Villa ready to shine on ShoBox, aims to land big fight

Unbeaten featherweight prospect Ruben Villa is ready to shine on the world's biggest stage.

The 22-year-old returns to the squared circle on Friday in his first fight of 2020 against hard-hitting Alexei Collado in a ShoBox-televised main event at Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana.

"Training camp went well. We did a six-week camp," Villa said. "I'm focused and ready for this fight."

Villa (17-0, 5 KO's) is a decorated amateur from Salinas, California, having accumulated a record of 166-17, which also included two victories over current 126-pound titlist Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KO's).

However, Stevenson got his revenge by beating Villa twice at the Olympic Trials, in December 2015, to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"If we can work out (a deal with Stevenson), that is a pretty big fight," Villa added. "I'm sure we'll meet again."

But Villa understandably wanted to keep the talk regarding Stevenson to a minimum, as he needs to focus on the challenge ahead of him.

"I'm just focused on Collado; he's a pretty heavy-handed guy, and he has a lot of knockouts."

But Villa is banking on being a step ahead of Collado when they collide in the ring.

"He's really strong and aggressive, but he's really wild though," he continued. "My footwork is going to get him off balance and I will capitalize from there."

In his knockout victories, Collado (26-2, 23 KO's), 31, a Cuba native fighting out of Miami, 20 of them have come within the first five rounds. Villa said he is not going to take any chances in the early rounds.

"I plan on boxing smart for the first couple rounds," Villa said. "I know he tends to get tired towards the middle rounds, and I am going to frustrate him. He won't be able to land a clean shot on me."

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