The six fighters who will compete tonight, Friday, Jan. 20, on ShoBox: The New Generation made weight on Thursday for the live from Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino. In the main event, undefeated, WBA No. 3-ranked super bantamweight Adam Lopez (16-0-1, 8 KOs), of San Antonio, Texas, will face the WBA’s No. 4-ranked Danny Roman (20-2-1, 7 KOs), of Los Angeles, in a 12-round WBA Title Eliminator.
Lopez is a classic example of a ShoBox prospect-turned-contender. He’s 3-0-1 on the series, having defeated three previous unbeaten boxers. Roman has won 13 in a row dating to March 2014, and none of the fights have been close.
In the co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Ronald Ellis (13-0-1, 10 KOs) of Lynn, Mass. will take on Christopher Brooker (11-2, 5 KOs) of Philadelphia, Pa. in an eight-round 168-pound matchup.
In the televised opener, former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (10-0, 3 KOs) of Chicago, Ill., will put his perfect record on the line against once-beaten Emmanuel Robles (15-1-1, 5 KOs), of San Diego, Calif., in an eight-round super lightweight bout.
In non-televised action: Stephon Young (15-0-3, 6 KO’s) of St. Louis, Missouri faces Olimjon Nazarov (14-3, 8 KO’s) of Tashkent, Uzbekistan in a super bantamweight bout. NOTE: Young was originally slated to open the ShoBox telecast in a matchup with Elton Dharry, who was forced to withdraw due to a shoulder injury. Highlights of Young vs. Nazaroz will air in the ShoBox telecast.
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by GH3 Promotions, Kings Promotions in association with Thompson Boxing (the main event) and Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, are $125, $100 $75 & $50 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or calling 1-800-745-3000.
Super Bantamweights (Main Event) – 12 Rounds / WBA Title Eliminator
Adam Lopez – 121½ Pounds
Danny Roman – 122 Pounds
Super Middleweights (Co-Feature) – 8 Rounds
Ronald Ellis –167½ Pounds
Christopher Brooker – 167½ Pounds
Super Lightweights (Telecast Opener) – 8 Rounds
Kenneth Sims Jr. – 139 Pounds
Emmanuel Robles – 139¾ Pounds
Here is what the fighters had to say prior to the weigh-in:
“This fight it’s a title eliminator, but I learned my lesson. I had time to reflect on letting the IBF title chance slip away. Now I know what it is and what to do. My only focus is Danny Roman, once I get pass him, I’ll think of what’s next.
“This is my fifth time on the ShoBox series. In my last ShoBox appearance in July, I faced Roman Reynoso. It was a tough fight. We fought to a draw. I think I didn’t get the win because I was distracted. They told me the day of the fight, ‘if you win, you’ll get a shot to the IBF title.’ That made me a little nervous and I started thinking more about that, than about the guy in front of me.
“Reynoso had an awkward style. I caught him with a lot of good jabs, but I let myself open for his right hand. It was a hard fight. It was a good lesson and it was not a loss, but I didn’t get the chance to fight the IBF title. This time around, I’m better prepared, physically and mentally.
“I think speed is a big factor in this fight. I watched some tape on Roman. I’ve seen him in some fights. He looked great when he fought Erik Ruiz, but in his last fight in November, he looked good but he didn’t look phenomenal. When I watched that fight I saw that there are a lot of things I could pick apart.
“With Ronnie Shields, my trainer, we came up with a great strategy. We know Roman is a good body puncher, but we are ready for him.”
“I think Adam Lopez is a good fighter. He can do a little bit of everything, but he’s not better than me. To be honest, I think he underestimates me. I don’t think he knows the type of fighter I am or the type of fighter I can be.
“I’m versatile. I’m here to win and I’ll do whatever it takes. If he tries to counterpunch me, I’ll counterpunch his counterpunch. If he stands up and boxes me, I’ll box him back. If he wants to brawl, I’ll brawl. It all depends on how he comes at me. Whatever he’s looking to do, I’m ready.
“This fight it’s very important to me. It’s on national television on SHOWTIME and it’s a title eliminator. There’s a lot at stake and I’m not taking that lightly.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’ve trained for the best performance of my career and I’m not going to disappoint.”
“I’m excited about this opportunity. Brooker’s style is perfect for me. You could say he’s tailor-made for me. I’ve been studying him and I know how to defeat him.
“I feel I can adjust well. I listen to my trainer and I execute. We have a good strategy and if we stick to our game plan, we’ll win on fight night.
“This fight is big for me. There are a lot of opportunities waiting for me if I defeat my opponent tomorrow. The 168 pounds division is hot. I was watching the Jack-DeGale fight on Saturday, and let me tell you. Those two have nothing on me. I could take them anytime.
“I’m not planning on giving up any rounds tomorrow. I don’t like to give up any rounds. I’m here to win. I trained for a 10-round fight — and we are fighting an eight-rounder. So you do the math. I’m ready. This is going to be a good fight.”
Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker
“My last fight was a learning experience. I’m ready for my next chapter. I was looking for the knockout and when you look for the knockout like I did, you can get knocked out yourself. So that’s what happened. That forced me to go back to the drawing board and change my strategy. I learned from my mistakes.
“I don’t lose, I learn. That’s how I see my setbacks. Now Ellis is in front of me, and I’m ready. I’m very confident in my skills. I have good eyes. My punches always go where my opponent is. My peripherals are really good. I have what it takes to get the win.
“I’ve got some really good sparring partners, Jerry Odom among them. I also sparred with heavyweights.
“I know Ron Ellis is a good fighter, but I’m better. He’s an average fighter with average skills. I have very good eye-hand combination and I’m from Philly. I’m not scared to fight nobody.
“Getting a chance to fight on national television is a big deal for me. I’m not going to disappoint.”
Kenneth “Bossman” Sims Jr.
“This fight is the next step for me. I’m not taking my opponent lightly. I’ve been training hard. I’m ready for tomorrow.
“I know I’ve never been past the sixth round, but I always train for the distance. I’m ready to go 12. I’m in very good shape.
“I saw my opponent on TV. He’s a good fighter, but I can beat him. There’s nothing special about him. I’m more skilled.”
“I’m a San Diego guy. I’m tough. I feel my opponent is underrating me because I lost my last fight. But my credentials speak for themselves. I’ve been matched tough and I haven’t disappointed.
“I’m a boxer-puncher, and I know how to adjust. I know my opponent is fast and doesn’t like pressure. I’ve been studying him. I know what I’m up against and I’m ready for him. He’ll be surprised.
“I have a good game plan. I over-trained for my last fight. I was trying not to disappoint, but I learned my lesson.”