Archive : Category

Heralded prospects Ruben Villa & Michael Dutchover in action TONIGHT!! night in Ontario, California

POSTED ON Friday, February 10, 2017  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Philadelphia, PA / Ontario, California (February 10, 2017)–TONIGHT at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California, two highly regarded prospects will be in action as undefeated featherweight Ruben Villa and Michael Dutchover will make their 1st appearances in 2017.

Ruben Villa 128 lbs – Francisco Camacho 128 lbs

Villa (3-0, 2 KO’s) of Salinas, California will take on 9 fight veteran Francsico Camacho, while Dutchover (2-0, 2 KO’s) of Santa Fe Springs, California will battle Jose Mora.

Villa and Dutchover are promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.

Both fights are scheduled for 4 rounds.

“Everything is going well. I had a great training camp. I sparred with (world title challenger) Oscar Escandon and Victor Pasillas,” said Villa.

“I don’t know a lot about my opponent. He has lost to some good prospects, but I let my trainer do the research. I just train and fight.”

Being that it is Villa’s 1st full year as fighter, Villa has goals, both in this fight and throughout 2017.

“Hopefully I can get some rounds in on Friday. That will give me more ring experience. I am looking for 5 or 6 fights this year, and just want to stay active. I think I will fight 1 or 2 more 4-round fights and then it will be onto 6-round fights. I just want to be able to show what I can do. It’s great to get those 1st round knockouts, but it doesn’t show all my skills. I want to show the fans all that I can do.”

Dutchover (640x471)

Michael Dutchover 129.1 lbs – Jose Mora 124.8 lbs

Dutchover, who turned professional on October 21st, is ready to start the year off in impressive fashion.

“Training has been great. I feel strong and confident,”said the 19 year-old Dutchover.

“I don’t know much about him other than he has had a few fights, but it should be a good test for me.”

Like Villa, look for Dutchover to stay active in 2017.

“This is my first fight in 2017, and I am ready to start the year off with a bang. I am just going to work my game plan and come out victorious. It’s going to be a very busy year. I been working hard with my trainer Danny Zamaora, I think I will fight 5 or 6 times this year. But first things first, and that is to start off the year off in a good fashion on Friday, and keep it going.”

“We are looking forward to Ruben and Michael getting started in 2017,” said Artie Pelullo, president of Banner Promotions. “This will be a good year for them as the fans will really get to know them. We plan to keep them very busy. We feel by this time next year, they will be on everybody’s prospect lists as stars of the future.”

“Both Ruben and Michael are anxious to start 2017 with compelling wins,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “We plan on keeping them busy this year. The plan is to elevate their level of competition as the year goes on. Ruben and Michael are immensely talented prospects with world championship potential. It’s only a matter of time before they become household names.”

Photos By Carlos Baeza / Thompson Boxing

Culcay and Andrade exchange words prior to World title showdown

POSTED ON Friday, February 10, 2017  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Former amateur foes ‘Golden’ Jack Culcay (22-1, 11 KOs) and Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade (23-0, 16 KOs) will meet for the WBA World Super Welterweight Championship on March 11 at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Both men are former Amateur World Champions who have gone on to claim World honours as professionals. Culcay, who claimed the WBA strap with a unanimous pints decision over Maurice Weber on May 9, 2015, will be making a third defence of his title against Andrade, a former WBO World Champion.

At a press conference yesterday in Ludwigshafen, Culcay and Andrade, who was appearing via video link, exchanged words for this first time prior to their super welterweight showdown with most of the talk surrounding their 2007 bout at the Amateur World Championships in Chicago.

‘’Last time we fought at the Amateur World Championships in Chicago the judges clearly favoured the home fighter,’’ said Culcay. ‘’They gave him point after point when in reality it was a really close fight for the first two rounds. He beat me and won the gold that year, but now it’s my time for revenge. We will be fighting on a level playing ground in Germany and I will prove I am one of the best boxers at 154 lbs.’’

“Hey Jack, remember 2007,’’ said Andrade. ‘’Back then we were just two young guys, greenhorns without much power, but I already made easy work of you. This time we’re grown men with punches that can hurt badly. You better get ready to be dominated again. Boo Boo is going to make your World title disappear!’’

‘’This is one of the most hotly anticipated fights to take place on German soil for many years,’’ said promoter Kalle Sauerland. ‘’It is an exciting match up. Both men have reached the pinnacle in amateur boxing and have won World Championships as professionals. No doubt, their amateur history will add extra spice to the battle. March 11 is judgment day, and we will see if it is repeat or revenge?’’

