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Weights, quotes and photos from Corona, California

POSTED ON Friday, November 4, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

ORANGE, Calif. (Nov. 3, 2016) – Undefeated 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs) of Los Angeles by way of Ukraine checked in at 146.6 lbs. while Chicago’s Jaime Herrera measured 146.2 lbs. at Thursday’s weigh in (Shelestyuk will defend his NABO welterweight title).

Shelestyuk vs. Herrera is the 10-round welterweight main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader set for Friday, Nov. 4, live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT(delayed on the West Coast) from Omega Products Event Center in Corona, Calif.

In the co-feature, undefeated cruiserweights Constantin Bejenaru (11-0, 4 KOs), of Catskill, N.Y. by way of Moldova, weighed 198.2 lbs. and Stivens “Superman” Bujaj (16-0-1, 11 KOs), of New York, came in at 197.5 lbs. The pair collide in a 10-rounder for thevacant WBC International and WBC Continental Americas titles.

In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated lightweight Vitor Jones Freitas (12-0, 1 ND, 6 KOs), of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, weighed 134.3 lbs., while challenger and local fan favorite Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs), of Indio, Calif., measured 134.9 lbs. Freitas vs. Mendez is scheduled for 8-rounds.

Tickets for the event promoted by Banner Promotions, Thompson Boxing, Hitz Boxing and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing are priced at $100 (ringside) and $70 (reserved).

Tickets are available for purchase on the day of the event (Friday) at the Omega Products Event Center will call booth beginning at 3:30 PM PT. The Omega Products Event Center is located at 1681 California Ave., Corona, CA 92881.

Photos by Carlos Baeza / Thompson Boxing

FULL WEIGHTS BELOW

Taras Shelestyuk 146.5 – Jimmy Herrera 146.25

Constantin Bejenaru 198.2 – Steve Bujaj 197.5

Vitor Jones Freitas 134.25 – Manuel Mendez 135

Ruben Villa 125.9 – Aaron Lopez 125

Xolisani Ndongeni – Juan Garcia Mendez 136.5

Danny Andujo 114.8 – Saul Sanchez 115

Jerry Larios 143.8 – Jose Gonzalez 142.9

Final quotes (courtesy of SHOWTIME)

TARAS SHELESTYUK

“Herrera is a good fighter, a tough fighter. I know he has defeated some good fighters like Mike Jones, who was a top fighter who’d been off a couple years. But I’m 100 percent ready. I expect a very tough and exciting fight but I expect to be much stronger and smarter.

“I’m excited for all the attention this fight and I are getting. I’ve always known that fans in America have known me but maybe now more than before. I think in the next year, I can become even more well-known.

“I’ve been working on strength and becoming more powerful. I think my boxing skills are already good, but my speed and power are better than before. I feel in sparring that I’m punching harder.

“I like to work the body. I like the fact you land enough of them early, they take a toll late. That’s one thing good about fighting as a pro. I feel good about my career; I hope to be fighting some of the best fighters in the division within a year.

“I’m sure Herrera will probably try and come at me; there’s no chance he can beat me at boxing. I like guys who come forward. They are good for me because I can counter and move side to side. And I’m ready to fight on the inside if necessary.

“I know I can improve on my last ShoBox fight. I made it closer than it should have been. If we had it over again I think I maybe stop him just because of what we’re been working on in the gym.

“Sparring with Shane Mosley has been huge for me. He’s such a great fighter. When I was younger, I’d watch his fights. Now we spar. He’s older but still very good. He knows all the tricks and gives me a lot of advice that helps me in and out of the ring. Everything he’s said to me, I’ve tried to apply.”

JIMMY HERRERA:

“I’ve been working a full two months for this fight so I’m ready. This is going to be a very good test for both of us, a great fight. He’s a good European boxer, another unbeaten for me. But I don’t feel like I’m coming in as the underdog at all. He’s got his strengths, I’ve got my strengths.

“There has to be a purpose for every punch. Each has to count. If he opens up and makes a mistake, I have to take advantage. I need to get him out of his rhythm early, force him out of his comfort zone and make him fight my fight.

“I’ll be the aggressor. But I’d love if he was the aggressor. I just think, though, knowing him, he’s going to try to box and win the rounds that way. I work all the time coming forward and that’s what I’ll do tomorrow.

“A kid from Chicago, like me, it’s hard to get anywhere in boxing without connections, so finally after fighting so long without a manager, I signed with Cameron Dunkin. I always knew I could be a good boxer, but never figured I’d be a boxer. But look at me know, I’m fighting on SHOWTIME and this fight couldn’t be coming along at a better time.”

