By Jackie Kallen
I am really looking forward to Michael Dallas, Jr.’s fight on Friday night against Javier Castro on ESPN2. It looks like it will be a thrilling main event. This is Michael’s first 12-rounder and he has been training his butt off for it.
It’s not just the WBO Latino Light Welter belt that is motivating him. It’s the chance to redeem himself on ESPN2 and score an impressive win.
In January 2011, Dallas jr was stopped in the seventh round by Josesito Lopez. It was his first defeat and Dallas jr. took it hard. He wasn’t hurt, but his pride took a beating. He felt humiliated on national TV and was embarrassed. He knew he could have fought better and he was angry at himself. Five months later he fought Maurice Herrara in Temecula, CA and lost a close decision. Most ringsiders had Dallas jr. ahead and even the TV announcers were shocked. The shouts of “Bullshit! Bullshit!” emphasized the fact that the crowd was displeased.
Again Dallas, jr. was disheartened. He had done enough to win and been robbed of the decision. He was frustrated and bewildered. This was not how he pictured his career progressing. He made up for the loss somewhat in his February 2012 outing against Miguel Gonzalez in Texas. Although an accidental head-butt opened up a cut over Michael’s left eye in the 2nd round, he prevailed and won a shut-out on all three judge’s cards.
Now the man he is facing is a guy with a lot more experience. Castro is a tough Mexican who is three years older and has had 31 pro fights. Michael has had 20. Castro has an impressive 71% KO percentage compared to Michael’s more modest 33%. But Michael makes up for it with his speed, slick movement, and ringmanship. He is not afraid of any fighter and knows that this is his chance to show the boxing public what he is made of.
A solid win over Castro puts Dallas Jr. back where we want him to be. He will be in the ratings and be able to campaign for a world title shot. He can start aiming for top names like Khan, Marquez, Peterson, Garcia and Rios. He is aware that he must get past Castro to even say those names out-loud.
Under the watchful eye of Andre Ward’s trainer–Virgil Hunter–Michael has been improving steadily and gaining in confidence as well as skill. He has worked on the things that he felt needed improving and has gotten more mature and fine-tuned.
Castro is hungry, also, and needs this fight to keep his dreams alive. He lost fights in both 2010 and 2011 and I’m sure he would love to get through 2012 without another L on his record. Naturally I am hoping that Michael Dallas, jr. hands him yet another defeat.
The fight, at Soboba Casino on Friday night, will be a test for both men. One will move up the ladder and one win slip down a rung. Although I am admittedly biased, here’s hoping that I am in the winning corner come Friday night.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen