WBO: Rafael Espinoza officially receives his World Featherweight Title

12/15/2023 - No comments

Rafael Espinoza, the new featherweight champ, swaggered into Corozal, Puerto Rico with a mariachi band belting out “El Rey,” ready to snag his shiny World Boxing Organization (WBO) belt. The party was jumping with boxing hotshots and newbies alike, all there to see Espinoza officially crowned.

Then, in a moment as smooth as a knockout punch, boxing legend and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Iván Calderón, strutted up and handed over the belt to Espinoza. It was like passing the torch, but heavier and shinier.

WBO bigwig Paco Valcárcel grabbed the mic and said something along the lines of, “Welcome to the fam, Espinoza. You fought hard, you won fair. Now let’s party!”

Espinoza, beaming with his new bling, chimed in, “Big thanks to Paco and Iván. I’m buzzing to be here, feeling the same rush as in the ring. Super grateful to WBO. I’ll keep training, keep throwing punches, and make fights to remember.”

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Last week, Espinoza outpunched former champ and Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramírez in Florida. It was a nail-biter, a real contender for Fight of the Year, showcasing both fighters at their best.

At the bash, Espinoza showed off another talent – his singing chops. He belted out “Acá entre nos” by Vicente Fernández, surrounded by a squad of current and former champs like Oscar Collazo, René Santiago, and a bunch of others. He ended with a shoutout to Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Then there was Calderón’s moment. A touching video played, and Espinoza handed him a plaque, making everyone in the room get all misty-eyed. Calderón spilled his heart out about his journey, from dreaming of being a champ to being a Hall of Famer, overcoming doubters and personal struggles.

Meanwhile, Juan “Juancito” Zayas, a rising star with an undefeated record, got named Prospect of the Year and scored a mini WBO title, because why not?

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A bunch of WBO big shots were there too – founders, secretaries, treasurers, and even the in-house lawyer. And let’s not forget the referees, judges, managers, and promoters who also made the scene.