Zarate, 23, recently let the Thompson Boxing cameras into his training camp from the Ponce de Leon Gym in Los Angeles. Here are his thoughts as he prepares for Pedro Melo.
In October, you won the vacant NABF Jr. super bantamweight championship by outpointing Fernando Samaniego through 8-rounds. What kind of confidence does a win like that do for a young boxer trying to climb the ranks?
“It was a tremendous opportunity and a huge confidence booster. I understand that the road to the top is a tough one and that you need to win championship fights to advance your career. While this wasn’t a world title, it was still a tough fight.
You’ve been boxing professionally for 3 ½ years, where have you seen the most growth in your development?
“I’m much more comfortable in the ring. I react quicker when I’m on the ropes or in the corners. I can get out of those troubled areas a lot faster. I’m also throwing more combinations and I’ve tightened my defense.”
You are part of the co-main event on “Path to Glory.” This will be your first fight as a co-headliner. Is there any more pressure to perform well this Friday than previous fights?
“My team and I are more excited than anything else. We prepare the same way for every fight no matter if we’re in a 6-rounder, or co-main event, so I don’t think we’ll feel any difference in pressure. I’m just excited to have this new platform to showcase my skills and I thank Thompson Boxing for this opportunity.”
Your opponent, Pedro Melo, is a young boxer-puncher with a little more experience than you. He likes to attack early and often. How do you plan to neutralize him?
“I just need to stay true to my style. Be aggressive, don’t take foolish risks, and keep a high guard. I’ll have a lot of fans in attendance and I’m going to give them a great show.”
Tickets for “Path to Glory” are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and can be purchased by calling (714) 935-0900, or online at www.ThompsonBoxing.com.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m, and the first bell rings at 7:45 p.m. The Doubletree Hotel is located at 222 N Vineyard Ave, Ontario, CA 91764 and can be reached at (909) 937-0900.
“Path to Glory” is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with LATV Networks.
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