Antonio DeMarco vs. Miguel Roman on March 17th
March, 7, 2012 - The deciding moment for Antonio DeMarco to take his destiny in his hands was the morning as a young teenager when he awoke to find his mother crying at the kitchen table. That day there wasn't a morsel to eat at the DeMarco home and Antonio understood that it was time to grow up and contribute to their humble household. Determined not to be a burden on his parents and hoping to be able to help them get out of the poverty that had so savagely taken a hold, DeMarco, at the tender age of fourteen, embarked with just a backpack over his shoulder on a journey that would lead him to one day capture the World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight title and realize one of his wildest dreams.
Article posted on 08.03.2012
DeMarco first traveled to Mexico City where he would try his luck not in the ring but on a soccer field. When that plan didn't bear any fruit, destiny grabbed ahold and led DeMarco to Tijuana, Mexico. Since his grandfather and an uncle had been Mexican national middleweight champs, it was only logical that DeMarco would try his luck with a pair of gloves strapped onto his hands. It was precisely his uncle, Everardo "Flash" Armenta, who took DeMarco to Tijuana and left him with more than capable hands. DeMarco was not only welcomed into the home of his trainer Romulo Quirarte, fed and clothed, but was eventually also accepted into the family when DeMarco married Quirarte's granddaughter, Tania. DeMarco is the son-in-law of two-time world champion of Raul "Jibaro" Perez.
Now, twelve years later, the twenty-six year old DeMarco (26-2-1, 19KOs) returns to his hometown of Los Mochis as a world champion having captured the vacant green and gold belt last October with one of the most memorable finishes in recent memory when he stopped two-time world champion Jorge Linares in the eleventh round. DeMarco will defend his title for the first time versus fellow Mexican Miguel "Mickey" Roman (37-9, 28KOs) of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, at the Polideportivo Centenario on Saturday, March 17th. The twelve round championship bout will be broadcast live in Mexico by Televisa.
DeMarco on that day when he saw his mother cry:
"You can never forget the tears of your mother. Her tears helped me to take the path set out for me which led to this marvelous moment that I live now. I have to say that even to this day, I can't believe it but I am enjoying to the fullest. It can not be possible that the scrawny kid that left his home that day is now a world champion, I feel very privileged."
On his boxing career:
"What has happened in the last five years is incredible. It seems as if I rubbed a magic genie bottle and he made all my wishes come true. First I headlined on ShoBox and that for me was incredible. Then came the opportunity for the NABO title and after that the interim WBC title versus Alfaro and I won those fights. I then faced Valero and I lost the title but I learned a lot from that fight. It was a loss that taught me more that my wins and it showed me what I was capable of."
On becoming a boxer:
"My mother cried when I left home to come to Tijuana and I had problems with my father when he found out that I wanted to be fighter. Back then I was a kid of fourteen who had a dream and it hurt to leave my family but now that I have my daughter Camila, I understand my parents and I admire them for letting me leave home at such a young age. I am a world champion but that would have never happened if they hadn't let me go."
On the people that helped him in Tijuana:
"God gave me the opportunity and we have won with hard work but it is an achievement that it is not only mine. Not a lot of people know but there are many people that helped me when I first got to Tijuana, that fed me, gave me a place to stay when I arrived to Tijuana with nothing. This opportunity I owe it to the Quirarte family, to the parents of (Juan Pablo) Che-Che Lopez and Marvin Quintero. If somebody deserves this belt, its them because they were the ones that pushed me to get here as well as my daughter Camila. My biggest dream is to be able to send my daughter to school and for her not to have the life that I did. That is why this opportunity to be a champion is also hers."
On fighting in Los Mochis:
"I want to thank Baja Boxing and Mr. Gary Shaw because they are making another one of my dreams come true which is to fight in my hometown of Los Mochis and in front of my people as a world champion. It will be my honor to defend my title in Los Mochis. You don't know how motivated I am since they informed me that the fight would be in Los Mochis. I am going to come out with everything so not to disappoint anybody and I want to dedicate the fight to all the fans of Los Mochis but with out forgetting my beloved Tijuana."
On Miguel "Mickey" Roman:
"Roman is a great fighter, aggressive who is always pushing forward but he is a fighter with virtues and defects just like me."
On the strategy versus Roman:
"We are working on certain things to take away his aggressiveness but to be honest sometimes the tactics you work on in the gym don't work in the ring. That is why the thing that we are going to do most in this fight is give it our all, our heart, our soul, our will to be somebody and the desire to keep being a world champion. That is what is going to help me withstand everything and win the fight."
On Romulo Quirarte:
"Romulo Quirarte is a man that has a lot of experience. He is a wonderful person. God sent him to form good men, more than fighters and world champions. It is an honor for me that he is in my corner or better said, it is a privilege for me to be in his corner. It is a big advantage to have him there. He gives me tranquility and he is able to transmit his experience in a way that makes you feel like you own the ring."
On his strength:
"Everybody sees me as this lanky, skinny kid but I have the hunger to succeed and the will to win at life. That is where my strength and that extra effort comes from. I want to be somebody and leave my mark. I don't want to be somebody just in boxing. If God grants me that, I will gratefully accept it but I am more interested in being a good father, a good husband and a good gym mate. To better myself as a human being is what I am looking for."
March 7, 2012 – Mexico City.
From WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán: The following is one of the weekly “Hook to the Liver” columns by WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán that are published in El Universal every Sunday. From March 4, translated from Spanish:
HOOK TO THE LIVER
By José Sulaimán
Commitment of Perseverance and Determination For Unity in Boxing.
