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Heavyweight Brandon Moore gets the opportunity he’s waited for in Richard Torrez showdown


by Francisco Salazar | 

Brandon Moore has been waiting for his moment to prove he is the prospect in the heavyweight division. 

According to Moore, that moment will be Saturday night at the expense of Richard Torrez, which would catapult him a successful career, in and out of the ring. 

Moore will face Torrez in a compelling clash of unbeaten heavyweights at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. The eight-round bout will open a three-bout Top Rank on ESPN telecast that will be headlined by the vacant WBO world lightweight title clash between Emanuel Navarrete and Denys Berinchyk. 

ESPN (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT) will televise both fights, along with the welterweight clash between unbeaten welterweights Giovani Santillan, rated No. 4 by The Ring at 147 pounds, and Brian Norman, Jr. 

Both Moore (14-0, 8 knockouts) and Torrez are promoted by Top Rank. The winner would put himself in a position to face other unbeaten or contenders in the division. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, as of Wednesday morning, Torrez is a -1200 favorite to defeat Moore.

Despite being the significant underdog, Moore believes he will be victorious.

“No disrespect to Torrez, but I’m going to destroy him,” Moore told The Ring last week. “I’m knocking him the hell out. He’s going to come in like a bull and I want him to do that. All I know is that this fight is going to end in a knockout. 

“I know the betting odds are in his favor and he’s 9-0, but he acts like he should be a ranked fighter. This fight is happening in San Diego and he’s from California.”

Torrez (9-0, 9 KOs), who resides in Tulare, California, has accumulated five first round knockouts since turning pro in March 2022. Torrez is a 2021 Olympic silver medalist, losing in the final to Bakhodir Jalolov, who is also promoted by Top Rank.

Both fighters have a common opponent in gatekeeper Curtis Harper, whom the southpaw Torrez stopped in the eighth round of his previous fight on December 9. Moore originally scored a one-sided decision over Harper on April 22, but the fight was changed to a no-decision on January 24 of last year. 

Moore believes he has fought the better opposition amongst the two fighters, and has accomplished a great deal in the ring having spent less time in the ring overall than Torrez. 

“I don’t think he has fought the caliber of fighters that I’ve faced,” said Moore, who is managed by Ryan Rickey. “I get better when the level of competition rises. I don’t think he’s faced anyone at my level. My background is I’ve fought six years and I’ve had the harder road. He’s 24 and was an amateur for 16 years. 

“I believe I’m the perfect fighter. Look at each one of my fights where I’ve won every round. In five-six fights, I’ve fought guys who use veteran tactics to not get knocked out. I want to be in real fights fighting guys who want to win and not go in thinking they lose.”

The 30-year-old Moore, who is trained by Marco Fazzini at Winter Haven Boxing, the oldest boxing gym in Florida, has sparred the likes of Tyson Fury, Luis Ortiz, Deontay Wilder, and Jared Anderson. 

Moore comes from an athletic background. He was a college basketball standout at Southeastern University, where he was named The Sun Conference Freshmen of the Year in 2013. His younger brother, Shaq Moore, is a member of the United States Men’s National Soccer team, and also plays for Major League Soccer’s Nashville FC. 

The 30-year-old recently starred in a documentary by Steven Styles, outlining his rise in boxing and future plans in the sport. 

Moore believes signing a promotional deal with Top Rank will allow him to get the fights he wants in his progression up the heavyweight ladder. 

“I’m just grateful to get this opportunity,” said Moore. “Top Rank is one of the best promoters in the world and they build champions. My team did research and I’m blessed to work with them. They believe in me and I’m confident I could be the face of the company.  

Moore was born and raised in Lakeland, Florida. After he hangs up the gloves, Moore would like to be involved in the community, even contemplating running for public office. 

“I’m smarter than these heavyweights, in and out of the ring. I’m looking at boxing as a stepping-stone. I want more. I’d like to run for public office in Lakeland or Polk County. 

“I want to be a heavyweight world champion, but this is bigger than boxing. I want to be a role model. I’m 6’6”. I want to inspire the younger generation, talk to them and tell them to pursue their dreams.

“I want to take this profession as far as I can go.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]

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