LAS VEGAS (October 9, 2020) — New weight class, same buzzsaw. Former junior featherweight world champion Emanuel Navarrete defeated Ruben Villa via unanimous decision (115-111 and 114-112 2X) to win the vacant WBO featherweight world title Friday evening from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Conference Center.

Navarrete (33-1, 28 KOs), who made five defenses of his WBO junior featherweight world title, is now a two-weight world champion.

Navarrete knocked down Villa in the first and fourth rounds to build a healthy lead on the scorecards. Villa (18-1, 5 KOs), a slick southpaw boxer, did not have the power to keep the all-pressure Navarrete honest. He did, however, find a rhythm in the fight’s closing stages and nearly did enough in the minds of the judges to salvage a draw.

Navarrete said, “I knew that Villa was a fighter that moved a lot, and I knew that he was going to move even more once he felt my power. I didn’t get the knockout, but I got the victory.

“I’m very happy with this championship. It’s a reflection of all the sacrifices and all the hard work I put in. I conquered my second weight class because of all that hard work.

“I have my sights set on all the world champions at 126. I would love to face {Josh} Warrington. I think that our styles will make for a great fight.”

Qazaq Style Thunder

Middleweight contender Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly brought the thunder. The 2016 Olympian improved to 9-0 with a devastating second-round knockout over Gonzalo Coria (16-4, 6 KOs), who had never been stopped as a professional. An overhand left from the southpaw knocked Coria down and nearly through the ropes. The full count was not needed, as Alimkhanuly upped his knockout streak to three.

Alimkhanuly said, “I want to fight a world champion soon, like Demetrius Andrade and Jermall Charlo. Canelo, of course. Top Rank promotes Ryota Murata at 160. I want to fight him as well. Whoever the top guys are 160, I want them next.”

Photos by M. Williams / Top Rank

#WBOChampionshipBouts Weigh-In Results @ The Bubble

Emanuel Navarrete 126 lbs vs. Ruben Villa 125 lbs
(Vacant WBO Featherweight World Title — 12 Rounds)

Janibek Alimkhanuly 159.6 lbs vs. Gonzalo Coria 158.6 lbs
(Alimkhanuly’s WBO Global Middleweight Title — 10 Rounds)

TV: TOMORROW at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT live on ESPN

Photos by Mikey Williams / Top Rank

LAS VEGAS (October 7, 2020) —Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete has won 27 consecutive bouts. Ruben Villa has never lost as a professional. Something will give Friday evening (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET), when the two battle for the vacant WBO featherweight world title, which became available after Shakur Stevenson moved up to the junior lightweight ranks.

The ESPN-televised co-feature will see Kazakh middleweight phenom Janibek Alimkhanuly against Gonzalo Coria in a 10-rounder. Undercard bouts, including middleweight prospect Lorenzo “Truck” Simpson against Sonny Duversonne and junior welterweight puncher Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez against Cameron Krael, will stream live on ESPN+ at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs) reigned as WBO junior featherweight world champion and became boxing’s most active world champion. He made five defenses of the title he won from Isaac Dogboe in a nine-month span and most recently knocked out Uriel Lopez in a June non-title bout in Mexico City.

Villa (18-0, 5 KOs), from Salinas, Calif, earned this title shot with wins over the likes of Alexei Collado and Jose Enrique Vivas, but Navarrete represents a giant step up in class. Villa fights for his Salinas Valley home region, which has been ravaged by wildfires in recent months. The poor air quality has forced him to wear a mask during roadwork. The field workers are still out there, providing Villa with ample motivation as he awaits his first world title opportunity.

At Wednesday’s press conference, this is what Navarrete and Villa had to say.

Emanuel Navarrete

“With the current situation and the camp we’ve had, {my team} has done a great job. We’ve worked through it, and we’re ready for this match.”

“My body is doing a lot better. I’m growing a little bit more. It was getting a little bit difficult making 122, but now going up to 126, I think I’m more prepared for that.”

“For now, we’re pretty much ready. We’re ready for this weight. We’re ready for this fight on Friday night, so I think we’re ready to go with what we have. After this fight, we’re going to keep moving forward.”

