By Ben Jacobs
July 19 is the provisional date for Luis Carlos Abregú to return to a boxing ring in the United States, but he is currently waiting to see who will be in the opposite corner.
Abregú spoke to BoxingScene from his training camp at home in Salta, Argentina where he has been preparing for the past fifteen days after a vacation in Chile following his last fight. ‘El Potro’ stopped previously unbeaten Jean Carlos Prada in round eight, a fight which reignited his confidence following hand surgery.
“It was an important test, a test for me to get rid of a lot of doubts, doubts over my level and the hand problem,” he said.
“I wanted to know if I was at the right level and if my hand was good enough, and I realised it was. So I’m a lot happier now and I have more confidence.
“With [Timothy] Bradley my hand was broken and I was in a lot of pain, the difference now is huge. Every day I get better and my hand returns to normal.
“So I’ll be fighting in California and now I’m waiting for news from Top Rank to confirm the July 19 date. There are rumours about me fighting Brandon Ríos, Jo Jo Dan or Keith Thurman.”
The prospect of a fight with a Golden Boy fighter such as Thurman seemed a distant thought just a couple of months ago, but with the possibility of the two gigantic promoters now working together, Abregú is excited about having more options for potential opponents.
“I was watching a video with Oscar de la Hoya and it seems he’s come to an agreement with Bob Arum, so I should be able to fight someone like Thurman.
“I would like to fight with Brandon Ríos because he’s a boxer who comes at you, and that favours me. I consider myself a counter puncher, and a hard puncher, so I like when fighters come at me because I can connect with maximum power. Jo Jo Dan wouldn’t be as favourable. He’s a southpaw, he moves a lot and that doesn’t make for a good fight either.”
Two of Abregú’s fellow Argentines were in recent action, and the 30-year-old was as keen a spectator as anyone for both the Lucas Matthysse – John Molina thriller and Marcos Maidana’s worthy showing against Floyd Mayweather.
“It was a hard fight and once again showed what Lucas Matthysse is capable of - he has the heart of a champion. He always wants to win and gives nothing away. It was an exciting fight. John Molina punches very hard, nobody had been able to do that to Matthysse before, and he put him down twice.
“We all wanted ‘Chino’ to win. From my point of view as a boxer, Maidana did a good job. He hit Floyd Mayweather maybe more than anyone else has done.
“Floyd didn’t have it as easy as he had against other boxers, so ‘Chino’ made things difficult. But he didn’t do enough to win, judges value shots to the head more, Maidana connected with more body shots and judges don’t notice that as much.”