Tickets for the WBA World Super Welterweight Championship clash between Jack Culcay and Demetrius Andrade are available online via or by calling the ticket hotline on 01806-570044.

World ranked Cruiserweight Kevin Lerena stops Meroro in 5

POSTED ON Wednesday, February 8, 2017  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Philadelphia, PA / Johannesburg, South Africa (February 8, 2017)–This past Saturday night , World ranked cruiserweight Kevin Lerena stopped Vikapita Meroro in the 5th round of their scheduled 10-round bout at The Emperors Palace in Gauteng, South Africa.

Lerena, who is ranked number-5 by the WBO,number-11 by the WBC, and number-13 by the WBA dropped Meroro in the 1st round and won each round until Meroro surprisingly quit in round five.

The win was Lerena’s 6th consecutive victory.

The stoppage came as a shock, which led promoter Rodney Berman to withhold Meroro’s purse.

“He quit, plain and simple,” raged Berman, who insisted Meroro was in no imminent danger.
“We have an obligation to the public to produce good fights. The public pay good money, Emperors Palace pays good money and SuperSport pays good money. I can’t overlook that,” said Berman.

“As I didn’t really get going, I’d give myself six out of 10. The minute I dropped him in the first round, he went into defensive mode,” said Lerena. “When a guy comes to fight, I show my true ability. It frustrates me when they don’t . . . I like fighting. We did expect more, but what can you do?”

“I was disappointed. No, I was angry. I wanted to beat him up. I started going to the body from round four. I was planning and building towards a conclusive finish. I’d rather get knocked out than quit, like Meroro did.”

“I’m lucky, I have a big following. The fans paid a lot of money to watch me and many tuned in to television, but they never got a full show because Meroro quit. People understand, I’m coming to wreck my opponents. I’m not there for the pay day. I come to win.”
“I trained hard. Now I’m just focused on what’s next. I’m hoping for a fight date in America, the sooner the better. I want a good fight and a good opponent. I love hard fights; I never want to have easy fights. I just want to win and look good doing so.”

“Kevin got the win, and he dominated the fight,” said Matt Rowland, Vice President of Banner Promotions.

“He continues to win and move up the rankings, and our partner Rodney Berman and us will discuss the next move for Kevin. We can see him fighting for a world title in the not too distant future.”


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

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (December 29, 2016) World ranked cruiserweight KEVIN “THE KO KID” LERENA, (16-1-0, 8 KO’s) kicks off his 2017 campaign towards a world title in style on Saturday, February 4 with his triumphant return to South Africa’s premier boxing venue, Emperors Palace against VIKAPITA “BEAST MASTER” MERORO, (28-5-0, 14 KO’s) of Windhoek, Namibia.

Presented by Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves of South Africa, advance tickets for THUNDER AND LIGHTNING, may be purchased by calling 078-457-3030.

Sporting movie-star looks, the 24-year-old Lerena will be making his fourth straight appearance at Emperors Palace having thrilled the boxing crowd in his three victories in 2016.

“I can’t wait for the New Year, the path to a world title is in front of me, my promoter Rodney Berman is getting me the right fights and my world rankings will support a title shot in the future,” said Lerena following a sparring session under the watchful eye of trainer Peter Smith.

Said Berman, “Kevin has stardom written all over him, we’ve got big plans in 2017 for him. Putting him in the right fights, securing his position in the world rankings of the sanctioning bodies and working with Banner Promotions in the US to secure him a major stateside fight in the coming year.”

“We are excited to be co-promoting Kevin with Rodney Berman and Golden Gloves. Rodney has only brought us the cream of the crop, “said Artie Pelullo, President and CEO of Banner Promotions. “Kevin is a quality fighter, who has shown he has championship ability. We look forward to him getting closer to a world title opportunity with a big win on February 4.”

“I’m as excited about Kevin’s future as I’ve ever been of all the fighters I’ve worked with, cruiserweight is a very exciting division in boxing currently.”

Lerena is currently world ranked #5 by the World Boxing Organization and #11 by the World Boxing Council.

Most recently, Lerena, performing brilliantly from start to finish, winning a hard-fought ten round decision over the undefeated Micki Nielsen on October 22, 2016, earning the critically lauded Super 4 Tournament Championship.