Ruben Villa

“There have been a couple of restrictions and stuff due to COVID, but I’ve been in the gym, I’ve been active. It hasn’t gotten in the way of me training and my team’s training. Yeah, we trained hard, another hard camp, and we’re ready for Friday night.”

“My last couple of fights, they’ve been aggressive guys who come to beat me and think they’re going to get me off my game plan. But I adapted well. We always had good game plans and stuck to game plans, and now we’re here fighting for a world title. I feel like I’m ready. I feel like he’s beatable, and my style is the one to do it.”

“He’s an aggressive guy who throws 100 punches a round. I feel like it’s just going to bring the best out of me to do my job as well as I can.

“I feel like you’re going to see a bigger and better Ruben Villa this Friday.”

“Running with the mask on, seeing the field workers working during the pandemic and fires, it’s just another motivation for me to win this fight and bring Salinas its first world title. I just can’t wait to show you guys what I got.”

“I want to see the best Ruben Villa. I haven’t even seen him yet. I feel like Navarrete will bring it out of me. I’m just excited to perform and, like I said, show you guys what I got. I feel like I’ve been slept on. Maybe a lot of people think I don’t belong here, but I’m going to show everyone I’m an elite 126 fighter. Yeah, I’m coming to win and coming to fight.”

Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank


Undefeated World Ranked Contender Ruben Villa IV Battles Emanuel Navarrete for the Vacant WBO Featherweight World Title October 9 Live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes From the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas

SALINAS, CA (October 6, 2020) – The highly anticipated world title fight between Ruben Villa IV (18-0, 5KOs), who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions, and Emanuel Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs) will happen this Friday, October 9th, 2020 on ESPN with the vacant WBO featherweight world title on the line.

The fight is being promoted by Top Rank, in association with Thompson Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions, taking place at “The Bubble” inside the MGM Grand Conference Center, televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (10 PM ET / 7 PM PT).

Prior to being in the professional ranks, Villa was largely considered as one of the greatest amateurs in recent years in USA Boxing. He is now looking to make a childhood dream come true by bringing a world title back to his hometown of Salinas, California.

Here is what Villa had to say about his upcoming fight world title fight.

On his recent training camp
“This camp has been the best camp of my life. I turned off all social media, I took a ‘Mamba Mentality’, and focused strictly on training. I’ve had great sparring partners preparing for this fight like Manny Jaimes, Javier Padilla, Andy Vences and Xavier Martinez, and they all gave me tough rounds, and I am ready for whatever Navarrete will bring, whether it is boxing or pressure.

On his matchup with Emanuel Navarrete
“Navarrete is a good fighter, but I will be honest, I feel largely disrespected coming into this fight. I am a southpaw who is the bigger man, and had a better amateur career, but am being viewed as an underdog. I have a chip on my shoulder, and though I respect Navarrete’s skills, I am looking to prove a point.”

On bringing a world title back to Salinas, California.
“I love my hometown of Salinas, California, and I want to bring home a world title to all the fans here that have supported me over the years. I have told my trainers Max Garcia and Sam Garcia that this has been a childhood dream of mine since I first laced up a pair of gloves. We’re working as a team to accomplish this goal.”

On what people expect when he steps in the ring.
“People will see someone who started boxing at a young age, show his skills and poise in accomplishing a childhood dream. I have been very focused, I am giving this my all, and I am ready. Everyone should tune in Friday, October 9th, on ESPN, because this will be a great fight for the fans.”

Photo from Brett Ostrowski

PHILADELPHIA, PA/ / ORANGE, CA. (Sept. 21, 2020) – On Friday night, October 9th, undefeated WBO number-two ranked featherweight contender Ruben Villa (18-0, 5 KOs) gets his much-deserved world title shot when he takes on former WBO super bantamweight world champion, and WBO number-one ranked contender, Emanuel Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs), in a battle for the WBO World Featherweight title.

Navarrete is undefeated in the last eight-years, which spans 27 fights.

