Under any circumstance, losing a parent is a devastating ordeal, but it is especially trying for lightweight Jose Roman, who is dealing with the sudden death of his father Jose Roman, Sr., while simultaneously preparing for a fight.
“It’s beyond tough,” said Roman, who will face an opponent to be named later next Friday, June 24. “He loved boxing. He’s the one who got me started in the sport. My dad taught me the basics at age five and put me in the gym at nine years old. I thought about not fighting, but this is what my father would want. He’d want me in the ring.”
The elder Roman passed away several weeks ago due to complications after surgery. Roman, 28, who is from Garden Grove, Calif., threw himself into his training camp as a way to cope with the emotional and mental strain.
“Boxing has been my escape,” said Roman, who sits at 22-1-1, 15 KOs. “It’s where I can go to release the stress.”
To prepare, Roman loaded up on quality sparring for his eight round fight, which takes place at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. He sparred with the once-beaten Jose Zepeda, and for three weeks, Roman was among the rotating sparring partners for former world champion Ruslan Provodnikov.
“It felt great getting in the ring with an elite boxer, someone with a big name,” Roman said. “Ruslan is tough and hits hard. I have a lot of respect for him. He has a lot heart.”
“What’s great about sparring a guy like Ruslan is that you have to use every skill that you have. You can’t go in there and bang with him. He’s too strong for that. You have to mix things up or he’ll just run right through you.”
In other action, heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (12-0, 12 KOs) of San Francisco defends his unbeaten mark against Colombian veteran Epifanio Mendoza (42-22-1, 36 KOs) in the eight round main event.
Tickets for “Locked n’ Loaded” are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase online at ThompsonBoxing.com, or by calling 714-935-0900.
In the 8-round co-feature, a pair of featherweights in Erick Ituarte (13-1-1, 2 KOs) and Daniel Ramirez (11-3, 5 KOs) will vie for Southern California bragging rights (8-rounds).
“Locked n’ Loaded” is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with LATV Networks.