Undefeated Golden Boy prospect Raul Curiel had just turned 26 and was looking to propel himself into the top title of 147-pound prospects. He was given the stage and the spotlight to do just that. On December 18th, Curiel walked in the enemy territory at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas to battle hometown favorite Kendo “Tremendo” Castaneda in what was a massive step-up fight for the undefeated Mexica. Castaneda is not just a rugged switch-hitting body punching contender but he has also sold out many venues in San Antonio, his home city. None of that deterred the undefeated Curies who became the first man to stop Castaneda and did so in spectacular fashion with a single body shot that ended the night for the hometown fighter. Giving Curiel the biggest win of his career moving his record to 11-0 (9) and defending his NABF welterweight title and capturing our Prospect of The Month Award.
There is no better crowd in the boxing world than in San Antonio, Texas, the knowledgable and passionate fan base was just beginning to fill in for the Zurdo/Gonzalez card at the AT&T Center when Curiel and Castaneda stepped into the ring, and that crowd was firmly behind their hometown fighter the “Tremendous one” and the fight got off to an entertaining start as Curiel tried to silence the San Antonio crowd. Clean combination and thudding body shows were landed from each man with Curiel largely getting the better of it and a highly questionably knockdown came in the third when it appeared their feet got tangled and Castaneda went down, perhaps from their feet being caught up but perhaps from a flurry from the Golden Boy prospect. The knockdown didn’t seem to deter Castaneda who stayed in the fight and stayed competitive despite losing most of the rounds. The San Antonian fought his way back into the fight in the fifth and sixth rounds winning with the jab and then landing good clean shots and appearing to be evening up the fight just a bit with four rounds to go. However, the rally was short-lived and the end came 1:20 into the seventh when the Mexican dropped his opponent with a hook to the body to the body. Castaneda stayed down while referee Angel Mendez counted to 10 giving the 11th win in 11 career bouts to the undefeated Curiel.
Curiel like Ramirez has made a habit of fighting in the Lone Star State! He has fought all three times this year in the great Republic of Texas including in Dallas when he stopped veteran Ramses Agaton in just two rounds. Dallas is also home to another Golden Boy Welterweight, the prestigious Vergil Ortiz. that seems like the fight they want to make when Ortiz does capture a world title at 147, which will happen sooner rather than later. Until then Golden Boy has a litany of other welterweights in their stable that Curiel can test his skills against, such as Blair Cobbs, Alexis Rocha, and Rashidi Ellis. All of whom Golden Boy president Eric Gomez said Curiel will be ready for within in a fight or two.