by Eric “Sugar Foot” Duran
The gatekeepers are former champs, holding the strap until someone dethrones them. They’re fighters who take fights on short notice for a paycheck.
Their phone is never silent as big time promoters are constantly calling for their services. They’re the backbone of boxing, simply, the opponent.
Marco Antonio Rubio– I was reluctant to add Rubio to this list. At 59-7-1, he was always highly competitive in bouts. Fans were drawn to his high-intensity, gritty style.
He bested fighters like David Lemiuex. He hung tough with Chavez Jr, Kelly Pavlik and Kassim Ouma.
However, after his dreadful performance against Gennady Golovkin , maybe the end is nearing. He even failed to make weight for the WBC belt he was defending. High profile bouts for “El Veneno” may no longer come.
Matt Vanda: “The Predator” is known for his rough and tough demeanor, and, of course, his tattoos.
He’s battled Sean Monoghan, Rubio, John Duddy, Chavez Jr (twice), Andy Kolle, Yori Boy Campas and Sebastian Demers.
At 45-16, Vanda is a well-known commodity on the Midwest circuit.
Marteze Logan: Logan is an 86 fight veteran, impressive in it’s own right. He battled many of the best young fighters.
The list includes, Julian Williams, Denis Doughlin, Keith Thurman, David Torres, Delvin Rodriguez and Hector Camacho Jr.
It doesn’t stop there, James De La Rosa, Anthony and Lamont Peterson, Vivian Harris, Paul Williams, Steve Forbes and Jesse James Leija have also shared the ring with Logan.
Roberto Valenzuela: The warrior from Mexico has fought long enough to battle Jose Luis Castillo, 3 times, and Dusty Hernandez Harrison.
Sandwiched in between were Vitaliy Demyanenke, Dmitriy Salita, Steve Forbes, Zahir Raheem (twice), Karim Mayfield, Luis Carlos Abregu, Antonio DeMarco, and Andre Berto
After fighting four times in ’13, he has only competed once in ’14. At 69-67-2, maybe after 138 bouts, it’s time to shut down Valenzuela. 22 years is a long career.
Cesar Bazan: Bazan is the former WBC Lightweight Champion. He defeated Stevie Johnston in ’98 to claim that title. He defended it twice before losing it back to Johnston in ’99.
He competed for it again in ’01, dropping a decision to Jose Luis Castillo.
At 49-12-1, his resume also includes Mike Alvarado, Cristian Bejarano, and Miguel Cotto
After a 16-year career, he retired in 2008 for 4 years. He returned in 2012 but is only 1-1 since.