Posts Tagged ‘Showtime Shobox Boxing’

 

Check out the fight recap from Friday night’s SHOBOX card at the new MGM National Harbor.

 

DMITRY BIVOL, MALIK HAWKINS, GLENN DEZURN, TRAVIS REEVES, AND HASIM RAHMAN, JR ALL VICTORIOUS!

 

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DMITRY BIVOL VS SAMUEL CLARKSON TONIGHT ON SHOWTIME SHOBOX @10PM – MGM NATIONAL HARBOR!

Check out my thoughts on tonight’s main event on SHOWTIME!

 

Also, MALIK “ICEMAN” HAWKINS (10-0, 7 KOs) takes on CARLOS SOTO (13-0-2, 7 KOs) in a battle of undefeated prospects in the co-feature.

 

To open the show, Glenn Dezurn (8-0, 6 KOs) battles Leroy Davila (5-0, 3 KOs) in another test of unbeaten fighters.

 

In addition, Travis “SEVEER” Reeves is in action on the non-televised portion of the card.

 

Hasim Rahman, Jr makes his professional debut on the card too.

 

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Check out this interview with Malik “Iceman” Hawkins moments after he stepped off the scale.

 

Malik will take on Carlos Soto in the ShoBox co-feature Friday night, LIVE on Showtime from MGM National Harbor.

 

Check it out!

 

bivol clarkson

DMITRY BIVOL TRAINING CAMP QUOTES IN ADVANCE OF

SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION

 

Friday, April 14 Live on SHOWTIME

From The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Maryland

Tickets On Sale Now!

 

NEW YORK (April 11, 2017) – Undefeated former Russian amateur standout Dmitry Bivol will defend his Interim WBA Light Heavyweight Title against Samuel Clarkson in the 12-round main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, April 14 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in National Harbor, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C.

Known for his aggressive style, the 26-year-old Bivol (9-0, 7 KOs, 2-0 WSB) was a decorated amateur and former Russian National Champion at 178 pounds, who is now determined to make his mark in one of boxing’s toughest weight classes.  Clarkson (19-3, 12 KOs), of Cedar Hill, Texas, has won his last nine fights in a row and will make his third appearance on ShoBox.

Bivol is managed by Los Angeles-based Vadim Konilov and trained by Gennady Mashianov. He has recently ended his sparring sessions at both Wild Card Gym and Wild Card West in Southern California where he has been training in the same camp with fellow countryman and 2010 European super heavyweight amateur gold medalist Sergey Kuzmin.

Here’s a quick question and answer session through an interpreter after visiting with Bivol at the apartment where he has been residing for the past five weeks in the heart of Hollywood.

Question: Overall, how would you assess how your training camp went?

Bivol: “I think that training camp went very good. One of the reasons I decided to come to Southern California to train was that there are so many different sparring partners here. We had a very spirited camp and I consider myself ready for the fight.”

Question: What kind of fight do you expect from such a strong opponent as Samuel Clarkson?

Bivol: “I’m expecting for him to get in the ring and push himself and come forward. I know he’ll come out aggressive and try to put the pressure on me. We’ll see.”

Question: You are young and have only nine pro fights, but are already fighting to defend an interim world title. Are you happy with the way your pro career has started?

Bivol: “To be honest, I don’t really ever think about the belt and the interim title. For me the main WBA belt is the most important one and I want to stay at the top of the rankings to get it. As far as my career going too fast, I don’t believe so. I think I have more than enough experience in the amateurs and that I’ve aligned myself with the best trainer and sparring partners out there. So I’m happy where my career is at right now. I don’t think it’s progressing too fast.”

Question: There are some that are picking this fight as 50/50? Why do you think they are predicting this fight can go either way?” (more…)

flier

Undefeated Super Bantamweights Glenn Dezurn and

Leroy Davila To Meet on Friday, April 14 on

ShoBox: The Generation Tripleheader

Live on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland

Tickets On Sale Now!

 

NEW YORK (March 30, 2017) – Undefeated super bantamweight prospect Glenn Dezurn will meet unbeaten two-time national amateur champion Leroy Davila in the eight-round telecast opener of ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, April 14 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from MGM National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.

The ShoBox tripleheader features undefeated former Russian amateur standout Dmitry Bivol (9-0, 7 KOs, 2-0 WSB) defending his interim WBA Light Heavyweight Title against Samuel Clarkson (19-3, 12 KOs)in the main event and a matchup of undefeated welterweights in the co-feature, Juan Ruiz (18-0, 11 KOs) and Malik Hawkins (10-0, 7 KOs) squaring off in an eight-round bout.

Tickets for the event, which is co-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.

Dezurn,(8-0, 6 KOs), a high school three-sport star athlete from Baltimore, Md. feels ready for his sternest test.

“I am really focused,” Dezum said.  “I don’t put much thought on who I’m fighting.  I just concentrate on being the best I can be on fight night.  I go into the fight feeling that I am the underdog because nobody knows me. I see that as an advantage. April 14th will be a big step up for me.”

