Super middleweight prospects Kevin “The Second Coming” Newman (11-1-1,6 KOs) and Genc Pllana (7-1-1,4 KOs) discuss training camp leading up to their 10-round bout that opens a three-fight ShoBox: The New Generation telecast on Friday, February 28 live on SHOWTIME at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.
The telecast is headlined by Mayweather Promotions’ undefeated super lightweight prospect Malik Hawkins (18-0, 11 KOs), who is returning for his second test on the series, this time in a tough matchup against the undefeated Keith Hunter (11-0, 7 KOs). In the co-featured fight, 2016 Olympian Richardson Hitchins (10-0, 5 KOs) faces Rhode Island’s Nick DeLomba (16-2, 5 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight matchup.
Tickets for the Mayweather Promotions’ Sin City Showdown start at $25 and can be purchased at: https://mayweatherpromotions.com/events/.
After closing 2019 with a string of consecutive wins, Newman returns with more to prove as he continues to ascend the super middleweight rankings. After defeating Marcos Hernandez in a rematch in November on ShoBox, Newman makes it clear “revenge is always a great feat, but it’s just a small win in the bigger picture and I have more to prove.”
He remains hungry and humble, consistently perfecting his craft and learning from the greats before him, like legendary boxer Roy Jones Jr., former world champion Andre Dirrell, and stablemate Andrew Tabiti.
Kalvin Henderson was originally set to face Kevin Newman in a 10-round super middleweight matchup, but later withdrew due to an injury. 26-six-year-old Albanian Genc Pllana will replace Henderson and go toe-to-toe with Newman inside of Sam’s Town Live.
Pllana, now fighting out of Hagerstown, Md., stayed active throughout 2019 with seven consecutive fights. In his most recent bout on December 6, 2019, Pllana fought the undefeated Henderson to his first career draw. Although he had just four amateur bouts to his name, Pllana has the determination to climb the super middleweight rankings and one day become a world champion.
Here is what the fighters had to say ahead of their February 28 contest:
On training camp…
Newman: “Training camp has been going great. I’ve always been a hard worker. It’s just in my DNA to have a strong work ethic. Kobe Bryant is my all-time favorite athlete so when the news came to me about his passing it was just extra motivation for me to push myself, give no excuses, and keep that Mamba Mentality alive. We will not leave any stones unturned come fight night.
“Skills pay the bills and ultimately I’m just the better, more skilled fighter overall.
Pllana: “Training camp has been great for this fight. I feel very prepared and ready!
I know that he’s a very slick fighter and that he’s going to come ready to fight. I expect this to be a very exciting and entertaining fight.”
On the impact Roy Jones Jr. & Floyd Mayweather has had on Newman’s career…
Newman: “I’ve known Roy Jones for going on three years now and Floyd Mayweather for over six years. It’s an honor to have the legends who I looked up to as a kid here mentoring me and to have that access to them is invaluable. I’ve been blessed enough to have access to them and as a student in this game it’s only going to benefit me in the end.
“Two of the most important things I’ve learned from Roy is really just learning how to get all the leverage on all my punches and throwing combinations. From a mental aspect, he’s instilled a championship mentality encouraging me to truly, fully believe in myself and my ability. He always says, ‘You have to give something the people will want to watch and that’s through a dominating performance. You gotta entertain people along the way.’
“With Floyd, I’ve been able to pull from his defense. He’s hands down one of the best defensive fighters and it’s an art to watch him in the ring.”
On how it feels to fight on such a large platform…
Newman: “I’m just blessed. To have another opportunity on SHOWTIME, back-to-back, it really just shows me that I’m doing the right thing. This is God’s plan.
“I always come to win. I don’t know much about my opponent. I know he’s going to come to win and so am I, and I want to get the win in style so the fans at Sam’s Town and around the world can really see my talent shine on fight night.
Pllana: “I feel right at home fighting on such a large platform like SHOWTIME. I can’t wait to show the world what I’m capable of as a fighter. My family has made a big impact on my career by continuing to encourage and push me to be the best I can be.
“A win on February 28 will continue to show why I believe that I am the absolute best fighter at 168 pounds.”