Last Updated on May 18, 2003 by Paulette Brown-Hinds

By Jon Gaede BVN Staff

The Black Voice News

Fernando “Bobby Boy” Velardez had his day in the sun as he fought on the De la Hoya under card for the featherweight championship of the world. As Velardez became the first boxer from the Inland Empire to contend for a title, he would have to do so against a distinguished champion in Erik “El Terrible” Morales.

Velardez comes from a close knit boxing family. Several brothers have also put on the gloves and his father Armando is his manager and trainer. The former Pacific High School student had been on a hot streak. Bobby Boy rolled up 13 wins in a row.

The large crowd at Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay and his largest pay day (approximately $500,000) promised to be the Velardez family’s biggest boxing night.

Once in the ring, the HBO and Pay Per View audience could see that Morales was clearly the larger physical specimen. Morales, the champion, had lost only once to Mexico’s Antonio Barrera. His credentials are impeccable and he needed no special advantage. Morales fought at least two inches taller at 5’8” and outreached Velardez 72” to 69”.

Velardez fought up hill all night and had trouble reaching the champion with his punches. Morales side stepped and banged away at the smaller challenger. Bobby Boy fought with courage, however, Morales’ speed, leverage and power was too much. Velardez was knocked down four times as he was counted out in the 5th round.

Bobby Boy did not shame himself or his city. Velardez is a former super bantamweight champion at 122 lbs. He hits hard with both hands and as he matures into a better counter puncher the title shots will come his way again.