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Eight Unbeaten Fighters Square Off On ShoBox: The New Generation

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EIGHT UNBEATEN FIGHTERS SQUARE OFF ON SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION AS DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT CLOSES OUT 2015 WITH CAN’T-MISS QUADRUPLEHEADER, FRIDAY, DEC. 11 FROM BAYOU CITY EVENT CENTER IN HOUSTON

Local Favorite Regis Prograis Headlines Against

Fellow Top Prospect Abel Ramos in Main Event

Live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT

NEW YORK (Nov. 12, 2015) – ShoBox: The New Generation returns on Friday, Dec. 11 live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT), with a quadrupleheader featuring eight undefeated prospects with a combined record of 92-0-3 in the final ShoBox telecast of 2015.

Headlining the DiBella Entertainment and Savarese Promotions-promoted event at the Bayou City Event Center in Houston will be talented 140-pound local prospect Regis Prograis (15-0, 12 KOs), who faces Abel Ramos (14-0-2, 9 KOs) in the 10-round super lightweight main event.

In the co-feature, Bryant Cruz (16-0, 8 KOs) takes on Wesley Ferrer (10-0, 5 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight bout.

Rounding out the telecast, fast-rising Ivan Baranchyk (8-0, 7 KOs) faces Andrew Ruiz (9-0, 5 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout and Steed Woodall (8-0-1, 5 KOs) and Steve Rolls (12-0, 6 KOs) clash in an eight-round middleweight match.

“I am thrilled to present such a tremendous card for SHOWTIME on Dec. 11 featuring eight unbeaten up-and-coming prospects with a combined record of 92-0-3,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “With each boxer looking to reach the next level, these types of matchups are exactly what ShoBox is all about.”

“I’m excited to team up with DiBella Entertainment and SHOWTIME on this great event Dec. 11,” promoter Lou Savarese said. “We can’t wait to feature these eight young, undefeated fighters in their toughest tests to date at Houston’s premier venue, the Bayou City Event Center.”

Tickets are on sale and are priced at $40 GA, $60 GA, $150 Table Seats & $200 VIP Ringside. Tickets can be purchased by visitingwww.savaresepromotions.com or by calling (713) 658-0299.

To date, 135 fighters have suffered their initial defeats on ShoBox. With eight undefeated fighters on the card, four more O’s figure to go on Dec. 11. The question is, which four?

Prograis vs. Ramos

Last Aug. 7, Prograis made his ShoBox debut with an impressive eight-round decision over then-undefeated Amos Cowart. The hard-hitting Prograis landed an impressive 381 out of 909 total punches thrown, the 18th-highest connect total for a junior welterweight fight counted by CompuBox over eight rounds.

Originally from New Orleans, Prograis and his family have called Houston home since relocating following Hurricane Katrina. The bout on Dec. 11 will be Prograis’ first in Houston since June 2014 and he is expected to draw a raucous crowd. The highly regarded Prograis has tremendous power and speed, but if he’s going to compete against the elite of the 140-pound division, he must first get by Ramos.

“I want to thank the cities of New Orleans and Houston — New Orleans for making me who I am and Houston for taking me in and making me feel at home,” Prograis said. “I am glad to be fighting back in Houston; this truly is my second home. The city took me in as one of their own after I moved here during Hurricane Katrina. Houston is close enough to New Orleans and I am expecting a great turnout come fight night. My opponent is undefeated and that’s all I need to know. He’s coming to win, and I am sure he will be tough. I am preparing for this fight just like I do all of my fights, with the mindset that this is the toughest fight I will ever have. Come Dec. 11, you will see a spectacular performance.”

Like Prograis, the 24-year-old Ramos was a stellar amateur, winning the bronze medal at the 2010 U.S. Boxing National Championships before turning pro the following year. Ramos ran his record to a perfect 8-0, and then met fellow undefeated prospect Maurice Hooker (currently rated No. 10 by the WBO) on ShoBox in January 2014. Ramos and Hooker slugged it out for eight rounds, battling to a majority draw in one of the most exciting fights on ShoBox that year. The only other blemish on Ramos’ record is another majority draw against Levan Ghvamichava (15-1-1, 12 KOs). Ramos has reeled off four consecutive victories with three by knockout, including an impressive second-round TKO over previously once-beaten Roberto Ramirez in June. The bout against Prograis will be his first since signing an exclusive promotional agreement with DiBella Entertainment. Ramos knows that a victory over Prograis will show the boxing world that he is one of the most talented up-and-comers in the division.

“I am very excited to have signed with Lou DiBella,’’ Ramos said. “He’s guided so many fighters to the championship level and I look forward to being added to that list. Right now though, all of my focus is on Dec. 11 and Regis Prograis. He is unbeaten just like me. I am sure he will be my toughest fight, just as I will be his. I am ready to rise to the occasion and show the boxing world I am one of the best in the division.’’

