News: Escobedo vs. Ruiz; Trout vs. Rodriguez; Nelson vs Jhonson

LOS ANGELES, May 9 - After making his hometown debut in March with a blistering first round knockout win over Lonnie Smith, top junior lightweight contender Vicente Escobedo will look to keep that momentum going in the same venue on Saturday, May 12 as he takes on Santa Clarita's Juan Ruiz in the 10 round "Sólo Boxeo Tecate" main event at the Woodland Community Center in Woodland, California.

Escobedo vs. Ruiz headlines a night of world-class professional boxing presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Don Chargin Productions in association with Paco Presents and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., the first bell rings at 7:00 p.m. and the TeleFutura broadcast begins at 12:00 a.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Advanced purchase tickets are priced at $80 (VIP), $60 (Floor) and $45 (Bleachers). If purchased at the door, ticket prices increase to $90 (VIP), $70 (Floor) and $55 (Bleachers). Tickets are available for purchase at Paco's Restaurant (530) 669-7946, F&F Multiprint (530) 666-3102, USA Tires (530) 662-4145 and online at

2004 United States Olympian Vicente Escobedo (25-3, 15 KO's) has been in with some of boxing's toughest fighters including former World Champions Robert Guerrero, Michael Katsidis, Kevin Kelley and Carlos Hernandez, . Currently ranked number one in the world by the WBO, the 30-year-old Escobedo knows that he needs to beat Ruiz and extend his current winning streak to four to keep his title hopes and a discussed summer clash against WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion Adrien "The Problem" Broner alive.

Upset-minded Juan Ruiz (23-9, 7 KO's) is at his best when he's tested against tough competition. The 33-year-old from Santa Clarita proved this with a shoscking technical knockout victory over former World Champion Wayne McCullough in 2008. A former NABF featherweight champion, the granite chinned Ruiz will look to spoil Escobedo's homecoming on May 12.

Trout in Heavy Training for June 2 Title Defense

WBA World Junior Middleweight Champion Austin "No Doubt" Trout (24-0, 14 KOs) sounds tired. And he should.

Trout is in heavy training for his third title defense, against free-swinging junior middleweight contender Delvin "EL Peligro" Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KOs), on Saturday, June 2, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

The 12-round Trout vs. Rodriguez clash will be part of a scheduled Quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME® that also includes former light heavyweight champion Antonio "Magic Man" Tarver (29-6, 20 KOs) taking on unbeaten power puncher Lateef "Power" Kayode (18-0, 14 KO's); Ronald "Winky" Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO's) vs. Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (26-0, 20 KO's); and Vusi "Marvelous" Malinga (20-3, 12 KO's) going against undefeated Leo "Terremoto" Santa Cruz (19-0-1, 11 KO's) for the vacant IBF Bantamweight World Championship.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) on SHOWTIME® with preliminary bouts airing live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

"Training is going good. I'm tired, so it's doing its job," said Trout. "I'm excited. I can't wait for June 2 to come. I'm working so hard right now and it's all going good. I'm more excited now than I've ever been. In fact, I'm trying to curb it back because it's making my days go real slow."

26-year-old Trout lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he, long-time trainer Louie Burke, and strength and conditioning coach Siju Shabazz have been putting in the work. "I run in the morning and do sprints, about four miles. Then we go to the gym for sparring and skills and drills, do about 20 rounds. Then my strength coach takes over and we get into calisthenics and biometric workout after that. It's rough."

Trout says he respects Rodriguez, but says this fight will be a wonderful chance to showcase his skills.

"He's a good fighter. I'm glad to be able to have a fight like this on this stage against an exciting guy like him, but honestly, I don't feel like he's on my level. It'll be a good fight. He's a warrior and he brings a hard fight for all 12 rounds, but I think I can get him out of there in the late rounds. It might be closer early, but I'll pull away in the later rounds for sure."

Trout says he's still the same guy he always was since winning the title, but has taken on more of a public role in his hometown, going around to schools and talking about bullying and how to prevent it. In the past year, he has visited over 10 schools and talked to more than 4000 kids.

"I'm hoping to get the Kardashian sisters to be his guests of honor at the fight," laughs the good-natured champion. "I saw Floyd had Justin Bieber in his corner. I want to be able to say 'forget Bieber. I got the Kardshians!"

