Does the “Next Great Puerto Rican Fighter” live in Pennsylvania?



Teenage sensation Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno made his professional boxing debut at the packed 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia in December, defeating Guy Newham from Lynchburg, VA in a Junior Lightweight bout. Many are saying that Adorno could be “The Next Great Puerto Rican Boxer,” and he fights next at the Roberto Clemente Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico  on Friday, February 3 on the undercard of the Felix Verdejo-Oliver Flores WBO Latino Lightweight title bout.


Against Newham, Adorno (1-0 professional, 178-22 amateur) from Allentown, Pennsylvania by way of Manuel de Perez, San Juan, Puerto Rico, looked like a seasoned veteran and did not break a sweat as he quickly dispatched his clearly over-matched opponent with a flurry of combinations in the opening seconds of the bout.  Joseph punished him with left hooks under the ribs and dropped him with an overhand right behind the head, then finished the fight with a solid left hook. The referee called the fight at 1:37 in the first round.


The crowd was raucous and the atmosphere festive, as many of Adorno’s friends and family made the trek down the Pennsylvania Turnpike from Allentown to witness the event.


It has been a busy few weeks for Adorno. Prior to the fight, he signed a multi-year contract with Top Rank, the company led by Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, and is the current home of stars Manny Pacquiao, Terrance Crawford, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.


The 17-year-old Lehigh Valley resident currently trains at the Allentown International Gym and is a Senior at William Allen High School. He has been dubbed as the “The Next Miguel Cotto,” and has been a youtube boxing sensation since the age of 9. He is trained by his father Anibal and former IBF Champion and Ring Magazine & Boxing Writers Association of America “Trainer of the Year” Robert Garcia. Adorno is bilingual and well-spoken and should prove to be a great media spokesman for himself, as well as a fordable foe in the ring.


“I can do it all in the ring, but my main plan is to stay calm, use my jab and a lot of hard combinations,” Adorno said of his fighting style. “If I have to box, I box. If I have to go get the fight, I go get the fight.”


“My son, Robert Jr., told me about this kid,” said Garcia. “Some of my friends from San Antonio had seen him fight in the Junior Olympics and they told my son ‘You have got to check out this kid Joseph Adorno.’”


Joseph, who cites Floyd Mayweather as his favorite professional boxer, was a bronze medalist at the 2016 National Golden Gloves at 132 pounds and won gold medals at the 2015 Junior Olympic National Championship and 2015 USA Junior National Championships at 125 pounds.


“Most of the kids I manage and train are Mexican or Mexican-American,” said Garcia. “My son showed me some of Joseph’s videos, and I said man, this kid’s got that Mexican style!”


“He’s got a bright future – he’s dedicated,” added Garcia. “His father is with him 24/7, and they’re humble, down-to-earth. The plan is for him to finish high school first. He’ll graduate next June. Once he graduates, we’ll do our training camps at my gym in Riverside, California.”


“They used to call me ‘Kid Sensation’ until I was 15,” said Adorno. “But now that I’m older, they changed my name – that’s when I started knocking people out. Now my name is ‘Blessed Hands.'”


His opponent for the next bout has not yet been announced.

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