Sunday, July 14, 2024  |



Ruben Villa looks to prove Devin Haney isn’t the only top prospect to watch on ShoBox

Ruben Villa IV. Photo credit: Emily Harney
Fighters Network

Devin Haney is the rising star Friday’s ShoBox is centered around, but he isn’t the only prospect to watch on the show.

Ruben Villa is looking to carve his own path in his first national television appearance, a fight in the co-feature against Ruben Cervera.

The 21-year-old featherweight knows he doesn’t possess the kind of eye-catching power TV executives drool over. But he’s confident he can create some buzz another way.

“Being smart, being myself, having fun, and going out and boxing a little bit,” Villa (14-0, 5 knockouts) told The Ring. “I’m not known to have the power, but I can still knock someone out using the other abilities, using my speed, my angles, punching where he won’t see.

“I can’t wait to finally show what I can do. I want to show all the fans a little bit of everything. My footwork, my ring IQ, show them how slick and clean I can be. Hopefully I perform the way I want to and Showtime will call me back.”

Villa describes himself as a “soft-spoken, patient, humble guy.” He was born and raised in Salinas, California, a city 106 miles south of San Francisco. The 126-pound prospect is co-promoted by Artie Pellulo’s Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing, who have designs on him reaching contender status in the near future.

“This game, it goes by fast, I’m already on my 14th fight,” Villa said. “Just being busy and being active — that’s one of the reasons I signed with Thompson and Banner.

“I think the way I adapt to fighters, making them uncomfortable, and not letting them know what I’m doing, they’re always thinking about what I’m doing. It frustrates fighters. I think it’ll be a big advantage tomorrow night and for the rest of my career.”

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger