by Francisco Salazar
Lightweight Petr Petrov had a lot of momentum after his victory over Gamaliel Diaz on Apr. 3 of last year.
It had come on the heels of winning the Boxcino Lightweight tournament in 2014 and had garnered him top 10 rankings in most major sanctioning bodies.
Then came numerous proposed fights Petrov was penciled to fight in that fell through. All of this was out of Petrov’s hands, which may have frustrated most fighters.
But Petrov remained patient, knowing a big fight would come his way after paying his dues over the last couple of years.
It paid off as Petrov squares off against Marvin Quintero in a 10 round bout Friday night at Toshiba Plaza outside the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
The bout will take place after the weigh-in between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Amir Khan. Admission is free and will air live on Estrella TV and RingTVLive.com.
Petrov (36-4-2, 17 KOs) has won his last four bouts in a row since losing to unbeaten Dejan Zlaticanin in April of 2013. He squares off against Quintero, who has won has won three of his last four bouts, all by knockout.
Quintero should provide a modest challenge for Petrov, considering he has fought strong opposition throughout his career.
“He’s a complete fighter,” Petrov told Boxingscene over the phone Wednesday night. “He can brawl or box. I’m prepared for whatever he decides to bring to the fight. I’m sure he’s prepared himself very well.”
Petrov has been a pro for over 15 years and fought most of his earlier bouts in Spain. He trains in Southern California, where he is co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.
At 33, Petrov was eager to build off the momentum of winning the Boxcino tournament in 2014 and the win over Diaz. Fights that were discussed never materialized, including a February bout against Michael Perez.
The long layoff did not dissuade Petrov.
“Fights fell through, including a fight with Michael Perez,” said Petrov, who lost by knockout in the fourth round to Marcos Maidana in September of 2011 in his only attempt at a world title. “I’m always in the gym training, knowing my opportunity would come. This fight (against Quintero) materialized and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I’m more motivated now than ever and I hope that will translate with a win on Friday night.”
Petrov is ranked number four by the WBA and 10 by the WBO.
He is confident about getting by Quintero Friday night and ready to face the best the lightweight division has to offer.
“I believe I’m ready to face the best. I’m ready to fight for a world title, but first I must focus on my fight on Friday. Afterwards, I’m ready for any opportunity that comes my way to fight any of the best lightweights in the world, even those at 140 pounds.”
“I’m just happy for this opportunity on Friday. Fighting on Cinco De Mayo weekend is a big deal. I’ve learned something in all my previous fights, whether I’ve won or lost. Now I’m ready for this new chapter of my career.”
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 (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing