Morales Turns Pro in Santa Ynez on February 4th
One of top amateurs in all of the United States will enter the paid ranks next month, as San Ardo, California’s Roman Morales turns professional on February 4th. Morales signed a managerial contract with the biggest hype man in boxing, Repo Ric, and will make his debut at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California.
Article posted on 04.01.2011
Morales capped a stellar amateur career by claiming a gold medal at the prestigious Four Nations Tournament in Berck Sur Mer, France in November and will now begin his march towards gold as a pro. The Fresno, California-based Repo Ric has kept an eye on Morales for sometime and is excited to be guiding his promising career. “I’m very excited,” said Ric. “It’s time to turn pro. I’m a mechanic and all I need is the right tool. Without the right tool, I am not going to get anywhere in boxing. I know that he is the right tool, so we are going to take him to the next level.”
Morales, who was ranked near the top of the 123-pound weight class throughout his amateur career, will retain longtime amateur trainer Rodolpho Tapia. Their relationship goes much deeper than boxing, and Tapia looks forward to the journey ahead. “He has been boxing since he was twelve and he discovered boxing with me,” recalls Tapia. “I told him, ‘You started with me and if want to end your career with me, fine. I am your uncle, and have been like your father since you were eleven, twelve.’ For me, he is like my son. I am not worried about whether he decides to do something different. I just want for him the best.”
As is the case with any top amateur fighter, Morales and his team had to assess their prospects for making the U.S. Olympic team before deciding to turn professional. However, the process for making the 2012 team is different than in any preceding year, as the ongoing World Series of Boxing may impact how the team is chosen. “In his case, if Roman won the Trials and everything, he would have had the choice to go up in weight, or go down, because they want to give priority to the champion of the World Series of Boxing,” explains Tapia.
Now determined to make a go at the paid ranks, Tapia has begun making the tweaks in training necessary to adjust to the much different pro game. “The thing for us, we have been sparring and training with pros,” says Tapia. “So that will help us a lot when he goes pro. When he went to France, we were working very different, more on speed, speed and going for points. Now when we spar as pros it is a little bit different. We are not training for points.”
Morales will be aptly prepared when he meets his yet to be determined opponent on February 4th. In addition to getting in some work with the top amateurs in the country in Colorado Springs, Colorado before 2010 ended, Morales will be down in Van Nuys, California at Joe Goossen’s training camp this week. Morales is expected to spar Goossen-trained prospects Matt Villanueva and Kevin Hoskins.
Morales’ debut will take place on the undercard of a Showtime-televised event promoted by Gary Shaw Productions. Morales’ manager Repo Ric expects the promotional company to be impressed by his charge and aim to sign the former amateur star. In any event, Ric expects Morales to get six fights in 2011. “I am going to manage him to the best of my abilities,” said Repo. “He’s in Allstate, he’s in good hands.”
Tickets for the February 4th event, headlined by power-punching cruiserweight prospect Lateef Kayode, priced reasonably at $35, $45, $55, $70 and $85, are available online at ChumashCasino.com.
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