LAS VEGAS (April 10, 2013) – Promoter Don King, the four fighters who’ll compete this Friday, April 12, on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), and the other boxers who will fight on a stacked undercard participated in the final press conference Wednesday at Treasure Island Resort & Casino.
In a clash of southpaw lightweight boxers in the ShoBox 12-round main event, unbeaten WBA No. 3-ranked contender Angelo “The Cobra” Santana (14-0, 11 KOs), of Miami, Fla., meets Bahodir “Baha” Mamadjonov (11-1, 7 KOs), of Houston, Texas by way of Uzbekistan.
A solid co-feature will pit super lightweights Amir “Young Master” Imam (8-0, 7 KOs), of Albany, N.Y., against Jeremy “Hollywood” Bryan (16-2, 7 KOs) of Paterson, N.J., in an eight-round match.
Tickets, all priced at $100 each plus tax and fees, are on sale at Treasure Island box office or by calling (866) 712-9308 or (702) 894-7723. Doors open at 3 p.m. PT. The first live undercard fight is at 4:30 p.m.
In the top non-televised bout, Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne (21-0, 9 KOs), of St. Louis, and Marcus Oliveira (24-0-1, 19 KOs), of Lawrence, Kan., collide in a battle of unbeatens in a WBA light heavyweight elimination bout. The winner of the 12-rounder will become the No. 1-ranked 175-pounder by the WBA and mandatory challenger to champion Beibut Shumenov.
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood and former World Champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
What the fighters and King said Wednesday:
“First I want to thank God and second I want to thank my promoter, Don King, for the opportunity to fight on Friday. I also want to thank my opponent for taking the fight.
“I’m not much of a talker, but I can tell you my camp was great and everything about my preparation has been perfect. This is going to be a great fight.’’
“I’m happy to be here and I want to thank everybody, including Team Santana, for giving me this opportunity. This is going to be an amazing fight.
“I think we’re both taking a chance, but this is the kind of fight that fans love – two young, evenly matched fighters fighting each other. I think experience-wise we are just about the same.
“The timing for me for this fight is perfect, and I am absolutely ready. I’m treating it like a world title fight; that’s how important this fight is.
“Obviously, Santana is a power puncher who believes in his punching power, which he has the right to do. The key for me is to not let him get set.’’
“I want to thank Don King, SHOWTIME and Treasure Island for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talents. I hope this is the beginning of a long marriage with SHOWTIME.
“On Friday, I’m going to put on a show. It’s show time, but it’s the Young Master time, too.’’
“First and foremost, I want to thank God. I’m as prepared as I can be. I trained for a month and a half in North Carolina so I am fit.
“I don’t watch tapes of my opponents, but I know this guy is a lot like me. We were both good amateurs who are trying to step it up as professionals. I’m just going to go in and do what I do.
“There’s no pressure. It’s all on him. This is his first tough fight, but it’s not mine. I hope everyone tunes in to watch, or comes to the fight. I’m really looking forward to this. I’ve been fighting at 140 pounds since 2004, since my amateur days. A win puts me where I need to be in the 140-pound division.’’
“Don (King) talked about frustrations. I've had a lot in the last eight months. It was a battle to get this fight. I know my opponent is a very good athlete and puncher. There is no need to demonize my opponent, but I will win on Friday night. “I've said a lot of harsh things over the last eight months but I want to thank everybody, including Don King.”’
“I let my hands do the talking in the ring. My opponent will have to back up everything he said about coming to win the fight. If he does bring it, I will answer back with my fists.’’
PROMOTER DON KING
“When Martin Luther King was assassinated, I was in the penitentiary, so when I named this event 'Fight for Freedom ...The Dream Lives On' I was thinking of Reverend King's assassination 45 years ago this month. I embody the belief that anything is possible in this great nation known as America. And the dream of victory lives in the hearts of these fighters.
"Angelo Santana is the living embodiment of the American Dream. He came here on a raft with 27 people from Cuba. This is the only nation on earth where people try to break in rather than break out.’’
NEW YORK (April 9, 2013) – Two of Hall of Fame promoter Don King’s most promising, undefeated young prospects, lightweight Angelo “The Cobra” Santana and super lightweight Amir “Young Master” Imam will compete in featured fights this Friday, April 12, on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Both boxers, highly regarded and packed with potential, are in tough.
A former amateur standout and the current WBA No. 3-ranked 135-pound contender, southpaw Santana (14-0, 11 KOs), of Miami, Fla., faces fellow lefthander Bahodir “Baha” Mamadjonov (11-1, 7 KOs), of Houston, Texas by way of Uzbekistan, in the 10-round the main event at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Mamadjonov is a substitute for the injured Carlos Cardenas, who withdrew with a shoulder injury last week.
In his toughest fight to date, Imam (8-0, 7 KOs), of Albany, N.Y., will be opposed by Jeremy “Hollywood” Bryan (16-2, 7 KOs) of Paterson, N.J., in the eight-round co-feature. Imam has won his last seven fights by knockout, all inside four rounds.
Tickets, all priced at $100 each plus tax and fees, are on sale at Treasure Island box office or by calling (866) 712-9308 or (702) 894-7723. Doors open at 3 p.m. PT. The first live undercard fight is at 4 p.m.
The 5-foot-8 Santana, who turns 25 on April 19, will be making his second consecutive start on ShoBox. In a career-best performance last Nov. 16, he registered one of the most devastating knockouts in 2012 – a brutal fifth-round stoppage over previously unbeaten Johnny Garcia (13-0) in Hallandale, Fla.
Taking his first significant step up in class, the aggressive-minded, heavy-handed Santana scored three knockdowns, one from a left hand in the second and two more from massive left hands in the fifth. The last left rendered Garcia unconscious, and the referee halted the proceedings without a count at 1:41.
“He was very tough but I was able to knock him out and that was my intention,’’ Santana said. “That performance said it all. It proved I’m ready. I was nervous at the beginning; this was my first national TV appearance and I needed a round to gain my composure. (But) I was waiting for him to gain confidence and attack. Once he did that I was able to unload my left hand.’’
Said ShoBox expert analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood regarding the vicious KO win: “Santana gave us the impression that he’s special by the power he showed in his ShoBox debut. The knockout he scored over Garcia was undeniably one of the most spectacular knockouts of the year, and at first glance Santana gives the impression of being able to steamroll anybody he hits with that left hand.’’
This will be the third scheduled 10-round bout for the Cuban-born Santana, a two-time national amateur champion and pro since 2008. He’s only been six full rounds one time, however, and that was over three years ago. The majority of his fights have been wipeouts – four of his knockouts came in the first round, three in the second and two in the third. He’s flattened his last seven opponents in five rounds or less.
Mamadjonov, a skilled and determined boxer, doesn’t figure to go as swiftly.
“Baha presents a difficult challenge for Santana for a couple of reasons,’’ Farhood said. “First, he’s a late substitute and Santana had been preparing for other fighters. Secondly, he’s a southpaw and Santana’s prior opponents for this show were all right-handed. Baha was in a very close fight with Darley Perez and Perez is one of the best lightweight prospects in the world. So this should be a real test for Santana.’’
Armando Alvarez, a longtime sports producer at Telemundo, has seen several of Santana’s scraps in and around Miami and has high praise for the crowd-pleasing slugger.
“In my opinion Santana is as good as any active Cuban fighter and that's including Yuriorkis Gamboa, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Erislandy Lara,’’ Alvarez said. “He's extremely disciplined, has fast hands, and superb power. He's a treat to watch, and I believe this bout will catapult him to a world title shot.’’
Santana, who’s appearing before a Las Vegas crowd for a third time, is looking forward to another eye-opening performance. “I've been preparing for this for over three months in Hialeah, Fla., and I've been sparring three times a week although it’s difficult to find guys who want to spar with me,’’ he said.
“I don't know anything about my opponent. I just make sure that I prepare myself the best I can.’’
In the summer of 2007, Santana defected from Cuba on a makeshift boat to re-unite with his childhood sweetheart, Anay, in the United States. Ten days after his arrival on Sept. 1, 2007, he signed with Don King Productions.
Mamadjonov (pronounced Mama-John-ov) is a 5-foot-6, 25-year-old who’d won all 11 of his fights until losing his 10-round debut on a split decision to Perez in a competitive contest on Aug. 10, 2012.
Manadjonov wobbled Perez and had him in big trouble in the fourth but was the victim of an unintentional headbutt in the middle rounds that left him “seeing stars.’’ Still, going into the eighth round it was either guy’s fight to win. But Baha went down from a short right uppercut and Perez, a 2008 Colombian Olympian, went on to triumph in a give-and-take scrap by the scores of 95-94, 96-94 and 94-95.
