WILLIE NELSON-JOHN JACKSON SLATED FOR MARTINEZ-CHAVEZ PPV
Press Release: A successful gamble this past May positioned Willie Nelson (18-1-1, 11 KOs) to face John Jackson (13-0, 12 KOs) on September 15th in a 154-pound bout that will be part of the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. HBO Pay-Per-View event at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Last May, Nelson agreed to be a late replacement, on 11 days notice, to fight previously unbeaten Cuban Yudel Jhonson on ShoBox. Nelson dropped Jhonson in the second round en route to upsetting the 2004 Olympic silver medalist by unanimous ten-round decision (97-92, 97-92, 95-94).
"We saw an opportunity to beat a fighter everybody thought so highly of," Nelson said. "I took the fight knowing a win would get me back on the scene."
A multi-gifted boxer from Cleveland, who is training with Jack Loew in Youngstown, Ohio, Nelson has been compared to a right-handed Paul Williams or a younger Tommy Hearns because of his freakish size- 6'4" with a 77" reach-- for a 154-pounder.
Nelson was a highly decorated U.S. amateur boxer who had nearly 250 matches, capturing many titles, including the PAL Nationals twice and Under-19 Tournament, while suffering only 22 losses.
"Jackson had a decent amateur background in the Virgin Islands," Nelson remarked. "He supposedly can punch. I want him on the outside because I've been learning how to use distance with my height and reach advantages. Before, I just went in fighting, not taking advantage of being the bigger, taller fighter."
Jackson, a 2008 US Virgin Islands Olympian, is the son of three-time, two division world champion Julian "The Hawk" Jackson (55-6, 49 KOs). Jackson, rated No. 17 by the WBC, is the reigning WBC Youth World super welterweight middleweight titlist.
At stake for Nelson against Jackson is a higher ranking, which would move him closer to his dream of fighting WBC champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. I just take things fight by fight," the 25-year-old Nelson noted. "A win figures to put me higher in the ratings, but this is boxing and anything can happen. I focus on my fights, one at a time, and leave who I'll be fighting up to my promoters and the sanctioning bodies."
Nelson is co-promoted by Rumble Time Promotions and DiBella Entertainment. Rumble Time's president Steve Smith commented, "Willie has learned how to use his tremendous height and reach advantages from his trainer, Jack Loew, and he's much stronger working with his new strength-and-conditioning coach, Mike Bartos, who monitors Willie's daily workouts and diet. Willie Nelson is the most complete 154-pound fighter in the world, as well as every fighter's nightmare."