PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Angel Ocasio is looking at 2016 as his breakout year. The undefeated 26-year-old Philadelphia lightweight is counting on Friday night’s fight—weather permitting—against Puerto Rican Reynaldo Blanco for the WBA-NABA lightweight title at the Sheet Metal Workers Hall to jump start it.
Ocasio (8-0-2, 2 KOs) has won his last two fights, and his hope is that an impressive victory over Blanco (9-2, 4 KOs) could garner some future TV attention.
“Blanco is a tough opponent and I’m ready for an eight-round war, if it goes the distance,” Ocasio said. “I’m looking to get on TV this year. I think will be a huge stepping stone and it’s a recognizable belt, and the WBA is backing this. It’s something I’m looking forward to and my time to shine. I would like to get in the ring four times this year. Eight rounds is the longest I’ve gone in a fight.”
Ocasio is going into the fight slightly blind. He’s hardly seen any tape on the 5-foot-8 Blanco, but Ocasio knows the Puerto Rican lightweight likes to use his jab. Ocasio also knows he’s giving up three inches to Blanco, which for the 5-foot-5 fireplug is nothing new.
“I’m a fighter that adjusts,” Ocasio said. “I’ll adjust every round and I’ll be ready to box when I’m ready to box, and bang when I’m ready to bang. I’ll learn as much about him as he learns about me. I know he loves to use his jab and he lives to work the body, which are two things that I’m good at defending. It will all depend on how he comes out and the adjustments I’ll have to make. I’m always the smaller guy, so this is nothing new to me. I have to work in there to get inside the jab and do some damage.”
Other fighters featured on the card include lightweight Jonathan Maicelo (22-2, 12 KOs), lightweight Sam Amoako (21-5, 15 KOs), welterweight Saud Clark (5-1-1, 4 KOs), debuting junior middleweight Idemar Cordero, light heavyweight David Murray (2-1, 2 KOs) and debuting lightweight Luis Del Valle.