Wrestling & MMA

Cuban-born boxer, 17, signs pro contract and will train in Spain

Cuban-born teen boxing sensation Enmanuel Guerra of Miami Shores has turned professional.

Enmanuel, 17, signed a contract in May with MTK Global, a Dubai-based boxing management company, and will be leaving June 12 to train in Marbella, Spain.

"To land a contract like that, you would need 200 amateur bouts and or Olympic pedigree," said Mickey Demos Jr., Enmanuel's former coach. “He is one of the top 10 in the world for his age.”

Since moving to Miami from Cuba, in 2012, the 5-foot-10-inch, 158-pound Enmanuel has pounded his way to two Florida state amateur championships and one in Georgia.

“I am very aggressive and have modified my style to fight southpaw, when necessary,” said Enmanuel, who currently trains under Jorge Rubio, the former coach of the Cuban national amateur boxing team.

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Enmanuel Guerra, 17, a Miami Shores boxing prodigy, has turned professional. THEO KARANTSALIS For the Miami Herald

Most right-handed boxers are used to fighting in an orthodox style and may face difficulty when fighting a southpaw, or one who leads with the right hand, Enmanuel said.

In 2016, the Herald reported that Enmanuel threw such devastating punches, at age 15, that he was relegated to sparring with only professional boxers.

His nickname ‘The Alpha’ was cemented recently after he fought off a bevy of powerful fighters at various Miami-area venues who tried their best to knock him off his perch. During a University of Miami collegiate fight, Enmanuel recalled, the crowd gasped after he knocked out a skilled Russian boxer who outweighed him by 20 pounds.

“I earned a lot of respect from hecklers after I knocked him out with a double jab and then a right hand,” said Enmanuel, who is already fluent in English and exudes confidence in and out of the ring.

Guerra said that he fights out of love for the sport and to honor his parents, Ernesto Guerra, a former medical doctor in Cuba, and his mother, Madeline Castillo, a psychologist.

After training for a couple of months in Europe, Guerra may fight up to three professional bouts this year. Guerra's June 30 pro debut will take place in Belfast, Ireland.