Texas Amateur Star Now in SoCal
Boxing has a new sheriff in town.
Meet Midland, Texas’ Michael Dutchover, a talented junior lightweight who is just 19 years old.
After signing with Thompson Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions in October, the amateur star has won his two pro fights by scoring KO victories in both matches. He will lace up again THIS Friday, February 10 at TBP’s “Path to Glory” show at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. Dutchover (2-0, 2 KOs) will face Tijuana’s Jose Mora (0-2), 20 years old. Six bouts are scheduled on this live show.
I’ve had the chance to get to know Michael during the last few months and now boxing fans are quickly learning about this Texas slugger who now trains in SoCal with coach Danny Zamora.
The transition to the world of professional boxing looks like a successful one for the teenage amateur champ; he was a bronze medalist in the Olympic Qualifiers. I remember hearing his name while he was making his mark in the amateurs. Michael has been boxing since he was eight years old and has almost 150 bouts logged in his USA Boxing passbook. I asked him who his early influences were in the ring?
“Miguel Cotto,” he quickly replied. “I like his style and I grew up watching him.”
Fighting at super featherweight, the boxer puncher says training camp in Southern California has been going well. He went back home for the holidays but came back ready for his next mission. Signed at just 18 years old by TBP President/Founder Ken Thompson and General Manager/Matchmaker Alex Camponovo and Banner Promotions’ Artie Pelullo, Dutchover has quickly adapted to the pro style.
“He’s the youngest fighter we signed,” Thompson tells me of their 2016 union. “He’s a born champ and a future world champ.”
He’s got star quality in those fists, I agree. I’ve noticed Michael already has a strong support system and a large fan base which continues to grow. Team Dutchover makes their presence known in their black and gold shirts and caps touting MD. And now that his training camps are in California, expect his local legion of followers to grow.
And working in the gym with trainer/manager Danny Zamora has been a great collaboration for both. The humble Zamora is a noted trainer in the Southland who prefers to stay out of the limelight, preferring to let his students shine in the ring. Michael enjoys learning from Coach Zamora and is also working with Jerry Arias, a strength & conditioning coach.
“I came out here because I wanted the best quality training,” comments the teen puncher.
Team Zamora has a stable of young lions that are ready to roar. Besides Dutchover, Danny is also in the gym with Ruben Villa, Charlie Sheehy and others, all under the age of 21. Michael has already sparred with the likes of Petr Petrov, Darleys Perez, Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez and more. Zamora told me how he first met this prospect on the rise. “I met him through a Texas contact (Bobby Lee) and I saw Michael when he was still in high school.”
Even though he recently just turned 19 on November 15 (he shares a birthday with TBP matchmaker Alex Camponovo), the Lone Star State athlete shows a very good boxing IQ and a great sense of values.
“He’s a respectful kid with a great family,” Coach Zamora tells me, “and he can bang! He has a lot of potential.”
This young gun remains close to his family. In fact, during his first pro outing, 17 Texans (including his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) all drove to California to watch Michael fight. Dutchover says it was a great feeling to have everyone there. He also tells me how much he respects his father who has been in the service for over 26 years. I asked the new pro what he’s bought with his first paychecks as a professional prizefighter?
He smiles and says, “Nothing, really. I plan on saving my money.”
No wild nights for this child.
Team Zamora has created a family-like existence when Dutchover’s mother can’t be here. Danny and his mom Hilda make all of these young protégés feel welcome while establishing responsibility while training hard, working hard. There’s no coddling in this camp.
“I enjoy training with Danny,” Michael nods. “He’s a great coach and each fight I’m getting more and more comfortable.”
This Friday will be Michael Dutchover’s third pro fight and if his first two wins are any indication, expect a fiery shootout in the ring.
Keep your eye on this young gun from Texas!
Photos by Michele Chong