Willie Nelson Discusses The Bout With Vincent Arroyo

NEW YORK – With a famous given name and a bold self-proclaimed moniker, Willie “The Great” Nelson (16-0-1, 10 KOs) answers the age old question, “What’s in a name,” just days before his eight-round welterweight fight against Vincent Arroyo (10-1, 7 KOs) on ShoBox: The New Generation, Friday, April 8, in the first of three fights on an exciting tripleheader LIVE on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

A 23-year-old welterweight prospect from Cleveland, Nelson describes Arroyo, of Amherst, N.Y., as a banger who will not be afraid to mix it up once the two square off. “I’m going in there to take care of business,” said Nelson, who had more than 200 amateur fights. “I’ve watched Shawn Porter (fellow Ohio fighter who trains in California) on SHOWTIME. Now it’s my turn to show everyone what ‘The Great’ is all about.”

Question: Willie Nelson the famous country singer sang “On the Road Again.” You fought your pro debut in New York City and have fought in New Jersey, Connecticut, California and four other states in only 17 pro fights. Can you relate?

Nelson: “Yeah, I’ll travel anywhere. People say eventually it will catch up with me but this is what I do. I’m not afraid to fight anywhere. They’ll recognize me in Texas because of my name. That’s where Willie Nelson is from.”

Question: Ever get tired of people asking you about your name?

Nelson: “Nah, I’ve gotten it my whole life. I like it. It’s something different. If I didn’t like it I’d change it. I’ve heard a few of his songs, just because I’m curious. But I’m not into country. I’m more into R & B.”

Question: Do you have a favorite Cleveland boxer? Or someone you look up to in the welterweight division?

Nelson: “Nope. Just me. I’m my own favorite. I can’t have a favorite boxer and be in the same sport. I can’t compare myself to another fighter or say I like him and then maybe one day have to fight him. It’s just not going to happen.”

Question: Is it true you’ve called out Shawn Porter and want to fight him?

Nelson: “Yeah, I’ve known Shawn since the amateurs. We’re cool with each other. But we’ve had a long-standing rivalry. His father made a statement that he’s the best fighter from Ohio and I took exception to that. I’ve called him out a few times but he hasn’t responded. He was always a weight above me in the amateurs but now we’re both 147. We’ll see. But he’s definitely someone I’d like to fight in the future.”

Question: You’re a 6-foot-3 welterweight. Have you ever fought someone as tall as you?

Nelson: “In the amateurs there was one guy who I fought who was that tall, but not in the pros. It frustrates a lot of guys naturally. Even if I’m not trying to use my height it frustrates them because I can still box and move and get inside them and be effective with my jabs. Without me even trying to use it as advantage, I think it is.”

Question: Why did you give yourself the nickname Willie “The Great”?

Nelson: “It’s just something that I thought should happen. In the amateurs I just thought I was so great. And people always thought that too. They would say, ‘Oh, Willie is so great at boxing. Willie has a great jab. Willie is a great prospect.’ Whenever my name is mentioned the word great is also mentioned. So I thought that’s what my nickname should be.”

Promoted by DiBella Entertainment, the “Rumble on the Rio” will originate from the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas. 

Curt Menefee will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood serving as the expert analyst. Gordon Hall is the executive producer of ShoBox with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Berchelt To Make Another Voluntary Defense, Then Roman Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez: Positive or Negative? WBC Prez: I'm Not Protecting Canelo, But We Have To Be Fair! Arum Says ESPN Momentum Building, Big Plans Ahead in 2018 Danny O'Connor Gets Off The Floor, Decisions Steve Claggett Felix Verdejo Very Angry With Decision To Stop The Fight Video: Crawford's Coach Shreds Horn - Warns Spence, Thurman Kyril Relikh vs. Eduard Troyanovsky Showdown is Ordered Danny Roman vs. Moises Flores Must Happen By June, Says WBA Arum Wants Ramirez, Prograis to Take Interim Fights on Same Card Michael Conlan Hopes To Fight in Belfast on June Date Kovalev-Marcus Browne Deal Done for HBO Bout; Date Not Set Arum: Felix Verdejo Very Disappointing; It's a Lack of Discipline Felix Valera, Luis Lebron Grab Knockout Wins in Santo Domingo Sam Soliman, Wes Capper Fight To a Twelve Round Draw Ryuya Yamanaka Retains WBO Strap, Canizales Wins WBA Belt Photos: Gvozdyk Earns WBC Shot, Michael Conlan Excites Crowd Joe Joyce-Dereck Chisora Likely To Be Confirmed For Bellew-Haye Photos: Jose Ramirez Breaks Down Amir Imam For WBC Belt Roach: Linares Has Fight Left in Him; Might Be Too Old for Loma Photos: Antonio Lozada Drills, Stops Felix Verdejo in Shocker Photos: Joe Joyce With Crushing One-Punch KO of Donnie Palmer CompuBox: Jose Ramirez's Pressure, Power Shots Was Difference Robert Helenius Wins Split Decision Over Yury Bykhautsou Gvozdyk: I Want The Stevenson vs. Jack Winner in My Next Fight! Giovanni Cabrera Mioletti Shocks Ray Lampkin With KO in Two Lozada: I Knew I Would KO Felix Verdejo, I Went For it in Tenth Cristian Mijares Gets Stoppage Win Over Fernando Saucedo Jaime Munguia Knocks Out Johnny Navarrete in The Third Roach: Ramirez Won Every Round, 2 Judges Should Be Investigated! Don King: Imam Didn't Throw Enough, Ramirez Was Relentless Michael Conlan Demolishes David Berna in Two Rounds Jose Ramirez Lands Gold, Decisions Amir Imam For WBC Title Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Gvozdyk Wins Tough Decision Over Amar, in Line For WBC Shot Ramirez: I'm Ready To Fight Best, No Matter What Critics Think Yeison Cohen Passes Away After KO Loss Earlier This Month Antonio Lozada Drops, Stops Felix Verdejo in Tenth Round Joe Joyce Destroys Donnie Palmer With Big Knockout in One Christopher Diaz Wins by TKO, Rodriguez Suffers Hand Injury

Latest Active Forum Threads