By Robert Coster
Dominican prospect Melvin Betancourt (20-0, 17 KOs), a young man with growing popularity in the island nation, will be tested for the first time when he meets up with seasoned David Toribio (17-12, 10 KOs) for the vacant 154 lbs Dominican title on December 19th in Villa Gonzalez, Dominican Republic. The numbers would seem to favor the 22-year-old Betancourt who has 11 KOs in the first round, however this just might be a case where records are very misleading.
Many local pundits consider Toribio to be the favorite of the match because of his experience fighting in the United States against much tougher opposition (James Kirkland, Sergio Martinez, David Estrada, etc.) than young Betancourt.
Toribio can claim having gone the distance against 160 lb king Sergio Martinez and a victory over then (14-0) prospect Ishmael Arvin.
Predicts Toribio, “This kid is going to realize what it means to step up in class. He’s never gone past four rounds and he’s beaten a bunch of local tomato cans.”
For his part, Betancourt’s manager, Rafael (Papin) Lantigua is quite definitive about his fighter’s chances, “After Melvin KOs Toribio, we are going to fight for a regional title here and then we plan to fight in the United States next year.”
The clash between Betancourt and Toribio, much anticipated by local fans, will headline a card that will also see another Dominican title bout in the featherweight class between Carlos Reyes and Miguel Santana.