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 Salita Promotions Signs Women’s Superstar Christina Hammer to Multi-Fight Promotional Contract

Promoter Dmitriy Salita proudly announces the signing of undefeated women’s unified world middleweight champion Christina Hammer to a multi-fight promotional contract.
Already a superstar in Europe, “Lady Hammer” (22-0, 10 KOs), from Dortmund, Germany, (via Novodolinka, Kazakhstan) is the current WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion. She has also previously held the WBF Middleweight, as well as WBO and WBF Super Middleweight Championships.
Under Salita’s promotional direction, Hammer will make her United States boxing debut on Friday, January 12, at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, on the non-televised undercard of a ShoBox: The New Generation telecast (10 p.m. ET/PT), featuring unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields’ WBC and IBF title defense against mandatory challenger Tori Nelson. Hammer is scheduled for a 10-round fight, highlights of which will be shown on SHOWTIME.
“I never had any doubt that my manager Harald Pia and I would reach an agreement,” said a happy Hammer of the signing. “I love the U.S.,” she continued. “If you are successful here, you will be successful everywhere. Since the beginning of my boxing career it has been a dream of mine to fight in the U.S.. I can’t wait for January 12.”
Hammer joins the Salita Promotions roster that also includes women’s superstar, unified super middleweight champion and two-time gold medalist Claressa Shields, as well as world, European (2X) and Russian (6X) amateur champion and 2012 Olympian, Elena Savelyeva.
“Christina has all the tools to become a star in the U.S.,” said Dmitriy Salita. “Her skills, personality and appeal outside the ring make Christina a unique and special fighter in the talent-filled middleweight division. I believe 2018 is going to be a historic year for women’s boxing all over the world.”
Hammer is a technically outstanding boxer, but her outstanding physical strength is what separates her from the rest of the world’s 160-pound fighters. She was voted WBF Female Fighter of the Year in 2011 and 2013; the WBO Female Fighter of the Year in 2013; the BDB Female Boxer of the Year in 2016; the HERQUL Female Boxer of the Year in 2017 and is the only woman in Europe to earn the Diamond Ring of the WBO.
“It is always a pleasure to work with highly professional partners,” said manager Pia of the deal. “I’m confident we have a contract that is good for all parties. Christina is very happy to be fighting in the U.S. It is a dream of hers to be successful over here and she can’t wait to show the U.S. public who Christina Hammer is!”
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.
In the telecast opener Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11 KOs) will face fellow undefeated and top-10 ranked Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio. In the co-feature, Jesse Hernandez (10-1, 7 KOs) will take on Ernesto Garza (9-2, 5 KOs; 1-3 WSB) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout.

REGIS PROGRAIS SCORES CONVINCING KNOCKOUT OF JOEL DIAZ JR. IN MATCHUP OF PREVIOUSLY UNBEATEN 140-POUNDERS ON SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME®


 

 

Steve Rolls Edges Demond Nicholson & Jon Fernandez KOs Juan Reyes At Turning Stone Resort Casino In Verona, N.Y.

 

An Encore Presentation Of Friday’s Tripleheader Will Air Monday At 10 p.m. ET/PT On SHOWTIME EXTREME®

 

Click HERE For Photos; Credit Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

 

VERONA, N.Y. (June 10, 2017) – Undefeated super lightweight Regis Prograis made an emphatic statement Friday onShoBox: The New Generation, knocking down previously undefeated Joel Diaz Jr. four times in the second round as he stamped his arrival as a legitimate contender in the 140-pound division. 

 

The southpaw Prograis (20-0, 17 KOs), who was making his fourth start on the prospect developmental series, called out the top names at 140 after the second round demolition (TKO 2:55) at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

 

The special Hall of Fame edition of ShoBox: The New Generation featured four members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame: ShoBox mainstays Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood and special guests Al Bernstein and Jimmy Lennon Jr.  Tompkins and Farhood will be inducted just down the road in Canastota on Sunday in a 2017 class headlined by boxing greats Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera and Johnny Tapia.

 

The super lightweights, Prograis and Diaz, entered the main event with a combined record of 42-0, but it was clear they were in a different class after the first round.  Prograis knocked down Diaz in the opening 30 seconds of the second in an exchange that appeared to be the result of a clash of feet.  Regardless, Prograis smelled blood and pounced on Diaz, flooring him again with a straight left midway through the round. 

 

The Houston resident, who relocated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, knocked down Diaz again just 15 seconds later with a straight left.  The fourth and final knockdown, courtesy of a left hook, sent Diaz (23-1, 19 KOs) tumbling back and was enough for referee Mark Nelson to halt the bout with just seconds left on the clock.

 

It was a convincing statement for Prograis, who landed 62 percent of his power shots in the toughest test of his career. 

 

Tonight I proved I graduated from ShoBox,” Prograis said.  “I’m ready for the bigger stage. I’m ready for the big show.  I want to fight best the best in the division.  I want (Terrance) Crawford, (Victor) Postol, (Adrien) Broner.  I want them all.  None of these guys have fought anybody like me.  The boogeyman is coming.  They better get ready.

 

“He was tough, he was strong and hit hard, but I went through it.  That’s another opponent I ran through.  I run through everybody.  I’m ready for my shot.  I’m coming for everybody at 140.” 

 

Diaz, who became the 164th fighter to suffer his first defeat on the series, was clearly disappointed with his game plan.

 

“I went out there too hyper, trying to kill him,” Diaz said.  “I went out too aggressive.  I should have toned it down a bit.  I had 10 rounds but I just went out there trying to take him out.  I should’ve calmed down.

 

“I should have used my jab a bit more to knock him down but I came out swinging.”

 

Super middleweight prospect Steve Rolls managed to maintain his undefeated record with a closely contested eight-round slip decision victory over Demond Nicholson scored 77-75 Nicholson, 77-74 Rolls, 77-74 Rolls.  

 

Rolls got off to a quick start, flooring Nicholson with a left hook in the closing seconds of the first to pocket a 10-8 round.  He came out attacking to sweep the second, but the fight appeared to change course in the third when Nicholson hurt Rolls in the final minute with his first meaningful punch of the fight.  

 

Nicholson (17-2-1, 16 KOs) carried the momentum to sweep the fourth, but the remaining four rounds featured back-and-forth action and were difficult to score.  Rolls (16-0, 9 KOs) was the slightly busier fighter, connecting on 412 total punches compared to 390 over eight rounds, but Nicholson edged his opponent 134-117 in total connects.

 

ShoBox announcers Tompkins, Farhood and Raul Marquez all had Nicholson winning the final six rounds and edging Rolls 77-74 on their unofficial scorecards.

 

“What made the difference for me tonight was my jab, my patience, my overall boxing ability,” Rolls said.  “I came in to this fight having no doubts.  Nicholson was talking beforehand about my last fight, he was talking about my footwork, and I knew he was going to be in for a big surprise. I adapt for each fight.

 

“I knew I had him from the first round.  My corner calmed me down and told me to take my time.”

 

Nicholson, who has mostly competed at 160 pounds, disagreed with the judges’ decision.

 

“I’m not going to make any excuses.  He won the fight,” Nicholson said.  “That’s what the judges saw, but I don’t agree.  He hurt me in the first round.  He hit me viciously in the head.  I was dizzy but I recovered and I went on.  I think I did a very good job but clearly not enough.

 

“I can’t fight at 160 – I’m a 168-pounder.  Fighting at that weight drained me.  I wasn’t at my best.”

 

In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated lightweight prospect Jon Fernandez scored a brutal knockout of Juan Reyes at2:36 of the second round. 

 

Fernandez stepped on the gas from the opening bell, utilizing superior activity and accuracy to pick apart the game yet outmatched Reyes.  The pair combined to throw 240 punches in the opening stanza but Fernandez landed his right at will and was clearly the more effective fighter. 