CONSTANTIN BEJENARU:

“I feel your amateur career gives you a good foundation, like a beginner, but once you turn pro it’s a total different game. It doesn’t matter who has more experience as an amateur. As professionals, we all have to do our jobs here.

“I don’t know Bujaj, but I saw his fight with Junior Wright so I know he is tough.

“I feel this is a big step for me. He’s 16-0, a good fighter who can punch or box, and this is for a belt. This a good fight for both of us.

“I work hard for every fight and this was no exception. We know we have to pay attention to detail. This is a dangerous guy but I am very confident.

“I definitely don’t expect an easy fight. I have to press the action. I need to make him as uncomfortable as I can.

“I don’t have a lot of pro knockouts but boxing isn’t just about power. Boxing is intelligence and mental; it’s not just a street fight for me.

“This is my second fight on ShoBox. I’m so happy to be back again after that last win over Zubov. The goal is to keep busy, come back early next year and then sometime by next year be ready to fight for a major title of some type.”

STEVE BUJAJ:

“I’m looking forward to this fight, my first on network TV, to see where I’m at. The way I feel, I’ve got everything to win, everything to lose. This either pushes me to the next level, or I stay where I’m at.

“I’m ready for any kind of fight. I’m a versatile fighter and I will have the height advantage.

“I feel ready now for the bigger fights, the additional exposure on SHOWTIME, the ratings, the titles, all of it. But I definitely will be even more after Friday.

“I don’t feel this is going 10 rounds. I feel I’ll break him down and eventually stop him. I feel I’ve got the skills and definitely the heart. I’m healthy and ready to go.

“I saw his last fight on ShoBox, and thought it was pretty decent. He’s pretty short for a cruiserweight. Although we’re both from New York, I’d never heard of him before.

“Camp went awesome with lots of sparring. In Las Vegas. I trained with Mayweather fighters like Ronald Gavril, Badou Jack and Caleb Plant. It’s been four years since I’ve fought a left-hander but I do not consider it factor.”

VITOR JONES FREITAS:

“I thank God and both my uncles for helping me get to where I am, for teaching me and for guiding me in every step of my life and in boxing. Without their influence and what they’ve done for me since I was 11, I feel I’d be dead today.

“I’m very excited about this fight and the opportunity to fight better guys. This for me is all about taking advantage of the opportunity.

“I’m getting more and more experience. My goal is to work hard and, like my Uncle Acelino, make good fights and become a world champion”

“We’ve studied Mendez’ fighting style and have a lot of respect for his trainer, Joel Diaz. I know Mendez is very strong and comes forward. I don’t know if he likes it when his opponents attack from the sides but I’m ready to fight him on the sides, head-on and toe-to-toe.”

MANUEL MENDEZ:

“This is my ninth fight with Joel and we know each other very well. Through the bad and good, he’s been there for me.

“I’m sure Freitas has confidence in his ability but like any other undefeated fighter he does well until he hits the wall, which is what Joel wants me to make him do. He wants me to punish him, take my time.

“I feel have I have natural power, can take a punch and have heart. Hit me as much as you want, but watch out once I connect and turn things around. My goal always is to break them down, starting with the body.

“I may not have the pedigree of some of these guys, but I’m learning defense, how to pace myself, staying poised and most importantly, just how to fight. The more experience, the more mature you become.

“Tomorrow I just want to be me and listen to Joel in the corner. I wouldn’t want to be standing in from of me. If he wants to stand and bang, let’s do it. I guarantee he’s the one going back after the first few moments.”

Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Rich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

About ShoBox: The New Generation
Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 67 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Omar Figueroa, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and more.

Q&A WITH STEVE “SUPERMAN” BUJAJ

POSTED ON Thursday, November 3, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

CORONA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2016) — Undefeated ultra-confident cruiserweight Steve “Superman” Bujaj (16-0-1, 11 KOs), of Westchester, N.Y., chimes in before his important 10-round bout with fellow unbeaten Constantin Bejenaru (11-0, 3 KOs, 0-1-1 in the World Series of Boxing), of Brooklyn, N.Y., in the middle match of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader this Friday, Nov. 4, from the Omega Products Event Center in Corona, Calif.

Bujaj (pronounced “Boo-ha”), 26, has won four in a row, including his last two by knockout, since boxing a split 10-round draw in a slugfest with then-undefeated three-time Chicago Golden Gloves champion Junior Wright (10-0) in May 2014. A two-time New York Golden Gloves champion, Bujah, who’ll be fighting on ShoBox the first time, is coming off a first-round TKO over previously undefeated Sergio Ramirez (11-0) on June 11

Bejenaru (pronounced “bay-zhin-nah-ROO”) is making his second ShoBox start. In his debut last April 15, the native of Ungheni, Moldova, scored a unanimous eight-round decision over previously unbeaten Alexey Zubov (10-0), a former Russian amateur champion and seven-time European amateur champion. Southpaw Bejenaru boxed on the Romanian national team for 10 years and was a nine-time national champion.

