Interim WBA Super Bantamweight World Champion Oscar Escandon (24-1, 16 KOs), of Tolima, Colombia, will make the first defense of his 122-pound title when he faces undefeated Moises “El Chucky” Flores (22-0, 1 NC, 16 KOs), of Guadalajara, Mexico, in the 12-round main event live on SHOWTIME BOXING on SHOWTIME EXTREME (8 p.m. ET/PT) on Saturday, April 18 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Headlining the card, popular Mexican superstar and former middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (48-1-1, 32 KOs) will make his SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING debut when he meets dangerous brawler Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 KOs) live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
In the 10-round co-feature of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, Top 10 ranked junior welterweight contender Amir Imam (16-0, 14 KOs) will aim to move one step closer to a world title opportunity when he makes his second start of 2015 against fellow power-puncher Walter Castillo (25-2, 18 KOs).
Opening the SHOWTIME EXTREME telecast, Omar “El Businessman” Chavez (32-3-1, 22 KOs), younger brother of Chavez, Jr. and son of legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., will face Richard Gutierrez (28-15-1, 17 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight fight. Time permitting, unbeaten Argentine welterweight Fabian “TNT” Maidana (5-0, 4 KOs), brother of former world champion Marcos Maidana will also be featured in the featured in the telecast against an opponent to be named.
The action continues featuring a clash of middleweight contenders when Fernando Guerrero (26-3, 19 KOs) meets Abraham Han (23-2, 14 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight match. Plus, young undefeated prospects face tough challenges when Wes Nofire (16-0, 12 KOs) takes on Joell Godfrey (17-13-1, 6 KOs) in six-round heavyweight action, Jordan Shimmell (18-0, 15 KOs) faces Carlos Reyes (7-6-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-round cruiserweight bout and Anthony Flores (6-0, 5 KOs) battles William Hughes (4-2, 3 KOs) in a six-round welterweight contest.
Also featured, Jessie Roman (17-2, 9 KOs) and 2012 Olympic Silver medalist from Mongolia Tugstogt Nyambayar (1-0, 1 KO) in separate bouts.
Tickets for the event co-promoted by Goossen Promotions and Chavez Promotions are priced at $200, $150, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and service charges, and are on sale online at AXS.com.
The aggressive-minded, 30-year-old Escandon captured the crown in his last start via a 12-round split decision over Canadian southpaw Tyson Cave last Dec. 11. Escandon was making his United States debut and triumphed in a tight fight by the scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 113-115.
Escandon was a top amateur –he represented Colombia in the 2004 Olympic Games– before turning professional in June 2006. Twenty of his initial 21 fights took place in his native Colombia while he’s also fought in Argentina and Panama. His lone defeat came in his first attempt at the interim WBA title on a split 12-round decision to Nehomar Cermeno on Aug. 10, 2013, in Panama. .
Flores, 28, is making his 2015 debut and third start in a row in the United States. A pro since August 2008, Flores’ first 20 fights took place in Mexico. He’s never gone more than seven full rounds although three of his fights have been scheduled for 10.
Known in Mexico for his show stopping-knockouts, the heavy-handed Flores registered three devastating knockouts in 2013, the biggest of which was a brutal second-round stoppage of longtime Mexican contender Rodolfo Hernandez in February of that year.
Flores recorded a seventh-round TKO in his last start over Mario Macias last Nov. 21 in Tulsa.
Omar Chavez, 25, the youngest son of Julio Sr. and three years younger than Julio Jr., will be making his U.S. and 2015 debut. All his fights have been in Mexico, where he turned pro at the tender age of 16 in December 2006. He was victorious in his first 28 bouts before losing a 10-round split decision to Jorge Paez Jr., the son of popular former world champion, Jorge “Maromero” Paez, in December 2011. Paez also outpointed Chavez across 10 rounds in July 2012, this time unanimously.
After the rematch with Paez, the 5-foot-8 Chavez won four consecutive times, including a 10-round decision over Daniel Sandoval in May 2014 to win the NABO 154-pound crown. But Chavez lost his last fight on a shocking 10-round decision to Ramon Alvarez, brother of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, on Sept. 27, 2014.
The 36-year-old Gutierrez is hoping to bounce back after suffering consecutive defeats. Fighting out of Miami by way of Colombia, Gutierrez has been battle-tested over the years having faced the likes of Joshua Clottey, Vanes Martirosyan and Luis Carlos Abregu.
Maidana, 22, is nine years younger than Marcos. A pro since June 21, 2014, he has won his last four fights by knockout, all within two rounds.
An exciting, come-forward crowd-pleaser (like his big brother), Maidana will be making his third start at StubHub. He won a decision his first time out and by a first-round knockout over Phillip Soriano the second time around.
A terrific amateur, Maidana was the Pan American Youth Championships Bronze Medalist and World Youth Championships Silver Medalist in 2010.
A former world title contender, Guerrero is looking to bounce back from losing to David Lemieux in 2014. With victories over Ishe Smith, Gabriel Rosado and Derrick Findley, the 28-year-old from the Dominican Republic but fighting out of Salisbury, Md. is eager to redeem himself and get back into the hunt for another world title opportunity.
A 30-year-old former kickboxing champion, Han, of El Paso, Texas, turned pro in 2007 and quickly adapted his skills to the boxing ring. He won his first 19 pro fights before losing a hard-fought bout with Glen Tapia in 2013. He rebounded to win four straight bouts before suffering a split-decision defeat to Sergio Mora his last time out.
An undefeated heavyweight prospect fighting out of Miami by way of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Nofire makes his debut in California when he looks for win number 17. The 28-year-old will battle the 34-year-old Godfrey out of East Saint Louis, Ill.
A former amateur standout who became the first heavyweight to win four Michigan Golden Gloves titles, Shimmell will attempt to remain undefeated and entertain the crowd with his seventh straight knockout against Reyes, 37, of Phoenix, Ariz. Most recently, the 26-year-old stopped Phil Williams in the fifth round in Dec. 2014.
A young prospect fighting out of Santa Ana, Calif., Roman will look to bounce back from losses in two of his last three fights after starting his career with 16 consecutive victories. The 23-year-old will be fighting at StubHub for the first time.
A hot welterweight prospect, the 24-year-old Flores will look to represent his hometown of Los Angeles when he takes on the 37-year-old Hughes out of Tacoma, Wash. Opening the card is the 22-year-old 2012 Olympic Silver medalist out of Mongolia, Nyambayar who battles an opponent to be determined.
Brian Custer will call the SHOWTIME EXTREME action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst.
Chavez Jr. vs. Fonfara is a 12-round bout that takes place at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. and will air on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).
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