Hometown favorite and unbeaten welterweight Sammy Vasquez held a media workout on Wednesday at South Park Boxing Club as he prepares to face fellow southpaw Emmanuel Lartey in the 10-round main event of ShoBox: The New Generation, this Friday, Feb. 20, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Vasquez (17-0, 13 KOs) is aiming for his 10th consecutive knockout. Lartey (17-2, 8 KOs, 1 NC), of Brooklyn, N.Y. by way of Ghana, has never been knocked down.
In the co-feature of the Goossen Promotions tripleheader, former longtime Cuban amateur star and current third-ranked WBC light heavyweight Humberto Savigne (12-1, 9 KOs, 1 NC), of Miami via Guantanamo, Cuba, will take on undefeated Craig Baker (15-0, 11 KOs), of Baytown, Texas, in a 10-round bout.
In the opening bout of the telecast, talented southpaw and WBA No. 7 ranked featherweight Claudio Marrero (17-1, 13 KOs), of Miami by way of the Dominican Republic, will face southpaw Orlando Rizo (18-5, 11 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua, in an eight-round match.
Advance tickets priced at $238, $100, $60, $40 and $25 for students and military with valid ID (Box Office Only), plus applicable fees, for “The Pride of Pittsburgh III” are on sale through the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Prices increase $5 on the day of the event. Doors will open on the night of the event at 6 p.m. with the first bell at 6:30 p.m.
Here’s what Vasquez had to say during Wednesday’s media workout:
“Lartey has never been knocked out, but I definitely think I have the power to take him out. It’s more of the plan of setting it up — I’m going to set it up and put him in positions that he hasn’t been in before to make him uncomfortable.
“I want to make him throw punches that he normally doesn’t throw so I can open him up and capitalize on his mistakes.
“Fighting in my hometown gives me extra motivation. That’s one of the main reasons why I always come back here to Pittsburgh, why I always bring boxing back here. I just love the atmosphere that my fans give me when I fight. I’m just honored to put on a show and give them a great fight. Boxing has always been my dream and fighting in front of my fans in Pittsburgh makes it even better.
“I don’t feel like I’m in a position to be calling people out yet. I still have a lot of things to prove and that’s what I’m looking to do on Friday. I’m looking to prove myself and make a statement.
“I’m ranked pretty high, but there are plenty of names in front of me that I need to beat. I want to start fighting the top guys — that’s my plan for 2015.
“Once I get that name and recognition where I can call people out, then that’s when I will do it. When I feel I am ready and worthy. I need to get a win on Friday first.”
CONSOL Energy Center is located at 1001 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219. Further information can be located at their website, www.consolenergycenter.com
Social Media: Follow Goossen Promotions on Twitter @GoossenBoxing, Sammy Vasquez on Twitter @TeamSVasquez, Showtime Sports @SHOsports and CONSOL Energy Center @CONSOLEnergyCtr. Use hashtag #VasquezLartey to follow the discussion.
For more information on Goossen Promotions view their website at www.GoossenPromotions.com. For additional information on Showtime Sports visit www.Sho.com/sports.