“It’s the same everywhere I go, at home, in California, that’s why we sometimes go to New York. Fighters can’t handle my strength and power for longer than a week.”
You remain ranked at 147, but for this fight you are fighting for the NABF Super Welterweight Title. Is 154 your new home or can you still make 147?
“I can make 147 if a real opportunity comes my way, but my strength and power play well at 154, there are some opportunities that can come from picking up a prestigious belt like the NABF.”
I know that your concentration is on your opponent as it should be. But do you see anyone that your style matches up well with or that you believe is overhyped?
“Yes, a name that we like and is on our radar is….Jaime Munguia.”
Mike Alvarado 39-4 (27)
As a former WBO champion, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on why your not ranked in the top 10 boxing organizations, especially the WBO, an organization you held a title in.
“I mean, ya we were talking about that. When you’re on top everyone wants to be a part of it. It’s crazy, I guess that's the way the story is supposed to be written. My life and journey to the top was just as crazy as the lows. I’m blessed to be a this stage and I’m aiming for another Nebraska ko highlight reel.”
Mikaela Mayer 7-0 (4)
Will we see the first female to headline a Top Rank/Espn card?
“Of course, that’s the plan. Bob is very interested in me picking up a belt and defending it in my hometown.”
On a potential dream fight with Irish champion Katie Taylor:
“That fights needs time to build, but yes...I want it. She’s making a name for herself and so am I. That fight will be the fight talked about and it's a matter of time before tv executives demand it.”
Did the new opponent throw you off your game, style wise?
“No, I mean in the amateurs, this is how it always went. In tournaments, you never prepared for one guy, just because he was the favorite, didn’t mean that’s who your were going to end up fighting. The pros are no different. Vue got hurt, this guy stepped up to the plate. He’s respected in the game. Be ready at all times and ready for any style, that’s what we are about.”
He has been 12 rounds on multiple occasions. This is your first scheduled 10 round bout, any concerns?
“We train 12-15 rounds, styles make fights, I feel like I can adapt as the fight goes, the longer the better for me. The way I see it is...I now have 10 rounds to try and get him out of there.”
David Garcia (Manager for Jose Benavidez)
Regarding the bad blood, is it real or simply selling the fight?
“It is definitely real, I was there in Texas. A matter of fact, I’m the one that recorded the video. The thing is that most people think it’s about the video, it simply isn't. This goes back several years ago. Jose has never liked Crawford, not even in the amateurs. He feels like Crawford received special treatment and that his accomplishments were not even close to the level he was at. Jose was doing things at a young age too. After the Texas incident, Jose simply knows how to get to him. He can push his buttons at any time and Crawford will react.”
So are the tactics working or you believe they will work? So taking Crawford attributes away, such as his boxing skills, being slick, counter punching? Instead luring him into a dog fight?
“Yes and no, because Jose believes he can outbox him as well. In addition, he believes a lot of fighters simply were afraid of him before the bell even rang, that I promise you….won’t happen with Jose.”
“I can do anything and everything better than him, if he wants to run, I will find him. If he thinks he can trade with me than even better. But we all know what he’s going to do, he’s going to run just watch. That’s why I will take his fans from him, his city and his belt. I already took the Mexican fans from him, that’s a fact.”
Terence “Bud” Crawford
“I don’t know what it is, but he just continues to talk, all he is doing is looking stupid. Half the stuff he says doesn’t even make sense. Saying I had things easy, this and that. That’s all crazy talk and I’m going to make him pay for all the talking. He saying all that stuff because nobody’s ever shut him up….I will do it for them, just watch.”
“Nothing else to say. He’s going to fight the same damn way he always does. All the talk is over….and it’s time to go to work.”
Duarn “The Storm” Vue 14-1-2 (4), the #13 ranked featherweight by the WBA is out with an injury and new opponent Romanian, Viorel Simion 21-2 (9), steps in to face Shakur Stevenson 8-0 (4).
Simion vs Stevenson will be the co-main event on this Saturday night’s ESPN/Top Rank world championship card featuring 2018 ESPN fighter of the year, Terence “Bud” Crawford 33-0(24) vs WBA #1 ranked Welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr 27-0 (18) at the CHI Health Center located in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.
