Battle of the Rising Stars: Boxer Michael “El Calentano” Norato Shines Bright

By Raquel Vasquez
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Boxer Michael “El Calentano” Norato wins by unanimous decision Photo Credit Chris Fu

The battle of the Rising Stars was more like the battle of the brutal warriors.

This evening served up a platter of black eyes, bruised ribs, with a side of blood. The Battle of the Rising Stars is an All Star Boxing event held at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello. Up on a fancy hill off the 60 fwy is a country club and hotel that has hosted boxing for decades. If some tacos, beer, and boxing sounds fun to you, this is your ticket to a great summer. For boxing fans, this is the real deal.

These boxers have been training, sweating, running, jumping rope, making weight, doing everything they have to do, but the proof is in the ring.

Imagine how it may feel to walk out to a crowd of a thousand people for the first time to step into the ring. Imagine what it may feel like to hear that first bell. As the night goes on, the boxers get better, more seasoned, more experienced and better records. These aren’t boxers you can google. At least not yet. But you sure can google the champion boxers in attendance and the professional trainers behind these boxers. The champs are paying attention and so should we. Celebrity professional boxers were ringside being asked for pics by the fight fans. The “Gladiator” welterweight John Molina Jr. was in attendance along with Mexican WBO Light Middleweight Champion boxer Jaime Muniga. They were not there on a random whim.

This night of boxing under bright lights and chandeliers was hot right off the top. Boxer Jhon Sanchez Leon vs David Morales started out a bloody mess and had to be stopped. Head butts, chanting fight fans, flurry’s galore and good sportsmanship all night long. The first fights were 4 round matches in different weight categories.

Michael Norato vs Luis Gerardo Avila Photo Credit Chris Fu

As the night went on, the fight fans never got bored or restless. The fans never thinned out. There was a reason why the everyone stayed, and why some big time champs were in attendance. This was in support of the boxer du jour, a young fighter named Michael “El Calentano” Norato.

After all exciting and dynamic fights, it was time for something special. You could tell from the vibe of the venue, something was clearly about to happen. You could see the difference between this boxer and all the boxers before him right away. The anticipated walk out is always exciting. Norato’s walk out music is traditional banda. Norato undefeated, already looked like a champ in his black and gold colors. His team was there all in “Team Norato” gear. Norato greeted the entire audience, unlike the less seasoned boxers that retreat to their corner. Time to put the tacos down and pay attention.

Michael Norato vs Luis Gerardo Avila for 6 rounds. Michael had a height and reach advantage, but this opponent was no walk in the park. Norato started out strong making a connection with each jab. When you can literally hear the smack and sting of a body shot, you know it hurts. Sitting ringside I expected Avila to go down at least three times, he never did. This fight went all 6 rounds, and by unanimous decision Norato is still undefeated with a new record of 7-0. What a brilliant career so far. You can feel the support from the fight fans for Michael, and I was lucky to have had an opportunity to speak with him.

Michael Norato is an American boxer of Mexican descent fighting out of Pacoima California. The well known and highly respected Roberto Alcazar is his trainer. That fact says a lot. Alcazar is renowned for producing world champions. Champions like Mungia and Molina, that were there to support El Calentano.

Team Norato Photo Credit Raquel Vasquez

Michael is tall, shredded, and extremely focused. Even after his win, Michael is a serious dude. I asked him about his training, and there’s nothing fancy going on there, just hard core work. No fancy training camp, Michael drives all the way to Baldwin Park every day to train.

“I believe every opponent is tough and I’m always looking for a challenge” said Michael. “I don’t have a dream fight, I just want to become a world champion.”  Michael “El Calentano” Norato has every ingredient needed to be a world champion superstar. The talent, the team, the looks, and the love from the fans. That is half the allure of these boxing events,  to watch your favorite boxers rise to the top.

What’s next for this boxer ? “The next step is a 10 round fight.” We’ll be sure to watch out for this rising star’s next battle. 

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