Here is What Bujaj said:

What do you know about Bejenaru and what are your thoughts going in?

“I know he’s undefeated, 11-0 and a lefty, but I don’t believe he’s on my level. I think I’m a different class fighter and will be able to show it on Friday.”

What kind of fight do you expect?

“I don’t really have any expectations. When I get in there, I make my adjustments, and then I start breaking him down.”

What is the key to winning? What are your advantages?

“My best advantage is my experience. I’ve fought 10 rounds before. This is his first time. I believe that I’m more skilled than he is, and I believe that I have more heart and just think I have the edge all around.”

On fighting on ShoBox the first time?

“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity that has been given me. I’m ready to go out and perform and show the world what I’m all about — and that is being one of the top guys in the cruiserweight division.”

Your opinion on the cruiserweight division?

“The cruiserweight division is a good division with a lot of good fighters. I feel like it will get more exposure in the future because there are so many talented fighters and good fights that can happen. I’m looking forward to being a part some of the big fights and making some noise.”

What would a win on ShoBox mean to you?

“A win on SHOWTIME would be really huge, but mostly it would keep me going.”

Are they making a mistake fighting you?

“I don’t think he made a mistake, but I refuse to lose this fight. I’m gonna give it my all. He’s not on my level and I’m gonna prove it. I’m gonna fight my ass off.”

On his slugfest with former world title challenger Wright?
“I was winning the fight but I broke my jaw in the fourth round. I had a bad mouthpiece, a cheap one. I never knew mouthpieces needed to be fitted. The surgeon told me if I’d had a pro mouthpiece, I wouldn’t have had a problem.

“I still believe anybody else would have quit in that fight. I was in a lot of pain, I couldn’t close my mouth because the jaw was broke, I was spitting out blood. But I hung in there despite the jaw.

“I had him out on his feet in the last half-minute or so but the referee stopped the fight to give him time to tape up one of the laces on his glove. That gave him time to recover. If the ref hadn’t stopped it when he did, I feel I would have knocked him out.”

On his career?

“I had to work hard for my career. I don’t have a padded record. I do not have it as easy as most in their career. I don’t have a big-time promoter, and I’m not pampered. I’ve fought tough guys throughout my career but I’ve learned a lot and have no regrets. But I feel it’s time for me to step up. After I win Friday on ShoBox, a lot of doors should start opening up me.”

New Nickname?

“I’ve been known as ‘Superman’my whole career but I’m thinking of changing it to “Steel.” The Wright fight proved a lot of me, and I learned a lot. I didn’t quit. I’m very tough and strong-minded, made of ‘steel.'”

Bujaj vs. Bejenaru is scheduled for 10 rounds and will be part of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The main event will feature undefeated welterweight Taras Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KO’s) taking on upset-minded Jimmy Herrera (15-3-1, 8 KO’s). Opening up the broadcast will feature Unbeaten lightweight Vitor Jones Freitas (12-0, 1 ND, 6 KOs), of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, will be opposed by local fan favorite Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs), of Indio, Calif., in an eight-round bout in the opening bout of the telecast. Freitas, 23, is the nephew of popular former two-time lightweight world champion and Brazilian legend Acelino “Popo” Freitas.

Tickets for the event promoted by Banner Promotions, Thompson Boxing, Hitz Boxing and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing are priced at $100 (ringside), $70 (reserved) and $50 (general admission) and can be purchased by calling (714) 935-0900.

Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Rich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

About ShoBox: The New Generation
Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 67 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Omar Figueroa, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and more.

UNBEATEN TARAS SHELESTYUK WINDING DOWN TRAINING FOR HIS SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION MAIN EVENT DEBUT AGAINST JIMMY HERRERA THIS FRIDAY LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

POSTED ON Monday, October 31, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

NEW YORK (Oct. 31, 2016) – Promising unbeaten 2012 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs) will make his main event debut when he faces upset-minded Jimmy Herrera in the 10-round featured attraction of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader this Friday, Nov. 4, live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from Omega Products International Event Center in Corona, Calif.

A 5-foot-10 up-and-coming rising star, Shelestyuk, of Los Angeles, is ranked No. 9 by the WBO and No. 13 in the WBA. Shelestyuk, who is making his second ShoBox start, averaged 85 punches a round en route to winning his ShoBoxdebut with a 10-round division over Aslanbek Kozaev on Nov. 6, 2015.

