By Jose Reyes
Former Contender: Season One star and IBA Continental middleweight title holder Juan Pedro “El Gallo Negro” De La Rosa (19-3-1, 15 KOs) is now a free agent. The move was announced Cavazos Boxing and manager Jason Stuart. Anthony Cavazos, President of Cavazos Boxing in the Rio Grand Valley area of Texas, has made a reputation for bringing tomorrow’s stars out of south Texas and launching them onto the national and world boxing scene. Many may remember last April when Cavazos Boxing announced the signing of a co-promotional deal with Duva Boxing which moved the young welterweight prospect “The King” James De La Rosa (18-0, 12 KOs) into position for his run at a world welterweight title.
Well, less than a year later, Cavazos Boxing is giving boxing fans around the world yet another treat by releasing JP “El Gallo Negro” De La Rosa for his shot at the next level in boxing.
JP says he’s very excited about this career move, “I can’t wait to jump start my career in 2009. I’m back in the gym and feeling great about this new stage of my career. During 2008, we ran into problems with other fighters in my division fearing me and not wanting to take a fight. It seemed like every time we tried to make a fight, the opponents were just throwing out ridiculous numbers and pricing themselves out of the match so they didn’t have to admit they were scared of me.” JP continued, “I have a new manager, Jason Stuart, who also manages my brother and our cousin who is a damn good lightweight, “The One” Rashad Ganaway (7-0, 5 KOs). After consulting with my team and even getting input from Mr. Cavazos, I have decided to move down in weight and campaign at 154 lbs. It’s kind of like we are streamlining things now because I’m going to be going up to Little Rock, Arkansas to train with my brother and cousin. Little Rock is a great place to train because of the climate and the great trainers there. “King James” is training with famed trainer Danny Smith who has trained Fernando Vargas, cruiserweight BJ Flores, welterweight Roberto Garcia and will now also be training junior middleweight Verno Phillips; while, “The One” is trained by Kevin Lightburn who has also worked with BJ Flores and helped train Jermain Taylor for his Bronze Medal in 2000 Olympics. They work us to death up there in Arkansas, but I’ve had a lot of interest from several big promoters who want to capitalize on my name recognition and talent displayed in the Contender. Now we have everything set to move forward on those plans. I can’t thank Mr. Cavazos enough for this opportunity.”
Cavazos has really developed his niche in the South Texas area by spotting young talent and building the fighters’ records and skills to a point where they are ready to be launched up to the next level. To some, calling Cavazos Boxing in the Rio Grande Valley area of south Texas the minor leagues of boxing, might sound like a slight on this talented promoter, but JP says, “If this is the minor leagues of boxing, then Cavazos Boxing is the undisputed champ. Mr. Cavazos really does alot for us boxers down here in the Valley. Mr. Cavazos believes in us and works hard to promote us and get us lots of good fights early on.& nbsp; We know there is a lot of boxing talent down here in south Texas and northern Mexico, but we often get overlooked by the larger promoters. So, Mr. Cavazos comes in and does a great job of helping us move up in the sport. My younger brother, “King James,” and I appreciate him so much.”
Anthony Cavazos said, “JP is an extraordinarily talented fighter who has already begun making a name for himself through his appearance in the hit television series The Contender. You’d just have to understand how I operate to know that releasing JP isn’t something bad or negative. It’s more like a graduation for JP. He is ready to take his talent to the next level, so with this release I am making this transition much easier for JP and whichever promoter at the next level can offer him the best deal. I wish JP the best of luck and I know he will succeed in his quest for a world title as a light middleweight.”
Cavazos went on to say, “Both JP and his younger brother “King James” are just two examples of the fantastic boxing talent we have down here in the Rio Grande Valley. I recently moved “King James” up through a co-promotional deal with Duva Boxing and I’ve got quite a few other very young, talented fighters signed, so with all the recent interest in JP from other promoters, we just took a look at it and said, you know what, we don’t want to get stretched to thin, so we think it would be best to release JP and make him a free agent rather than spending our limited resources working out and executing yet another co-promotional deal for JP. A lot of people don’t realize just how much time, money and effort it takes to develop these fighters and work out these deals with the top tier promotional companies.
“Cavazos Boxing puts on a lot of shows in the Valley every year and we are great at promoting these boxers, but there’s only so much we can do without the operation getting too big and losing focus. For example, we have been asked to put together a card for another smaller promoter on February 6th down here, then “King James” is fighting another fight on Showtime February 20th, then Cavazos Boxing is putting on its own fight card on February 27th in Harlingen, Texas. I hope everyone comes out to watch that February 27th card in Harlingen because it’s going to be a fantastic card featuring Texas Cruiserweight State Champ Eric “Drummer Boy” Molina (8-1, 7KOs)”
In order to understand why Cavazos isn’t crazy for releasing a talented fighter like JP, who has network television exposure and is a former beltholder, one has to understand the focused business model of Cavazos Boxing and often underappreciated role of the boxing promoter. Cavazos explains, “I run a highly efficient and lean operation down here and I always try to look out for my fighter’s best interests, I don’t want to hold a fighter like JP back from being able to maximize his potential. With all the cards I do here in the Valley and all the travel required with the co-promotional deals on my other fighters like “King James,” it would be very easy for us to get stretched too thin signing co-promotionals for every one of our highly talented fighters. We are already highly successful, so do what’s best for the fighter, plain and simple.”
Here’s to hoping Cavazos Boxing keeps sending the fans outside the Rio Grande Valley these little hidden treasures and hoping JP “El Gallo Negro” De La Rosa gives us many exciting fights in his quest for a world title. If this kind of selfless, success story keeps surfacing from other pockets of boxing and promoters around the country, the boxing fans may get to witness the resurrection of the glory days of boxing where every weight class is deep with talent because there is&nb sp;a shared passion amongst boxers and promoters for the love of the sport, not money.