Carlos Balderas, a 2016 U.S. Olympian who was regarded as one of the hot prospects at the Rio de Janeiro Games, has signed a multi-fight deal with Top Rank.
Balderas, 24, hasn’t panned out as expected as a professional and his career has been slowed by management and other issues. He’s 9-1 with eight knockouts, but lost his last fight, on Dec. 21, 2019, by knockout to Juan Rene Tellez.
He’s now trained by the legendary Buddy McGirt and managed by Sam Katkovski of Churchill Boxing. Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti called the signing “a restart” and said it was a shot worth taking.
Balderas, who will fight at super featherweight and lightweight with Top Rank, was compared to Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya coming out of the amateurs. Moretti said he not only has the talent but the appeal that could make him a factor.
He’s expected to debut for Top Rank in August. Moretti said the company will go slow with him, giving him six- and eight-round fights at first to try to help him rebuild. Top Rank has a lot of elite talent at 130 and 135 pounds, including undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez, former champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and Balderas’ 2016 Olympic teammate, Shakur Stevenson.
“According to what we hear from his team, including McGirt, he’s got a lot of talent,” Moretti told Yahoo Sports. “We can campaign between 1130 and 135 and hold that weight for a while, which is good for us, obviously. The talent is there, but it’s a restart as far as in the ring.
“What happened doesn’t matter now. There’s stuff there that never came out when he turned pro. It’s a matter of getting him back and getting him active and getting him to where he can be. If we do that, then we can dive into the marketing and promotion of him and see if we can re-light what everybody thought was there coming out of the amateurs.”
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