 

The Sergio Martinez protégé had a bloodied Reyes hurt in the opening minute of the second and closed the show in the final minute with a sharp right to the ear that sent Reyes (14-4-3, 2 KOs) falling back toward the canvas.  The perfectly placed punch had Reyes seemingly out before he hit the floor.

 

The Spaniard Fernandez (13-0, 11 KOs) landed a staggering 55 percent of his power shots and 40 percent of his total punches.

 

“The one-two, one-two was the key to opening the door,” Fernandez said.  “The straight right hand is one of my best punches and I caught Reyes in the perfect spot.  I hope he is OK.  I feel that I am ready for the next level.  I’ll fight wherever there is an opportunity, but I believe the big fights are here in the U.S.”

 

Reyes was responsive but taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

 

Friday’s tripleheader will replay on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.

 

The event was co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment (DBE) and AASHA Record Breakers.

 

# # #

 

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.

 

For more information visit www.sho.com/sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @SHOSports, #ShoBox, @loudibella and @DiBellaEnt or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, andwww.facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment.

REGIS PROGRAIS vs. JOEL DIAZ JR. FINAL WEIGHTS, QUOTES & PHOTOS FOR SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION HALL OF FAME WEEKEND TRIPLEHEADER LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

Friday, June 9 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

 

Click HERE For Weigh-In Photos; Credit Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

Click HERE For Hall of Fame Opening Bell Photos; Credit Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

 

VERONA, N.Y. (June 8, 2017) – Regis “Rougarou” Prograis and Joel Diaz Jr. made weight on Thursday just hours after the “Opening Bell” to kick off festivities for the 2017 International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend.

 

The undefeated Prograis (19-0, 16 KOs) and fellow unbeaten Diaz (23-0, 19 KOs) will square off in the 10-round super lightweight main event of a Hall of Fame edition of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, June 9, live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

 

The ShoBox tripleheader will celebrate longtime analysts Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood just two days before their induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  Farhood and Tompkins were joined at the Opening Bell on Thursday by a handful of their fellow 2017 inductees: boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera, Australian trainer Johnny Lewis, and the wife of the late Johnny Tapia, Teresa Tapia.

 

In the ShoBox co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Steve Rolls (15-0, 9 KOs) will take on the hard-hitting Demond Nicholson (17-1-1, 16 KOs) in an eight-round bout.  In the opening bout of the telecast, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez’s protégé, Jon Fernandez, (12-0, 10 KOs) faces Juan Reyes (14-3-3, 2 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight matchup.

 

Tickets for the event, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment (DBE) and AASHA Record Breakers, are priced at $65 for ringside, $50, $40 and $30 (may be subject to additional fees) and are available at the Turning Stone Box Office, by calling 877-833-SHOW, or online at Ticketmaster.com. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

 

OFFICIAL WEIGHTS

 

10-Round Super Lightweight Main Event:

Regis Prograis – 139 ½ pounds

Joel Diaz Jr. – 137 ¼ pounds

Referee: Mark Nelson; Judges: Don Ackerman, Tom Schreck, John McKaie

 

Eight-Round Super Middleweight Co-Feature:

Steve Rolls – 161 pounds

Demond Nicholson – 162 ½ pounds

Referee: Benjy Esteves; Judges: Glenn Feldman, Don Trella, Wynn Kintz

 

Eight-Round Lightweight Telecast Opener:

Jon Fernandez – 132 ½ pounds

Juan Ramon Reyes – 131 ½ pounds

Referee: Charlie Fitch; Judges: Don Ackerman, Glenn Feldman, John McKaie

 

FINAL QUOTES:

 

Regis Prograis

“The person that wins this fight goes up, hopefully, to a title fight.  I’m 19-0, he’s 23-0.  I feel like this is a real big fight.

 

“I take all my opponents seriously, but I’m taking this one even more seriously than others in the past.  He’s 23-0, and there’s a reason he’s undefeated.  He’s good, and he has the best record I’ve ever faced.

 

“I’m at a stage in my career where every fight can lead to the next big thing and I think this fight may be it for me.  I’m patient, but I’m ready for more.  I want a shot at a title.

 

“He’s a brawler fighter, but I have the better punching power, and the speed.

 

“If I feel like he [Diaz] can’t hurt me from the first round, I’ll probably just walk him down the whole night and punish him.

 

“Seeing what [Errol] Spence did motivates me, especially the way he did it in his opponent’s hometown.  It got me thinking: that can be me one day.  We went at it in the amateurs, so I know how good he is, but I’m good too.  Just seeing him go over there and take the title away, I know my time is coming next.

 

“I grew up watching Macho Camacho, Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson, but I watched more Duran than anything.  I really liked his style.  I learned a lot watching the boxing greats on tape.

 

“Terence Crawford, Adrien Broner, Victor Postol.  Those are the type of guys I want to fight.

 

“I started boxing in New Orleans, and if it wasn’t for Katrina, I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now.  When I moved to Houston, I got into the boxing scene and started taking it seriously.  It was a horrible situation [in New Orleans], but it changed my life.

 

“My family went back [to New Orleans], but not me.  I stayed in Houston to box.  I feel it’s not time for me to go back home just yet.  I’ll come back when I become a superstar, like I’m supposed to be.”

 

Joel Diaz Jr.

“This is my chance, this is my opportunity.  I’ve been told, ‘you only get one chance’, and this is it for me.  I know Regis is good, but we’re going to put it on him.  I’m going to be on him like flies on shit.  This is one of the opportunities I can’t let pass.

 

“We’re going to break him down mentally, find our way in, and drop the bomb.

 

“He throws combos, and that’s what I have to take away from him.  I have to be on him and be the first to attack.  My power will take care of his speed.

 

“This means a lot to me, getting to show the world who the ‘secret’ is.  People haven’t really seen what I have, but there will be no more secrets after tomorrow.

 

“I’m going to show the world who the real Joel Diaz is.  I’m now at the right weight for me and I’m 110 percent.  I didn’t waste four weeks of training camp trying to lose weight.  I feel strong.

 

“A world championship after this fight, that’s what I want.  This is my opportunity to actually show who I am and I can’t let it go.  If I let this go, I might as well go back to school.  This is going to open all the doors for me.

 

“We’ve been ready for this step for a while.  I’d like to fight the winner of [Adrien] Broner- [Mikey] Garcia, but we’ll see.  I know Broner doesn’t want to fight me.  I tried to fight him and he turned it down.  He knows I’ll give him trouble.

 

“I changed trainers. I used to be with Abel Ramos, now I’m with Chris Byrd.  With Coach Chris, it’s more defense than offense.  Working with Chris is amazing.  He was a fighter, so he knows what it takes to step in that ring.  He’s been there, so he understands me from a fighter’s perspective and that’s very important for me.  The bond we have inside and outside the ring is special.

 

“You’re going to see a more active Joel Diaz and a more defensive Joel Diaz.  I’m going to show the world who Joel Diaz is at 140 and trust me, they will ask for more after they see it.”

 

Steve Rolls

“My last fight on ShoBox [against Steed Woodall in December 2015] was a learning experience. I was knocked down in the third, but I rebounded.  You never know how you are going to react in the face of adversity until you are put in that position.  I’m glad that happened early on in my career.  It taught me a lot.

 

“I’m know I’m 33, but I feel better than when I was younger.  I take care of myself.  I have a clean lifestyle.  Age is not a thing for me.

 

“Nicholson has a good jab.  I’ve seen him fight before.  I’m not sure if he’s made adjustments or if he’s coming with a different game plan.  I’m ready for whatever he brings.

 

“From what I’ve seen, he can fight.  He knows what he’s doing in there and it looks like he has some experience.”

 

Demond Nicholson

“This guy [Rolls] is not as experienced as me.  I’m a big step-up for him.

