Torres-Camacho fight on Friday
No one’s mother was disrespected. No threats. No punches. Not even a cheap shot.
In fact, 30-year-old fighter Juan Torres came away from Thursday’s press conference liking his opponent, Hector Camacho Jr.
“This kid is nothing like his father. He’s got all of the hype of a showman and goes in the ring like his father, but he’s 19 years old and he’s the nicest kid you’d ever want to meet,” said the South Lake Tahoe resident, who fights Camacho in a 10-round lightweight bout Saturday night at Miccosukee Indian Gaming in the lesser of two big events in Miami this weekend.
“But I won’t let our friendship get in the way like I did when I lost to Paul Vizio (in a IFKA lightweight kickboxing title bout). When fight time comes, we’ll forget about our friendship and do what we have to do. I wish this fight was with father more than the son, then my pay would be more.”
Friday’s weigh-in should be interesting since Camacho Jr., the offspring of four-time world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho, must drop four pounds to meet a newly agreed upon 136-to-138 weight range.
While Torres was sipping liquids on Thursday afternoon, Camacho Jr. of Orlando, Fla., was in need of a Slim Fast diet.
“Waiting around and not eating messes with you a bit. He’ll come in a little more dehydrated, and I don’t know whether he’ll make weight. He has to. We won’t go up in weight any more,” Torres said.
Both fighters are coming off victories. Torres (12-4) upset then No. 2-ranked World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association lightweight contender Santos Rebolledo last fall in Las Vegas. Camacho Jr. (11-0, with nine KOs) scored an unimpressive 10-round decision over Fred Curiel in October in Atlantic City, N.J.
“He’s got a name because of his father. Other than that, his record isn’t that impressive,” Torres said.
Torres assumes their 11-year age discrepancy will favor him.
“I feel younger than I did when I was 19. I think the edge would be on my side because of the experience,” said Torres, a six-time world kickboxing champion.
His famous father reportedly prepared Junior for a pugilism career by placing him in dark closets to stop his crying and paying Harlem neighbors to fight his pre-teen son. Like pop, Camacho Jr. prefers to dance more than mix it up.
“I used to criticize his father for fighting that way, but he made it to world champion just doing that. It’s either going to be one helluva fight or it will be a boring one if I have to chase him around all night,” Torres said. “I’ll have to cut up the ring. He’s pretty good at working the corners and off the ropes. With pressure, pressure and more pressure I’ll make sure he doesn’t have much time to run around in circles. I’m prepared for 10 hard rounds. Whether he slows down or not is up to him, but I’m not slowing down.”
Victory is paramount for Torres in order to keep his pro career going.
“If I don’t see things going the way they’re going now, I’ll step down and become a full-time family member and cheer my son, J.J., on in his sports,” Torres said.
The card begins at 5 p.m. and can be seen on cable (Telemundo TV), according to Torres.
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