Saturday, December 02, 2023  |


Callum Walsh-Ismael Villarreal weigh-in results, press conference comments

Callum Walsh and Ismael Villarreal made weight for their junior middleweight main event. Photo by Lina Baker / 360 Promotions
Fighters Network

After weeks of promotional appearances at various media and sporting events, high touted Irish prospect Callum Walsh is just hours away from making his New York City/Madison Square Garden debut against Ismael Villarreal.

The young junior middleweight up-and-comers headline a 360 Promotions card at The Theater inside the Mecca of Boxing on Thursday. Six of the seven scheduled bouts will be broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Walsh (8-0, 7 KOs), of Cork, Ireland, weighed the division limit of 154 pounds for his scheduled 10-round bout against Villarreal (13-1, 9 KOs), of the Bronx, N.Y., who weighed in at 153.4 at Wednesday’s weigh-in.

“Every fight is getting bigger and bigger,” Walsh told the media during a Wednesday afternoon press conference for UFC 295 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square (same location as the weigh-in a few hours later).

“I’m knocking people out and the opponents haven’t been giving me tough fights. So, the fights have to be bigger and better. This is going to be another test to see how good I am.

Callum Walsh has a very influential fan in UFC czar Dana White. Photo by Lina Baker / 360 Promotions

“Dana White only gets behind real fighters and that’s what I’m here to prove, that I’m a real fighter. I never turn down an opponent or a fight. I fight whoever they put in front of me and try to prove myself.

“I know Villarreal’s not going to want to lose here in his hometown. He’s young and he’s hungry for victory, he’s had one loss and that was controversial. But I’m ready to show New York that I’m here to stay. This has been my best camp. I feel very strong and very fit.

“There’s going to be a lot of Irish in the crowd tomorrow night and a lot of fans for Villarreal as well. I could see it 50/50 in the crowd, but the Irish will be loud.”

Villarreal, a NYC-area amateur standout who is coming off of a second-round stoppage of 19-2 John David Martinez on September 20, heads into the UFC Fight Pass main event with a lot of confidence.

“I’m clearly the underdog in the minds of many, but I’m here to showcase my skills and be victorious tomorrow night,” said Villarreal.

“I love all the publicity and media attention this fight has gotten.

“I can box and I can brawl and I’m prepared for both tomorrow night. Most people know me as a pressure fighter pushing the pace of the fight.”

“I can see why the hype is so big for him; strong, young Irish kid. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a split crowd tomorrow night, New York is a very diverse city.”

In the co-main event, junior welterweight prospect Cain Sandoval, (10-0, 10 KOs), of Sacramento, California, faces Brooklyn’s Wesley Ferrer (17-1-1, 8 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder. Sandoval weighed in at 140 pounds. Ferrer weighed 138.8.

Unbeaten prospect Cain Sandoval (left) looks to be in very tough against experienced Wesley Ferrer. Photo by Lina Baker / 360 Promotions

Light heavyweight prospect Umar Dzambekov (7-0, 5 KOs), an L.A.-based Austrian amateur star, faces Brooklyn-based French amateur standout Frederic Julan (13-2, 10 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder. Dzambekov, who is fighting for the sixth time in 2023, weighed in at 175.8, as did Julan.

Welterweight fringe contender Gor Yeritsyan (16-0, 14 KOs), of Yerevan, Armenia, will battle Luis Alberto ‘Lucho’ Veron (20-7-2, 9 KOs), of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in a scheduled eight-rounder. Yeritsyan weighed in at 146.8; Veron at 145.4

New York City junior welterweight up-and-comer Brian Ceballo, (15-1, 7 KOs) faces Kenneth McNeil (13-4, 10 KOs), of Birmingham, Alabama, in a scheduled eight-rounder.

And opening the UFC Fight Pass broadcast, featherweight prospect Omar Trinidad (13-0-1, 9 KOs), of Los Angeles, clashes with Andrew Bentley (5-7, 1 KO), of Irvington, New Jersey, in another scheduled eight-rounder

Opening the Hollywood Fight Nights event in the junior lightweight division, popular Irish prospect Feargal McCrory (14-0, 7 KOs), of Coalisland, Ireland battles Nikolai Buzolin (9-6-1, 5 KOs) of New York City.


Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s or Doug’s IG Live most Sundays.