Daniel Ponce De Leon discusses imminent return to the ring on PPV
Although Daniel Ponce de Leon officially retired from boxing following his last bout more than seven years ago, the 41-year-old father of four has not completely removed himself from the sport in which he procured two world titles during a stellar 14-year career.
Since Miguel Roman stopped him on June 7, 2014, De Leon (45-7, 35 KOs) has remained active in the sweet science by training Mexican fighters Aaron Silver, Julio Madera, and Luis Varano, and serving as a boxing commentator for Fox Deportes, Estrella TV, and Facebook Live.
Returning competitively to the sport that brought him fame and fortune, the Mexican boxing legend will lace up the gloves one final time when he squares off against Hall of Famer Marco Antonio Barrera (67-7, 44 KOs) Saturday, Nov 20, 2021, on pay per view. The six-round super welterweight exhibition and four additional bouts will air live from the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico.
FITE PPV and Golden Boy Fight Night on Facebook Watch Paid Online will televise the five-bout main card live on pay per view for $9.99 at 4:30 p.m. PT /5:30 p.m. MT/7:30 p.m. ET.
“Boxing is in my blood, and it is difficult to leave it,” said the Chihuahua, Mexico, native. “I was already anxious to fight again before I talked to (promoter) Teresa Tapia and am thrilled to return. Time has passed quickly and here I am ready to fight again.”
In addition to commentating and training championship hopefuls, De Leon aims to demonstrate to the younger generation that seasoned veterans can also prove their mettle in the squared circle.
“I want to show that age does not matter, and it is possible to succeed in the ring after seven years away,” said the El Monte, Calif., resident. “I am happy to still be able to do what I love the most.”
Admitting that it was initially difficult to shake off the ring rust, De Leon remains confident that boxing enthusiasts will see his best on Nov. 20.
“It was difficult to catch the training rhythm and lose weight at the beginning of my return. Now I go running every day, shadow box, work the mitts, spar a few rounds, and finish off each session with strength exercises and stretching. I will be ready to show my best.”
While many fighters list taking home a world title as their greatest boxing accomplishment, the proud papa reflects upon his professional career from a unique perspective.
“I have beautiful memories from my boxing career,” De Leon reminisced. “I will never forget the happiness on my kids’ faces when they saw me win my fights. They were always with me watching from the front row.”
The former two-division world champion is eager to display his skills and holds nothing but the utmost respect for his upcoming opponent.
“Barrera is a great warrior who fought many historic opponents,” said the 2000 Mexican Olympic team member who battled eight world titleholders during his pro career. “It is an honor to face such a great Mexican champion.”
After securing a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan American Games during his amateur boxing career, De Leon claimed the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight title in October 2005 and made six successful defenses.
Nearly seven years after earning his first world title, the southpaw slugger collected a second with an eight-round technical decision over Jhonny Gonzalez in September 2012 to take home the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight crown.
Raised in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range in Mexico, De Leon is a member of the Tarahumara tribe, a group of indigenous people renowned for long-distance running.
“The Tarahumara Warrior” who overcame extreme poverty during his early childhood years living in Chihuahua, will provide everything he has during his final pro contest five days before Thanksgiving against “The Baby-Faced Assassin.”
“Fans everywhere can expect the best of me,” De Leon insisted. “I have taken this seriously and plan to put up a good fight against Barrera.”
In the first exciting pay-per-view co feature, undefeated Abel Mendoza (30-0, 23 KOs) of El Paso, Texas, hopes to keep his perfect record intact and ascend to the upper echelon of the 135-pound division when he takes on Mexican brawler Victor Zaleta (20-5-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round clash.
Rounding out the pay-per-view card will be a welterweight showdown of hard-hitting Albuquerque pugilists as undefeated Clinton Chavez (5-0, 4 KOs) faces once-beaten Cristian Castillo (3-1, 3 KOs), as well as a 270-pound battle royale pitting two Streetbeefs standouts making their pro boxing debuts when Cody Beck takes on Jonathan Rice.
Kicking off the festivities, Golden Boy Fight Night on Facebook Watch Facebook.com/GoldenBoyFN and FITE will stream Nicco Tapia’s debut and four additional outstanding preliminary bouts for free at 2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT/5 p.m. ET.
A Spanish-language broadcast will be available as a viewing option for both the pay-per-view and preliminary bouts.
Those hoping to attend the unforgettable, 10-fight Tapia Promotions extravaganza in person can purchase tickets starting at $75 through innofthemountaingods.com and TicketMaster.com by searching “La Ultima Batalla – The Last Stand.”