Undefeated super bantamweight prospect Manuel “Tino” Avila works the graveyard shift at a fitness gym in his hometown. The work is tedious, but it provides the stability the 21-year-old fighter needs to pursue his dream of becoming a world champion.
Avila, undefeated in 13 professional fights, will be back in the ring February 17 to face Enrique Quevedo (15-6-1, 9 KOs) at the Salinas Storm House in Salinas, California.
The bout will be his first since he dismantled Jose Angel Cota in two rounds last October. His performance impressed many, but fighting only a few times last year frustrated the young fighter.
“I was cut twice on two different spots on the same eye,” Avila told this writer on the phone last week. “The December (2012) cut really slowed my career down last year. Then in June (a decision win over Jamal Parram) I was cut again.
“Those two cuts set me back.”
Like most fighters, Avila would prefer to fight as often as possible. But an injured eye needs time to heal. Avila understands this, but likes to stay active.
“I feel like fighting more keeps me sharper,” said Avila.
Avila’s training camp consists of conditioning and sparring. Unlike many fighters of today, the Fairfield, Calif., resident won't watch tape of his upcoming adversary. On fight night he trusts his team to instruct him on what he needs to do.
“I never plan on watching videos on any of my opponents,” Avila said. “I believe in my corner. They watch the videos.”
This could explain the eerie calm the young fighter exhibits before all his fights.
“I feel like I belong in the ring,” he said. “I have nothing to worry about. It’s meant to be.”
Queveda, 30, from Los Algodones, Baja California, Mexico, was expected to lose last October when he took on prospect Christopher Martin, who came into the fight with a record of 27 wins and only two losses.
Instead, Queveda dominated the eight-rounder. His record might not be very imposing, but he’s known as a game fighter who has only been stopped once.
His style is to force the issue.
“I've been told he's a pressure fighter,” said Avila. “I still need to work at my own pace. I have one of the best jabs and I'll keep him honest with it.
“I’ll also need to stay off the ropes,” said Avila.
It’s likely the focused Avila will execute his game-plan and remain undefeated.
He’ll also have to return to his work outside the ring, but the way things are progressing in his boxing life, that job may be temporary.
The Avila vs. Quevada fight can be seen live on the hit FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes series Golden Boy Live! on Monday, Feb. 17. The co-main event features IBA super middleweight champion Paul "El Gallo Negro" Mendez (14-2-2, 6 KOs) and Raul "El Tigre" Casarez (20-4, 9 KOs) in a 10-round bout.