Baha disagreed with the judges. “I felt I won the fight,’’ he said. “The knockdown was a slip. I’m very disappointed with the decision.’’
After nearly 200 amateur fights, the two-time World Military champion and Asian champion in 2005 turned pro in May 2011. He fought seven times that year and five times in 2012. A gym rat, he’s been in training for almost two months in Houston.
“My whole life is boxing,’’ said Baha, who possesses good speed and movement. “I moved to the United States in September 2010 to catch my dreams. I want to be a world champion. Everybody says when they watch my fights, 'Oh, you’re a classic fighter.' I just try to make a good, clean fight in the ring.’’
Imam (pronounced E-Mom) is a 5-foot-11, 22-year-old up-and-comer who is making his ShoBox debut and third start in 2013. Like the main event, this fight also doesn’t figure to be a blowout.
“Amir Imam was a top amateur and he’s making a gigantic jump in class by taking on a proven warrior in Jeremy Bryan,” Farhood said. “This will be Imam’s national television debut and I think viewers will be surprised at the poise and skill fight this very young fighter will show.
“In the tradition of ShoBox, both fighters are facing their toughest opponents to date.’’
Imam was an accomplished amateur before turning pro on Nov. 5, 2011 with a four-round decision over Christian Steele in Hollywood, Fla. Imam’s initial five fights took place in Florida; his last two, both this year, were in the Dominican Republic. He’s won by third-round TKO in his last three outings. He defeated Alejandro Lebron in his most recent effort last March 9.
“I was right back in the gym in Deerfield Beach, Fla., after my last fight,’’ Imam said. “We don't take any days off here. I've been sparring with a lot of fighters so I get a lot of work. I've worked with people like Richar Abril, Yuriorkis Gamboa, people like that.
Imam was born in Albany, N.Y. He started to box at the age of 12. He went pro shortly after losing in the finals at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2011. The confident youngster views himself as an entertainer, a puncher-boxer fans should keep a close eye on now and in the future.
“I come to fight and I put on a show,’’ he said. “I take care of business. You don't get paid for overtime. I can do it all. I can be a pressure fighter, a boxer, I can push it up. You've got to adapt to what's in front of you. I don't really know anything about Bryan except he's got a good record under his name.
"The Young Master's on stage now. I'll be shining in boxing for a long time, performing to my best. The new kid's on the block.”
Bryan, a 5-foot-9, 27-year-old, turned pro in November 2007 after a stellar amateur career. A two-time National Golden Gloves Champion (2004-2005), he had impressive amateur victories against current Unified Super Lightweight Champion Danny Garcia and contender Hank Lundy.
A resident of Sumter, S.C., Bryan has won two in a row since returning to the ring in October 2012 after two years off. The layoff came shortly after he’d suffered two knockout losses over a six-month span in 2010. Bryan is coming off the biggest victory of his career, an eight-round majority decision over Yuri Ramanau (aka Romanov) last Jan. 4 in Miami.
An excellent boxer with good speed and movement, Bryan isn’t exactly in awe of Imam.
"There's one thing about me,’’ Bryan said. “I don't call out any fighters. I don't pick fights. I just go in the ring and do what I’ve got to do. I just listen to my coaches. I don't know a thing about this kid I'm fighting except he was a good amateur. I don't care about his (pro) record. The record doesn’t mean a thing. You can have three wins and 30 losses and still win a big fight.
"I do what I do in the ring. I adapt to anything. I transform easy in the ring. On Friday, he'll bring his ‘A’ game, I'll bring my ‘A’ game, and the best man will win that night.’’
In the top non-televised undercard bout, Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne (21-0, 9 KOs), of St. Louis, and Marcus Oliveira (24-0-1, 19 KOs), of Lawrence, Kan., collide in a battle of unbeatens in a WBA light heavyweight elimination bout. The winner of the 12-rounder will become the No. 1-ranked 175-pounder by the WBA and mandatory challenger to champion Beibut Shumenov.
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and former World Champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please visit the website at http://sports.SHO.com.
PHILADELPHIA, PA (APRIL 10, 2013)—On Thursday night May 2nd, Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions will present a special night of boxing that will originate from The Omega Products International, located at 1681 California Avenue in Corona, California and will be televised as a special edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
In the ten round main event, Mauricio Herrera will take on the exciting Ji-Hoon Kim in a Jr. Welterweight bout.
