Tonight, Ring City USA broadcasts live from the Caribbean, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, as they broaden their reach and cement their identity, as a global entity. The headline bout will feature super welterweight Serhii Bohachuk (18-0) going up against Brandon Adams (22-3).
Although the main event is a really good matchup, it’s the co-main that will certainly have the interest of those in the super lightweight division, and also focus of the considerable Puerto Rican pugilism followers. The undefeated Puerto Rican prospect Danielito “El Zorro” Zorrilla (14-0) will be going up against Ruslan Madiyev (13-1).
Danielito Zorrilla is a blue-chip prospect and those that have seen him fight will tell you the same. I have spoken to him in the past but this time, there is more at stake. With this fight being on NBC Sports Network, I spoke to the young undefeated Puerto Rican fighter fresh off an early morning weigh-in.
AG: Danielito, thank you for taking the time for this interview. Before we get into any boxing stuff, I have to ask, how did you come up with the nick name “El Zorro”?
DZ: Growing up, I used to play all types of sports and with my last name being Zorrilla, everyone would just say Zorro for short. When I turned pro, me and my team spoke about it and we came up with “El Zorro.”
AG: In this last fight against Rodolfo Puente, you scored a knockout victory. What was it like coming from a long layoff and finally getting in the ring with a solid opponent?
DZ: Although there was a long layoff, it felt good to be back in the ring. I never stopped training during the layoff, which helped. They say “the things you learn, you never forget” so once I stepped into the ring that night, I knew exactly what I needed to do.
AG: You are now fighting on NBCSN, on the Ring City card. When did this opportunity get presented to you and how soon after your last fight did you start training camp?
DZ: After my last fight on December 5th, I took about a week and a half off and went right back to the gym. Around January, I was told that there was a potential opportunity coming up and to stay ready. Shortly after, I was told about this fight and here we are.
AG: When you fought here in the U.S, you had Freddie Roach in your corner. Is Freddie Roach still part of the team?
DZ: Prior to training with Freddie Roach, I had a set team. When Miguel Cotto asked me to join him in camp for one of his fights, I went but still had my team. In that training camp, Freddie worked with me too because he said he liked how I worked. After that, I returned back with my team.
AG: Do you feel as though this training camp ran a little smoother with less obstacles as we move closer to moving past the COVID pandemic?
DZ: Training camp was about normal. For me, every day is like another day at the job. I have to train everyday so that I can be good. Some days are more difficult than others, but it doesn’t stop me from moving forward.
AG: I have seen photos of you and Miguel Cotto from years past. Recently, has he stopped by your camp or trained with you?
DZ: Cotto Promotions is always very active in my career as they check in on me to ensure that I have everything that I need. They have complete confidence in me and my team. When we tell them that we are all good with our preparation, they take our word for it.
AG: Your opponent tonight is Ruslan Madiyez from Kazakhstan. Fighters from there tend to be really tough and push their opponents to the limit. What are your initial thoughts on your opponent?
DZ: I know it’s going to be a good fight. He is a strong fighter. We are here to fight the best so that’s what we have prepared for. I know this is another test to show fans who is “El Zorro.”
AG: Fighting in Puerto Rico isn’t anything new to you but being on national TV is. Do you feel any added pressure to put on a big perfomance?
DZ: I don’t ever feel any pressure when it comes to fights. I’m always calm and what happens in the ring is what we go over in the gym during training camp. I feel really comfortable fighting here in Puerto Rico.
AG: What would you like to tell the fight fans that will be tuning in tonight?
DZ: Fans are going to see “El Zorro” and we are prepared to fight which ever style is presented to us. Soon you will see the next world champion from Puerto Rico!
AG: Where can fans follow you on social media?
DZ: Fans can follow me on Instagram @danielitozorrilla .
My Three Cents: Danielito Zorrilla is going to be a handful for a lot of the fighters within the Super Lightweight division. With the major undisputed fight recently announced, it may be a little while before he gets his shot. In the meantime, he looks to stay busy and continue to build his profile.
First things first, tonight, he will have to make his presence felt on national TV with all of Puerto Rico tuned in to watch.