Home Boxing News Promoter Bob Arum bullish about Rafael Espinoza’s future after demolition job on...

Promoter Bob Arum bullish about Rafael Espinoza’s future after demolition job on Sergio Chirino

Rafael Espinoza. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Promoter Bob Arum is predicting a long time at the top for his WBO featherweight champion Rafael ‘El Divino’ Espinoza 25-0 (21).

The 30-year-old Mexican, who stands at six-foot-one, delivered a four-round beating to his countryman Sergio Chirino 22-2 (13) in the first defence of his title at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

Espinoza has Chirino on the canvas three times in the contest, in the first, third and fourth rounds before referee Raul Caiz Jr saved the challenger from any further punishment at the 2:45 mark.

“From the beginning, the hunger that I have to triumph, to be better and to move forward was apparent. I gave my heart and it shows,” said Espinoza, who rose from the canvas in the fifth round to win the belt via majority decision against Cuban southpaw Robeisy Ramirez 13-2 (8) in his last fight in December.

“I like throwing punches and showing people what they want to see, which is action. That’s why I went forward as soon as the first round began.

“I’m here. It’s my time. The time of ‘El Divino’. I want to unify and I want the big challenges.”

Veteran American promoter Arum believes he has a special fighter on his hands.

“First of all, [Espinoza] had a great record in Mexico,” the Top Rank boss told Sky Sports ahead of the Chirino fight.

“He was known as a knockout guy and a very crowd-pleasing fighter and then we brought him to fight Robeisy Ramirez, assuming it would be a good test for Ramirez and lo and behold, Espinoza won the fight.

“It may very well be that he is one of these fighters that’s a jewel, that’s going to be very hard for anybody to beat.

“That’s what we’ll see on Saturday. He’s fighting a very tough Mexican guy. I understand that they sparred together at one point and had hellacious sessions.

“That kind of fighter and those kind of fights is what builds stars.

“I would want to run back the Robeisy Ramirez fight because that was such an upset and if he does it again – Robeisy was one of the best amateurs ever, two Olympic gold medals – then we know we really have something big on our hands.

“We have so many of the really good featherweights that we can make some interesting fights for him.”

The other titleholders at 126-pounds are longtime WBC beltholder Rey Vargas 36-1-1 (22), recently crowned WBA boss Nick Ball 20-0-1 (11) and IBF ruler Luis Lopez 30-2 (17).

Another interesting option could be a fight against reigning Ring Magazine, WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO super bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue 27-0 (24), who is co-promoted by Arum.

The 31-year-old Japanese phenom, who has become undisputed champion in two separate weight classes, may be looking to conquer another division next year.