The six fighters who’ll be making their ShoBox: The New Generation debuts tomorrow/Friday, Aug. 28, live on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (DLVEC), across from The D Las Vegas are set to go following Thursday’s official weigh-in outside the D on Fremont Street’s Stage 3.
In the 10-round main event of a Don King Productions-promoted tripleheader, promising up-and-coming heavyweight Trevor Bryan (15-0, 11 KOs), of Albany, N.Y., 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), of Medford, N.Y.
In the co-features, two-time Dominican Republic Olympian Juan Ubaldo Cabrera (23-0, 16 KOs), will take on the DeCarlo Perez (14-3-1, 5 KOs), of Atlantic City, N.J. in a 10-round middleweight bout and, in the opening bout of the telecast, Samoa’s Natu Visinia (11-1, 9 KOs) of Tacoma, Wash., will face Joey Dawejko (14-4-2, 7 KOs), of Philadelphia, in an eight-round heavyweight matchup.
Bryan weighed 227 pounds, Rossi 235½. Cabrera tipped the scale at 160 pounds, Perez 160½ and Visinia weighed 273 pounds, Dawejko 236¾.
Tickets are priced at $39.50, $59.50, $89.50, $149.50 and $500 for VIP Tables and are available at www.ticketmaster.com.
Here’s what the fighters had to say prior to the weigh-in:
“This is my first time on television and I’m moving up in class so this fight is very, very important to me. It’s my headline fight, a chance for everyone to see the next new top heavyweight coming up.
“The purpose is to win, but I want to look good and nice on TV doing it.
“[Derric] Rossy is a veteran fighter, an extremely clever boxer and a good thinker. His technique is very good and he moves very well for a big man. He has a good jab and always make for tough fights.
“I have strength, youth and size in my favor but no way do I underestimate him. I take every fight very seriously. I train very hard. I spar with experienced fighters. I’ve been in shape for my whole four-year career. I take a fight, I’m right back in the gym.
“I know with his style that I will have to take it too him, work the jab and then go downstairs to the body. I have a plan and I have to stick to it or there will be a problem. Ideally, I can break him down and he will go down in the fifth or sixth.
“I could have fought a lot of other guys who are not as technically sound as Rossy, but it is time for me to step up. The foundation has been built. From Day 1 we knew where we were going, and this is it: the next step. There’s no pressure because I always knew this day was coming.
“I know the importance of preparation. I know how important discipline is. What we do daily has become routine. I try to be consistent in everything. I put in a lot of work behind the scenes.
“I’ve been hit before, but I keep coming. I got countered and dropped in my last fight, but I got right back up and took care of business. To touch the canvas and then bounce right back up and win was an invaluable experience.
“I feel I have good fundamentals and that I’m learning all the time. I started at the bottom learning, but now I am able to work on perfecting my fundamentals and conditioning even more. I like to fight, I like the action but I know I have to fight smart, especially against a guy like Rossy.’’
“I’ve had so many close fights, wins and losses, but the competition I go in against is always really good. I’m not the biggest puncher so I know enough not to just go crazy. Some of my fights I thought were closer than they should have been, but I accepted them and moved on.
“I don’t know for sure why I’ve had so many close fights. I must be a tough fighter for judges because sometimes I don’t think they notice all the stuff I’m doing in there, the little nuisances. Maybe they think I box too much. Everybody wants to see a knockout but I am basically a boxer. I feel comfortable in what I’m doing, too, so I am not going to change.
“I feel strong and feel I still have plenty left. My job is to make opponents make a mistake. I’m still around to catch up with people. In this sport you need time to develop; for me it was my confidence that I first had to develop. I remember I won a couple of fights just being a good athlete, not a good boxer.
“I took my lumps, too. Some of my fights that went into the books as losses I just know I won. The heartache of losing was terrible but I had to get through it. I had to keep going. People say I’m stubborn and crazy for still doing this, but I keep coming back. I always had it in me, the confidence, but I had to bring it out.
“Experience is an advantage because I now feel there is no situation I cannot handle. This kid, [Trevor] Bryan, can punch. He’s been brought up the right way. But now he’s moving up two-three steps against a more experienced, seasoned fighter. His confidence comes from a shallow pool and so far it’s working for him. Let’s see how it goes Friday night.
“I’m a little surprised I got this opportunity. I’m a real fighter. My confidence is great now and I still believe I am a good fighter. I’m 35 but 35 isn’t old anymore for a fighter. My heart is still in this 100 percent. I want to win the big prize.
“I took a tough road to get here. It takes time to develop in this sport. Because I played football and other sports, I didn’t turn pro until I was 24 and had only 10 amateur fights. So I’ve done it the hard way. It’s not the way I preferred, but it is what it is.
“From what I’ve seen I think the key is to give him lots of feints and angles and take away his jab. Bryan is long and tall. I need to make him as uncomfortable as possible and my experience will go a long way in making that happen. I’m totally looking forward to this fight.’’
JUAN UBALDO CABRERA
“I feel good and my weight is good. Some guys get lost in the shuffle after they turn pro and that is me. That is why this fight is so important. It’s my opportunity to show the world what I can do.
