Centeno Wins, Gomez Loses on ShoBox; Plus, FNF Results


Replay Is Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME

INDIO, Calif. (June 6, 2014) – Since its inception in July 2001, ShoBox: The New Generation has produced 54 world champions, an average of more than one every four telecasts. The critically acclaimed, prospect-orientated series is also a testing ground for undefeated fighters, who frequently are matched against their toughest foes to date.

Friday on SHOWTIME® from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif., two more previously unbeaten fighters lost, bringing to 120 the number of boxers who suffered their first defeats on ShoBox.

Promising middleweight Hugo “TheBoss” Centeno Jr. (21-0, 11 KOs), 23, of Oxnard, Calif., kept his “O” intact, having his way en route to a lopsided 10-round decision over late-substitute Gerardo Ibarra (14-1, 8 KOs), of Houston. Previously undefeated Eddie “E Boy” Gomez (16-1, 10 KOs), of Bronx, N.Y., wasn’t so fortunate, losing an upset 10-round decision to surging Francisco “Chia” Santana (20-3-1, 7 KOs), of Santa Barbara, Calif., who won his eighth consecutive fight in a crowd-pleasing co-feature.

Making his first start for new trainer Eric Brown, Centeno dominated, winning by the scores of 99-91 twice and 100-90. His uppercut in close range and jab from a distance were key to the triumph.

“It’s never easy,” Centeno said afterward. “He was a tough, durable guy who came to fight. He was a late replacement but I didn’t underestimate him. I take nothing from him.”

As for the future, Centeno wasn’t sure if he was staying at middleweight, or moving down to his more natural 154.

“I have to sit down with my camp and figure out what division works for us,” Centeno said. “I felt sharp at this weight. And I felt a lot sharper after just one month with Eric Brown. We’ll see how much better we’ll be after a few fights.”

Ibarra, who took the fight on a week’s notice, said he wasn’t mentally ready. “I just didn’t have enough time to prepare,” he said. “No excuses, the better man won tonight. He was just a little bit more ready than I was. I don’t regret taking the fight. It was a learning experience. You learn from your mistakes.”

Utilizing a 2 ½ inch advantage, the 5-9 ½ Santana, 27, was victorious in an excellent, fast-paced, two-way action welterweight fight by the scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94. There were no knockdowns, but Santana dominated the last half of the fight. According to SHOSTATS, Santana outhrew Gomez, 683-460, even though he was less accurate.

“After the fifth round, I saw he was getting tired and I knew I had the bigger heart,” said Santana, who was certain the decision would go his way. “He’s talented, but I knew how to put my skills to use.

“A fighter knows when he won and lost. I knew I won. It was an amazing feeling when I heard Jimmy Lennon Jr. call my name. I knew I had the bigger heart and the bigger guts. I knew he would try to get me out of my comfort zone but I wouldn’t let him.

“I pulled the upset. On paper, he was supposed to win, but I knew what I came here to do. I’ve faced the tougher guys. I’m older and I know I don’t have much time. This is my time. I want to be the first Santa Barbara fighter to win a world title.

“To beat a great counter puncher you have to beat him with pressure. I gave smart pressure, not careless pressure.”

Offered Gomez, 21, after losing his ShoBox debut: “I thought I did enough to win. He was a tough guy and there were some close rounds, but I thought I did enough. I have to take this loss like a man. That’s life. It’s part of the sport. For sure I didn’t take him lightly. This was only the second time I’d ever fought 10 full rounds like that. It is back to the drawing board. I’ll learn from this and I’ll be back.”

World-ranked junior welterweight Mauricio Herrera, who’ll be challenging Interim WBA World Junior Welterweight world champion Johan Perez in one of four fights on “Honor & Glory: Canelo Alvarez vs. Erislandy Lara” on Saturday, July 12, on SHOWTIME PPV® from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, was interviewed between fights by SHOWTIME analyst Steve Farhood.

“I feel like I’m cursed on SHOWTIME, but I’m going to change all that,” said Herrera, who resides in nearby Riverside and will be fighting for the first time since a hard-luck 12-round majority decision loss to unified 140-pound champion Danny Garcia last March 15 in Puerto Rico. “Good things are going to come along. Everybody watch on July 12 because I’m coming out and I’m bringing the action.”

The ShoBox doubleheader will re-air for first time this week as follows:


Tuesday, June 10, 10 p.m. ET/PT SHOWTIME EXTREME

Friday’s two-fight telecast will be available ON DEMAND beginning today/tomorrow, Sunday, June 7 and available via SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.

Barry Tompkins called 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.