Simion, 36, amassed well over 300 amateur fights and represented Romania in the 2004 Olympics. The former IBF-Continental featherweight champion is coming off a unanimous decision loss to former world champion, Scott Quigg 34-2-2 (25), back in April of 2017. Another highlight in the battle tested career of Simion was when he went 12 full rounds with former world titleist, Lee Selby 26-2 (9), back in 2013.
Interesting note, in both losses to Quigg and Selby, one of the judges scorecards read 115-113. In other words, Simion is no slouch and as some have suggested maybe even more of a threat than Vue.
Stevenson, a 2016 US Olympic Silver Medalist, has been matched tough by Top Rank, especially at the mere age of 21. He already possesses uncanny reflexes and blitzing speed, but is starting to sit down on his punches as well. Shakur, a southpaw from Newark, NJ, has been up in Colorado Springs training alongside Crawford for several weeks and ESPN boxing analyst, and lead trainer/manager for Crawford, Brian “BoMac” McIntyre, stated “Shakur will be a world champion within a year or two, he’s ahead of the competition, the scary thing is he hasn’t even grew into his man strength yet.”
Stevenson would state “I’m excited to fight in Nebraska again. The first time I fought here (August 2017 in Lincoln) they gave me a warm welcome. Terence’s family gives me a lot of love and support every time I fought on one of his cards. I’m also excited to be the co-main event against a seasoned vet.”
Fellow Omaha undefeated native, Steven “So Cold” Nelson 11-0 (9), seeks win number 12, next Saturday night, October 13th on the undercard of Crawford vs Benavidez. Nelson is fresh of his 6th round TKO over Kansas City’s DeShon Webster 11-2 (6) back in June. The man known as “So Cold” took time off from his two a day training/workouts to speak with B&B’s, Bill Green.
BG: Hello, Steve. How was training camp and better yet how is your mindset heading into your ESPN+ streamed 8 round Light heavyweight showdown next week?
Nelson: Camp was honestly hard work but a blast. What can I say, I love my job. Camp is a way of life, just like my military experience, the bond is life changing. We push each other to the max. My mindset is to be victorious at all costs. I want to be known as someone who talks the talk and backs it up. I’m aiming for an explosive performance.
BG: Several fellow undefeated and battle test opponents were offered the fight but some things never change...they all turned it down for various reasons. The most common reason I get is “ Oh, I would need more time to face someone like Nelson.” Do you feel any frustration towards or lack motivation when the big step up fights don’t materialize?
Nelson: No, absolutely not. My time is coming and this is simply part of the business. Fighters are simply not available for several reasons, actually what’s frustrating is hearing everyone on social media “oh, he ducked this fighter or he’s scared” I respect the game and everyone in it, especially the fighters. If you don’t have a great team, management, funding or top promoter, it’s simply a tough go. Fighters have mouths to feed and have to pay them bills just like you do. I respect that grind. That being said, some don’t want nothing to do with me because I’m not in there to get paid over time, I like knockouts and I’m no nonsense, so that ultimately comes into play as well.
BG: Lets focus on your fight...before you don’t make it to your fight. Oh my bad, that was meant for a certain someone else lol. On a serious note, you have a tough task in facing Mexican veteran Oscar Riojas 17-10-1 (6). Riojas reminds me of fellow Omaha stablemate, Kevin Ventura, last opponent. He has simply a record that is deceiving. He is a crafty southpaw who has been in with 2 top Super middleweight contenders in Derrick Webster 28-1 (14) and Ronald Ellis 15-0-2 (10). He went the distance with both and as usual both prospects stated “ the dude is tough and very game, very underrated.” What are your thoughts regarding Riojas?
Nelson: We watched a little video on him, ya nothing flashy but rugged and tough just like you said. He is awkward as well. The way I look at it, at this level and stage, we don’t get paid for easy work. With the ESPN/TopRank deal in place, look at the cards, everyone is getting matched tough. To get more national exposure to boxing, fight fans want good fights. As the opening hype video goes….this is TOP RANK!!! Riojas is tough and no disrespect to those other names, but styles are different than mine. He hasn’t been in the ring with someone like me and I’m not just spitting words….I’m going to show him and back up my statement inside the ring.
BG: You obviously grew up, train and live in Omaha. Next to Bud, you receive the loudest applause on the undercards. Time after time, you state how much of a blessing it is to fight on Bud’s undercards. Most of the time you are fight number 1 or 2. Are you comfortable with those slots or do you crave more?
