Ruben Villa vs. Luis Alberto Lopez – official weights
Undefeated featherweight prospect Ruben Villa and once-beaten and top-15 ranked contender Luis Alberto Lopez both made weight a day before their main event showdown on ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, May 10 live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) from Omega Products Events Center in Corona, Calif.
(Photo credit: Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME)
The 22-year-old Villa (15-0, 5 KOs) returns in a 10-round bout for his second consecutive test on the prospect developmental series after dispatching then-unbeaten Ruben Cervera in the first ShoBox telecast of 2019. The two-time National Golden Gloves Amateur Champion and highly touted prospect will take on the Mexican Lopez (17-1, 8 KOs), who is coming off an upset victory over Ray Ximenez in his U.S. debut in February.
In the co-feature, fast-rising 21-year-old Texan Michael Dutchover (12-0, 9 KOs) will take on late replacement Rosekie Cristobal (15-3, 11 KOs) of the Philippines in an eight-round super lightweight contest. In the opening bout of the tripleheader, undefeated bantamweight prospect Saul Sanchez (11-0, 6 KOs) battles Mexican Brandon Benitez (14-1, 6 KOs) in an 10-round bout.
Friday’s ShoBox telecast immediately follows the premiere of ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing, are priced at $125, $75 and $60 and can be purchased online at www.thompsonboxing.com or by calling 714-935-0900.
FINAL WEIGHTS, REFEREES AND JUDGES
Featherweight 10-Round Bout
Ruben Villa – 125 lbs.
Luis Alberto Lopez – 125 ½ lbs.
Referee: Thomas Taylor; Judges: Dr. Lou Moret, Max DeLuca, Fernando Villarreal
Super Lightweight 8-Round Bout
Michael Dutchover – 138 lbs.
Rosekie Cristobal – 137 ¾ lbs.
(Contracted weight is 138 pounds)
Referee: Zachary Young; Judges: Carla Caiz, Max DeLuca, Dr. Lou Moret
Bantamweight 10-Round Bout
Saul Sanchez – 118 lbs.
Brandon Benitez – 117 lbs.
Referee: Raul Caiz Jr.; Judges: Dr. Lou Moret, Max DeLuca, Rudy Barragan
Note: All refs and judges are from California
Here’s what the fighters had to say before they weighed in at the Doubletree Hilton in Ontario.
“I thought I had a decent performance in my fight against Ruben Cervera on ShoBox and it’s great to be out there again on TV and in my first main event.
“Boxing fans are starting to know my name. A lot of them don’t know I had wins over Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson and Gary Russell in the amateurs and have stayed active since turning pro. I’m ready for this and to can’t wait to be a main event fighter on ShoBox.
“I know I’m in one of boxing’s toughest divisions and I look up to all the top guys at 126 pounds. Shakur Stevenson and I have talked about fighting in the future, and it might just happen someday.”
“My training team of Max Garcia and Dean Familton have me ready and I’m more prepared for this fight than any I’ve ever been. I am confident that style is going to confuse my opponent.
“If I’m up 8-0 I’m not going to mail it in and just run around, but I won’t get careless either. The wins are important and we will get it however we can.
“This is going to be a step-up fight for me because Lopez is coming off a huge win and has a lot of confidence. I’ve gotten better in my last three training camps dictating the pace and going forward. I want to be a multi-dimensional fighter.
“I just turned 22 years old last month and I’m still developing. I know I’m known for putting on clinics and I know that inner beast is in me.
“I won’t give him a chance to take advantage of what will make him successful. I’m not a slow starter, but I’ll take my time to figure out what I need to do to get my opponent out of there.”
LUIS ALBERTO LOPEZ:
“I wasn’t supposed to win my last fight and it was in America so I’m coming in with a lot of confidence. I know now I can go outside of my country and my comfort zone. I believe in myself and know I can do it.
“I would call my opponent a good boxer without much power. We respect Villa’s record but he hasn’t fought anyone.
“My nickname is ‘venado’ which means deer in Spanish. I got it from my speed in soccer growing up.
“Most of my opponents have been too slow for me. I can move so I’m looking forward to being in there with someone with speed. I can change up strategies depending on what he shows.
“I was 19 years old when I started and had only 12 or 15 fights in the amateurs and turned pro after only one year. I have boxing in my blood and fought 2,000 fights on the street, and most of those I won.”
“You won’t believe how excited I am right now. This is my TV debut and I’m actually very calm and just ready to go.
“I’m not worried about the last-minute change in opponents. I know he’s a tall southpaw, but that doesn’t worry me. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.
“I’ve sparred with world champions and some other southpaws in the past like Jessie Magdaleno. We’ve done some mitt work from the left stance and we’ll be ready for whatever my opponent brings. I’m going to have to use my angles against a taller fighter.
“I believe my ring generalship and my ring IQ is going to win out over an inexperienced fighter.
“My older brother Junior Dutchover has always pushed me and always says, ‘Someday that is going to be you on TV.’ And here we are and it’s actually happening tomorrow night.
“I had a good amateur career and my progression as a pro is right where I want it to be. This is the biggest opportunity of my career and I need to take advantage of it.
“Ruben Villa and I are very close friends and we go way back in the amateurs. We went 1-1 and I was 13 or 14 at the time. I also fought Devin Haney also in the amateurs.”
“I took this fight on short notice because it was the biggest chance I’ve ever been given. I have been in the gym, working out at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. I have sparred with Ivan Baranchyk and other top guys. I’m ready to go.
“My style is aggressive and technical – it depends on my opponent. I just want to give a good performance.”
“This is my first time on national TV and I’m excited. I’m ready to give everyone a show. I’m a come forward fighter and exciting to watch.
“I haven’t fought since I broke my left pinky during round six of my last fight against Luis Saavedra in October. I didn’t have surgery and just put it in a splint. I felt a little pain when I first started hitting the bag.
“I’m quiet outside of the ring but once I get in the ring I let it fly. That’s why they call me ‘The Beast.’
“I’ve been mostly fighting in Venezuela so I know a lot of people may not know me. This is my opportunity to show my skills. I’m more of a skilled boxer but at the same time I can fight on the inside and be aggressive.
“I’m so happy to be here and appreciate the opportunity to fight. It really is a dream come true.
“I’ve studied my opponent a little bit and he looks like a strong fighter who likes to crash in the ring, and we look forward to that. But I want to box.”