 

“My last fight [against Immanuwel Aleem] was a big step up, and I fought to a majority draw.  It was a slow start, but I’m a fighter, and I soldiered through. That fight really opened my eyes up to better my career, my future.

 

“Look at what Aleem has done since we fought.  He knocked out an undefeated guy [Ievgen Khytrov] that no one wanted to face.

 

“My experience is going to get us over the hump against this guy.  He has a dangerous right hand, but I’m going to take that away from him.

 

“I’m a natural boxer, but people were calling me a brawler after my performance with Aleem and that’s not who I am.  But I get it – I didn’t box at all in that fight.  That’s why I had to go back to the drawing board.

 

“I learned a lot training at Head Bangers in Washington, D.C. with Barry Hunter, Lamont Peterson and all those guys. I’ve learned from Lamont, from Adrien Broner, from Austin Trout. They spar with top fighters and that’s why they perform at the highest level – because they’ve sparred with the best. So I’m doing the same.”

 

“I have one loss, and that taught me a lot.  I had to lose 15 pounds in three days for that fight and that took a toll on me. There are no issues making weight for this fight.”

 

Jon Fernandez

“This is my second fight with my new trainer Tinin Rodriguez.  I always try to get better and changing trainers seemed to be the best path for me.  He’s helping me round up the fundamentals of boxing.

 

“I know I’m tall for my weight class, but I feel OK.  I think 130 is my ideal weight, but I might go up in weight in the future.  We’ll see.  I’m still young and I have a long career ahead of me.

 

“I used to watch tape of Maravilla when I was growing up.  He inspired me to be serious about boxing.  He was so good.  It’s such of honor to be working with him.  I respect him a lot.”

 

Juan Reyes

“I haven’t fought anybody that tall, but I have a good game plan. I know he’s a volume puncher, but that’s just going to get me excited.  It’ll get my adrenaline pumping.

 

“I’m excited that I’m fighting on TV and in such special weekend, it’s the Boxing Hall of Fame.  This is a dream come true.  If I beat this guy it could change my life.”

 

Sergio Martinez – Jon Fernandez Co-Promoter

“Jon is a thinker.  He knows when to attack and when to defend himself.  He’s truly gifted.

 

“Some may draw comparisons of him with Paul Williams, but I fought Williams twice and let me tell you they are not alike.  Paul was the type of fighter that would get in the ring and go from first, to second, to third gear without thinking. JonFer will read you, will go to whatever gear he needs to be to defeat his opponent.  He has a very high boxing IQ.”

 

Chris Byrd – Diaz’s Trainer

“Joel is an aggressive machine, so my main focus has been on developing his defense.  He’s a talented boxer, but his aggressiveness sometimes opens holes in his defense.  In this training camp, we worked on that.  We have a good strategy going.

 

“He already knew how to fight, but you just have to push him a little bit on defense.  He’s still aggressive as ever, but he needed to think about what’s coming back at him.

 

“My main thing is life after boxing.  I have two brothers that are messed up from boxing. That’s why I focus on defense so much.  He has an aggressive style, but he also has talent, good feet and eye coordination.  He’ll go on to do great things.

 

“You’re going to see something special.  Regis is good, I give him props, but you’re going to see something special from Joel.  And a great fight.”

 

# # #

 

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.

 

For more information visit www.sho.com/sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @SHOSports, #ShoBox, @loudibella and @DiBellaEnt or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, and www.facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment.

REGIS PROGRAIS vs. JOEL DIAZ JR. FINAL WEIGHTS, QUOTES & PHOTOS FOR SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION HALL OF FAME WEEKEND TRIPLEHEADER LIVE ON SHOWTIME®


 

Tomorrow/Friday, June 9 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

 

Click HERE For Weigh-In Photos; Credit Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

Click HERE For Hall of Fame Opening Bell Photos; Credit Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

 

VERONA, N.Y. (June 8, 2017) – Regis “Rougarou” Prograis and Joel Diaz Jr. made weight on Thursday just hours after the “Opening Bell” to kick off festivities for the 2017 International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend. 

 

The undefeated Prograis (19-0, 16 KOs) and fellow unbeaten Diaz (23-0, 19 KOs) will square off in the 10-round super lightweight main event of a Hall of Fame edition of ShoBox: The New Generation tomorrow/Friday, June 9, live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

 

The ShoBox tripleheader will celebrate longtime analysts Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood just two days before their induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  Farhood and Tompkins were joined at the Opening Bell on Thursday by a handful of their fellow 2017 inductees: boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera, Australian trainer Johnny Lewis, and the wife of the late Johnny Tapia, Teresa Tapia. 

 

In the ShoBox co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Steve Rolls (15-0, 9 KOs) will take on the hard-hitting Demond Nicholson (17-1-1, 16 KOs) in an eight-round bout.  In the opening bout of the telecast, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez’s protégé, Jon Fernandez, (12-0, 10 KOs) faces Juan Reyes (14-3-3, 2 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight matchup.

 

Tickets for the event, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment (DBE) and AASHA Record Breakers, are priced at $65 for ringside, $50, $40 and $30 (may be subject to additional fees) and are available at the Turning Stone Box Office, by calling 877-833-SHOW, or online at Ticketmaster.com. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

 

OFFICIAL WEIGHTS

 

10-Round Super Lightweight Main Event:

Regis Prograis – 139 ½ pounds

Joel Diaz Jr. – 137 ¼ pounds

Referee: Mark Nelson; Judges: Don Ackerman, Tom Schreck, John McKaie

 

Eight-Round Super Middleweight Co-Feature:

Steve Rolls – 161 pounds

Demond Nicholson – 162 ½ pounds

Referee: Benjy Esteves; Judges: Glenn Feldman, Don Trella, Wynn Kintz

 

Eight-Round Lightweight Telecast Opener:

Jon Fernandez – 132 ½ pounds

Juan Ramon Reyes – 131 ½ pounds

Referee: Charlie Fitch; Judges: Don Ackerman, Glenn Feldman, John McKaie

 

FINAL QUOTES:

 

Regis Prograis

“The person that wins this fight goes up, hopefully, to a title fight.  I’m 19-0, he’s 23-0.  I feel like this is a real big fight.

 

“I take all my opponents seriously, but I’m taking this one even more seriously than others in the past.  He’s 23-0, and there’s a reason he’s undefeated.  He’s good, and he has the best record I’ve ever faced. 

 

“I’m at a stage in my career where every fight can lead to the next big thing and I think this fight may be it for me.  I’m patient, but I’m ready for more.  I want a shot at a title.

 

“He’s a brawler fighter, but I have the better punching power, and the speed.

 

“If I feel like he [Diaz] can’t hurt me from the first round, I’ll probably just walk him down the whole night and punish him.

 

“Seeing what [Errol] Spence did motivates me, especially the way he did it in his opponent’s hometown.  It got me thinking: that can be me one day.  We went at it in the amateurs, so I know how good he is, but I’m good too.  Just seeing him go over there and take the title away, I know my time is coming next. 

 

“I grew up watching Macho Camacho, Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson, but I watched more Duran than anything.  I really liked his style.  I learned a lot watching the boxing greats on tape.

 

“Terence Crawford, Adrien Broner, Victor Postol.  Those are the type of guys I want to fight.

 

“I started boxing in New Orleans, and if it wasn’t for Katrina, I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now.  When I moved to Houston, I got into the boxing scene and started taking it seriously.  It was a horrible situation [in New Orleans], but it changed my life. 

 

“My family went back [to New Orleans], but not me.  I stayed in Houston to box.  I feel it’s not time for me to go back home just yet.  I’ll come back when I become a superstar, like I’m supposed to be.”

 

Joel Diaz Jr.

“This is my chance, this is my opportunity.  I’ve been told, ‘you only get one chance’, and this is it for me.  I know Regis is good, but we’re going to put it on him.  I’m going to be on him like flies on shit.  This is one of the opportunities I can’t let pass. 

