By Francisco Salazar
Ventura County Star

Unbeaten junior middleweight Hugo Centeno of Oxnard has been sparring with top contenders and champions in recent months.

Last August, Centeno traveled to Mexicali, Mexico, to spar with former WBO junior middleweight champion Alfredo Angulo. Recently, Centeno has been sparring with current former WBA super welterweight champion Nobuhiro Ishida at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

Last April, Ishida scored a major upset by knocking out previouslyunbeaten and hard-hitting James Kirkland in the first round. Ishida is preparing to face two-time world champion Paul Williams on Feb. 18th in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Centeno (11-0, with 6 KOs) has benefited from the sparring as he prepares for his Feb. 25th bout against Octavio Narvaez at the Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme.

“I’ve had to switch from my conventional style to a southpaw style (to emulate Williams),” said Centeno, a 2009 graduate of Oxnard High. “As for me, I’m ready for my fight on the 25th. My fans won’t have to drive a long ways to see me fight. It’ll be literally down the street for them.”