Ruben Villa wants Luis Alberto Lopez fight next 'I learned a lot from that fight'

Featherweight Ruben Villa is ready to embark on a new journey with Top Rank Inc. Villa, who was signed out of the amateurs by Thompson Boxing and Banner Boxing in a joint co-promotional agreement was brought along quickly. Facing tough competition the fighter from Salinas, California, had the ranking of a world-class fighter, but didn’t quite have the visibility he would’ve liked especially compared to his amateur rival Shakur Stevenson, who Villa went 2-2 against. 

Villa, who finished his amateur career with a record of 117-16 was one of the most exciting prospects from the Northern California region. Yet, despite being featured on ShoBox: The Next Generation multiple times and an ESPN world title fight against Emanuel Navarrete, for the vacant WBO featherweight title, Villa is relatively unknown to most casual boxing observers. Villa is hopefully this new partnership with Top Rank Inc will change that. Villa spent his entire camp for his fight at the Top Rank Inc boxing gym with the Garcia family, Max, his head coach, and Sam, Max’s son, working with him.

“For the last few years I haven’t been that active, I want to fight at least twice in one year and see how the year ends, depending on my performances, I expect them to be high quality and I want to look great,” said Villa. “I am from Salinas, California, not much opportunity where I come from, and to be able to be on the a-side of a card, man I am just so excited. Working with them already I have seen how much of a difference it is. I am excited to show them that I am not just another guy, that I am truly the best, and I fight to be the best.”

Villa in 2019 defeated the current IBF featherweight world champion, Luis Alberto Lopez. Since Lopez lost to Villa, Lopez, better known by his nickname ‘Venado’ has gone on a ten-fight winning streak, including his world title win over Josh Warrington, as well as wins over Isaac Lowe, Gabriel Flores Jr., Andy Vences, and Cristian Baez. Villa is hoping that if Lopez is successful against Michael Conlan on May 27th, he can get his rematch with Lopez, this time with a world title on the line. 

“For sure, I am sure he wants to get his win back, too,” said Villa with a smile. “I wouldn’t mind fighting [Lopez] again. I learned a lot from that fight, [especially] how wild he was. I’ve gotten better, I’ve gotten smarter, [I am] more of a confident and comfortable fighter.”

Currently, Top Rank Inc. has two world champions, the aforementioned, Lopez, and the WBO featherweight world champion, Robeisy Ramirez. Villa fought on May 13th at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, California, a quick two-hour car ride from his home of Salinas, California. After getting a stoppage win, Villa appears focused on trying to make the biggest fights possible; and now the outcome of Saturday’s bout between Michael Conlan challenging for his second world title against current IBF featherweight world champion, Luis Alberto Lopez might set the course for his future. If Lopez were to win, Villa could possibly campaign for a world title shot as soon as his next outing. 

“[Fighting Lopez] was the first fight that I had to bring the dog out of me,“ said Villa. “I had to show just a little bit more than the skills I [have]. I was in the doghouse, I feel I did pretty good in terms of adjusting.”

Villa remains optimistic about his hopes of landing his career-defining weight as he feels the featherweight division is as good as it has ever been. 

“The featherweight division is getting pretty good right now,” furthered Villa. “There are a lot of good world champions in the division right now. I feel like I am the top guy out of the division and I want to go get a belt.”