Jose “Pepito” Haro (13-1-1, 7 KOs), a native of Yakima Washington, now living in West Jordan, Utah continues to persevere after being the victim of a random shooting at Walmart in 2015.
As Haro was walking out to his car, he was shot in both feet. Many doubted that Jose would ever return the ring, but just six months later he was back on the canvas securing yet another victory over Raymond Chacon.
This past weekend in Layton, Utah at the Davis Conference Center, Haro stepped into the ring yet again, fighting for the first time under Imperial Boxing Promotions. Haro expressed how blessed and grateful he is for Imperial Boxing.
“Imperial Boxing believed in me when a lot of people thought my career was over,” said Haro.
Jose “Pepito” Haro vs. Sergio Najera was the main event Saturday night for Imperial Boxing Promotions’ first ever boxing event. Sergio Najera, a veteran with 39 fights from Tijuana, Mexico has fought some of the best up-and-coming fighters in the sport including Golden Boy Promotions’ Julian Ramirez and Diego De La Hoya, as well as Roc Nation’s Daniel Franco.
Even with all of his ring experience, Najera was no match for Haro.
In Round 1, Haro stunned Najera, with a flurry of punches but Najera kept coming forward. Though Haro dominated in each round, Najera proved yet again that he is a warrior in the ring. In Round 4, Haro was able to stop the veteran.
Haro landed a mean right to the body of Najera, following up with a left hook to Najera’s chin. Najera dropped to his knees and was unable to return to his feet.
The referee stopped the bout at 2:24 of the fourth round. Jose “Pepito” Haro improved his record to 13-1-1, 7 KOs and earned the ABO (American Boxing Organization) Featherweight title.
I was able to catch up with Haro before the weigh in on Friday night. I spoke with Haro about how he got started in boxing, how he feels about his recent signing with Imperial Boxing Promotions, and last but not least what his ultimate goal in boxing is.
Round By Round Boxing: How did you discover the sport of boxing?
Jose Haro: My dad got me involved when I was 12 years old. He felt like I was getting in trouble at a young age, not just myself but my little brother as well.
RBRBoxing: Who were some of the boxer’s you looked up to when you first got involved in boxing?
JH: When I started boxing, I loved watching Oscar De La Hoya fight and “Finito” Ricardo Lopez. I also love Miguel Cotto as well as “Sweet Pea” Pernell Whitaker.
RBRBoxing: How does it feel to be signed with Imperial Boxing Promotions? Can you explain the relationship you have with your manager and promoter?
JH: It’s a great thing. They are willing to promote me in my home state, which is one of the main reasons why I decided to sign with them. Not only that, but they also believed in me when a lot of people thought my career was over because of what happened to me. I love that I am able to fight at home instead of going into people’s backyards–which I don’t mind I’m used to fighting in people’s backyards, but it’s a great opportunity to be able to fight in front of all my family and friends locally.
RBRBoxing: How was your training camp leading up to this fight?
JH: This camp was actually pretty tough; I can’t wait to fight so I can have some time to relax with my kids and my wife. Normally I train from home and I go to the gym to spar but for this camp I was in the gym every single day. I miss my family and I’m looking forward to spending time with them.
RBRBoxing: You are 12-1-1, 6 KOs, you are fighting for the ABO Featherweight Title, does this add an extra level of pressure going into tomorrow night’s fight?
JH: A little bit, not too much. I really don’t think about that kind of stuff, I just go in there and perform-–do what I do and hope it’s enough to come out with a victory.
RBRBoxing: You are fighting Sergio Najera, he was fought some of the top prospects in the sport such as Daniel Franco, Diego De La Hoya, and Julian Ramirez, with that type of experience, are you expecting him to give you some trouble in the ring?
JH: You know what, I just know that he is a tough veteran with 39 pro fights. I am expecting a tough fight but this is why I do it, I want to fight everybody.
RBRBoxing: How do you feel going into tomorrow’s fight?
JH: I feel really good; I’m actually very excited. I’m ready to weigh in today so I can eat and prepare for tomorrow.
RBRBoxing: What is your ultimate goal in boxing?
JH: My ultimate goal is I want to be that fighter, to be known to have fought everybody. I wasn’t afraid of nobody; I’ll go to people’s hometowns and fight whoever. And I want to become world champion. That is the example I want to show my kids.
Saturday night, Jose “Pepito” Haro came out and showed off his spectacular footwork and hand speed.
Not only did he demonstrate outstanding boxing technique, he proved that he packs power behind his punches–stopping Sergio Najera with a devastating body shot.
Many people doubted that Haro would ever return to the ring after being shot in both feet, but he continues to persevere and look better each and every fight.
I for one am looking forward to seeing Haro continue do great things in boxing.
All photos by Shelbi Keyes/RBRBoxing
Boise State Alum 🐴💙 Las Vegas 🎲 Staff Writer for Round by Round Boxing 👊🏼 @rbrboxing Snapchat: ShelbiKeyes