Nelson: Absolutely, hey I just heard Shakur’s opponent got hurt and they are worried about a replacement. Heck, I obviously can’t make 126 lol but what I can do is step up and take that Co-main event. With me you get a package deal, the outfit, charisma, and action that fight fans are seeking. It’s October, my favorite time of year, Halloween in near. I can and will provide the thrills and chills that everyone is looking for…..I promise you it will be So Cold!!!!!
Omaha native Steve “So Cold” Nelson (11-0, 9 KOs) will clash with the durable Oscar Riojas (17-10-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round light heavyweight bout. The bout will be will stream live in the United States at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ – the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer App; International segment in conjunction with ESPN. Promoted by Top Rank, tickets to this world championship event are on sale now.
The few remaining tickets can be purchased at the CHI Health Center Omaha box office or online here.
BG: Ismail Muwendo is coming off his first loss and first time being hurt and dropped in a fight, any worries facing a tough veteran such Andre Wilson?
BoMac: There’s no easy fights at this level, we are very familiar with Wilson, he’s crafty and has some pop to his punches but we believe in Ismail. He showed what kind of fighter he is in that defeat, he climbed off the canvas and honestly made the fight close despite the knockdowns. He will grow from that fight as a fighter, he will know he can get through moments like that. Corrections have been made and the kid put in the work, he’s ready to go.
BG: Recently, I’ve seen some organizations rank Steven Nelson in their top 10 at 175, he mentioned to me the other day about fighting at 168. When it’s time to make some noise where do you see it being at 168 or 175?
BoMac: Definitely 168, that’s why we have been fighting him at 172, and he has no problems making it. Steve just like Bud are gym rats, they don’t stay away from the gym, they practically live there.
BG: His opponent from Oscar Riojas, of Mexico, is known to be very durable and has been in with top rated Super middleweights Derrick Webster 28-1 and Ronald Ellis 15-0. He went the distance with both and has fought 10 and 12 rounds on several occasions. What are your thoughts on him and when will we see Nelson at 10 Rounds?
BoMac: Riojas, is extremely tough. He reminds me of the dude Ventura just fought. Comes forward takes a good shot, durable and hard to get out of there. I like the match a lot because those names you mentioned, Steve belongs in that group and his time is coming. We should see him in his first 10 round bout in 2019. I expect a big year for him as well.
BG: A few weeks ago, when we talked you said sparring was needed as Bud was simply busting up the crew quicker than expected. Is he simply getting stronger at this level and weight?
BoMac: Ya, we are good on the sparring, had to spend some money to bring in some more help. Ya, Bud gets stronger and more accurate each and every camp. He’s disciplined both in the ring and outside of it, he’s mature as an athlete and person. But, the thing he doesn’t get credit for is his boxing IQ. It’s simply off the charts.
BG: A lot of this Promotions has been about the bad blood coming in and we are seeing a lot more talking by both fighters, especially on social media. Would it be fair to say, when you stay quiet Bud will dominate you but coast to a decision win but if you make it personal you rarely see the final bell.
BoMac: I mean, we respect all our opponents and their teams, the talking was done and at the end of the day they now have to deal with Bud because of it. I don’t read too much into it, each fight and fighter has strengths and weaknesses. My job and us coaches job are to find a ways to exploit those. Bud is highly motivated to be the best in the division, so Benavidez saying this or that only adds fuel to the fire.
BG: Benavidez was a top amateur with a reported record of 120-5, been in camp with Pacquiao, and at 6’3 poses a stiff challenge. Is quite possibly the best opponent on paper that Bud will face on Oct 13?
BoMac: We shall see. He’s tough, we have seen him plenty of times. He has a good reputation among the boxing world. He’s determined and accepted the challenge when others wouldn’t. He’s with Top Rank and has been with them, they don’t just sign anybody. We respect his skills but I’m going to say this cause I’m saving the good stuff for next week lol. You can’t prepare for anybody like Terence Crawford and if you do he will adapt in the middle of the fight and figure you out anyways. Can the same be said for Benavidez?
Mikaela Mayer (7-0, 4 KOs) will take on fellow unbeaten Vanessa Bradford (4-0-2, 0 KOs) in an eight-rounder for the vacant NABF super featherweight title. Mayer is coming off a third-round stoppage on Aug. 25 against former world title challenger Edina Kiss.
