All eight fighters, including the six undefeated ones, made weight Thursday for the ShoBox: The New Generation quadruple-header Friday March 25, live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Buffalo Run Casino.
In the main event, unbeaten emerging star, Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (16-0, 13 KOs), of Houston by way of New Orleans, will meet Mexico’s Aaron “The Jewel” Herrera (29-4-1, 18 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight bout.
Four unbeaten boxers will collide in two of the three eight-round bouts: Hard-hitting Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (9-0, 8 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., faces upset-minded Nick “King Beamen” Givhan (16-0-1, 10 KOs), of Kalamazoo, Mich., in a super lightweight scrap and Ukrainian Ivan “The Volk” Golub (10-0, 8 KOs, 5-0 in World Series of Boxing), of Brooklyn, N.Y., takes on Marlon Aguas (9-0, 6 KOs), of Quito, Ecuador, in a welterweight match.
In the eight-round telecast opener, undefeated super welterweight and local favorite Dillon Cook (16-0, 6 KOs), of Seneca, Mo., will meet once-beaten Justin DeLoach (13-1, 7 KOs), of Augusta, Ga. DeLoach is trained by former ShoBox fighter and two-time world champion, Paul Williams, who is making his training debut.
Tickets for an event presented by DiBella Entertainment and Tony Holden Productions are priced at $45, $55 and $75 and are available for purchase at buffalorun.com and at stubwire.com. The first live fight is at 8 o’clock.
Prograis: 141 pounds
Herrera: 142 pounds
Baranchyk: 139 ½ pounds
Givhan: 140 ¼ pounds
Golub: 146 ½ pounds
Aguas: 147 pounds
Cook: 154 pounds
DeLoach: 153 ¼ pounds
Here’s what the fighters said Thursday:
“This is my biggest fight. We’ve been in the gym for two months getting ready. We’re sparring with every style, anything it takes to get me ready.
“I had a whole lot fun in my last fight because (Abel) Ramos just kept coming. I’m fighting a veteran, a different kind of guy tomorrow. He’s tough with the Mexican style so I expect him to be smart and know all the tricks.
“Herrera is coming with nothing to lose, but I love fighting the Mexican style. I’ve been training in Houston, so he won’t bring anything I haven’t seen before.
“I can be a slick southpaw or I can brawl. I just love to fight, which is why I started in boxing. My mindset is to bang and fight, when it comes down to it. Sometimes if I don’t hit I get bored so I mix it up a little more so I will get hit and then I can come back. I can adjust to any style.
“This is my third fight on ShoBox and second main event. I welcome the pressure but at the same time I know I have to ignore it and just enjoy and have fun in there.
“Mentally, I feel I am ready for a major fight against any of the top contenders, but I know those kinds of fights are still a little down the line for me. I still have a lot of work to do; I need to keep pounding it until I get it all right.
“I’m looking forward to a good fight tomorrow.’’
“This is an interesting fight because we’re both coming up in the sport. I’ve seen a few of his fights and know what I’m up against. It looks like Prograis likes to come forward and comes to fight, and I will do the same, although I am probably more of a boxer than a slugger.
“This is about taking care of business. I’ve been 12 rounds before. I’ve fought some good fighters with good records. This is only my second fight in America but I learned a lot from the first one and that will definitely help me. I have more confidence. This won’t be a new experience for me.
“I’ve fought with left-handers before so after a couple of rounds, I’m sure I’ll feel comfortable. I’m definitely coming to win. I can’t wait to hear the opening bell ring.’’
“This is 100 percent the best guy we’ve faced. Nick is a great fighter and we can’t underestimate him. We know that anything can happen in boxing. I put the work in the gym and now I need to do my job in the ring.
“I’m a puncher, I like to bring it and I’m coming for the knockout.
“I’m only 23 but I work very hard and feel I’m coming along. I’m in the gym all the time. One of the main things we work on the most is composure inside the ring. I feel like I’m settling down more and working the jab, but it is still something we work on.
“You just can’t go in and knock everybody out. It’s not that easy. You need to set up your punches sometimes. I am never going to change from being a natural puncher, my team is not trying to take away the fire in me, they just want me to settle down.’’
“This is a big opportunity and I feel blessed to be getting it, but it’s something I’ve been working towards for years. I feel this is where I’m supposed to be at this stage of my career. I just need to get in the ring to make sure I handle my business in the ring
“He’s definitely one of the toughest opponents I’ve faced. He’s big, powerful and hits hard the whole fight. But I’m the toughest he’s faced.
“This shapes up as a boxer versus puncher fight that favors me. He may come out jabbing at first, but once he’s touched he can be frustrated. That’s what I will take advantage of, his over-aggressiveness.
“I’m looking forward to seizing the moment tomorrow night.’’
“I’m very excited to be on this card and looking forward to fighting on my first ShoBox card. This is a big step up and it’s going to be a great fight.
“When I got the chance to fight on ShoBox, I didn’t even ask who I was fighting. I spar with some of the best out there (Ievgen Khytrov, Sergey Derevanchenko, etc.). But I’m more of a boxer-puncher than some of my teammates.
“I work very hard. I study boxing a lot. I know my time is coming. As long as I show good boxing skills, the knockout will come.”
“You have to be careful with hungry fighters you don’t know anything about, but I’m going to give 100 percent in there. I’m here to show that I have what it takes to become a world champion.
“I am very motivated. This is my first fight in the U.S. and on SHOWTIME so I’m looking to make a statement. I know that after this fight a lot of doors will open. People may not know me now, but they will know me after tomorrow night.
“I have a lot of movement but can also stand there toe to toe and brawl. They are making a mistake taking a step up and fighting me. They don’t know what they’re getting into.
“I’ve been off because of an injury to my left hand but it is totally healed and I am ready. I’ve had lots of sparring.
“I’m more of a stylist, a boxer. I like to move around a lot. But if I have to go at it and brawl I will. I really want to show the fans that I am worthy of watching again.’’
“This will be my toughest fight but I’m feeling great. I’m excited but not all that nervous. There is some pressure fighting on TV the first time, but it hasn’t been nerve-racking.
“This is such a big fight; I’m ready for anything he brings. I’m not trying to over-think anything. I just want to do what I do.
“This is a home game for me. I live about 25 minutes away. So it helps that I’m used to the atmosphere and don’t have to travel.
“I’ve seen a little of him. I feel the things he does all the time will work against him. His come-forward style is a good one for me. I’ve had plenty of time to prepare (five weeks) so there will not be any surprises.
“I believe I have the skills to go a lot father, so I want to leave a good impression.
“Speed and footwork are my biggest weapons. I’ve been dazed before, but not knocked down.’’
“Everything to this point has been a blessing for me. This is definitely a big fight and I’m looking forward to doing what I do and putting on a great show. I haven’t seen a lot of Dillon but he is undefeated and is coming to win. I’m ready for whatever he brings.
“I feel I have a lot of raw talent that has yet to be seen. My main thing is to take control of the fight from the start.
“This is so exciting. My biggest and most important fight yet. If I do what I’m supposed to I’ll be OK. This is my first eight-rounder but I’m not worried about that at all.
“We’re part of a great ShoBox show. I can’t wait.’’
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raúl Márquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.