In the first round of the Super 4 Tournament Championship, Lerena won a ten round unanimous decision over Roberto Bolonti on June 11, 2016.

Kicking off his 2016 campaign on April 24, 2016, the southpaw won the South African Cruiserweight Title with a tenth round knockout of Johnny Muller. The stoppage avenged a ten round decision loss in 2014 to Muller.

World ranked middleweight Willie Monroe, Jr. looking for major fights in 2017

POSTED ON Tuesday, December 20, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Philadelphia, Penn./Rochester, New York (Dec. 19, 2016) -Willie Monroe, Jr. is ready for another major opportunity after a year where he defeated two world title challengers.

The native of Rochester, New York scored unanimous decision victories over John Thompson and Gabriel Rosado in 2016 to put himself in position to be mentioned for an early-2017 bout with Canelo Alvarez or a world title opportunity with WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders. Monroe is also looking for showdowns with contenders David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens.

The recent win over Rosado netted Monroe the WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title.

Sporting a record of 21-2 with 6 knockouts has Monroe ranked number-5 by the WBA, number-8 by the WBO and number-13 by the WBC.

This week, Monroe became a member of #TeamEverlast as a endorser for the legendary Everlast brand.

“I am very thankful to be a part of #TeamEverlast. Joining this elite group of guys is a testament to my hard work and determination being recognized. I look forward to growing with Everlast in the coming years.”

“2017 is going to be an exciting year,” said Monroe. “I saw what it is like to be on that stage in 2015 when I faced Golovkin for the world title. This year I beat 2 world title challengers decisively, and now I am looking to keep that momentum and have a big year. You will see a lot more fight out of Willie Monroe. I have already proved myself as a boxer, and this year I will have to show other elements out of Willie Monroe.”

“It was a big stage to fight Golovkin, but I fought on a bigger stage on the Canelo undercard in front of 50,000 people, and I proved that I am one of the top guys in the division. I will prove that once again in 2017.”

“The most important thing for me is activity in 2017. There are fights to be made; Saunders, Stevens, Lemieux. I would fight all of those guys one after another. My team and I ended 2016 with fireworks; lets continue that show in 2017.”

“Willie put together an amazing 2016 in the final 6 months of the year. I am glad we got the deal with Everlast finalized. This serves as excellent momentum going into 2017,” said Adrian Clark (Strategic Partner to Willie Monroe, Jr.)

“Willie had an outstanding year,” said Banner Promotions President, Artie Pelullo. “He showed his resiliency by coming back from the Golovkin fight. Great fighters take losses and come back stronger, and that is what Willie showed. He will be in a significant bout in early 2017, and he will prove again that he is one of the top middleweights in the world.”

Michael Dutchover remains perfect with 51 second stoppage

POSTED ON Monday, November 21, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Philadelphia, Penn./Ontario, Calif. (Nov. 21, 2016) -Junior lightweight Michael Dutchover (2-0, 2 KOs) kicked off this past Friday’s “New Blood” boxing event in Ontario, CA. with a devastating first round knockout of Sergio Campos (0-1). Dutchover bolted out of his corner with a fierce attack that put Campos, who was making his professional debut, on the defensive immediately. Dutchover unloaded power shots to the body and landed a left hook that dropped Campos for good at the :51 mark.


Dutchover fights out of Midland, Tex. and is trained by Danny Zamora. He is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.

Undefeated junior lightweight Michael Dutchover in action TONIGHT in Ontario, California

POSTED ON Friday, November 18, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

Philadelphia, Penn./Ontario, Calif. (Nov.18, 2016) – Undefeated junior lightweight Michael Dutchover weighed in at a ready 131 lbs., while his opponent Sergio Campo checked in at 130.5 lbs for tonight’s 4-round bout at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.

Dutchover (1-0, 1 KO) of Santa Fe, Springs, California is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.

“We are looking forward for Michael to put on another great performance tonight,” said Banner Promotions President, Artie Pelullo. “He has tremendous talent, and we expect him to thrill the crowd in Ontario. After tonight, we expect to bring Michael along at a good pace in 2017. Michael has all the skills to become a star.”

“We’re excited to see Michael back in the ring again,” said Ken Thompson, President of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “Our plan is to keep him active and build his skills so he’s ready to compete with the best when the time is right.”

“I last fought in October so I really never stopped training,” said Michael Dutchover. “It’s been fun to be in the gym everyday working to get better. I’m ready for another test and another win.”


Banner Promotions Shelestyuk, Villa and Ndongeni shine this past Friday night in Corona, California

POSTED ON Monday, November 7, 2016  - POSTED IN Events, Fights, News

CORONA, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2016) – Taras “The Real Deal Shelestyuk, Xolisani Ndongeni,and Ruben Villa all remained undefeated this past Friday night at the Omega Events Center in Corona, California.

Shelestyuk (15-0, 9 KOs), the 2012 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist for Ukraine, was victorious by the scores of 96-93 twice and 95-94. Despite a gutsy, gritty performance, Herrera (15-4-1, 8 KOs), of Chicago, IL., had a 3-fight winning streak end. There were no knockdowns.

Southpaw Shelestyuk, who entered the ring ranked No. 9 in the WBO and No. 13 in the WBA, turned back a determined bid by Herrera to win, despite getting docked a point for excessive holding in the fifth round.

“It was a tough fight,” stated Shelestyuk. “He is a tough fighter; he is slow, but he worked well. In the first round, I did well but my legs went on me. I think it was because I did not sleep well.

“After five rounds, I started to find my rhythm. I started boxing him. I made some mistakes in there like pulling straight back. This fight will make me better. Like I said, he was tough but nothing special. When my legs went, I started to work inside. I beat him good in the last round and if there was 30 seconds more, I could have stopped him.

“I am looking forward to being more active in 2017. I will take two or three weeks off and be right back in the gym.”

“The Truth” hurts, and Herrera had more than his fair share of moments in a tight fight. Herrera, a professional since December 2009, figured to be a legitimate test for Shelestyuk, and he was. But Taras was more active, (landing 169 of 689 punches, compared to Herrera’s 130 of 460). Each fighter connected 28 percent of the time.

Herrera, who had defeated undefeated prospects in four of his previous nine fights, was not happy with the verdict. “It was a good fight. There is not much that I can say. I thought it was closer than the scores indicated. I had fun in there, and I give him credit. He was everything I expected. He is a smart fighter.”

“I would love to be a test dummy for all these young prospects. I thought it could have been a draw, but the people who saw it on TV can have their opinion.”

Shelestyuk is co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.

Opening up the ShoBox broadcast, Vitor Jones Freitas was stopped in the first round by Manuel Mendez. The fight was stopped after Mendez landed a thudding body shot that sent the previously undefeated Brazilian down for the ten count, breaking his rib.

In non-television action, Ndongeni showed why he is considered championship worthy, as he pounded out a ten-round unanimous decision over rugged Juan Garcia Mendez.

Ndongeni controlled the action as he mixed up his punches. He countered beautifully and worked up and down by mixing up his shots to the head and body of Mendez. Ndongeni, 26 years-old, is ranked number-3 by the WBA, and he showed the class of a world championship contender in his American debut.

Ndongeni, nicknamed “Nomeva”, which means The Wasp, stung Mendez throughout the contest, and he showed that not only is he a serious title contender, but he has a fan-friendly style.

Ndongeni is co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Golden Gloves Promotions.

Villa, of Salinas, California, was taken the distance for the first time, as he won a 4-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Aaron Lopez.

Villa, who previously scored two consecutive first round knockouts, won every round by showing off his boxing skills in the battle of undefeated fighters.

The 19 year-old Villa pushed the pace throughout the fight and had Lopez in trouble several times. Villa has been very active, as this was his 3rd win since turning professional on July 29th.

“I am very proud of Taras, Xolisani, and Ruben,” said Banner Promotions President Artie Pelullo.

“These are three guys at different stages, but I believe that all three have the talent to become world champions. Taras is closing in on a significant fight, for which a win will lead him to a title. This was our first look at Xolisani, and he was the fighter that was advertised. He has a lot of skills and is a versatile. My partner Rodney Berman and Iwill now look at the many options that we will have with him. I do expect him to fight for a world title sometime in the next year. Ruben had a tremendous learning experience. He fought a guy who was undefeated and very durable. He actually showed us more in this fight than he did in his two first round knockouts. In this fight he won all four round on every judges scorecards (40-36 on all cards). I was very impressed with the different punch selections and the way he set everything up in there. As I have said before, he is a star in the making. As for Vitor, he had the right attitude following the fight. He is not going to let this deter him. He just got caught with the wrong punch at the wrong time. He was winning the round easily before that happened. He will obviously take some time off, and then we will look to bring him back next year.”

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


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)


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”


“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.


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.

Back to Top