PROSPECT WATCH: Chicago’s Jose Felix Quezada

Jose Quezada connects with an overhand right
Jose Quezada connects with an overhand right

Jose Felix Quezada fought last week on a nationally televised boxing card (PBC on FS1). He won a unanimous decision victory to move to 10-0 on his young career.  Fighting on the undercard of televised bouts is nothing new for Quezada, but he’s starting to realize he might be on the televised portion of those cards soon.

Quezada, (10-0, 6 KO) was born and raised in Chicago, a city with a rich history of fighters.  He joined Scottsdale Park Boxing Team as an 8 year old and fell in love with the sport. Quezada has plenty of trophies and titles from his 10 years as an amateur, but to say he was a natural from the start wouldn’t be telling the whole story.

“I think I lost my first 10 fights,” said a humble Quezada. “I ended up successful, I fought in Ireland and Las Vegas as an amateur, I was a national Junior Golden Gloves Champion in 2009, but I had to work really hard to get to that point. I learned so much by losing those first fights.”

2009 was a great year for amatuer boxing.  Quezada won the Age 13/14 National Title at 101 lbs.  Also winning National Golden Gloves championships that year were the likes of Errol Spence, Jordan Shimmell, Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, and Jose Benevides.  The combined records of those champions as pro’s is currently 93-2.

Quezada is now 10-0 (6 KO)
Quezada is now 10-0 (6 KO)

Quezada’s trainer, Shaun “The Pro” Tallon, said the losses at the start of Quezada’s amateur career proved he has the ingredient it takes to make it big in the sport of boxing: HEART. Many people think they want to be boxers, but after getting punched in the face repeatedly and losing fights, they usually change their mind.

“You can’t teach heart, and he has so much of it,” Tallon, a former amateur champion himself, explained. “Put the talent he has together with his heart, and that doesn’t come around very often.”

“I like GGG, Andre Ward and Guillermo Rigondeaux,” said Quezada, naming 3 fighters with completely contrasting styles.

Quezada faced his biggest challenge as a pro last week in Minnesota when he fought Nicaraguan southpaw Ariel Vasquez, who has a dozen wins and 8 KO’s as a pro.

“He was really tough and a big puncher. I had to deal with head butts and low blows. It was quite a learning experience. I hadn’t fought anybody like that before,” said an honest Quezada. “I felt like it was a closer fight than the scorecards said because I was getting hit more than I usually do.” I assured him the fight wasn’t that close, as HeavyBagBoxing.com scored the 6 rounder 60-54 in favor of Quezada.

Tallon said although he would have preferred to see Quezada spend a little more time boxing and a little less time slugging, he’s happy that his fighter took some punches and responded well to them.

“He needs to know what to do when he faces guys like that, because there will be plenty of them,” Tallon said. “He got chin-checked tonight and he passed the test. He got punched, elbowed, head-butted and took some low blows and he stood up to all of it. It showed that he’s not the type of fighter to back down when opponents get aggressive.”

When trainer Shaun "The Pro" Tallon told Quezada to go to the body, Quezada found the liver...
When trainer Shaun “The Pro” Tallon told Quezada to go to the body, Quezada found the liver…

Quezada has a style that’s a bit confusing.  After watching several of his fights on YouTube and last weeks bout live, he wins fights in a number of different ways. In one fight, he’s slipping punches, boxing from the outside and using good footwork; in the next, he’s standing toe to toe and trading punches like a heavyweight.  It’s not uncommon for a young fighter to try several different styles in the ring to figure out what works best for him. In order to get a better handle on what style he might end up with, I asked him who his favorite fighters are. His answer was as varied as his own style.

“I like GGG, Andre Ward and Guillermo Rigondeaux,” said Quezada, naming 3 fighters with completely contrasting styles.

Quezada has the killer instinct you'd expect from a half-Mexican, half-Filipino fighter
Quezada has the killer instinct you’d expect from a half-Mexican, half-Filipino fighter

Quezada is 21 years old, which is young for a guy with 10 wins in the bank already.  With the current crop of high level fighters in the Chicago area, his future looks even brighter.

“We could sell tickets to his sparring sessions,” said his trainer Tallon. “He goes against guys like Adrian Grenados (17-4), Eddie Ramirez (13-0), and Ed Brown (17-0). He spars 3 days a week, runs 5 miles a day, he’s taking this job very seriously.”

Jose Felix Quezada is signed with Warriors Boxing, and he is a bit of a promoter’s dream.  He’s young, good looking, humble, and has a great smile that makes the camera love him.  His boxing skills are obvious, and he has a fan-friendly style that lends itself to exciting fights. Quezada is half Mexican and half Filipino, which means built-in fan bases no matter where he fights. We realized his fan base in Chicago is already impressive when the Heavy Bag Boxing Facebook page posted a short interview video from his last fight and it got over 6,000 views in 48 hours. For a guy who seriously considered joining the military out of high school, he seems to be adapting well to his current career choice.

“My dad said maybe I should give pro boxing a try before I signed on for the military, because if I didn’t try it now, I probably wouldn’t get the chance,” Quezada explained. He knows the competition is getting tougher at this point in his career, and that’s what he wants.

“I want bigger fights, tougher fights. I want to keep learning and getting better. I think I’m ready,” said Quezada.

Heavy Bag Boxing is looking forward to covering those fights. Up next is the undercard of the Andrzej Fonfara nationally televised title defense on Saturday, June 18th at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL.

Follow Jose Felix Quezada on social media to get even more insight on his career.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTeamQuezada/

TWITTER: @TeamJFQ

TWITTER (for trainer Shaun Tallon): @ThePro_1999

Ron Buckner

Ron Buckner is an avid boxing fan from the great boxing town of Grand Rapids, MI. An amateur boxer, he has a unique view of the sport, both in and out of the ring.