With a just a bit over a week to go, the eight promising fighters who will compete on ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, Feb. 19, live on Showtime are confident, in shape and ready to get into the ring. Unbeatens Adam “Mantequilla” Lopez (14-0, 7 KOs), of San Antonio, Texas, by way Phoenix, Ariz., and Mario “Yayo” Muñoz (16-0-1, 10 KOs), of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will face their toughest opponents to-date when they meet in the 10-round super bantamweight main event from the Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
In other televised bouts, all scheduled for eight rounds, Ronald “Flatline” Ellis (12-0, 10 KOs), of Dorchester, Mass., takes on Washington D.C.’s Jerry “The King’s Son” Odom (13-2, 12 KOs) in a clash of hard-hitting super middleweights, southpaw Lavisas “Red” Williams (8-0-1, 3 KOs), of Rochester, N.Y. risks his undefeated record against O’Shaquie “Ice Water” Foster (9-1, 6 KOs), of Orange, Texas, in a super featherweight scrap and, opening the telecast, John “Madman” Magda (11-0, 7 KOs), of Rutherford, N.J., faces Philadelphia’s Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker (7-1, 5 KOs) in a super middleweight matchup.
“Training is going well. I feel really strong. I am hyped, ready to go and feel really good about this fight.
“My training camp started at the beginning of January, and I was warming up a little before that. We still train at Castillo’s gym in San Antonio, and we also train at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy – Robert opened a chapter here in San Antonio.
“My sparring is usually with the same guys. I spar a couple of very good amateurs, and a really good professional, Oscar Cantu. He’s probably the best sparring I can get here in Texas. I’m also going to spar Pablo Cruz, the guy I fought in my first Shobox appearance.
“Muñoz is my toughest opponent to date. He’s a good fighter. He fought a world champion in Moises Flores. Muñoz has a traditional Mexican style. [But] he boxes a little [which is] weird because he’s a Mexican fighter, and you don’t usually see Mexican fighters not squaring. He can box and come in a little bit, but that’s nothing I haven’t seen before. As soon as we saw him, I liked the matchup and took the fight. I think his style plays to my favor.
“I’m really excited that SHOWTIME wants to have me as a headliner. I can’t wait for this opportunity. This will be a 30-minute shootout, a real fan friendly fight.’’
“I’m very happy. I’ve been waiting a long time to fight in the United States and to fight on a big event, and here I am, headlining on national television in Atlantic City. If I win, I want to come back to the U.S. and fight again to show people what I’ve got.
“I’m a boxer that is smart. If I have to go toe-to-toe, I will, but I will box smart. I like to fight. I enjoy it. And I always find different ways to meet my opponent. I adapt.
“I’m training at Gimnasio Guzmán in Guadalajara and it is going well. I’ve been sparring with Santiago Estrada, Aron Bobadilla and Esnar Bobadilla.
“Friday, Feb. 19 can’t come quick enough. I wish the fight was tomorrow. I am looking forward to fighting on TV; it’s a huge opportunity for me to showcase my skills.
“My training camp for this fight has lasted about two months, and training is going very well. I’m training at Elite Heat Gym in Newark, and off-and-on at Boylston Rec Center. I’ve been sparring for a little while, especially with the snowstorm, but not with anybody in particular.
“I’m a boxer-puncher. I like to adapt in the ring. If a guy is coming straight forward, I like to box. But I like to fight. I get carried away and fight a lot, but this training camp I’ve been working on speed and keeping on my toes, so I’m going to stick and move. That’s what I’m looking forward to. But you always go back to the old ways. If I see him hurt, I’ve got to get him out of there.
“Odom is a big puncher just like I am, so his record says. I have nothing neither good nor bad to say about him. He comes forward, he fights. He’s got power. We’ll just see what happens the day of the fight. It’s going to be a beautiful fight, a great fight. I promise to put on a great show. The fans want to see action, I’ll bring them action.’’
“I’m looking forward to the fight and I’m happy to be back with this great opportunity on SHOWTIME. I will give a good showing to the fans.
