Lightweight Devin Haney and featherweight Ruben Villa, two of ESPN.com’s top 15 boxing prospects, cruised to lopsided unanimous decisions against previously undefeated opponents expected to provide competition on Friday night at StageWorks in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Headlining on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation,” Haney (21-0, 13 KOs) dropped Xolisani Ndongeni (25-1, 13 KOs) in the second round and won by shutout on two scorecards, 100-89, and 99-90 on the third.
Villa (15-0, 5 KOs), who was making his television debut, easily outboxed Ruben Cervera (10-1, 9 KOs) in the eight-round co-feature to win a shutout decision — 80-72 on all three scorecards.
Haney scored the knockdown with a clean right hand to the chin midway through the second round and dominated Ndongeni, 28, of South Africa, with a powerful body attack and quick hands.
“You don’t make it to 25-0 without beating anybody,” Haney said of Ndongeni. “I knew he was going to be a tough opponent from the very beginning. He’s a really good fighter and I didn’t choose him. That was the opponent that came up and you know me, I don’t turn down anybody. I fight whoever comes in front of me.”
Though he is only 20, Haney, of Las Vegas, said he feels he is ready to take on top opposition.
“I want those top guys,” he said. “Now they really can’t deny me. I’ve been saying this for a long time but now, I’m a contender.”
Villa, 21, a southpaw from Salinas, California, and two-time national Golden Gloves champion, relied heavily on his jab as he outclassed Cervera, 21, of Colombia.
“It felt good fighting on the big stage and I got the victory against a very tough undefeated fighter,” Villa said. “I felt I controlled the entire fight with my superior boxing skills. I’m ready to step up to the next level. I’m taking on all comers no matter who they are. I feel I’m the best featherweight in the world. I’ll give myself an 8 or 9 tonight (out of 10). I believe in my speed.”
In the opening bout of the tripleheader, Cuban heavyweight Frank Sanchez (11-0, 9 KOs) used an accumulation of punishment to knock out Willie Jake Jr. (8-2-1, 2 KOs) at 2 minutes, 59 seconds of the second round of their scheduled eight-rounder.
The fight featured a 14-minute delay between the first and second rounds because two of the ring ropes fell from the post and had to be repaired.
Late in the second round, Sanchez, 26, who fights out of Miami, finished a flurry of punches by connecting with a right hand to the head and a left to the body that dropped Jake, 35, of Indianapolis, face first to the mat as referee Bruce McDaniel counted him out.
“I wanted to show the world that I’m the new Cuban boxing sensation,” Sanchez said. “I didn’t let the ring rope delay affect my performance. I was ready to go no matter what happened. My manager, the great Richard Steele (the former referee) is already putting together my next fight. I’m coming for everyone in the heavyweight division. All contenders better watch out.”