Windy City win moves Omaha prospect Kevin Ventura to 6-0
At 6-0 (5), with two more bouts lined up in the immediate future, young Kevin Ventura could be the next in line to watch among fighters coming out of Omaha, Nebraska.
Omaha’s boxing industry got a serious profile boost when local amateur star Terence Crawford went on to win the WBO world lightweight title back in 2014. He has since added the WBC and WBO super lightweight titles to his trophy case and is considered one of the best fighters in the sport.
Add in Omaha-born, San Diego resident Steven Nelson, among others, and the stable of fighters coached by the training triangle of Brian “BoMac” McIntyre, Jacqui “Red” Spikes and Esau Dieguez is growing and impressing at a rapid rate.
Ventura, 20, opened the Top Rank card last Friday at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. The show featured Irish star Michael Conlan in his second professional bout along with a comebacking Mike Alvarado and undefeated Alex Saucedo.
UCNLive caught up with McIntyre, from his home base in Omaha, Nebraska, to get his thoughts on Ventura, who was impressive in his sixth outing, picking up a second round stoppage win over Israel Rojas, 10-17 (3), in the Windy City.
“Yeah, Ventura looked good in Chicago the other night,” said McIntyre. “I saw some things I really liked that we can build on. We are always working on improving and building on a fighter’s strengths in every fight and I saw some things in Kevin that really pleased me.”
While McIntyre didn’t start working with Ventura until he turned pro, he was well aware of him and had been impressed with him as an amateur.
“Kevin had about 90 fights as an amateur and he could fight. He placed third in the National Golden Gloves in 2015, so, when he decided to come to our gym, as a pro, I was happy to work with him. I knew what a work ethic he had and how hard he would be willing to work.”
McIntyre, along with coaches Spikes and Dieguez, have made up one of boxing’s most successful training teams and, along with pound-for-pound-ranked superstar Crawford, are putting Omaha on the boxing map.
While all team members play an important role in camp with all of the fighters, McIntyre says it’s about teamwork and knowing when to step back and let others do what they do best.
“We are all in the gym working together with all the fighters,” said BoMac. “It is a matter of what role to play with each fighter. Sometimes I am more in the background working on scheduling and matching and things of that nature, while the other guys are handling the gym work. Other times, we are all in the gym working. It depends on the fight and who works best with whom. We all work together, train together. We work as a team.”
As for what is in store for Ventura, who McIntyre would like to see at 10-0 before the year is out, he likes what he sees and is excited to keep building on the young prospect’s strengths.
“He is real strong. He is steadily growing and he has a lotta heart,” BoMac said of Ventura. “He has a great one-two jab and his footwork is going to get better and better as we work with him. We’ll get those hands and feet working together and get him using angles. He is a tough kid and has a ton of heart. This kid can fight.”