The stable of Thompson Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions received an infusion of top-tier talent today.
Ruben Villa, a heralded amateur from Salinas, Calif. with back-to-back National Golden Gloves Championships on his resume, signed an exclusive contract with the two, well-respected promotional companies.
"This is what you dream about as a kid," said Villa, who has been boxing since age five and amassed a stellar record of 166-17 as an amateur. "It's a big moment for me and my family. We've been waiting for this for a long time. I'm excited to start my professional career with Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions."
Arthur Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions stated, "We are very excited by the signing of Ruben. He has all the makings of a future star. I can see big things in his future, as he has great ability, a pro-style and the intangibles to be a great fighter for a long time. We are very familiar with Ruben's team, and we have a great relationship with his manager, Danny Zamora. We are eager to start Ruben on his journey to become a world champion."
"Whenever you have the chance to sign someone as talented and as gifted as Ruben Villa, you jump at that opportunity," said Ken Thompson, President of Thompson Boxing Promotions. "Villa comes to us from an accomplished amateur background. He has all the traits you look for in a prospect - tremendous skill set, positive attitude, and a love for the sport. He has an outstanding future ahead of him."
The 19-year-old Villa begins his professional career this Friday on Thompson Boxing's "Path to Glory" undercard against Gerardo Molina (1-1, 1 KO) of Mexico (4-rounds). Villa, a southpaw, will campaign in the featherweight division.
"I think fans will like my style of boxing," said Villa, who is trained and managed by Danny Zamora. "My boxing influences are a bit of Vasyl Lomachenko and Canelo Alavrez."
In preparation for his pro debut, Villa temporarily relocated to the Los Angeles area to take advantage of the superior sparring found in Southern California.
"You see so many different styles and it's very competitive," Villa said. "It feels great to compete against high level professionals and know that you belong. I can't wait for Friday night. I'm going to try my best to enjoy the moment."
Ruben Villa Amateur Background
2010 National Titles: Desert Showdown, National PAL, Silver Gloves
2012 & 2013 Junior Olympic National Champion
2014 & 2015 National Golden Gloves Champion (123 lbs.)
2015 U.S. Olympic Trials (2nd place)
166-17 Amateur Record
In the "Path to Glory" 8-round main event, lightweight standout Jose Roman (21-1-1, 15 KOs) looks to extend his eight fight winning steak against veteran Carlos Cardenas (20-10-1, 13 KOs).
The co-main event showcases world ranked bantamweight Carlos Carlson (20-1, 11 KOs) against Gerardo Marin (13-3, 8 KOs). The 8-round fight has championship implications - both boxers will vie for the vacant NABF Bantamweight Title.