The dedicated, hard-working Shelestyuk, who is trained by Eric Brown and spars a few days a week with former world champion Shane Mosley, at Wild Card West in Santa Monica, Calif., possesses solid skills, movement and punching power.

Shelestyuk was a member of a vaunted 2012 Ukrainian Olympic team that included featherweight gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko and heavyweight gold medalist Oleksandr Usyk. The 30-year-old feels he’s still about a year away from competing against the best at 147 pounds and that he first must get by Herrera. But Mosley claims Shelestyuk reminds him of a bigger Lomachencko and believes he’s already ready for the top names in the welterweight division.

Herrera (15-3-1, 8 KOs), of Chicago, Ill., has defeated unbeaten prospects in four of last nine fights and is 8-1-1 overall since July 2012.

Shelestyuk, Brown and Mosley spoke to SHOWTIME after a recent workout. Here’s what they said:

TARAS SHELESTYUK:
What are your thoughts going into the fight?
“I’m very excited. It’s been six months since my last fight. It’s my first headline fight and hopefully not my last one.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of work in my training camp with my trainer Eric Brown, and with my physical conditioning coach. My opponent is a tough fighter. He’s had some good fights with guys like Mike Jones, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and a couple of other big guys. He likes to fight and I think it will be a good fight and a good matchup for our styles.”

You’re now a ranked fighter; are you happy with the pace of your progression?
“I’m happy with my progression but of course I want to fight bigger names in championship fights and all of that. I know it’s coming soon. I enjoy my way of training and developing my skills, but if you see your dream you do anything to reach it and don’t let anything get in your way.”

What do you think of the welterweight division?
“It’s a very good division because there are a lot of fighters, but some don’t want to fight each other (very often). There are some very good championship fights to be made and hopefully I will be one of them.”

Why did you chose to move to Southern California?
“Well, [laughs] mainly because if the great weather, but this is also a good area with a lot of good fighters and a lot of good trainers as well. When I first moved here my manager invited me out and showed me around and I got in the gym right away. I was training with Ruslan Provodnikov and got some sparring in with him before a fight that he had and next thing you know, two weeks later I had my pro debut and now three-and-a-half years later here I am.”

Is there pressure on you when you fight?
“I wouldn’t say I feel pressure because everyone around me is supporting me, they believe in me and I believe in them. My team believes in me and I trust them. I just want to do what I do in the ring, better. I want to do better for me, for my family and for my friends.”

Do you follow your Olympic teammates?
“I watch fights of the Ukrainian Olympic Team, and I enjoy when the other guys win. We support each other and we call each other. It is good for there to be more Ukraine fighters who are champions now. Next year, I hope to be one of them.”

How did it feel going 10 rounds for the first time?
“Last year in November I had my first 10-round fight on ShoBox, I fought with a strong guy and he gave me a very good fight. I went the 10 rounds and I felt like I could still go two more. I am ready for 10, for 12, it doesn’t matter. I feel much better, much more powerful. I have more speed than I had in my last fight, too.”

How did you end up training with Eric?
“I trained with Freddie Roach for about two and a half years when I met Eric at Wild Card West Gym. I started sparring with some of his guys there. After my fight with Rodriguez on ESPN in 2015 I asked Eric to train me and we started working. Now that I’ve fought two fights with him as my trainer, I feel my boxing skills are better, I feel more powerful and I enjoy training in his gym.

“All of the trainers help us and they give us advice. On the days I spar with Shane Mosley he stops and gives me some advice. I learn a lot from him, being the fighting legend that he is. I grew up watching him fight as a kid and respect what he’s able to teach me. Then the next time I try what he has taught me and it works.”

Boxing is in your blood; your dad and brother boxed. When you were younger, did you think you were going to become a fighter?
“No, but my father pushed me in a lot of sports. I did gymnastics, soccer for five years, and played chess. I fought as a kid but it was always friendly. I always enjoyed the training aspect. To train for soccer sometimes my father and I would run barefoot in the snow and I enjoyed it. So, as a kid, when I first stepped into the boxing gym, it was just so much fun.”

Your ShoBox fight falls on your father’s birthday; do you have a special present in mind for him?
“It makes me want to get the victory for him. On his day, he will be sitting and watching my fight so I want to get that victory for him, for my family and for the Ukraine.”

ERIC BROWN, Shelestyuk’s trainer
What kind of camp has Taras had has had and what do you see happening on Friday?
“I see a lot of progression in Taras. When we first started working together, one of the things was that Taras always had great boxing ability, but he wasn’t a great finisher. I don’t know if he was gun shy or what it was but he had a tendency of using his talent to get people in trouble but then he would stand back and let them get back in the fight. So, what we’ve been working on a lot more is getting him to become a better finisher and recognize when he has his man in trouble and how to seize the moment, without being reckless at the same time. He’s improving at a fast pace.