 

“We’re going to break him down mentally, find our way in, and drop the bomb.

 

“He throws combos, and that’s what I have to take away from him.  I have to be on him and be the first to attack.  My power will take care of his speed.   

 

“This means a lot to me, getting to show the world who the ‘secret’ is.  People haven’t really seen what I have, but there will be no more secrets after tomorrow.

 

“I’m going to show the world who the real Joel Diaz is.  I’m now at the right weight for me and I’m 110 percent.  I didn’t waste four weeks of training camp trying to lose weight.  I feel strong.

 

“A world championship after this fight, that’s what I want.  This is my opportunity to actually show who I am and I can’t let it go.  If I let this go, I might as well go back to school.  This is going to open all the doors for me. 

 

“We’ve been ready for this step for a while.  I’d like to fight the winner of [Adrien] Broner- [Mikey] Garcia, but we’ll see.  I know Broner doesn’t want to fight me.  I tried to fight him and he turned it down.  He knows I’ll give him trouble.

 

“I changed trainers. I used to be with Abel Ramos, now I’m with Chris Byrd.  With Coach Chris, it’s more defense than offense.  Working with Chris is amazing.  He was a fighter, so he knows what it takes to step in that ring.  He’s been there, so he understands me from a fighter’s perspective and that’s very important for me.  The bond we have inside and outside the ring is special.  

 

“You’re going to see a more active Joel Diaz and a more defensive Joel Diaz.  I’m going to show the world who Joel Diaz is at 140 and trust me, they will ask for more after they see it.”

 

Steve Rolls

“My last fight on ShoBox [against Steed Woodall in December 2015] was a learning experience. I was knocked down in the third, but I rebounded.  You never know how you are going to react in the face of adversity until you are put in that position.  I’m glad that happened early on in my career.  It taught me a lot.

 

“I’m know I’m 33, but I feel better than when I was younger.  I take care of myself.  I have a clean lifestyle.  Age is not a thing for me.

 

“Nicholson has a good jab.  I’ve seen him fight before.  I’m not sure if he’s made adjustments or if he’s coming with a different game plan.  I’m ready for whatever he brings.

 

“From what I’ve seen, he can fight.  He knows what he’s doing in there and it looks like he has some experience.”

 

Demond Nicholson

“This guy [Rolls] is not as experienced as me.  I’m a big step-up for him. 

 

“My last fight [against Immanuwel Aleem] was a big step up, and I fought to a majority draw.  It was a slow start, but I’m a fighter, and I soldiered through. That fight really opened my eyes up to better my career, my future.  

 

“Look at what Aleem has done since we fought.  He knocked out an undefeated guy [Ievgen Khytrov] that no one wanted to face.

 

“My experience is going to get us over the hump against this guy.  He has a dangerous right hand, but I’m going to take that away from him.

 

“I’m a natural boxer, but people were calling me a brawler after my performance with Aleem and that’s not who I am.  But I get it – I didn’t box at all in that fight.  That’s why I had to go back to the drawing board.

 

“I learned a lot training at Head Bangers in Washington, D.C. with Barry Hunter, Lamont Peterson and all those guys. I’ve learned from Lamont, from Adrien Broner, from Austin Trout. They spar with top fighters and that’s why they perform at the highest level – because they’ve sparred with the best. So I’m doing the same.”

 

“I have one loss, and that taught me a lot.  I had to lose 15 pounds in three days for that fight and that took a toll on me. There are no issues making weight for this fight.”

 

Jon Fernandez

“This is my second fight with my new trainer Tinin Rodriguez.  I always try to get better and changing trainers seemed to be the best path for me.  He’s helping me round up the fundamentals of boxing.

 

“I know I’m tall for my weight class, but I feel OK.  I think 130 is my ideal weight, but I might go up in weight in the future.  We’ll see.  I’m still young and I have a long career ahead of me.

 

“I used to watch tape of Maravilla when I was growing up.  He inspired me to be serious about boxing.  He was so good.  It’s such of honor to be working with him.  I respect him a lot.”

 

Juan Reyes

“I haven’t fought anybody that tall, but I have a good game plan. I know he’s a volume puncher, but that’s just going to get me excited.  It’ll get my adrenaline pumping.

 

“I’m excited that I’m fighting on TV and in such special weekend, it’s the Boxing Hall of Fame.  This is a dream come true.  If I beat this guy it could change my life.”

 

Sergio Martinez – Jon Fernandez Co-Promoter

“Jon is a thinker.  He knows when to attack and when to defend himself.  He’s truly gifted.

 

“Some may draw comparisons of him with Paul Williams, but I fought Williams twice and let me tell you they are not alike.  Paul was the type of fighter that would get in the ring and go from first, to second, to third gear without thinking. JonFer will read you, will go to whatever gear he needs to be to defeat his opponent.  He has a very high boxing IQ.”

 

Chris Byrd – Diaz’s Trainer

“Joel is an aggressive machine, so my main focus has been on developing his defense.  He’s a talented boxer, but his aggressiveness sometimes opens holes in his defense.  In this training camp, we worked on that.  We have a good strategy going.

 

“He already knew how to fight, but you just have to push him a little bit on defense.  He’s still aggressive as ever, but he needed to think about what’s coming back at him.

 

“My main thing is life after boxing.  I have two brothers that are messed up from boxing. That’s why I focus on defense so much.  He has an aggressive style, but he also has talent, good feet and eye coordination.  He’ll go on to do great things.

 

“You’re going to see something special.  Regis is good, I give him props, but you’re going to see something special from Joel.  And a great fight.”

 

# # #

 

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.

 

For more information visit www.sho.com/sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @SHOSports, #ShoBox, @loudibella and @DiBellaEnt or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, andwww.facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment.

 

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.

  PROSPECT JON FERNANDEZ AND HIS CO-PROMOTER, FORMER WORLD CHAMPION SERGIO MARTINEZ, DISCUSS FERNANDEZ’S FIGHT ON SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION® THIS FRIDAY

 

 

ShoBox: The New Generation To celebrate 2017 Hall of Fame Weekend with a Special Tripleheader this Friday, June 9 live on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) from Turning Stone Resort Casino

 

Photo courtesy: Maravillabox Promotions

 

VERONA, N.Y. (June 7, 2017) – Former unified world champion and current boxing promoter and mentor Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, along with his protégé Jon “JonFer” Fernandez, an undefeated prospect at 130 pounds, discuss future plans ahead of Fernandez’s second appearance on ShoBox: The New Generation this Friday, June 9, live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on West Coast) from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

 

Martinez, known for his extensive career and impact inside the ring and now at the helm of Maravillabox Promotions, has worked with Fernandez since his pro debut at only 19 years old. Fernandez (12-0, 10 KOs), who is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and MaravillaBox Promotions, has remained undefeated and undeterred, climbing up the prospect ranks with five fights in 2015, another five in 2016 and now getting ready for his third fight this year.

 

In addition to June 9’s ShoBox being Fernandez’s third fight this year, it will also be his third time fighting on American soil as he opens the SHOWTIME telecast facing tough opposition in Juan Reyes (14-3-3, 2 KOs) for what could be an important fight in his development as he tries to turn from prospect to contender.

 

The card, which takes place during the 2017 Hall of Fame Weekend where longtime ShoBox analysts Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, features undefeated super lightweights Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (19-0, 16 KOs) and Joel Diaz Jr. (23-0, 19 KOs) in the 10-round main event. The co-feature will pit Steve Rolls (15-0, 9 KOs) against Demond Nicholson (17-1-1, 16 KOs) in an eight-round super middleweight bout.

