The Showtime portion of the card will also feature middleweight contender Danny Jacobs (24-1, 20 21 knockouts), of Brooklyn, who has nicknamed himself, “The Miracle Man” after having overcome paralysis caused by a large malignant tumor on his spine.
A 25-year-old who will pursue his third straight knockout victory against former title challenger Ohio’s durable Billy Lyell (24-11, 5 KOs), Jacobs, for his last fight in December, wore a patch on his trunks which he said read “Rest In Peace” in honor of the late Camacho Sr., who died in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in November.
Camacho Jr. (54-5-1, 29 KOs), of Orlando. Fla. will be in his first bout since the death of his father when he meets Salita (35-1-1, 18 KOs), a 34-year-old who is in pursuit of his fifth straight victory during a run that includes two stoppages.
“It’s tough when you lose a friend, a brother, a father and an idol. He was everything to me. He’s an inspiration to me. He was a good friend of mine. It was tough, emotionally. I would come to the gym sometimes and I would see posters of him, and I would cry,” said Camacho Jr.
“It’s still fresh. When I jog in the street, people stop me and say, ‘Hey, Macho, my condolences.’ But at the same time, while it’s painful, it’s a motivation, because I have their support. It’s tough walking around, because it’s not even been two months yet.”
Still, Camach Jr. is looking forward to the challenge.
“All fights are big coming into this moment in my career as it stands. I had kind of lost my devotion to the sport of boxing, but after my father’s death, I was re-awakened. I’m hungry.,” said Camacho Jr.
“I’m using that negative and turning it into a positive. I’m looking for a big win. I’m going in there knowing that I’m the bigger man and the faster man. The bigger puncher and the more experienced fighter. I’m looking forward to a victory.”
“My condolences go out the Camacho family and to all of his fans. I was a fan of Camacho Sr., and junior knows this,” said Salita.
“I was once in camp with him and his father. It was a really great experience for me to be around them. He was down to earth and that meant a lot.”
A resident of Salisbury, Md., where he is immensely popular, Guerrero said he wants to do for his nationality what Manny Pacquiao has for his native Philippines.
“When Pacquiao came up, everybody knew the Philippines, and everybody was for him. So Manny Pacquiao helped his country. Through boxing, he helped it,” said Guerrero, a winner of four straight, three by knockout.
“So I’m not saying that there are not a lot of Dominicans who are good in boxing, but I’m saying that they need somebody like me, like Fernando Guerrero, to become that Manny Pacquiao, or to become that Oscar De Le Hoya and Tito Trinidad that brings light to my country.”
Other undercard fights will include the New York professional debut of Staten Island’s 2012 United States Olympian Marcus Browne in a four-round light heavyweight fight as well as junior middleweight Boyd Melson (10-1-1, 4 KOs), of White Plains, N.Y.
Photo by John Gurzinski, AFP/Gettyimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com