Exclusive Interview With Robert Marroquin

Dallas based bantamweight prospect Robert Marroquin has created a small buzz within the industry after his impressive first round beat-down of Robert Perez last month.¬† PhotobucketThe undefeated prospect (3-0, 3 KOs) and full-time college student has been one of Dallas’ best kept secrets but following his impressive showing on Telefutura the secret may be out.¬† Recently Ring Report had the chance to speak with the 18 year-old fighter during a break in his busy schedule.¬† Ring Report:¬† What got you into boxing? Robert Marroquin:¬† Well actually before I got into boxing I played baseball.¬† The season was over so my dad was like; well I don‚Äôt want you to be in the streets or anything like that.¬† I want you to be involved in a sport so you just won‚Äôt be out there doing bad stuff or stuff you are not supposed to be doing.¬† So we went to this flea market and there was some sparring going on and my dad looked at me and said hey would you like to try boxing.¬† I was like yeah sure!¬† I was still hoping to play baseball but I started to like boxing after a month or two and I kept on going, that‚Äôs how I‚Äôm here.¬† It was just a coincidence that I started liking it and everything and kept on going with it.¬† RR:¬† What position did you play in baseball? RM:¬† I was the pitcher and a shortstop.¬† RR:¬† How old were you when you got into boxing? RM:¬† I was actually eight years old around that time.¬† RR:¬†¬†And you’ve¬†been boxing ever since… RM:¬† Yep, then I tried to play baseball back in high school.¬† I played one or two games but it wasn‚Äôt the same anymore. RR:¬† So what happened?¬† Did you lose the passion? RM:¬† Well not the passion.¬† I love baseball, I like playing and everything like that it was just it was too advanced for me.¬† I was rusty and everything so I was like let me just stick to boxing.¬† RR:¬† What was your amateur career like? RM:¬† The only national title I got was the Pan Am box-off which made me qualify for the Pan Am games in 2007.¬† After going to the Pan-Am I made the Olympic trials and I lost to Gary Russell in a double elimination in the finals.¬† I had to fight him three times in a week.¬† It was pretty tough competition back then.¬† I lost by four points I believe.¬† It was a close fight, I thought I had it.¬† It was hard to go in there an beat the favorite (Russell).¬† I had a more professional style and they didn‚Äôt want a slow guy going into the Olympics. RR:¬† And by professional style, that means you hit hard. RM:¬† Yeah but the other guy did too.¬† (Luaghs) I though I did better then him in the fights and actually I caught him and he was out in the last round.¬† The referee had to clap in his face to get him back into the fight.¬† In the final seconds he just ran and ran and ran.¬† RR:¬† So after that you decided to turn pro? RM:¬† Yeah.¬† They actually made an offer to me to stay an amateur for another four years and try to make the Olympics.¬† I was like well I had already paid for school and everything.¬† I go to Northwood University in Cedar Hill, TX¬†and we had gotten the loan and everything and I just didn‚Äôt want to throw that away.¬† Later on Top Rank came with a deal and I went with it and decided to go pro.¬† That was in January. RR:¬† So are you still in school? RM:¬† Yes sir, I‚Äôm a sophomore now.¬† RR:¬† What is your major? RM:¬† Accounting. RR:¬† So how did Top Rank get involved? RM:¬† Well, we were talking to Golden Boy before Top Rank.¬† Golden Boy was going to sign me but they wanted me to go two or three fights as a pro and then they would see if they sign me but Top Rank was like well you did enough in your amateur career.¬† They were like you don‚Äôt have to prove yourself to us.¬† So I was like alright then plus the way I saw it Golden Boy has so many boxers that they don‚Äôt pay attention to an individual.¬† Bruce [Trampler] and all these guys at Top Rank have made a pretty good schedule for me as a professional.¬† Eric Gomez, he was over here telling me I had to prove to him that I was going to do something as a professional.¬† And I‚Äôm like what is there to prove?¬† They wanted me to fight against this undefeated guy, you know I‚Äôm 18, I‚Äôm trying to take it slow.¬† There is no rush with me and that is what Top Rank said, we are just going to take it slow for now.¬† We know your background as an amateur so you don‚Äôt have to prove anything to us.¬† And that is what I wanted, I don‚Äôt want to be rushing myself right now and I got college to go to.¬† I‚Äôm a full time student.¬† RR:¬† Was part of your decision to go with Top Rank based on their record of building up fighters? RM:¬† Yeah that is what my coach and father were telling me.¬† They said look at it this way, you see all these fighters, De La Hoya, Mayweather, Cotto, they came up with Top Rank and that is who made them.¬† I was actually ready to sign with Golden Boy until my father was telling me all of this stuff.¬† I was like he actually has a point. Bruce and all these guys from Top Rank have been moving me pretty well.¬† I don‚Äôt have to be in a rush.¬† I also don‚Äôt want to be fighting fighters that are like 0-8, I have to prove myself but not against top fighters [at this stage of my career]. RR:¬† So how do you balance being a full time student with being a professional boxer? RM:¬† It‚Äôs pretty hard.¬† I go to school, come back home and try to get the homework done.¬† I go back to the gym and then I come back home around 8 or 9 and try to finish homework.¬† Sometimes I have to stay up all night trying to finish homework.¬† It‚Äôs the same routine all week.¬† I try to get a little bit of rest on the weekends but usually I don‚Äôt.¬† It‚Äôs pretty complicated but I‚Äôm trying to get it done as fast as I can.¬† I don‚Äôt want to have any regrets at all.¬† If I don‚Äôt have nothing to do in boxing then at least I have something to rely on.¬† Photo courtesy of Ed Garza

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.