By Jake Donovan
Miguel Cotto has already seen two of his fighters become former titlists in 2019, but believes his company has in Danielito Zorrilla its next can’t miss future champion.
The rising super lightweight prospect from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico will headline an October 5 show at Coleseíto Pedrin Zorrilla in San Juan, with the evening centering around the World Boxing Organization (WBO) ‘Champions Tournament.’
Zorrilla (12-0, 10KOs) will face Mexico’s Jesus Pérez (23-2, 18KOs) in his first career 10-round fight.
“We really believe that Danielito is Puerto Rico’s top prospect,” Cotto insisted BoxingScene.com of the 25-year old. “He’s in for a great test against Jesus Pérez. A win in this fight will give him the NABO (interim) title to start off this tournament which is great for boxing.”
The bout will take place at the same venue as Zorrilla’s last ring appearance, when he knocked out previously unbeaten Juan Carlos Cordones (14-0 at the time) this past August. It will mark his third ring appearance of 2019, a year which also included a knockout on the undercard of stablemate Angel Acosta's stoppage win over former titlist Ganigan Lopez in his final successful junior flyweight title defense in March.
Acosta would lose his title in his very next fight, suffering a controversial 12th round knockout of Elwin Soto this past June. The same card also saw Alberto Machado come up miserably short in a repeat knockout loss to Andrew Cancio, whom dethroned the tall and lean Puerto Rican in their super featherweight title clash in February.
As both Acosta and Machado look to rebound, Zorrilla prepares to soar. He tops the October 5 card in San Juan, which airs live on DirecTV in Puerto Rico, and with the tournament theme tying into the WBO convention later this December in Tokyo, Japan.
“We are very excited about this great event dedicated to the fans and that serves as a prelude to the 32nd convention of the WBO in December in Tokyo, Japan,” said Héctor Soto, vice president of Miguel Cotto Promotions and H2 Entertainment. “It’s a great initiative of Paco and the WBO for boxing, the fans are going to enjoy we are honored to be part of this great tournament.”
Two more bouts have been announced for the show:
Nicaragua’s Carlos Buitrago (31-5-1, 17KOS) a four-time title challenger will face Puerto Rico’s Israel Vazquez (10-3-2, 7KOs) in an eight-round meaning towards a future title fight.
Local super flyweight Juan Carlos Camacho (11-1, 6KOS) collides with Argentina’s Lucas Fernañdez (12-2-1, 9KOs) in a bout also set for eight rounds.
It’s precisely where Zorrilla was before agreeing after his last fight to step up and begin fighting at the contender level. The upcoming tournament could ultimately fast track him to the title stage.
“The Champions Tournament is an excellent opportunity for quality and rising fighters to face each other," Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcarcel, WBO president noted. “This is the first test for Danielito Zorrilla, who is probably one of the best three prospects coming out from Puerto Rico.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox