Featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (10-0, 4 KOs)looks to add the first championship of his young career when he battles Colombian Marlon Olea (13-2, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBO Youth Title this Saturday night from the Salinas Storm House in Salinas, California.
"There’s a lot of firsts for this fight," Villa said. "It’s a great feeling to fight for a title and to do it in my home city with me as the headliner [also a first], it’s a dream come true. These are the types of fights I’ve been working toward ever since I was little."
The southpaw with fast hands and high IQ split his training camp from the arid climate of Riverside, Calif., to the coastal weather of Salinas. Villa faced a variety of sparring partners to prepare for the quick hitting style that Olea will bring on Saturday night.
"The key to any training camp is to get tested against quality fighters," said Villa, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. "I went against boxers that were real slick with their movements, and others that came forward and threw a lot of punches. I feel confident in what I want to do against Olea."
In addition to making his first headlining appearance on "New Blood," Villa also fights for the first time over eight-rounds. He is coming off three straight 6-round unanimous decision victories. Until recently, Villa had won every round on every scorecard in his six decision wins with the exception of dropping one round on one scoresheet against Juan Sandoval in February.
Olea, for what it’s worth, holds a unanimous decision loss to WBA champion Danny Roman from November of 2016. That matchup was contested at 122-pounds, while Saturday night’s fight is set for 126-pounds. Villa would appear to have the size advantage, as he is a natural featherweight with room to fill out as he gets older.
"In this sport, you take any advantage you can get," Villa remarked. "He’s still a talented guy so I can’t get over confident on that."