Ode to a Rooster: Neeco Macias is Cock of the Walk

By Paul Magno on September 2, 2018
Ode to a Rooster: Neeco Macias is Cock of the Walk
Cabrera’s heart and soul were taken by the now 17-0 Neeco Macias. (Photo: Tom Hogan)

The jaded boxing realist in me knows that mad volume punchers have come along in the past and very few make a dent at the elite level…

I’ll admit it. When it comes to boxing, I’m one jaded SOB. After 40+ years absorbing gym logic and learning about the shady side of boxing business (thanks to my Uncle Paulie—a former fighter—and his group of old school retired South Side Chicago pug friends), my boxing belief system rests somewhere between weary realist and compulsive cynic.

Talk of hot prospects and “next big things” doesn’t titillate me. It rarely even moves me to action.

Okay, here’s a kid coming up, being hyped to the moon. Let’s check his record, let’s check his level of opposition and WHERE he’s fighting. Most of the time, it’s all BS. The “hot prospect” has been fattened up on grocery baggers and Footlocker assistant managers from the Midwest. Meh. Let’s move on.

If I catch something that does draw my interest, I make a mental note of it to check the kid out later. I rarely watch these young fighters live. I guess it’s a bad confession to make on a boxing site, but I just have better things to do than to sit there two hours before the main event on a Saturday night watching a good, young fighter beat on a terrible fighter.

But the undefeated Neeco “The Rooster” Macias, who fought on the Ryan Garcia-Carlos Morales Golden Boy undercard Saturday night at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, caught my eye and piqued my interest. 

A wide-smiling blond Mexican-American with a modified rat-tailed mullet, decked out in neon green IS going to catch one’s eye. And coming out to Alice in Chains’ “Rooster” was not exactly a turn-off. But it was his actual fighting that kept me from going out to grab a snack before the main event.

The Rooster was all-action, all swarming offense, fighting at a pace that almost seemed superhuman. Macias threw 1,119 punches (1,007 of them power punches) through six rounds of a scheduled eight—grinning with glee all throughout—before his opponent’s corner waved off the one-sided fight.

And Macias wasn’t matched soft on Saturday, either. His opponent, Marvin Cabrera, was a highly-decorated amateur standout from Mexico with an undefeated record and former world champ Daniel Ponce de Leon as a trainer. But Cabrera’s heart and soul were taken by the now 17-0 Macias, who just wouldn’t stop throwing leather. By the end of the sixth, the talented Mexican was exhausted and utterly beaten, both mentally and physically.

It would be easy to write Macias off as an undercard novelty act. After all, he is pretty old for a “prospect” at 27 and didn’t really start fighting competitively until he was 20. Up until the Cabrera fight, he had also been matched against fairly soft opposition with a total combined record of 85-113-7. But, on the two occasions that Macias has stepped up (vs. Cabrera and undefeated Roy Jones-promoted prospect Rolando Garza), he has steamrolled his foes.

The jaded boxing realist in me knows that mad volume punchers have come along in the past and very few make a dent at the elite level. It’s just a very hard style to execute against world-class fighters with next-level skillsets and the ability to slow down or completely negate a wild, swarming offense.

Something as simple as an authoritative, well-timed jab could ruin The Rooster’s entire fight strategy. 

The Lancaster, California native will have to add other skills to his repertoire and develop a bit of nuance if he hopes to have success at the world-class level. There’s plenty of work ahead if the idea is to turn a warhorse into a thoroughbred, but it’s hard to bet against someone who so clearly loves and lives for his work.

“We smile because we’re confident and we’re so appreciative of what boxing has given us,” Macias said in his post-fight ring interview on Saturday, “and when we’re finally in here, we’re just happy to be here doing what we do.”

In the meantime, as we wait and see whether the kid can make that leap from club fighter to world-class contender, it’ll be fun just watching him fight…and then, literally, crow like a rooster after the ref raises his hand in victory.

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Neeco Macias vs. Marvin Cabrera Full Fight Knockout

Alice In Chains - Rooster (PCM Stereo)

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  1. Chico Salmon 02:09pm, 09/03/2018

    Talk about a high work rate.  Watched the vid and the commentators said this guy threw 196 punches in one of those rounds. Usually anything over 100 punches a round is considered a good display of “volume punching,” but this guy doubled that. Volume punching helped people like Jeff Fenech, Henry Armstrong, Joe Calzaghe, and Rocky Marciano, just to name a few, capture world titles. Being able to throw punches in bunches non-stop is a skill in itself just as much as speed, power, or movement. Physical conditioning has to be the most underrated aspect of boxing or MMA. Props to El Gallo for his stamina, but the 80’s just called and they need that haircut back.

  2. Kid Blast 01:15pm, 09/03/2018

    This was a good/fun read, Paul.

  3. Kid Blast 07:53am, 09/03/2018

    His corner man said “stay on him.” WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Casanovita de Ahome 07:46am, 09/03/2018

    “Open for counters”?! When you throw that many punches you’re not open for any fukin’ thing!

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