Two of New York’s most exciting rising stars, junior middleweight Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak, a native of Poland who fights out of suburban New Jersey, and lightweight Jorge “The Truth” Teron, a Bronx resident of Puerto Rican lineage, will headline the August 1 installment of Showtime’s ShoBox: the New Generation from the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn.
The show will be promoted by Cedric Kushner’s Gotham Boxing, in association with Sal Musemeci’s Final Forum. Musemeci has promoted four shows in four months at the Aviator, which he described in the most glowing of terms.
“Besides Madison Square Garden, Aviator Sports has become the new home for boxing in New York,” said Musemeci. “It’s the perfect venue because of its easy accessibility and parking, plus there is not a bad seat in the house.”
The 26-year-old Wolak, 21-0 (14 KOS), will face the biggest challenge of his career when he takes on the 29-year-old Ishe Smith, 19-3 (9 KOS), of Las Vegas. The always exciting and seemingly tireless Wolak is an offensive machine who never stops coming forward. He throws combinations every minute of every round.
Smith, who appeared on season one of “The Contender” reality television series, is a superb ring technician, defensive maestro, and excellent counterpuncher. He has already outpointed two highly touted undefeated fighters: Ahmed Kaddour, who was 16-0, on “The Contender,” and David Estrada, who was 15-0, on ShoBox.
The tall and lanky Teron, 21-0-1 (14 KOS), will also have his hands full against the rugged, hard-punching Michael Lozada, 29-4-1 (22 KOS), of Mexico.
The competitiveness of these matchups exemplifies what ShoBox is all about.
“ShoBox is all about matching young kids tough,” said Gordon Hall, the show’s executive producer, at the July 10 press conference at the Palm II restaurant on Manhattan’s West Side.
“Style-wise the Wolak-Smith fight will be the matador versus the bull. Plus the two fighters have a good storyline. Ishe has already appeared on ShoBox, where he beat David Estrada, so he’s dealt with this kind of pressure before.”
Having seen Teron fight before, Hall described him as “a young, talented kid who will have a great opportunity to showcase his skills on ShoBox.”
Kushner prefaced his description of Lozada by noting that he was speaking of him, as well as most Mexican fighters, in the most respectful of terms. The bottom line, he asserted, was that Teron was going into a fight that could conceivably make or break him. Those types of fights are what fans have come to expect on ShoBox.
“Lozada has a typical Mexican style, always coming forward and throwing tons of punches,” said Kushner. “He comes to fight, and he will provide a real test for Jorge.”
The extremely confident Teron, whose passion outside of the ring is playing poker, said that since accepting the fight with Lozada he was offered a more lucrative fight on another major network against unbeaten sensation Anthony Peterson, who is 27-0 (19 KOS).
Showing that he is as standup as they come, Teron said he chose to honor his commitment to ShoBox, but would be more than willing to battle Peterson on Showtime in his very next fight. He also said he was thrilled to finally get to what he described as “the big show.”
“You can’t get bigger than Showtime,” said Teron. “I’m really happy to be fighting on Showtime, and I’m really happy to be fighting in New York.”
Having fought most of his bouts in the New York area, he said he felt no additional pressure related to this fight. “I started boxing at 13, and I always dreamed of getting to this level,” said Teron, who smiles often and easily outside of the ring, but displays a perpetual poker face inside of it.
“As soon as I started boxing, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. All of the dreams I’ve always had are on the verge of coming true, so I couldn’t be happier.”
Wolak, a high school wrestler who initially dreamed of becoming an Ultimate Fighter long before that sport became so popular, is also ecstatic about this opportunity.
He realizes that Smith is a very crafty veteran, so his normal all-action style might not be as effective as it usually is.
“You can’t fight everyone the same,” said Wolak, whose trainer, Patrick Ford, challenged both Salvador Sanchez and Eusebio Pedroza for their world featherweight titles. “This is a huge step up for me, bit I love challenges and I thrive on pressure. I don’t feel any pressure for this fight. The only thing I feel is motivation. My manager, Ivan Edwards, did a great job in getting me to this point. Now all I have to do is my job, which is to win.”
Scheduled to appear on the non-televised undercard are a trio of popular Long Island and Brooklyn welterweights in separate bouts: Mike Ruiz, 7-2 (5 KOS); Chris Algieri, 2-0 (1 KO); and Martin Wright, 7-0-1 (3 KOS).
A sensational amateur, super middleweight Hajro Sujak, a Bronx resident who traces his lineage to Montenegro in the former Yugoslavia, will be making his pro debut. It is expected that he will have scores of fans in attendance.
Tickets range from $50 to $200 and can be obtained by calling Gotham Boxing at 212-755-1944 or Final Forum at 516-343-0053.
The Aviator Sports Complex is located at Floyd Bennett Field, which is on the southern end of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. It can be reached via Exit 11S on the Belt Parkway.