Richard Torrez says he wants to be remembered « forever » as a world heavyweight champion as he prepares to start his title pursuit.
The 22-year-old American has signed a promotional deal with Top Rank after returning from this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo with a silver medal.
With a professional debut planned in February, Torrez has vowed to earn a reputation as a dominant champion.
« I’m a smaller heavyweight, but I’m very active, » the Californian told Sky Sports. « I have a great engine on me, and what I lack for in size I make up for in power.
« They say you die twice. Once physically and once when the last person says your name, and so I want to live forever. »
Asked if he can win a world title, Torrez said: « I believe so. I believe I have the right foundation. I have the right people behind me, and I have the right mindset too.
« I definitely believe that one day I will be. »
Britain’s bronze medallist Frazer Clarke did not share the ring with Torrez in Japan, although they could cross paths in the pro ranks.
Prior to the Olympics, Torrez had told Sky Sports about his respect for Clarke.
« He’s a great guy, I have been to lots of camps with him, we have had a lot of really great sparring sessions, » he said.
« He’s as good a guy as he is a boxer. He has exceptional skill and he’s a big guy.
« He will be really good competition if we meet up.
« I do study him, I watch film of him – when we spar, I watch the video back.
Torrez produced a dramatic stoppage win over Kamshybek Kunkabayev in the Olympic semi-finals, eventually losing on points against Bakhodir Jalolov in a thrilling final.
He is now planning to make a big impact at heavyweight as America waits for another champion to be crowned after Deontay Wilder’s reign as WBC champion was ended by Tyson Fury.
« February, we’re hoping to [start], » said Torrez.
« We’re breaking down barriers and we’re stepping through doors. It’s something that I’ve dreamed of, ever since I was a little kid.
« It’s something that I’ve imagined, this day happening, but for it to actually come true and to come to fruition is incredible. I just can’t wait and I hope you guys can’t either. »