Published : Thursday, August 29, 2019 | 4:20 PM
The Oscar De La Hoya Foundation is giving back to the community through a special night of professional boxing at Pasadena City Hall tonight, called “Fights Under the Lights.”
The main event pits Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan (11-1, 6 KOs) against Olympian Oscar Molina (13-2-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-round bout. But as much as Kerobyan is called “Lucky Boy,” he knows it takes more than luck to become a champion. His impressive record has come as a result of commitment and sacrifice.
“In the morning when I wake up I come to the gym with my conditioning coach, work out for two three hours, go home eat a little and come back again at 5 or 6,” he said in a pre-fight interview. “In between those two practices if I feel my lower body is aching, I come to gym again with the conditioning coach and we’ll do some stretching like yoga or whatever we need to loosen up the body.”
Kerobyan is a 20-year-old native of North Hollywood, Calif., who became the first Golden Boy prospect to be managed by former UFC fighter and current WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey. He trains at International Sports Union in North Hollywood.
After scoring several dominant wins, Kerobyan suffered his first loss against undefeated prospect Blair ‘The Flair’ Cobbs in a very close fight. Keroyban will look to regain momentum in his second main event fight.
Opponent Molina is a 29-year-old from Norwalk, Calif., who represented Mexico in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Molina has fought against tough opponents, with his only losses delivered by Jarret ‘Swift’ Hurd and Levan Ghvamichava.
“I know that Ferdinand Kerobyan is coming off a loss, but I am not focusing on how he’s going to come,” Molina said. “I already know that he’s going to come at 100 percent.”
Kerobyan attended Ulysses S. Grant High School in North Hollywood and said growing up in a diverse section of Los Angeles has taught him a lot about people.
“There are a lot of mixed cultures over here, I like that about this place,” he said. “There are so many different cultures. You become an all-around person and you never judge anybody for their religion or anything. I believe it’s important to understand one another if you understand and I understand what you’re doing you can come to a compromise in the middle where we’re able to understand each other and that’s what makes everything go perfectly.”
But Kerobyan, who is a big believer in the prosperity of a diverse society, said it’s a different story on fight night.
“You have to be two different type of people,” he said. “When I step in the ring I’m a totally different animal than when I’m outside the ring. It’s like a mindset you have, it’s a switch you turn. It’s a mindset that when you go in the ring you think if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do then the guy is going to be the one who hurts you.”
Kerobyan was born in Armenia but was raised in Southern California.
“I’ve been here since I was 6 years old,” he said. “We won a visa back in the day with the family and we came over here and started our new journey here in 2004.”
It was a year later when he found his passion. His gym is International Sports Union in North Hollywood.
“I came to the gym as a 7 year old looking off to burn off energy,” he recalled. “The owner saw something in me and I have been there ever since.”
While he is Armenian-born, Kerobyan said he expects to have the support of a range of people when he steps into the ring on Friday.
“It’s not just the Armenian people, but I have the support of all the people over here who have heard of me or have seen me,” he said. “I have a lot of supporters from all kinds of people. I’m so grateful.”
Kerobyan has devoted his life to staying focused on the goal and believes that all good things will follow once he achieves it.
“There have been a lot of challenges as a young man trying to establish my own,” he said. “It’s very easy to get distracted with everything that’s going on in our society. I’m staying focused, staying on the grind and never giving up. You’ve got to know what you’re doing is worth it later on in the future.”
“My main goal is to be a boxing world champion and if I accomplish that goal all my other goals will fall into line,” he said. “That is my top goal and my whole mind and body is focused on that goal.
Kerobyan said it was the words of Oscar de la Hoya that continue to inspire.
“Oscar de la Hoya is very encouraging,” Kerobyan said. “He always says ‘Keep doing what you’re doing,’ Keep working hard,’ ‘Don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal.’”
What was the most exciting fight in Kerobyan’s young career?
“The one I fought at the Forum, it was my sixth fight, I was fighting a much bigger guy,” he said. “It was a test fight for me, I had to show thte Golden Boy people what I was made of and capable of fighting a big opponent and I think I built a big family with all the heart that I showed and the skill I showed in the ring.”
If you ask Kerobyan, the aspiring champion will say it’s important to keep all eyes on the prize.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re going to become a world champion or pro basketball player, I would say stay focused,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what field you’re in. Remember whenever there are hard times, better times will come after, you have to fight through the bad times to get to the better times.”
Fights Under the Lights runs from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. pn Friday, August 30, in front of Pasadena City Hall at 100 N. Garfield Avenue, Pasadena. For more information call (626) 744-7311 or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/749066398859151/