RAY "VALENTINE" XIMENEZ, JR.
Born: January 15, 1993 in Dallas, Texas
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Pro Record: 18-2 (14 KOs)
Texas featherweight Ray “Valentino” Ximenex, Jr. climbed the ratings ladder and cracked the top 15 in the world in two major sanctioning organizations. Now, he’s battling his way back to the top.
Ximenez was a standout amateur boxer, compiling a sterling 120-9 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances, both in the National P.A.L. Championships and Ringside World Championships. A six-time Dallas Golden Gloves champion, Ximenez started boxing at the age of 10 and he also captured gold at the 2009 Silver Gloves National Championships and Junior Olympic National Championships. He represented and captained Team USA at the 2009 Youth World Junior Olympics.
In 2010, Ximenez made a successful pro debut, winning a four-round unanimous decision versus Cristoval Larrazolo. He went on to win his 1irst 13 pro fights, highlighted by his Texas State featherweight title-winning knockout of Eric Anton. In his next fight, though, he lost for the first time as a prize fighter, by way of an eight-round unanimous decision to then-15-0 Christropher Diaz for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Youth featherweight title.
Ximenez bounced back with five wins in a row, including a complete shutout for an eight-round unanimous decision against Mexican veteran German Meraz (61-48-2).
Last February, Ximenez lost an eight-round technical decision to 16-1 Luis Alberto Lopez for the World Boxing Council (WBC) International featherweight championshiop.
Featherweight Contender (126lbs)
ALEXANDER "THE GREAT" FLORES
Born: September 9, 1990
Resides: Rowland Heights, California
Pro Record: 17-2-1 (15 KOs)
Former WBC Youth Heavyweight World Champion
Heavy-handed heavyweight Alexander “The Great” Flores, who has knocked out 15 of 17 victims, may have fallen short of becoming the first Mexican-American boxer to capture the world heavyweight title, but he’s still driven to climb to the top of the mountain.
Flores started his professional career in 2010, stopping Antonio Robertson in the second round, en route to winning his first 14 pro fights, highlighted by his 2012 stoppage of Joey Montoya to capture the World Boxing Council Youth World heavyweight title.
Flores’ only two losses as a pro have been to world heavyweight champions. In 2014, he was stopped by future International Boxing Federation (IBF) Charles Martin in the fourth round for the North American Boxing Organization (NABO) strap. In his most recent fight last fall, Flores suffered a controversial knockout loss to former world champion Joseph Parker (24-2), who fought in his home country, New Zealand. Parker hit Flores numerous times below the belt, including one that set-up the questionable knockout in the third round.
Former WBC “Youth” Heavyweight Champion
KENDO "TREMENDO" CASTANEDA
Born: December 15, 1993
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Pro Record: 16-0 (7 KOs)
National Boxing Association Super Lightweight Champion
The most promising prospect in the rich San Antonio tradition is Kendo “Tremendo” Castaneda, the undefeated, reigning super lightweight champion.
Castaneda started boxing at the age of 10, never trying any other sports after falling in love immediately with the “Sweet Science”, although he does have boxing blood flowing through his veins. His maternal grandfather was a boxer and his uncle fought and sparred local legend Jesse James Lejia.
Castaneda had approximately 120 amateur fights, highlighted by his gold-medal winning performance at the 2018 Ringside World Championships. He was also a two-time San Antonio and Texas State Golden Gloves champion (2011-2012), losing both times at the Golden Gloves National Championships both years to the eventual champion.
At 18, Castaneda decided that he’d had enough of amateur boxing and he turned pro, winning a four-round unanimous decision in 2012 versus Albert Romero, and he’s never looked back at that decision, because he’s always felt that his style is much better suited for the pro ranks.
Castaneda’s most notable victories have been in his last two fights, both 10-round unanimous decisions in fights held in San Antonio, versus 10-0 Gilbert Venegas, Jr. last December, and 24-3 Eudy Bernardo this past March.
WBA #14 World Ranked Contender (140lbs)
Born: May 25, 1990 in Derry, Northern Ireland, UK
Resides: Derry, Northern Ireland, UK
Pro Record: 10-0 (3 KOs)
NBO Intercontinental Middleweight Champion
Undefeated Irish middleweight prospect Connor “The Kid” Coyle, simply stated, was truly born to box.
In addition to his Irish blood, Coyle’s great grand-father and great-uncle, both named Spider Kelly, were both British Empire and Commonwealth featherweight champions, 16 years apart. They had 256 combined bouts between 1928 and 1962. There is a monument dedicated to their unique achievements in Derry, Northern Ireland, were Coyle was born, raised and lives.