Cruz vs. Ferrer

Both fighters in the co-feature, Cruz and Ferrer, are New York natives. Cruz was a 2012 National Golden Gloves runner-up while Ferrer (a 2009 and 2013 Golden Gloves champion) competed at the 2012 USA Boxing National Championships, defeating 2011 National champion Semajay Thomas. The matchup features two exciting come-forward boxers aren’t afraid to mix it up. Cruz, now living and training in Houston under the tutelage of Ronnie Shields, has shown vast improvement since linking up with the renowned trainer. The bout will be theShoBox debut for both young prospects, who will be looking to show they have what it takes to compete at the next level.

“I finally have the chance to show the world who I am and what I am about,” Cruz said. “I am excited to be stepping in there with another undefeated fighter who is going to bring the absolute best out of me. I have been working hard for an opportunity like this and it is finally here.’’

“I will be extremely focused and go in there to do what I do best,” Ferrer said. “I know Bryant Cruz personally and he is a great fighter, but I have a job to do and will not let him take away the victory from me.”

Baranchyk vs. Ruiz

Prospects Baranchyk and Ruiz could produce “the fight of the night” in a matchup that has the makings of a slugfest. The Ukrainian Baranchyk, 22, has been impressive since arriving in the U.S. in 2014. He’s been on a tear this year, going 5-0 with five knockouts, all coming in three rounds or less. Baranchyk, a stablemate of Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Ievgen Khytrov, is looking impress when he makes his ShoBox debut against his toughest opponent to date in former nationally ranked amateur standout and now Robert Garcia-trained Andrew Ruiz.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” Baranchyk said. “I’m looking to follow in the footsteps of my stablemates Sergiy and Ievgen, who have had some of their best performances on ShoBox. I know that Ruiz is coming to fight, and he is going to be the toughest opponent I’ve faced, but my dream is to become a world champion and there is nothing and no one that is going to get in the way of that.”

Ruiz was one of the most sought-after amateurs coming out of the West Coast when he turned pro at 18 in 2012. After his first year and half as a pro, Ruiz had gone a perfect 7-0, getting major exposure fighting on a number of high level cards, included Pacquiao-Bradley I. Following a victory in August 2013, Ruiz took a break from the sport as he dealt with managerial and promotional issues. Ruiz signed with DBE last January and made his anticipated ring return in February, shaking off a bit of ring rust to get his career back on track. Ruiz, 22, last fought in August, scoring a sixth-round TKO over Andres Bustamante, his fifth knockout in nine career victories. Ruiz is looking to prove that he is the top prospect that so many thought he was when he takes on the dangerous Baranchyk.

“Baranchyk was an accomplished amateur and is currently undefeated, but I am ready for the challenge,” Ruiz said. “This is my shot to prove myself and I’m not going to let it slip away.”

Woodall vs. Rolls

The Woodall-Rolls bout pits two former amateur standouts in their toughest pro fight to date. Woodall was a five-time England National champion, two-time British champion and a quarter-finalist in the World Youth Championships before relocating to the U.S. and embarking on his professional career at the age of 19. Now 21, Woodall has relocated his training camp to Houston and linked up with world-renowned trainer Ronnie Shields. The always-exciting Woodall is an aggressive come-forward banger with good power in both hands. Woodall made his debut under Shields last Oct. 7 in New York City and looked sensational leading Shields to believe that he has what it takes to one day become a world champion.

“I have a great team that is working with me day after day,” Woodall said. “I have had the chance to spar some of the best fighters in all of boxing, including Edwin Rodriguez and Jermall Charlo, and I am looking forward to putting all that work into action come Dec.11. I’ve been putting in the work in the gym and now is my chance to prove it in the ring.”

As an amateur, Rolls competed on both the 2009 and 2010 Canadian National Boxing team, compiling an impressive 83-14 record. In September 2009, he went to the 2009 International Boxing Association (AIBA) Men’s Boxing Championship in Milan, Italy, where he lost in the round of 16 to 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh of India. Rolls, who will make his ShoBox debut, is coming off a unanimous decision last Sept. 19 in his first scheduled eight-round bout.

“Come fight night, I will be more than ready,” Rolls said. “I am looking forward to putting on a great performance in my national TV debut and showing the world I am a force to be reckoned with in the middleweight division.”

Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

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About ShoBox: The New Generation

Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. Some of the growing list of the 63 fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Andre Ward, Deontay Wilder, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter, Gary Russell Jr., Lamont Peterson, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Omar Figueroa, Nonito Donaire, Devon Alexander, Carl Froch, Robert Guerrero, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez, Chad Dawson, Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and more.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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