As a young boy growing up in Puerto Rico, Jose Medina looked up to the same fighters that are forever etched in their rich boxing history.
From Felix Trinidad to Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Lopez, Medina had many outstanding fighters to admire. There was one major difference however. Medina was significantly larger than all of the greats that grew up on the boxing crazed island that sits 1,100 miles south of Key West.
At 6’3 260 lbs, Medina is more than 75 pounds bigger than the largest native Puerto Rican to capture a world title in Jose Torres. Those sizing up Medina before seeing him in action may question his conditioning but the 19-year-old is not just sheer bulk though. In the gym, stablemates called him “Kung Fu Panda” due to his shockingly impressive agility and nimbleness inside the squared circle.
As an amateur, Medina captured three Puerto Rican National Championships before relocating to Florida in 2015 where he captured the Florida State Police Athletic League (PAL) title along with Silver in the Paul Murphy Championships. He also quickly gained a large following, as the Orlando area has one of the largest Puerto Rican populations in the US.
However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t doubters.
“When he first came here, he never did strength training before,” said trainer Marco Fazzani. “People saw him when we first went into gyms and they thought he was a slouch because of his appearance. That until we got him in the ring and everybody realized Medina is no joke. Since he’s been training here, he grew two inches and became a lot physically stronger. We’re also working every day to improve his physique.”
On March 4, Medina made his professional debut at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa against Richard White. Admittedly nervous, Medina overcame the expected jitters that came with removing the headgear for the first time and scored a second round knockout.
Having gone through the White bout without incident, Medina is fighting for the second time in less than 30 days when he meets Todd Bradley of Brandon, FL in a four round bout as part of Mad Integrity Fight Sports’ “Bombs Away 5” Saturday, April 2 at the Bayfront Hilton in St. Petersburg, FL. As a fighter who is still developing in many aspects, Medina understands the importance of staying busy and is excited rather than nervous for his second professional fight.
“I’m very thankful to be fighting on this card,” said Medina. “We’re expecting a great turnout on April 2. I’ve seen Bradley fight before but I never give my game plan away. Most importantly, I want to give my fans great entertainment and emerge victorious.”
Promoter Joey Orduna of Mad Integrity Fight Sports, who was admittedly surprised when seeing Medina in action, is looking forward to having him on the card.
“Jose has a ton of talent and he is definitely going to be a staple in the Tampa-St Petersburg area as he develops. He’s already got a very good fan base and as a heavyweight with speed and power, the amount of people that follow him will only grow. I’m excited to see him go to work on the 2nd and believe those that haven’t seen him before are in for a treat.”
The Medina-Bradley matchup is featured on a ten bout card promoted by Mad Integrity Fight Sports at the Bayfront Hilton in St Petersburg, FL. The card includes a number of Sunshine State scraps including the main event between welterweight Ali Tareh, 13-11-5 (6 KO’s) of Tampa against Juan Aguirre, 6-16-1, of Jacksonville in an eight rounder along with the highly anticipated lightweight matchup between St. Petersburg’s Jose “Lil’ Pacquiao” Resendez, 4-0 (2 KO’s), and Raul Chirino, 7-1 (3 KO’s), out of Miami. The card features a total of ten bouts and tickets from $35 are on sale now by calling 813-507-5110.
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