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National Guard vet Sammy Vasquez’s fight showcased on American Forces Network this weekend

Credit: Amanda Kwok / Showtime

For the second time, nearly one million uniformed military personnel serving abroad will be able to watch and support U.S. Armed Forces veteran Sammy Vasquez as part of a special agreement between SHOWTIME and the American Forces Network.

Vasquez, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, is featured in the main event of Friday’s ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader, which airs live at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) on SHOWTIME from CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“It means so much to have my brothers and sisters in my corner and supporting me every step of the way. It’s just an awesome feeling,” said the undefeated Vasquez. “The military has helped me get to this point in my career and it’s a huge honor to represent them. It’s nice to give them a little taste of back home from a soldier who’s been there before. I can’t wait to make them proud this weekend.”

The service men and women of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines stationed around the globe in over 1,000 outlets in more than 175 countries and on the high seas will have free access to Friday’s ShoBox telecast. All SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecasts are offered to AFN as part of a gratis license agreement between the networks. AFN also aired Vasquez’s last ShoBox appearance, a first round TKO of then-undefeated Juan Rodriguez Jr. on April 18, 2014.

To give those abroad a better opportunity to view Vasquez on Friday’s ShoBox, the three-fight telecast will be shown on a slightly delayed basis. The schedule:

  • Saturday, Feb. 21, beginning at 7 a.m. ET on the AFN|sports channel.
  • Noon for Greater Europe (CET)
  • 2 p.m. local for Iraq
  • 3:30 p.m. local for Afghanistan
  • 8 p.m. local for North Asia (Japan, S. Korea)

Vasquez, who served in the National Guard from 2003 until 2012, was deployed to Camp Habbaniyah, Iraq for his first tour in ‘05-’06. He later returned to Iraq for a second tour in ’08-’09.

“My first tour was with the Second Brigade, which is not with the National Guard, but because of the high demand for soldiers needed over there, they started deploying the National Guard,” said Vasquez in April. “When I went the second time, I was at JSS Fallujah in Taji, Iraq. That was with the 56th Stryker Brigade. I was with the first National Guard Stryker unit to go over there.”

Vasquez (17-0, 13 KOs) will be seeking his 10th consecutive victory by knockout when he takes on fellow southpaw Emmanuel Lartey (17-2, 8 KOs, 1 NC), of Brooklyn, N.Y. by way of Ghana, this Friday.