The fight will take place at “The Bubble” inside the MGM Grand Conference Center, and will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

“I have been working my butt off since I was a little kid for this opportunity, and I just can’t wait to get in there and fight for the title,” said Villa, who is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing. “Navarrete is a real aggressive Mexican fighter. He is coming to win. He was a former champion, and I am the underdog, but I have the style to beat him. We have kept the camp the same. We just treat it like it’s every other fight, just that this fight is for a world title. All my hard work is paying off. I am honored and excited to represent everyone who has supported me and my journey to become a world champion, and I plan on bringing the world title back to my home city of Salinas, California.”

“This is what we envisioned for Ruben when we signed him out of the amateurs, to be fighting for a world title,” said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions. “That opportunity has now arrived, and we expect Ruben to put on a great performance on October 9th and win the WBO Featherweight World Title. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Stephen Espinoza and Gordon Hall of Showtime for all their help with the development of Ruben’s career, by showcasing him on ShoBox that has helped get him ready for this fight.”

“Ruben Villa is a terrific fighter and has the ability to make his dream to become a world champion a reality. The hard work that Banner Promotions and us at Thompson Boxing have put on his career will surely pay off,” said Ken Thompson, CEO of Thompson Boxing. “Navarrete is a terrific champion and it will be a huge challenge for our fighter, but I’m sure Ruben will rise up to the occasion and make us all proud.”

Photo By Emily Harney / Banner Promotions

LAS VEGAS (September 8, 2020) — Four belts, one champion. A universally recognized lightweight king will be crowned Saturday, Oct. 17, live on ESPN from MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Unified WBO Lightweight Champion Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound “Boxing Baryshnikov” from Ukraine, will fight unbeaten IBF world champion Teofimo Lopez, the knockout artist from Brooklyn who has lobbed verbal haymakers at Lomachenko for more than two years. The two will fight from the MGM Grand Conference Center aka the “Las Vegas Bubble.”

Promoted by Top Rank, Lomachenko-Lopez (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET) headlines a can’t-miss month of boxing on the ESPN family of networks, which also includes the long-awaited return of Japanese pound-for-pound superstar Naoya “Monster” Inoue, who will defend his WBA and IBF bantamweight world titles on Halloween evening, Saturday, Oct. 31, against Australian contender Jason “Mayhem” Moloney.

“Lomachenko-Lopez is the best fight that can be made in boxing, and we are delighted that it will be available to fans for no extra charge live on ESPN,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Teofimo and Vasiliy demanded the fight, and we are glad we could make it happen. Vasiliy has never backed down from a challenge since he turned pro under the Top Rank banner, and Teofimo is a fearless young champion daring to be great. This has all the makings of a modern boxing classic.”

Lomachenko said, “Teofimo Lopez can talk all he wants. He’s very good at talking. He has done nothing but say my name for the past two years. I am a fighter, and my goal is to win another world title. Good for Teofimo. When we fight in Las Vegas, he will eat my punches and his words. I will be the better man, and four world titles will come home with me to Ukraine.”

Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager, stated, “Nobody has seen Lomachenko at 100 percent inside the ring. If Teofimo can push Loma to at least 80 percent, it means Teofimo is the best opponent Loma has faced.”

Lopez said, “I will beat up Lomachenko and take his belts. Simple as that. I’m coming to Las Vegas to make history. I don’t like the guy, and I’m going to have fun as Lomachenko’s face is beaten and marked up by my hands. The Takeover is here, and the reign of Lomachenko, the little diva, is coming to an end.”

Added Matt Kenny, Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions, ESPN: “Boxing has long been part of the fabric of our company and we could not be more excited for the October schedule on ESPN platforms, which includes the highly anticipated lightweight title bout between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez on October 17. Top Rank was one of the very first organizations to safely stage live events during the pandemic and as the calendar turns to fall, ESPN will be home to fights that will excite boxing enthusiasts and capture the attention of casual fans.”

Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) enters this bout coming off a scintillating decision win over British star Luke Campbell last August in front of a sold-out O2 Arena in London. A two-time Olympic gold medalist who went 396-1 in the amateur ranks, Lomachenko tied a boxing record by winning a world title in his third pro fight. He is a former featherweight and junior lightweight world champion who won the lightweight crown in May 2018 with a body shot knockout over Jorge Linares. In seven years as a pro, Lomachenko is 13-1 with 9 knockouts in world title fights and is ranked by many pundits as this generation’s most accomplished pugilist. From 2016-2017, he made four consecutive fighters quit on their stools, earning him the “No-Mas-chenko” moniker.

Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs), the brash Brooklynite who initially gained attention because of his post-fight “Fortnite” dances and backflip celebrations, soon emerged as boxing’s most charismatic young superstar following his 2016 pro debut. He was the consensus 2018 Prospect of the Year, a campaign punctuated by a one-punch, first-round knockout over Mason Menard on the Lomachenko-Jose Pedraza undercard. Following the Menard knockout, he donned the jersey of Kyler Murray, who’d won the Heisman Trophy earlier that evening. Lopez climbed the rankings in 2019 with wins over Diego Magdaleno, Edis Tatli and Masayoshi Nakatani.

Last December, Lopez knocked out Richard Commey in two rounds to win the IBF world title. Sitting ringside was Lomachenko, who entered the ring during the post-fight pandemonium. Arum waved him over to take a photo with the newly crowned champion. The stage had been set. #LomaLopez was going to happen.

The lightweight unification battle is only the tip of the Top Rank on ESPN boxing iceberg. Here’s what else is in store in October.

Friday, October 9
Emanuel Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs) vs. Ruben Villa (18-0, 5 KOs)
MGM Grand Las Vegas
12 Rounds, Vacant WBO Featherweight World Title
ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

After five defenses of his WBO junior featherweight world title, Navarrete is ready to conquer the featherweight division. The “Mexican Iron Man” and boxing’s most active world champion, Navarrete fought six world title bouts in just over 14 months (December 2018 to February 2020). He last fought a non-title bout against Uriel Lopez on June 20 in Mexico City, scoring a sixth-round TKO. The WBO No. 1 featherweight contender, Navarrete has won 27 consecutive bouts, including 14 of his last 15 by stoppage. Villa, from Salinas, Calif., has defeated contenders Alexei Collado, Jose Enrique Vivas and Luis Alberto Lopez in his last three bouts to earn the world title shot.

Friday, October 23
Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) vs. Adam Deines (19-1-1, 10 KOs)
12 Rounds, Beterbiev’s WBC/IBF Light Heavyweight World Titles
ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT
Undercard: ESPN+, 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT

In the ESPN-televised co-feature, a WBO light heavyweight world title eliminator, No. 1-ranked contender Umar Salamov will face No. 2-ranked contender Maxim Vlasov, with the winner expected to fight Joe Smith Jr. for the vacant world title. Both Salamov and Vlasov recently signed promotional contracts with Top Rank.

Photos by M. Williams / Top Rank

WBO titlists included in ESPN’s rising stars list:

Former WBO Featherweight World Champion Shakur “Newark” Stevenson, former WBO Jr. Middleweight World Champion Jaime Munguia, current WBO Mini-Flyweight World Champion Wilfredo ‘Bimbito’ Méndez, current WBO Jr. Flyweight Champion Elwin Soto are included in ESPN’s Top 25 under 25, where the sports network lists the rising stars of Boxing.

Also included are former WBO/NABO Lightweight Champion Ryan Garcia, former WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight Champion Devin Haney, WBO International Featherweight Champion Rubén Villa, WBO International Heavyweight Champion Daniel Dubois, WBO Middleweight ranked #12 Edgar Berlanga, WBO Jr. Lightweight ranked #13 Lamont Roach,Jr, WBO Flyweight ranked #3 Junto Nakatani.

More on:

WBO president Frabcisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel,Esq. revealed last Saturday night that if 122-pound champion Emanuel Navarrete moves up to 126, he’ll be #1 in the division and possibly challenge for the title right away.

In a stay busy fight last Saturday night, Navarrete stopped Uriel Lopez (13-14-1, 6 KOs) in the sixth round at the Gimnasio TV Azteca, in Mexico City. Navarrete toyed with Lopez for four rounds before turning on the heat and knocking him down in rounds five and six with body shots.