“A lot of guys from Ukraine seem to have similar tendencies because they have long amateur careers and they start picking up bad habits that we need to correct. Taras had a little bit of that in him but he seems to be making the adjustments very well. He’s an extremely hard worker and you often have to tell him to slow down, you never have to tell him to do more.”

Where do you see him in his career as a welterweight?
“It’s a great division. I’d say that Keith Thurman tops it without a doubt now but there are good fighters like Shawn Porter too. If Mayweather decided to come back, I think he would be all over this division again. Canelo is a good super welterweight, but he’s too busy worrying about catch-weights. Undoubtedly in another year, I think Taras will be right there with the best of them. He’s got a lot of talent, great versatility, great hand speed and foot speed and he’s a good puncher. Not a devastating knockout puncher but a great puncher nonetheless with both hands.”

SHANE MOSLEY, Former World Champion
How has it been working with Taras and how did you become involved in his training?
“I have been sparring with Taras and he’s looking really sharp. I’ve been sparring with him for about four or five months now pretty consistently because a lot of guys won’t spar with him. Guys are worried that he will make them look bad; he’s so technical and sharp that they don’t want to spar with him. So, I go in there with him a lot. It’s hard to get people to spar with him.”

Where do you see him in the welterweight division?
“He’s on that championship path, that level, but I think once he gets there, he’ll get more sparring partners and will get even better. He really is a world champion, a world-class fighter. He reminds me of a bigger Lomachenko, sparring with him is just like that. I see him as a top welterweight champion. The way he throws his combinations, he’s a smart boxer who works out very hard. He’s at the gym every single day, whether he’s sparring or not, whether he has some training to do or not. He’ll even be here by himself just moving around and staying sharp. His work ethic is really, really strong.

How do you like working with Taras?
“I like Taras and I enjoy working with him. He’s extremely dedicated and that’s hard to find. I like Taras’ work ethic, his personality, how he takes to boxing. He loves this sport and he wants to be the best. He doesn’t like to lose, even in sparring. I’m impressed with him. When I sparred with him for the first time I was very impressed at his swing, his power, his ring accuracy, his IQ of boxing. I was impressed with how hard he worked and his willingness to learn.”

Do you find it unusual for guys to be as dedicated as Taras at this point in their careers?
“It’s unusual in the sense that a lot of fighters want to learn from the top guys but it seems to me with Taras that it’s not fake. He truly does want to learn about boxing so that he can be the best. He wants to become a world champion and is working to become one of the best. If you put Taras in the ring with any big name today and I’d say he would take the victory. He has a sound mind. He has the mentality to be at the top. He’s serious about being the world champion, about being the top fighter. He’s serious about winning and he’s going to take it all the way to the end. If you put this guy against Thurman, I’d go with him. I think he beats Thurman right now.”

Tickets for the event promoted by Banner Promotions, Thompson Boxing, Hitz Boxing and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing are priced at $100 (ringside), $70 (reserved) and $50 (general admission) and can be purchased by calling (714) 935-0900.

In the ShoBox co-feature, undefeated cruiserweights Constantin Bejenaru (11-0, 4 KOs, 0-1-1 in World Series of Boxing), of Catskill, N.Y. by way of Moldova, and Steve “Superman” Bujaj (16-0-1, 11 KOs), of New York, will collide in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBC International and WBC Continental Americas titles. Unbeaten lightweight Vitor Jones Freitas (12-0, 1 ND, 6 KOs), of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, will be opposed by local fan favorite Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs), of Indio, Calif., in an eight-round bout in the opening bout of the telecast. Freitas, 23, is the nephew of popular former two-time lightweight world champion Acelino “Popo” Freitas.

Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Rich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

# # #

About ShoBox: The New Generation
Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 67 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Omar Figueroa, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and more.

Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions Sign Elite Amateur Michael Dutchover

POSTED ON Friday, October 28, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Philadelphia, Penn. /Orange, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2016) – Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing are proud to announce the signing of elite amateur Michael Dutchover (1-0, 1 KOs) out of Midland, Tex.

Dutchover, 18, will campaign as a junior lightweight. The Texas native won numerous regional tournaments as an amateur and was a runner up at this year’s National Golden Gloves competition in the 132-pound division. He enters the professional ranks well prepared having gone 130-17 in the unpaid arena.

