Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel has been an elite boxer for a long time, but 2009 could be the year that he finally gets the recognition he richly deserves as a two-time world champion and one of the best Mexican champions of his era. “I have waited in two different weight classes to face the big names but they have never wanted to fight me. But I feel that this could be my year as I move up in the bantamweight division to seek those big fights that have eluded me in the past”, said Montiel from his hometown in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. On Saturday night, Montiel will take on Diego Silva of Argentina for the the WBO Interim bantamweight championship in “Tijuana Thunder” a big pay-per-view card promoted by Top Rank that will be held at the Plaza de Toros Monumental in Tijuana.
“This is a great opportunity for me to become a three-time world champion in three different weight classes and to move up to bigger and better things”, said Montiel, who is the current WBO Super Flyweight Champion and is a former WBO Flyweight champion.
Montiel is 16-2 in world championship fights, with one loss coming to the great Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson at 115 pounds and the other to fellow Mexican Jhonny Gonzalez the first time he bid for the WBO bantamweight title.
“I was not ready to go up to 118 when I fought Gonzalez. This time I’m more mature and a much better fighter then I was them. I’m just better prepared this time for this weight division,” said Montiel.
If all goes well Montiel has to fight Eric Morel of Puerto Rico for the absolute title, once Gerry Penalosa decides to vacate that title as he takes on Juan Manuel Lopez for the WBO Jr Featherweight title on April 25 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
“I want to fight Morel to get the full title and then take on Vic Darchinyan later in the year when hopefully we both will be 118 pound world champions,” said Montiel.
Montiel trained under the watchful eye of his father Manuel Montiel in Los Mochis
“I’ve trained very hard for this fight in Tijuana, because I know how important it is to my future. I know I need to win and do it in great fashion, and that is exactly what I plan on doing on March 28,” said Montiel.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (38-0-1, 29 KOs), from Culiacan. Mexico, son of the legendary three-division world champion Julio Cesar Chavez, will risk his unbeaten record and top 3 rating against Luciano Cuello (23-0, 9 KOs), from Buenos Aires, in the main event of Latin Fury 8: Tijuana Thunder, which will also feature world champions Humberto Soto (46-7-2, 29 KOs), defending his title against rugged Top-15 contender Antonio T’-Rex” Davis (26-4, 13 KOs), and Fernando Montiel (38-2-3, 28 KOs), stepping up in weight to fight Top-Five contender Diego Silva (24-1, 12 KOs), for the interim WBO bantamweight title, plus a fourth fight which will be announced soon.
Promoted by Top Rank, Latin Fury 8 will take place Saturday, March 28 and will be televised live on pay-per-view from the 21,000-seat Plaza de Toros Monumental bullring in Tijuana, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.