Richard Vansiclen: ‘I will showcase skill and power versus Juan Carrillo’
Some may be wary of change but Richard Vansiclen has embraced it.
As one door closed for the unbeaten prospect, another swung wide open for Vansiclen, allowing him the opportunity to compete in the 175-pound division.
Vansiclen will face Juan Carrillo in a compelling clash of unbeaten light heavyweights, Friday night, at Turning Stone Resort Casino, in Verona, New York. The 10-round bout will precede the main event between light heavyweights Ali Izmailov and Charles Foster.
Both fights will air live on Showtime as part of the three-bout “ShoBox” telecast (9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT).
The southpaw Vansiclen (13-0-1, 6 knockouts), who resides in Seattle, Washington, most recently fought on February 22 to a majority draw against once-beaten Manuel Gallegos, of Mexico. The Gallegos bout took place over five months after Vansiclen defeated top prospect Hakim Lopez by unanimous decision.
Vansiclen does take the win over the highly-touted Lopez into consideration but thought he deserved the nod against Gallegos, the aforementioned closed “door.”
“It was a great fight that I believe I won,” Vansiclen told The Ring Wednesday morning. “Gallegos was tough and [the fight] showed that I’m tough as well.”
The 29-year-old now has his sights set on Carrillo (10-0, 8 KOs), a hard-hitting orthodox fighter from Barranquilla, Colombia. The 30-year-old Carrillo has won his last six bouts by stoppage.
Including Carrillo, the combined record of Vansiclen’s last three opponents is 42-2. Carrillo represented Colombia in the 2016 Olympic Games and may be the favorite going in but Vansiclen embraces being the underdog, as it reflects his life, in and out of the ring.
“I’m a puncher too,” said Vansiclen, whose corner consists of head trainer Ricardo Acuna, along with Christopher Mendez and Jon Parham. “Too many people forget that I have that power too. I will showcase skill and power [on Friday night].
“I’ve been the underdog since birth (Vansiclen was raised by a single mother). I’ve been motivated my whole life. The odds have always been against me.”
Vansiclen was a star football player in high school. After graduating, he planned on playing football at the University of Washington. He decided to drop football during his freshman year but picked up boxing the following school year.
While at the University of Washington, Vansiclen competed in numerous tournaments, becoming a three-time All-American in boxing and winning the Golden Gloves state tournaments in 2015 and 2016. He would earn a bachelor’s degree from the university in Nutritional Sciences.
Vansiclen is glad he made the switch to boxing, even if it was a late start, compared to other fighters who begin boxing in their pre-teenage years. He does not regret his decision and believes the obstacles he faced are what made him the fighter he is today.
A win over Carrillo will be the beginning in a journey to contender status at 175 pounds.
“I would say fighting is in my blood,” said Vansiclen. “Sports has always been in my life. Boxing has allowed me to continue my athletic lifestyle and follow my passion. I’ve produced a college degree, a successful modeling and boxing career.
“When we win, it will be a great victory, propelling us where we should be.”
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]. You can also follow Francisco on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.