“The Terminator” is Back!
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It’s been a long seven months for Richard “El Terminador” Contreras. After suffering a broken jaw in his February 24 bout versus Daniel Quevedo, the young Riverside slugger has been patiently biding his time, healing his jaw while waiting for the doctors’ clearance to train.
Once he got the thumbs up to resume training and sparring, the 22-year-old hit the gym hard, back on track and eagerly awaiting his return to the ring. And just like original “The Terminator” made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the slugger promised “I’ll be back”–and now that time has come.
Contreras will be stepping inside the ropes THIS Friday, September 21 at Thompson Boxing Promotions’ “Path to Glory” at the Doubletree in Ontario, California, and showcasing his fan-friendly style. Richard (9-0, 8 KOs) will look to shake off the ring rust and add another W to his record as he takes on the more experienced Jonathan Alcantara (6-8-2, 1 KO). The two will be fighting at 124 and their battle will be the co-main featured alongside Miguel Diaz in the main event.
I caught up with this fresh face in boxing as his fight quickly nears. During the August 24 show at the Omega Arena, Contreras told me at this time was hoping to fight in September. He was poised for the comeback and ready for anything as he had just received notice that he could fight again. And at this fight, the boxer got to meet one of his favorite actors, Enrique Castillo (“Blood In Blood Out“), who was ringside at this Omega show. “El Mero Mero (“The Main Man”)!” Richard greeted the actor as the two bumped fists. Both were announced in the ring and greeted the fans. Sitting as a non-participant, it was hard for the fighter not being in the ring himself.
Now less than a month later, Contreras is making his long-awaited return, surviving months of a painful recovery from the broken jaw–the clock ticking slowly as he was forced to be inactive. But after proving he’s fully healed and ready for action, “El Terminador” shared how happy he is to be back.
Fighting since he was 13, Richard trains with Joe Esquivel at the Riverside Lincoln Boxing Club. He has proved his toughness back in February. After being rocked by a late punch (which Quevedo received a warning for) and later knocked down in the next round, Contreras managed to stay on his feet, valiantly fighting back to a draw. He quickly earned the respect and got noticed for this fearless display of courage and bravery.
He was rapidly becoming a SoCal favorite when the jaw injury occurred and local fans are excited about this comeback. And this week, his crew of loyal fans will be back in attendance wearing their Team Contreras shirts. With the support of his family, he’s had a strong base during his pro career. With his mom Aurora, stepdad Salvador, older sister Sarah, little sister Guadalupe, biological father Marcos, and their relatives and friends coming out in support, Richard will receive a hero’s “Welcome Back” come Friday night.
Catching up with the slugger today, he gives me his thoughts on coming back from his injury, what fans can expect this Friday and what he’s hoping for in the future.
Michele Chong: Hi Richard! Congrats on returning to the ring. How is your jaw feeling these days?
Richard Contreras: Hi Michele! My jaw has healed perfectly and it’s feeling great. I just got a new mouthpiece, same kind as before but just a new one. I’ve trained like normal; I don’t worry about the jaw. And with sparring partners, I’ve taken a couple of shots to it too. It doesn’t matter if they aim for it or not, I’m prepared and can’t wait to fight!
MC: How did sparring go?
RC: Sparring has felt great–my body needed it. (Laughs) It went really well. I sparred with Mauricio Herrera. Even though he’s bigger than me, he’s got a good work rate so that really helps.
MC: Your fight is almost here! What do you think about your opponent?
RC: I’m really excited about my first fight back! Alcantara has had a lot of experience; I think it could be competitive. He’s fought a lot of guys so he could be a tough opponent.
MC: You’ve had a few months off after your injury. Did it go by fast or slow?
RC: Well it feels like a long time; it was on February 24 right before my birthday (February 27). At times it did go by fast but it felt like forever to get back in the ring!
MC: What was the hardest part of your recovery other than spending your birthday at the doctor’s office? And did you gain weight when you weren’t training?
RC: No, I actually lost weight! (Laughs) In the beginning, I lost weight when I only had liquids. The hardest part was that I am hyperactive and I couldn’t do anything! It was tough; I always wanna be doing something or train in the gym. But I couldn’t do anything but just watch movies and walk around.
MC: Now you’ll be back on Friday. I know you’re all really happy about this. Tell me about Team Contreras…
RC: My team is great! I have my dad who helps with anything he can, we have my coach Joe Esquivel, who is one of the best trainer in my eyes, and we also have a new member (Gino Garcia) who helps with out conditioning and exercises.
MC: You’re 22 years old and unbeaten. What are your goals for the future?
RC: My goal for the future is to get more exposure and hopefully get on TV soon! And I will keep training hard to go after a boxing belt.
MC: So you’re headed to the gym in a little while?
RC: Yes, sparring ended last week. This week I’m gonna do sprints, move around to keep on weight.
MC: Great talking to you, Richard and have fun on Friday!
RC: Thank you, Michele!
Be sure to keep your eye on this young talent who has scored eight knockouts in his nine fights.
After a seven-month hiatus from combat, Richard “El Terminador” Contreras is once again suiting up and heading into battle.
Just like the famous “Terminator,” the junior featherweight promised “I’ll be back” after his broken jaw.
Making good on that promised, Richard’s “Path to Glory” resumes this Friday!
Thompson Boxing Promotions’ “Path to Glory”
6:30 PM Doors Open/ First Bell 7:30 PM
Photos by Michele Chong
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