NABF Junior Middleweight Champion Willie Nelson has been on hot streak as of late, scoring victories over some pretty tough competition. The Cleveland, Ohio native finished off 2012 very strong with impressive victories over the favored Cuban 2004 silver medalist Yudel Johnson and also tough undefeated prospect John Jackson, in which he claimed his NABF Junior Middleweight Title, fighting for the vacant belt.
His latest victim was tough Mexican Michael Medina. Medina once held the same NABF title that Nelson now has but was stripped of it due to inactivity because he had a hard time securing fights.
The fight with Medina was looked at as a very competitive match-up on paper and although Nelson was slightly favored, there were still a lot of people giving Medina a good chance to upset Nelson last Friday at Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut.
Those people were very wrong. Nelson shocked Medina and most of us sitting ringside knocking out Medina in 2 minutes of the first round. “He pretty much made it easy for me, pacing himself at a slower pace. Any other time he just came out throwing bombs, throwing punches, and he didn’t do it this time. He left me the opportunity to pick my shots and pick my shots wise,” Nelson explained.
Although Medina was expected to give Nelson a test, he isn’t one of the marquee names in the junior middleweight division. There are a lot of potential big money fights looming for Nelson, but he refused to look past Medina claiming, “I pretty much stayed focused just by focusing on the guy in front of me. I didn’t look past him. I was more worried about this fight than the future fights because if I couldn’t get past this fight I won’t have any future fights.”
One person who is a marquee name in the division and seems to be someone that most of the junior middleweights are calling out lately is WBC Super Welterweight Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Alvarez will have his work cut out for him on April 20 when he faces his toughest test to date WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Austin Trout. Nelson has expressed interest in facing the winner of that match-up but isn’t particularly impressed with “Canelo.” He went on to say, “I would love the winner of that one. I see Austin Trout outboxing “Canelo.” I don’t really think that much of “Canelo.” He’s a young fighter. He has lots and lots of bad habits that he makes in the ring. I got Austin Trout winning a twelve round decision in that fight, nothing fancy but I got Austin Trout winning that fight.”
After his destruction of Medina a lot of junior middleweights may think twice before stepping in the ring with Nelson. When asked if he feels it will be tough to get a big name opponent in the ring with him after this performance Nelson replied, “I probably scared some of the junior middleweights away but men are going to be men. They are going to have pride and have a chip on their shoulder, so someone is going to step up to fight me to prove that I’m not as good as everyone thinks I am.”
Lets hope he is right because it looks like we have another player in junior middleweight division, who is not only talented but also someone who is a big puncher that can bring a lot of excitement to the division with his fan friendly style.