Bill Tibbs talks with undefeated super middleweight Steve Nelson
On May 25, live from the Osceola Heritage Park, in Kissimmee Florida, WBO junior lightweight champion Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13 KO’s) will face off against Jamel Herring (19-2, 10 KO’s), in the main event of the Top Rank Boxing card on ESPN.
In the co-main event, former world champion Jose Pedraza will face Antonio Lozada Jr.
Ito has fond memories of Kissimmee after he won his title there last July against Christopher Diaz for the vacant belt. He has made one defense of the title beating Evgeny Chuprakov via TKO 7 in Tokyo on December 30th.
The prelim fights will feature a host of undefeated contenders who will be looking to impress on the ESPN+ platform. The undercard features Jeyvier Cintron (10-0, 5 KO’s), Yomar Alamo (16-0, 12 KO’s), Antonio Vargas (10-0, 4 KO’s), Edgar Berlanga (10-0, 10 KO’s), Henry Lebron (8-0, 6 KO’s) and Terence Crawford stablemate Steve “So Cold” Nelson who comes in at a perfect 13-0, with 10 KO’s.
Maxboxing had a chance to catch up with Nelson, who kicked off 2019 with a unanimous decision win in Hinkley, Minnesota in February, from his training base in Colorado and get his thoughts on his 2nd bout of the year.
“Camp has been going real well”, said Nelson, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska. “We always come out here and have for years. I’ve been out here since my training days with the Army team and I told Bud and the team about it and we all come here now and train and have for a long time. It’s a great place to get ready”, he said.
Nelson’s opponent for the bout will be Victor Darocha. And, while his numbers (8-4-1, 6 KO’s) aren’t staggering, he is living and training in Miami so Nelson knows that Darocha, who has an awkward and difficult style, will want to put on a good show in front of his home base and pull off the upset against the undefeated prospect.
“Oh, yeah, I think he’ll want to put in a good show because he’s at home”, said Nelson. “This is actually the first time I have watched tape of an opponent, I’m familiar with a couple of his opponents; he is a bit tricky and awkward”.
Before Nelson started boxing, he walked around at about 250 pounds. His broad shoulders and muscular frame make him look more like a Cornhuskers lineman than a super middleweight boxer. But, after turning pro at 175, he is inching towards the 168 range, where he will hopefully challenge for a world title one day.
“Yeah, this fight we are at about 172, which keeps me in the range of 168”, said Nelson, “so when I do have to make 168, it isn’t the huge cut, like from 175”, he said. “We have a great nutritionist in camp who keeps us hydrated and feeling strong throughout training”.
Asked what the biggest changes that Nelson has seen in himself since he turned pro 3-years, and 13 fights ago, is and he says it’s the pace of the game that is now comfortable to him.
“It’s like going from a sprint to a marathon, from the amateurs to the pro game”, said Nelson. “I like the pace of the 6 and 8 round fights, I’m used to it and look forward to it”, he said.
While Nelson isn’t big on predictions, he did say that he is excited to get back in the ring for his 2nd of what he hopes will be 4 or 5 fights this year.
“I’m looking forward to getting in the ring and putting on a good show in Florida”, he said. “It’s going to be a good fight and I’m moving to 14-0”, he said.