Rising junior middleweight prospect Neeco “Rooster” Macias will put his undefeated record on the line March 25 against Mexican veteran Cesar Soriano in an eight-round bout, on “KO Night Boxing: History Begins”, featuring the professional debut of hometown hero Nico Hernandez, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist.
“KO Night Boxing” will air live (9 p.m. ET) on CBS Sports Network from Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
One of only two U.S. men boxers to medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wichita native Hernandez. will face upset-minded Las Vegas (NV) flyweight Patrick Gutierrez (0-2) in the six-round main event.
In association with Kansas Star Casino, KO Night Boxing LLC is the licensed promoter of “KO Night Boxing: History Begins”, which is being sponsored by Miller Lite, Mel Hambelton FORD and TITLE Boxing.
The 25-year-old Macias (14-0, 8 KOs), fighting out of Palm Desert, California, takes on “gatekeeper” Soriano (26-34-1, 16 KOs) in the opening televised bout. The extremely aggressive fighting Macias, who is the reigning World Boxing Council’s (WBC) United States junior middleweight champion, is currently ranked No. 13 by the United States Boxing Association (USBA).
In short, Macias is an energized-bunny boxer, always going forward, throwing an arsenal of punches from every conceivable angle. His fan-friendly style, in addition to his rooster persona, makes him an instant favorite wherever he fights. Kansas fans there to support Hernandez will probably take to Macias before the first bell.
“I never chose my nickname,” Macias explained. “I fought a lot in the amateurs between Los Angeles and Fresno, where there are a lot of Latino fans. They started calling me, Gallo, which is Spanish for Rooster. In my fourth fight, I did a little rooster dance and scratched. Then, I was more dramatic, and eventually I started crowing. I crow and scratch before, during and after my fights, so I better live up to my nickname and keep winning.
“We don’t just focus on techniques on camp, I go through some insane, hardcore workouts. Everybody gets tired in the ring but I train very hard and always find my second wind during fights because I train so hard. I’ve been doing it this way for the past five years. I have a good coach, my father (Al), who pushes me. I never reach a plateau in workouts. We even steal workouts from other gyms. But, boxing is 80-percent mental and with the Adrenalin rush from fighting in front of large crowds, mentally, I have to be strong to physically do what I do in the ring.”
Macias is getting close to breaking into the world ratings. Two of his last three fights have been shown on CBS Sports Network, both live from Las Vegas, including his USNBC-winning fight against previously undefeated Rolando Garza (9-0), the former member of the Mexican National Boxing Team. Macias took the fight to Garza fight from the opening bell, never letting up during this action-packed fight, until the referee stopped the fight in the fifth round.
“Everybody hits the wall and I did against Garza in the fourth round,” Macias said, “but I got my second wind and finished him off in the fifth. I’ve gotten better since that fight, too. I’m not a Floyd (Mayweather Jr.)-like fighter, so I’ve been working on my defense, keeping my hands high, elbows close to my body. I’m smothering opponents now, not giving them leverage, and I haven’t been getting cut like I did in my earlier fights.
“I’m going to show fight smarts early, fighting in flurries and pressuring him inside to make him uncomfortable, and then wear him down for the middle and late rounds. The ‘Rooster’ is going to pressure him; tap, tap, tap to the body, until things settle down and then start digging punches to his head and body. I’m doing everything to come out of this fight 15-0.”
Soriano has won his last two fights. He is the former Fecarbox and WBC Mundo Hispano lightweight champ. As a “gatekeeper,” he has tested the likes of world title challengers Dierry Jean and Ionut Dan Ion, as well as top contenders such as Kevin Bizier and Logan McGuinness.