Sammy Oropeza is an mma fighter turned boxer fighter out of Briarcliff Pa. In the cage he put up an impressive 13-3 record with all 13 wins coming by knockout or submission. Oropeza made was also 4-0 with 4 knockouts while fighting for Bellator, the largest mma promotion not named UFC. In his pro boxing debut he scored a devastating 1st round knockout to continue his streak of finishes. Now set to return to the squared circle May 12th at Sugarhouse Casino, with caught up with Oropeza for a Q&A leading into his bout:
How did you get involved in combat sports?
I watch my dad die when I was 10 years old from liver and kidney failure. I grew up never knowing my father’s love and I was angry and it was the only way I could deal with that emotion.
Did that anger get you in trouble when you were younger and/or did the gym and training help keep you out of trouble
It kept me motivated to want to be a pro fighter and successful. It was a good pain that was my fuel to working.
What made you decide to switch from mma to boxing?
I fought March 12th, my daughter’s birthday is March 28. I did it so I could throw her a birthday party and give her presents.
What is the main difference between training for boxing instead of mma?
Boxing is one discipline. It is a challenging sport but I only have to focus in on preparing for one discipline. The biggest difference is it is less time-consuming. I need that time to work to provide for my family.
Do you plan on returning to the cage or are you a full time boxer now?
here’s the deal I need to provide a better future for my family. I will return to the cage if I see opportunity to earn money for my family.
What was your experience like fighting for Kings Promotions
I like David Feldman he’s an honest person and understanding.
How do you find time to train with your work schedule and family?
A lot of my training is done at 4 AM in the morning by myself. I I have people help me out but I’m primarily self trained.
Do you think training on your own puts you at a disadvantage?
Puts me at a disadvantage, for what? A boxing match? Sure, I mean having a trainer and doing a proper training camp is important. If we look at the word “disadvantage” I think doing a full training camp for such a small purse is the real disadvantage. Showing up to work and doing everything I can is what is going to put food on the table and provide. How much do people think I earn on these fights? Being broke is a disadvantage. Winning this fight makes me 2-0 in boxing that doesn’t mean shit. I am not even trying to be bitter that’s the truth! I am overwhelmingly optimistic but I have been fighting for a decade and if I want to actually earn money in this sport I need to win a lot more fights. I will break it down for you. Ready let’s say I make $5,000 on this fight which I doubt I will make that much.
8 week training camp.
– 2 months rent and utilities: $2400
– 2 months of food for myself and family: $750
– 2 months of formula and diapers: $320
– 2 months of gym and trainers fees $380
– 2 months of travel and gas: $800
– Uncle Sam wants at least 20% to 30%
If it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense!
It’s almost not worth it unless you KNOW your getting to UFC or PBC etc.
It’s still not worth it unless you’re a top 5 or 3 fighter in the UFC. I am 13-3 with all finishes. They weren’t calling!
You knocked out your opponent quick in your boxing debut, did you now he was out soon as the punch landed?
I have knock people out in MMA and I knew he was knocked out because I saw his knees lock out and go stiff.
Were you scared at all when you seen how long he was down?
Absolutely I was scared. I genuinely take no enjoyment out of seeing anyone in pain physically mentally or emotionally. I was happy that he was OK.
Has your fan base followed you from the ring to the cage?
Fortunately, I come from a blue-collar area that is very supportive of me. I don’t think my Fanbase has grown but I really have not been paying attention.
what was the experience like making your boxing debut in Philly with its long history in boxing?
Given what you have overcome in life?what advice would you give to someone growing up similar to you struggling to find their way.
My biggest advantage was not having any advantages. It’s important for younger people to understand navigating through difficult experiences as a child will set you up for success later in life. What has changed my life is if I am the smartest person in the room, it’s time to find a new room. Being intelligent and working to improve yourself and your habits should be your number one priority. I am about to turn 32 next month and I can say reading books and building my network with successful self made people have helped me grow and gain opportunities. I will say fighting has built my confidence and it showed me I am capable of much bigger things. Fighting is something that chooses you. If you don’t have to fight than I highly recommend not fighting.
What can fans expect from you fight night?
They can expect to see a man who is determined to give his family everything he can under any circumstance. My life goal is to be a great father and give my children every chance to succeed in life. Fighting is something I just naturally do. When you are the youngest of six kids raised by a single mom, everything you earn or want to be you have to fight for. I don’t know how else to say it but you just have to witness it. If you ever watch me fight you can tell a lot about my life.
Any shoutouts sponsors etc
Yes, I want to give a shout out to my fiancé Amanda my daughter Jenny and my son John. They are my greatest supporters they are my inspiration they mean everything to me.