Giovanni Marquez gets to make his pro debut in Deadwood, South Dakota. This pro debut will be a little different from just any other. A decorated amateur who compiled a 75-12 record was last seen winning the Golden Gloves in Tulsa last August. He also happens to be the latest from The Marquez Team out of Houston to step into the pro ranks.
Gotten a chance to speak with Giovanni and his father, former IBF champion and current Showtime analyst Raul Marquez. Here's what they are looking forward to this Friday as he takes on Nelson Morales (2-0) to kick off the broadcast:
How are you enjoying the buzz for your son's pro debut?
Raul Marquez: He's getting a lot of attention, and I told him, once you win the Golden Gloves or any national tournament, you are going to get a lot of love, and sure enough, he did.
What does the Marquez Team know about Nelson Morales?
RM: They fought in the past in the amateurs, and he's looking to make a name for himself as well. He's undefeated, and I'm sure he's looking to win.
Anything of concern for you before his pro debut?
RM: My only worry is how he handles all of this. He just turned 21, and all the media pressure from the non-stop interviews.
Raul also reminded me that his son is opening the ShoBox broadcast this Friday, and he gets to join a long list of former Olympians. Some fighters named Errol Spence Jr. and Gary Russell Jr., to name drop off just a few. Giovanni was expected to wait and try out for the 2024 Olympic games but decided to skip that process altogether. A different path from his father, who represented the U.S at the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona.
When I spoke to Giovanni, he felt okay with the whole concept leading into Friday.
Any pressure you feel right now before the opening bell Friday?
Giovanni Marquez: I don't really have any nerves right now at this moment. My confidence comes in from all the hard work we've put in the gym and in training camp.
Speak to me about training camp. What work have you been putting in?
GM: We've gotten world-class sparing with folks like Devin Haney. After the fight was official, we brought in Marquis Taylor, who recently fought on ShoBox in preparation.
At what point, when did you feel ready to go pro skip the Olympics?
GM: Personally, I always felt that I was ready in my head long before the Golden Gloves tournament. My style of fighting is more of a pro-style, and this felt like now is the right time.
You can follow Marquis Johns on Twitter @weaksauceradio .