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Ruben Villa to face Alexei Collado on Jan. 31 ShoBox, other fights set for card

The featherweight prospect headlines a tripleheader from Shreveport.

Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

The previously reported Jan. 31 ShoBox card from Shreveport, Louisiana, is now set, with three fights announced for the card, promoted by Banner Promotions, Thompson Boxing, and Bishop Promotions at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

The main event will see 22-year-old featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (17-0, 5 KO) face 31-year-old Cuban puncher Alexei Collado (26-2, 23 KO) in a 10-round bout. Villa, from Salinas, California, has become a ShoBox standout. He’s not the biggest puncher, but he’s a skilled boxer with a good team and fights with hunger.

Collado, now based in Miami, turned pro in 2008 and fought in Ireland and the UK early in his career, finally making the move to the US in 2013. He lost a 10-round decision to Rod Salka on ShoBox in 2014 and was knocked out in seven by Omar Douglas in 2016. He’s won seven straight, but the opposition hasn’t been anything to write home about.

“I know my opponent has a good record at 26-2 and he has heavy hands, but he is wild,” Villa said. “I feel that I am close to a title eliminator, by the middle or at the very latest at the end of 2020. ShoBox has helped me with my recognition and showcasing my talent. I am just thankful to be headlining once again on ShoBox. I know I’m close to making that next step up to contender so I have to look impressive on Jan. 31.”

“I participated on a ShoBox event in the past and I couldn’t close the show,” said Collado. “This time the story will be different and I am more than ready for Ruben Villa. Ruben is a young talented boxer but he will not be able to do with me what he was able to do to other guys. I’m far more experienced, much stronger and way smarter than all the guys put together that he has faced so far. This is an opportunity that I will not take for granted, Villa better be ready to get shocked.”

In the co-feature, Ukraine’s Taras Shelestyuk (17-0, 10 KO), a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, returns in a 10-round welterweight matchup against Mexico’s Alejandro Davila (19-2-2, 7 KO). The 34-year-old Shelestyuk hasn’t really advanced as you’d hope given his age, and management problems have kept him out of the ring since 2017, save for one fight in March of last year.

Davila turned pro in 2014 and is coming off of a 10th round TKO loss to Mikael Zewski on Nov. 23 in Quebec City.

“Training camp is going great and a lot of the hard work is already done, but we have three more weeks to rock it and finish strong,” said Shelestyuk. “We always have a great atmosphere with the team during the training camp. It’s exciting to be back on Showtime. The fans like my style and I’m ready to give them a show. My opponent is tough and a big guy, He has more fights than me in the professional ring, and it will be clash of different styles.”

“I know Taras has a tremendous amateur and professional career but I also got what it takes to beat anybody at this level,” Davila said. “I am coming to win this fight and hand Taras his first defeat. I will do my best to win this fight.”

The opener will be an eight-round lightweight bout between California’s Jerry Perez (12-0, 9 KO) and Armenia’s Zhora Hamazaryan (9-1, 6 KO). The 26-year-old Perez is taking a pretty good step up in competition here. Hamazaryan hasn’t fought since Sept. 2018, though, and is best-known for a pair of ShoBox bouts with Thomas Mattice, resulting in a controversial Mattice win in July 2018 and a controversial draw two months later. The 23-year-old will look to come back in a big way.

“We have been knocking on doors for a while and finally that door has opened up to us,” Perez said. “It’s now time to show I belong in the ring with a guy like Zhora whom I respect but have the certainty I can beat. I’m coming to make a statement in my TV debut and show that I’m a force at lightweight.”

“I have had a tremendous camp and am excited to get back on ShoBox,” Hamazaryan said. “I feel I am still undefeated and the fans now know what I bring and that is a fighter who fights hard for the whole fight. I do not know much about my opponent except his record. I just fight my fight and I will bring home the victory.”

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