Puerto Rico has an amazing and storied boxing tradition, not to mention a tremendous passion for the sport. World Champs like Miguel Cotto, Ivan Calderon, Felix Trinidad, Wilfred Benitez, Edwin Rosario, and Carlos Ortiz are just and a handful of the many legends the boxing crazed Island has produced over the decades. Since the retirement of Miguel Cotto, Puerto Rican fans and fight fans, in general, have patiently waited for the next Boricua supers star. There’s been plenty of good fighters, fighters like Jose Pedraza, Felix Verdejo, Christopher Diaz, and Manny Rodriguez, and a handful of others were supposed to fill that space as Puerto Rico’s next superstar and despite some high level wins good skills, and solid careers none of them carried the torch as the next great Puerto Rican superstar. 26-year-old Nestor Bravo, of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, maybe the heir apparent to that title. For the first time, the young star headlined a major, nationally televised card and he did not disappoint. Putting on a boxing clinic in taking apart Jose Luis Gallegos over 10 one-sided rounds, despite a hand injury and moved his record to 19-0 (13) and captured our Prospect of the Month award for September.
Walking into the arena at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angelas, California, the Puerto Rican prospect was fully aware of two things. First headlining a PBC card was the biggest and best opportunity of his young career, and second, Gallegos was clearly the biggest test of his career. Knowing the significance of the moments Bravo had a laser-like focus from the opening bell. Dominating the opening round with his lighting quick, stiff jab, and movement establishing distance and asserting himself as the superior boxer. Round two saw Bravo pick up the pace and started mixing in pin-point right hands that stopped his rugged opponent dead in his tracks every time he tried to rush in. Gallegos remained on the aggressive lunging in with left hooks to no avail. Ther unbeaten prospect stayed cool as a fan under pressure and continued to counter with straight right hands. Bravo was not going to be baited, despite an injured right-hand he continued to jab and move on the outside and avoided 3his opponent’s return first and frustrate the veteran Gallegoas throughout the middle rounds who tried to turn the boxing match into a slug-fest to no luck. Bravo piled-up an insurmountable lead on the cards and despite some rough house tactics in the last two rounds and point deductions. Bravo sailed to a lopsided unanimous decision by scores of 97-91 and 96-92 twice.
The lightweight division is undoubtedly the most star-studded and deepest division in regards to young talent. Such up and coming talent includes the likes of World champions like Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez as well as unbeaten prospects like Ryan Garcia, Hector Tanajara, George Kambosas, and Rolando Romero. Coming off his last performance, Bravo quickly elevates himself into that elite group of lightweights. When running off the names of top lightweight division Bravo’s name now must be included. Although getting a world title fight in the immediate future is going to be extremely difficult, given how talent loaded the division is, Bravo could secure a lucrative step-up fight against names like Alberto Machado a former world champ, in what would ve an all Puerto Rican showdown. or veterans like Hank Lundy, Omar Douglas or Ladarius Miller would all be steps in the right direction that Bravo should win as he progresses towards world title competition in the near future