NEW YORK (Oct. 4, 2011) – Already a star in his native land of Uganda, current NABO lightweight champion Sharif “The Lion” Bogere is ready to make a name for himself in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas.
The 22-year-old Bogere (20-0, 12 KOs), who beat Ray Beltran on ShoBox last May 13, takes on young prospect Francisco Contreras (16-0, 13 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in defense of his belt in a 10-round affair at the Dallas Events Center at Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas on ShoBox: The New Generation, Friday, Oct. 7, LIVE on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
“This is my hometown fight,” Bogere said. “I don’t have to travel and I get to sleep in my own bed. My friends and family with be there watching. I’m going to welcome (Contreras) to Las Vegas and then I’m going to send him packing with a knockout.”
Question: You were on your country’s national boxing team. What is the biggest difference between the amateur and professional games?
BOGERE: “I think in the pros it’s mostly about concentration and you can’t take anyone lightly in the pros like in the amateurs. Every one is going after the same goal in the pros. It’s all about getting that world title belt.”
Question: Why did you decide to leave your home country to live and train in the United States three years ago?
BOGERE: “I knew I had to make the move in order to reach my ultimate goal. I wasn’t getting the proper training in Uganda that I needed to become a world champion. Here in Vegas there are so many pro fighters. I don’t have to go far to get the work in that I need to be the best.”
Question: What was it like growing up in Uganda?
BOGERE: “I really grew up in a tough part of the country. Boxing was my way out. It literally saved my life. There were kidnappings on the streets when I was a kid, but they stayed away from me because they saw potential in me.”
Question: How did you learn to box?
BOGERE: “I was really self-taught and now that I’m working with a world-class trainer like Kenny (Adams), I see things differently in the ring. It has been a little difficult just listening to my trainers and trying to do what they tell me, but I know I have to listen and do what they say. It’s the only way I’m going to keep getting better and keep my perfect record.”
Question: What will the SHOWTIME boxing fans see from you come Friday night?
BOGERE: “I think they’ll be most impressed with my power and my speed. I can hurt you in so many ways. And then there’s the ring entrance.”
Question: You came in the ring in a cage last time you fought. What is your plan this time out?
BOGERE: “I’ve put a lot of thought into the ring entrance. I will be carried into the ring in a cage by actual African tribesman. I know that boxing is about entertaining and that people who pay to watch boxing want to be entertained. They want to have fun. I’ll have the lion’s head and skin brought in again. It’s all part of the show.”