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Ruben Villa to return to action versus Horacio Garcia on April 15

Ruben Villa. (Photo by Brett Ostrowski)
Fighters Network

Former WBO featherweight title challenger Ruben Villa will face Horacio Garcia on April 15, Thompson Boxing Promotions announced Wednesday afternoon.

The 10-round bout will take place at Doubletree Hotel, in Ontario, California, and will stream live on Thompson Boxing’s YouTube and Facebook pages (11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT).

Villa (18-1, 5 knockouts), who resides in Salinas, California, suffered the first loss of his pro career in his most recent bout in October 2020, dropping a unanimous decision to WBO titleholder Emanuel Navarrete. Despite getting knocked down twice early in the fight, the southpaw Villa had his moments and was in the fight until the final bell sounded.

The former amateur standout has appeared on a handful of “ShoBox” telecasts, including a 10-round unanimous decision over Alexei Collado in January 2020.

Despite the setback to Navarrete, Villa learned from the defeat and believes it made him a more well-rounded fighter. He knows Garcia will be a difficult challenge but is confident he’ll get the job done and come out victorious on April 15.

“I have fallen in love with the sport of boxing once again,” said Villa, who is co-promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. “The year or so I was out, I focused on all the things I needed to improve on. I have always said I want to bring a world title fight to Salinas and that is still the goal. So this is just the start of a new beginning and a better version of myself. The road to redemption starts on April 15 against a worthy opponent in Garcia.”

Garcia (35-5-1, 25 KOs), who resides in Guadalajara, Mexico, defeated Isaac Zarate in his most recent bout, on February 18, by majority decision. It was his first fight since September 2018, when he lost a split decision to Zarate.

The 31-year-old has split his last six bouts and has notable losses to Carl Frampton in November 2017 and Joseph “JoJo” Diaz in December 2016.

In the co-feature, junior middleweight prospect Richard Brewart Jr. (10-0, 4 KOs), of nearby Rancho Cucamonga, will face gatekeeper Walter Wright (17-8, 8 KOs) in a six-round bout.

Esteban Munoz (5-1, 3 KOs), of nearby San Bernardino, will face Oxnard’s Jessie Nares (2-1, 1 KO) in a six-round welterweight bout.



Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.