Round By Round Boxing’s Sarah Gruber recently spoke with Top Rank’s newly signed, Super Featherweight prospect, Andy “El Tiburon” Vences (12-0, 8 KOs). Since his most recent knockout victory on Fox Sports 1, the buzz about Vences has been non-stop.
See what we can expect from “The Shark” as he hopes to continue to keep boxing fans entertained this Saturday on UniMas with his always exciting style.
Round By Round Boxing: You were recently signed to Top Rank; tell us how that happened and what it means to you to be signed with them?
Andy Vences: That happened in late July. They contacted my manager after my last performance against Santiago Guevara. I guess my performance that night caused a lot of noise, so they ended up seeing that fight and reached out to me to make me an offer to sign with them. We ended up making a deal with Top Rank in late July or early August.
Being a Top Rank fighter means a lot to me just because I know I am with a well-grounded company that has been around and really knows how to build fighters from the ground up.
RBRBoxing: You will be fighting on UniMas this Saturday, September 26 in Lemoore, California at Tachi Palace. Tell me more about the fight. Who is your opponent and what do you know about him?
AV: My opponent is Andres Bustamante and his record is 6-6. He has fought at 128 and 138 and he is more of a guy that likes to hit and run and pretty much get by. He has only been knocked out once and really that is about all I know about him.
RBRBoxing: Okay, so his style is to hit and run, but your style is more that of boxer/puncher. You like to wear people down, then pick your shots and stay on them for the finish. How do you see those two styles matching up on Saturday night?
AV: I feel he is going to do whatever he is going to try to do, but my job is going to be pretty much cut the ring off and counter over his punches. He likes to throw a lazy jab and sometimes he opens himself up too much, so I feel like I am going to be able to catch him in between.
RBRBoxing: Is this fight going to be televised?
AV: I think I am the swing bout for TV. It was supposed to be eight rounds but since they added the NABF title bout with Daniel Valdivia to the co-main event they had to drop my fight down from eight rounds to six rounds.
RBRBoxing: This is then possibly your fourth televised fight, and for a young fighter that is a lot of exposure early on in your career. What do you think it is about your style that lends itself well to television broadcasts?
AV: I just think my style is not boring. I am pretty much a well-rounded fighter. I can box, I can fight inside/outside and I feel like it’s just the style I bring to the ring. What I do is pretty eye catching to the normal viewer, like I said, it’s not boring.
I am always in range and always doing something, there is never a whole minute or even 30 seconds that passes by that I am just waiting or not doing anything. I feel like TV and the people are happy with my performances.
RBRBoxing: It seems like that style is what caught the eye of Top Rank as well. Round By Round Boxing has followed your career for some time now and your last performance on Fox Sports 1 from Salinas, California made a huge splash nationwide. A lot of people expressed enthusiastic things on social media to us about your career. Have you experienced a growth in your fan base, maybe on social media? What does it mean to you to see your fan base growing?
AV: Yeah I have, the exposure and the new fans that I have gotten since that fight has been a lot. I have gotten a lot of feedback from that fight but I feel there is a lot more to do. There is a lot more to prove, and a lot more to show. I think step by step I will generate more fans across the nation to slowly start seeing they have a future champion in front of them.
RBRBoxing: The Bay Area and Northern California, where you are from, has supported your career heavily. How do you feel about leaving for comfort zone and taking your talents to Lemoore which is in more in the Central/Southern California area?
AV: Yeah I know, I feel great though that I am expanding out because it is all about making and exposing myself out towards other areas. Going a little farther south, it is fine, I still feel like I have everybody’s support back here at home. I feel like everybody is showing a lot of support even though I am fighting that far out. It feels great knowing that I am going to start fighting farther out, possibly out of state later. It is time to start getting my talent seen everywhere else.
RBRBoxing: Your trainer is Gabe Flores of Stockton, California from Los Gallos Boxing academy, his motto is “All Hustle, No Luck.” So, with that being said, you have made a name for yourself as being one of the hardest working prospects coming up right now. Do you think his motto and style has created your work ethic or did you already have your strong work ethic before you met Gabe?
AV: No, I have always had that strong work ethic before I met Gabe, that is actually one of the reasons why he even took me into his stable, because he knew I had a great work ethic. He knew I would influence a lot of his kids at the gym when they see me workout. He actually took me in because of my work ethic, and it’s my hard work ethic that has gotten me this far. Just being with my trainer Gabe has expanded my knowledge of boxing immensely.
RBRBoxing: What does it mean to know that people you know or people that have sparred with you have been describing you as humble and hard working?
AV: It makes me feel great. Some people find that I am not humble [laughs] but I am glad that the people that know me do find me humble and say that because it’s true. I pretty much talk to and communicate with everybody. The only people I tend to not communicate with are the ones that tend to have negative things to say behind our backs. Anything positive I don’t mind talking to people [and] creating new fans, but we just try to keep the negative things away from us. We get farther in our careers that way.
RBRBoxing: Speaking of moving farther, what can we expect to see out of Andy Vences this next year?
AV: Well, after this, I am hoping to fight Saturday, December 5. I can’t announce it or say much until after this weekend but, I am looking forward to that [and] closing the year with another bang.
RBRBoxing: Being a young, Mexican-American, and Super Featherweight prospect I am sure you enjoyed Abner Mares vs. Leo Santa Cruz?
AV: Yes, I did enjoy that fight. Yes!
RBRBoxing: How does it feel watching people like that knowing that you realistically could compete against them one day? Does that inspire or motivate you? Or even fuel a fire in you to get to that level faster?
AV: Yes, I feel that I will be able to fight a lot of those guys soon, once I am fighting in the 10 and 12 round fights. It motivates me watching them and it also reminds me that I can beat a lot of these guys at that level. It is just me getting the experience and the time in the ring to get to that level. I feel it is just a matter of time and patience, but it does motivate me a lot.
RBRBoxing: Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you would like to say?
AV: Just tune in this Saturday. It should be another great fight and another night for me to showcase my talent to people who haven’t seen me. Follow my social media pages, my Instagram is @TEAMVENCES1 and my Twitter is @AndyVences.
Header photo by Tri Nguyen