The 29 year-old will be facing his second consecutive undefeated opponent, is ready for the exposure that comes along with fighting on a nationally televised card.

“This is a very prestigious stage, I’m usually on the other side, watching, wanting to be there.  Opening ShoBox for me it’s a great honor.  I’m not going to disappoint. I’ve been staying focused because nothing is given. If you want results you have to work hard.”

A win over Davila, it will not only raise Dezurn’s profile, but it will also make him put him on a short list of super bantamweight prospects to watch.

“A win does a lot.  It puts me at a different level, to face even better competition. It also shows me where I’m at-not only to myself but also to the boxing fans.  I am not a guy who talks much.  I am quiet guy who speaks in the ring, with actions and a good performance.  I just look at the task at hand, and get it done.”

Davila (5-0, 3 KO’s), of New Brunswick, N.J., is a 2016 U.S. Olympic alternate who is stepping up in weight and opposition.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me. I’m fighting a fellow undefeated fighter and on television,” said the 28 year-old Davila.

Despite not knowing much about his opponent, Davila has a good idea of what he needs to do on fight night.

“I’ll be honest, I don’t know too much about Dezurn.  I have seen him fight once.  He’s a good fighter. He can pressure, he can step back and I noticed he’s a pretty good puncher.  He’s a solid opponent.” (more…)

HASIM RAHMAN JR. PRO DEBUT MOVED TO FRIDAY, APRIL 14 MGM NATIONAL HARBOR IN OXON HILL, MD

RAHMAN TO FACE IMES ON UNDERCARD OF BLOCKBUSTER SHOBOX EVENT

Tickets On Sale Today!

 

Oxon Hill, Md. (March 27, 2017) – When promoter Greg Cohen announced he had finalized arrangements for his next event, the decision to delay his promising heavyweight hopeful, Hasim Rahman Jr.’s, professional boxing debut two more weeks became an easy one.

Originally scheduled to turn professional on March 23, Baltimore native Rahman will now have his first four-round fight in front of a huge contingent of hometown family and friends on Friday, April 14, at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.

Rahman will face Kansas City’s Brian Imes (1-4, 1 KO) on the non-televised undercard portion of an event that features the live telecast of undefeated Dmitry Bivol defending his interim WBA Light Heavyweight title against Samuel Clarkson in the 12-round main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader (10 p.m. ET/PT).  In the co-feature, unbeaten welterweight prospects Juan Ruiz and Malik Hawkins will square off in an eight-round bout, and Baltimore’s undefeated featherweight Glenn Dezurn will open the telecast.

Tickets for the event, which is co-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 www.TicketMaster.com.

“You only get one pro debut, so when Greg announced this show, he and I thought it would be a great idea for me to turn pro on this show instead, in front of my hometown friends and family,” explained Rahman.

The 25-year-old, son of Hasim “The Rock” Rahman, who famously knocked out Lennox Lewis in April 2001 to win the WBC and IBF Heavyweight Championships, says to being at home is a very important part of his mission.

“I’m doing this for my family and my friends and my city, so I think I should start right in front of them,” Rahman continued. “And someday I’ll bring them back the heavyweight championship. I can’t wait to fight on the same show as my brother with all my loved ones watching. It’s going to be a very big night.”

“We didn’t get the final word we were doing the Maryland show until a few days ago,” said Greg Cohen. “But once we knew it was happening, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let Hasim Jr. turn pro at home. It just worked out perfectly.”

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, and @GCPBoxing or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports, www.facebook.com/GCPBoxing/ and www.facebook.com/BannerPromotions/.
CONTACTS:  Andre Courtemanche, Greg Cohen Promotions: (954) 302-2462
Marc Abrams, Banner Promotions: (856) 287-7611
Chris DeBlasio, Showtime Networks Inc.: (212) 708-1633
Matt Donovan, Showtime Networks Inc.: (212) 708-1663
Flo Jocou, Showtime Networks Inc.: (212) 708-7319
Steve Pratt BZA/Showtime: (310) 408-4555
Malik Husser, MGM National Harbor, (301) 971-6212
Credentials: marc@banner-promotions.com

From Omega Products Event Center in Corona, Calif.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ORANGE, Calif. (Nov. 4, 2016) – Below is the weigh in video plus interviews with the fighters that will compete in tonight’s ShoBox: The New Generation card, live on SHOWTIME (10:30 PM ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) from the Omega International Event Center in Corona, California.

The first bout is scheduled for 5:15 PT.

In the Undefeated 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs) of Los Angeles by way of Ukraine will take on Chicago’s Jaime Herrera for Shelestyuk’s NABO welterweight title
In the co-feature, undefeated cruiserweights Constantin Bejenaru (11-0, 4 KOs), of Catskill, N.Y. by way of Moldova and Stivens “Superman” Bujaj (16-0-1, 11 KOs), of New York, will  collide in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBC International and WBC Continental Americas titles.

