Picking the month’s prospect of the month is an incredibly daunting task. However when one prospect hands in two noteworthy performances in one month. The combination is hard to beat. We were ready to crown Callum French in this month’s awards. The 26-year-old amateur standout from Gateshead, England, had a heck of a performance on the undercard of, the Cordina vs Igawa card in Cardiff. However, a 17-year-old sensation from South Texas made two sensational showings in two weeks. Jesus “Panterita” Martinez made his pro debut a successful one on June 10th and then followed it up just a few hours away from his hometown of Del Rio and scored another victory on the undercard of Bam Rodriguez- Sor Rungvisai card in San Antonio to move his record to 2-0 and take this months Prospect of the Month Award.
Just a few hours east of Panterita’s little hometown of Del Rio, a small border town of about 30,000, the 17-year-old who is managed by two world champions took his talents to San Antonio under the bright lights of the Tech Port Arena. After making a stunning performance in his pro debut just two weeks prior in Guadalajara, Mexico Martinez scored a highly impressive unanimous decision over Daniel Nunez Gomez that impressed the boxing world and left Eddie Hern looking to get the teenage star on another card ASAP!! At 17 years old that can be a daunting task as most states require you to be 18. However, Texas will allow 17-year-olds to fight professionally and the timing was perfect. As Rodrigue who was once a teenage sensation and now at 22 a world champion, he had set the perfect blueprint for the Panterita. Martinez dominated the opening 2 rounds against Keven Monroy, before facing adversity in the third. A glancing shot that landed on the shoulder of a slipping and off-balanced Martinez but the Texan on the canvas, a 5050 call that could have been ruled a slip, was instead ruled a knockdown. The Del Rio native got to his feet shock it off, was told by his corner to stay calm that he was still in control of the fight, and did just that, displaying the calm and poise of a fighter with 15 years more experience Panterita closed out the show with laser-like right hands that hurt Monroy and thudding left hooks that impressively closed the show. Despite the knockdown, Panterita took the decision victory and the second win in two weeks.
Panterita has an amazing team behind him, two world champions managing him, Darren Barker and Joe Calzaghe, Robert Garcia and the RGBA team in his corner, and Eddie Hearn who thinks the world of him. So they are going to want to see this kid again soon. However, at 17 he is going to have limited options and will have to wait for a noteworthy card in either Mexico or Texas, he may possibly be able to return to the ring in Las Vegas. However, the most likely return for Panterita will be in August when Matchroom will host another card in Mexico. Martinez is a first-hand witness of how a great corner and team behind you can get you to a world championship at a very young age, he is in camp and long-time friends with Bam Rodriguez. The goal now for Martinez and his team is to get Panterita to a world title so he can boast of being the youngest world champion in the next few years.