McALLEN — Dimas DeLeon said he was a little shocked when he scored his first knockout in the ring.
“I landed a left hand and the guy fell down,” the 19-year-old from Mission said. “It threw me off guard and I got shook up a bit. I was excited and wanted to go for more.”
Dimas has done just that, going for more. The southpaw fighter is 7-0 with six knockouts and will face McAllen’s Ricardo Mena (2-3) in the main event of the annual Border Wars fight card by Cavazos Boxing Promotions and the Law Offices of Mario Davila. The eight-fight card will take place July 12 at the Pharr Events Center.
Dimas said he hasn’t had a chance to see his opponent fight but expects “that he’s coming to fight too and we’ve both had the same time to prepare. Whoever has more skills and better conditioning will win this fight.”
Anthony Cavazos, the fight’s promoter, has followed DeLeon’s career and said what attracted him to DeLeon as a fighter was the no-nonsense attitude and the way DeLeon performs in the ring. DeLeon is Cavazos’ first left-handed boxer.
“He’s not a showboater,” Cavazos said during a Border Wars press conference Thursday at Costa Messa restaurant in North McAllen. “He comes to fight. I have high expectations for him. This kid has power. He’s going to put on a show and he’s going to knock out a lot of people in his career. He loves to fight. He’s not going to lay down.”
DeLeon comes from a boxing family. His dad was a boxer, his grandfather was a boxer and two of his three brothers are fighters, including his older one, who he used to spar with growing up.
“Yeah, he would beat me up a lot,” DeLeon said.
DeLeon said he’s a fan of Julio Cesar Chavez, and much of his earliest days were spent emulating the Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico fighter who amassed a 107-6-2 record with 85 knockouts spanning more than three decades.
“He goes forward a lot,” DeLeon said. “He likes to hit to the body and moves his head a lot, basically the same things I do now.”
DeLeon said he’s training harder than for any of his previous matches, working out three times a day sparring, running, swimming, to be in condition if the fight goes the full six rounds in the 118-pound division.
Omar Castillo (5-2) of San Juan will fight Gino De La Paz (2-2-1) of McAllen in a scheduled four-round matchup in the 132-pound division. Castillo, a PSJA High graduate, said he’s looking forward to fighting in his hometown.
De La Paz could be an imposing figure. At 6-foot-2, he has a major height and reach advantage. Castillo said he hasn’t faced someone as tall or with the reach of De La Paz but said there’s more to a boxing match than those two categories.
“Anybody can have height, but it’ also about discipline and skill,” Castillo said. “I’ve seen super short boxers beat tall boxers. First, you have to go in their knowing you’re going to win. We are training to go the distance and getting on the inside to work the body.”
Castillo lost his last fight on the judges card in Houston. He plans on bouncing back and has his eyes set on a future fight card already
“This is a comeback fight for me so it’s very important,” Castillo said. “After this hopefully we can get on the undercard of the Brandon Figueroa fight at Bert Ogden Arena.”
Figueroa (19-0), a Weslaco native, recently won the WBA Bantamweight World Championship and is listed as a special guest for the July 12 card.
General Admission Tickets are $30. For more information, call Cavazos Boxing at (956) 369-0742 or visit ticketmaster.com or pharrevents.com.