ORANGE, Calif.– For the third time in his young career, featherweight Ruben Villa (12-0, 5 KOs) faces a well experienced veteran looking to upend his hot start.
Villa, who turned 21 in April, headlines Thompson Boxing’s “Locked n’ Loaded” event against Jose Santos Gonzalez (23-6, 13 KOs) of Mexico this Friday night from Omega Products International in Corona, Calif.
Gonzalez is no stranger to big fights, having suffered defeats against current bantamweight world champion Zolani Tete, and unbeaten contender Duke Micah. The southpaw Villa, despite his young age, is more than ready to face this challenge.
“Even though I’m young, I saw a lot of styles in the amateurs and even now as a professional I spar with a lot of top quality boxers,” said Villa, who is a former back-to-back National Golden Gloves champion. “Gonzalez might have the big fight experience working for him, but I know how to beat him in a convincing way.”
Villa has certainly gotten off to an impressive start since hitting the paid ranks two years ago. In his seven fights that have gone the distance, Villa has lost only one round on a single scorecard. He boasts an excellent combination of size and speed, plus a defensive acumen far ahead of most prospects his age.
“I feel like my development as a complete boxer has taken a big jump this year,” said Villa, who is managed by Danny Zamora and co-promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. “I’m able to see things a lot faster and that opens up different angles and combinations.”
Villa, who resides in Salinas, Calif. and is trained by Max Garcia, will fight for the fourth time this year after earning six wins last year. He credits the consistent activity for his fast rising development.
“It’s real important for young fighters like myself to stay as active as possible in the early years,” Villa said. “High level sparring is great, but it doesn’t replicate the real thing. We have all this protective gear and we wear big gloves. It just feels different. That’s why I’m extremely thankful to my promoters for keeping me as active as I’ve been.”