Undefeated Steven Nelson returns June 9, in Las Vegas
On June 9, undefeated light heavyweight prospect Steven “So Cold” Nelson, 10-0 (8), returns to the ring for his second bout of 2018, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nelson, a U.S. Army veteran, will be punching into work to face off against Kansas City-based DeShon Webster, who comes in sporting similar numbers at 10-1 (6).
The 175-pound bout will be one of the support fights to the ESPN+-televised main event (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) featuring former two-division king Terence “Bud” Crawford battling Australia’s Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title. Horn picked up his strap from Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao last summer, when he won a controversial unanimous decision, in Brisbane, Australia.
Crawford is a fighter whom many call the very best in the sport, so, when he fights, the boxing world pays attention. That, along with the huge ESPN platform, makes a slot on a show like this a great stage to expand one’s brand.
And that is exactly what Nelson hopes to do.
Nelson turned pro in March of 2016 and has shown both patience and power in dispatching eight of his 10 opponents before the final bell. A friend of Crawford’s since childhood, Nelson has appeared on several Crawford cards and has wowed audiences with some impressive stoppages.
The exposure of appearing on Crawford’s cards has paid off, as Nelson was recently signed to his own deal with Las Vegas-based promotional powerhouse Top Rank.
Nelson, who has shown fight-ending power in his right hand, knows his competition will get tougher and more experienced, as he ascends the 175-pound ladder. However the well-spoken boxer welcomes the challenge.
UCNLive.com had a chance to chat with Nelson from his training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to get his thoughts on his June 9 assignment and where he hopes to be by the end of 2018.
“Yes, we are still training out here in Colorado. We’ll head home to Omaha, for a day or so, and then head out to Las Vegas,” said Nelson, who said he hopes to fight at least two more times this year, after this bout.
While Nelson is happy about signing his own contract with Top Rank, and he wants to impress his new promoters, he says he is just going to keep doing what he does and take things one step at a time.
“You could say I have been auditioning for Top Rank for a while now, with fighting on their cards,” said Nelson. “I was really happy and feel blessed when they decided to sign me to a contract but I have to keep doing what I am doing. I can’t get caught up in any pressure. I just go out there and do my thing, stay in my lane and whatever is meant to happen for me will happen.”
While many fighters turn pro at a certain weight and then eventually move up, Nelson is slowly chipping his way from 175 pounds down to 168. As a guy who regularly walks around close to 200 pounds, he would be a big super middleweight.
“Yeah, I think the longer-range plan is to get me down to 168,” said Nelson. “I’ll be 175 for this fight, and then, the next fight, they want me at 172. My goal is to get down to 168 and we’ll just go down a bit at a time. As long as I feel good and strong, as I go down in weight, then it should be OK. I’ll have to see how I feel as I get lighter.”
Anyone who has seen Nelson fight also knows he enjoys entering the ring as different characters, much to the delight of the crowd. When pressed to divulge what costume he’ll wear, as he enters the squared circle on June 9, he would only give one little hint.
“I can’t give you too much of a hint,” Nelson said, with a chuckle, “but I will say that my opponent will definitely know who the master is.”