By: Jerome Souza (@FirstClassBox)
Super bantamweight Randy “El Matador” Caballero, 24-0 (14 KOs), didn’t have to travel far in his last outing. The undefeated 26 year-old was the co-main event on Golden Boy Promotions innagural ESPN card from the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Taking six of ten rounds on two of the judges scorecards, and seven of ten on the other, Caballero faced a very game Jesus Ruiz, 36-8-5 (25 KOs). No stranger to being an underdog, Ruiz had suffered losses to Diego De La Hoya and Leo Santa Cruz. Caballero’s game plan allowed Ruiz to show the hometown favorite everything he had. Caballero then stepped on the gas in rounds 3 and 4 and didn’t look back. Caballero was fortunate to have the hometown supporters by his side from the moment he made his ring walk. ”It’s always amazing fighting in front of my hometown because my fans are amazing, they’re loud, it motivates me”, Caballero told to FirstClassBoxing.com.
Caballero was asked if he ever gets tempted to go for the knockout just to appease his local fans. “El Matador” described his ability to sound everything out and focus on his familiar voices for fight guidance, “once I get inside that ring, everybody is gone. I don’t hear nobody. I just hear my corner, a couple of people I want to pay attention to that are my brothers, something like that, that’s all I hear inside that fight. I don’t her no crowd nothing like that, I focus inside and I feel good”.
After issues with making weight in the past, Caballero comfortably made 122 pounds this time around. Caballero also plans on staying at 122 for awhile in hopes of a title shot, “Winning a title at 118, they were tough guys but they weren’t big names. I think the bigger names are 122, 126. So we’re going to focus on 122”. The Coachella native wasn’t shy when asked if he had any names in mind for his next fight. “Rey Vargas has the [WBC] title, so that’s my path, that’s where I want to go. Hopefully we go after it and they give it to me soon. He’s tough fighter, a forward fighter, an aggressive fighter [.] So I know they know that it’s going to be a tough fight, it’s not going to be easy”.
Vargas carries an impressive record of 29-0 (22 KOs). Fighting out of Otumba, Mexico, Vargas is willing to travel the world to take on opponents in their backyard. Vargas recently traveled to Yorkshire, England in February to take on undefeated Gavin McDonnell. Vargas secured the vacant WBC World super bantamweight title with a majority decision over McDonnell.
Vargas would be huge step up for Caballero but he feels ready for the challenge and going all ten rounds with Ruiz added to his confidence tremendously. “The fact that I was off for a whole year, going 10 ten rounds I got to learn a lot. I got see myself box the way that I’ve never got to [.] One fight in two years and to comeback on great card like this, in front of my hometown, first fights on ESPN, I couldn’t ask for something better”.
In an already stacked division featuring the star power of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Jessie Magdaleno, Nonito Donaire and former Irish Olympian Michael Conlan, Caballero could have major paydays down the road if he stays active and continues to win fights with the right exposure. Golden Boy Promotions has reserved multiple ESPN dates in the coming months and continues to maintain a solid relationship with HBO. “I’m hoping to headline on an ESPN card which would be amazing, [Indio, California] or anywhere else. But most definitely I just want to stay busy, I want to get back soon. Hopefully they give me a world title shot soon”.by