Zarate, a quick-handed southpaw from the Los Angeles port city of San Pedro, has become a known commodity around the Southern California boxing scene. All but one of his fights have taken place in the greater Los Angeles area, and he is currently the NABF junior super bantamweight champion.
Zarate captured the vacant belt in an 8-round unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Fernando Samaniego in October.
“I’m very excited to become a part of the Thompson Boxing team,” said Zarate, who is trained and managed by Eddie Gonzalez. “Ken Thompson and Alex Camponovo put me on their shows when I was first starting out, and now that I’m signed, it’s an amazing feeling.”
As a high school freshman, Zarate, along with his friends, would lace up the gloves and engage in harmless backyard boxing. Little did Zarate know that he would discover a sport that he could make a career out of.
“As kids, we didn’t know what we were doing,” Zarate said. “We were just having fun and trying something new. After a few sessions, I started to realize that I had more ability than everyone else. I started going to boxing gyms learning everything I could, and ended up turning professional in 2011.”
“We’ve known about Zarate and his ability since we first started featuring him on our shows four years ago,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He trains hard, performs well, and now has the combination of an excellent manager in Eddie Gonzalez, and an aggressive promotional company that will keep him busy throughout his contract.”
Zarate faces veteran Pedro Melo (12-6-2, 3 KOs) of Tijuana, Mex. on the undercard of Thompson Boxing’s “Path to Glory” event on Friday, Feb. 20, from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
“Melo is a tough fighter with a lot of experience,” Zarate said. “I’ve seen him fight live once. He has good boxing skills, but we’ll take him out of his comfort zones. We’ll have an excellent game plan for this fight.”
Zarate, 23, trains out of the Ponce de Leon Gym in Montebello and compiled a brief amateur record of 11-3 before turning professional in October 2011.
For more information, please visit ThompsonBoxing.com.