On Friday, October 12, DiBella Entertainment will return to the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles MO, with an exciting edition of ShoBox: The New Generation. Headlining the card will be Puerto Rican amateur star, and blue-chip prospect, Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (10-0, 6KO’s) taking on Robert Garcia trained Allan Benitez (7-1, 1KO) in an eight-round lightweight matchup.
In the televised co-feature, undefeated up-and-coming prospects Jonathan Cepeda (12-0, 11KO’s) and Lamar Russ (10-0, 6KO’s) square off in an eight-round middleweight bout. The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Gary Shaw Productions, Universal Promotions and Rumble Time Promotions. SHOWTIME® will begin live coverage at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Also featured on the ShoBox telecast will be highlights of former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor (30-4-1, 18KO’s) in his bout versus Raul Munoz (21-15-1, 16KO’s), a ten-round middleweight matchup which will take place earlier in the evening.
At just 23 years old, Pedraza is one of the highest regarded prospects in all of boxing. Pedraza’s stellar amateur career saw him represent his native Puerto Rico in the 2008 Olympics and win a silver medal at the 2009 Amateur World Championships, before turning pro in February 2011 with a first-round TKO over Felix Rivera. His bout against Benitez will be his second on SHOWTIME, but the first as the featured bout of the evening.
“After my last fight against Valderrama (August 31), I only rested for a week and then got straight back in the gym,” said Pedraza. “For this fight the training has been very intense. I have sparred with former world title contender Mario Santiago, world champion ‘Rocky’ Martinez and Luis Rosario, who is a very good amateur boxer. I am looking forward to putting on a great performance on the 12th and taking another step towards fulfilling my ultimate goal of winning a world championship.”
A native of Mexico, now living and training with Garcia in the boxing hotbed of Oxnard, Calif., Benitez has rattled off seven wins in a row after dropping his pro-debut in a close four-round decision. Benitez last saw action in August of this year, winning an exciting six-round unanimous decision over Osnel Charles at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City.
Cepeda had a limited but successful amateur career, sporting a 22-3 record with all three losses coming against former blue-chip prospect Danny Jacobs. Cepeda competed in the National Golden Gloves and twice won the Florida Golden Gloves tournament. Since turning pro, Cepeda has impressed in each and every outing. With devastating power in both hands and an aggressive seek-and-destroy mentality, Cepeda has the ability to end a fight with one punch.
Russ was an accomplished amateur, winning the North Carolina State title six times, before turning pro in 2009. At just 25 years old, Russ is just coming into his own as a professional. Like Cepeda, Russ is a come-forward fighter who likes to press the action and mix it up with his opponent. Russ is coming off his most impressive victory to date; a fourth-round TKO over previously unbeaten (13-0) Jose Alonzo. Prior to his bout with Alonzo, Russ won a six-round unanimous decision over Marcus Upshaw.
Taylor returned to the ring in December of last year. In his most recent outing, he won a 10-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Caleb Truax. Taylor, who is currently rated number six in the WBC, eight in the WBO and 14 in the IBF, is working his way back into title contention and hopes to get another shot at the coveted middleweight championship sometime in 2013.
The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with Gary Shaw Productions, Universal Promotions and Rumble Time Promotions. Tickets are priced at $100, $75 and $40 and can be purchased through the Ameristar Casino or by calling (314) 267-2204. Doors open at 5:30PM with the first bout scheduled for 6PM.