An underdog once again, Carson City’s Diego Elizondo boxes Saturday in a nationally televised bout.
The 22-year-old lightweight with a 3-2-2 record will face highly touted Anthony Cuba, who won his professional debut Oct. 31 with a second-round knockout. In previous televised fight cards, it was uncertain beforehand whether Elizondo’s bout would be included on the broadcast. Not this time. His four-round match at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles with Cuba will be the first aired, starting at 4 p.m. on FS1.
“I’m the B-side and it makes me hungry,” Elizondo said. “Being the B-side is nice. It makes me feel good that I’m not just fighting some guy that don’t have no business being in the ring. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth all this risk. I like the fact that everything comes hard.”
Elizondo has faced fighters with winning records in all but one of his eight pro bouts. On Nov. 17 at the L.A. Staples Center, he upset Desmond Lyons, 6-1. Elizondo trains at the Tazmanian Boxing Club. He took the fight on 18 days notice.
Elizondo has a classic boxing style, relying on a jab to score points. He is typically composed, but he lost his temper in his third fight and slugged it out in what resulted in a draw. He has suffered one flash knockdown.
“If (Cuba) is underestimating me, he’s got another thing coming,” Elizondo said. “I hope he came prepared because that’s what makes it more fun for me.”
Elizondo has 28 rounds of pro experience compared to just two for Cuba, who is an 18-year-old senior at A.B. Miller High School in Fontana, California.
Cuba trains at the gym of Leo Santa Cruz, who lost his WBA Super Featherweight Championship to Gervonta Davis on Oct. 31 in San Antonio, Texas. Cuba was on the undercard, winning his debut against 6-foot-tall Leon Cavali, 1-1. Cuba is trained by Leo’s brother, Armando Santa Cruz, a former lightweight contender who had a 28-5 record.
Winner of the 2019 Sugar Bert National Championship at 132 pounds, Cuba had aspirations of fighting in the Olympics but after 25 amateur fights elected to turn pro. According to Red Gloves News, he says he tries to emulate the style of his boxing hero, Manny Pacquiao.
“He has power in both his hands,” Armando Santa Cruz said.
Cuba started boxing at age 14. He is an orthodox boxer but says he can switch to a southpaw stance. BoxRec lists him at 5-foot-8. Elizondo is left-handed and stands 5-foot-10.
“It’s exciting for me to go out and prove everybody wrong,” Elizondo said. “It doesn’t matter who you have or who is in your corner. They can’t fight for you. He’s going to be out here to prove himself. I’ve got to repeat what I did in November.”
“I am excited for my people to tune in back home in Carson City and I’m going to do my best to put on a show.”
Super lightweight Michel Rivera (19-0, 12 KOs) fights Anthony Raices (13-4, 11 KOs) in an 8- or 10-round bout headlining Saturday’s FOX PBC Fight Night Prelims.