“I felt an overwhelming amount of joy when I was signing my contract,” said Dutchover, who is trained and managed by Danny Zamora. “I’ve been doing this since I was eight years old. This is just the beginning. I’m going to work hard to become a world champion. That’s all I want.”

“I am very excited to be promoting Michael with Ken Thompson of Thompson Boxing,” said Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions. “He had a big amateur background. His style as an amateur was more pro oriented then anything else. He is a great young talent and I know he has a big future. We look forward to getting him started on what we hope will be a journey towards a world championship.”

“We are very pleased with the addition of Michael Dutchover,” said Ken Thompson, president at Thompson Boxing. “Michael brings a dynamic fighting style to the ring. He looked incredible in his pro debut last week. It’s going to be exciting watching his career take off.”

Dutchover appeared on the most recent Thompson Boxing card last Friday, Oct. 21. Dutchover started his career with a third round knockout over Cesar Partida.

He worked off an effective jab that allowed him to land crisp power shots. In the third, he connected on a crushing combination that resulted in the fight’s only knockdown. Partida survived the round, but was not allowed to come out for the fourth and final round.

“Partida was a tough opponent,” said Dutchover after the fight. “He took a lot of quality punches. I was able to drop him in the third and I knew he was hurt. It feels great to start my career with a knockout win.”

Willie Monroe, Jr.: “I know Canelo would fight me.”

POSTED ON Thursday, October 6, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Philadelphia, PA (October 5, 2016)–After his emphatic unanimous decision victory over Gabriel Rosado on September, 17th, it was widely understood in the boxing industry that middleweight contender Willie Monroe, Jr. would get an opportunity to face Canelo Alvarez in a bout this winter or next spring.

Now it seems, Canelo’s team, led by trainer Eddie Reynoso, have seemed to do a 180 degree turn, and they don’t want their prized fighter anywhere near the former world title challenger.

“I don’t think it’s Canelo himself, but it is his team. I know Canelo would fight me,” said Monroe. “I think it is trainers who fear that they can’t prepare Canelo for my style.”

Monroe points to pre-fight talk that came from Canelo’s side that the winner of the fight between Monroe & Rosado would be the front-runner to receive the fight with Alvarez.

“If he is a true man, they should stick to their word. The plan was for the winner of that fight to be able to fight Canelo. They thought Rosado would win, and he would just be a guy that would get pounded by Canelo.”

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and it was me who did not want to fight an aggressive fighter, I would look like a punk.”

“They keep putting me on the “B” side, and I just keep on winning. Remember Rosado was the guy who kept saying he was going to knock me out and talking a lot, calling me scared and a bum; I am not that type of guy. I don’t have nine gold chains around my neck or gold teeth in.”

Watch the fight with Rosado. I stood in the middle of the ring with my feet planted in. I was waiting for Rosado to come in, and after I hit him a few times, he looked scared and it was me pressing him.”

“All I want is the opportunity. Canelo got to where he is by fighting big names, so I feel I deserve this opportunity.”

Petr Petrov earns mandatory WBA lightweight title shot with stoppage over Michael Perez

POSTED ON Monday, October 3, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Indio, CA (October 3, 2016) – Petr Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KO’s) earned a mandatory world title shot at the WBA Lightweight title with a stoppage after 6 rounds over Michael Perez in a scheduled 12 round bout at the Fantasy Springs Casino Resort in Indio, California.

In round 2, Perez was bloodied over his right eye, and Petrov was cut on his forehead. Later in the round, Petrov dropped Perez with a hard right to the head. Petrov continued the assault as he battered and hurt Perez with evenly dispersed punches to the head and body. As the blood continued over Perez’s right eye, Petrov never let up.

Finally, trainer Robert Garcia decided his fighter had enough and stopped the fight after the 6th round.

“I just want to thank everybody who made this win possible. My wife Carolina, My family back home in Spain and Russia. This victory is what I have been working for to be so close to a world title shot. This was one of the best training camps I have had, and I want to thank my trainer/ manager Danny Zamora and my strength and conditioning coach Jerry Arias,” said Petrov. “Mike Perez is a true warrior, and he came to fight, and it was great fight. All I want to do is go home to Spain get some rest and wait for the phone call from my promoter to let me know when I will be fighting for the world title.”

Banner Promotions President, Artie Pelullo stated, “Petr looked sensational, He has been getting better every fight, and this is the best he has looked. He has really earned his title opportunity. In his last 6 bouts the combined record of his opponents is 135-24-5. Now we will look to make the WBA world title bout as quickly as possible.”

