The fighting Island of Puerto Rico has a storied and proud history of producing all-time great fighters. From Wilfredo Gomes to Miguel Cotto and from Jose Torres to Ivan Calderon and Felix Trinidad.The amount of hall of fame-level prize-fighters the tiny Caribbean island has produced is unprecedented considering it has a population of just a little north of 3 million people or about the same population as Mississippi. However, since Cotto retired from the sport back in 2017 the Fighting Island has been without a pound-for-pound all-time great type fighter. However, that drought may be coming to an end given the spectacular performance of young undefeated 122-pound blue-chip prospect Carlos Carballo who hails from the city of Ponce. Carballo ran his record to a perfect 14-0 (14) in his native Island when he scored a sensational fourth-round knockout of the rugged Leonardo Baez. That’s the Puerto Rican’s second consecutive highly impressive knockout victory against an increasingly difficult level of completion. The undefeated super bantamweight scored a knockout over Mike Oliver just before the pandemic started in 2020.
Caraballo, a southpaw, patiently moved around the ring staying off the ropes and letting his power be known with a picture-perfect left uppercut about a minute into the fight. Another sharp left came in about 45 seconds later that rocked Baez. Which the southpaw quickly capitalized on with a barrage of power shots to end the opening round. The second round picked up where the first ended, with Caraballo in complete control. A Laser-like short left hand struck like a cobra and put the Mexican down about a minute into the seconds round. Baez bravely made it to his feet, but the beating continued another left hand came in from the Puerto Rican that shook his opponent to the core just as the second stanza came to an end. The beatdown continued throughout the third and came to a culmination in the fourth as Caraballo mixed in some thudding bodywork that set up a perfectly placed left-cross that shook Baez yet again. After another 60 seconds of precise power shots, finally, the towel was thrown in from the defeated corner and Caraballo had his 14th stoppage victory in 14 pro bouts.
The 122-pound division is uniquely loaded with young talented fighters. Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Brandon Figueroa, and Stephen Fulton have belts. Raese Allem may by the most talented fighter in the division. Plus it has the likes Angelo Leo, Carlos Castro, and Tremaine Williams who all like Caraballo possess world championship-level skills. “Purin”, might just be ready for any of the names in the relative near future. However, he is going to need at least one more big win to land a big-money fight against any of the young talent mentioned above. A fight with Irish Olympian Mick Conlon would be a box office draw at the Mecca of Boxing. Conlon has already built up a fanbase there and Puerto Ricans have always sold well in New York City the option that could propel Caraballo into the title picture is a win over Vic Pasillas. All of the fighters named are completely realistic opponents as Caraballo isn’t tied down to any network or promotional side of the street. It’s a unique time with the amount of young talent at 122 and Carballo has the skills to compete and possibly beat anyone in the loaded division.