By Robert Coster
In the Dominican Republic, he is nicknamed “The Little Assassin.” Super flyweight Eliezer Aquino (15-0-1, 9 KOs) is a crowd favorite on the Caribbean island because of his Tyson-like bobbing-and weaving attack style. Two of Aquino’s fights (versus Jonathan Arias in 2009 and against Norberto Jimenez in 2013) were candidates for Fight of the Year in the Dominican Republic. With just 16 pro fights, Aquino has already won four regional title and is ranked 7th by the IBF.
Next for the “Little Assassin” is what is undoubtably the biggest challenge of his young, promising career. On January 25th he will fly to Puerto Rico to face a very dangerous foe — unbeaten local ex-Olympian and IBF #5 ranked McJoe Arroyo (13-0, 7 KOs) in a 12 round contest. The winner of the fight will automatically be raised to the second spot in the IBF super flyweight rankings.
With characteristic cockiness, Aquino welcomes the challenge of fighting Arroyo in his backyard. “The fans are not doing the fighting and I want to go there and win convincingly. This is a career-defining bout for both of us. I want to make it a war because I know I’m the bigger warrior. I’m not talking about size (smiles) — I’m talking will and heart.”
Aquino’s promoters, Cesar (Manguita) Mercedes and Sampson Lewkowicz agree and are not afraid of the upcoming challenge being presented to their fighter. Says Mercedes: “You can compare Aquino to a little pit-bull. He goes for the jugular as soon as the bell rings. With him being such an attack-minded fighter, we are working in tightening his defense. I can see that he’s making tremendous progress and he is becoming a much more elusive target. Sampson and I really believe that Eliezer is ready not only for Arroyo but also ready for a title challenge in 2014!”
Robert Coster is an excellent judge of boxing talent. To date five young fighters from his “New Faces” series have gone on to win world titles (Tomoki Kameda, Evgeny Gradovich, Johan Perez, Nicholas Walters and now Ruslan Provodnikov).