The reference mercifully stopped the slaughter after Lopez was put down for the second time in the fight in the sixth. The 25-year-old Navarrete put on a body punching clinic with his showcase fight against Lopez, and that made it an entertaining contest to watch.

Navarrete has an old school style of fighting that is interesting to watch, considering most fighters nowadays are strictly headhunters that ignore the body.

Navarrete Can Fight For WBO 126-Lb Title Right Away

Valcarcel says Navarrete (31-1, 27 KOs) can battle for the WBO featherweight belt IF the current champion Shakur Stevenson opts to move up in weight to 130, something he recently talked about last week. It’s not clear what the 22-year-old Stevenson will do, though.

Shakur wants to move up if he can get a fight against one of the top guys are 130, but the fighters that he wants to face are already busy. In that case, Stevenson could choose to remain at 126 if he can get a fight against someone like IBF champ Josh Warrington. It might not interest Stevenson to face 25-year-old Navarrete because he doesn’t have a title, and the match wouldn’t be as huge as it could be later.

“If @vaqueronavarre1 [Emanuel Navarrete] decides to move up to 126 he will be #1 in that division, 3 possible opponents, [Michael] Conlan, Ruben Vila and [Jessie] Magdaleno if @ShakurStevenson
move up,” said WBO president PacoValcarcel on his Twitter.

These are the fighters WBO president Paco Valcarcel says Navarrete can face potentially for the vacant WBO 126-pound title:

Michael Conlan
Ruben Villa
Jessie Magdaleno

2016 Olympian Michael Conlan (13-0, 7 KOs) is the #1 ranked contender with the World Boxing Organization at 126. The 28-year-old Conlan will be the guy in the spotlight if Navarrete moves up to 126. However, it’s believed that Conlan will pass on the fight.

More on

Writer: Jeff Aronow

The undefeated WBO International Featherweight Champion Ruben Villa put on a boxing clinic in a dominating unanimous decision win over Alexei Collado. The judges scored the fight 99-91 and 98-92 twice in the main event Friday night from George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, La.

The 22-year-old Salinas, Calif., native Villa (18-0, 5 KOs), who entered the ring paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant by wearing his No. 8 Lakers jersey into the ring, called his performance “solid” against a “tough and aggressive fighter.” “He was challenging throughout the fight,” said Villa. “I feel like I put on a good show.

He was a big knockout puncher and he’s no pushover. He brought out the best in me.” Villa, who was the was also the 2014 and 2016 National Golden Gloves Champion, is currently ranked No. 5 at 126 pounds by the WBO and No. 13 by the WBC. He said after the fight he’s ready for the best his division has to offer.

The 31-year-old Cuban Collado (26-3, 23 KOs) who lives in Miami, lost for the first time in seven bouts. “It was a good fight,” said Collado, who won the 2006 Junior World Title in the flyweight division. “We both brought everything. We put on a good show for the fans. He moves a lot and he’s a smart fighter. I feel like when I threw a lot I hit him but I wasn’t active enough.” Villa said he stayed disciplined training during the holidays.

“Now I’m going to take a few weeks off and then get right back in the gym,” he said. In the co-featured bout, undefeated Ukrainian and 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Taras Shelestyuk (18-0, 10 KOs) recorded a dominating unanimous decision victory against Argentina’s Luis Alberto Veron (18-2-2, 9 KOs).

The judges scored the 10-round welterweight fight 97-93 and 98-92 twice. Shelestyuk, who overcame a bad fifth-round cut on his forehead, had boxed just 10 rounds in the last three years.

“It was a good fight,” Shelestyuk said. “I hit him with some good shots, and controlled the fight. I have been out since March, and I feel that I performed well. I am happy to be back on television. “The cut didn’t bother me. This is professional boxing, and these things happen. I want to be back in May or June. If I come back in the next several months, I want to fight a big name – guys like Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia.”


