canceled canceled Sulem Urbina: canceled
By Felipe Leon
It is always means something to be first. It might be a personal goal or something nobody has ever done before. For Mexican flyweight Sulem Urbina, Saturday night will be filled with firsts for her, some of them personal and some much bigger.
Urbina (6-0, 1 Kos) of Phoenix, Arizona, by way of Hermosillo, Mexico, is slated to face her biggest challenge to date in the pro ranks, the Nacho Beristain-trained Sonia Osorio (10-5-1, 1KO) of Mexico City. The bout is part of the mega card this Saturday, December 9th, from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main event is Orlando “Siri” Salido and Miguel “Mickey” Roman and HBO will televise that, but not Urbina’s bout.
For Urbina, it is her first fight on this side of the border after her first six pro fights having been waged in Mexico. It’s her first six rounder but more importantly, the first time her parents have seen her fight as a professional.
“I moved to the United States when I was five years old, I was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico,” Urbina explained during an exclusive interview with the 2-Minute Round, the all-female boxing podcast. “My whole life I have always struggled with being undocumented, all my family and I. It has been a difficult road. Fortunately enough I am legally documented now but it is still difficult for my family. All of my pro fights have been in Mexico and my family hasn’t had a chance to watch me fight as a pro. Even in the amateurs the last time they saw me fight was in 2013 so it has been quite some time since they have seen me fight in person. It’s another motivation that my mother and brother will be here watching me on.”
The fight also marks the first time two Mexican born women face each other in Sin City, Las Vegas, long considered the home of the biggest fights in the sport.
“It is historic, there have been a lot of female fights in Las Vegas but none of have been between full-blooded Mexicans and for us to be the first really signifies a lot,” Urbina stated. “I know we have to step in there and actually show what we are worth and show that we worked really hard. Show them that Mexican blood, really distinguishes us from the rest. I am excited to be a part of this and even more so to win on Saturday.”
Once in Las Vegas, Urbina noticed the differences between this event and the six other she has been involved with since going pro in July of 2016 with a split decision over Eloisa Martinez in Tijuana.
“This is a bigger card; this is the biggest card I have ever been on. Sometimes when I fight in Mexico I am in the co-main event or the main event, here I am a little fish in a big pond. It is a big difference. It only motivates me to want to work my way up.”
Urbina considers herself a boxer/puncher, a style she has developed under the watchful eye of her husband and trainer Andrew Soto. Urbina developed an extensive amateur career traveling around the world competing as part of Mexico’s amateur team. That coupled with her training now as a pro has given her the know-how to adjust during every fight.
“I do whatever it is I have to do to win a fight,” she explained. “Whatever style I need, whatever adjustments I need to make, my coach Andrew Soto has done an extremely good job with me in giving me the tools to adjust from round to round or fight to fight, to be changing styles and keep on learning. Boxing is a sport where you will never stop learning. Especially now stepping into the pros, it feels like it is a completely different sport. I just have to keep on learning and use the tools my coach gives me to win each fight whether it is to brawl, counterpunch, box, whatever it is, movement, I know I can do it.”
Against Osorio she might just need to do all that. Despite Osorio at 25 years of age being two years younger than Urbina, she has three more years of pro experience along with 10 more fights. Osorio has gone six rounds or more six times in her career while facing the likes of Isabel Millan, Jazmin Gonzalez and Noemi Bosques among others. Urbina feels she has enough in her arsenal where Osorio’s advantage in experience shouldn’t be a factor.
“I consider myself a very, very smart fighter, I am very disciplined, very dedicated, and I know how to adjust,” the eloquent Urbina said. “I know she has the experience on me in the pros but I also have a lot of knowledge. I want to show her I belong in the pros; I just need to adjust round by round. I am not worried about her experience. I know she is strong and she knows her way around the ring. She has her techniques; if I sit there and worry about her it wouldn’t benefit me. I know the job I did is well done and I am ready to perform.”
Urbina does admit she knows this is the most difficult challenge of her budding career. “I do believe this is the toughest fight I’ve had as a pro so far. Sonia Osorio trains in Mexico City with Nacho Beristain. On BoxRec.com she is 10-5-1 but you know how it is, some countries they don’t register everything so she has way more fights than that. She is very experienced. That is why I trained extremely hard for her. I know that sometimes she boxes, sometimes she brawls, and we are ready for any style she brings to the table. We worked very hard to take that win home.”
Training in her home of Phoenix, Urbina is very active on social media posting her workouts daily as she prepares for an upcoming bout. For this fight she stresses she worked even harder because of what the fights means for her and her team.
“It was a combination of both, I am moving up to six rounds and she is very experienced,” she answered if she worked harder for her first six rounder or her opponent’s advantage in experience. “It was a combination of both. I knew I needed to push myself to 110% because you can’t take anybody lightly. In this sport you do get hurt, even the ones that are most well prepared get hurt. I am just excited to step into the ring and show that I do deserve to be here.”
With another series of firsts for women’s boxing in the United States taking place this weekend, Urbina knows very well what her place is in the sport and looks forward when women’s boxing is just called boxing.
“I think when us women feel entitled to certain things, we forget to put in the work,” she explained. “I think we have to put in the work, keep on grinding, promoting ourselves, speaking up. If not, nobody is going to pay attention to us. Once we feel entitled it doesn’t benefit us, it hurts us. Obviously I am looking out for myself getting out there but hopefully I open doors for younger generations who decide to step up to the pros and women’s boxing can definitely grow a lot from that.”
To Iisten to the whole interview, please visit BlogTalkRadio.com/2MinRound