Promising up-and-coming heavyweight Trevor Bryan (15-0, 11 KOs) will put his unblemished record on the line when he faces his toughest opponent to date, the more experienced Derric Rossy (30-9, 14 KOs), in the 10-round main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader live on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Promoted by Don King Productions, the bout will take place Friday, Aug. 28, at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (DLVEC), across from the D Las Vegas in iconic Downtown Las Vegas.
In the co-feature, two-time Dominican Republic Olympian Juan Ubaldo Cabrera (23-0, 16 KOs), will take on the versatile Mike Gavronski (18-1-1, 12 KOs), of Tacoma, Wash., in a 10-round middleweight match. In the opening bout of the telecast, Samoa’s 6-foot-2 heavyweight Natu Visinia (11-1, 9 KOs) of Tacoma, Wash., will face 5-foot-10 Joey Dawejko (14-4-2, 7 KOs), of Philadelphia, in an eight-round matchup.
All six boxers will make their ShoBox debuts in what amounts to make-or-breakout fights for each. Tickets are priced at $39.50, $59.50, $89.50, $149.50 and $500.00 for VIP Tables and are available at www.ticketmaster.com.
“It gives me great pleasure to help young and old prospects, men and women, chasing their dreams, grasping for an opportunity to transform their dreams into living reality,” King said. “Trevor Bryan is such a prospect seeking an opportunity to fulfill his dreams. Well, Don King and SHOWTIME are giving him that opportunity to capture the imagination of the people on ShoBox on Aug. 28. However, Derric Rossy, a great challenger and ‘Dreambreaker’ is blocking the door to greatness. And Trevor Bryan has to fight like hell to get through that door. The fight will be the power of dreams. I urge all fight fans to tune in on ShoBox and don’t blink.’’
“We are excited to partner with Don King Promotions and ShoBox in bringing outdoor boxing to downtown Las Vegas,” said Derek Stevens, CEO/Owner DLVEC and the D Las Vegas. “The fight card features promising talent, which should make for an unforgettable event.”
Looking to establish himself in the United States heavyweight division, the talented but unproven Bryan of Pompano Beach, Fla., by way Albany, N.Y., is taking a huge leap in class against Rossy, of Medford, N.Y.
So how good of a prospect is Bryan, who turns 26 on Aug. 23? The former amateur standout won five national championships in just 60 amateur bouts. While a close loss in the finals of a 2011 qualifying tournament kept him out of the U.S. Olympic Trials, the heavyweight gained valuable experience at Northern Michigan University under the tutelage of former U.S. Olympic Coach Al Mitchell.
Since his debut at 22 in November 2011, the 6-feet-4 Bryan has stayed active and registered 10 of his 11 knockout victories in three rounds or less. Bryan, who knocked out outmatched Stacy Frazier in the second round last June 20, is excited for the opportunity to prove himself against a veteran heavyweight.
“On paper, it looks like it’ll be exciting and I’m definitely looking at it as a breakout fight for me,’’ Bryan said. “I feel excitement, not pressure. It’s time for people to start mentioning my name with the others. I’ve had a great training camp, I continue to feel confident with trainer Stacey McKinley and I feel strong, mentally clear and confident. I’m ready to roll.”
Bryan has gone eight rounds once but is intelligent enough to not overlook a dangerous veteran like Rossy.
“You can’t take an awkward, determined guy like Rossy lightly,” Bryan said. “He’s scored a couple of upsets, fought some guys he thought he beat, has ring experience and he’s been there against all kinds. Like me, I feel he’s kind of desperate in his own way and the guys who are the most desperate are the most dangerous.
“This guy can’t beat me but I expect a tough, tough fight. I know Rossy’s not coming to lie down. Me? I’m just a young fighter trying to make his way and looking to showcase my talents. It’s time to fight somebody tough.”
Rossy, 35, has never managed to get past journeyman/gatekeeper status and over that proverbial hump fight that catapults you to the next level.
Rossy has been in with former WBO heavyweight champion Ray Mercer, world-title contenders Eddie Chambers (twice) and Fres Oquendo and world-ranked contenders such as Vyacheslav Glazkov in an 11-year career in which he seldom got the benefit of the doubt in tight fights. In his outing before last, Rossy dropped a highly controversial 10-round majority decision to 2008 Olympic bronze medalist and IBF No. 2-rated contender Glazkov (17-0-1) on Aug. 9, 2014.