 

Tickets for the event, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment (DBE) and AASHA Record Breakers, are priced at $65 for ringside, $50, $40 and $30 (may be subject to additional fees) and are available at the Turning Stone Box Office, by calling 877-833-SHOW, or online at Ticketmaster.com. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

 

This week Martinez and his protégé, “JonFer,” spoke to SHOWTIME Sports about what the future might hold for the 130-pound prospect.

 

SERGIO “MARAVILLA” MARTINEZ:

How would you describe Jon Fernandez’s style?

“I believe that JonFer is a very well-rounded, complete fighter. He can take advantage of his great wingspan and reach but has no problem fighting in close distance. Furthermore, he’s hitting really hard. I believe we’ll see him fighting with big names in the division soon.

 

“JonFer has a classic boxing style—a classic, orthodox style. He’s effective when he’s attacking as well as defending. He poses a vision and a combat insight that is truly amazing. Not only does he have speed and precision, but he also has potential in his fists. But, the best characteristic that JonFer possesses is his great professionalism in the sport and in his personal life.”

 

What would you say is different in Jon compared to other boxers in the division?

“His head, he is very mature for his age. In that sense, he reminds me of myself. He is very serious when he’s working and always looking to improve.

 

“He has a stupendous perception of the errors his rivals make. He knows how to read the battle and knows when and how to define a fight. I believe that the more fights and time go by, JonFer will establish himself at the top level alongside the top boxers in the world.”

 

As Jon develops, what plans do you have for him?

“To continue with the hard work like we have to this date. I respect every step in his career. I’d like for JonFer to continue training and preparing himself for what can be a bright and stupendous future.”

 

Who do you want him to fight – Jesus Cuellar, Orlando Salido, Gervonta Davis, Jose Pedraza, Carl Frampton?

“All of the names mentioned are already great champions. They are all owed their due respect and it would be an honor, not only for Jonfer but for Maravilabox to have the possibility of making fight with any of them.

 

“Jose Pedraza would be a great test. We’d really like to make that fight happen. JonFer has sparred with Frampton before his rematch with Santa Cruz and we know he was up to the challenge. And of course, we would love to go for the world title against Gervonta Davis and think it would be a great fight. A clash of styles.”

 

What belts do you want him to go for first?

“First, we’d like him to set a good base. The best for us is to continue building his career step by step and for him to continue learning and adapting himself bit by bit to the top level. As we continue making fights happen, there will be more opportunities for international and world titles. The goal is to get JonFer to become a WBC champion, the most important entity.

 

“We would be really excited to be able to win the European championship, but we’re ready to fight anyone. All of the belts are important and provide experience.”

 

What would you see as the ideal next step for JonFer in the next few years?

“Ideally we want to keep him at a weight in which he feels the most comfortable. As fights and time go by, if he needs to go up in weight, he’d do so without a problem. It’s possible for him to end up fighting in superior divisions, but for now we are focused on 130 and I think he can still battle at this weight for several years.”

 

Can you name who you think are the top five active boxers today?

“I really like Errol Spence Jr., he has a great style that I feel is like mine was. Canelo [Alvarez] and [Gennady] Golovkin are two of my favorites as well, they’ll put on a great fight. Andre Ward, Jorge Linares… There is a lot of talent in the sport at the moment.

 

What memories of Steve Farhood and Barry Tompkins stand out to you?

“Yes, of course, I have some great moments of my years in the United States and I remember Steve always in front of the SHOWTIME cameras. He is a great professional.

 

“He is one of the highest-regarded boxing writers in the world. He is a man with a young mentality who knows how to appreciate good boxing.

 

“Barry Tompkins is a prestigious commentator and what I remember the most about him is seeing him commentate on fights in the era of Tyson and J.C. Chavez. To be a commentator of that stature then, he had to be an excellent professional.”

 

What would you say is the best (and worst) part about being a promoter?

“To be a promoter is thrilling. I believe that taking the career of the boxers in your hands must be treated like it’s your own life. It’s a true adventure. I can’t find a negative thing to say about being a promoter.”

 

Do you miss being a boxer?

“To this day I can say that I do not have any desire to return to the ring. My last fights were torturous and I still have problems with my knee to the date as I try to go about my daily life. I continue to train an hour each day and continue to love boxing, but now I prefer watching the youngsters like Jon and help them with my experience.”

 

JON “JONFER” FERNANDEZ:

Can you tell us what it is like for you to work with someone like Sergio Martinez?

“It’s great, Sergio is always very attentive and a mirror to watch yourself in. Like an athlete, he was one of the greats, but as a person he is even better. Maravillabox Promotions is composed of thorough professionals and the way they treat me is excellent.”

 

How is your training going? Is your camp any different for this fight?

“I haven’t had too much time since my last fight, just about five weeks. It has been tough, but we were coming off of a much more difficult preparation in fighting for Spain’s world title. I think this will make for a great fight and the fans will have a lot of fun.”

 

What are your plans for the future? In your career, life, boxing, in the next five years…

“I just got married in April and it was a great experience, the happiest day of my life. I would love to have kids soon. As far as boxing goes, of course I’d like to be a world champion. But first I’d like to go for the European title. I’d like to fight against the best prospects in the division and continuing to make great fights. I will be a world champion one day, I know I can get there.”

 

Who would you say is your all-time favorite boxer?

“I can’t just say one, I have several. Sergio Martinez, obviously. I also really like Terrance Crawford and Juan Manuel Marquez. Out of the boxing legends, I’ll stick to Alexis Arguello.”

 

# # #

 

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

 

For more information visit www.sho.com/sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @SHOSports, #ShoBox, @loudibella and @DiBellaEnt or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, and www.facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment.

SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION CARD ON 2017 HALL OF FAME WEEKEND UPGRADED TO TRIPLEHEADER

 Unbeaten Maravillabox Promotions’ Prospect Jon Fernandez To Face Juan Reyes; Live On SHOWTIME® From Turning Stone Resort Casino In Verona, N.Y.

 

2017 Hall of Fame Inductees Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood To Be Joined By Fellow Hall of Famers Al Bernstein and Jimmy Lennon Jr.

 

NEW YORK (June 2, 2017) – SHOWTIME Sports® has announced undefeated Maravillabox Promotions’ prospect Jon Fernandez will meet super featherweight Juan Reyes in an eight-round matchup in the opening bout of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, June 9, live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT), from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

 

The addition of Sergio Martinez’s protégé, Jon “Jonfer” Fernandez, (12-0, 10 KOs), in a 130-pound scrap against Juan “Pochito” Reyes (14-3-3, 2 KO’s) upgrades the previously announced ShoBox to a tripleheader.

 

The card, which takes place during the 2017 Hall of Fame Weekend where longtime ShoBox analysts Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, features undefeated super lightweights Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (19-0, 16 KOs) and Joel Diaz Jr. (23-0, 19 KOs) in the 10-round main event. The winner will be thrust from talented prospect to legitimate contender. Both fighters have developed on the series—this will be Prograis’ fourth start and Diaz’s third.

 

In the co-feature, unbeaten Canadian super middleweight Steve Rolls (15-0, 9 KOs) makes his second start on ShoBoxwhen he faces the dangerous Demond Nicholson (17-1-1, 16 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

 

Tickets for the event, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment (DBE) and AASHA Record Breakers, are priced at $65 for ringside, $50, $40 and $30 (may be subject to additional fees) and are available at the Turning Stone Box Office, by calling 877-833-SHOW, or online at Ticketmaster.com. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

 

“This is another big opportunity for me to show everybody that I am one of the best super featherweights in the world,” said Fernandez, who will fight for just the third time in the United States. “The fight against Garza was an amazing experience and I was happy to give the audience in the U.S. such an exciting performance.

 

“In my last fight, I won the Spanish title, something that I am very proud to have achieved, now I will travel back to the U.S. to face anybody that my promoter puts in front of me. I am very confident in my skills and my team is doing great work with my career.”

 

“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for my entire career,” said Reyes. “I make real wars out of my fights because that is my style and it works for me. Jon Fernandez will have his hands full because I am coming to win.”

