At a time when it’s easy to develop bad habits, Luis Feliciano made sure to keep it relatively boring while awaiting word on when he can return to the ring.
Rather, the few things the rising 140-pound prospect has done while quarantined during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are actually motivating factors to his career.
“It was tough to not be able to train the same and build on the big year I had in 2019, but I’ve made the most of it,” Feliciano (14-0, 8KOs) told BoxingScene.com. “Being back home in Milwaukee, I got to be with my family and spend time with my six-month old nephew for the first time. Those are moments I don’t get in my new home in California, when I’m normally training for a fight and not able to see my family as much.
“Outside of family life, I managed to stay active. Weight work, shadow boxing, going on runs. It’s not the same as actually being in a facility, and I’m not one of these boxers who’s yet blessed with having his own gym at home. But it’s still no excuse to not stay ready.”
The 27-year old Milwaukee-born junior welterweight—who now lives and trains in Rancho Cucamonga, California—is coming off of a breakthrough campaign in 2019, where he emerged as a developing prospect to watch. Five wins came of Feliciano’s campaign, including a 7th round knockout of Fernando Carcamo in his first significant step up last June. The bout streamed live on DAZN, as did back-to-back decision wins over Genaro Gamez—unbeaten at the time—and Herbert Acevedo to close out the year.
An increase in level of competition was to come in 2020, and likely still will. It’s a matter of when at this point, with Feliciano having returned to California to resume training. Hopes are to land in the ring in July, with promoter Golden Boy Promotions looking to stage closed-doors shows by that point, pending clearance from state governing officials.
The start of his current training camp comes on the heels of self-maintenance over the past two months. The ignited fuel comes from the one guilty pleasure he endured during the downtime—thorough consumption of ESPN’s lauded The Last Dance documentary focusing on the career of NBA legend and global superstar Michael Jordan.
“This is a tough time for all of us, but how you handle the mental aspect is going to be what separates the best from the rest,” notes Feliciano. “You look at The Last Dance, and what set Michael Jordan apart from the others. I’ve been discussing The Last Dance with a lot of people and really appreciate it.
“Everybody considers Jordan an a----le but it’s what made him the greatest. Not that I want people to look at me as an a----le, but it did get me thinking of how you can apply that winning mentality to a time like this.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox