Pepe Reilly is one of the assistant trainers at Wild Card Boxing Club, and he is seeing a lot of growth in 2016 Mexican Olympian Raul Curiel.

Curiel stopped Jorge Marron Jr. in the first round of their scheduled 10-round DAZN opener on April 27th, at the SaveMart Center in Fresno, Calif.

Reilly, a 1992 Olympian, who was in the same U.S. Olympic class as Curiel’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya – who won gold at those Olympic Games – is now optimistic about the future for Curiel (15-0, 13 KOs). 

The 28-year-old Curiel is riding a 10-fight knockout streak dating back to April 2019. He is currently ranked No.7 by the WBC in their welterweight rankings. Dicky Eklund Jr. and Reilly cornered Curiel for his last fight while Freddie Roach, his head trainer, finalized preparation for Jaime Munguia as he was a week away from the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight that he lost by unanimous decision. 

“Raul Curiel has been one of the best advancing fighters in our gym,” said Reilly. “He has been improving maybe more than anybody can think of.”

Given the state of the welterweight division, opportunities could be on the horizon. Terence Crawford is moving up to junior middleweight to fight Israil Madrimov on August 3rd in Los Angeles, Calif., and many believe he won’t return to welterweight. Crawford holds three of the four world titles at welterweight. Jaron “Boots” Ennis holds the IBF welterweight title, and faces Cody Crowley on July 13 in Philadelphia, Pa. 

Previous three-belt titleholder Errol Spence, who has been inactive since his ninth-round technical knockout loss to Crawford, seems to be looking to move up in weight as well. 

Curiel, who was plagued by inactivity from October 2019 to January 2021, now has a realistic shot at a meaningful welterweight fight in the near future. Reilly sees Curiel’s commitment to the sport as one of his X-factors.

“I think he has really dedicated himself to his work lately and it is really showing,” said Reilly.