Nelson prepares for first HBO fight

Willie Nelson is not shy when asked what an opponent should fear from him.

“My big right hand,” Nelson said.

Nelson’s big right hand will get its first taste of an HBO card on Saturday, June 29, when he faces Luciano Cuello (32-2, 16 KO’s) at Foxwood Casino in Connecticut. The fight will be the fifth for Nelson paired with Southside Boxing trainer Jack Loew. Nelson came to Loew after suffering his first and only defeat in April 2011.

“At 6’4, 154 lbs., he’s kind of in that freakish nature type that everybody’s looking for,” Loew said.

Loew also points out that Nelson seems to be on a similar path as one of his past fighters, former World Champion Kelly Pavlik.

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“When Kelly fought Zertuche our first time on HBO, Kelly made such a splash, we got a really big fight afterward,” Loew said.

Nelson also realizes the magnitude of the fight, going up against an opponent whose only losses came to world champions Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Saul Alvarez.

“This is a big, big, big, big test for me,” Nelson said. “He’s just lost to the two world champs. If I beat him, I want to beat him in better fashion than they have.”

And Loew is confident his latest prized fighter will take care of business like his last.

“Willie has the whole package,” Loew said. “And the only one I’ve been around, and I’ve been around a lot of pros, the only one that I’ve had that I’ve been around was Kelly. He had the whole package, and he won a world title. And Willie’s right along that same track, and a big win here, he’s probably about a fight or two away from a world title fight.”

And when you ask Nelson who the boxing world is going to see on HBO on June 29, his answer is simple.

“Willie Nelson. The fighter is determined, hungry, and I’m coming for the title.”

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