The popular and respected prospect-oriented developmental boxing series ShoBox: The New Generation will celebrate its 14th anniversary on Friday, July 17, with a quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) featuring eight promising boxers with a combined record of 125-4-4 with 1 No Contest and 75 knockouts.
Six of the fighters competing at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., are undefeated and will risk their perfect records against each other, including headliners Antoine “Action” Douglas (17-0-1, 11 KOs), of Washington, D.C., and Istvan “The Prince” Szili (18-0-2, 8 KOs), of Frenkendorf, Switzerland, who will clash in a 10-round middleweight bout.
In two clashes of unbeatens preceding Douglas-Szili, Derrick “Take It To The Bank’’ Webster (19-0, 10 KOs), of Glassboro, N.J., faces Russia’s Arif “Mayhem’’ Magomedov (15-0, 9 KOs) in an 10-round 160-pound scrap and Adam “Mantequilla” Lopez (12-0, 6 KOs), of San Antonio, tangles with the Dominican Republic’s Eliezer “The Little Assassin” Aquino (17-0-1, 11 KOs) in an 10-round super bantamweight bout.
Which of the unbeaten fighters will keep their unblemished records intact?
Since it premiered on July 21, 2001, 125 fighters – and counting – suffered their initial defeats on ShoBox.
The opening eight-rounder will match hard-hitting once-beaten Jerry “The King’s Son” Odom (13-1, 1 NC, 12 KOs), of Washington, D.C., against Samuel Clarkson (14-3, 8 KOs), of Cedar Hills, Texas, in a super middleweight tussle.
The four-fight telecast will jump-start an action-packed weekend on SHOWTIME and CBS Sports that will feature three different boxing series. It concludes with a day-night Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on CBS and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader from the Don Haskins Center at UTEP in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, July 18.
Douglas, 23, Odom, 22 and Lopez, 24, appeared on the March 13 ShoBox from Westbury, N.Y. Douglas, making his third start on the network, registered a sixth-round TKO over Thomas LaManna; Odom, in his second ShoBox start, scored a first-round TKO over Andrew Hernandez; and Lopez won his ShoBox debut with a second-round knockout over Pablo Cruz.
“Part of the strength of Shobox is watching fighters develop after multiple viewings,’’ ShoBox expert analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood said. “In the cases of Douglas, Odom and Lopez, they’re at different stages of their careers but we’ve seen them before and we’re anxious to see how they develop.
“Douglas seems the furthest along of the three, but he survived a roadblock when he drew with Michel Soro [an eight-rounder that was part of the 200th ShoBox telecast on July 25, 2014] and he’s rebounded strongly. He remains one of the most exciting prospects to watch.
“Odom is a legitimate puncher. In his last fight he erased the one blemish in his career and at 22 years old he’s in the infancy of what promises to be a top-level career.
“Lopez looked polished in his ShoBox debut and we’re all looking forward to seeing him grow.’’
Douglas was a top-notch amateur who made it to the 2011 U.S. Olympic Trials. He’s been extremely active since going pro in October 2012. He fought twice in 2012, nine times in ‘13 and six times in ‘14.
Douglas pitched a shutout in his 12th pro start, winning his ShoBox debut and knocking out one of his opponent’s teeth in an entertaining but one-sided eight-round decision over previously unbeaten Marquis Davis (8-0-2 going in) in January 2014. He’s won four in a row since boxing a 10-round draw with former world title challenger Soro (23-1-1 going in) on July 25, 2014, on ShoBox.
An excellent boxer-puncher with good skills, movement and punching power, Douglas has gone the full 10-round distance one time, the full eight-round distance one time and six full rounds four times.
Wise beyond his years due to a tough upbringing, Douglas grew up in Washington D.C., the product of a broken home. He moved around various foster homes in his early years. “I come from a troubled childhood, born prematurely to a drug addicted mother,” he said. “They told my mom I wouldn’t grow to be a fully functional human, I wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, move or speak.’’
Douglas didn’t see much of his father, who flitted in and out of his life.
Szili, 32, is making his United States and ShoBox debut. A five-year-pro has fought the majority of his fights in Switzerland, Italy and Hungary. He captured the Universal Boxing Federation middleweight title with a sixth-round TKO over Mathias Zemski in his last fight on Aug. 30, 2014, in Switzerland.
A multiple medalist during a longtime amateur career (1997-2005), Szili turned pro in October 2009. A determined, well-conditioned sort who is best known for his left straight shot-right hook combination, he sums up his life in and out of the ring simply:
“What I do, I do it in 100 percent and I never give anything up,’’ he said.
Webster, 6-foot-4, 33-year-old, hails from a fighting family. His uncle, Tim Witherspoon, is a former heavyweight world champion and his cousin, Chazz Witherspoon, was a former heavyweight contender. This will be his debut on ShoBox.
