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Stand out Amateur Donovan Estrella making his Pro Debut Tonight

Decorated amateur Donovan Estrella will make his pro debut tonight against John Nunez at The Stampede in Aurora, Colorado on a card promoted by AirTight Boxing. Estrella amassed a stellar record going 121-9 in the amateur ranks.

Donovan’s grandfather, who started boxing at age 12, played a major role in his life and boxing when he influenced Donovan at a very young age. Many of Estrella’s family members currently or have been involved in the sport of boxing, including his father, two brothers and three cousins. Being the youngest boxer of a big family Donovan was just 4 years old when he started going to the gym, looking up to his brothers and cousins watching and learning enough to have his first fight at age 8.

His success brought many accolades as an amateur including a fight that could shed some light on his potential as a pro, a semi-final matchup in the 2011 Junior Olympics with Gary Russell Jr., who up until recently due to inactivity from injury was a top rising prospect. In that Russell fight Estrella showed a little bit of everything using his reach and defense, at times being the aggressor, and other times countering with hand speed sprinkling in some showboating on his way to beating Russell Jr. in a highly competitive fight.

In his time spent at the US Olympic training center in Colorado not far from the place Estrella fought out of Arvada, Colo., he got a chance to see many different styles from bangers to boxers. In my interview on Rope A Dope Radio he stated “A lot of the boys from the east coast they’re style is way different and you gotta adjust to that”. He was honored for the opportunity to not only watch and workout but also spar with a lot of top national fighters.

His nickname “Slick D” was earned from his ability to make his opponents miss, using head movement, a tight guard to avoid punches turning that fundamental defense into offense with counterpunching.

Although he can be aggressive and walk fighters down he likes to stay on his toes using his skill to win fights. He can make adjustments in the ring and is versatile switching from orthodox to southpaw in the blink of the eye with ease.

As a fighter jumping to the pro ranks there are adjustments that need to be made to fit the profile of what the judges and networks want to see. The main thing that he and his trainer Anthony Barela have been working on is sitting down on his shots to create more power.

He has trained and sparred at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas something he cherished stating “It was also an honor to workout at the Mayweather Gym, getting a chance to spar fighters from all over, New York, California, Texas, Arizona, got a lot of good work.”

At the time of our interview in early July Donovan had been training for 3 to 4 months after him and his father had made the decision to turn pro. The plan is to use a good friend of his Robert Diaz to help build his career and in the near future sign with Golden Boy Promotions. I asked him where he sees himself in the 3 to 5 years to which he answered, “I’m destined for greatness, that’s where we’re headed and with God I think I can do it. I gotta keep working hard and stay focused I think I will be world champion”. He confidently added “I will be going after Abner Mares and Nonito Donaire”.

Donovan Estrella is a very confident and skilled young man who has the right plan and people in place to have a successful pro career. Only time will tell if his early start influenced by his grandfather Frank, a family tree which is rooted in boxing along with a solid amateur pedigree, will propel him to become a world champion one day.

To listen to my full interview with Donovan Estrella click the link below(starts at 101 minute mark)

Written by Chris Carlson Owner and Host of Rope A Dope Radio at

Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio

YouTube Channel “The Rope A Dope Report” Subscribe at


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Chris Carlson.

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