By Jake Donovan
Moises Fuentes pays no attention to the scouting report for his upcoming 105 lb. title defense against former two-division champion Ivan Calderon this weekend in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
It means nothing to Fuentes that he is 10 years younger, a massive eight inches taller and in the heart of his prime while Calderon is at the tail end of a long and storied career.
What matters most to the defending titlist is escaping his first road trip with his belt still intact. To Fuentes, that means preparing for the best possible version of the fighter with an island full of support on Saturday night.
“I’m relaxed and focused on my fight,” Fuentes stated during a recent open workout in Puerto Rico, a few days after arriving Sunday evening. “My training is good and I’m going to be ready for 12 rounds. I know I’m going to face a former champion but I’m in good shape.”
Fuentes (15-1, 7KO) officially entered the title fray with an off-the-canvas split decision win over Raul Garcia last August. The feat netted him a belt at strawweight, a division Calderon (35-2-1, 6KO) ruled for four years before moving up to junior flyweight in 2007.
The leap three pounds north came right around the same time Fuentes turned pro, just to give an idea of the generation gap between the two fighters. Other than conceding hometown advantage in his first fight outside of his native Mexico, Fuentes is a considerable favorite to retain his title this weekend.
The only thing on Fuentes’ mind is adding Calderon’s name to his resume and not assuming that a win is a foregone conclusion.
“I don’t underestimate Ivan Calderon because of talk that he is old,” insists Fuentes, who just turned 27 years old a couple of weeks ago. “I can’t think of him as old; he is a former champion and a legend. I am training hard for this fight, to keep my title.”
Calderon has won titles at strawweight and junior flyweight. The latter reign began in Aug. ’07, scoring the first of two wins over Hugo Cazares. A near- three year run followed before suffering back-to-back knockout losses to Giovani Segura in Aug. ’10 and April ’11, respectively.
This bout marks Calderon’s first fight since last October and first bout at the 105 lb limit since abandoning the division more than five years ago.
Fuentes enters having scored a 1st round knockout of Jose Felix in June, his lone defense of the strawweight title heading into this weekend’s showdown. The bout with Calderon serves as the co-feature of a televised pay-per-view event. The show is headlined by the return of Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., who faces countryman Jonathan Oquendo in a 12-round super bantamweight bout.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox