Bojorquez draws on experience for biggest fight of life
Pernell Whitaker admits he knows little about his first opponent in 26 months. What he did learn during Wednesday’s press conference at Caesars Tahoe is that Carlos Bojorquez will have a lot of fans in his corner Friday night.
The 28-year-old Bojorquez lived in nearby Placerville from 1989 to 1997 and would have launched his pro boxing career from old “Hangtown” if there had been more opportunities.
“Here there was not much boxing,” Bojorquez said. “I wanted to feel like a professional.”
Consequently, manager Willy Silva moved Bojorquez to Riverside, Calif., where he has compiled a 14-2-5 professional mark. Still, he has a cadre of friends and brothers and sisters who still reside in Placerville.
Mention his five draws, and the easygoing Bojorquez gets worked up.
“Not to say that it’s mean to say that I won all these fights, but I go in an underdog in all these fights and I won these fights and they give me a draw,” Bojorquez said.
The fifth draw came in Bojorquez’s last fight against Agustin Caballero on March 5. The fight was stopped in the first round and called a technical draw when Caballero headbutted Bojorquez. The headbutt reopened a wound above his left eye that he suffered during a fourth-round knockout of Lloyd Webb on Sept. 29, 2000.
His other draws came against Manuel Mada, four rounds; Brandon Mitchem, six rounds; Marquez Reed, two rounds and Fidel Avendano, 10 rounds. Two of them particularly anger Bojorquez.
“In my third pro fight (against Mada in Ukiah, Calif.) the judges never showed up and they put amateur judges in there. They judged like amateur judges and gave us a draw,” Bojorquez said.
He avenged the Mada draw by knocking him out in the first round in his next fight.
The strangest of his draws came against Marquez Reed, 11-0 at the time, in his sixth pro bout in Texas. Bojorquez knocked Reed out of the ring in the first round, opening a nasty gash on his opponent’s head in the process. However, in the second round Reed’s corner claimed that a Bojorquez headbutt caused the cut and their fighter couldn’t continue. The referee agreed and judges called the bout a draw.
“You figure it out there,” Silva said.
So will Bojorquez, a 7-1 underdog, take a draw against Whitaker?
“I won’t take a draw,” he said. “If the guys give me a draw, I don’t know what’s gonna pan out.”
At least the draws are getting Bojorquez additional fights.
“The reason they take my fight is because I have too many draws,” Bojorquez said. “My record isn’t very impressive. I think that’s why a lot of guys who are undefeated want to fight me.”
Whitaker claimed otherwise.
“I don’t know anything about him,” Whitaker said. But I know he’s going to lace up the golves and go in there and try to beat Pernell Whitaker.”
Bojorquez prepared for the left-handed Whitaker by sparring with three southpaws in Riverside. One-third of his pro bouts have also come against southpaws.
“I don’t care that he’s a southpaw,” he said. “I’m very aggressive and people say that I have a strong punch and I can box, too.”
While Bojorquez plans to be patient early in the fight, he won’t hesitate to pounce on “Sweet Pea” if the six-time champion goes into his trademark crouch.
“When he goes down into his crouch, I’ll want to throw everything I’ve got because he can’t come in with a strong punch,” Bojorquez said.
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