Photo by Emily Harney/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lamont Roach, Jr. (7-0, 3 KOs), a fresh young prizefighter from Washington D.C., has been impressing Golden Boy Promotions enough to earn a second televised fight next Tuesday, June 30 on Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes from the 2300Arena in Philadelphia, PA.
Roach amassed a stellar amateur resume, with more than 120 wins as well as winning 11 National Championships, most notably the 2013 USA Nationals and the 2013 Golden Gloves. He was also a student at the University of Maryland working on a Mechanical Engineering degree, but put his studies on hold to focus on boxing.
“Golden Boy is ready to push me and I’m ready to take the next step,” declared Roach, smiling through his voice during our interview.
Since signing with Golden Boy and debuting in April of last year, the lightweight has won all seven of his pro fights with three victories coming by knockout. His first televised fight was his sixth pro bout, against Herbert Quartey, the cousin of former world champion Ike Quartey. Roach dominated the action by dropping the seasoned Quartey once in the first and twice in the fourth round when Steve Smoger decided Quartey was done for the night. Roach attributes his success in the pros to his extensive amateur career by building his experience against different fighters’ styles.
“I think my amateur success translated to my pro career as it does [for] a lot of top fighters that’s on T.V. nowadays,” said Roach. “People who usually have a [amateur] background usually have the skills and what it takes to have nice boxing ability in the ring.”
What stood out most about that performance, was his poise and patience against a fighter with more than four times as many bouts. It’s slightly uncommon for a fighter so young and early in their career to be as calm as Roach was in his television debut against a pro much more experienced than he was.
Roach associates it to sparring with top fighters in the area like former world champion Lamont Peterson and Top Rank‘s top prospect Mike Reed, pros that have more experience and more acclaim than Roach–for now. He’s been particularly impressed with the craftiness of Peterson, explaining that he’s great at making adjustments at the right time in the ring.
“I learned a lot from Peterson. He’s actually one of my favorite fighters. He knows he can turn up the heat when he wants to and he can box when he wants to. He’s just very good at [knowing] what he needs to do in the ring, at that certain time,” said Roach.
He also favors Middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin, and enthusiast-beloved top prospect, Errol Spence, Jr.; whom Roach saw at the National PAL Championships in 2011 and at the Olympic trials while competing for the Junior Olympics.
Roach says he’s continuing to grow as a professional and evolving, sharpening his accuracy and learning to control tempo. As he prepares for his fight on Tuesday with San Antonian, Christian Santibanez (3-4, 2 KOs), his camp is going great.
He’s been getting in a lot of good sparring and he feels in top shape, and that his conditioning is great. As far as Santibanez is concerned, Roach is not worried about anything he brings to the table.
“We’re not too worried about what he’s [Santibanez] bringing to the table,” Roach said. “We’re moreso wanting him to worry about what we bring to the table. Let him worry about us.”
Roach is looking to electrify fans with his performance next Tuesday. He is looking to put on a show to continue getting televised cards.
“A show,” Roach said. “A spectacular show, because that’s what is going to keep me on T.V.”
Beyond June 30, Roach’s long term goal is to make a mark in the sport, to be remembered. For the short-term? He’ll settle for world champion. Keep an eye out for this young man, because as his success continues we’ll be seeing a lot more of him.