Unbeaten 122-pound prospect Angelo Leo and Filipino Neil Tabanao talk training camp just days away from their ShoBox: The New Generation main event showdown Friday, April 5 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.
The ShoBox tripleheader co-feature will see unbeaten super featherweight prospect Xavier Martinez (13-0, 9 KOs) squaring off against experienced Filipino John Moralde (21-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout and undefeated Mayweather Promotions’ 130-pound prospect Andres Cortes (10-0, 6 KOs) facing Jahmal Dyer (9-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-round bout in the telecast opener.
Tickets for the Mayweather Promotions’ Sin City Showdown are priced at $25, $50 and $75 and can be purchased by visiting: https://mayweatherpromotions.com/events/.
Leo, (16-0, 8 KOs), who started boxing at the age of eight, has dreams of emulating his biggest boxing inspiration, Roberto Duran, by one day becoming a world champion. He draws inspiration not only from Duran’s aggressiveness in the ring, but also from his tactical fighting style. The 24-year-old from Albuquerque, N.M. has sparred with elite boxers such as Leo Santa Cruz, Jessie Magdaleno, Nonito Donaire, and Tomoki Kameda and assures he is more than prepared to withstand Tabanao on April 5.
Tabanao, 25, made his pro debut in 2012 in his home country of the Philippines. He will make his television debut this week as he looks to move up the super bantamweight ranks. Tabanao won the WBO Oriental Featherweight Title in 2016 with a third-round technical knockout of Ibrahim Balla to then lose it to former 122-pound world champion Issac Dogboe. He suffered two consecutive defeats after losing to Dogboe but has admirably rebounded by winning his last four bouts.
Here is what the fighters had to share ahead of their matchup:
On what they know about their opponent:
Leo: “Tabanao is definitely not a pushover. He has 17 wins and 11 of those by knockout, so we definitely know that he can punch. I’ve seen a video of him, he likes to counter off the high guard. He’s fought a former world champion, Isaac Dogboe, and went the distance with him. So, he is a tough competitor for sure, but I think with my boxing and ring IQ, I can get the victory.”
Tabanao: “Angelo Leo is a good fighter. We need to use a good strategy to win this fight—and we have it. We trained very hard targeting his weaknesses. He’s in for a surprise this Friday.”
On what a win from this fight will do for their career:
Leo: “A win over Neil Tabanao will probably set me up for another 10-round fight and after that I will hopefully be competing on a world title eliminator. I think in the next two or three fights I’ll get a world title shot.”
Tabanao: “I want to be recognized in the world of boxing. Leo is a step towards that goal. He doesn’t know what he’s in for.”
On training camp:
Leo: “I had a very good training camp. I have a very good team. My dad, is my head trainer, he is the one in charge. Luis Chavez is my other trainer. He lives in New Mexico trainer and comes down when I fight. Steve Cartledge and John Sinclair are helping me with my strength and conditioning. We started increasing the rounds in my sparring and we are trying to get the conditioning up as well. I have been training super hard for this fight. I feel that I’m in tip-top shape.”
Tabanao: “I had a good training camp. I trained with my coach Sonny Dollente at Mabuhay Boxing Camp at Dujali Davao del Norte in The Philippines. We worked hard on perfecting our strategy; we are ready to counter whatever Leo may do on Friday night.”
How does it feel to fight on national television?
Leo: “It feels like a dream come true to fight on national television. I’ve been working so hard for this moment. Finally, I get to show everybody who I am and what better way to do it than as the main event on TV. I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity. Everyone will see what I’m all about.”
Tabanao: “It means a lot to me to be able to fight on national television. I hope this is the first of many televised fights. I want to become a renowned and successful boxer to be able help my family. I’m determined to do it.”