He’s not a house hold name in boxing…yet. Alex Saucedo is a rising star if there ever was one. 27-0, 17 knockouts, he’s the third ranked super lightweight in the world…and he was raised in Oklahoma City. And he’ll be realizing a childhood goal Saturday night fighting inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“It’s a dream come true. It’s a lot of motivation for me to come out and give the fans a great fight.”
Originally from Mexico, Saucedo came to Oklahoma City at the age of seven. He boxed to stay out of trouble. And shortly after met a legend (Sean O’Grady is the WBA lightweight champion of the world) who had a profound impact on him.
Saucedo says, “I would see the belt he won. The things that he had done, the way people would react to him, i would say I want to make it that big and be like him. For the city to see me that way and still working for that.
What Saucedo is working on is becoming the first world champion from Oklahoma City since O’Grady did it 37 years ago. And what the former champ sees in Saucedo is a lot of himself.
Sean O’Grady says, “In his career there’s not been one minute that’s been boring. Every one of his fights is outstanding. He gives as much as he takes. He’s got a granite chin, but we don’t want him to get hit anymore.”
That granite chin of his was first noticed in Los Angeles at a boxing showcase by Manny Pacquio, who later became his sparring partner. During that time, Saucedo was also trying to make the 2012 Olympics with Mexico. He was their top fighter at 140 pounds. However Saucedo didn’t want to fight against the United States. He went home and got the call from Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. His encounter with Pacquio paid off.
Saucedo says, “We made the Mexican team. I just decided to go professional. I didn’t want to let that go. We just decided to go pro and so far it’s worked out.”
Since then his career his blossomed. He moved to Big Bear, California to train with world renowned trainer Abel Sanchez who’s pupils include triple G and Oscar De La Hoya. Saucedo is represented by Churchill Managagement which is owned by Hollywood heavyweights Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg.
“It’s Pete and Mark we’re here encouraging you to come see our fighter Alex Saucedo. Number one baby, Chesapeake Arena, June 30th come see him light it up baby!”
While the spotlight continues to shine on Saucedo, there’s a bigger opponent than boxing can offer. An opponent he’s trying to take on while he takes off. Saucedo is currently trying to become an American citizen.
Saucedo says, “It’s been a lot of hours of studying. There’s a test you gotta take, but it’s always something I’ve wanted to do. Now I’m looking forward to it.”
But in the ring, as Saudeco gears up for his next bout, it’s not just about battling his next opponent, but rather the nerves of achieving a lifelong goal.
“This is where my family lives, this is where I grew up, where I went to school, where my family lives, where I live. I’ve always wanted to put on a show for OKC like this and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
An advantage he hopes he can only get at home. In Oklahoma City, Dylan Buckingham, Oklahoma’s News Four Sports.