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Lester Martinez to face Juan Abraham Villegas on May 5 in Las Vegas

Photo courtesy of Tapology
20
Apr

Lester Martinez will square off against Juan Abraham Villegas on May 5, Reid Boxing announced Wednesday afternoon. The 10-round bout will take place at the Sahara Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The clash between the unbeaten super middleweight prospects will not be televised and will take place two days prior to Ring Magazine super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez’s challenge of WBA light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol, which will take place across town at the T-Mobile Arena. 

Martinez (11-0, 10 knockouts), who resides in Guatemala City, Guatemala, last fought on March 24, knocking out late-sub Jaime Hernandez Lopez after the fourth round. The win over Hernandez took place over five months after Martinez was taken the distance for the first time in his pro career, defeating Raiko Santana by unanimous decision.

The 26-year-old made his pro debut in April 2019, knocking out former world junior middleweight and welterweight titleholder Ricardo Mayorga. 

Villegas (17-0, 13 KOs) stopped journeyman Roberto Valdez in his last bout on July 16. His previous fight took place on February 13 of last year, stopping Javier Carrera Tinajero in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, not far from his hometown of Mexicali.

The 28-year-old has stopped 10 of his last 11 opponents. 

The co-feature fight will feature another clash of unbeaten fighters. Light heavyweight Robin Sirwan Safar, who is originally from Huddinge, Sweden, will face Christian Thomas (11-0, 9 KOs) in an eight-round bout. Both fighters currently reside in Las Vegas.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Sirwan Safar fought four times in 2021, with his last fight taking place on November 24, stopping Chris Chatman in the sixth round.

Fringe lightweight contender Abel Mendoza (32-0, 25 KOs) of El Paso, Texas will square off against Mexico’s Ricardo Proano (11-4, 9 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

The Reid Boxing card will feature several fighters who reside in the Las Vegas area.

Britton Norwood (10-4-1, 7 KOs) will face unbeaten Juan Higuera in a six-round light heavyweight bout. Higuera (4-0, 3 KOs) is originally from Tijuana, Mexico and currently resides in Provo, Utah.

Welterweight Jeremy Nichols (9-2-1, 3 KOs) will square off against Detroit’s Joseph Bonas (7-1, 6 KOs) in a six-round bout.

In a clash of unbeaten heavyweights, Deon Savage (3-0 1 NC, 3 KOs), who is originally from Flint, Michigan and now resides in Las Vegas, will face Antonio Zepeda (3-0, 3 KOs) of nearby Henderson in a six-round 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 at FSalazarBoxing

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