The event is presented by A.T. Entertainment, Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T with Trout vs. Rodriguez being presented in association with Greg Cohen Promotions and Joe DeGuardia'sStar Boxing and Malinga vs. Santa Cruz being presented in association with Branco Sports Productions.

Tickets for the June 2 event are on sale now for as low as $25, with VIP floor seats priced at $200. Other tickets in the 8,000-seat outdoor stadium at The Home Depot Center are available at $50 and $100. Fans can purchase tickets at or by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849), as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available for purchase by calling 1-877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 1-877-234-8425.

Team Nelson Planning an Upset

I like fighting Southpaws. I'm real comfortable against Southpaws. Is he (Jhonson) ready for a 6' 3" right hander that can box and bang?? Willie Nelson

Cleveland's Willie "The Great" Nelson (17-1-1, 11 KOs) may have come up a little short in his ShoBox: The New Generation debut against Vincent Arroyo last April, but he's planning on doing what all great fighters can do: come back stronger than ever.

Nelson and his training team and promoters, Rumble Time Promotions, are focused on making the second time the charm when he faces Cuba's Yudel Jhonson (12-0, 8 KOs) this Friday, May 11, in the 10-round junior middleweight main event of the ShoBox: The New Generation telecast (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) presented by Warriors Boxing, entitled "Shootout at Texas Station", from the Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas.

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.

Original opponent Jhonson opponent Freddy Hernandez was forced to pull out with an injury and Nelson stepped in on 11 days' notice. "We were training for a six-round tune-up fight a week later, so I've been working very hard and I'm in great shape," said Nelson of his decision to take this important fight on short notice. "When this opportunity came to showcase my talents and progress on Showtime, I could not turn it down. We were hoping for a big TV fight this summer, so when this opportunity came up it was very exciting. I have been there before and this time, I'll be ready!"

25-year-old Nelson says his only reservation about fighting Jhonson was weight. "Weight was a big consideration. We were just deciding to leave the welterweight division and it was important to agree on a catch weight of 152 pounds because it just would not be smart to step right in and fight a guy at 156-157 pounds on short notice. My instinct is to jump in and fight anybody, but my team helped me make smart decisions."

A former USA and European amateur champion, Nelson says he has great respect for his opponent Jhonson. "He comes from a great line of Cuban fighters, and like me, he had an extensive and successful amateur career. As a pro, he has had only 12 fights and none against anyone that can do the things I can do. I respect Yudel, but I look forward to beating him."

"I'm excited to have my 6' 3" beast back on Showtime!" exclaimed Nelson's much less reserved promoter, Steven Smith of Rumble Time Promotions. "He had a rough outing last time he was on ShoBox! He had some personal things going on in his life and wasn't fully focused! He back and ready to destroy! I'm anxious to let Willie expose this overrated Cuban fighter! Willie has all the tools to shatter Jhonson's dream. He's tall, fast and can punch with a great amateur and pro background. I think Willie knocks him out in round six!"

Nelson has switched trainers since the close decision loss to Arroyo. He is now working with Jack Loew, of Kelly Pavlik fame. Losing to Arroyo, he says, was a learning experience. "After losing that fight, I had to go back and work on some defense and use some of my advantages better. I switched trainers. I had a long experience with my old trainer, dating way back to my amateur success. He is a fantastic trainer, but sometimes you need a change to shake you up and improve on things that you hadn't done in the past. I think my current style reflects that. Since I joined (trainer) Jack Loew and the rest of my team in Youngstown, we have been working so hard to prepare me to showcase my skills."

Tickets for "Shootout at Texas Station" are on sale now, priced at $27 and $52 and are available at Ticketmaster, any Texas Station rewards center or at SCLV.COM/CONCERTS. A few VIP seats are available at a price of $102 can be purchased by calling (954) 985-1155.

On fight night, doors open at 6:30 and the action starts at 7:00 pm.

Station Bucks may be used to purchase tickets. All ages welcome. Under 21 must be accompanied by an adult 21 or over. Show subject to change without notice. Management reserves all rights. Digital Photography and video prohibited. Tickets can be purchased at any Station Casinos Boarding Pass Rewards Center, The Fiesta's, by logging onto or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel is located at 2101 Texas Star Lane in North Las Vegas. Telephone: (702) 631-1000 or (800) 654-8888.

Article posted on 08.05.2012

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