So Cold Willing to Step Up as Co-Main Event
By Bill Green
Fellow Omaha undefeated native, Steven “So Cold” Nelson 11-0 (9), seeks win number 12, next Saturday night, October 13th on the undercard of Crawford vs Benavidez. Nelson is fresh of his 6th round TKO over Kansas City’s DeShon Webster 11-2 (6) back in June. The man known as “So Cold” took time off from his two a day training/workouts to speak with B&B’s, Bill Green.
BG: Hello, Steve. How was training camp and better yet how is your mindset heading into your ESPN+ streamed 8 round Light heavyweight showdown next week?
Nelson: Camp was honestly hard work but a blast. What can I say, I love my job. Camp is a way of life, just like my military experience, the bond is life changing. We push each other to the max. My mindset is to be victorious at all costs. I want to be known as someone who talks the talk and backs it up. I’m aiming for an explosive performance.
BG: Several fellow undefeated and battle test opponents were offered the fight but some things never change...they all turned it down for various reasons. The most common reason I get is “ Oh, I would need more time to face someone like Nelson.” Do you feel any frustration towards or lack motivation when the big step up fights don’t materialize?
Nelson: No, absolutely not. My time is coming and this is simply part of the business. Fighters are simply not available for several reasons, actually what’s frustrating is hearing everyone on social media “oh, he ducked this fighter or he’s scared” I respect the game and everyone in it, especially the fighters. If you don’t have a great team, management, funding or top promoter, it’s simply a tough go. Fighters have mouths to feed and have to pay them bills just like you do. I respect that grind. That being said, some don’t want nothing to do with me because I’m not in there to get paid over time, I like knockouts and I’m no nonsense, so that ultimately comes into play as well.
BG: Lets focus on your fight...before you don’t make it to your fight. Oh my bad, that was meant for a certain someone else lol. On a serious note, you have a tough task in facing Mexican veteran Oscar Riojas 17-10-1 (6). Riojas reminds me of fellow Omaha stablemate, Kevin Ventura, last opponent. He has simply a record that is deceiving. He is a crafty southpaw who has been in with 2 top Super middleweight contenders in Derrick Webster 28-1 (14) and Ronald Ellis 15-0-2 (10). He went the distance with both and as usual both prospects stated “ the dude is tough and very game, very underrated.” What are your thoughts regarding Riojas?
Nelson: We watched a little video on him, ya nothing flashy but rugged and tough just like you said. He is awkward as well. The way I look at it, at this level and stage, we don’t get paid for easy work. With the ESPN/TopRank deal in place, look at the cards, everyone is getting matched tough. To get more national exposure to boxing, fight fans want good fights. As the opening hype video goes….this is TOP RANK!!! Riojas is tough and no disrespect to those other names, but styles are different than mine. He hasn’t been in the ring with someone like me and I’m not just spitting words….I’m going to show him and back up my statement inside the ring.
BG: You obviously grew up, train and live in Omaha. Next to Bud, you receive the loudest applause on the undercards. Time after time, you state how much of a blessing it is to fight on Bud’s undercards. Most of the time you are fight number 1 or 2. Are you comfortable with those slots or do you crave more?
Nelson: Absolutely, hey I just heard Shakur’s opponent got hurt and they are worried about a replacement. Heck, I obviously can’t make 126 lol but what I can do is step up and take that Co-main event. With me you get a package deal, the outfit, charisma, and action that fight fans are seeking. It’s October, my favorite time of year, Halloween in near. I can and will provide the thrills and chills that everyone is looking for…..I promise you it will be So Cold!!!!!
Omaha native Steve “So Cold” Nelson (11-0, 9 KOs) will clash with the durable Oscar Riojas (17-10-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round light heavyweight bout. The bout will be will stream live in the United States at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ – the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer App; International segment in conjunction with ESPN. Promoted by Top Rank, tickets to this world championship event are on sale now.
The few remaining tickets can be purchased at the CHI Health Center Omaha box office or online here.
Photos by Miguel Cedillo