Brian Ceballo on the brink of boxing’s big time after amateur disillusionment

Welterweight Brian Ceballo is not your typical boxer. He makes his debut for Ring City and wants to put his name in contention to fight boxing’s best. 

Every boxer has a unique backstory. Up-and-coming welterweight Brian Ceballo is no different.

Ceballo (11-0, 6 KOs) has the type of amateur and professional experience that leads to a world title, but his story has a bit of a twist. Despite compiling a 206-13 amateur record, Ceballo didn’t plan on boxing as his career.

Ceballo started boxing at eight years old, and as he got older and progressed, he proved to be a great talent. He won many fights, but around the age of 13 or 14, Ceballo learned an important life lesson. He told Boxingscene.com in 2019 that he got a big head during that time as a young amateur.

“Basically, when you’re doing so good, you’re on top of the world,” Ceballo told FanSided. “You think you’re untouchable, and then you get lazy. You think everything comes super easy, and it just backfires on you, and you lose, and no one cares about you. You’re back to square one, but you always have to work hard. So that’s a big wake up call from me.”

Ceballo learned humility at the right time and focused on boxing, but the institution of amateur boxing betrayed Ceballo and almost killed his desire to continue with the sport.

As Ceballo got older, he lost several controversial decisions that he viewed as unfair and part of amateur boxing politics.

“There are always politics and USA boxing, said Ceballo. “I think everywhere there is politics, but you work so hard, and when you get cheated in front of your face, they think they’re doing good or whatever it is. And it’s just kind of like, it happens over and over and over again with many different athletes, and you never know what people actually mean until you go through it.”

Brian Ceballo almost gave up on his boxing future, but he tested the waters and found a team that has helped him forge an undefeated professional career

He missed making the 2016 U.S. Olympic team in what he viewed as an unfair decision but did win the 2017 U.S. National Championships. Even though he finished his amateur career on a high note, Ceballo was disenfranchised with boxing and thought for a short period that he was done with it.

“No, I actually had no aspirations to turn pro, and after they screwed me over, I said, you know what? Screw amateur boxing. I’m done,” said Ceballo. “And I actually reached out to several managers in 2017 just to try to get ahead of the game, and looked to turn pro, and that’s how I’m here today. That’s how I got with Tom Loffler, who’s my promoter. And he’s been a great person.”

Ceballo still had the boxing itch and thought he would see if he could link up with an experienced manager. Fortunately for him, Tim VanNewhouse took an interest and connected him with powerhouse promoter Tom Loeffler who helped orchestrate the reigns of Gennadiy Golovkin, Wladimir Klitschko, and others.

“I’m at the point where if I’m going to invest a lot of time and money and energy into building someone’s career, not only do they have to fight in the ring, but also outside the ring,” Loeffler told FanSided. “You got to want to kind of want to work with them. And Brian’s very personable, very marketable, came across very well.”

Loeffler saw Ceballo as a talented boxer who had the brains and marketability to match. Ceballo is from New York, and when fighting on Golovkin’s undercards at Madison Square Garden, Ceballo produced his own widespread cheering section. He’s a son of New York, and Ceballo is loved by his city.

Ceballo is in action on Thursday, Dec. 3, on Ring City USA’s second show from Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Gym in Los Angeles. He fights Larry Gomez (10-1, 8 KOs) for the WBO Intercontinental title and hopes a big win will shoot him up the welterweight boxing rankings.

Ceballo mentioned names like Sergey Lipinets, Shawn Porter, and Manny Pacquiao as boxers that he would like to fight at some point in the not so distant future. Ring City USA could provide Ceballo the platform to make his case as a dangerous emerging welterweight contender.

Watch welterweights Brian Ceballo and Larry Gomez fight on Thursday, Dec. 3, on NBCSN at 9 p.m. ET.

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