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Midland boxer ready to fight - Odessa American: News

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Midland boxer ready to fight

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Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2007 12:00 am

Midland boxer Jaime “El Ojinaguita” Villa knows what it takes to defeat an opponent.

A ringside sign at his family’s backyard gym reads in Spanish: “Boxing teaches you to win with honesty. Boxing teaches you to win with dignity. In other words, boxing teaches you the main thing — it teaches you to live.”

Such motivation will come in handy Friday when Villa (5-1, 2 KOs) faces Wilfredo Vázquez Jr. (5-0, 4 KOs) at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Fla., in a bout scheduled for four rounds in the 122-pound category.

Jaime’s father, Jesús Villa, said he saw the anonymous message at a gym in Mexico and wrote it down to bring it home.

“I liked it because it gives motivation to the guys,” Jesús Villa said of his four boxing sons — Jaime, Tomás, Francisco and Saúl.

And while the sign sends a positive message, Jaime knows he has his work cut out against his rival, the son of former three-time boxing champion Wilfredo Vázquez of Puerto Rico.

“It’s the most important (fight) of my career,” the 19-year-old said. “His dad’s name carries a lot of weight — but beating him will open a lot of doors for me.”

Vázquez will be fighting on home turf and has an undefeated record — two facts that Jaime Villa’s brother, Tomás, said would favor the Puerto Rican pugilist if the fight goes on to finish the scheduled rounds.

“(Jaime) is going to have to put a lot of pressure on him,” Tomás Villa said. “That’s what we’ve been working on.”

“I’m going to have everyone against me,” Jaime added.

But not everyone. He can count on the support of his family, trainers Enrique Mendoza and David Sánchez, cousins, friends, coworkers, relatives and a growing fan base in the Odessa-Midland area.

Even people in his hometown of Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico, keep up with the Villas everywhere they go, Jesús said.

And Jaime Villa was even honored with the nickname “El Ojinaguita” (little Ojinaga). “I represent Ojinaga — and with a lot of pride.”

With the support at home and elsewhere in place, Jaime Villa has been training the last few weeks, he said, to be in the best condition for this fight.

He’s traveled to the Davis Mountains to run a few miles and to Lubbock to spar with other boxers. The family has been saving up and taken donations from family members and friends to make the expensive trip.

On a recent afternoon, about an hour after getting off his job at a gas plant, Jaime and Tomás Villa sparred for four rounds as dad, Saúl and Francisco watched and gave directions.

“Get away from the ropes!” his father yelled several times.

When time was up, and they were asked who won, Jaime and Tomás Villa agreed.

“It was a tie,” they said, as they laughed and sweat poured from their faces.

>> The two fights are scheduled to be televised beginning at 10:30 p.m. Friday on Telemundo.

>> Can’t get enough of the Villa brothers?

>> Tomás Villa is scheduled to fight against Baudel Cárdenas of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, Aug. 31 in Tucson, Ariz.

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