Photos by Kyte Monroe

Petr Petrov 134 – Michael Perez 135

POSTED ON Friday, September 30, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Indio (September 30, 2016) – NABA Lightweight champion Petr “Zar”Petrov (37-4-2, 18 KO’s) of Ryazan, Russia weighed in at 134 lbs while WBA Number 3 rated Lightweight contender, Michael “The Artist” Perez (24-1-2, 11 KOs) of Newark, N.J. weighed 135 lbs WBA Lightweight World Title Eliminator on September 30 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and broadcast live nationally on Estrella TV’s Boxeo Estelar.

Petr Petrov vs. Michael Perez is a 12-round fight for the WBA Lightweight World Title Eliminator presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Banner Promotions and sponsored by “Cerveza Tecate, BORN BOLD.” The Boxeo Estelar broadcast will air live on Estrella TV at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. The card will also stream live on EstrellaTV.com and on YouTube via LBI Media, Inc.’s Fenomeno Studios. The Ring TV live stream will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. PT through 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are still available for purchase at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com. All floor seats are now sold out.

For more information visit www.goldenboypromotions.com, www.estrellatv.com, follow on twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing, @EstrellaTV, and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing, http://www.facebook.com/EstrellaTVNetwork, visit us on Instagram at @GoldenBoyBoxing and @EstrellaTV; and follow the conversation using #BoxeoEstelar.

MICHAEL PEREZ AND PETR PETROV SCEHDULED TO BATTLE IN ELIMINATOR FIGHT TOWARDS WBA LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE

POSTED ON Thursday, September 29, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

LOS ANGELES (September 28, 2016) – Golden Boy Promotions has taken the exciting Michael Perez vs. Petr Petrov card to the next level with its addition of action packed, top talent undercard fighters for this fight on Friday, September 30 at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.

Broadcast live on Estrella TV and streaming live simultaneously on Ring TV, estrellaTV.com and on YouTube via Fenomeno Studios, the main event will feature Newark, New Jersey’s Michael “The Artist” Perez (24-1-2, 11 KOs) who is preparing for the toughest fight of his career yet as he takes one step closer to bringing home the WBA Lightweight Title when he takes on resilient Russian fighter Petr “Zar” Petrov (37-4-2, 17 KOs) on Friday, September 30 in a scheduled 12-round lightweight eliminator fight.

Snatching a spot on the televised card as the co-main event will be skilled San Diego fighter Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (2-0, 2 KOs) looking to defeat Durham, North Carolina’s Vernon Alston (9-6-1, 7 KOs) in the six-round super featherweight event. Opening up the televised portion of the night, Santa Ana, CA sensation Alexis Rocha (4-0, 3 KOs) will return to the ring to participate in a six-round welterweight bout against Colbert “The Pittbull” Lozoya (7-13) of El, Paso, TX.

Rounding out the non-televised undercard, streamed live on Ring TV, Luis Coria of Indio, CA will be making his professional debut in a scheduled four-round super bantamweight fight against Ciudad, Mexico fighter Noe Munoz (2-3); Indio, CA’s Javier Padilla will fight for the first time professionally in a four-round super bantamweight clash against Richard Morales (0-2) of Denver, CO; East LA’s Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro (6-0, 5 KOs) will participate in a six-round super lightweight bout facing Farkhad “Crazy Russian” Sharipov (4-8, 1 KO) of Kissimmee, Florida. Kicking off this fight night will be Bastie Samir (14-0-1, 14 KOs) of Las Vegas, NV in the super middleweight division going six rounds against Sijoula “Siju/Juice” Ade Shabazz (6-1, 5 KOs) of Frankfurt, Germany.

After leaving behind a highly decorated amateur career, including being ranked as the number one lightweight in the United States, Genaro “El Conde” Gamez has quickly become of boxing’s top prospects. A 2014 USA Boxing National Champion, San Diego’s Gamez is currently coached by renowned former world champion Robert Garcia. Since breaking into his professional career with a catastrophic first round knockout over Archie Weah, Gamez is sure and was most recently seen in the ring defeating Juan Bryand on June 4 and hopes to do the same when he takes on Vernon Alston.

Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Vernon Alston brings six knockouts under his belt to his eight wins. Since turning professional over six years ago and known for his aggressive fighting, Alston will be making his Fantasy Springs debut for this bout and hopes to put on a show in the ring as he fights on the televised co-main event in the scheduled six-round super featherweight fight.

The youngest fighter to ever take home the gold from the Junior Olympics in 2012, Alexis Rocha has been the talk of the boxing world since becoming a six-time national champion during his amateur career. As the younger brother of current WBC Silver Featherweight Champion, Ronny Rios, the six-time national champion signed a promotional contract with Golden Boy Promotions in 2016. The young standout Rocha made his professional debut in March via third-round knockout over Jordan Rosario. Since then, Rocha defeated Abdel Vera on May 6 via first round knockout at the Toshiba Plaza in Las Vegas and went the distance for the first time in his career to secure a unanimous decision victory against Anthony Woods on June 4. Now, set to face Colbert Lozoya on September 30, Rocha will be looking to maintain his perfect record intact.