Carlos “El Caballo Bronco” Adames (14-0, 11 KOs) will face Josh “Young Gun” Conley (14-2-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the vacant NABF super welterweight title. Adames last fought as the ESPN co-feature May 12 on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares card, winning a unanimous decision against Alejandro Barrera.
Former 140-pound world champion Mike Alvarado (39-4, 27 KOs) will look to make it six wins in a row when he faces Robbie Cannon (16-13-3, 7 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight fight.
Omaha native Steve “So Cold” Nelson (11-0, 9 KOs) will clash with the durable Oscar Riojas (17-10-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round light heavyweight bout.
Ismail “Sharp Shooter” Muwendo (19-1, 12 KOs) will look to rebound from his first career defeat against Andre Wilson (15-11-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-rounder at lightweight.
Welterweight prospect Keeshawn Williams (3-0-1, 1 KO) will fight Ramel Snegur (2-2-1, 1 KO) in a four-rounder.
Seattle native and amateur standout Jose Valenzuela will make his pro debut in a four-round super featherweight bout.
ESPN will televise the Headlining bout featuring Shakur Stevenson vs Duarn “The Storm” Vue and the Main Event, Terence “Bud” Crawford vs Jose Benavidez Jr.
On September 1st, 2018 Omaha’s own Kevin “Badass” Ventura 9-0 (8) will make his much anticipated Golden Boy Promotions debut. Dating back to last December, Midwest fight fans have craved for the moment that Ventura would hit the road and test his skills in places such as this Saturday night’s luxurious venue, the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Ventura is fresh off his going away party and crowd pleasing knockout over Missouri’s Donnie Reeves back in July. Manager/trainer and co-promoter (B&B Boxing Promotions), Brian “BoMac”McIntyre, stated “We were working on a few dates but the funny thing about boxing is sometimes being patient is the key. We are now fighting on Sept 1st., which just so happens to be on the card of the guy we are chasing (Ryan Garcia) and the debut of Facebook Watch and GBP. That exposure should help tremendously with Kev’s fan base and overall appeal to fight fans.”
Ventura will finish up an already stellar fight camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his mentor, Terence “Bud” Crawford. As camp finishes up this week and Ventura heads for California on Thursday, I was able to catch up with him and get his thoughts on what hopes to be not only a golden opportunity but also a golden performance.
BG: Hello KV, how is camp shaping up?
Ventura: Camp is going real smooth, we are just staying sharp, the hard work was already put in. I feel really strong and confident heading into Saturday.
BG: Bo stated that this week is just about putting the final touches in place and that you have a message to send to the California fans. What kind of message would you in fact like to deliver on Saturday night?
Ventura: Simple….I want to show them that I’m the real deal.
BG: Being on the first of many Facebook watch live streaming events is historic, what does it mean to you, especially with it being your Golden Boy Promotions debut and all?
Ventura: I’m blessed to have this opportunity, and now being with the best promotional company in boxing it makes all the sacrifices in both life and in boxing worth it for sure. I can’t wait for that bell to ring.
BG: Your opponent is Gabriel Rodriguez 4-1, El Paso, Texas, just upset a 9-3-4 fighter in his last bout and went the distance with fellow undefeated prospect Isidro Ochoa in a fight he has told me many times that he believed he won. He has never been down or stopped and believes he has what it takes to take your 0. What are your thoughts regarding your opponent?
Ventura: Everyone believes they are tough, and I’m sure he truthfully is, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. But his record, his wins, his best performances, they are simply not against me. Everyone, including him, will see what I’m about come fight night.
BG: One thing that I have witnessed and told others along the way is, every time the stakes get higher “Kevin Ventura raises his game to another level.” How hard do you work to keep a reputation like that to stay in tact?
Ventura: My thoughts are always to just win and that’s all I concentrate and think about. He’s a tough fighter, I need to be and show him that I’m better than him...period. I don’t overlook anybody that steps in the ring with me. I’m sure he wants to win, I just feel like I want it more and we will of course adapt and have more than one way to make sure my hand is the one being raised.
BG: Anything in closing, that you would like to say to your legion of fight fans?
Ventura: Yes of course, I always like to thank all my sponsors and supporters that have been there since day one and that have joined along the way. To my family, I will honor and make you proud. To my fight fans make sure to watch the fight and make some noise! To the people that doubt me you are equally my motivation. I’m training with the best in the world. I don’t need to say much more than that. Thank you and god bless.
Kevin Ventura vs Gabriel Rodriguez 6 Rounds Lightweights Undercard of main event: Ryan “Kingry” Garcia vs Carlos Morales When: September 1st, 2018 Where: Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California Time: 5pm PT
How to watch: Facebook Watch...click here to follow the free Facebook channel where Kevin's Fight will be streaming.
Photo by Top Rank/Mikey Williams, Article By Bill Green
While the spotlight belongs to undefeated World Champion Terence “Bud”Crawford another gifted B&B and Top Ranked Promoted boxer plans on entertaining the Vegas crowd with his hands and better yet charisma come Saturday night.
The man they call “So Cold” aka Steve Nelson 10-0 with 8 knockouts, of Omaha, faces Kansas City’s DeShon Webster 10-1 (6) in a scheduled 6/8 round Light Heavyweight showdown on the undercard of Crawford vs Horn. ESPN+ app will deliver the action with the undercard bouts scheduled to kick off at 3:30 PM (PT). Expect Steve to fight between 6pm and 615pm CT (Omaha)
Nelson is coming off a crushing 2nd knockout win over “Magic” Mike Sawyer 8-10 (6) back on March 31st.
Webster took a short notice 4 round bout with Mengitstu Zarzar 6-3-1 (5) and picked up a split decision win in an extremely fan friendly bout in Sloan Iowa.
BG: How was camp with the champ?
Nelson: Unbelievable, this was the first full camp I have been involved in with the team. Normally it’s a few weeks here in there. Living full time in Omaha has allowed me to take my training to another level.
BG: Well there is no better way to put it, but your opponent and his promoter, Jon Carden of Combat Sports, are extremely confident heading into this bout. Webster stated “ I’ve never been down as a pro or an amateur, not even in the gym” Carden stated I hope Steve doesn’t think that he can just blow Webster away likes he’s used to with those other guys, cause that may backfire. Or wait, maybe I do hope he believes that.” So my question for you is….do you believe that you can be the first man to put Webster to the canvas?
Nelson: Hmmm, these guys have no idea what they are getting themselves into by somewhat daring me to chin check this dude. I mean to answer your question, yes if I hit him flush he’s either taking a nap or getting slumped. He says he’s different than my other opponents but he will find out that I’m night day better than anything else he’s seen.
BG: My conversation with Team Webster went on to focus on their only loss, Ali Akhmedov 11-0. Carden quickly stated “ Yea we lost a unanimous decision on paper, and if you were there ringside, you would have seen DeShon hurt him for about 8 seconds early in that fight and later we dropped him, but the referee incorrectly ruled it a slip.” Webster went on to say “ Nelson is solid but he’s no Akhmedov, we belong at this level and now I aim on proving it on Saturday.”
Nelson: These guys are hilarious. I mean they are just adding fuel to the fire. It’s funny that the one fight that they continue to talk about is a fight they lost. So which is it, you want to win or are you saying that you can go there distance with me lol. Sometimes people get nervous before a big fight, sounds like that is what it is to me. That’s all nervous talk. It’s just noise. But since we are here to hype the fight, ask his manger if he did his homework? I beat the dude that beat him already.
BG: Are you saying, that you already beat Ali Akhmedov?
Nelson: Yea man I whooped his ass in the Ammys when I won ringside. Like I said they are just sounding off.
BG: At 10-1, previously going 10 and 8 rounds, and being the taller bigger man with a big reach advantage...is there anything you do respect about Webster?
Nelson: I respect him and his team. The sport we are in we should always respect one another. He’s 10-1 and from what I watched he’s durable, has a good jab plus has a nice right cross. But he’s basic to me and basic won’t be enough on June 9th. We can be friends or whatever after but come fight night and when that bell rings...respect is thrown out the window.
BG: He believes he’s going to win, you believe you are dominating, you both are from the Midwest, you both have 10 wins. I guess the only thing left to ask you is…..What will he wear tho?????
Nelson: BG I know you remember the last time in Vegas. I heard similar things. Oh he’s a big puncher and so on. That fight earned me a KO of the Year nominee. But getting back to your question… it’s Vegas, they want entertainment and my outfit is fire. What will he wear?? Come watch ringside or check out my fight in its entirety on ESPN+ app 5:30PM. To get some hints head over to my Facebook or Instagram.