There is the throwback fighter and their ascension to stardom in the boxing ring. Then, fighting inside a venue and above the ring were dim, a ring announcer speaking with a microphone that descended in his hand. The fighters were introduced without an elaborate ring entrance and entourage that followed.
Those were the days of boxing and once known as the club show. In many ways that was the beginning of careers that culminated in Hall of Fame champions originating from the New York City area. The names are many, need I mention Jake “The Raging Bull” LaMotta, known for his rising stardom and historic fights at the old Bronx Coliseum.
And in this modern era the names are endless from outstanding amateur careers to champions: Iran “The Blade Barkley, Lou DelValle, Juan Laporte, Floyd Patterson, Daniel Jacobs, Mark Breland, and Mike Tyson the youngest to be crowned heavyweight champion.
Indeed the tradition moves on, however there is a distinct difference as the club show has diminished. The promoters are different and into this new era of developing a rising champion on undercards of mega fights at big time venues. The rising stars do their fighting before a handful of fans and are sidebar material for the writers.
So here is 26-year old Raymond “The Scientist” Cuadrado, the undefeated (5-0-0) junior lightweight from Ridgewood, Queens. Patient and on the threshold, no stranger to being sidebar material and waiting his turn.
Next Saturday evening will be a highlighted six rounder, his third fight under the Abella Boxing Promotions banner, second time at the Terrace & Biagio’s in Paramus, New Jersey. No more than 500 rabid fans in a catering hall that also includes VIP ticket sales of cocktail and dinner tables as part of Bergen County Fight Night 3.
Put this in perspective about a throwback boxing card because his opponent, (2-1-0) Usiel Hernandez, also a club fighter, needs to make weight and clear medical procedures. Common fact at this level, there is always a risk this fight can be scratched but “The Scientist” as he is called, a name given because he wears the glasses of an Albert Einstein and excels at competing in video games, is prepared.
“It’s just a great energy between the promoter, and staff members,” Cuadrado said about returning on an Abella Boxing Promotions card. “The environment, and being close to home, so my hometown supporters can always show up and show love at the events.”
And there will be fans there rooting for Cuadrado, highlighted in his first fight of six rounds. He has sold a share of tickets and a huge following on Instagram offers them transportation if needed to venture the half hour commute from Ridgewood to Paramus, and that also adds to the popularity of “The Scientist.”
But these are the boxing cards that Cuadrado and other upcoming fighters anticipate, basically another win leads to moving up the ladder, getting a step closer to stardom. It means larger venues, exposure on network and streaming platforms.
Abella Boxing Promotions is upcoming and building their base. Next Saturday evening, Bergen Audio Visual will stream the fight card on PPV and Guadrado is highlighted as one of four-six rounders. A threshold for sure, and anticipating another win.
“The Scientist “ explains his fascination with social media and how it relates to a career that also has him training close to home at the Brotherhood Boxing Gym in Ridgewood,
““Whenever I’m able to, I try to stream on Twitch, just to have some fun with the community, and try to build a fanbase there, if possible,” Cuadrado noted. “It’s always nice when you see two interesting groups collaborating, so, that’s what I try to do with boxing and video games. Have fun with it, bring one community into another by trying to bridge that gap.”
“I’m happy to see new people become fans, and purchase tickets,” he said. “Seeing not only new faces, but more faces fill out the seats just to come out and support me is always a good feeling. As I continue to grow as a fighter, it’s only gonna reach a bigger fanbase.”
Regardless, this boxing scientist is on the threshold. It is a matter of time and Cuadrado will admit, he doesn’t know much about his opponent. Back then, that New York fighter also had instincts. Preparing for opponents came from scouting in the opposing gyms or obtaining advice from mutual opponents and trainers.
“I’m always looking one step ahead, thinking one step ahead,” Cuadrado said. “Making sure everything is right where I want it every single time.”
He added: “I’m just coming stronger, and I’m ready to display new skills that people haven’t seen out of me before. Constantly thinking of leveling up.”
Very similar words of the throwback fighter and on the threshold. And continuing to be “The Scientist” in the ring again a week from Saturday.
Rich Mancuso [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso. Watch “Sports With Rich” with Rich and co-host Robert Rizzo Tuesday evening 8pmET on the SLG Network and YouTube