“I’ve been dealt some unfortunate hands in boxing, results not coming my way, but I don’t sit and dwell on them,’’ Rossy said. “The bottom line is I can’t sit around and mope. I’ve got to win and leave no doubt in anybody’s mind. I feel like I’ve done that in many fights, but for some reason they think I leave doubt.”
One exception came in his last fight when Rossy registered an upset in a unanimous 10-round decision over previously undefeated, untested Akhor Muralimov (16-0, 13 KOs going in). Utilizing smart separation and his considerable height and reach, Rossy triumphed by the scores of 97-93 and 96-94 twice.
Rossy is looking for a similar performance against the undefeated Bryan.
“Bryan, I think he’s put together well,” Rossy said. “He’s a good boxer. It’s going be a good stylistic and action-packed fight. We’ll both try to establish our jabs. I think this is a formidable fight for both of us.
“Bryan has the pedigree to maybe be a heavyweight champion someday, but not now. In my eyes I feel he’s making a mistake, but anybody that fights me know they are looking at a war. I am a high-risk, low-reward kind of opponent. I’ve fought them all; Bryan is a little green in that area so we’ll see.”
Before becoming a pro boxer, Rossy was an All American high school football star who would go on to play at Boston College where he was an outstanding 248-pound defensive end. He had some pro tryouts but was seen as a “tweener,” too big for linebacker, too small to play end. So he turned to boxing and despite only 10 amateur fights won the 2004 New York Golden Gloves tournament, and turned pro in October of that year. He went 15-0 at the outset of his pro career before losing to Chambers the first time.
Juan Ubaldo Cabrera, who will take on Mike Gavronski in the ShoBox co-feature, represented the Dominican Republic in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. The 36-year-old may best be known for defeating future world champion Jean Pascal en route to taking the gold medal in the middleweight class in the 2003 Pan-American Games. During an excellent amateur career, Cabrera also brought home a silver medal in the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games as a light middleweight.
Two years after his last appearance in the Olympics, at the age of 26, he turned pro in October 2005 and won 13 of his initial 15 fights by knockout. Cabrera is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision victory over Tim Hall on the Deontay Wilder-Eric Molina undercard last June 13 in Birmingham, Ala. Cabrera has been inactive recently – the win over Hall was his first fight in a year and only his sixth since July 2009.
Gavronski is a durable, well-conditioned 29-year-old from the Northwest who combines boxing skill with KO power in both hands and also fought in MMA. He’s won four in a row – all in Tacoma – and is 3-0 this year. In his last fight, he recorded a resounding ninth-round TKO over rival Tyrell Hendrix on May 30 in a rematch of their 2011 draw.
A Washington state favorite, the 6-foot-tall Gavronski turned pro at the age of 24 in 2010, and suffered his lone loss via 10-round decision to Tureano Johnson (14-1) in 2011 in a bout for the WBC Continental Americas middleweight title.
The opening bout of the telecast – Natu Visinia vs. Joey Dawejko – features a heavyweight showdown between a talented prospect and a former standout amateur.
Visinia, 30, is perhaps the most promising up-and-coming Samoan heavyweight since former longtime contender David Tua. A true heavyweight with tremendous knockout power in both hands, a rock-hard head and granite chin, the 6-foot-4 30-year-old is coming off a fourth-round knockout over Joshua Clarke last May 13. Seven of Visinia’s nine KO victories came in the first round.
Visinia was a former standout high school and college football player at Southern Illinois University. He began his fighting career in MMA, where he became the No. 2 ranked amateur in the United States before making his pro debut. He then switched to boxing in 2006.
After his boxing pro debut in 2009, Visinia gained invaluable experience sparring with the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, Evander Holyfield and Lamon Brewster. He won his first 10 pro fights before losing by seventh-round TKO to former two-time IBF cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham on Oct. 18, 2014. In his first genuine step up in class, Visinia dropped Cunningham in the fifth but Cunningham’s past class and conditioning proved too much to overcome.
Dawejko had a decorated amateur career that included a World Junior Amateur championship in 2008, the national under-19 crown, and a victory over Bryant Jennings, who recently challenged heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko last April.
The 25-year-old Dawejko was on a heavy roll, winning six consecutive fights, four in a row by first-round stoppage before his six-fight winning streak ended when he lost a 10-round decision to Amir Mansour (21-1) in a Pennsylvania State heavyweight title fight this past May. This will be the third start of the year for the 5-foot-10, six-year-pro, an all-action heavyweight who owns a victory over Rossy in January 2014. Two outings back, on March 3, Dawejko required all of 27 seconds to dispatch of Enobong Umohette.