If there is any added pressure on Jarico O’Quinn before his first televised fight, he sure isn’t showing it. Then again, he has looked like a savvy veteran early on in his career, which has looked promising thus far.
O’Quinn will face Oscar Vasquez in an eight-round junior bantamweight bout tonight at the WinneVegas Casino and Resort in Sloan, Iowa. The fight will open the 250th edition of the popular ‘ShoBox’ series (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
In the main event, super middleweight prospect Vladimir Shishkin will square off against Ulises Sierra in a clash of unbeaten in a 10-round bout.
O’Quinn (13-0-1, 8 knockouts), who resides in Detroit, Michigan, last fought on Oct. 5 in Flint, Michigan, dropping James Smith once en route to a unanimous decision victory. With the victory, O’Quinn won a regional title belt.
The 24-year-old has won his last six bouts, three by knockout, since fighting to a majority-decision draw against Mexico’s Jose Elizondo in August of 2017, where O’Quinn was dropped twice during the fight. He has looked impressive since against decent opposition, but faces a modest test tonight in Vasquez, even though he is winless in his last two bouts.
O’Quinn is not overlooking Vasquez or what he brings to the table tonight.
“He is a tough veteran,” O’Quinn told Boxingscene Thursday. “He’s a pressure fighter. (It is) nothing I haven’t seen before. He’s coming to make the fight ugly.”
After mostly fighting in and around the Detroit area, including small venues, O’Quinn will be appearing in his first televised fight. Even though he could be overwhelmed by fighting on a bigger stage or before a larger crowd, O’Quinn is embracing fighting on television.
“I know it’s my first television fight,” said O’Quinn, who is promoted by Dmitriy Salita. “It me, it is just another fight. There is no added pressure. I was born and brought up for the big stages.”
O’Quinn is hoping to excel and breakthrough in 2020. He is hopeful for more televised dates and bigger opportunities on bigger stages, should he impress network executives at Showtime and can appeal to casual and hardcore boxing fans.
He has earned a No. 10 ranking by the WBO and it is only a matter of time before other major sanctioning bodies will put him in their rankings should he notch impressive victories. That is why he is planning on making a statement at the expense of Vasquez tonight and any fighters at 115 pounds or anyone else.
“I plan to make a statement for everybody, no matter the weight class. I’m gonna show my power, skills, and boxing I.Q. tonight and anytime I fight.”
“I’m not focused on my weight class because I’m growing and will be moving up in weight classes.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene since September of 2012 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