 

“I want to thank to Lou DiBella and SHOWTIME for another great opportunity for Jon Fernández,” said Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, promoter and former unified middleweight world champion. “Jonfer is a talented and hard-working young man that will archive great things. He’s destined for greatness.”

 

“With his potential and work ethic, I have no doubt he’ll be a world champion one day. I will take it a step further and say that he will become next pound-for-pound champion. He is ready to win this fight by knockout and call out the top names in his weight class.”

 

The 21-year old Fernandez is coming off of a second-round TKO victory versus previously unbeaten Ismael Garcia to seize the Spanish 130-pound title in his hometown of Bilbao, País Vasco, Spain, on April 21. In his last stateside appearance on Feb.10 of this year, Fernandez made his ShoBox debut with an impressive third-round knockout against formerly once-beaten Ernesto Garza in Miami, Okla.

 

Reyes is a 27-year-old from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, now training out of Bell Gardens, Calif. He will be making hisShoBox and New York debut—he has never fought outside of Southern California. Reyes’ last two fights resulted in unanimous decision wins as he beat Miguel Angel Mendoza on March 3 of this year and Cesar Villarraga in October 2016.

 

Fellow Hall of Famers Al Bernstein and Jimmy Lennon Jr. will join Farhood and Tompkins on-air during the special Hall of Fame edition of the prospect oriented series.  Lennon Jr. returns to Canasota for the posthumous induction of his father, world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Sr.

 

Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with 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.

 

Tompkins and Farhood will be inducted in the “Observer” category on Sunday as part of a 2017 class headlined by boxing greats Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera and Johnny Tapia.

 

# # #

 

For more information visit www.sho.com/sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @SHOSports, #ShoBox, @loudibella and @DiBellaEnt or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, andwww.facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment.

SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION CELEBRATES 2017 HALL OF FAME WEEKEND WITH SPECIAL DOUBLEHEADER FROM TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO IN VERONA, N.Y.

 Unbeatens Regis Prograis and Joel Diaz Jr., Collide In Main Event On Friday, June 9 Live On SHOWTIME® at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT

 

2017 Hall of Fame Inductees Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood To Be Joined By Fellow Hall of Famers Al Bernstein & Jimmy Lennon Jr.

 

NEW YORK (May 23, 2017) – ShoBox: The New Generation will celebrate the 2017 Hall of Fame weekend with a special doubleheader on Friday, June 9 live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) from Turning Stone Resort Casino, just minutes from the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y.

 

Longtime ShoBox analysts Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood will call the actionon Friday before their induction in the “Observer” category on Sunday as part of a 2017 class headlined by boxing greats Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera and Johnny Tapia.

 

Fellow Hall of Famers Al Bernstein and Jimmy Lennon Jr. will join Farhood and Tompkins on-air during the special Hall of Fame edition of the prospect oriented series.  Lennon Jr. returns to Canasota for the posthumous induction of his father, world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Sr.

 

In the 10-round main event, undefeated super lightweights Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (19-0, 16 KOs) and Joel Diaz Jr. (23-0, 19 KOs) will meet in a quintessential ShoBox matchup that could thrust the winner from prospect to legitimate title contender.  Viewers have seen both fighters develop on the series – this will be Prograis’ fourth start and Diaz’ third on ShoBox.

 

In the co-feature, unbeaten Canadian super middleweight Steve Rolls (15-0, 9 KOs) makes his second start on ShoBox when he faces the dangerous Demond Nicholson (17-1-1, 16 KOs) in an eight-round match.

 

“I think I can speak on behalf of all of us here at SHOWTIME about how happy and proud we are to see both Steve and Barry’s careers validated with their induction into the Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Gordon Hall, ShoBox Executive Producer and SVP Production, SHOWTIME Sports.  “And when you add four fighters with only one loss between them in a quintessentialShoBox card, it just doesn’t get much better than that.”

 

Tompkins and Farhood are the one-two punch behind ShoBox: The NewGeneration.  Tompkins calls the blow-by-blow and Farhood offers his wealth of boxing knowledge and expert analysis. The series announce team also includes former world champion Raul Marquez, who also serves as expert analyst.

 

This will be the fifth ShoBox visit to Turning Stone Resort Casino, which hosted its first ShoBox telecast during the 2013 Hall of Fame weekend.

 

Tickets for the event, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment (DBE) and AASHA Record Breakers, are priced at $65 for ringside, $50, $40 and $30 (may be subject to additional fees) and are available at the Turning Stone Box Office, by calling 877-833-SHOW, or online at Ticketmaster.com. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

 

REGIS PROGRAIS VS. JOEL DIAZ JR. – SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT – 10 ROUNDS

 

Ranked No. 4 by the WBC, the 28-year-old Prograis has scored knockouts in 12 of his last 13 fights.  Originally from New Orleans but currently fighting out of Main Street Gym in Houston, the 5-foot-9 Prograis is an aggressive-minded southpaw with stunning accuracy on his power shots.

 

Prograis has beaten two previously undefeated fighters on ShoBox – an eight round stoppage of Abel Ramos and an eight-round decision over Amos Cowart – in addition to his most recent performance, a first round KO of veteran Aaron Herrera.  The former amateur standout is coming off a first round knockout of Wilfrido Buelvas on Feb. 11.

 

“It’s ‘Rougarou Time’,” said Prograis, whose nickname originates in Louisiana folklore and is defined as a werewolf-like creature. “This is a crossroads fight for me.  I am ranked No. 4 by the WBC and fifth by The Ring at 140 pounds.  I have worked hard to get here, and I am on a hunt for the title belts.

 

“Diaz is standing in the way of my ultimate objective and I know that I must defeat him to get where I want to be. He needs to get past me to move onto the next level himself, so I am sure he is equally motivated.  That is what makes for great fights.”

 

Joel Diaz Jr., of Palmdale, Calif., will return to ShoBox for the third time.  He debuted on the SHOWTIME series in just his sixth pro bout, stopping unbeaten prospect Guy Robb in seven rounds in 2012.  Diaz Jr. returned to headline aShoBox event on May 16, 2014, dominating Canadian Tyler Asselstine over 10 rounds en route to a unanimous decision.

 

The 25-year-old won all of his starts by stoppage in 2016.

 

“I am honored to be back on SHOWTIME and am thankful to my promoters DiBella Entertainment and Jean Pascal Promotions for the opportunity,” said Diaz Jr.  “OnJune 9, I will be more than ready to hand Regis Prograis his first defeat.  ShoBoxfans are in for a treat as this will be a thriller while it lasts.  When the smoke clears, I know that I will be the one left standing.”

 

STEVE ROLLS VS. DEMOND NICHOLSON – SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT – 8 ROUNDS

 

Steve Rolls, of Toronto, Canada, earned his biggest victory in his ShoBox debut in December 2015, stopping then undefeated prospect and amateur standout Steed Woodall inside four rounds.  He has since earned two impressive knockout wins in 2016.

 

Rolls had a successful amateur career, competing on both the 2009 and 2010 Canadian National boxing teams and finishing with an 83-14 record overall.  In 2009, he went to the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Men’s Boxing Championship in Milan, Italy, where he lost in the Round of 16 to 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh.

 

“It feels great to be back on ShoBox and I’m looking forward to putting on another spectacular performance,” Rolls said.  “I know that Nicholson can fight and I expect him to come prepared.  Training camp has been going very well and on June 9, I will be more than ready.”

 

Demond “D’Bestatit” Nicholson is a super middleweight from Laurel, Md. with devastating power, scoring all but one of his wins by knockout, including 10 in the first round.  The 24-year-old has won seven fights with one draw since his only defeat in 2014.