A highly touted southpaw, Webster got a late start in boxing and had limited amateur experience. He won his pro debut on a four-round split decision in May 2009 before proceeding to build his career on devastating knockouts and a quick tongue. He’s always willing to hype himself and his fights.
Webster’s won two in a row by knockout, including a fifth-round TKO over William Johnson last May 29.
Magomedov, 22, who recently signed with Kathy Duva’s Main Events, is ranked in the Top 10 at 160 pounds by the WBA (No. 2), WBO (No. 6) and WBC (No. 8). He’ll be appearing for the first time on ShoBox and this is his third consecutive bout fighting in the United States.
A pro since January 2013, he went 8-0 that year and 5-0 in 2014. In his last outing, the steadily improving Magomedov registered one knockdown en route to a 2:37, first-round TKO over Darnell Boone on May 22 in Las Vegas. Last April 2, he won his stateside debut with a lopsided eight-round decision over veteran Derrick Findley in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Lopez was born in Phoenix but grew up in Los Angeles. An aggressive counter-puncher trained by former two-time world champion Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez, he’s won two consecutive fights since dropping Cruz, unquestionably his toughest foe to date, two times in the second round of a match stopped without a count at 1:35 of the session.
This will be the fourth fight of the year and the second scheduled eight-rounder for Lopez, a top amateur before going pro in February 2012. In his last outing a four-fight knockout streak ended when he had to settle for a shutout six-round unanimous decision over Miguel Tamaya last May 15.
“I’m more of a boxer, a counter-puncher,’’ Lopez said. “I make them miss and I make them pay. But I feel I’ve got good power. I can take a guy out with either hand. But I’m very economical. I don’t really waste punches. I like to make every punch count, and every punch that does count is going to hurt the guy.’’
Aquino makes for exciting fights; his slugfests with Jonathan Arias in February 2009 and Norberto Jimenez in May 2013 were candidates for Fight of the Year in the Dominican Republic. He’s also making his United States and ShoBox debut after campaigning exclusively in his native Dominican Republic since turning pro in February 2007.
A crowd favorite on the Caribbean island because of his Mike Tyson-like bobbing-and weaving attack style, the cocky, confident Aquino has won three in a row, all by knockout, since boxing to a fifth-round technical draw with Jimenez. Aquino’s last seven victories have all come inside the distance.
In his last start, Aquino retained his WBC Fecarbox 115-pound title with a third-round TKO over Racci Rosa on Sept. 27, 2014. Aquino was ahead 20-18 on all the scorecards when the bout ended at 1:35.
Odom, a top amateur and 2012 National Golden Gloves Champion at 178 pounds, is a big puncher who makes for exciting scraps. He had a 12-fight win streak end on Jan. 9, 2015, when he was disqualified in the fourth round for continuing to punch and land shots after he’d dropped Hernandez with a flurry of punches. The crowd booed, but Hernandez was clearly down.
In the rematch on ShoBox, Odom hurt Hernandez early with a right behind the ear. He trapped Hernandez along the ropes, continued to land clean shots and the ref stepped in and stopped it at 2:47.
In his ShoBox debut, Odom recorded two knockdowns — in the fourth and seventh rounds — en route to stopping previously undefeated Vilier Quinonez (8-0 going in) in the seventh round on July 25, 2014.
Clarkson, a 24-year-old southpaw making his ShoBox debut, has won four straight and seven out of eight. He is 2-0 in 2015. In his most recent fight he scored a sixth-round TKO over Jay Williams last April 3. Clarkson’s most noteworthy victory came two outings ago when he took an eight-round split decision over former world title challenger Cedrick Agnew last Feb. 20.
A two time Texas Golden Gloves State Champion at 175 Pounds and Police Athletic League National Champion at 175 pounds, Clarkson logged knockout victories in five of his first six fights after turning pro in August 2011.
The event is promoted by GH3 Promotions in association with Greg Cohen Promotions, Main Events and King’s Promotions.
In the July 18 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event, Mexican superstar and former middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-2-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC,) will try to regain his winning ways when he meets Mexico’s Marcos Reyes (33-2, 24 KOs) in a 10-round 168-pound match.
The live SHOWTIME telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will include a 12-rounder for the vacant IBF Super Flyweight World title between unbeatens McJoe Arroyo (16-0, 8 KOs) of Puerto Rico and Arthur Villanueva (27-0, 12 KOs) of the Philippines.
Just hours earlier from the Don Haskins Center, PBC on CBS (live at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT) will offer a terrific doubleheader. In the main event, undefeated British superstar Carl Frampton (20-0, 14 KOs) will make his U.S. debut when he defends his IBF Super Bantamweight World title against Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez Jr. (25-1-2, 15 KOs). The co-main event will feature exciting heavyweight Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-4, 31 KOs) against an opponent to be determined.