David Picasso (left) and Kevin Villanueva weigh in. (Photo: Zanfer)
The featherweight division is one of the most competitive in the sport today. Unbeaten Alan “Rey David” Picasso is intent to add his name amongst the best in the division.
Picasso will face Kevin Villanueva tonight at the Centro de Convenciones Siglo XXI in Merida, Mexico. The 10-round bout will be a co-promotion between Zanfer Boxing, which promotes Picasso, and Max Boxing and will air live throughout Mexico on Azteca 7.
At Friday’s weigh-in, Picasso weighed in at 125.9 pounds. Villanueva weighed 125.2 pounds.
The 22-year-old Picasso (23-0-1, 12 knockouts), who resides in Mexico City, last fought on November 12, stopping Alexander Mejia in the fourth round. The win over Mejia took place just 11 weeks after Picasso stopped Pablo Gomez in the sixth round.
Picasso has shown more power and aggression over the last several months, having stopped six of his last seven opponents. Despite the pandemic, Picasso remained busy, fighting five times in 2021 and four times last year.
A possible fight against the top contenders awaits Picasso later this year, but he first must get by Villanueva. Despite being the favorite going into tonight’s fight, Picasso is not overlooking Villanueva.
“We’ve done great preparing for this fight,” said Picasso at Thursday’s press conference. “There’s a lot of emotions fighting in Merida and against a great rival in Villanueva. It will be a great fight and we are ready for 10 rounds of a war in the ring.”
Villanueva (21-3-3, 15 KOs) knocked out journeyman Jovanny Soto Ramirez in his last bout on December 22 in his hometown of Guasave, Mexico. Villanueva has won his last five bouts, all in Guasave, since losing to fringe junior bantamweight contender Victor Sandoval in September 2020.
Back in February 2019, Villanueva’s other notable bout was a knockout loss to prospect Joselito Velazquez.
Angel Hafit Talavera of Merida will square off against Erik Robles in a 10-round junior featherweight bout.
The 19-year-old Talavera (10-0, 1 KO) defeated Ernesto Salcido by majority decision in his last bout on November 25.
Robles (12-1, 8 KOs), who resides in Ensenada, Mexico, defeated Daniel Zaragoza Garcia by unanimous decision in his last bout on December 4.
Junior lightweight prospect Zaid Yam Rejon (12-0-1, 7 KOs) will face Mexico City’s Kevin Montiel (6-2-2, 3 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Rejon also resides in Merida.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]