In 2018, Puerto Rican boxing has numerous world champions in Emmanuel Rodriguez, Angel Acosta and Alberto Machado, but one can consider it in a transitional period after four-division champion Miguel Cotto retired in late 2017.
If one were to ask Puerto Rican heavyweight Carlos Negron, he would object to the fact that the country is in a slump. Negron has spent his entire life growing up in Puerto Rico's amateur system, eventually getting to fight in the 2008 Olympics before turning pro the following year.
In an exclusive interview with Fightful, Negron gave his thoughts on where boxing in Puerto Rico currently stands and said the talent pool is about as deep as any other country in the world.
"You know, I always thought that people who don’t know boxing, let’s say you’re just someone who looks at who are the champions, then you’re not going gym to gym and seeing all the quality boxers there are. I dare say that Puerto Rico has more quality boxers starting out young than most countries in the world. There are amateurs here that aren’t just good enough to win medals, but have the potential and become a world champion. You go to the Olympic Village [in Salinas, Puerto Rico] and you see the quality that we have," Negron said.
The 31-year-old heavyweight, who sports a 20-1 pro record, offered a word of advice for any young, hopeful boxers: do your homework when it comes to finding a promoter and manager. As someone who believed had years wasted of his career due to shoddy promoters, Negron said he does not wish any other boxers suffer the same ordeals he has faced in his career as well.
"It’s all about timing and signing with a good promoter that can treat them like a husband treats his wife. They need a good promoter and trainer that are on the same page and get them to those titles and I believe they will become champions someday. The Puerto Rican is always dealing with a bad hand and they eventually leave the sport. I have seen it happen. There are plenty of bad managers who don’t care whether you win or lose, they just want their cut. They don’t care if you’re good or not or even whether you eat or not," Negron added.
Negron, a former two-time regional champion with the WBC, will be returning to action on December 22 when he faces off against top contender and WBC mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale. The fight will take place on the televised portion of the PBC on FOX card from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.