The belt has been worn by some of the sport’s all-time greats, whether it’s pound-for-pound kings from another era or today’s rising stars.
Canelo Alvarez, Timothy Bradley Jr., Danny Garcia, Humberto Soto, Jorge Arce, Leo Santa Cruz — all at one time or another were crowned youth champions by the World Boxing Council, arguably the sport’s most recognizable sanctioning body, and all went on to become world champions, cementing their status as ring legends.
On Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 2019, two undefeated lightweights will have the opportunity to join the long list of former and current youth champions, many of whom, again, have gone on to achieve greatness unmatched by their peers.
Twenty-two-year-old Worcester, Mass., prospect Jamaine Ortiz (9-0, 4 KOs) faces 21-year-old Oxnard, Calif., standout Ricardo Quiroz (10-0, 5 KOs) at Twin River Casino Hotel in an eight-round bout on the main card of CES Boxing’s 2019 season opener on VIVE TV Network for the vacant WBC World Youth Lightweight Title, a belt previously held by former champions Juan Diaz, Daniel Estrada and Josesito Lopez.
“I’m ready for this fight. I’ve been working hard and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this since I turned pro,” Quiroz said. “I have a great team with me and I will bring that WBC title home with me to Oxnard.”
“I’m looking forward to putting on a great show,” Ortiz said, “and being crowned the new WBC Youth World Champion. It’s a stepping stone toward becoming the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.”
The Ortiz-Quiroz fight card Feb. 23rd. Tickets for the event start at $47 and are available online at www.cesboxing.com or www.showclix.com or by phone at 401-724-2253/2254.
The WBC Youth Title is as prestigious as it gets for fighters 23 and younger. Time has proven the famed green belt is a legitimate stepping stone to world-title success. From Alvarez to Arce, many notable WBC youth alumni have gone on to reach boxing’s pinnacle. Alvarez, who captured the WBC Youth title as a welterweight in 2009, is boxing’s most recognizable star, a world champion in three different weight classes and one of the richest athletes in professional sports after signing a $365 million deal with video streaming service DAZN in October.
Other former youth title-holders who’ve gone on to win world titles include Erik Skoglund, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Kermit Cintron, Devon Alexander, Rodolfo Lopez, Billy Dib and Daniel Ponce De Leon. In an interesting side note, Connecticut’s Chad Dawson joined that list in 2007 when he won the first of four world titles by defeating Tomasz Adamek for the then vacant WBC light heavyweight belt.