Undefeated Jerry Belmontes, 17-0, 5 KOs, sees his upcoming nationally televised 10-rounder with Eric Hunter, 16-2, 9 KOs, as the opportunity he’s been waiting for to breakthrough to the next level in the super-featherweight division. In fact he feels that if he can win big enough to impress fans and the powers that be, a victory over Hunter might just earn him a title shot. The fight will be shown live on NBC Sports Network Fight Night; the telecast begins at 10 PM ET.
"From the way we’re going to perform, to the way we’re going to fight," Belmontes said, "this fight will get me up there. Eric Hunter has a name. I remember him from the amateurs. A really good boxer. I think I’ve seen him fight two times as a pro. So I know a lot about him."
Belmontes, the "Corpus Christi Kid", started boxing as a 65-pound, ten year old, and went on to build an amazing amateur record of 119-18, collecting numerous national and international amateur titles along the way. He turned pro at age 18 in 2008. Eric "The Outlaw" Hunter also had a distinguished amateur run, and holds a reputation in Philly as one of the City’s most talented boxers. Although the pair never met back in the day, this professional showdown couldn’t be more important to their careers.
"Every time you fight on national TV, that’s a huge thing," Belmontes said. "Fighting on NBC Sports Network Fight Night and finally fighting ten rounds, that’s just another step closer to a world championship."
After a few false starts with early promoters and managers, Belmontes feels he’s got the right team and the right focus to take it all the way to the top.
"Main Events is leading me down the right path to be a world champion," he said. "Right now, I feel the pace is right. I’m happy that I’m with them."
Belmontes looks forward to an eventful 2013, "In 2013, we’re looking for the best, everybody in the top ten; I know it will come next year. We’re going to call people out like crazy, and hopefully they answer." He added, "What I really want is to have one or two fights in Corpus Christi and then fight for the title. But if a title fight comes sooner, then that’s cool with me."
Yuriorkis Gamboa, Diego Magdaleno, Rances Barthelemy, Juan Carlos Delgado and Orlando Salido are all on Belmontes radar for the upcoming year.
The match itself may turn out to be the fight of the night on the blockbuster card from Temple University’s Pearson / Mcgonigle Hall in North Philly. Both men are accomplished boxers who are depending on a win.
"We’re just going in there to execute the game plan," Belmontes said. "To be a world champion would be a dream come true. It’s been my dream since I started boxing, and now I’m hungrier to be a world champion because I’m so close to it. Nothing’s going to stop me from getting to where I want to be."
November 30, 2012