(That’s what you get for rushing the mound, Manny. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)
Revered by Chicago-area MMA fans as a hometown hero, WEC bantamweight champ/East Chicago native Miguel Torres will take a big step up in public visibility when he throws out the ceremonial first pitch for the White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers game at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday, May 6th. As NWI.com reports:
Though he’ll be throwing out the first pitch likely in front of tens of thousands of fans, Torres said there won’t be any nerves — despite the best attempts from friends to give him some jitters.
"All my buddies are already makin’ fun of me," Torres said. "They’re like, ‘Dude, you’re not gonna make it (to home plate)!’ or ‘You’re gonna look like a punk!’ They’re all trying to mess with me, trying to scare me. But I think I’ll be good…
It’s not just an honor — it’s huge as far as fighters being recognized to be invited to do something like this. Especially (for me) fighting at 135 pounds — for the WEC, it’s a huge thing."
Hopefully Miguel will be able to resist the urge to aim for the head. The 135-pound king will next defend his title against Brian Bowles this summer. Though we can’t imagine a better ambassador for the sport than Torres, his new poster-boy status is already weighing on him. As he explained in a recent interview for WEC.tv:
"I said ‘F— [WEC public relations manager] Dave Sholler’ in the back of my head [during the fourth round of the Mizugaki fight
]. I had done so many interviews leading up to this fight, a lot more than other fights I have had. I was out of town for two weeks, I was out of my gym for two weeks (doing PR), it was always something. They had me doing a lot of PR. It was ridiculous man…
I felt like s**t on Monday (the day after the fight). I didn’t get to sleep. I left Monday morning to Mexico. I went and did some (public relations) stuff for the WEC. I didn’t even have time to rest, man. I got done with my fight, hit the shower, put some glue on my forehead and I was off to Mexico, man. It was like my fifth trip to Mexico…This time I did three days of non-stop interviews – I did like 20 interviews a day with newspapers, magazines, ESPN, national morning shows, it was pretty crazy out there."