he will be at his best tonight.

“I’m stronger than ever,” said Macias. “I learned to rest to perform better. I gave my whole body a rest. I’m taking this as one fight. After [tonight], questions about my fighting future will be answered. Training camp is over and I’m on weight. Fans are going to see the same ‘Rooster.’ I started boxing at the age of 20 and fell in love with it.”

Macias will turn 32 on April 22.

Ayala (25-7-1, 13 KOs), who grew up in Cuernavaca, Mexico, has not fought since losing by unanimous decision to then-unbeaten Richard Brewart Jr. on July 22. The 34-year-old has lost five of his last seven bouts.

In a compelling heavyweight clash, Dante Stone (11-1, 9 KOs), of Phoenix, will face unbeaten Detrailous Webster (5-0, 2 KOs) in a six-round bout.

Jon Bryant (6-0, 2 KOs), of Clinton, Utah, will square off against San Diego’s Timothy Parks (5-3-1, 4 KOs) in a six-round junior middleweight bout.



Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 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 at [email protected] and on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.