By Francisco Salazar
Junior lightweight Michael Dutchover has developed into an all-action fighter thus far in his young career. He may be 20 years of age, but Dutchover believes he is not that far removed from one day fighting for a world title belt.
Dutchover wants to build off a highlight-reel knockout win from his last fight into another impressive performance tonight when he squares off against Bergman Aguilar at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.
The eight-round lightweight bout will stream live on ThompsonBoxing.com or Thompson Boxing's Facebook page (11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT).
At Thursday's weigh-in, Dutchover weighed 136 pounds, while Aguilar came in slightly lower at 135.7 pounds.
"Weight doesn't win fights," said Dutchover moments after weighing in. "Skill wins fights. I'm more skillful than him. I don't see how this guy is going to beat me."
Dutchover (10-0, 7 knockouts), who is originally from Midland, Texas and now resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Fe Springs, was originally scheduled to fight once-beaten Luis Lopez (13-1, 6 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico until Lopez withdrew from the fight last week due to an illness.
"It's one of those things that happens in boxing, especially to young guys like myself," said Dutchover, who is co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing. "I don't let it affect me. I have a new guy in front of me. That's how I view it."
Dutchover has sparred with numerous world titleholders and contenders. At the age of 17, he was sparring against Darleys Perez of Colombia, more than holding his own in the ring.
Over the last several months, Dutchover has been sparring against WBA junior featherweight titleholder Danny Roman. The quality of sparring with Roman he believes is priceless.
"Every single time I spar with Danny, I learn something new," said Dutchover, who is trained by Danny Zamora. "He's a skillful fighter. A very smart boxer. I love working with him. I'm happy to have him in my corner. He helps me how to think through my punches. He talks to me after we spar and we go over things. It's great to learn from a world champion."
Dutchover also has a niche of preparing his own meals and attempts to say on top of the latest information on fitness.
"I love everything related to fitness and nutrition. I'm already leaning a lot about nutrition and I cook my own meals.I'm eating a lot of lean meats and vegetables."
Dutchover's last fight was a one-punch, second round knockout victory over Sergio Ramirez on July 20. Dutchover has power in either hand, but wants to improve his overall skill-set as a fighter.
An impressive performance tonight over Aguilar could lead Dutchover to become a legit prospect, and eventually a contender as early as 2019.
(Aguilar) is in my way in what I want to accomplish, which is to win a world title. He's not going to stop me from getting to that point."
"From when the first bell rings, I'm going to fight my fight. I'm not shooting for a knockout, but if it's there, I'll take it. I'm in peak shape right now. Come Friday, it's showtime."
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing