Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions are pleased to announce the signing of amateur standout Ruben Villa to a co-promotional contract. The 19 year-old Villa of Salinas, California compiled an outstanding record of 166-17 in the unpaid ranks that included two National Junior Golden Gloves titles and two National Golden Gloves championships at 123 pounds.
Ruben did not make the U.S. Olympic team due to his struggles to make 123 pounds in the Olympic Trials. He will campaign as a professional in the featherweight division (126 lbs).
“I am excited, and I have been working very hard to get to this point. I cannot wait to turn professional,” said Villa.
“It is very cool to sign with two great promoters. We were offered the opportunity, and we took it.”
“As for the Olympic trials I was disappointed, yet happy at the same time. I was happy to make it that far, and now I am ready for the next phase of my career.”
Villa began boxing at the age of five when his family, who were big boxing fans, took young Ruben to the gym.
That spawned his amateur career, which saw him reach the number-1 national ranking at 123 pounds and saw him defeat eventual United States Olympian Shakur Stevenson.
“He is a good fighter, and I hope he wins a medal and at some point we can break the tie in our fights against each other. I see that as a big fight down the line in the pros.”
Villa defeated Stevenson in the National Golden Gloves and Olympic Trials.
The 5’6″ Villa is managed and trained by Danny Zamora. Zamora performs the same roles with world-ranked NABA, NABO, NABF and Boxicino 2014 lightweight champion Petr Petrov.
Villa describes his style as a boxer who uses angles and does not get hit much.
“My boxing influences are a bit of Vasyl Lomachenko and Canelo Alavrez.”
Ruben’s family and friends are not only a big part of his life, but also part of his success.
“My parents started me in boxing, and they have been extremely supportive in this. I also have 4 sisters (Ruben is the 2nd oldest of the 5 children), and they are very supportive as well. ”
Villa has sparred with Petrov, Bruno Escalante and Manuel Avilla, and that has given him a good gage on where he is at as he embarks on his career.
“I do well with those guys. I can hold my own, and those guys are great professionals. It gives me confidence as I start out.”
“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.”
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.”
“Ruben is a great prospect, a top amateur and an Olympic alternate,” said Villa’s Manager Danny Zamora. “I believe he will be a world champion. I met Ruben through his trainer Rudy Puga, and I have been following him for three years. I feel that he has all the makings to be a star.”
Villa will turn professional this Friday night at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California on a Thompson Boxing card that will be headlined by Jose Roman taking on Carlos Cardenas