Friday, April 17, 2009, at 11 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME
Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino, Primm, Nevada
PRIMM, Nev. (April 18, 2009) – Talented but still learning Miami-based Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa improved to 15-0 with 13 knockouts with a one-sided 10th-round TKO over Jose “Cheo” Rojas (25-7-1, 17 KOs, 1 No Decision) Friday in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation.
In the co-feature at Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino at Primm, Nev., undefeated Selcuk Aydin (18-0, 14 KOs) of Turkey won his ShoBox and United States debuts with a hard-fought 12-round split decision over southpaw Said Ouali (25-32, 17 KOs) of Las Vegas via Morocco.
The doubleheader aired on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). It was presented by Roy Englebrecht Events in association with Arena-Box.
Gamboa, the 2004 Olympic Games gold medalist and 2009 Prospect of the Year, had his way throughout. He cut Rojas over the right eye in the first and dropped him with a right hand in the fifth en route to capturing the interim World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight title.
The one-sided battering was stopped at 1:31 of the 10th round. After nine completed rounds, Gamboa, who was making his ShoBox debut, was ahead by the scores of 90-80, 90-81 and 89-81.
“This was a good fight and I am happy,’’ the flashy Gamboa said. “Rojas took a lot of punches. But I felt good. I am ready for any of the top featherweights in the world.’’
It was Gamboa’s fourth appearance at Buffalo Bill’s and he was backed by a lively crowd that chanted “Cuba, Cuba” on several occasions.
“It is always good to put on a show for the fans,’’ Gamboa, the WBA’s No. 3-ranked contender going in, said. “I think the fans are going to be hearing and seeing a lot from good Cuban boxers from now on.’’
Rojas, a lefthander who enter the ring ranked No. 2 by the WBA, used his experience and ring savvy to avoid getting nailed too often with combinations. He had his moments, catching Gamboa, who still holds his hands too low, with counter left hands on a few occasions.
But the offensive-minded Gamboa was too young, too strong and too powerful to prevent the Venezuelan veteran from falling to 0-4 in WBA title fights.
Despite losing a point for a low blow in the sixth, Aydin survived the toughest test of his career to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) International title by the scores of 116-111, 115-112 and 113-114. There were no knockdowns, but plenty of solid two-way action.
A relentless, aggressive-minded puncher, Aydin got stunned a few times but was the busier of the two world-ranked 147-pounders. Aydin came in ranked No. 8 in the WBC and No. 9 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF).
“I can fight better than I did tonight, but still I thought I won that fight easily,’’ Aydin said. “He may have won a couple of rounds but that was it. It was a huge surprise to me when they said it was a split decision.
“I think I was trying too hard to knock him out. I should not have kept going for the knockout.’’
Ouali, who had a 10-fight winning streak end despite a very strong finish, was rated fourth in the IBF, sixth in the WBC and No. 12 in the WBA.
SHOWTIME will replay Friday’s telecast on Thursday, April 22, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME TOO. It will be available ON DEMAND beginning Tuesday, April 20.
Nick Charles called Friday’s action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
Boxing returns to SHOWTIME next weekend with highly anticipated world title fights highlighting back-to back fight cards on Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25.
On Friday, four-time world champion Cory Spinks (36-5, 11 KOs) faces No. 6-ranked Deandre Latimore (19-1, 16 KOs) in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). In the co-feature at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, undefeated WBC No. 1-ranked super lightweight Devon Alexander (17-0, 10 KOs) meets Jesus “Chuy” Rodriguez (19-3, 5 KOs).
The following evening, undefeated Brit Carl Froch (24-0, 19 KOs) will look to make a major statement when he defends his WBC super middleweight title against former undisputed middleweight belt-holder Jermain Taylor (28-2-1, 17 KOs) on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) from MGM Grand Theater at MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The co-feature will match super middleweights Allan Green (27-1, 19 KOs) and Carlos DeLeon Jr. (21-2-2, 14 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
ShoBox returns on Friday, May 1, at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif. Undefeated welterweight Luis Carlos Abrego (25-0, 21 KOs) battles Irving Garcia (17-3, 8 KOs) in the main event. In the co-feature, once-beaten Marvin Quintero (15-1, 12 KOs) takes on Wes Ferguson (20-3-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight bout. The telecast begins at 11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast.
The premiere of SHO MMA: Strikeforce Challengers will take place on Friday, May 15. In the Strikeforce mixed martial arts main event at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. unbeaten 155-pound sensation Billy Evangelista (9-0) will face BJ Penn protégé “Iron” Mike Aina (11-6-1). The SHOWTIME telecast will air live beginning at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) and feature up to five fights including Kim “Sugar Free” Couture (1-1), wife of MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture, against an opponent to be announced.
In a special primetime edition of ShoBox on Saturday, May 16 (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast), undefeated and No. 1 ranked 2004 Olympic Gold medalist Andre Ward (18-0, 12 KOs) defends his North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super middleweight titles against Colombian knockout artist Edison Miranda (32-2, 28 KOs) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
MMA resumes on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) on Saturday, June 6, when Robbie Lawler throws down with Jake Shields in the Strikeforce main event at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
On Saturday, July 11, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, Vic Darchinyan (32-1-1, 26 KOs) will attempt to become a world champion in a third weight class when he challenges IBF bantamweight champion Joseph Agbeko (26-1-22 KOs) live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
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. The growing list of fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Leonard Dorin, Scott Harrison, Juan Diaz, Jeff Lacy, Ricky Hatton, Joan Guzman, Juan Urango, David Diaz, Robert Guerrero, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Malignaggi, Kendall Holt, Timothy Bradley and, most recently, Bernard Dunne.