Colombian lightweight prospect Cesar Villarraga signed with Thompson Boxing Promotions in the summer of 2013. Villarraga hopes to follow in the footsteps of fellow countryman and Thompson Boxing Promotions client, Jhonatan Romero, who recently held the IBF junior featherweight world title. "Jhonatan set the bar high and that is how it is supposed to be," Villarraga said. "I have high aspirations. I want to be the first would champion from Bogota and the best to come from Colombia."
"Cesar has an exciting style to his game," said Ken Thompson, president and founder of Thompson Boxing Promotions. "He is a quick hitter that does not like to stand around and dance. He has great speed and a high boxing IQ that will serve him well as he climbs the ranks of the lightweight division."
Villarraga starred for Colombia at the 2010 South American Games going through Hector Manzanilla (Venezuela) and Erick Banguera (Ecuador) to advance to the gold medal match against Everton Lopes of Brazil. Villarraga would bring home the gold in the 57kg event and would later qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. In London, Villarraga would lose early to Cuba's Roniel Iglesias. Rather than sulk in defeat, Villarraga turned the loss into a learning experience.
"The London games made me even more dedicated to the sport," said, Villarraga, who started boxing at age 15, a late start partly attributed to his early love of soccer. "Mentally I now know how to handle situations more efficiently. I have learned to value every movement, any shuffle of the feet and every punch has its purpose."
Villarraga finished his impressive amateur career with 250 wins against 30 loses. The 27-year-old boxer made his professional debut on the Thompson Boxing Promotions “Path to Glory” fight card on Friday, Sept. 27, from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. Villarraga scored his first professional victory with a spectacular fourth round knockout of Sopaun Rin. Villarraga landed a crushing left hook to the temple nine seconds in, which translated to a lights out moment for the young Rin. Villarraga scored an early knockdown in the second round, while Rin connected with a straight right in the first that knocked down the former Colombian Olympian.
The fight, however, belonged to Villarraga. He consistently connected with left hooks and looked stronger as the four-round fight wore on.
Villarraga is married and has two boys. He plans to obtain a degree in architecture once his boxing career is over.