“It was very hard for me to turn pro after my amateur career. I was such a big star they [Amateur Boxing Federation] wanted me to stay amateur for as long as I could. They never gave me permission to go pro. So I had to get a visa on my own and come to the United States.
“I’ve been a pro the last 10 years and it has been very tough. I had managerial problems, guys taking money from me; it really delayed my progress. I never lost my desire to fight even though I had to deal with so much outside the ring. I didn’t get overly discouraged although I could have after getting taken advantage of.
“I feel good now with Don King as my promoter. I’m happy to be fighting again and to be able to dedicate myself fully to the sport. I won a decision in my last fight but I know I can do better. I ate something bad two hours before the fight and I got sick. I was sick during the fight and couldn’t wait to get out of the ring once the decision was announced.
“I like to box; I feel I am a very good boxer with good movement. I play the angles in the ring. I feel I have a nice jab. I’ve never been badly marked or cut up, never really been caught with a great shot.
“With my experience I am ready for what [DeCarlo] Perez brings. I can switch to southpaw, adjust to any style. This is my first fight on television, my first real opportunity as a pro and want to do very well very badly. I know Perez starts slowly, I am going to give him a couple rounds to see what he’s got.
“Of course I would love to knock him out in one round but my mindset is to win, to do whatever it takes to get my hand raised. If he comes to fight, it’s going to be a great fight.’’
“I’m always in the gym, always in shape. I’ve been looking for this kind of opportunity for a long time so I have always kept myself ready. With a win something big can come out of it.
“I know little about Cabrera except he was a two-time Olympian a long time ago. As long as I know how tall an opponent is, I can prepare mentally how he is going to measure up against me. I feel I can fight a variety of ways and I am ready for anything he brings. I have a little momentum going and I want to keep it going.
“This is by far my biggest opportunity on television. As a kid growing up under tough circumstances, living in two rescue missions, I sometimes wondered if I’d ever get to this point. So to do well and make a great impression will only fuel my dreams more to become a world champion.
“I’m known for slow starts but that won’t be the case tomorrow. He is 23-0 and that sounds good, but in this sport it doesn’t always come down to records as much as to the quality of your opponents. If you’re supposed to beat or KO a guy and you do, you’re only doing your job. It’s nothing to get excited about.
“This is my first fight outside of New York or Pennsylvania. I’m fighting in a city where some of the greatest fighters who ever lived have fought. For me, fighting in Las Vegas, fighting on television, is as good as it can get. I’m looking forward to putting on a memorable show for the fans.
“I think it will be a war. I know that’s his style, but that’s my style as well. I want to make it a war. With this opportunity my foot is now in the door. I’m going to kick out the door and open it.
“This is only the start for me.”
“I’ve been training in Riverside [Calif.] where it is hot, but not as humid as it is Vegas. It is going to be a different kind of hot fighting outside tomorrow, but I’m from Samoa, so even though I’ve never fought outside I am not concerned.
“We really focused on this camp, turning up the cardio, getting a nutritionist and a strength-and-conditioning coach. Honestly, this is the best I’ve ever felt. I feel closer to 20-years-old than 30. Despite my weight, I feel lighter, more mobile.
“Being Samoan, I never back down from anything. I want to fight anybody, but you can’t just go in and slug and be successful your whole career. So I’m working on other aspects of my game.
“A lot of people in the business know me, but I’m sort of an underground guy. A lot of fans don’t know me but they will after tomorrow.
“I’ve fought two guys in my 12-fight career who were ranked in the top 25. How many did Deontay Wilder fight before he became champion? Part of that comes from my culture. You want to get it on, that’s fine by me. Put aside that macho, though and I know now you have to be moved the right way.
“I lost to [former world champion] Steve Cunningham, but I learned an invaluable lesson in that fight and it may actually have helped my stock more than hurt me. I did MMA before boxing and loved it, but nothing is like boxing.
“Outside the ring, Joey [Dawejko] and I are friends and it is always tough fighting a friend, but we both have families to feed and sometimes you just have to do it and put friendships aside.
“Joey is the shortest opponent I’ve ever fought but he is tough, real crafty and has that Philly style. For me, my natural instincts are to go right through him, but I plan to be patient and utilize my jab and legs.
“I feel I’ve progressed every fight and now this is my chance to showcase my skills. It’s time for me to get my name known.’’
“A lot of fighters, because of my height, think my style is too come straight to them, but I like to stand in the pocket and counter.
“Natu’s a big guy, for sure, but I think he’s slow and I can take advantage of that. He gets hit a lot so he may just walk into something. I know I can hurt him. I feel I can slip his punches and move. I won’t just stand there and let him hit me.
“I’ve fought much better [opposition] than he has. I fought unbeaten guys when I was just starting out, but I’ve since turned my career around. I fought [Derric] Rossy and beat him on one week’s notice, so I feel I have some experience.
“Philly fighters are the best in world. They have to grow up and come up the hard way. It can be a struggle. Everybody always underestimates me. They see this little short fat guy walking through the gym and wonder what he’s doing there.
“This is my ShoBox debut. It is something I have always dreamed of. I can’t wait for Friday.’’