By Miguel Rivera
After his solid victory over unbeaten Abraham López (22-1-1, 15 KOs) on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Jesus Rojas received word that he could finally receive the opportunity to fight for a world title, the goal of his entire boxing career.
However, after receiving the official news that he will clash with the Dominican Claudio Marrero for the World Boxing Association (WBA) title at 126 pounds, Rojas is still in shock.
"I still can not believe it. I have not been lucky in this boxing, "Rojas said to Jose Sanchez. "Everything I got in boxing I had to fight for. But we looked great against Abraham Lopez, a prospect of Golden Boy. We went there, we won convincingly and we got the title NABA (regional organization that governs in North America by the WBA) and the opportunity for the title."
"The WBA had made an announcement that we were given 30 days to negotiate the fight. Then (on Friday) the news came that the fight will be on September 16, " said Rojas, who will face Marrero as part of the anticipated showdown between Saul 'Canelo' Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Arena, Nevada.
Although currently Marrero is the WBA interim-champion in the featherweight division, Javier Bustillo, Rojas' promoter, said that this fight will be for the "regular" world title, not an interim crown.
At the moment, the WBA also recognizes Leo Santa Cruz as the "super champion" in the featherweight division. The "regular" champion until recently was Abner Mares.
"But as Santa Cruz and Mares are going to fight for the super championship (on October 7), the regular title has already been vacated," explained Bustillo to Sanchez.
Marrero (22-1, 16 KOs) is an uncomfortable left-handed fighter with good movement and who also knows how to push effectively. The Dominican starter is a bit younger (28 vs 30 years old) and taller (5'8 "vs. 5'7") than Rojas (25-1-2, 18 KO's).
"I have always said that I am a fairly complete boxer, although I am known more for applying pressure," said Rojas. "I always try to push the pace and take the fight to another level. But if I have to be a smart and technical boxer, we're going to do it, try to get our hands raised intelligently. And if I also have to be the fighter, I'm going to give us the victory and for all of Puerto Rico."