Juan Carlos Burgos
Birth date: December 26, 1987
Birth place: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Division: Super Featherweight
Height: 5′ 8½″ / 174cm
Reach: 68½″ / 174cm
Top lightweight prospect Jose “El Gato” Roman (23-1-1, 16 KOs) of Garden Grove, Calif. signed an exclusive promotional contract with Thompson Boxing Promotions in the fall of 2013.
Since then, Roman has won nine straight (five by way of KO) and is inching closer to a much deserved world title shot.
“Roman is a known commodity in the boxing industry,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He is a knockout artist with boxing skills and he already has a solid following. We expect big things from him in the near future.”
Roman, who is built like a welterweight but fights in the lightweight division, started his professional career blazing hot, scoring eleven knockouts in his first 14 fights. A technical draw against Javier Garcia and a close split decision loss to Robert Osiobe slowed his momentum, but Roman believes those speed bumps are well behind him.
“Boxers always face adversity and as long you learn from your experiences, you become a better fighter,” Roman said. “I have a great team in place that will help me get to where I want to go.”
Roman is unlike many lightweights in that he is nearly six feet tall and has very little trouble cutting down to the 135-pound lightweight limit.
“I’ve always had a fast metabolism and an excellent ability for long distance running,” said Roman, who as a freshman in high school was the No. 2 ranked cross country runner in Orange County. “When I ran cross country in high school I was able to run three miles in 16 minutes. I ultimately had to give that up to focus more on boxing.”
“There is a lot of talent in Southern California and Roman is probably at the top of that list,” said Alex Camponovo, general manager and matchmaker for Thompson Boxing. “We are proud he came to us and we will do our best to make this KO artist a star.” “El Gato” is fun to watch, has great stamina, and is preparing to have a busy schedule as we move him toward his main goal – to be a world champion.”
Roman showed why he is considered one of the division’s brightest talents by picking apart the hard-hitting Hector Miguel Zuniga on Nov. 22, 2013 from the Doubletree Ontario. Roman won a six-round unanimous decision with scores 60-53, 60-53 and 58-55.
Roman was able to fight on the inside and out with equal ease, and, in the fourth, he connected with a right hook that put Zuniga on his wallet. Roman displayed superior hand speed, excellent instincts and savvy defense. His most effective combination, a double-left hook to the head and body, landed flush more often than not. Roman threw such tight and sharp left hooks that Zuniga rarely saw them coming.
The following year saw him capture the vacant WBC CABOFE Lightweight Title over Luis Solis of Mexico (May 2014). He would later successfully defend that title against Hector Velazquez in September.
After boxing, Roman plans to re-enroll at California State University, Fullerton to complete his B.S. degree in chemistry. Roman is managed by Bay Area-based attorney Steven Martini.