Having been a professional fighter for over fifteen years, Colbert “Pittbull” Lozoya of El Paso, Texas will be fighting for the first time in California. As the thirty-six year-old welterweight fighter faces Alexis Rocha in the televised opener of the night, this fight is sure to be youth versus experience bout.

Local Indio fighter Luis Coria will be making his professional debut on Friday, September 30th as he takes the stage in what is sure to be a super featherweight fight against Noe Munoz.

Coming over from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Noe Munoz will fight for the first time at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Having fought professionally for over a year now, this tough twenty-seven year-old fighter with be fighting for the fourth time this year.

Javier Padilla of Indio, CA will be fighting professionally for the very first time as he takes on Denver, CO’s Richard Morales in a four-round super bantamweight clash. Padilla will be looking to take home a victory and begin his boxing career with a bang come September 30th.

Twenty-eight year-old Richard Morales coming all the way from Denver, CO will be hoping to make a big name for himself as he faces Javier Padilla of Indio, CA for a super bantamweight fight scheduled to go four rounds.

Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro representing East Los Angeles has lived up to his nickname thus far, as the 19-year-old has ended four of his five wins by knockout. Having most recently taken down Marc Torres by way of technical knockout on June 4 at The StubHub Center on the undercard of Vargas vs. Salido, this fan favorite is hungry to make a name for himself in the East L.A. boxing scene by fighting at Fantasy Spring Resort Casino for the very first time. As the nephew of former boxing Olympian Jose Navarro, “Thunder” has boxing his in his blood and hopes to keep up the family tradition of big victories and sensational knockouts come September 30.

Farkhad “Frank/Crazy Russian” Sharipov of Kissimmee, FL will fight for the first time at Fantasy Springs on this September 30 fight card. A super lightweight fighter, Sharipov is sure to bring his Kyrgyzstan style of fighting in to the ring when he faces Jonathan Navarro for a super lightweight six-round fight.

Hailing all the way from Ghana, Bastie Samir now calls Las Vegas his home and is eager to make a name for himself as a powerful super middleweight fighter. So far, Samir has maintained an undefeated status and is hopeful to keep it that way as he fights for the second time at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, when he knocked out opponent Greg Hackett in the first round. With a 93% knockout record, fight fans can expect to see Samir’s power and strength come September 30.

Participating in the opening bout of the night, Sijoula “Siju/Juice” Ade Shabazz of Frankfurt, Germany will take on Bastie Samir for the super middleweight bout of the night to go a scheduled six rounds. Coming in to the ring with a three year winning streak-most of which resulting in knockouts, Shabazz is sure to give Samir a tough fight as they open this fight night.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and are priced at $45, $35, and $25. They can be purchased at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Michael Perez vs. Petr Petrov is a 12-round fight for the WBA Lightweight World Title Eliminator presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Banner Promotions and sponsored by “Cerveza Tecate, BORN BOLD.” Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and the first bout begins at 5:15 p.m. The Estrella TV Boxeo Estelar broadcast will air live on Friday, September 30 at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT and will stream live simultaneously on estrellaTV.com and on YouTube via Fenomeno Studios: youtube.com/FenomenoStudios. The Ring TV live stream will begin at approximately 5:15 p.m. PT through 7:00 p.m.

For more information visit www.goldenboypromotions.com, www.estrellatv.com, follow on twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing, @EstrellaTV, and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing, http://www.facebook.com/EstrellaTVNetwork, visit us on Instagram at @GoldenBoyBoxing and @EstrellaTV; and follow the conversation using #BoxeoEstelar.

Ruben Villa stops Mora in one for second straight first round knockout

POSTED ON Sunday, September 25, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Onatario, CA. (September 23, 2016)–Heralded featherweight prospect Ruben Villa made it two-for-two in first round stoppages as he took out Jose Mora at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.

Villa dropped Mora with a right hook, and then stepped on the gas with a flurry of power punches until the fight was stopped at 2:31.

Villa of Salinas, California is now with two knockouts.

“Ruben has been very impressive in his first two outings,” said Banner Promotions President, Artie Pelullo. “We will have him back on November 4th on the undercard of our fight card in Corona, California.”

“The fight went as expected,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “Ruben was sensational in earning his second straight knockout win. It’s very early in his career, but you can already tell how special he is.”

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