One on One with Carlos “El Indio” Quintana

By. Socrates Palmer Jr.


One on One with Carlos “El Indio” Quintana

Quintana Is He The Heir Apparent? Or Will Cotto Continue To Cement His Legacy?

On Saturday, December 2nd Carlos Quintana and Miguel Cotto will make their way down the famed Atlantic City boardwalk and battle for the vacant WBA version of the welterweight title. A title that was left vacant after Ricky Hatton’s one night, debatable victory decision over Luis Collazo. As the days wind down to this eagerly anticipated world title bout, Quintana is ready to leave no doubt in the minds of all observers of who is the best welterweight in the world.
“I am happy at the opportunity of fighting for a world title and I’m ready to go and ready to win on December 2nd. I am confident in my ability, I don’t think I’m Superman but I am going to win. When I heard of the fight I wanted to sign the contract right away” said Quintana.
Puerto Rico is a country that is approximately 100 by 35 miles. Despite its diminutive size it has historically been enormous on the landscape of the sport of boxing. Puerto Rico has had over 40 world champions. Names like Gomez, Benitez, Torres, Ortiz, Trinidad and Rosario are proof of this rich legacy. The first recognized world champion was bantamweight, Sixto "El Gallito" Escobar. Quintana wants his name to be eventually mentioned in this role call of Puerto Rico’s great warriors. Quintana hails from Moca, Puerto Rico which is on the western part of the island commonwealth, is well aware of what is at stake in his up coming bout. A win over fellow country man Cotto, would rocket him to the top of the boxing world. Cotto, for all intensive purposes has been the “Man” and has carried the torch left behind by the retirement of “Tito” Trinidad.
“I don’t see this as a fight of who will be the “next” legendary Puerto Rican fighter. I feel that what Tito (Felix Trinidad) did in his career was very special. He had the resume of winning big fights. More importantly he had the charisma that allowed him to cross over, from not just being a Puerto Rican or Latin sports idol, but he was loved by all fight fans. A fighter like Trinidad comes along once in a lifetime. Tito is a great person not just a great boxer. He’s a better person than he is a boxer and that’s saying a lot because he is a legend,” said Quintana.
 “I’ll tell you this I do feel that the winner of this fight will be the man today in Puerto Rico. Miguel is a very popular fighter, he has been a world champion and he is a good fighter. I look forward to the challenge, but I have worked hard. I am ready to take that next step in my career. I am prepared to be recognized as today’s best that Puerto Rico has,” said Quintana.
The rather unassuming Quintana is not much of a trash talker; however don’t mistake this with a fighter who is not confident. Quintana is well aware that he is the underdog going into Saturday night.
“I am not surprised Cotto has been on television more than I have he has a great promoter and he is the bigger name. Being the under dog does not bother me at all, I look forward to the challenge and the people that now me know that I am going to win,” said Quintana.
“I don’t relish in the role of the underdog, but I am ok with it. I am used to it. It’s uncomfortable but it motivates me. I know I am not the house fighter, but I know what’s ahead for me after I win. Against Julio people told me to my face that I was good but that he (Julio) was going to be a super star,” said Quintana.
 “El Indio” as he is affectionately known, will be earning his biggest boxing pay check to date. In the past year Quintana and his team, lead by manager Raphael Joglar, rejected a couple of 6 figure pay offs to relinquish his top WBA # 2 world ranking. Joglar incidentally is a dentist in Puerto Rico. He has created mouth pieces for various world known names like Diego Corrales. Quintana is convinced that like the Biblical Job his actions will pay dividends. Quintana does not have the amateur pedigree that Cotto brings. Quintana is promoted by North East Boxing Promotions, which in reality pales to the more established Bob Arum headed Top Rank. Quintana still maintains a steady, full time job at a gas station in his hometown. The 30 year old southpaw, Quintana keeps his job in order to feed his 4 children. Quintana has taken off since September, in order to prepare for this upcoming fight.
“I’ve had a tough road. I’ve had to break night in the past. I’ve gone straight from working an over night shift, to the gym. I’ve held construction jobs, I’ve worked security gigs and in a hard ware store. I believe in my heart that all of this has strengthened me as a person and God has blessed me with this opportunity,” stated Quintana.
The undefeated Quintana brings a record of 23-0, with 18, knockouts. Quintana jumped into the mainstream earlier this year with his decisive, unanimous decision over then highly touted Columbian Joel Julio in the WBA title eliminator. Quintana does not see any similarities with the man whom he defeated this past July, with Cotto.
“I think they are similar in the fact that they can both punch and there are both right handed. But Cotto is a more complete fighter. Cotto is more battle tested. He has flaws like all boxers and he’s had some tough fights in his career but I am expecting the best Cotto has to offer”, said Quintana.
As of now the pre-fight hype has been rather run of the mill and cordial between these two Borinquen pugilists. According to Quintana there is no relationship between he and Cotto. They know of each other and have seen each other at several functions in their native Puerto Rico, but that’s as far as their acquaintance goes.
This will be the first fight for Cotto at the welterweight division. Many people are debating how the 7 extra pounds will reflect on Cotto.
“I don’t think I will have a strength advantage. He’s a strong fighter at 140 pounds who normally comes into the ring in the 150’s. I will be at about 158 by the time the fight starts. The big difference is that he has never faced anyone with my skills,” said Quintana.
There is no doubt that Cotto is the toughest challenge for me in my career so far. He’s gutsy and he is used to winning. With that said I am his biggest challenge and the toughest fight in his career. I may not be the biggest name, but when the first bell rings he will realize what he is up against,” said Quintana.


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