Boxing: Champion's Hallmark in Bojado's Silver Quest

Article excerpt

A FEW hours before Lennox Lewis ensured for himself a much more honourable ride into the sunset, Francisco Bojado was discussing, with vast charm, the dawn of a career which some believe has the potential to match those of great Hispanic fighters like Roberto Duran and Julio Cesar Chavez

He is currently 9-0 as a pro, holds the World Boxing Council youth junior welterweight title and, at the age of 18, is building the reputation of a gifted ring tactician whose left hooks land like the kicks of a mule. Born in Guadalajara, raised in east Los Angeles, he qualified for the Mexican national team as a 14-year- old, overwhelming a 21-year-old opponent, and when he was eliminated from last year's Sydney Olympics he was so distraught he immediately left for the airport. "I couldn't stand to be there as a loser, and it was the worst day of my life." It didn't help that the scoring had been a travesty.

He was first attracted to boxing when he saw the trophy cupboard of the brother of a friend. "It was filled with so much silver," he recalls. "Since that day I have hardly been out of the gym. …