“I’ve been training since November. This time, I’m training in Atlanta at the Decatur Boxing Club. I’ve trained here before, but I was training with Xavier Biggs then. This is my first fight with Kennie Johnson as my trainer. I never worked with him before, but I’ve got family in Atlanta and he’s based here and I needed a new trainer. He’d seen me fight and he wanted to work with me, but I had another trainer then. I’m sparring with local guys here, just getting the sparring I can.
“My trainer knows everything about Ronald Ellis that we need to know, and he tells me what to prepare for. My coach knows more when it comes to dissecting a fighter, so I let him do it.”
(Regarding his last fight, a TKO 2 loss to Samuel Clarkson on July 17, 2015, on ShoBox. The eight-rounder was contracted for 168 pounds, but Clarkson weighed in at 172¼ pounds. Odom took the fight anyway).
“Politically, I lost, but I didn’t lose that last fight. I learnt. I learned to be smarter business-wise. That wasn’t a good business move I made in fighting that guy. He weighed more than me. I let my heart play into it, I didn’t back down from the fight. It was just a learning experience.’’
“I’ve been training for about six weeks at Future Boxing in Rochester. I’ve been sparring with Brandon Williams. He’s an up-and-coming prospect. There are a lot of other local guys I spar with. Camp’s been going very well and I’m feeling really sharp.
“This is a blessing to fight on ShoBox. I’m very excited and can’t wait to show my talent to the world.
“I checked Foster out. I know he switches a lot and I saw that he just had a recent fight, so he’s been active. He’s fought the guy I beat, Samuel Teah. I beat Teah, and Foster lost to him. Still, I’m not taking Foster lightly. It won’t be an easy fight. I know he’s going to come and bring it and I’m coming to bring it, too.
“I’m a boxer-counter-puncher. I use the jab well, my left hand is strong. I like to think I’m a nice, smooth boxer. I know I’ve got the talent; I’ve just got to use it.”
“Training is going great. I’ve learned that I need to throw more punches and get in better shape and keep my hands going and not relax too much. I have to just let my hands go, come forward and put combinations together.
“I know my opponent is a slick boxer and has a good jab, but I’m confident in my skills as a boxer. I won’t disappoint in this fight.”
“I’ve been in the gym a long time preparing for a fight. I thought I might have one in December, January or February, so I’m in shape. I have a few more days to dial it in and sharpen up.
“I train at Ike & Randy’s Gym in Paterson, N.J. I’ve been sparring all types of guys, Kendall Holt, whoever is in the gym. I was working a little bit with Monte Barrett, the heavyweight, Ronald Ellis and Pawel Wolak. I’ve been getting good sparring.
“I pressure my opponents. I have good range–good height, long arms. I like to keep people on the outside of my punches and pressure them from the outside and throw combinations where I can hit them and they can’t hit me.
“Brooker fought on the card that I fought on last February in Allentown. That’s the only time I’ve really seen him. He’s a strong, stocky guy, throws punches and comes forward. A tough guy, not the most skilled fighter, but he works hard. No disrespect, but I’m a better fighter.
“I think this is a great opportunity to showcase myself and my ability. I am excited and I look forward to Feb. 19. I’m ready. I’ve got to make a name for myself. I think it’s a good fight.”
“I’m ready to put on another show. I am looking forward to the television exposure. I’ve been training hard. This is the fun part, the hard work is done. I want to thank my team, King’s Promotions and SHOWTIME for the opportunity to show what I can do.
“I train in Philadelphia. I’m in the gym every day. After my last fight, I took the weekend off and was back in the gym on Monday. Even if I’m working out light, I’m still in the gym working.
“Right now, I’ve been sparring with Anthony Miller. He’s a southpaw, a little shorter than my opponent, but I think he’s much faster, hits much harder and throws more combinations.
“My style surprises opponents; I go right in. My whole style is to keep my hands up, pressure the guy for 12 rounds, while hitting hard with every punch. My power punch stats were up last time, and they’re going to be up again for this fight. I threw 87 punches per round the last time, so I’m trying to throw at least 100 this time. I’m trying to break records.
“I looked at the guy I’m fighting. I like fighting southpaws. I was actually smiling when they called and offered me this fight. I’m ready. I won my last fight and the same thing’s going to happen this time. I just want to show off.’’