Herrera of Riverside, California has a record of 18-3 with 7 knockouts and has some solid wins on his resume. The thirty-two year old won his first eleven bouts which included wins over Alan Velasco (8-1-2); Daniel Cervantes (10-0-1); Santiago Perez (10-1-2); Pavel Miranda (16-2) before winning the WBC USNBC Jr. Welterweight title with a 10 round unanimous decision over Luis Alfredo Lugo. He made one defense of that crown, as well as a win over current world ranked Cleotis Pendarvis before suffering his first loss to former world champion Mike Anchondo. Herrera went on to win five in a row which included a split decision over previously undefeated and world ranked Ruslan Provodnikov. Herrera is looking to get back in the win column after losing a ten round unanimous decision to undefeated Karim Mayfield on October 27th, 2012 on HBO Boxing After Dark.
Kim, of Goyang City, South Korea, has a record of 24-8 with 18 knockouts and is currently ranked 14th by the IBF at Lightweight. He began his career at the age of 17 in 2004 and had his first eighteen fights staged in South Korea. While in South Korea, Kim captured The South Korean and PABA Featherweight titles. Kim made a huge splash in his American debut as he stopped former world title challenger Kobo Gogaladze in one round on May 16th, 2008. Kim then split his time between South Korea and the United States before winning an IBF Lightweight elimination bout against Ameth Diaz. The win set up a world title opportunity, as he fought a terrific fight before dropping a unanimous decision to Miguel Vazquez for the vacant IBF Lightweight world title.
Kim has seen his popularity grow due to his all action style, has been featured on ESPN’s Friday Night Fight’s and has appeared in many “Fight of the Year” candidates. Kim has picked quality wins over Yakubu Amidu (20-2-1) and previously undefeated Alisher Rahimov (23-0). Kim is coming off a ten round unanimous decision defeat to world ranked Ray Beltran on December 6th, 2012 in a bout where Kim knocked Beltran down in round one.
In the co-feature, former world Lightweight champion Miguel Acosta will take on Miguel Gonzalez in a bout scheduled for ten rounds.
Acosta of Caracas, Venezuela has a record of 29-6-2 with 23 knockouts. Acosta won the WBA Interim Lightweight title with a 9th round stoppage over previously undefeated Urbano Antillon (26-0) on July 25th, 2009. He won the full title when he stopped Paulus Moses (25-0) in Moses’ home country of Namibia on May 29, 2010. Acosta performed well before being stopped in 10 rounds to eventual world champion Brandon Rios. Acosta got another crack at the WBA interim title but lost a twelve round unanimous decision to Richar Abril. Acosta is coming off a ten round split decision defeat to then undefeated Art Hovhannisyan (14-0-2) on July 20, 2012.
Gonzalez of Cleveland, Ohio has a record of 20-3 with 15 knockouts. The twenty-seven year old Gonzalez is a rising prospect as he continues to step up the competition and has quality wins over the likes of Tyrone Harris (24-7) and Humberto Toledo (39-6). He is coming off a ten round unanimous decision defeat to highly regarded Mike Dallas Jr. on February 17th, 2012.
“This will be an exciting doubleheader on May 2nd”, said Banner Promotions CEO Arthur Pelullo.
“Herrera and Kim can get right back in the title mix with a win and the opening bout features Acosta who is a former world champion taking on Gonzalez, who with a win can throw his name in the middle of the Lightweight title picture”.
“We're excited to host this special edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights Boxing on a Thursday night. We're especially enthused to feature our very own, Riverside's junior welterweight slugger Mauricio Herrera in a tough competition against South Korea's Ji-Hoon Kim. I have no doubt that these two warriors will leave it all in the ring and give the viewing fights fans everything they expect to see and even more! The entire fight card will be an exciting one so the local boxing aficionados that will be in attendance are in for a turbulent treat!" said Ken Thompson of Thompson Boxing.
Other exciting fights featuring fighters from the local area and will complete the card, including Hector Serrano of Perris, California Xavier Montelongo Jr., Christian Navarro, Richard Contreras and Joshua Conley.
All bouts are subject to change without notice.
Doors open at 5:00 P.M. (Pacific Time)
First fight at 5:45 P.M.
First Bout on ESPN2 at 7:00 P.M.
Ticket prices: $100, $60, $40.
Tickets are available by calling 714-935-0900 or by visiting the website: www.thompsonboxing.com
Who's the best Mexican boxer today?