Erick “Mini Pacman” Pacheco on the Fast Track To a World Title Shot
There is a resurgence among the sport’s lower-weight fighters. It is not necessarily due to an uptick in talent. Hardcore heads have always known that smaller men can fight just as well and provide as much action as the big guys.
The truth is, most of the time fighters below the featherweight divisions are barely paid any mind from casuals or even folks who consider themselves “legit/real” fans, but that is starting to change.
A NEW ERA
Today, fighters such as Naoya Inoue, Roman Gonzalez, and Juan Francisco Estrada regularly headline boxing cards. Modern-day boxing media devotes as much coverage to bantamweights and flyweights as they do middleweights and heavyweights. As the sport has intertwined with social media, podcasts, and boxing streams, a renewed spotlight is returning to the smaller divisions.
One of the things about the little guys is they develop faster than their bigger contemporaries. It is not outside of the ordinary for them to fight for a world title within fifteen fights or less. Because of their easier transition and rapid progress, prospects who show considerable talent sprout quickly through the ranks. A current example of this is Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez. Despite having only eleven fights, he is already a top-ranked fighter by the WBO, WBA, and WBC at 108-pounds.
Another fighter on the fast track is minimumweight Erick Pacheco (3-0, 1 KO). He is a 21-year-old minimumweight prospect from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. What makes his story more interesting is the lack of amateur pedigree.
Sporting only five fights as an amateur with a losing record (2-3), you would think that his pro career would begin very slowly. However, it has been quite the contrary.
LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING
Making his pro debut on October 24, 2020, Pacheco fought a 10-round contest. To say that is extremely rare would be an understatement. Not only was his debut a ten-rounder, but it was also for a regional title!
Pacheco defeated Oscar Bermudez Salas by unanimous decision to win two vacant WBA and WBC minor titles at minimumweight. He went on to defend those titles in his two subsequent bouts. The sanctioning bodies have taken notice. Rosa is already ranked 3rd by the WBA and 9th by the WBC at 105-pounds.
Watching videos of his three bouts as a pro, you can see why he’s on such a meteoric rise. The southpaw is called “Mini Pacman”, but he’s far more developed technically early on than the man he’s nicknamed after, Manny Pacquiao.
This natural ability is obvious when you see him on video. Much like “Bam” Rodriguez, Pachecho exhibits plenty of skill in the ring. However, Pacheco fights in more of a flashy style.
He has the eyes, head/upper-body movement, and dexterity that are keys to being a very counterpuncher. But he also is not afraid to fight inside. Pacheco’s ability to handle himself in close is one of his best attributes.
In his last outing on March 12, Mini Pacman KO’d Kenny Cano in three rounds. The stoppage was the result of punches to the breadbasket.
In the 1990s, you saw a real focus on the smaller fighters. Michael Carbajal, Johnny Tapia, and Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson were not only recognized as some of the best in the world pound-for-pound, they became mainstream attractions and household names in the sport.
We are starting to see the acknowledgment of the lower-weight divisions once again. Erick Pacheco has visions of becoming the latest make a meteoric rise to a world title and make an indelible imprint on the sport.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.