Well, it’s not shark week, but don’t tell Andy “El Tiburon” Vences (18-0, 10 KOs) that.
The shark makes his return to the ring this Saturday night at The Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California. This time around, Vences will perform under the bright lights of the worldwide leader in sports entertainment, ESPN.
The bout will take place as part of the undercard to the headline bout between Vasyl Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) vs. Miguel Mariaga (25-2, 21 KOs). Vences has been away from the ring since March of this year, when he took on Angel Hernandez and defeated him via a unanimous decision.
Vences will now turn his attention to his new prey in Eliseo Cruz Sesma (11-3, 7 KOs) who is coming off two back-to-back victories and looks to rain on the shark’s parade.
Just last year, Vences was crowned the WBC Continental Americas Super Featherweight champion and since then, he has been seeking out the best path to achieve what all hungry prospects yearn for, a shot at a world title. The Super Featherweight division is currently laced with stiff competition.
Fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko, Miguel Berchelt and Gervonta Davis make up just a few of the top opponents that Vences may one day soon see himself matched up against. In the mean time, Vences has his eyes set on Sesma, who brings a more defensive-minded style to the ring as opposed to the come-forward approach that Vences admires.
“I like guys that come to fight. I like to mix it up with them and go toe to toe,” said Vences. “Don’t get me wrong, I think fighting those guys that are more defensive is a good thing for me too. It shows off some of my boxing skills, but I like to go in and fight a guy.”
Going into this camp, Vences implemented new diet plans and training regiments, that he feels have boosted his productivity and helped with the weight cuts.
“That Casey Ramos fight had me feeling drained and it showed. This time around, we changed the diet up and added some Olympic style weight lifting and I can really feel the difference in my body,” said Vences.
With Top Rank and ESPN joining forces, up-and-coming fighters like Vences have the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase their skills to the masses. This sort of exposure can make or break fighters, but Vences welcomes the challenge head on.
“This fight isn’t just for the fans or media. This fight is for me. I want to show everyone what I have and what they can expect from Andy Vences.”
This Saturday, Vences will get his shot, yet again, to show why he is one of the more celebrated prospects in boxing today. Securing a win on this stage could raise the shark’s stock into contender status quicker than he anticipated.
Header photo by Julio Sanchez
Peter Nieves is a sports journalist who's been writing for Round By Round Boxing since 2012. When he's not covering the sweet science, he's busy twirling his mustache and writing a screenplays. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @pnieves90