 

Nicholson, who owns an impressive victory over former world title challenger Milton Nunez, is coming off of a questionable draw against Immanuwel Aleem –who recently stopped Ievgen Khytrov in a back-and-forth brawl that aired on SHOWTIME.   As an amateur, Nicholson accumulated a record of 110-15, before turning pro in July 2013.

 

“My time is now,” said Nicholson. “Any time that I am able to showcase my talent in front of a national audience means a lot.  I am very humbled and thankful to be a part of this card.  I’ve had great sparring, making adjustments every session.  I saw Rolls’ fight against Steed Woodall – I think he has a lot to learn, and I will teach him a lesson.  I look forward to victory and continuing to move up the world rankings.”

 

# # #

 

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

 

For more information visit www.sho.com/sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @SHOSports, #ShoBox, @loudibella and @DiBellaEnt or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, andwww.facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment.

 

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. TheShoBox 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.

COMBATE AMERICAS HITS NEW YORK WITH  FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT IN HISTORY, LIVE ON BEIN SPORTS EN ESPAÑOL AND UFC FIGHT PASS® ON FRIDAY, OCT. 14

(Pictured below): Twenty-four year-old surging star John “Sexy Mexy” Castaneda (11-2) of Mankato, Minn. will bid to become the first 135 pound world champion in Combate Americas history onFriday, Oct. 14, live on beIN Sports en Español and UFC FIGHT PASS.

John “Sexy Mexy” Castaneda faces Gustavo Lopez
for the world bantamweight championship
at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Tickets on sale now

NEW YORK – Sept. 8, 2016 – Combate Americas today announced that red-hot, streaking bantamweight (135 pounds) stars John “Sexy Mexy” Castaneda (11-2) and Gustavo Lopez (6-1) will face off in the first world championship bout in league history at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. on Friday, October 14, live on beIN SPORTS En Español and UFC FIGHT PASS®.

The 24-year-old Castaneda of Mankato, Minn. and the 27-year-old Lopez of Las Vegas, Nev. via Yakima, Wash. will collide in the main event of the 10-bout “Combate Americas: Empire Rising” Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) extravaganza.

“We are thrilled to be producing our first world title fight in Combate Americas history at our debut event in the Empire State,” said Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren, who also produced the last live televised professional MMA event in New York State with UFC® 7 on September 8, 1995.

“John Castaneda and Gustavo Lopez put on some incredibly memorable and heroic performances during our ‘Road To The Championship’ fight series this year and last year,” continued McLaren, “so we are looking forward to have these two budding, young stars square off and to crowning our first champion.”

Each fighter earned his way to the title fight in “La Jaula,” or the Combate Americas cage, by going undefeated in three consecutive bouts during the “Road To The Championship” series that kicked off in September 2015 and concluded on May 9, 2016.


 Pictured Above (Far):  Bantamweight star Gustavo Lopez (6-1) of Las Vegas, Nev. via Yakima, Wash. will look to continue his unbeaten run in “La Jaula,” the Combate Americas cage, when he fights for his first world title.

Castaneda, who has finished 8 of his 11 professional career victories, is riding a six-fight win streak dating back to May 16, 2015 when he submitted Pedro Velasco with a rear-naked choke in the first round (2:42) of battle.

Castaneda’s run in the “Road To The Championship” series began with a unanimous decision win over Justin Governale on September 17, 2015, and continued with a spectacular, arm-triangle choke submission of Federico Lopez in the closing moments of the third round (4:49) of action.

The aggressive-minded Castaneda cemented his spot in the world title fight by edging out a split decision over Gabriel Solorio on April 25.

In his last start, Castaneda stepped up for Combate Americas on just two weeks’ notice,  replacing an injured Erick Sanchez, at the higher, featherweight limit of 145 pounds, against Angel Cruz on August 11, and scored a second round (2:25) TKO (punches) on Cruz.

Fighting out of the famed Xtreme Couture camp in Las Vegas, Lopez, a protégé of former UFC® champion Miesha Tate and UFC bantamweightBryan Caraway, will look for his sixth consecutive win in the cage, and his fourth under the Combate Americas promotional umbrella.

Similar to his opponent, Lopez is a determined finisher who has earned five of his six professional career wins by way of (T)KO or submission.

Lopez began his Combate Americas journey in the “Road To The Championship” series, defeating Mauricio Diaz by way of unanimous decision on September 17, 2015.

In his second Combate Americas appearance, Lopez submitted Joey Ruquetwith an arm-triangle choke in the second round (4:06) of action, before sealing his fate in the title fight with Castaneda by scoring a devastating, second round (4:07) TKO on Saul Elizondo with a barrage of punches on the ground.

A nationally recognized venue for legendary, fight-of-the-year-level boxing events, Turning Stone Resort Casino will now become one of the very first venues in New York to host professional MMA fights.  With a legacy of hosting some of the best events in the country, rivaling many venues in major cities such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City and New York City, Turning Stone has established Upstate New York as a premier destination for live sporting events.  Turning Stone is an award-winning destination resort, offering world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 restaurants and dining options, two luxurious spas, a 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000 seat arena, five pristine golf courses, several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues.

Tickets for “Combate Americas: Empire Rising” are on sale and can be purchased at the Turning Stone Box Office, by calling 877.833.SHOW, or online at Ticketmaster.com.  Tickets are priced at $75, for cageside, $65, $50 and $35, and may be subject to additional fees.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.for the event, and the first preliminary bout will begin at 6 p.m.

Additional bouts will be announced soon.

UFC FIGHT PASS is a digital subscription service which gives fans access to exclusive live UFC events and fights, exclusive live MMA and combat sports events from around the world, exclusive original and behind the scenes content and unprecedented 24-7 access to the world’s largest fight library.

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RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV vs. JOHN MOLINA JR., DEMETRIUS ANDRADE vs. WILLIE NELSON MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL HIGHLIGHTS

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Tripleheader
On Saturday, June 11, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) During International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend
VIDEO: Fight of the Year in the Making: http://s.sho.com/25zBkiE
For Immediate Release
NEW YORK (June 2, 2016) – Ruslan “The Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov and John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr., along with Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade and Willie “The Great” Nelson, hosted an International Media Conference Call on Tuesday in advance of their highly anticipated battles as part of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Also taking part was Arthur Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions, and SHOWTIME Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza.

Provodnikov (25-4, 18 KOs), a former WBO Junior Welterweight World Champion, and former world title challenger Molina (28-6, 23 KOs), of West Covina, Calif., will face each other in the 12-round main event. In the co-feature, undefeated former 154-pound world champion and 2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrius Andrade (22-0, 15 KOs), of Providence, R.I., will face Willie Nelson (25-2-1, 15 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio, in a 12-round WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator.

Opening the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader is a battle for the vacant WBC Lightweight World Championship between No. 1 ranked Dejan Zlaticanin (17-0, 10 KOs), of the Southeastern European country of Montenegro, against WBC No. 5 ranked contender Franklin Mamani (21-2-1, 12 KOs) of La Paz, Bolivia.

Also on June 11, former world title challengers, Willie Monroe Jr, (19-2-0, 6 KOs), and John Thompson, (17-2-0, 6 KOs,) will meet in a 10-round middleweight bout in the main event on SHOWTIME EXTREME® (7 p.m. ET/PT). In the SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME® opener, heavyweight Andrey Fedosov (28-3, 23 KOs) takes on Mario Heredia (11-1, 9 KOs, 1-2 in WSB) in a 10-round heavyweight bout.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Banner Promotions, Inc., are priced at $85, $60, $45 and $35 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Turning Stone Box Office, by calling 877.833.SHOW, or online at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com).

Below is what the boxers said Tuesday on the conference call:

RUSLAN “THE SIBERIAN ROCKY” PROVODNIKOV
“I will try to not disappoint anyone and try to bring my best on June 11. I don’t like to make any predictions. Boxing is very unpredictable; anything can happen on June 11. We’ve got a little bit to wait until fight night and for me it’s just important to win the fight.

