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Andy Vences: Learned From Albert Bell Fight, Open To Any Fight

Andy “El Tiburon” Vences, the super featherweight contender from San Jose, California, is eager to return to action to show the fans the growth he has made in the sport since his last bout in October in Reno, Nevada.

“I have never been dropped, I have never been stopped, so I feel I have a lot to prove,” said Vences as he still sees himself as an undefeated fighter. “I feel the loss on my record is a decision loss that a lot of people scored differently

full interview

Vences was on the brink of a world title shot prior to his loss last summer to relatively unknown Toledo, Ohio boxer Albert Bell, who shocked the world, and upset the contender.

“I realized leading up to a couple of mistakes made in training camp leading up to the fight,” said Vences’ reflectively. “What we didn’t assume was that [Albert Bell] would play the running game and actually be effective at it. I think that was one of the biggest mistakes I made as a fighter was assuming he didn’t have the ability to do that…so the sparring partners that I had, sure they were tall and long, bigger guys, but they were aggressive sparring partners that were fighting me instead of sparring partners that were letting me chase them…”

Vences who signed with Top Rank in the summer of 2015 after his manager at the time, Herb Stone (R.I.P.), put a deal in place for the young fighter after an impressive knockout win of undefeated Golden Boy Promotions fighter Santiago Guevara, a fighter who would never fight again after that loss that and was televised on FS1.

Vences is no longer a prospect as he is now going on his fifth year with the industry-standard boxing promoter, Top Rank is looking to make a big statement and get the fans excited to see him in action. For Vences, a diligent worker, who balances a full-time job with being a professional athlete, a husband, and living in the expensive Bay Area, he is looking for a chance at the title.

“I learned from the loss,” said Vences. “What I learned from the loss was this, I don’t mind who I fight, but if you guys along with Top Rank or whoever is running the fight is promising me something after this, I am going to fight for a world title, whatever it is I need it stipulated in writing.”

Vences, who trains with Angel Cordon Sr, the father of amateur stand-out Angel Cordon Jr., who won a national tournament in Martinez, California as well as various location in the Bay Area including San Carlos at the SNAC System private training facility, his hometown of San Joes, Ca and Dublin, California as well. Vences believes in the techniques and coaching they apply, and even understands with a blemish on his record he will have to come into a major fight in the unfavorable, opponent corner.

“Angel is very specific in our training camp, mostly on what I need to do,” said Vences of his full-time coach going on three years as of this March. “We pretty much emphasis in training camp what I need to do, so that in the fights he is not having to yell, and tell me what to do, basically he has trained me as a machine….For the Mark Bernaldez fight, we added Kris Lopez of Oakland, Ca, in the corner, because Angel doesn’t like yelling too much, but the instructions he wanted me to know he’d tell Kris to yell and it was working very effective.”

In Vences’ last fight, Vences fought Mark Bernaldez, a tough pressure fighter, but that is nothing new for him, as he has faced Dardan Zenunaj, Erick De Leon, Frank De Alba, and Angel Hernandez all known for constant pressure, something that is not the easiest to deal with.

“It is mentally very draining,” said Vences when talking about having to outbox a pressure fighter. “One great example is Dardan Zenunaj fight, a guy from Russia, hasn’t been knocked out, hasn’t been dropped, I was coming off a bicep surgery and this is the first fight I am getting coming back….Sure enough, the first couple of rounds I landed some devastating punches and just seeing the reaction of how he took the shots, like if I was throwing pillow shots, I was like ‘okay’, this is going to be the whole night.”

As for Top Rank, they have a cluster of fighters at 130 lbs including Andy Vences, Erick De Leon, Albert Bell, Abraham Nova, and even emerging prospect Elvis Rodriguez. With a lack of a crowd, and fighters eager to get back, the idea of a 130 lbs tournament that could create contenders for the world champions is enticing from a fight fan perspective, I am just not sure how feasible it is from an administrative perspective, but nonetheless, we can only be hopeful, right?

Vences is working hard and still grinding through COVID-19 crisis and even sparred this past week with Toscano Boxing Promotions contender, Giovannie Gonzalez. For Vences, the fact that he has taken a break is an edge.

“I’ve been this way, it has always been a lifestyle for me, training every day, something that I’ve done, something that I am used to,” said Vences who works as hard if not harder than any boxer I have ever seen in a gym. “When this all started I thought, this is nothing different for me…when I first started boxing it was me training myself [SIC]. I know what it takes to do it, but for everyone else, who is spoiled and used to the gym, used to the weights and being babied, this going to affect those fighters.”

Vences will look to return once boxing comes back, and will be ready to make a statement more than ever as he heads into the prime of his career.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle