Six talented prospects with a combined overall record of 65-1 will make their ShoBox: The New Generation debuts on Friday, November 15 live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT from WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
Undefeated welterweight prospect Erik Vega Ortiz (16-0, 9 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico will face 2016 Olympian and decorated amateur Alberto Palmetta (12-1, 8 KOs) of Argentina in the 10-round main event. Hard-hitting Marcos Escudero (10-0, 9 KOs), also of Argentina, will take on Houston’s Joseph George (9-0, 6 KOs) in the 10-round light heavyweight co-featured bout.
In the telecast opener, Uruguayan knockout artist Amilcar Vidal (9-0, 8 KOs) will fight for the first time in the U.S. when he meets Zach Prieto (9-0, 7 KOs) of El Paso, Texas, in an eight-round middleweight bout.
The event is promoted by Sampson Boxing in association with Paco Presents. Tickets, starting at $10, are on sale now and available at www.WinnaVegas.com.
“We can’t wait to see what these future champions show us in their debuts on ShoBox: The New Generation, a series that has built so many careers and champions,” said promoter Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing. “These are very important fights for all six of these boxers’ young careers and another step toward them graduating from prospects to contenders.”
In the main event, the 23-year-old Vega Ortiz will bring an all-out, pressure style similar to many of his fellow countrymen of Mexico. Ortiz started boxing at age seven and ended his career at an impressive 45-2 amateur record. He trains at the Gimnasio CREA gym in Tijuana and graduated this year with honors in Business Administration from the university Autónoma de Baja California. The 24-year-old will make his U.S. debut in his first true test after building his undefeated record against mostly limited opposition in Mexico.
“Boxing fans will want to tune in November 15 to witness a classic rivalry between Mexico and Argentina,” Vega Ortiz said. “We know what we are facing in Alberto Palmetta. He is a well-rounded boxer with a great amateur career and an ex-Olympian. But, at the end of the day, that doesn’t matter to me. These are the types of challenges I like and I am looking forward to pleasing my fans.”
Olympian Palmetta came out of the amateur ranks billed as one of the top prospects in Argentina’s boxing history. Palmetta started boxing at age 14 and competed in 112 amateur fights, winning numerous national and international distinctions including the bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. He was the captain of the Argentinean national team and was considered a top-10 prospect in the world at his weight before he turned pro.
The 29-year-old southpaw’s only pro loss came against then-10-1 Argentinian Gonzalo Gaston Coria. His last two fights took place in Charlotte, N.C. Palmetta is co-promoted by former world champion Sergio Martinez of Maravillabox Promotions and Sampson Boxing.
“My fist goal in boxing was to be an Olympian boxer, and my second was to become champion of the world,” Palmetto said. “This is the first step on my way to realizing my dream of becoming a world champion. Great effort brings great achievements.”
The co-featured bout features the 26-year-old hard-hitting Escudero from Cordoba, Argentina, who is riding a six-fight knockout streak. As an amateur, he competed nationally and internationally, including becoming a national champion in Argentina in 2014 and representing his country in the Pan-Am Games in 2015. He finished the unpaid ranks with a respectable 60-5 record. In just his second year as a professional, Escudero has already won the WBC Latin Silver Light Heavyweight Championship. He is currently living and training in Miami and managed by Gardner Payne of Payne Boxing.
“Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack,” Escudero said. “The time has come for me to shine. Thank you to my team and my promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, for this opportunity. I will not disappoint.”
Escudero will have his hands full with Houston’s George, a former high school basketball star who started boxing at age 19. Managed by Washington Redskins Pro Bowl lineman Trent Williams and trained by former NFL All Pro running back Adrian Peterson and James Cooper, George went 76-5 as an amateur and was the National Golden Gloves champion in 2015 at 178 pounds. He also placed third in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
The 6-foot-2 George will face his toughest test as a pro against Escudero. “I know very little about my opponent, except that he is a puncher against limited opposition,” George said. “Training is going great. I have been on weight for quite some time now because I really fight at 168 pounds, but I believe my skill set is enough that fighting at 175 is not a problem at all. I train with one of the best trainers in the world in James Cooper. Coop has gone over a game plan and I will execute it to a T.”
In the telecast opener, Uruguayan power-puncher Vidal is currently living and training in Coachella, Calif., and fighting for the first time in the U.S. As an amateur, he suffered just one loss in 59 fights. Vidal is trained by his brother Richard Vidal and Freddy Fundora in Coachella and spars with Freddy’s son Sebastian Fundora, a current undefeated welterweight who has appeared twice on ShoBox.
“I’m very focused and at the same time excited to be performing in the U.S. for the first time,” Vidal said. “Coming from my home country Uruguay, it was always a dream to fight in America. That’s now turning into a reality on November 15.”
Prieto, who fought last on October 5 in Vado, N.M., had a reported 70 amateur fights going 50-20. He started boxing at age 11 and is known for his aggressive style and power. He fought current WBA super lightweight champion Regis Prograis to two split decisions in the amateurs. A 2011 New Mexico Golden Gloves silver medalist, Prieto has trained with former WBA super welterweight champion Austin Trout and was a Texas Junior Olympic State Champion.
“I have worked a long time hoping for an opportunity like this to come along,” Prieto said. “From what I have seen of my opponent, he is strong and it is going to take a lot of strategy to beat him. He is someone that is going to take more than overpowering to defeat. A victory would mean another step down the road for me in mastering my craft and being able to step up and fight anyone they put me against.”