Boxing


ShoBox to Feature Junior Welterweight & Junior Middleweight Bouts

02.06.04 - The SHOWTIME boxing series, "ShoBox: The New Generation," will celebrate its third birthday in July. Since the opening bell in 2001, the premise of the popular SHOWTIME boxing series has been to offer up-and-coming prospects an opportunity to make a name for themselves in front of a national television audience, and eventually fight for a chance at a world title.

Simply put, ShoBox is the place for fighters that are not afraid to risk their records fighting opponents of comparable talent and ability. This is the formula for the most exciting, competitive matchups in boxing.

The 45th telecast of "ShoBox" on Thursday, June 17, features the kind of quality bouts that viewers have come to expect since the initial telecast on July 21, 2001. In a compelling main event, undefeated Paul Malignaggi (17-0, 5 KOs) takes on once-beaten Ramiro Cano (18-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight bout. The eight-round co-feature will pit unbeaten Sechew Powell (12-0, 9 KOs) against the always-dangerous Grady Brewer (17-8, 11 KOs), in a junior middleweight bout.

The DiBella Entertainment-promoted doubleheader will be televised on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT* from Harrah's in Laughlin, Nev.

Malignaggi, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is one of boxing's most colorful and charismatic, young talented up-and-comers.

"When I put the highlights in my hair and I come out with a crazy hairstyle and wear the outrageous outfits, it makes me stand out," the flashy 23-year-old, four-year pro said. "Some people probably think I am crazy. I know I generate a lot of negative press with my showboating attitude, but it is okay as long as people remember me."

"I want to get respect as a fighter. I want people to realize that I am going to be the best fighter in the sport one day."

"I do not know what I am going to do for my next fight, whether I am going to wear something really outrageous or just keep it nothing out of the ordinary. I always bleach my hair or put highlights in before my fights. For one fight, I wore a skirt. I like to wear outrageous outfits."

The 2001 United States National Amateur Champion at 132 pounds, the popular Malignaggi has not come close to losing since turning pro on July 7, 2001. If triumphant June 17, the unbeaten prospect believes he will be ready to face any of the top guys in the talent-laden 140-pound division.

"I match up well against anyone," said Malignaggi, who is coming off of a 10-round unanimous decision over Ramon Martinez on April 22, 2004. "I feel like I am really stepping up my game. The better my opponents, the more talent you will see come out of me."

"I am really looking forward to my SHOWTIME debut. Cano is aggressive, so I want to make the same statement I did on Martinez. I am going to be the slickest boxer you have seen in the sport."

Cano, of Houston, by way of Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico, is a confident, well-conditioned southpaw who won his initial 17 fights after turning pro on Jan. 29, 2002. The 25-year-old has made an immediate impression even though he did not start to box until he was 21, and had just 12 amateur bouts.

"I have always liked boxing since I was a little boy, but I had never put in the training," the hard-hitting Cano said. "When I moved to Houston, I finally had the time."

Cano, whose lone defeat came on an eight-round decision to Mauro Lucero on Nov. 6, 2003, rallied to register an impressive second-round TKO over John Frazier in his most recent start on Feb. 20, 2004. Cano, cut and knocked down in the first, finished off Frazier with two left hooks to the liver in the second.

Powell, of Brooklyn, has won four consecutive bouts by knockout (each inside of two rounds). A stablemate of Malignaggi, the slick, well-schooled 25-year-old southpaw compiled an outstanding 147-9 record in the amateurs and was a four-time champion. The highly regarded Powell, who turned pro on Aug. 17, 2002, will make his fourth 2004 start. In his last outing, he recorded a second-round TKO over Sergio Melendez on April 22.

Regarding Brewer, Powell said, "He is tough, durable and supposed to be my toughest test, but I am just glad that he stepped up to the plate. I am ready to trash him, fold him up like a chair and ship him back to Oklahoma. If he comes to fight, it will be a short night."

Brewer, of Lawton, Okla., always gives a determined effort, comes to win and never can be discounted. A winner in all three of his 2004 bouts, including a six-round decision over Anthony Ivory on April 17, the 33-year-old is almost always matched tough.

Since turning pro on Oct. 16, 1999, the crowd-pleasing boxer-puncher has been pitted against 21 boxers with a winning record, including eight who entered the ring unbeaten and 19 with three or less losses. He has fought just three times before the hometown fans in Lawton.

"The odds always are against me," Brewer said. "However, I am not afraid of anyone. I get matched against guys who are well known and supposed to beat me. They do not respect me and treat me like some sort of 'opponent.'"

"I have a winner's mentality. I am not a spoiler. I am a guy who works hard and always gives his best."

Brewer's biggest victory came when he sent a message to previously undefeated Anthony "The Messenger" Thompson, and scored a third-round TKO on Feb. 28, 2004. Three of Brewer's losses have come against unbeaten prospects Jermain Taylor, Peter Manfredo and Kelly Pavlik.

Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.

Article posted on 02.06.2004



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