Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Antonio Nieves: I'm Fired Up, ShoBox Opportunity Fires Me Up

By Francisco Salazar

Bantamweight Antonio Nieves understands he is not the face of sports in Cleveland, Ohio. That distinction goes to LeBron James.

Not that will not stop Nieves from becoming the face of boxing in that city.

The unbeaten bantamweight has put together a modest record, but there's more to be accomplished if he wants to fulfill his dream of becoming a world titleholder, along with being a household name in Cleveland.

17_Nieves_vs_Santiago_WeighIn_Shobox_August19th (720x480)

Nieves will face Alejandro Santiago Friday night at Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. The 10 round bout will be part of the four-bout 'ShoBox' broadcast on Showtime, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT.

In his last bout on June 18, Nieves (16-0-1, 8 knockouts) won a 10 round unanimous decision over Oscar Mojica. The win marked his fourth consecutive victory since a split draw against Stephon Young in June of last year.

Nieves will face a fighter in Santiago (11-2-1, 3 KOs), who will be fighting for the first time outside of Mexico and has won his last three fights in a row.

Friday night will also mark the first time he will be fighting in a nationally-televised bout.

"I'm very excited that I get to showcase my skills to a national audience," Nieves told Thursday morning. "This opportunity fires me up and I'm more motivated because opportunities like this don't come around often."

Nieves has been around the fight game since age seven, but not exclusively through boxing. The 29-year-old Nieves began kickboxing at age seven, eventually picking up the sweet science as a teenager.

Nieves has been a pro since November of 2011.

"What I've done at age seven has allowed me to be disciplined," said Nieves, who also works as a banker. "At that age, I learned to dedicate myself to working hard in the gym and that's really helped me to this day. I feel it's an advantage I have over my opponents."

The success Nieves has had thus far as a pro has drawn more attention from sports fans in Cleveland. He hopes to become the face of boxing in the city, which recently celebrated an NBA title that was won by the Cavaliers.

"I want to bring that excitement to Cleveland, but for boxing. I want to fight before thousands of people in Cleveland."

For now, he has to get by Santiago.

An impressive performance Friday night would mean a possible return to network television or a bigger-money fight.

"Opportunities like this is where I want to leave it all in the ring. I want to fight the best and I have to beat fighters like Santiago to face the best in the division."

"That's my mentality to the very end. I want that world title shot."


Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by killakali on 08-19-2016

why does the author say this guy is the face of sports in cleveland? LeBron James, hell Tristan Thompson is a bigger face than some random boxer smh. He is less known that the backup tackle on the Browns LMAO.…

Top Headlines
Khan: No Reason For Fury-Wilder 3 - But It Would Still Sell Fury: Wilder Was Definitely An Improved Fighter In Rematch Wilder: Fury Fought As Dirty As Possible, But Bayless Let Him Get Away With It Bill Haney: Devin Can't Get Fights At 135; Going To 140 For Mikey Garcia Jessie Vargas on Facing Mikey Garcia: It's My Time To Shine! Marcel Braithwaite To Return From Defeat, March 14 In Liverpool Hearn: Whyte Could Be Mandatory To Fury-Joshua Winner Fury's Father: Joshua Frightened, Will Retire Before Facing Tyson Jessie Vargas Grinds Hard For Mikey Garcia Clash Fury vs. Joshua is The Next Mega-Event: Taking a Look Back Amir Khan: Tyson Fury is #1 Heavyweight, Would Beat Joshua Berinchik, Bursak, Beselia, Mitrofanov Win in Kiev Julio Cesar Chavez in Top Form For Jorge Arce Exhibition James Wilkins Signs With Golden Boy, Eyes Springtime Return Abdukakhorov-Lipinets Interim Title Fight Targeted For May 16 Wilder: Breland Influenced To Throw Towel By Anthony Dirrell, Who's Trained By 'Sugar' Hill Prograis-Hooker, Fortuna-Campbell Double Set For April 17 in Oxon Hill Martinez-Harris Face-Off, Parker & Yafai Hit Texas Mikey Garcia, Jessie Vargas - Face-Off as Fight Week Starts Wilder Will Exercise Rematch Clause, Says Costume Weakened Legs Canelo Alvarez To Decide May Opponent Shortly, Says Hearn Wallin To Fury: I Want a Rematch, I'll Finish What I Started! Tyson Fury's Father Would Like To See Him Retire, Visit White House Keith Hunter To Face Rakhmanov on ShoBox, Hawkins is Out News: Ruben Torres, Jeremiah Milton, Davtaev, Flores vs. Frank Andre Ward Feels Wilder Should Not Do Trilogy, Explains Why Euro News: Zeuge-De Carolis, Tatli-Cecilia, Frida Wallberg, More DAZN To Celebrate Mayweather's Birthday With Eight-Hour Fight Block Hearn: Fury Will Beat Wilder Again, Joshua Will Knock Pulev Out Azat Hovhannisyan Signs New Promotional Deal With Golden Boy Sergey Kovalev Arrested For DUI in Los Angeles Whyte: Wilder Got Destroyed, Proper Beaten Up, I Was Happy! Matchroom Italy Card, On Feb. 28, Postponed Due To Coronavirus Stevie & Aaron McKenna Join Freddie Roach At Wild Card Tyson Fury: No Problems With What Bayless Did; He Did A Fair Job Frank Warren: Joshua Should Vacate Belts, Get It On With Fury Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder II: Afterthoughts Breidis Says Tickets Going Through The Roof For Dorticos Bout Chris Jenkins vs. Johnny Garton II To Feature On Dubois vs. Joyce Warren on Fury: That Was Best Performance By British Boxer
Latest Forum Threads