Danielito Zorrilla follows in Miguel Cotto’s footsteps
When you ask Danielito Zorrilla whom he looked up to as a young boxer growing up in Puerto Rico, the junior welterweight prospect gave a rather obvious answer.
“I grew up watching Miguel Cotto as a fighter,” said the 8-0 (7) Zorrilla, who performs tonight on ESPN2 versus Dakota Linger, 10-0-2 (6), from the Hangar in Costa Mesa, California. “I loved how he fought and it was a dream come true when he signed me as a pro boxer. So I feel very, very happy.”
As Zorrilla mentioned, he is one of the bright young prospects in the stable of Cotto Promotions, which is based on the island, where there is a prodigious boxing tradition. It’s one of which every young fighter is aware. Whether it’s fair or not, to a certain degree, they will always be judged against the standard set by Cotto, Felix Trinidad, Wilfred Benitez and Carlos Ortiz, among others.
“I agree that we all have pressure on us because Puerto Rico has a tremendous tradition as a place where big stars and world champions come from. So we definitely have pressure,” he said through Bryan Perez, the vice president of operations for Cotto Promotions.
When asked to describe himself as a fighter, Zorrilla said, “I’m a very technical fighter; I can make the adjustments based on the style of my opponents but I make it very clear that I like to do ‘the sweet science’ – hit-and-not-get hit. That’s how I would describe my style.”
Zorrilla is a loose-limbed puncher with the natural ability to relax in the ring. Early on he’s shown above-average power and a crowd-pleasing style.
“He’s a very good fighter; I think he has a lot of upside,” opined Jose Sanchez, who, for 15 years, covered boxing for El Nuevo Dia and is now currently the boxing analyst for WAPA Deportes. “He had international amateur experience. He wasn’t an Olympian but he was in the World Series of Boxing with AIBA. He’s not a super-polished guy but he’s a banger. He likes to mix it up with his opponents and also he’s shown to be very loyal to the gym; he’s a gym rat.”
Zorrilla had an amateur mark of 137-9 before turning professional in November of 2016.
It would be hyperbole to say Cotto Promotions has the next Cotto but they believe they have a blue-chip prospect on their hands.
“I think Daniel Zorrilla is definitely not just the best prospect that we have in our company; I can say that he’s the best prospect Puerto Rico has in the future. At 8-0, he’s proven himself that he’s at the level of the high-end fighters and obviously we’ll develop his career and we want him to grow,” said Perez, who reiterated, “I can say openly he’s the best prospect out of Puerto Rico, not only in our company, as Miguel Cotto Promotions, but all of Puerto Rico.”
With this company’s alliance with Golden Boy Promotions (which was hatched, as Cotto was promoted for his last couple of bouts under its banner), Zorrilla has been able to showcase his skills on ESPN in 2018.
It will be revealed in due time if Zorrilla’s more Miguel Cotto than Felix Verdejo but, at this moment, he looks the part. Much more has to be found out about him in subsequent bouts. Thus far he’s beaten everyone he’s supposed to in the manner in which a fighter with a future is expected.
When asked about his development, the 24-year-old answered, “I feel very well. I’m the type of boxer that I take things little by little. I just follow the instructions of my people and I move forward. But I feel very good about my pro career so far.”
The main event of this ESPN2 broadcast (which begins at 10:30 p.m., ET/7:30 p.m. PT) is a bout between Oscar Negrete and Joshua Franco for the NABF bantamweight title…Another promising boxer under the Cotto Promotions banner is on this card, bantamweight Carlos Caraballo, 8-0 (8)…Showtime will air a three-part “All-Access” series for the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight, which takes place on December 1, at the Staples Center…Really enjoying “The Warriors of Liberty City” on STARZ…I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.