Willie Nelson vs Michael Medina: Willie given the opportunity can be ‘The Great” Nelson


Willie Nelson, 25 years of age standing tall at nearly 6’4,” looking down at rest of the junior middleweight division as prey; salivating at the mere thought of landing another opportunity to swoop down and pull out yet another upset victory. He’s done this in his past two fights, beating heavy favorites including former unbeaten Cuban Olympian and amateur stand-out Yudel Jhonson by an impressive ten-round decision. He also won a ten-round decision over Virgin Islands Olympian, John Jackson and captured the NABF title in the process.

They say what doesn’t kill you, can only make you stronger and that’s the exact same model that Nelson took in his approach to rebuild himself after his first loss. Nelson lost a close majority-decision to Vincent Arroyo on ShoBox.

Since then, he’s gone on a three fight win streak that he accredits to the change in his camp and the move to Youngstown, “I felt like in Cleveland I wasn’t focused, and couldn’t focus like I wanted to. I was around my family and it was easy for me to get into problems and not be focused on the gym. So we moved out here, where it’s a change for me and my family,” expressed Nelson.

Nelson dropped his lifelong trainer, Renard Safo, who has trained the likes of Terrell Gausha, Yaundale Evans, and Prenice Brewer in exchange for Jack Loew; who is best known for training former world champion Kelly Pavlik. There’s been much criticism over the years about Loew and his ability to properly train and guide young fighters.  Loew’s biggest critique by media and fans is that he can’t produce world champions outside of Pavlik, but Nelson seems to disagree with that notion. “I’ve been knowing Jack [Loew] ever since I was ten years old. One of the first shows I fought on was his show, I used to look up to Kelly [Pavlik]. I used to think the world of Kelly in the amateurs when I was younger because he was the first guy I really seen fight. If they say Jack Loew can’t take a fighter far? That can’t be true he took Kelly from 10-0 to a world champion, I don’t see how some can say that,” Nelson relayed to ThaBoxingvoice.com during a live interview.

Michael Medina may have some losses on his record but what he brings into this fight is experience, something that can only be gained in the ring. Medina has been in far tougher than Nelson, which could be the main ingredient in a recipe for an upset; facing names like Saul Roman, John Duddy, and Vanes Martirosyan. These prospects have given Medina the experience needed to beat those less fortunate enough to have shared the ring with such opponents. “No jitters at all, when I’m in the ring, it’s me and the guy. We watch tapes, you have to watch tapes, so you can pick up on their habits. You can see mistakes but habits is something that he continues to do,” said Nelson

We can’t be fooled by the fact that Nelson as a pro hasn’t shared the ring with many recognizable names in boxing but his résumé shows that he has a strong amateur pedigree  Nelson was a highly-decorated U.S. amateur boxer who had nearly 250 bouts.  In the amateurs he defeated present World Boxing Association (WBA) Super and World Boxing Council (WBC) light welterweight champion, Danny “Swift” Garcia, as well as world-class light?welterweight Vernon “IceMan” Paris. He’s received enough in-ring experience from his then teammate, WBA light middleweight champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout; a slick southpaw who is naturally big for the division in his own right. Nelson has the pedigree; he just needs to be given the opportunity.

Presently ranked No. 6 by the WBC and the current owner of the NABF title, Nelson is starting to make waves in the rankings, and sooner than later he will become one of the mandatory opponent of one of the champions in the division.