At the age of 27, Andy is a five-year pro. A rising young prospect at 130 pounds, he was an amateur standout in California before his debut.
He has stayed active in the ring and made good progress – he fought five times in 2013, three times in 2014, five times in 2015, three times in 2016, and three times in 2017. He has already fought two times in 2018.
Andy has had four scheduled 10-rounders and been the full 10-round distance three times.
He also stepped up in class of opposition and gave impressive performances.
In his last fight on July 7, 2018, in Fresno, California, he won a 10-round unanimous decision against Frank De Alba. The event was originally scheduled to be headlined by Jose Ramirez’ WBC super lightweight world title defense against Danny O’Connor, but the fight was cancelled when O’Connor was hospitalized with severe dehydration in trying to make weight.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: The fight between up-and-coming junior lightweight Andy Vences and Frank De Alba was elevated from the ESPN+ coverage of the undercard to the televised co-feature slot when Ramirez-O’Connor was canceled, and Vences took advantage of the exposure.
Vences landed numerous right hands to the head and body and easily outpointed De Alba to win a lopsided decision. The judges scored it 99-91, 99-91 and 98-92 in favor of Vences.
Vences was busier than De Alba, a southpaw, and regularly landed his jab and right hand to the head and body. He tried to further throw De Alba off balance by switching to a southpaw stance in the third round, but he went back to a right-handed one in the fourth round.
In the fifth round, Vences connected with solid right hands as he cranked up the pace and stalked forward. He rocked De Alba’s head back with another right hand in the seventh round. Vences rocked him with two right hands and a body shot in the ninth round. De Alba, whose left cheek was swollen in the second half of the fight, never got going offensively and Vences cruised to the victory. [End Rafael item]
In his post-fight interview, Andy said, “I was trying to maintain. My coaches wanted a knockout. Good experience with a good fighter. He had never been stopped. I tried. I was keeping composed. I followed the game plan, but I should have put more punches together.
“I wanted to put more punches together. He was a little sharp, he was countering. Good experience – what can I say? “We’re moving forward.”
In earlier interviews, Andy said, “I do my strength training at the SNAC facility [note: Scientific Nutrition for Advanced Conditioning] in San Carlos with Victor Conte and Remi Korchemny. I’ve been working with them and incorporating everything since my seventh pro fight, but I started really going under their wing after my 18th pro fight. My last four fights were with them and the results have just been amazing.
“It’s made a tremendous difference in my power and explosiveness. My last two fights have ended in knockouts. The way I feel going into the ring now – it’s an unbelievable feeling now that I’m doing everything the right way.
“I do my boxing training at FightKore International in Martinez, California. Angel Cordon has always been in my corner since my seventh pro fight, but he was an assistant then. He’s been my chief trainer now for about a year. We’ve had three fights together, but I’ve known him my whole life – I knew him in the amateurs. I think what he’s done is, he’s realized all the abilities and skills I have, and mixed them together so I’m a more well-rounded fighter. I fight outside, I fight inside, I do everything now. He just really put it together. Cordon has perfected everything I knew already.
“I’d say my style is a boxer-puncher. I can fight going both forward and backwards – I’m a pretty well-rounded boxer-puncher.”
“My nickname is El Tiburon – The Shark. My coach gave me that nickname. I’m from San Jose, and the hockey team here is named the San Jose Sharks. It’s also from the way that I fight. My coach said I’m like a shark – smooth in his attack and when he smells blood, goes for the kill. I pretty much have that style where it’s smooth and nice, but when my opponent’s ready to go, I take him out.”
When Andy signed a promotional contract with Top Rank in 2015, Hall of Fame matchmaker Bruce Trampler said, “Andy is special. He has a great skillset, fights hard, and has a great fan following. Andy is the best young fighter in Northern California. We are all excited about him at Top Rank.”