We're at an age when most have deep thoughts in regards to where has our life gone, when the best of our years are probably gone. I think about all that my eyes have seen and my heart has felt during all those 67 years that I have been in the sport of my love, boxing, and I now feel that those years have flown faster than the wind into the path of no return.
I remember those years during my adolescence when at the age of 10 or 11 I used to climb into the ring for the pre-professional fights, called the "hors d' oeuvres" children fights - which at the beginning, I used to do in secrecy from my parents, when I had many boxers as friends, all very poor - when boxing as a bohemian sport and boxers only dreamed about being champions, honor, pride and glory.
Those years of the hundreds and thousands in fan attendance, when promoters had the ticket sales as the main income, until the time that TV appeared to change the thousands of the arenas into the millions at home, with their cold Corona beer and shouting at home every time that their favorite boxers connected a power punch.
I remember the heroes of those times, like "Raton" Macías, Vicente Saldívar, Mantequilla Nápoles, Joe Becerra, and Rubén Olivares from Mexico, Marcel Cerdan, Eder Jofre, Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Willie Pep, Rocky Graziano, Henry Armstrong, Mickey Walker, and Ike Williams, before the invasion of TV, when their dream and ideals was to become a champion of the world and show that they were the very best on the face of the earth.
With the arrival of television, everything in boxing changed by bringing the money, the lights of victory to be seen at the arena and all over the country, the faces on the screens, wide popularity not only with boxing fans, but also with many others who knew little about the sport.
There is no doubt that television has been a great support for the sport: Televisa in Mexico showing boxing every Saturday without interruption for 47 years for an unbreakable world record, until the time of closed circuits and pay-per-view came with beloved heroes like Julio César Chávez who, in spite of TV, set an attendance world record of 136,247 paid fans at the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City, and later other greats like Oscar de la Hoya, and recently Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, among some others.
That history, on paper, does not show the dramatic change in the heart of the sport that today does not care for loyalty, gratitude. and a commitment for struggling to fight the best for a proof of their championship values. Today, most care only about money, money and more money …… and the hell with anything else!! Sportsmanship, respect for principles, gratitude, loyalty, and opportunities for all are dramatically disappearing in a world being devastated by egoism and unlimited ambition, to seek victory and money by using the hatchet against all others and the thirst for stepping on regulated and institutional boxing to become the top of the top, based on monopolistic steps based on the selective choices of big TV corporations. While that is happening, there are names of titles that are nothing else but belt merchants, while there may be others which do not care if they participate under the exclusive will of those that are looking to convert boxing into a mere monopoly business that is used to be a power and abuse of all those who have no help and considerations.
The WBC is the only institution in the world whose governing affiliates are boxing commissions from 165 countries of the world, and it is determined to struggle to keep rule, order and fairness over and above any action or intention for individuals or business to manage boxing on their own. Money is today the King, and a rival very difficult to defeat by not-for-profit institutions that have today what seems to be weak factors, like principles, loyalty, impartiality, respect to all others, and a leadership for equal opportunities regardless of race, religion or nationality. However, the WBC has a commitment to struggle with its very best with determination, perseverance and a profound love for our sport to demand discipline.
Our world is revolting today with fans’ aggressions, pirates who take boxers to the world committing frauds, boxers who act in shame for the sport, some promoters who use their mouths and actions to slander those who do not kneel down to their wishes, and so many other actions that could seriously damage our sport and kill it by letting it be converted into a spectacle rather than the dramatic sport as it has been since the cave era.
I would like to invite all those commissioners, promoters, managers, representatives - and above all, the boxers - all who really love boxing, who want to help to keep it alive and active, to seek unity without arrogance to work together to lead the great sport of boxing, of kings and shoeshine boys, towards goals that are the ideals of having the boxers being the kings of the world and not a piece of merchandise.
From WBC Cares:
Thanks to Ugive.org - the amazing team of Ellie Cox and Deanna Castillini - WBC Cares chair Jill Diamond and WBC Cares Board Member Salvador Briman were invited to participate in a Sports and Philanthropy Weekend at the beautiful Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa in Arizona.
Many generous people in the sport's world gave their time, including Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Lance Armstrong, Tom Jackson, Johnny Bench, Alonzo Mourning, Tony Hawk, Annika Sorenstam, Mia Hamm, Anthony Munoz, Cris Collingsworth, Julie Foudy, Dhani Jones, as well as many other athletes, foundation chairs and interested participants. Everyone was united by their love of athletics, and more importantly, their dedication to help the world through their sport. During this time, there were many organized discussions about the importance of giving back to the community.
The three days ended with a 70th Birthday Party tribute to Muhammad Ali. Salvador Briman and the WBC gave Muhammad Ali a magnificent bronze statue of a boxer.The base of the statue has the signatures of many other World Champions, as well as our President, Jose Sulaiman.
Famous Mexican sculptor Byron Galvez created the WBC Signature Statue, and it has become the symbol of our WBC Cares program. Salvador also presented Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Lance Armstrong with WBC championship belts with their pictures on it. They were awed by the belts and the gesture. We also honored Chris Waddell with a WBC Medal for his courage and sportsmanship. Chris is the subject of the documentary "Movement," about athletes with challenges. He's a top mono skier and has won more than 17 medals in the Paralympics.
It was an inspiring three days. WBC Cares wants to thank UGive, who in conjunction with A4Charity, made this weekend, possible.
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