“I am very thankful for everyone who has made this fight happen. I am pleased with the opponent that I have because John Molina is a tough fighter. It’s going to be a tough fight and I am looking for it to be a battle. So everybody be ready because on June 11 it will be a great fight.”

JOHN “THE GLADIATOR” MOLINA JR.

(On how he feels fighting someone who is going to force the fight like himself)
“For me, in a perfect world, I would have a guy right there to exchange with me but Ruslan and his team have been around the game a long time. They know that I’m a puncher. I anticipate Ruslan to do what he does best, which is sit there and fight but I also anticipate him also utilizing his boxing ability given his amateur pedigree and his experience in the pro game. We’re prepared for any Ruslan whether he tries to get up and box or whether he sits there and bangs. We know he’s a strong fighter. We know he’s a strong puncher and we’re prepared for that. Ruslan is going to be Ruslan and he’s going to sit down and fight with me.”

(On how he mentally prepares for fights)
“I have no other way. You look at my fights and the outcome, we have that fighter spirit in us. If we’re being cordial, it’s because we’re professional. It’s what we do for a living. If we take it outside of the ring that’s very ignorant and not very mature. Believe me, I understand and know, and Ruslan understands and knows, that come June 11 all of the kindness goes out the window. After the fight we could be best of friends. But during the fight, I always use the example that he’s trying to take something away from my family. So, it’s very serious business inside that ring. Outside the ring, I don’t want to waste energy or negative feelings toward anybody. This is what I do for a living. I have a competitive spirit, I don’t even like to lose in checkers.

“I have had a very successful career in boxing and I’m looking forward to making an even better one come June 11. Every fight is serious, and remember, I’ve been playing this game since I was 24 years old and I only had 22 amateur fights so essentially my amateur career was in the pro game. Whether the fights I’ve had are a loss or a win, I’ve always gained experience and I have become a better fighter because of it. I’m just getting warmed up and the fight on June 11is going to catapult me in the right direction.”

DEMETRIUS “BOO BOO” ANDRADE
“The champ is in. The champ is in. I feel good. I’m grateful. I want to thank SHOWTIME for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skill and talent on this June 11 card, especially with the Hall of Fame going on. It is a big main event between Provodnikov and John Molina; two guys that are going to back up and give some good entertainment. In my eyes, Willie Nelson and Demetrius Andrade is the number one 154 fight that you don’t want to miss leading up to fighting for a title shot for the WBC against a Charlo brother (Jermell).”

(On how it felt to be inactive for so long)
“I’ve been staying busy, staying focused knowing that there’s a bigger picture at the end of the day. All great legends and all Hall of Fame fighters have their story lines. My time is coming around. The tables are turning and people are going to have to step up and fight each other in one way or another. Sometimes, where you are in life is more conducive than your bank account. So, I’m not upset, or mad or frustrated with a thing that is going on and how everything played out.

“At this point, there is a lesson in everything that you go through in life and I learned my lesson through that point in time. Me trying to be frustrated and take it out on people, no, I took it out in the ring.”

(Thoughts on Willie Nelson)
“I’ve seen him in the amateur program. I’ve seen him fight tough guys that are top guys today. I know he’s bringing that experience. He’s fought previous fighters that I’ve fought. I know I’m going up against a giant but I consider myself a giant as well and it’s going to be a great matchup, a great fight for the 154 (division). I feel that it is one of the best fights in the 154 division that has ever been made.

“Not looking past Willie Nelson but me, my character, my hard work and my ethics, I’m looking to be the best and fight the best out there. I want to put out there and say congratulations to the Charlo twins on making history for being twin brothers to win (titles). But I’m going to make history by taking both of those titles and beating both of them.

(On what it was like to be stripped of a title)
“A belt doesn’t identify me. That doesn’t change anything about me, my fight style, who I am or anything like that. Nowadays you don’t have to have a title to be king of the ring but this is an opportunity for me to get back in the likes of fighting with the WBC. Fighting on the SHOWTIMEJune 11 card is going to be good movement for me. As far as boxing, the days are coming back where the champ is fighting the best.”

WILLIE “THE GREAT” NELSON
“This is Willie Nelson, one of the top contenders for the 154-pound division. I’m excited for this fight. I think that both of us feel like this fight right here is going to be the shot that both of us have been looking for. I feel like this is my time right now. With me and Boo Boo’s past history, unfortunately we have to come to this fight. We’re pretty cool as friends but it’s our time so we have to get in there and show the world what we’re made of.”

(On the reasoning behind the lengthy layoff)
“One of the reasons was because of the death of Steve Smith but also because it is hard getting fights. Nobody wants to fight a 6-foot, 4-inch junior middleweight that’s actually coming to fight and that has decent pop. Besides that, look at my career. My career has been nothing but fights and layoffs. I’ve been pro since I was 19 years old and I only have 27 pro fights. That’s just been my career: fights and layoffs I guess.

“Regardless of who I fight and where I’m fighting, I’m going to give it my all, always. It doesn’t matter what place, what promoter, network or venue. I just perform to the best of my ability and look forward to doing what I do.”

STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
(On taking a fighter like Ruslan and what it is about him that attracted SHOWTIME)
“One thing that has characterized Ruslan throughout his career is that he is a fan favorite and that is consistent regardless of what the scorecards are at the end of the fight. As a network executive what we’re looking for is entertaining programming, and fights that people want to see, fights that people talk about, and that is consistently what Ruslan has delivered throughout his career. He is one of those types of fighters who, like John [Molina Jr.] as well, that even if they have a handful of losses on their record, it really doesn’t matter because they are as entertaining and enjoyable to watch as anyone in the sport.

“We try to have a variety of fights; some with really skilled guys, some guys who are really big punchers, a variety of weight classes, a variety of different types of fighters. This is one where it’s not about titles, not about anything but two guys who fight really hard and who give it their all. [It’s about two guys] meeting in the ring to figure out who’s the better boxer on that night.

“This is one way to add a different type of variety to the sport. Once we had the fight at the top of the card we tried to be consistent for the whole card down. If you look at guys like Demetrius and Willie, Dejan and even down to Willie Monroe Jr. and John Thompson, I think that characterizes this as what should be and all-action night.”

(On Demetrius and Willie)
“I give all the credit to Demetrius and Willie for this fight. For Willie on stepping up to this challenge. We have one of the most avoided guys in the division in Demetrius, who’s taking such a tough fight after a relatively long layoff and period of inactivity. It just shows what kind of guys these are and how they are anxious to step up to the next level of their careers.”

ARTHUR PELULLO, President of Banner Promotions
“One thing led to another where we felt that there were more opportunities on SHOWTIME with all of the different fighters…There’s more of an opportunity for Ruslan Provodnikov to show his skills and we were able to go down this road.

“John Molina is the toughest fight right now. This is the fight he has to get by but there is a real opportunity, whether he wins or loses. Both guys have a real opportunity on SHOWTIME because of the pool of talent there.”

Turning Stone Resort Casino is no stranger to hosting high caliber nationally televised boxing events. Last year, Turning Stone hosted the epic battle between Provodnikov and Matthysee, selected over arenas in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami. When Provodnikov returns to Turning Stone on June 11th, it will mark Turning Stone’s 18th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a mecca for knockout fights. Located in Upstate New York, Turning Stone is an award-winning destination resort, offering world-class amenities including four hotels, 21 restaurants and dining options, two luxurious spas, five beautiful golf courses, and several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues.

For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports, follow on Twitter @SHOSports, or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports.

Visit Banner Promotions at www.banner-promotions.com, follow on Twitter at @BannerBoxing, follow on Instagram at @BannerBoxing, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BannerPromotions, follow on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/banner-promotions-inc-?trk=biz-companies-cym, and watch on Youtube at www.youtube.com/user/bannervideo.

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