In 2014, Coyle earned a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, as a member of a Northern Ireland team which also featured Ireland Olympians Paddy Barnes, a 3-time Olympian and 2-time Olympic bronze medalist, and current undefeated junior featherweight prospect Michael Conlan.
Unfortunately, Coyle suffered a torn tendon in his right hand, keeping him inactive for a year, which left him unprepared to compete in the Box-Offs, losing his first bout and opportunity to earn a slot on the 2016 Ireland Olympic Team.
In 2016, Coyle turned pro in Florida, and all but two of his pro fights to date have been in the United States.
Ireland 2015 Common Wealth Bronze Medalist (160lbs)
JUAN "JUST BUSINESS" BARAJAS
Born: November 8, 1996 in Victorville, California
Resides: Derry, Victorville, California
Pro Record: 10-0 (7 KOs)
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions’ newest signee, Juan Jose “Just Business” Barajas, takes advantage of his unusual size for a super middleweight, standing 6’ 3” with an 80” reach.
Barajas will make his Roy Jones Jr. Boxing pro debut on August 24, in the UFC FIGHT PASS live-streamed co-featured event, at Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California (outside of San Diego). Barajas’ fight against an opponent to be determined will be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS®.
Barajas’ most recent fight was his most impressive to date as a professional. Last May in Memphis, he took a 10-round majority decision against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. protégé Lanell Bellows (18-4-3, 11 KOs).
Barajas, who won 27 of 30 amateur matches, is managed and trained by Michael Love.
No frills or trash talking, Barajas is “Just Business” every time he walks up three steps into the ring.
Super-Middleweight Prospect (168lbs)
10 – 0 -0 (8KO)
EDWARD "THE KID" VAZQUEZ
Born: September 20, 1995
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Pro Record: 6-0 (0 KOs)
Consummate boxer Edward “Kid” Vasquez is flying under the radar; however, it shouldn’t be too long before the boxing world discovers this gifted Texas featherweight.
Vasquez had his first pro fight February 18, 2016, when he won a four-round unanimous decision over Willie Miller.
This past January Vasquez registered the most impressive victory of his young career, taking a six-round split decision from previously undefeated (6-0) Brandon Cruz.
Undefeated Featherweight Prospect (126lbs)
"THE BABY-FACED ASSASSIN" MAX ORNELAS
Born: June 11, 1998 in Covina, California
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Pro Record: 13-0-1 (5 KOs)
World Boxing Association No. 7-Ranked Bantamweight
Unbeaten bantamweight prospect “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Max Ornelas (10-0-1, 4 KOs) is a world-ranked boxer as well as a University of Nevada at Las Vegas student majoring in criminal justice.
Ornelas was 38-5 as an amateur, highlighted by a bronze-medal winning performance at the National PAL Championship. He was ranked as high as No 2 in the United States in the 123-pound division.
Understandably late for the official weigh in for his June 10, 2016 pro debut due to his high school graduation that same day, Max stopped Robert Ledesma in the opening round of his first prizefight, turned 18 the next day, and then signed an exclusive promotional contract with RJJ on the following Monday.
The lone blemish on Ornelas’ otherwise perfect pro record to date is a two-round technical draw against 6-0 Leopoldo Martinez, which Ornelas avenged three months later in a rematch, stopping Martinez in the fifth round.
BOXING STYLE: BOXER
BOXING STANCE: ORTHODOX
DIVISION: BANTAM WEIGHT
WBO #8 World Ranked Contender (118lbs)
"MIGHTY" ASTON PALICTE
Born: January 25, 1991 in Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Resides: Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Pro Record: 25-3-1 (21 KOs)
Two-time World Junior Bantamweight Title Challenger
WBO #8 & The Ring #10
The Philippines has produced great boxers for the past century, dating back to Pancho Villa, continuing with Flash Elorde, and presently peaking with Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire and Donnie Nietes.
The undisputed leader of the contemporary wave of world-class Filipino fighters is 28-year-old “Mighty” Aston Palicte, who is a two-time World Boxing Organization (WBO) world title challenger, and world-rated at No. 8 and 10, respectively, WBO and The Ring magazine.
In his most recent fight this past January, Palicte pounded previously unbeaten Jose Martinez (20-0-2) into submission for a second-round stoppage at Viejas Casino and Resort in Alpine, California. Palicte earned his second world title fight shot with the victory as the WBO No.1 mandatory challenger for Nietes.
In his first world title fight, Palicte fought his fellow countryman, then 3-division world champion Nietes, who went into his fight with Palicte with a 41-1-3 (23 KOs) record, including 16-0-1 (7 KOs) in world title fights.
