Roiman Villa was never supposed to make it this far. He was ostensibly strong and durable but a true contender and one of the best welterweights in the world? That seemed like a far-fetched idea. One night, however, changed the perception of his career.
A few short months ago, Villa (26-1, 24 KOs) strolled to the ring against Rashidi Ellis as a gigantic underdog. The script was a simple one, Villa was supposed to push Ellis a bit before ultimately coming up short, cashing his check, and going about his business in boxing’s purgatory.
Villa though, didn’t find the thought of playing a secondary role as exciting. So, after 12 hard-fought rounds, including a violent 12th that saw Ellis hit the deck twice, Villa escaped the ring with the win.
Victory was sweet but more than anything, it placed Villa on the map. This Saturday night, in the main event slot in Atlantic City, Villa’s upset streak could reach two in a row if he’s able to take care of business against Jaron Ennis.
There’s a bigger picture for the Colombian contender. Currently, the welterweight landscape is a simple one. There are journeymen, contenders, highly ranked contenders – and then there’s Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford. For the most part, Villa falls in the secondary category.
Just a few weeks after his showdown against Ennis, Villa will watch both Crawford and Spence square off with all of the welterweight marbles on the line. That intriguing clash, at least for now, isn’t important to him. As long as everything goes according to plan, Villa firmly believes that he’ll be right in line to face the immediate winner or loser of Spence vs. Crawford.
“If I win on Saturday night, then bring on anybody,” said Villa during their final press conference. “Bring on Spence, bring on Crawford. Bring on anyone.”