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Mike Anchondo Back with a Vengeance


If a man was giving a speech and hiccuped at the podium, he would step back, clear his throat, and continue his address. Following the only hiccup of his career, Mike Anchondo, 27-1 (19 KO), is ready to continue his declaration as one of the elite fighters in the sport on April 27, when he faces off with dangerous Darling Jiminez on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.

After years of struggling to make the unnaturally low weight of 130 pounds, Mike is moving up to the lightweight division and it's extra five pounds. "The guys hit a little harder," Anchondo said, "but ultimately it comes down to the speed and power I have."

That speed and power brought Anchondo all the way to the World Boxing Organization's Junior Lightweight championship, when he defeated Julio Pablo Chacon in July of 2004. Poised and ready to make his mark on the sport, Anchondo found his plans muffled by conflicts with his then-promotional outfit, Golden Boy Promotions.

"They patted themselves on the back before they patted me on the back," Anchondo stated. "They felt like I owed them something."

What was the proudest moment of his career quickly degenerated into a puzzling quagmire. "The euphoria lasted for a couple of weeks, and then I hit rock bottom," Anchondo recalls. Unable to land meaningful bouts due to promotional politics, Anchondo began to lose focus on his career. "I remember telling a friend that I didn't want to be champion anymore because I just wanted to fight. While I was playing the waiting game, I wasn't training or focused. It all just fell apart."

When he faced off with Jorge Barrios, he found himself unprepared for the task at hand. Coming in 4 1/2 pounds overweight, Anchondo was stripped of the title he worked so hard to earn.

"I was just totally out of shape," Anchondo said. "My body was going through dehydration." In a desperate last minute attempt to make weight, Anchondo took to the sauna to sweat off the excess weight. Without anything to perspire in his body, the situation worsened as his body temperature rose and weakened his already compromised physical and mental faculties.

Anchondo suffered the first and only loss of his career, but gained a lifetime of wisdom in the process. "I learned to trust my instincts." Those instincts have brought him to the next stage of his career and development.

Since the Barrios fight, Anchondo has reeled off two impressive victories over Antonio Ramirez and Armando Cordoba. During those fights, in which he put in a great deal of work over a combined 19 rounds, Anchondo reassured pundits and fans alike that the 24 year old boxer-puncher from La Puente, CA had a great deal of juice left in his tank.

Now, 28 fights into his career, he has changed the team around him and returned to the business of scoring knockouts. Out are Golden Boy Promotions and Joel De La Hoya, his former manager and father of Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya. Now manning the ship for Anchondo are DRL Promotions and Andy Moore.

Anchondo, who gained international recognition as a character in the video game "Fight Night Round 1", has added publicist Ed Rosa to "Team Anchondo", who in addition to his work with Mike, also handles the public relations of Luis Collazo.

Mike's next effort is a return to ESPN2 against tough Dominican Darling Jiminez of Bronx, NY. For his task, Anchondo returned to his SoCal roots. "Bring me home!" Anchondo said, as he moved his base of operations from Florida to a gym situated on the second floor of a garment factory in Vernon, CA. There, under the watchful eye of Joe Hernandez, he has found new life as a boxer, reigniting the passion he has cultivated since putting on his first pair of gloves at 6 years old.

After Jiminez, Anchondo plans on targeting the wide-open division in search of his second world championship. Ring Magazine champion Joel "El Cepillo" Casamayor tops his list, a bout made more manageable since both share a common promotional banner. Also in his cross-hairs are fellow Mexican-Americans Juan Diaz, Julio Diaz, and David Diaz.

One strand of unfinished business that continues to seethe in Anchondo is avenging his lone defeat. "One of the things I want to do before I retire is smash Barrios," Anchondo stated, as rage welled up from from his usually composed persona.

Always the consummate entertainer, Anchondo seeks to reassert his world-class status as a rejuvenated young fighter. "You should expect to see the best I can be. I'm in the best shape of my life and ready to do the best I can."

The solution to the problem is application," Anchondo says. On April 27, Mike Anchondo looks to further his agenda by applying his superb talent to his craft.

For more information on Mike Anchondo, visit www.myspace.com/teamanchondo
 
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