By Rich Mancuso
This is the moment for Claudio “The Matrix” Marrero,the 20-1 featherweight from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Aware about the spotlight and making a statement on the PBC national televised NBCSN card of boxing Sunday afternoon at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn, is also a statement.
The statement for a resounding win against the undefeated 13-0-1 Derrick Murray will signify it’s time for the big fights. And for a fighter who had goals of fighting in the United States, this is the place you want to be.
No big deal that Marrero, and winner of his last six fights, is on the undercard prior to the anticipated main event of the unbeaten welterweight Errol Spence Jr. showdown against Leonard Bundu. Marrero, who is coming off a thrilling knockout last July over former world champion Rico Ramos could be a main eventer soon.
The boxer-puncher, and a fan favorite in the Dominican Republic, has that style to gain more popularity on the boardwalk that is known for the famous Nathan’s hotdog. But there won’t be any “hot-dogging” coming from the punches that Marrero throws.
“I know he’s undefeated,” said Marrero this week about his opponent. “I know he’s coming to win and that he’s from St. Louis. There isn’t anything I see in him that has me concerned except the fact that he’s unbeaten. Anyone who is unbeaten is going to go that extra mile to come out victorious.”
Significant fight for Marrero, and again it has to do with getting in the ring with the top fighters in his division. There are similar styles in this fight and again throw out the undefeated mark of Murray, because many say that both fighters are evenly matched.
“I want everyone, all at 126 pounds,” Marrero said. “These guys have been evading, ducking and dodging me. None of these guys want to face me. I want them all. I’ll fight them all on the same night if I have to. I’m tired of them hiding.”
That is not entirely true about opponents ducking Marrero. Though six straight wins, and a knockout ratio of 67 percent do carry some weight, he has not been in the spotlight until now. The Premiere Boxing management group has no choice to get those opponents, and with a commanding win there will be no need for anyone to avoid Marrero.
“It’s very frustrating when my managers tell me they don’t want to fight me,” “Marrero said, “So I must make a statement each time I step in the ring and it starts with Derrick Murray.”
Marrero arrived in the United States in January of 2010, and that may be part of the reason it took this long to get major exposure. With intense training and proper conditioning, he has reached that point of getting to the top of the rankings among the elite that command the featherweight title picture.
Herman Caicedo is the manager/trainer who has been with Marrero since day one. The fighter says, Caicedo is more like a father to him, and the aspect of fighting comes when the training begins. There are others instrumental in the quest to become champion but Caicedo knows what it takes.
“We are a strong team,” said Marrero, “with goals of becoming world champions together.”
Of course, Marrero says, “His opponent will feel pain.” And with 18 KO’s he does look for that early finish and go for seven straight after a unanimous decision win back in February. That fight occurred at the Honda Civic Center in Anaheim California.
Sunday it’s the Boardwalk in Coney Island. More exposure on national television and the fight card should get some ratings that follows the USA Men’s Basketball Olympic Games coverage.
And gaining more fans is sure to come if that knockout ratio continues.