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  Caballero Makes First Title Defense Friday Night

By Barbara Pinnella

Randy Caballero (12-0, 17 KOs) attempts to keep his undefeated record intact when he has his first fight as the WBC Youth Intercontinental super bantamweight champion. His opponent will be Arturo Santiago (7-3-1, 4 KOs).

Caballero was supposed to have a fight some time ago, under the Hopkins card but he has not fought in five months. My shoulders were just dying out on me, he told me. I wouldnt have performed in my normal way, so I just stepped out. I wasnt going to risk my health stepping into that ring. My dad always told me to never get into the ring if I wasnt feeling 110%.

It was just at the end, he continued. That was like two weeks before the fight they just started failing me. There was no way I was going to mess up the training camp. It was disappointing. That was a big step, and it was a big card that I was hoping I got on, and I was ready for that, but its fine. You get those little downfalls in this sport, but you keep going forward. I keep my head up and keep going.

No surgery was needed to fix those shoulders. I just let them rest. They were just getting heavy on me. They were just dying out on me, and getting tired really fast both of them. It was strange.

But its all go again. Randy has been back in serious training for a little more than a month now, and ready for Santiago. He knows a little bit about him. Hes from Puerto Rico; tough kid. I saw a couple of his fights on YouTube. Hes really tough, he comes forward. Hes a little wild, but those are the dangerous fighters. They come out wild and land that lucky punch that could change the outcome of the fight.

But Ive been training smart. Ive been sparring with guys that are a little more wild, tough guys that come forward trying to put pressure, so I feel well-prepared for this fight, and I feel good.

The fact that this is Caballeros first title defense makes him all the more determined. I just got that belt. There is no way I can let it go!

It is of course too early to make a lot of plans for next year. He is remember, only 21 years old. But he is not worried about a thing.

I know I have a great team on my side, and I know they are going to take care of me and take me far. Whatever they put in front of me, Im ready for anything. Im never gonna back down and Im gonna keep going. As for next year, whatever they have planned, whether its a title later on in that year, then its fine. Im not in any rush.

If you look at Randys record you will see that he regularly fights often, with many fights a year. He loves it like that, and is not ready to slow that down.

I love the way my careers moving, I dont believe Im moving too fast. I always loved to get in that ring, the feeling I get when Im in that ring, I cant explain the way it is, and I wouldnt change it for the world. I can fight as many times as they want me to. But in time a fighter will not know it, your bodys just dying out inside and theres always that time when you have to let it rest. My body has recovered a lot from that rest that I just had. I feel stronger, wiser, a different fighter, Im learning more than before.

He plans to stay around this weight class right now, hoping to get a title at 118 and then move up from there. I have no problem making weight, I feel good and strong at the weight Im fighting.

I guess it is safe to say that Randy is still excited about his chosen profession. I have probably watched him fight more than I have seen anybody else, and it is really fun to see him mature as a fighter. With that change, he has remained humble and still a really nice guy all the time.

I wish him the best of luck this coming Friday.

Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza


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