📷 @kytemonroe for #TBP

Undefeated featherweight prospect Ruben Villa will make his fourth ShoBox: The New Generation appearance in just over a year as the former two-time Junior Olympic National Champion takes on hard-hitting Alexei Collado in a 10-round main event for Villa’s WBO International belt on Friday, January 31 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, La.

The event is promoted by Banner Promotions, Thompson Boxing and Bishop Promotions LLC. Tickets can be purchased at and prices are $20-$100.

The 22-year-old Salinas, Calif., native Villa (17-0, 5 KOs) was also the 2014 and 2016 National Golden Gloves Champion and is currently ranked No. 5 at 126 pounds by the WBO and No. 13 by the WBC. Villa was a 2016 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, and had an impressive amateur record of 166-17 with wins against Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson, and Gary Antonio Russell.

The southpaw Villa has looked impressive in each of his three previous ShoBox appearances, including his debut last January when he outclassed then-unbeaten Ruben Cervera. In May, Villa stepped up to 10-round status for the first time and won a unanimous decision against Luis Alberto Lopez and in September, Villa scored a second-round knockdown against Enrique Vivas en route to a comfortable shutout unanimous decision.

“I know my opponent has a good record at 26-2 and he has heavy hands, but he is wild,” Villa said. “I feel that I am close to a title eliminator by the middle or at the very latest at the end of 2020. ShoBox has helped me with my recognition and showcasing my talent. I am just thankful to be headlining once again on ShoBox. I know I’m close to making that next step up to contender so I have to look impressive on January 31.”

In Collado (26-2, 23 KOs), Villa will face a tough, 31-year-old Cuban currently living and training in Miami. Collado is on a seven-bout winning streak with six KOs and was active in 2019 winning four times, including his last victory via first-round KO against Facundo Eduardo Ased four days before Christmas. Collado won the 2006 Junior World Title in the flyweight division.

“I participated on a ShoBox event in the past and I couldn’t close the show,” said Collado, who made his ShoBox debut in April of 2014 in a 10-round lightweight unanimous decision loss to Rod Salka. “This time the story will be different and I am more than ready for Ruben Villa. Ruben is a young talented boxer but he will not be able to do with me what he was able to do to other guys. I’m far more experienced, much stronger and way smarter than all the guys put together that he has faced so far. This is an opportunity that I will not take for granted, Villa better be ready to get shocked.”

Four months ago, Salinas native and Everett Alvarez alum Ruben Villa added another title to his name: World Boxing Organization (WBO) International Featherweight champion.

This Friday, he’ll have to do something new: defend his title.

“It’s more personal because winning a title isn’t as hard as keeping a title,” Villa said Wednesday. “I plan on defending my title, it means a lot to me. It gives me more motivation to win this fight and I plan to take this home with me.”

Villa’s challenger on Friday — Texcoco, Mexico native Jose Enrique Durantes Vivas — is the second undefeated opponent he’s faced this year.

Vivas (17-0, 9 KOs) is known for his aggressive style from a background in martial arts and kickboxing. He went 93-7 as an amateur and won national, regional and state championships in Mexico.

Nicknamed the “El Ejecutor” (The Executioner), he’ll be fighting for just the second time on U.S. soil when he steps into ring Friday night.

“I am very happy I got this opportunity,” Vivas said in a release from Thompson Boxing Promotions. “Villa is a very strong southpaw with a lot of experience. He is one of the best featherweights out there. I’m up for the challenge.”

Vivas and Villa are familiar, having sparred earlier this year during training for different fights.

“I know he’s aggressive,” Villa said. “I know what he’s like, I just have to be smart and be safe out there.”

Friday’s fight marks another time that Villa will be featured on ShoBox: The New Generation program on Showtime, something that’s increased his visibility.

“I’m getting recognized outside of Salinas now,” Villa said. “It’s a good thing (being on ShoBox). I know Showtime doesn’t put just anyone on there so I take it seriously.”

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the La Hacienda Event Center in Midland, Texas. ShoBox: The New Generation airs starting at 7:30 p.m. again on Showtime and check out for viewing options.

