Puerto Rico's Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon, the former strawweight and junior flyweight world champion, had never lost until Giovani Segura (26-1-1, 22 KOs) knocked him out in the eighth round in August to claim the 108-pound title in one of the most exciting fights of 2010.
Calderon had rarely even come close to losing since turning pro after the 2000 Olympics -- nor had he ever been in a truly exciting fight. He was perhaps the most technically gifted boxer in the sport during the 2000s. He wasn't all that exciting to watch, but he could outbox anyone.
After the loss to Segura, though, the biggest fight available for Calderon was a rematch, which is set for April 2 on Segura's turf in Mexicali, Mexico -- the first fight was in Puerto Rico. Calderon will be seeking revenge in the Integrated Sports pay-per-view main event (9 p.m. ET, $39.95).
I have a hard time seeing Calderon, who has lost a step, beating Segura, who is much bigger and more powerful. But I would never count out a supreme technician such as Calderon.
Calderon said that he has no worries about going to Mexico and that he has revamped his training camp to get ready for the rematch.
"I'm working hard in training to make sure that I do better than I did in the first fight against Segura," Calderon said. "My fans will be in Mexico with me in spirit. I know a lot of people will be booing me there, but I know how to control that and remain focused in the ring. My first loss has me hungrier and I'm training differently. For the first time in 10 years I'm not living at home with my family. I stay at camp and live in my trainer's house. It's just me and him, none of my family around. I've also been doing more work with weights to strengthen my arms and legs."
Calderon (34-1-1, 6 KOs) claimed he was hampered by leg injuries in the first fight, so he was not able to move the way he usually does. As a pure technician, Calderon has always relied on movement and boxing ability, not pure power and pressure, like Segura.
"I didn't train right for our first fight," Calderon said. "My leg muscles were injured. I couldn't run and training days were suspended in the gym. I usually spar 100 rounds, but all I had was 45 for the last fight. No excuses, he did the job, but that wasn't the Ivan everybody knows. I need to be able to move my legs to control the fight. I couldn't move because of my legs and he worked my body good. I had to go toe-to-toe with him. He controlled the fight.
"He's not a good technical fighter, but he's strong and keeps pressure on his opponent. He did hurt me with body shots. I believe this fight will be different because I will box more. I will leave Mexico with my belt. Mexicans don't like to watch my style of boxing, but I don't care if they yell or boo. I will fight my fight and make the judges love my style, so I get the decision."