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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.

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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.”

PHOTO CREDIT: CARLOS BAEZA / THOMPSON BOXING PROMOTIONS

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

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.

INDIO’S MANUEL MENDEZ IS READY FOR TV DEBUTAGAINST UNDEFEATED VITOR JONES FREITAS ON SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION TRIPLEHEADER THIS FRIDAY, NOV. 4, LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

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

INDIO’S MANUEL MENDEZ IS READY FOR TV DEBUTAGAINST UNDEFEATED VITOR JONES FREITAS ON SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION TRIPLEHEADER THIS FRIDAY, NOV. 4, LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

Promising Welterweight Taras Shelestyuk Meets Jimmy Herrera in Main Event; Unbeaten Cruiserweights Constantin Bejenaru, Steve Bujaj Clash in Co-Main at Omega Products International Event Center, Corona, Calif.

Live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT
From Omega Products International Event Center in Corona, Calif.

Tickets on Sale Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ORANGE, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2016) – Hard-hitting lightweight prospect Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs) makes his U.S. television debut against unbeaten Vitor Jones Freitas (12-0, 6 KOs) this Friday, Nov. 4, from the Omega Products Event Center in Corona, Calif.

Freitas vs. Mendez is scheduled for eight rounds and kicks off a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

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.

Mendez, who is trained by the well-regarded Joel Diaz, is putting the finishing touches on a training camp that saw him spar against former world champions Victor Ortiz, Ruslan Provodnikov and elite prospect Vergil Ortiz.

Thompson Boxing caught up with the 26-year-old slugger from Indio, Calif. and got his take on this Friday’s ShoBox fight.

(On your first time fighting in front of a nationally televised audience) …

“It’s a great opportunity. I always push myself to the limits and this fight is no different. I have a fan-friendly style that the SHOWTIME audience is going to love.”

(On paper your fight against Freitas appears evenly matched, but most are giving the upper hand to your opponent) …

“I’ve always been the underdog all my life so this is another shot to prove myself. Freitas has a famous name, but that’s about it. He hasn’t faced anyone that approaches my ability.”

(On what you expect from Freitas) …

“The first few rounds will go a long way in knowing what he has. From watching tape, it seems like he has speed, but the most important thing is gauging his power. I can take a punch so once I feel him connect with something, then I’ll know what he has to offer.”

(On your relationship with Joel Diaz) …

“We have an excellent relationship. He’s incredibly helpful in that I’ve seen a great deal of improvement since I’ve been with him. Everything is better. My conditioning, head movement, footwork; I’ve improved in a lot of areas. He’s a great teacher.”

(How would you describe your style for those that have yet to see you fight?) …

“I’m a smart boxer that pressures fighters into making mistakes. I have all the tools needed to wear down opponents. You’ll always see me in front of you to the point where you get annoyed and start making mental errors. That’s when I put the hurt on you.”

TV FIGHTS

Undefeated 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs) will face upset-minded Jaime Herrera in the 10-round welterweight main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader on 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.

In the 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 Stivens “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.

In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated 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. The 23-year-old Freitas is the nephew of popular former two-time lightweight world champion Acelino “Popo” Freitas.

PHOTO CREDIT: CARLOS BAEZA / THOMPSON BOXING PROMOTIONS

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 JIMMY “THE TRUTH” HERRERA

POSTED ON Tuesday, November 1, 2016  - POSTED IN News

NEW YORK (Nov. 1, 2016) – Jimmy “The Truth” Herrera is accustomed to entering the ring as an underdog. The Chicago native is experienced in fighting favored prospects and contenders on the road and has had an inordinate success in these types of matchups, having defeated unbeaten prospects in four of his last nine fights.

So don’t expect Herrera (15-3-1, 8 KOs) to be in awe of his opponent, former Ukraine amateur standout and rising star, Taras Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs) when they meet this Friday, Nov. 4, in the 10-round welterweight main event on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) at Omega Products Event Center in Corona, Calif.

The 5-foot-10, 27-year-old Herrera has won three in a row and is 8-1-1 since dropping a close eight-round decision to Adrian Granados in February 2012. One of those victories was an upset seventh-round TKO over one-time highly ranked welterweight and world title challenger Mike “Machine Gun” Jones on Aug. 23, 2014.

Herrera is promoted by Hitz Boxing and co-managed by Cameron Dunkin and Mike Cericola.

Here are Herrera’s responses to a recent Q&A:

What are your thoughts going into your ShoBox debut?
“I’m always up for a challenge, so I’m really excited about this opportunity. I’m definitely ready to compete against another undefeated fighter. I’m coming to show my skills to the world and prove I’m a boxer you have to pay attention to.

“At this point of my career, I want to make a move fast while I’m young. I don’t just want to be a guy with a nice record. I truly believe in my skills and that I can reach the highest level.

“I’ve been getting great help with sparring with the best of the best in Chicago. Sam Colonna, George Hernandez and all the Chicago boxing coaches have been great mentors to me and I am very thankful.”

What do you know about Shelestyuk?
“He was a great amateur fighter and he’s a lefty. That’s pretty much all I need to know. The only thing I can give him is that he has experience, so I’ve got to be careful of that. But it’s nothing new – I’ve seen fighters like that.”

What kind of fight do you expect?
“I expect him to be a boxer with movement. I think he’ll try to box me. I’ll be coming forward, being aggressive. Then, we’ll see what his game plan is.”

What is the key to winning?
“It all depends on the pressure I can apply, throwing the right punches at the right time, the accuracy of my punches. Each punch has to have a purpose. I’m definitely more of a pressure guy. I like Gennady Golovkin’s style, Julio Cesar Chavez is my idol. That is the kind of style I try to fight with.”

On fighting on ShoBox for the first time?
“I’m definitely excited because I know a lot of people will be watching. I’m not nervous at all. The cameras, the bright lights, honestly, I don’t care about. My focus is totally on this fight. This is the type of fight that can open a lot of doors for me.”

Is this your biggest fight and do you feel pressure?
“Yes, definitely, this is my biggest fight — just for all the doors a win would open for me, all the possibilities. There’s no pressure on me. He’s the one representing his country with the weight on his shoulders. I’ve lost before, but that doesn’t make me an opponent.”

Are they making a mistake fighting you??
“I feel like they are making a mistake, but I also feel this is going to be a good test for him. I think Taras took the fight more for himself. But if he doesn’t know now about me, he’s going to find out.”

You boxed amateurs for one year and had 25 bouts. He was a 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist with a boatload of amateur accomplishments. How significant is the experience of fighting amateur?
“Personally, to me, the amateurs are not that important at all. It’s all irrelevant once you go pro. I know some great amateur boxers who made it after turning pro, and some who didn’t. It’s a whole different ballgame. As a pro, I believe I’ve fought better guys than he has. I’ve been tested way more than he has. You can’t take away what he did as an amateur, but fighting with the smaller gloves, with no headgear, is totally different.”

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 WBC Continental Americas titles in the co-feature.

The nephew of popular former two-time lightweight world champion Acelino “Popo” Freitas, undefeated 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 match of the telecast.

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.

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