GLENDALE, Arizona – Samuel Carmona has grown accustomed to being mistaken for a boxer who lacks big fight experience.
It’s easy to dismiss the chances of the unbeaten Spaniard, whose ninth pro fight comes against arguably the best flyweight in the world in WBC titlist Julio Cesar Martinez. It’s an opportunity that arose on short notice for Carmona, who replaced an injured McWilliams Arroyo roughly one month ago.
Whether short notice or with a full training camp, there are many who see this as too much, too soon for the unbeaten flyweight. The decorated former amateur and 2016 Olympic quarterfinalist can’t help but laugh at that suggestion.
“I knew what I was getting into when they offered the fight to me,” Carmona told BoxingScene.com. “I know I only have eight pro fights, but I’ve boxed more than 200 times in the amateurs and also 20 fights in the World Series of Boxing. I am an expert boxer and will prove it when I win the WBC title on Saturday.”
Carmona’s title bid versus Mexico City’s Martinez (18-2, 14KOs; 2NC) takes place Saturday evening on DAZN from Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The bout serves as the chief support to the Juan Francisco ‘El Gallo’ Estrada-Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez rubber match for the lineal/WBC junior bantamweight championship.
Martinez attempts the fifth defense of the WBC flyweight title he claimed in a December 2019 knockout win over Nicaragua’s Cristofer Rosales in nearby Phoenix. The diminutive knockout artist has been plagued by injuries, illness and a prior lack of discipline before committing to a full training camp with Eddy Reynoso for this weekend’s title fight.
Carmona has lived a clean lifestyle and entered the pro ranks as one of the top amateurs to come out of Spain. The 26-year-old from Las Palmas has been developed as a traditional prospect but does share a common opponent with Martinez—Joel Cordova, whom Carmona outlasted in a ten-round, unanimous decision on April 1 in Barcelona.
Cordova suffered a sixth-round knockout loss to Martinez one fight prior last June 26 in Guadalajara.
Carmona has since added a six-round shutout win over Moises Mojica on October 29 in his Las Palmas hometown, accepting his biggest opportunity to date in the pros shortly thereafter.
“I’m grateful for the chance to fight for the title but that was never the end of my goal, just to be here,” insisted Carmona. “I promise, the world is going to see what I’m about on Saturday, and that title is coming home with me to Spain.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox