By Jake Donovan
There were several boxing experts who believed reigning bantamweight titlist Anselmo Moreno of Panama would endure a stiffer challenge in his U.S. debut last December. Instead, he made relatively easy work of former two-division champion Vic Darchinyan, cruising to a lopsided unanimous decision in their Showtime-televised co-feature.
“I think right now my biggest opponent would be the daily workouts in the gym – the heavy bag, the speed bag, working the mitts with my trainer,” Moreno insists. “That would be the toughest because we work very, very hard.”
The win wasn’t Moreno’s first road trip, having twice defeated Wladimir Sidirenko in Germany, including his title-winning effort in 2008. Moreno (32-1-1, 11KO) has also lodged title defenses in France against house favorites Mayhar Monshipour and Frederic Patrac.
A pair of defenses against Nehomar Cermeno saw each fighter get a home fight, with Moreno initially traveling to his opponent’s native Venezuela to earn a split decision in May ‘10. The same verdict was produced in their rematch five months later in Panama.
Moreno’s showing against Darchinyan was an eye opener, showing that the slick southpaw boxer can overcome any style.
“There was a lot of talk from people that it was a dangerous fight, that I was in over my head and that he was going to run me over, but I was never worried about that,” Moreno claims. “I was always very confident about my skills. Once I stepped in the ring, I was very comfortable and I was very confident that I could outbox him and beat him clearly.”
Having beaten everyone in his path over the course of a nearly four year title reign, Moreno believes his April 21 showdown with David de la Rosa in El Paso will be his last at bantamweight. Awaiting him one division north are far more lucrative challenges.
One possibility is the winner of next week’s main event, where Abner Mares faces Eric Morel in a vacant super bantamweight title fight.
Moreno is indifferent to fighting Mares, though certainly welcomes the challenge. However, there is one fighter in particular who certainly piques Moreno’s interest.
“That is a dream of mine,” Moreno says of possibly one day facing Nonito Donaire, current super bantamweight titlist and among the best in the world, pound-for-pound. “I’ve been dreaming about it, thinking about it and that is something I look forward to. Work my way up to 122 pounds and fighting Nonito Donaire is definitely something that I have on my mind.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]