SANTA YNEZ, Calif. (July 19, 2012) – The four fighters competing on an eagerly awaited doubleheader on ShoBox: The New Generation tomorrow/Friday, July 20, live on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) made weight on their first attempts Thursday at Chumash Casino Resort.
In the ShoBox main event at Chumash, undefeated Art Hovhannisyan (14-0-2, 8 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., makes his first start in 11 months when he faces former World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Miguel Acosta (29-5-2, 23 KOs), of Caracas, Venezuela, in a 10-round bout with a contracted weight of 134 pounds.
It is Hovhannisyan’s second consecutive fight against a former world champion. In his last outing on Aug. 5, 2011, at Chumash, he fought to a fourth-round technical draw with ex-International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Cristobal Cruz.
Promising unbeaten Roman Morales (10-0, 6 KOs), of San Ardo, Calif., takes on Alexis Santiago (11-2-1 5 KOs), of Las Vegas by way of Phoenix, Ariz., in an eight-round super bantamweight bout in the co-feature. It is the ShoBox debut for both youngsters.
Tickets for an event presented by Gary Shaw Productions in association with Thompson Boxing Promotions are priced at $35, $45, $55, $70, and $85 and are on sale at Chumash Resort Casino Box office or online at www.startickets.com.
WEIGHTS: Hovhannisyan weighed 132¼ pounds, Acosta 134; Morales and Santiago each tipped the scale at 122 pounds.
What the fighters said Thursday:
“I’m really excited to be getting back into the ring. This is a great opportunity to get myself noticed. Cruz was a tough guy. Acosta is a tough guy, too, but with a big punch. I’m treating this like it is the biggest fight of my career, and the toughest fight of my career, which it is.
“In my last fight I made a mistake. I played around too much and then the fight was called because of an accidental headbutt. I had a great training camp and I’m 100 percent ready for tomorrow night.
“My best fighting weight is 130, but I couldn’t turn down an offer to fight somebody like this. It was a risk worth taking. But I’m always willing to fight anybody.
“Acosta is known for his punching power, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to move on me, especially for at least the first couple rounds.’’
“I definitely feel I am good enough to fight for and win another world title. I’m looking at this fight as a measure for me to see exactly where I’m at.
“I’ve been in with some really good fighters. I had things going my way against (Brandon) Rios before I ran out of gas.
“Both of us need to win tomorrow, so it will be a great fight. Physically and mentally, I’m ready. My opponent is a good fighter, but this will be a real test for him. I came to the United States to establish myself; now I can re-establish myself with a big win on Friday.’’
“I’m relaxed and ready to go. I like to apply pressure but I’ve been working hard on my jab in the gym. I’m in great shape and have been sparring a lot. I’ve never gone eight rounds, but I’m not concerned about the distance.
“This is really a great opportunity. I know that if I win and look good that could mean more TV fights for me. This guy has more ring experience and is a step-in class, but I’m ready. I’m trying to get to the top, one step at a time, and this is the next step.’’
“This is my third fight since I started working with Roger Mayweather about nine months ago. Moving to Las Vegas from Phoenix has made a huge difference in training. Before I would go to the gym for 30-45 minutes and basically train myself. Since I’ve been in Vegas, I’ve been training really hard and sometimes I stay at the gym for three or four hours. I’m totally dedicated.
“I really feel for the first time that I am coming into my own. Roger has really been working with me on setting down my punches.
“I’ve always felt that I knew how to win and now I’m facing a good young opponent like me. I feel this is going to be a breakout fight for me. I’m confident and ready. I can’t wait for this fight on SHOWTIME.’’
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV