NEW YORK – “ShoBox: The New Generation” presents three undefeated fighters during one exciting night of boxing action on Friday, March 4, 2005. In a battle of unbeaten lightweight boxers in a scheduled 10-round main event, World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 10/World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 12/World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 13 contender, Almazbek Raiymkulov, will make his SHOWTIME debut against Koba Gogoladze at the Silver Star Hotel & Casino Convention Center at Pearl River Resort in Choctaw, Mississippi. In the co-feature, WBO No. 8/WBC No. 10/International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 11 contender Kelly Pavlik will trade leather with Dorian Beaupierre in a 10-round middleweight bout.
SHOWTIME will televise the Top Rank Inc. doubleheader at 11 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on west coast). The telecast represents the 58th in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001.
Raiymkulov (19-0, 11 KOs), of Kyrgyzstan, was the 2000 Olympic representative for Kyrgyztan at 132 pounds. He has a law degree and speaks five languages. Now fighting out of Las Vegas, Raiymkulov got his nickname, “Kid Diamond,” because “Almaz” means ‘Diamond’ in his native language.
In his last fight, Raiymkulov floored Lamar Murphy in the third and knocked out the former two-time world title challenger with a punishing right hand in the fifth on Nov. 27, 2004, in Las Vegas. Murphy was counted out at 2:02.
Raiymkulov debuted at the age of 24 on April 27, 2001, in Las Vegas, and scored a third-round TKO over Adriano Dos Santos. Prior to turning pro, Raiymkulov won more than 280 of his 300 amateur contests.
Gogoladze (17-0, 7 KOs), of Tblisi, Republic of Georgia, is nicknamed “The Cobra” for his ability to strike at any time. Gogoladze became one of the world’s top amateur fighters by capturing numerous titles, including the Soviet Union national championship in 1989, ‘90 and ’98, and The Republic of Georgia national title seven times (1991, ‘92 and ‘94-‘98). In 1996, Gogoladze won two bouts at the Atlanta Olympics, including a victory over the heavily favored Cuban, Julio Gonzales.
As a professional, Gogoladze has captured the World Boxing Federation (WBF) International, North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and International Boxing Association (IBA) Continental lightweight titles. “The Cobra” won his “ShoBox” debut on June 5, 2003, with an eight-round split decision over Carl Johanneson in Detroit. In a tightly contested bout, each fighter scored a knockdown and took turns inflicting damage. In the end, the judges scored the bout 77-73, 77-74 and 74-76.
Pavlik (23-0, 20 KOs), of Youngstown, Ohio, captured the 1999 U.S. National under-19 amateur championship, the 1998 National Junior Golden Gloves amateur championship and the 1998 National Junior P.A.L. amateur champion, all at 147 pounds.
In his most recent outing on Nov. 27, 2004, Pavlik earned an eight-round unanimous decision over Ross Thompson. Pavlik dominated, consistently outworking Thompson and landing the harder punches. The judges scored the bout 80-72 twice and 79-73.
“When I am in the ring, I always give my best,” Pavlik said. “You owe yourself and your fans nothing less than your absolute best. I will not disappoint when I make my SHOWTIME debut on March 4.”
Beaupierre (12-2-2, 6 KOs) of Roseau, Dominica, had won eight consecutive bouts when he fought to a 10-round draw against Daniel Edouard March 18, 2004, on “ShoBox” from Santa Ynez, Calif. Beaupierre seemed to do enough in the eyes of most ringsiders to win. He used the ring well, fought smart and was the much sharper puncher during the fight’s second-half. One of the judges had him ahead by 97-93, but the other two judges scored the good action fight, 95-all. More than one month later on April 23, 2004, in Brockton, Mass., the two fought to another 10-round draw.
A 1999-2000 New Jersey State Golden Gloves champion and 2000 New Jersey Amateur Boxer of the Year, Beaupierre was ranked No. 4 in the United States at the highpoint of his amateur career. Exactly one month shy of his 25th birthday, the promising prospect won his pro debut by scoring a second-round TKO over local favorite Rodney Weston on Jan. 5, 2001, in Biloxi, Miss.
Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.
For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?