Willie Nelson vs. Luciano Cuello
2013-06-29 : Willie Nelson 153 lbs beat Luciano Leonel Cuello 153 lbs by UD in round 10 of 10
- Location: MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA
- Referee: Joey Lupino
- Judge: Peter Hary 96-94
- Judge: Frank Lombardi 97-93
- Judge: Clark Sammartino 97-93
- Ring Announcer: Michael Buffer
- Aired On: HBO Boxing After Dark
- NABF Light Middleweight Title (2nd defense by Nelson)
If Willie Nelson hoped to for an easy night to make a name for himself on a big stage, he got more than he bargained for against a gritty Luciano Cuello.
But, despite being cut to both eyes and staggered on several occasions by the his smaller opponent, Nelson did enough to survive Cuello on the judges' scorecards.
Nelson claimed the opening couple of rounds with loaded shots to the Argentinian's body and straight shots upstairs, many of which landed on a defensively-sound Cuello's gloves.
A cut opened to Nelson's right eye in Round 3 and in the final seconds he was stung by Cuello with looping punches.
On the advice of his corner man, Jack Loew, Nelson boxed more in the middle rounds. He worked from distance with jabs and straight right hands and look to potshot Cuello, who came forward.
In the seventh, a left hook and right hand staggered Nelson and had him in trouble of being put down. He was able to gather himself and was returning punches by the end of the round, despite standing on unsteady legs.
The eighth featured some tough in-fighting with each man having success.
A small cut opened to Cuello's right eye in the ninth.
In the tenth round and trailing on the cards, Cuello came out aggressively, hurt Nelson with an uppercut, and opened a cut to his left eye. Cuello simply could not land the knockdown punch to Nelson, who held to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
- Willie Nelson 20-1-1 (12 KOs) vs. Luciano Cuello 30-2 (16 KOs)
- Nelson entered as the #10 junior middleweight contender in the world according to The Ring Magazine. Cuello, a 5-to-1 betting underdog, was unranked by the same publication. Saul Alvarez held The Ring Magazine junior middleweight title at the time of this fight.
- Fight was on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin vs. Matthew Macklin.
- It was the U.S. debut for Cuello.
- ESPN's Dan Rafael scored the bout 97-93 in favor of Nelson.