Cleveland’s once-beaten Willie “The Great” Nelson (17-1-1, 11 KOs) will step in to face Cuba’s Yudel Jhonson (12-0, 8 KOs) in the 10-round junior middleweight main event of the ShoBox: The New Generation telecast presented by Warriors Boxing, entitled “Shootout at Texas Station”, scheduled for Friday, May 11 (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), from the Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas.
Original Jhonson opponent, Freddy Hernandez, has been forced to pull out with an injury.
In addition, East Los Angeles lightweight Aalan Martinez has also been forced to pull out of his eight-round bout against Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy. Barthelemy (15-0, 11 KOs) will still fight an opponent to be determined but his bout will not be televised.
The eight-round co-featured battle of undefeated super middleweights Badou Jack “The Ripper” (10-0, 8 KOs) of Sweden and Colombia’s power-punching Alexander Brand (17-0, 15 KOs) will go on as scheduled.
Cleveland, Ohio’s 25-year-old Willie “The Great” Nelson (16-0-1, 10 KOs) stands an enormous 6′ 3″ and has a massive 76-inch reach. Before turning pro at age 18, the quick-fisted southpaw had over 230 fights as an amateur and was ranked #1 in the United States. He is also a former USA and European amateur champion.
In January of this year, Nelson rebounded from the only loss of his career (last April via majority decision to Vincent Arroyo) by scoring a TKO 2 over Brad Jackson. Nelson is in shape, as he was originally scheduled to fight May 18 in Missouri.
Also a southpaw, Jhonson was the Pan American Junior Champion at light fly in 1998 and the Cuban National Champion at welterweight in 2002 before capturing a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. Overall, he went 379-16 in the amateurs while winning numerous titles.
The 5-foot-10, 30-year-old Jhonson is coming off a third-round TKO over Eduardo Mercedes last October 15 in the Dominican Republic.
“It is unfortunate that Freddy Hernandez got injured,” said event promoter Leon Margules. “But in his place steps Willie Nelson, which I think makes the main event an even better, more significant fight on the world stage. This will be a tremendous battle between two young, strong, up-and-coming contenders.”