By: Matthew Becher
This Saturday, live from the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, Premier Boxing Champions will present a boxing card on NBC Sports Network at 9PM/EST. The full card will feature three fights, with the main event being for the interim WBA Cruiserweight Title headlined by former world champion Beibut Shumenov (15-2, 10 KOs) taking on B.J. Flores (31-1-1, 20 KOs) in a 12-round showdown.
The first fight of the evening will pit two up and coming prospects with undefeated records against one another. Jordan Shimmell (19-0 16KO) is a fast rising American Cruiserweight, who has been on the network circuit before and usually doesn’t disappoint. He has great power and is looking to continue his successful march up the less than stacked Cruiserweight division. His opponent is another Midwest prospect. Isiah Thomas (14-0 6KO) is more of a complete boxer, with less power than Shimmell. He had a successful amateur career, as he was trained by hall of fame trainer Emanuel Steward. Thomas has taken those techniques into the professional realm and looks to keep his undefeated record in what should be a very exciting fight for two young talents.
The co-main event is in the Featherweight division. This fight will have a former world champ veteran against a rising prospect. Rico Ramos (24-4 12KO) is a former bantamweight titlist who is looking to rejuvenate his career to what it once was. He has been in the ring with some of the best, including a loss two years ago to the Featherweight king, Guillermo Rigondeaux. Ramos who was once known for his fast hands and boxing ability has slowed down in recent years, and will have to step up his game against his younger opponent. Claudio Marrero (18-1 13KO) has one lone loss to Jesus Cuellar. He has since rebounded with five straight wins, and looks for the biggest win of his young career this Saturday. A win for either man, can put them in line for a big fight, in one of boxing’s most dangerous and talented divisions.
The main event is for the interim-WBA cruiserweight title. Beibut Shumenov (15-2 10KO), was the former WBA light heavyweight champion.
He lost his title to the legend, Bernard Hopkins, by Split decision last year, and decided to move up to Cruiserweight. Shumenov claimed that making the 175lb limit of light heavyweight was too much for him physically and psychologically and feels stronger than ever at his new weight class.
Shumenov is a 2004 Olympian who has been in the ring with the likes of Campillo, William Joppy and Hopkins. He has had a very short career thus far, but has already been a world champion and will look to repeat that this weekend. BJ Flores (31-1-1 20KO) is 36 years old. He has been fighting in the weight class for many years, and has even dabbled in the Heavyweight division. Flores is a part time boxer and part time commentator for Premier Boxing Champions. This, for all intents and purposes is his last shot at a big fight. He will have his hands full with the all-around more talented fighter in Shumenov.
This is a step up in competition for Flores and he will need to fully rise to the occasion if he wants to continue to be a part time fighter and not a full time analyst.