Via Ayrton Ostly, Salinas Californian

#California Congrats to the new WBO International Featherweight Champion Ruben Villa (16-0, 5 KOs), who defeated former WBO International Champion Luis Alberto Lopez (17-2, 8 KOs) by unanimous decision at the Omega Products Events Center in Corona as the main event showdown on ShoBox: The New Generation. Scorecards: 96-94, 98-92, 97-93.

Villa has also held the WBO Youth Featherweight Title

Everett Alvarez alum Ruben Villa IV has many titles to his name.

Olympic Junior National Champion (2012-2013), National Golden Gloves Champion (2014-2015), second in the 2015 U.S. Olympic Trials and World Boxing Organization (WBO) Youth Featherweight Champion.

Now he has one more accolade: a day in his honor in his home county.

Monterey County Board of Supervisors held a special ceremony Tuesday morning to make July 24, 2018 “Ruben Villa Day” in Monterey County.

“You’re a champion from Salinas,” Supervisor Simon Salinas said. “That’s something for all of us to be very proud of.”

“When you’re training and you’re focused, it’s nice to know your community and your family is behind you,” Supervisor Luis Alejo said.

Salinas native Ruben Villa IV won his first WBO title April 14 with a unanimous decision against fellow Featherweight Marlon Olea at the Salinas Storm House.

It was a dream come true for the young world champion.

“Me, my team and my family were very excited, very blessed and happy to have today,” Villa said. “I know I saw a couple of (family members) cry.”

Villa first started boxing as a 5-year-old at Breadbox Recreation Center near Sanborn Park. It took three years for the future champion to start competing as an amateur but he held his own as at eight years old. By 13, he’d won three national boxing titles in winning the Desert Showdown, National PAL, and Silver Gloves tournaments.

Villa had a potential run to the 2016 Olympics but was named as an alternate. He soon after turned professional and signed with Thompson Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions in July 2016.

He burst on to the scene quickly in winning four of his first six fights by knockout. He’s yet to lose in the two years he’s been a professional. His most recent fight, June 30 against Ricardo Lopez, was a knockout win in his first defense of the WBO Youth Featherweight Title he won April 14 in Salinas.

“I was proud to be just a few seats away to watch it live,” Alejo said.

No matter where he goes, Salinas goes with him; the seal of the city is on his shorts when he fights.

And now he has a day in his honor.

Villa will train in Salinas for his next fight on Aug. 25 when he looks to continue his title defense and remain undefeated.

Orange, California – Thompson Boxing Promotions takes its popular Southern California boxing series to the northern reaches of the state for the second time in as many years when it promotes “New Blood,” this Saturday, June 30, from Omega Products International in Sacramento.

Unbeaten featherweight standout Ruben Villa (11-0, 4 KOs) of Salinas, Calif stars in the main event.

Villa, 21, will face Mexico’s Ricardo Lopez (7-2-2, 6 KOs) in an 8-round fight that will mark his third start of the year. The slick southpaw defends his WBO Youth title that he won in April in his hometown. Villa thoroughly outpointed Marlon Olea for his first championship as a professional.

“I’m anxious to get back in the ring,” said Villa, who is managed by Danny Zamora. “I like being active. I’m defending my title for the first time. I’ll have a lot of fans in attendance so I’m ready to put on a great show.”

Villa is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions.

Tickets for “New Blood” are priced at $40, $60, & $100, and are available for purchase by calling 714-935-0900, or online at

All fights will be live streamed on TB Presents: New Blood via our Facebook page and

The livestream starts at 7:45 p.m. PT / 10:45 p.m. ET with Beto Duran as the blow-by-blow announcer and Steve Kim providing expert, color commentary.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. local time with the first bout at approximately 7:45 p.m. Omega Products is located at 8111 Fruitridge Road, Sacramento, CA 95826, and can be reached at 916-635-3335.

“New Blood” is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Everlast.

For more information, please visit To follow the conversation on social media, please use #NewBlood, #TBPresents, and #ThompsonBoxing.

For regular updates on our fighters, events, and promotions, please check our Facebook Page, watch our YouTube channel on Thompson Boxing TV, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @ThompsonBoxing.