In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated lightweight Vitor Jones Freitas (12-0, 1 ND, 6 KOs), of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil,  and local fan favorite Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs), of Indio, Calif., will square in a bout scheduled for 8-rounds.

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

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

All televised fighters (with the exception of Mendez) plus world ranked lightweight Xolisani Ndongeni and undefeated featherweight prospect Ruben Villa were interviewed.  Media outlets my use any of the videos by copy/pasting the embedded link on the digital platform.

ShoBox Weigh in

ShoBox Weigh in

Taras Shelestyuk

Taras Shelestyuk

Jummy Herrera

Jimmy Herrera

Constantin Bejenaru

Constantin Bejenaru

Steve Bujaj

Steve Bujaj

Vitor Jones Freitas

Vitor Jones Freitas

Xolisani Ndongeni

Xolisani Ndongeni

Ruben Villa

Ruben Villa

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

About ShoBox: The New Generation

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

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

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

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

Tickets on Sale Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(On what you expect from Freitas) …

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

(On your relationship with Joel Diaz) …

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

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

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

TV FIGHTS

Undefeated 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs) will face upset-minded Jaime Herrera in the 10-round welterweight main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader on Friday, Nov. 4, live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from Omega Products International Event Center in Corona, Calif.

In the co-feature, undefeated cruiserweights Constantin Bejenaru (11-0, 4 KOs, 0-1-1 in World Series of Boxing), of Catskill, N.Y. by way of Moldova, and Stivens “Superman” Bujaj (16-0-1, 11 KOs), of New York, will collide in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBC International and WBC Continental Americas titles.

In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated lightweight Vitor Jones Freitas (12-0, 1 ND, 6 KOs), of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, will be opposed by local fan favorite Manuel Mendez (12-1-2, 8 KOs), of Indio, Calif., in an eight-round bout. The 23-year-old Freitas is the nephew of popular former two-time lightweight world champion Acelino “Popo” Freitas.

PHOTO CREDIT: CARLOS BAEZA / THOMPSON BOXING PROMOTIONS

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

# # #

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

CONTACTS: Banner Promotions, Marc Abrams: (215) 670-2220
Pierre Kascinta, Thompson Boxing (818) 720-8721
Chris DeBlasio, Showtime Networks Inc.: (212) 708-1633
Matt Donovan, Showtime Networks Inc.: (212) 708-1663
Flo Jocou, Showtime Networks Inc.: (212) 708-7319
John Beyrooty/BZA/Showtime: (562) 233-7477
Bernie Bahrmasel, Double B Publicity (Shelestyuk) (773) 592-2986
Banner Promotions, Inc.
2501 Wharton Street, Suite L
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Office: (215) 670-2220
Fax: (215) 670-2409
Email: info@banner-promotions.com
Website: http://www.banner-promotions.com

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Constantin Bejenaru and Steve Bujaj in Collision of Undefeated CruiserweightsIn Co-Feature; Nephew of Former World Champion Popo Freitas, Vitor Jones Freitas Faces Local Favorite Manuel Mendez In Telecast Opener

From Omega Products International Event Center in Corona, Calif.; Tickets on Sale Now

Click To Download Photos:  Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

TARAS SHELESTYUK:

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

 

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

 

You’re now a ranked fighter; are you happy with the pace of your progression?

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

 

What do you think of the welterweight division?

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

 

Why did you chose to move to Southern California?

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

 

Is there pressure on you when you fight?

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

 

Do you follow your Olympic teammates?

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

 

How did it feel going 10 rounds for the first time?

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

 

How did you end up training with Eric?

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

 

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

 

Boxing is in your blood; your dad and brother boxed. When you were younger, did you think you were going to become a fighter?

“No, but my father pushed me in a lot of sports. I did gymnastics, soccer for five years, and played chess.  I fought as a kid but it was always friendly.  I always enjoyed the training aspect. To train for soccer sometimes my father and I would run barefoot in the snow and I enjoyed it. So, as a kid, when I first stepped into the boxing gym, it was just so much fun.” Your ShoBox fight falls on your father’s birthday; do you have a special present in mind for him?

“It makes me want to get the victory for him.  On his day, he will be sitting and watching my fight so I want to get that victory for him, for my family and for the Ukraine.”

 

ERIC BROWN, Shelestyuk’s trainer

What kind of camp has Taras had has had and what do you see happening on Friday?

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

 

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

 

Where do you see him in his career as a welterweight?

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

 

SHANE MOSLEY, Former World Champion

How has it been working with Taras and how did you become involved in his training?

“I have been sparring with Taras and he’s looking really sharp.  I’ve been sparring with him for about four or five months now pretty consistently because a lot of guys won’t spar with him. Guys are worried that he will make them look bad; he’s so technical and sharp that they don’t want to spar with him.  So, I go in there with him a lot.  It’s hard to get people to spar with him.”

 

Where do you see him in the welterweight division?

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

 

How do you like working with Taras?

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

 

Do you find it unusual for guys to be as dedicated as Taras at this point in their careers?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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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 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.