By Jake Donovan
Five days before Fernando Montiel and Giovanni Caro carry their growing grudge match into the ring, the two put aside their differences to visit a children’s hospital in Ciudad Juarez.
The circumstances surrounding the young cancer patients hit close to home for both fighters.
Montiel said the visit provided him with even more motivation to perform at his best Saturday night. Caro sympathized with the parents of those hospitalized and was left to wonder how he would handle day-to-day stress should anything ever happen to his two daughters.
But not even time spent in each other’s presence - more than an hour while touring the facility and visiting as many patients as time would allow – could civilize their rivalry.
Caro and his promoter, Hector Garcia of HG Boxing, made demands earlier in the week for advanced knowledge of the selected judges and officials for their super bantamweight bout this weekend. Garcia’s concern stems from the circumstances surrounding Montiel’s last fight.
This past June, Montiel fought in this very city against another HG Boxing fighter – Arturo Santos Reyes – and was given all he could handle in escaping with a disputed split decision.
“We will not allow them to rob us again,” Garcia emphatically stated, going as far as threatening to disallow Caro to fight this weekend if such demands aren’t met.
Also drawing the ire of Caro and his team was Montiel going on record in pining for a future showdown with Abner Mares. Montiel’s comments came mere days after Mares posted a career-best win with a unanimous decision over Anselmo Moreno.
Caro took exception to the timing, insisting that focus should be placed on their own fight this Saturday, which will air on Televisa in Mexico.
Montiel believes his opponent needs to simply get over it and worry more about the fight than what’s being said in advance.
“I don’t have much to say about it,” insists Montiel (48-4-2, 37KO). “All I ask is that he worries about his own business and stop creating controversy.”
Montiel has won two straight and four of his last five since suffering a crushing 2nd round knockout loss to Nonito Donaire in Feb. ’11. The other loss along the way was a minor upset in dropping a decision to Victor Terrazas, who remains a top super bantamweight contender.
A win on Saturday won’t necessarily put Montiel any closer towards a shot at a title in a fourth weight class. It’s something that the Mexican star covets, but it’s not what consumes his present thoughts.
His belief is that it’s possible to map out a potential future while remaining focused on what’s presently in front of him.
“I have the style and technique to discourage him and fight my fight. My team and I are confident that we will emerge victorious. I have a showdown with Abner Mares in mind, but the one always goes before the two. I’m focused 100% on this fight.
“I don’t want to ruin my plans. I would also like a rematch with Nonito Donaire, but a Mares fight is more likely.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox