Rolando Chinea Upsets Previously Unbeaten Kenneth Sims Jr.
Glenn Dezurn and Adam Lopez Fight To a Split Draw
Joshua Greer Jr. TKOs Leroy Davila After Round 5
Catch The Replay Monday, July 17 At 10 p.m. ET/PT On SHOWTIME EXTREME®
Click HERE To Download Photos; Credit Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
MIAMI, Okla. (July 15, 2017) – Ivan Baranchyk went the distance with Keenan Smith in front of Baranchyk’s adopted hometown in the main event of a quadrupleheader featuring eight returning fighters on Friday’s ShoBox: The New Generationfrom Buffalo Run Casino & Resort.
In a battle of undefeated fighters, the hard-hitting Baranchyk (15-0, 10 KOs) took advantage of a one-point holding deduction against Sims in the fifth round to earn the decision in his fifth appearance on the ShoBox series and six consecutive fight out of Miami.
“I’m happy to be fighting back home in Miami, I love to fight here,” said Baranchyk, who was happy with his win but displeased with his overall performance. “I came out too hard and tried too hard to knock Smith out. I really wanted to knock him out which is why my punches were wild.”
Smith (11-1, 5 KOs) sealed his fate when he was deducted a point by officials after excessive holding throughout the first half of the fight. He became the 166th fighter to lose his undefeated record on the ShoBox series.
“They weren’t playing fair,” Smith said. “Anything that I did, the referee was on me. I was hitting him with clean body shots, and he kept telling me to keep them up, and then he took a point for holding. I don’t know what fight [the judges] were watching.”
The fight was a hard-hitting and physical affair from the beginning. Baranchyk came out swinging, landing just 21% of his jabs and 29% of total punches, edging out Smith who landed just 22% of his total punches.
“I came out too hard and tried to knock him out, which is why my punches were wild,” said Baranchyk.
In the co-feature, Rolando Chinea upset previously unbeaten former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. in a close majority decision.
“I was most confident after the second round of the fight, when I noticed he was sticking his tongue out and making certain gestures that showed he was tired,” Chinea said. “If I had to grade myself I would rate my overall performance as a B… I have a lot to improve on and my job here is never finished.”
Like Smith, Sims (12-1, 4 KOs) suffered the first loss of his career, becoming the 165th fighter to lose his undefeated record on the ShoBox series.
In the wild final round, the pair combined for 291 punches and 85 connects, but Chinea’s surge earned him the majority decision win.
“My body just didn’t respond tonight,” Sims said. “I am done at 140 pounds. I just did not feel right from the opening bell. I am going to 147 pounds.”
In the sixth round, Chinea took control and was the busier fighter against a fading Sims. While both fighters exchanged numerous punches in the seventh and closed the fight out with a flurry of activity, Sims clearly struggled at 140 pounds.
In the wild final round, the pair combined for 291 punches and 85 connects, but Chinea’s surge earned him the majority decision win.
In the second fight of the night, Glenn Dezurn (9-0-1, 6 KOs) stepped up to the 121-pound super bantamweight division to go the distance with ShoBox veteran Adam Lopez (16-1-2, 8 KOs) in an action-packed eight-round slugfest that ended in a split draw. Both fighters were visibly disappointed by the judge’s decision.
“I thought I did enough to win,” said the still-undefeated Dezurn, who spars with his wife, women’s pro fighter Franchon Crews. “I’m just fortunate for this opportunity and hope [Lopez] and I can come back strong and fight again someday.”
The first round was a round of give-and-take where both Dezurn and Lopez landed and sustained an impressive amount of body punches. It was Lopez who originally appeared more subdued, foregoing the counterpunch as Dezurn worked the jab.
By the fifth round it was clear Dezurn was losing steam when Lopez began to break him down and force him against the ropes. Lopez went on to dominate the sixth and seventh rounds, when Dezurn, clearly out-fought, looked tired and began to lean over.
“After the first round, I dominated the action,” said Lopez, who has now fought on ShoBox a record-tying six times. Maybe [Dezurn] won the seventh, but I whipped him. I should have won the fight, this was a redemption for me. Once I got used to his speed, I feel I won rounds six to two. The whole fight, his back was against the ropes and I beat up his body.”
Trained by the famed Coach Barry Hunter, the still-undefeated Dezurn made a valiant comeback in the final round, where he came back to life.
“I thought it was fair,” Hunter said. “We came on in the middle rounds, and Glenn won the seventh and eighth to get us the draw. It all came down to the stretch and I thought we did enough to win those rounds.”
In the opening bout of the telecast, former knockdown-of-the-year candidate Joshua Greer Jr. (14-1-1, 6 KOs) stopped Leroy Davila (5-2, 3 KOs) after five rounds, when Davila’s corner called the fight at the conclusion of the fifth.
“The game plan was to box and hit hard, and that’s what I did,” said Greer, who earned a memorable knockout against James Gordon Smith in his last ShoBox appearance. “I had to put on a good show. I will fight whoever has the belts. I want to fight for a world title.”
The 23-year old Greer landed a number of aggressive combinations that had Davila against the ropes from the onset. While Davila appeared to come alive in the second round, the 29-year old southpaw became stationary and had trouble recovering from a shot to the face that had him bleeding out of the left side of his nose and struggling for the second half of the fourth and the fifth. His corner called the fight just after the bell sounded, ending the fifth round.
The event was co-promoted by GH3 Promotions and Holden Productions.
Friday’s quadrupleheader will replay on Monday, July 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME on DEMAND® and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.
Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer was Gordon Hall with Rich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
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Undefeated Keenan Smith and Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk
Meet In Main Event
Live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT
From Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
NEW YORK (June 8, 2017) – Undefeated super lightweights Keenan Smith and rising adopted local favorite, Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk meet in an eight-round bout in the main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, July 14 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
Dangerous southpaw “Killa” Smith, (11-0, 5 KOs), of Philadelphia, Pa. will make his second appearance on the series as he takes on Baranchyk, (14-0, 10 KOs), a native of Minsk, Byelorussia fighting out of Miami, Okla., who is making his fifth appearance on the ShoBox series.
In the co-feature, former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (12-0, 4 KOs) will look to keep his record unblemished as he meets Rolando Chinea (14-1-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight scrap. Plus, undefeated Glenn Dezurn (9-0, 6 KOs) will take on Adam Lopez (16-1-1, KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight clash. In the telecast opener, Joshua Greer (13-1-1, 5 KOs) will battle Leroy Davila (5-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.
“I am excited to put on another terrific ShoBox card,” said Vito Mielnicki, founder of GH3 Promotions. “This is the type of card is what ShoBox is all about. Four evenly matched pairings that have the potential to be action packed fights. I think the fans who watch this show will come away thoroughly entertained.”
“I’m happy to have the Four State Franchise back on ShoBox,” said Tony Holden. “I am happy to have my fighter Ivan Baranchyk in a real step-up bout against an undefeated fighter southpaw like Keenan Smith. I think this will be a great fight.”
KEENAN SMITH vs. IVAN BARANCHYK – Eight-Round Super Lightweight Bout
Smith, the 2008 National Golden Gloves Champion and 2007 Junior Olympic National Champion, debuted on ShoBox in November 2016, scoring a hard-fought unanimous decision over Benjamin Whitaker. The 5-foot-7, 26-year-old, will make his third start of the year after taking 2016 off to recover from and ACL injury and the loss of both of his parents within six months of each other. Smith has knocked out both of his opponents this year, Marquis Hawthorne and Edgar Gabejan.
“This is a very big fight for me,” said the Smith, who turned pro in 2010. “Perhaps the biggest fight of my career. I’m stepping up in opposition and I’m ready for what’s to come. I am training three times a day and I’m in the best shape of my life.
“I know Baranchyk comes to fight, but I also know his weaknesses. I’m ready for his wild swings. I’m ready to be the main event in a nationally televised fight. Needless to say, a win will bring bigger and even better opportunities. I can’t wait.”
As an amateur, Smith went 72-4 with victories over Amir Iman and Abel Ramos, who fought Baranchyk in a back-and-forth brawl in his last outing.
Baranchyk is an offensive-minded amateur standout that packs power in both hands. He won nine consecutives fights by knockout before scoring a 10-round unanimous decisions over Wilberth Lopez and Zhimin Wang on ShoBox. In his last outing on Feb. 10, Baranchyk edged Abel Ramos in an entertaining slugfest that was closer than the judges’ scorecards indicated.
“I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity to come back to fight on ShoBox again,” said the 5-foot-10 Baranchyk. “Smith is a tough fighter and a ShoBox alum himself, so I will enjoy knocking him out.
“I’m not going to downplay him – he is a good opponent. I’ll be alert and I’ll pay attention to what he brings on, but I’m battle-tested. He hasn’t faced anybody like me. I’ll gladly hand him his first loss and move a step closer in my pursuit of a world title.”
The 24-year-old Baranchyk has scored two first-round knockouts on ShoBox in bouts that lasted a combines 2:49. All 10 of Baranchyk’s knockouts have come inside three full rounds, including six in the first. This is his sixth start at Buffalo Run Casino.
KENETH SIMS JR. vs. ROLANDO CHINEA – Eight-Round Super Lightweight Bout
Sims, a 2013 U.S. National Amateur Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist, continues to step up in level of opposition as he meets one of the most dangerous opponents of his career in his second ShoBox appearance.
The Chicago native has stayed active as a pro – he fought four times in 2016 and this will be his third start of 2017. In his last outing, he stopped Israel Villela with a third-round TKO.
“I have seen [Rolando] Chinea fight twice. He is a pressure fighter,” said Sims. “He is nothing that I haven’t seen before. I’m ready for him. Another wins keeps me moving forward to my ultimate goal of being a world champion one day.
“I wasn’t satisfied with my last performance. I got the win, but I was not at my best. A win over someone like Chinea will help me prove I’m better than what you last saw of me.”
The 23-year-old Sims was a sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather (when he was getting prepared for Andre Berto) and Manny Pacquiao (as he was getting ready for Mayweather). He is known for his boxing skills and ability to work the body.
Chinea, a 5-foot-8, 26-year-old from Lancaster, Pa., is returning to ShoBox after winning an eight-round split decision victory over O’Shaquie Foster in July of 2016. He went 10-0-1 before the only loss of his career, an eight-round decision to Ismail Muwendo in April 2015. He’s won four straight since, including two unanimous decisions over previously undefeated Ladarius Miller and Mel Crossty.
“I am honored to be back on ShoBox, where I made my first TV appearance,” said Chinea. “Sims was an accomplished amateur with a deep pedigree. He is tall with a good reach. He is a very good boxer, but I’m better.
“It’s going to be a rough fight. I am prepared and in great shape. A win will get me one step closer to some type of title fight down the line. I am just looking at right now and getting this win. By the end of the year, I see myself moving into contention if all goes well.”
GLENN DEZURN vs. ADAM LOPEZ – Eight-Round Bantamweight Bout
The undefeated Dezurn was a three-sport star athlete in high school and an amateur standout who compiled an 87-7 record in the unpaid ranks under the tutelage of Barry Hunter. The Baltimore native is married to female boxer and U.S. Olympic alternate Franchon Crews, who fought Claressa Shields in the amateurs and in her pro debut. Dezurn returns to ShoBoxafter a toe-to-toe matchup against Leroy Davila on July 14 that could have gone either way. His former foe, Davila, is featured in the opening bout of the telecast.
The 5-foot-4, 29-year-old will face his toughest test to date against ShoBox alum Adam Lopez.
“I’m excited to come back to the ring and I’m extremely focused,” said the 29-year-old Dezurn. “My opponent is experienced and had a good amateur career but he doesn’t intimidate me.
“Any win takes my career to where I want to go—upwards. It doesn’t matter that Lopez is more experienced and a regular onShoBox. My motto is to keep working hard. I stay focused and I will get where I need to be. Every win is the same, it’s a step in the right direction.”
Lopez, of San Antonio, Texas, by way Phoenix, Ariz., is a prototypical ShoBox prospect-turned-contender. He’s 3-1-1 on the series, having defeated three previous unbeaten boxers: Mario Muniz (11-0), Eliezer Aquino (17-0-1) and knocking out Pablo Cruz (11-0) in the second round. Lopez boxed a 12-round draw with Roman Reynoso (18-1-1) on July 22, 2016, and in his most recent outing he was stopped by Daniel Roman in the ninth in a WBA Bantamweight Title Eliminator bout.
The 26-year-old now comes back to the series in a must-win situation. He has left his longtime trainer Ronnie Shields and is now training with Shakur Stevenson’s trainer Willie “Wali” Moses.
“I am having a good camp, and I’m now training with Wali Moses,” Lopez said. “He is helping me sharpen my boxing skills and getting me to use my footwork. I’m happy to have another chance to be on ShoBox and I know I need to put on a good performance. They are giving me another chance to prove myself and I can’t let it slip away.
“I saw Dezurn’s win over Davila. He is a rough guy who has a lot of dog in him. He brings the fight to you and he is a tough. It’ll be a good fight. A win will propel me close to where I was. I was knocking on the door of a title shot; now I just want to get this win, redeem myself and move on.”
JOSHUA GREER vs. LEROY DAVILA – Eight-Round Super Bantamweight Bout
Greer is a 22-year-old former Chicago Golden Gloves Champion that has won 10 in a row since his lone loss, a majority decision against Stephen Fulton Jr. in 2015. He has stopped Cristian Renteria in the fifth round and previously unbeaten Juan Gabriel Medina via unanimous decision. Nicknamed “Don’t Blink” after his speed and punching power, Greer returns toShoBox after delivering an impressive performance with KO candidate of the year victory over James Smith.
”I was not shocked about my last KO on ShoBox,” said Greer. “I brought a pillow with me to the ring because I knew I was going to put him to sleep.
“Davila is an average fighter, but I give him respect. I treat every opponent as a world title fight. A win would keep moving my career in the direction I want to go. It keeps me moving up in the rankings. It keeps me moving as a potential superstar on my way to a world title. Don’t Blink.”
The two-time national amateur champion and 2006 Olympic alternate Davila is looking to rebound from his loss to Dezurn onShoBox in April—a close fight that could have gone either way.
“I am focused on this fight. I got good feedback from my first ShoBox appearance, even though I didn’t get the win” said Davila. “Every fight is the same to me, just a different opponent. I put my work in and do my best.
“Greer is a tough fighter. He looks to throw his right hand, which is something to watch for. Other than that, I don’t know much about him. A win will make me feel better as a fighter. I just fight the fights and I let my team take care of the rest.”
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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 69 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Errol Spence Jr., Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, 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, Errol Spence Jr. and more.
Undefeated Prospects Malik Hawkins & Glenn Dezurn Victorious In Co-Featured Bouts
Catch The Replay Monday, April 17 At 10 p.m. ET/PT On SHOWTIME EXTREME®
Click HERE To Download Photos; Credit Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
OXON HILL, MD. (April 15, 2017) – Undefeated WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Titlist Dmitry Bivol knocked down Samuel Clarkson three times en route to a fourth-round TKO Friday in the main event ofShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor.
Bivol (10-0, 8 KOs) is now the mandatory challenger for WBA (regular) Light Heavyweight World Champion Nathan Cleverly.
Bivol stalked Clarkson from the opening bell. The former Russian amateur standout floored Clarkson in the opening 30 seconds with a series of shots and then knocked him down again a minute later with a straight right. Clarkson (19-4, 12 KOs) survived the round but didn’t respond well to trouble and was unable to upset Bivol’s rhythm and incredible accuracy.
Clarkson was knocked down for a third time when he appeared to walk into a big right midway through the fourth, forcing referee Harvey Dock to halt the contest at 1:40 as Clarkson struggled to get to his feet. Bivol landed 46 percent of his power shots over the four rounds compared to just 17 percent for Clarkson.
“I thought I would finish him in the first round, but I think it was better that it went to four rounds because the fans were able to see the way I fight,” Bivol said.
“I’m definitely ready for my title shot against (Nathan) Cleverly in my next fight. I’m ready.”
Clarkson had entered the ShoBox main event on a nine-fight winning streak.
“He caught me with a good body shot for the first knockdown,” Clarkson said. “I thought I was back in the fight in rounds two and three. In round four I got caught, I stumbled and my balance was off.”
Welterweight prospect Malik Hawkins kept his undefeated record intact with a dominating second-round TKO of previously undefeated Carlos Soto in the ShoBox co-feature.
Hawkins (11-0, 8 KOs) attacked early and virtually closed Soto’s left eye late in the first round. Soto took a knee in the closing seconds of the round but survived, although his vision was clearly impaired.
Hawkins out-landed Soto 39-15 in the second, including 15-1 in the final minute. The ringside physician ruled that Soto (13-1-2, 7 KOs) could no longer see out of his left eye following the second round and waved off the contest.
“Hard work and dedication. I had a strong camp and believe in my team,” said Hawkins, who is trained by Baltimore’s Calvin Ford and is a stablemate of IBF Junior Lightweight Champion Gervonta Davis. “What makes it even more special is the blessing of my first-born child.”
“I want to give a shout-out to my opponent. He was big, he was strong, he was durable and he was undefeated.”
Soto became the 163 fighter to suffer their first defeat on ShoBox.
In a matchup of undefeated super bantamweights in the opening bout of the ShoBox telecast, Glenn Dezurn narrowly edged Leroy Davila to hand the latter his first career loss in a back-and-forth fight scored 78-74 by all three judges.
The Baltimore native Dezurn (9-0, 6 KOs) seemed to throw the harder punches and was more effective while fighting on the inside against Davila (5-1, 3 KOs), who was the naturally smaller of the two. While Dezurn was the more active fighter – he threw nearly 100 more punches over the eight-round bout – the final rounds were extremely difficult to score as the fighters landed within eight total punches across the last three rounds.
“I came into the fight with the best trainers in the world, I train at the best gym in the world. I have the best team in the world and, most importantly, I have the best wife and sparring partner in the world,” said Dezurn, who trains under Barry Hunter in Washington, D.C., and spars with his wife, female professional boxer and former eight-time national amateur champion Franchon Crews.
“My team told me that all of the training and sparring I do is harder than this fight itself. The sparring I do every day is harder. I wasn’t going to shortchange myself during this fight when what I do every day is harder and when all of my friends and family came out to support.”
Davila became the 162 fighter to suffer his first defeat on the prospect developmental series.
“Tonight wasn’t about winning or losing I showed that I have dog in me. I answered that question,” said Davila. “I went off the game plan and should have listened to my corner. The size played a small part in the fight, but I am not making any excuses. I have seen small men knock out big men before.”
The event was promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions and Banner Promotions in association withWorld of Boxing and Uprising Promotions.
Friday’s tripleheader will replay on Monday, April 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME on DEMAND® and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.
Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer was Gordon Hall withRich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
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For more information visit www.sho.com/sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @SHOSports, and @GCPBoxing or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, www.facebook.com/GCPBoxing/ and www.facebook.com/
Tomorrow/Friday, April 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT from MGM Grand National Harbor in Maryland
“I know what people expect of me – they want the KO – and if the opportunity comes I’ll try to finish him.” – Dmitry Bivol
“I want to see what the hype is about. His whole career is my winning streak.” – Samuel Clarkson
Click HERE To Download Weigh-In Photos; Credit Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
OXON HILL, MD. (April 13, 2017) – Undefeated WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Titlist Dmitry Bivol and streaking challenger Samuel Clarkson made weight on Thursday for their 12-round main event tomorrow/Friday on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (10p.m. ET/PT) from MGM Grand National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The fast-rising Bivol (9-0, 7 KOs) earned his interim belt in just his seventh professional fight while Clarkson (19-3, 12 KO’s) enters Friday’s main event on a nine fight winning streak.
Undefeated welterweight prospects Malik Hawkins (10-0, 7 KOs) and Carlos Soto (13-0-2, 7 KOs) meet in the eight-round co-feature. Hawkins, a Baltimore native trained by Calvin Ford, is a stablemate of IBF Junior Lightweight Champion Gervonta Davis.
In the opening bout of the telecast, Baltimore native Glenn Dezurn (8-0, 6 KOs) takes on former amateur standout Leroy Davila (5-0, 3 KOs), of New Brunswick, N.J., in an eight-round matchup of undefeated super bantamweights.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions and Banner Promotions in association with World of Boxing and Uprising Promotions, are priced at $103, $73 and $48 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800.745.3000.
Dmitry Bivol: 174 ½ Pounds
Samuel Clarkson: 173 ½ Pounds
Malik Hawkins: 146 Pounds
Carlos Soto: 148 ¼ Pounds
Glenn Dezurn: 120 ¾ Pounds
Leroy Davila: 119 ¾ Pounds
“The plan was to become world champion in my first 10 fights. We’re almost there.
“Clarkson is a big light heavyweight, but I have fought bigger guys. This is a tough fight, but we were willing to take a risk for this opportunity to fight on TV.
“I did have a transition from amateur to pros. The WSB helped that transition and gave me experience. I’ve been able to learn from fight to fight, and I’ve gained experience in each fight.
“I’ve been trying to be more aggressive and control the pace of the fight. I’m comfortable going forward and backward.
“We’ll feel out the power and timing in the beginning. I know what people expect of me – they want the KO – and if the opportunity comes I’ll try to finish him.
“Working at Wild Card has been a big difference. Training in the U.S. is completely different. In Russia it’s mostly amateurs, so you get used to the wrong style. Most of what I’ve learned has been from sparring with pros here in the U.S.
“Clarkson usually comes forward. He seems uncomfortable moving back. We think we can use our advantages to cap on his mistakes and get him out of his comfort zone.”
“I’m not an underdog. I’ve fought my way up here to this position and the winning streak. I feel like I’ve proven myself to be here. My losses have helped me get to where I am. I know I belong here.
“I’ve never been one to get knocked down and stay down. I’m ready for whatever comes. The pressure isn’t on me. I just need to do my thing.
“I’ve been in some wars. I know what it’s like to get knocked down. He hasn’t been there before. I need to stand my ground. I’m not backing up.
“I want to see what the hype is about. His whole career is my winning streak.
“I’ve been sparring with top quality guys. I’m ready for this fight. It’s a big opportunity and I don’t feel any pressure.
“He hasn’t been in wars like we have. It’s hard when you face a guy like me that isn’t afraid of you. He’s one dimensional. We want to make him as uncomfortable as possible.
“We’re coming to take his belt. He’s going to have to stop us from taking it. He’s never faced anyone like me – a really fast fighter with a lot of power.”
“I’ll do whatever it takes. If I have to come forward, I’ll come forward. If I have to box, I’ll box.
“Hawkins a smart fighter, fast, tall. He likes to fight at a distance. I need to pressure him to win the fight.
“I’ve faced fighters as tall as him before. This isn’t new for me.
“I’ve only been in the U.S. once before, and I’ve never fought here. I need to take advantage of this experience.
“My goal is to go for it. I want to be the best in my weight class. Everything starts now for me.”
“I grew up with Gervonta (Davis). I saw him win the title, I’ve seen his success, and now it’s my turn. It’s been great motivation for me. For him to become a champion motivated me even more.
“We’ve sparred 1,000’s of rounds with Gervonta. We’ve been in there with the champ and know it’s our time.
“We’re here to prove we’re ready. We don’t want to take any shortcuts. We’re taking this one fight at a time. We’re building and building.
“I’m tall, but I have an inside game. I fight inside better than a short fighter.
“People don’t want to take the chance to fight me. Credit to Soto for taking the fight, but he’s going to learn the hard way why no one wants to fight me.”
“We knew this was coming some day and now it’s here. We know all about Dezurn. He’s the perfect opponent for us. We know can break him down.
“When I didn’t make the Olympic team, I got right over it. But I wasn’t sure I was going to turn pro. I have a family to take care of and I can’t let anything distract me from being a father. But now I’m 5-0 and fighting on national TV. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for.
“Dezurn is an aggressive and has a lot of heart, but I’m not worried about him. I need to focus on myself.
“A win puts me in the conversation with the other up-and-coming fighters. A win could really change my career.”
“Sparring with my wife helps me. She hits like a dude. She’s taught me a lot – she taught me discipline. We push each other in the gym; we make each other better fighters.
“If you can make an adjustment with a sharp female woman, there’s no reason you can’t do it with a man.
“I like to break down my opponents. I become aggressive when I see a weakness.
“I’m ready to fight. I’m ready to get in there. I worked hard and now it’s time to have fun.
“I sparred with Rau’Shee (Warren) for this fight. He has tremendous talent. He’s an inspiration for me. We also sparred with Vasyl Lomachenko for this fight. You have to be physically and mentally in shape to fight him.”
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For more information visit www.sho.com/sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @SHOSports, and @GCPBoxing or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, www.facebook.com/GCPBoxing/ andwww.facebook.com/BannerPromotions/.