June 6, 2014 * Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, NY

Yudel Jhonson decisions Norberto Gonzalez for two regional title belts

Vasquez rolls to dominant TKO win, Khytrov scores sensational KO


Yudel Jhonson (R) nails Norberto Gonzalez

all pictures by Andy Newman

VERONA, N.Y. (June 6, 2014) – In an ESPN Friday Night Fights main event on International Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend, featuring a pair of fighters celebrating their 33rd birthdays tonight, 2004 Olympic silver medalist Yudel Jhonson(16-1, 9 KOs) captured the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) and North American Boxing Association (NABA) by winning a unanimous 10-round unanimous decision (97-91 X3) over former Mexican champion Norberto “Demonio” Gonzalez (20-4, 13 KOs).

The entertaining top-to-bottom show was presented by Iron Mike Productions (IMP) at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

Supporting promoter Mike Tyson at tonight’s fights were world champions Oscar de la Hoya, Andre Ward, Zab Judah, Felix “Tito” Trinidad, Leona Brown and actress/boxing fan Rosie Perez.

“It was a great night, I’m very proud,” Tyson remarked. “This was better than our first show here and the next time will be even better. It’s all about consistency. We saw some great fighters tonight and the fans were great, too. These guys make me look good, I’m honored.

“Oscar and Andre saw some good fights. There’s nothing better than hearing that from my peers. I’m really proud of Sammy. He’s an entertainer. I’d like to bring him back to Pittsburgh to fight Paul Spadafora, who is a great fighter. That will be a big fight.”

Jhonson, a stylist Cuban southpaw living in Miami, boxed his way to victory, decking Gonzalez with a short left in the fifth, buckling him in the sixth, and dropping him with a left in the ninth round.

“At the moment with my team, my managers and promoters,” Jhonson said after the fight, “I’m here to fight the top junior middleweights in the world and I proved that tonight. I’m looking for my world title shot. I’d like a rematch with Willie Nelson, to fight Ishe Smith, or any of the world champions. I’m open to fighting quality fighters to get my world title.”

Red-hot welterweight Sammy “The Who Can Mexican” Vasquez, Jr. (15-0, 11 KOs) proved once again why he’s one of the most fan friendly fighters in boxing. In the ESPN co-feature, the aggressive southpaw from Monessen, PA attacked like the Iraq War veteran he is, dropping “Smokin'” Jay Krupp (17-7, 8 KOs) in each of the first three rounds, after which referee Benji Estevez halted the action at the 1:19 mark.

“For my fans out there, the soldiers and family, it was an honor fighting on ESPN,” Vasquez commented. “I want to thank IMP and my father for getting me here. I thought it was a B performance. I made a couple of errors but did what I needed to do.”

A star was born in the ESPN FNF opener as heavy-handed middleweight sensation Ievgin “The Ukrainian Lion” Khytrov (5-0, 5 KOs) stepped up in class against dangerous Chris Chatman (12-4-1, 5 KOs) and passed the test with flying colors. After a “feeling out” opening round, the 2012 Ukraine Olympian went to work, battering a game Chatman until a powerful, short left hook ended the fight in the third round.


Khytrov destoyed Chatman

Khytrov, now living in Brooklyn, recently signed a contract with IMP and is co-promoted by Fight Promotions, Inc. “The advice of my corner for the first round was to feel-out my opponent without showing much offense to see how things would go and let my opponent work.” Khytrov said after the fight. “I was the left hook was there from the first round but I waited a little until the left hook would be more effective. I had the straight right, left hook set-up from the first round.”

Detroit light heavyweight Isiah Thomas (13-0, 6 KOs) remained unbeaten, blanking (80-72 X 3) Pittsburgh veteran Rayco “War” Saunders (23-24-2, 10 KOs) for an eight-round decision.

Charlotte junior welterweight John Williams (12-3-1, 5 KOs) upset Johnny Garcia (19-2, 11 KOs) by way of an eighth-round split decision (77-75, 77-75, 76-76) for the vacant WBC Latino title.

IMP’s promising prospect Dennis Galarza (4-0-2 KOs), of Miami, kept his unbeaten record intact, consistently connecting with effective combinations for a six-round unanimous decision (60-54 X 3) over Chicago junior lightweight Gadiel Andaluz (4-7, 2 KOs)

Former standout amateur Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (6-0, 3 KOs), who is promoted byCurtis “50 Cent” Jackson, outclassed Brooklyn lightweight Ian James (2-8-1, 1 KO) en route to a unanimous four-round decision (60-54 X 3).

Popular junior welterweight Sam Quinones, Jr. (7-2, 2 KOs), fighting out of York, PA, also pitched a complete shutout over Greg Coverson, Jr. (3-9-3, 2 KOs), winning six rounds by identical scores of 60-54 on all three

Detroit light heavyweight Leo Hall (2-0, 2 KOs) needed only 49-seconds to knockout Bob Wilder (2-4, 1 KO), dropping him with a vicious left kook.