By: Sergio Luis Martinez
On February 1, 2014, in Laredo, Texas, former amateur Texan star and onetime, blue-chip boxing prospect Roberto Marroquin (23-3-0 with 13 KOs) is slated to face Mexican journeyman Alejandro Rodriguez (21-13-0 with 12 KOs) at the Laredo Energy Arena. The fight is scheduled for eight rounds at 133 pounds as part of the undercard of a Top Rank event that will be televised on the “Solo Boxeo” fight series.
Photo Credit: Luis Perez
For Marroquin, Rodriguez is supposed to be a “stay busy” type of a fight to help get him back on track and add a win to his record. The problem is that, in his last fight in June 2013, Marroquin was in a similar situation when he faced aging trial horse Daniel Diaz. Although this was to be a win for the Texan, no one shared the plan with Diaz: after the final score cards were tallied, Marroquin found himself on the losing end of a split decision. It would be his second loss in his last three fights.
Although the cards went against him in the Diaz fight, Marroquin felt that he had done enough to earn the victory. Speaking to Boxing Insider, Marroquin said, “Everybody gets caught sometimes and I don’t know if it was the first or second knockdown but I ended up with two torn ligaments. That’s why I was limping the rest of the fight. When I went down the second time I thought to myself, ‘either stay down and end your career or get up and try to knock this guy out.’ Unfortunately, the judges didn’t give it to me, but I thought I did enough to pull out a split decision victory but it is what it is. I didn’t give up and I went out fighting.”
Marroquin added, “There is no easy fight in boxing and one punch can change everything. As long as we come in shape and follow our plan, there isn’t any reason why I should lose against [Alejandro] Rodriguez. I feel better than ever because I’m fighting at a higher weight. Below [130 pounds], I had to chop off an arm and a leg to make that weight. Even at 122, when I fought Rigondeaux, I was shocked that I made the weight. Now, it’s nice that I got to eat breakfast today, you know?”
Regarding his weight, Marroquin made it clear that he is convinced that while standing at 5’10”, fighting at less than 130 pounds was detrimental to his career. Still, sometimes decisions are made and as a fighter, he respected those decisions and did as he was told. Marroquin said, “Sometimes your corner or the promotional company think that it’s better for you to fight at a certain weight. Everyone finally agreed and accepted that fight under 130 pounds was not the best thing for me. I told my team and [Top Rank] that I want to get back into contention with a couple of good wins. I would love to get a fight with Mikey Garcia and win a title at 130 pounds then move up to 135.”
Marroquin continued, “Like I said before, I’m just glad I was able to have breakfast today, man. I’m working with strength and conditioning coach Luis Flores for the first time and I had no problems making 133 pounds. Two weeks ago, I was only six pounds over my contracted weight and that’s never happened before so I feel good about this weight. I was used to being 15 pounds overweight the contracted weights with two weeks left, in the past.”
Despite everything that the 24 year old has been through, Marroquin is still young and believes in himself. He also has the benefit of still having the support of his promoters behind him. “Top Rank told me that setbacks happen and even Bruce Trampler mentioned that I fought my heart out in the Diaz fight and he felt that I had won the fight. They still feel that I have the potential to become a world champion and they now agree that I shouldn’t fight below 130 pounds because those aren’t my weight classes. We’re now just working on putting on some muscles because, as you can see, I’m a skinny guy,” Marroquin added, laughing.
In closing, Marroquin had this message to everyone: “I just wanted to say thanks to all the support, especially to everyone here in Texas who has supported me since day one. I just want to let everyone know that we’ve been training hard and we’re looking to get back and not leave them hanging. I’m going to go out there and show everyone on February 1st that Marroquin is back on the map.”