Despite Palicte being the aggressor from the opening bell until the end, out-throwing his opponent by more than 300 punches, their fight for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight world titlewas ruled a 12-round split draw (116-112, 110-118, 114-114). Most observers felt Palicte deserved to have been awarded the victory.
Palcite worked his way into a rematch with Nietes, who captured the WBO crown with 12-round split decision over Kazuto Ioka this past New Year’s Eve in Macao, China. However, Nietes relinquished his WBO title rather than fight Palicte again, citing his desire not to be matched again with his fellow Filipino. Palicte immediately accepted a fight against WBO No. 2-rated Ioka (23-2, 13 KOs), the 4-four time, 3-division world champion from Japan, for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title.
Ioka stopped Palicte in the 10th round of their June 19, 2019 WBO world title fight in Japan.
BOXING STYLE: BOXER/PUNCHER
BOXING STANCE: ORTHODOX
DIVISION: SUPER-FLY WEIGHT (NABF/WBO INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION)
2x Jr. Bantamweight World Title Challenger (115lbs)
Born: December 1, 1995
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Pro Record: 12-2 (10 KOs)
Former WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Featherweight Champion
Hard-hitting super featherweight Randy Moreno puts people to sleep for a living: 10 of his 12 victims to date failed to go the distance.
A standout amateur boxer who reached the semifinals of the US Olympic Trials, Moreno finished his no-paying career with a solid 58-6 record and turned pro March 20, 2016, stopping Jose A. Carmona in the third round.
Moreno won his first eight pro fights, before he was upset by Thomas Herrera, after which he reeled off four straight victories, highlighted by his sixth-round technical knockout of previously undefeated (9-0) Jorge David Castaneda for the
World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth Intercontinental super featherweight title.
In his most recent fight on July 27, 2018, Moreno was unable to continue against Victor Rojas after round four due to a serious head cut.
Boxing Style: Boxer Puncher
Boxing Stance: Orthodox
Division: Super Featherweight
Lightweight Prospect (135lbs)
John "The Phenom" Vera
Born: September 9, 1988 in Fort Worth, Texas
Resides: Fort Worth, Texas
Pro Record: 18-1 (11 KOs)
Texas junior middleweight John “The Phenom” Vera lived up to his nickname for his first 18 professional fights.
In 2012, the talented southpaw made a successful pro debut, stopping Cedic Sheppard in the second round of their fight in Fort Worth.
Vera’s career took off and he captured his NABA-USA 147-pound division title in his 14th pro fight, knocking out Joey Ruelas in the sixth round, in his Las Vegas debut. Vera made three successful title defenses, in order, against 12-1 Milorad Zizic (TKO2), 20-6-1 Salim Larbi (DEC10) and 11-2 Daniel Rosario Cruz (DEC10).
At the famed Gilley’s in Dallas in 2017, Vera drilled 13-2 Daniel Rosario Cruz for a third-round TKO, setting up his first major fight in Marseilles, France, for the then top 10 world-rated Vera.
His showdown against Frenchman Michel Soro (31-2-1), a former European champ and world title fight challenger, had future world title fight implications. Unfortunately, though, Vera suffered his first loss as a pro, by way of a 12-round unanimous decision to Soro.
Nickname: The Phenom
Division: Super Welterweight
Former World Ranked Contender (154lbs)
Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko
Born: March 22, 1980 in Accra, Ghana
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Pro Record: 36-5 (26 KOs)
Ageless Joseph “King King” Agbeko is a two-time International Boxing Federation bantamweight World champion who currently is the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) No. 1 junior bantamweight contender
A professional boxer since 1998, Agbeko fought in his native Ghana for his first 24 fights, winning all but one – dropping a 12-round majority decision to Volodymyr Sydorenko for the European title – until he traveled to the United States in 2007 where he was based in New York City for nine years.
During his career, Agbeko has defeated three world champions – Luis Alberto Perez, Vic Darchinyan and Yonny Perez – and all five of his pro losses have been to world champions such as Sydorenko, Perez, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Abner Mares twice.
In 2016, Agbeko returned to Ghana and today he is the reigning African bantamweight champion.
Nickname: King Kong
Boxing Style: Boxer Puncher
Division: Super Bantam Weight
32-5-0 (23 KO)
Demond "Body Shot" Brock
Brock began boxing in the Louisiana State Penitentiary where he served a sentence for armed robbery. It was there he finished with an amateur record of 39-1 with 17 KOs. Shortly after he was released, he won the Ringside work Tournament and was ranked #1 in the welterweight division. After an impressive tryout for the United States Olympic team where he got all the way to the quarter finals, Body Shot Brock turned pro. His amateur record is a stunning 54-3.
Nickname: Body Shot
Boxing Style: Pressure Fighter
Division: Super Light Weight