Both of the main event combatants for the Friday, April 15, edition of ShoBox: The New Generation are entering the final stages of their training camps in preparation for their matchup of unbeaten bantamweights.
IBF No. 10-ranked bantamweight Nikolay Potapov (14-0, 6 KOs), of Podolsk, Russia, will take on the eager and hungry Stephon Young (14-0-2, 6 KOs), of St. Louis, Missouri in a 10-round bout to headline a quadrupleheader of exciting fights at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
In the other televised bouts, Eudy Bernardo (21-0, 15 KOs) of the Dominican Republic faces Mason “Rock Hard Mighty” Menard (30-1-0, 22 KOs), of Rayne, Louisiana, in an eight/10-round battle; Russian cruiserweight Alexey Zubov (10-0, 6 KOs) will face a tough test against Constantin Bejenaru (10-0, 4 KOs, WSB: 0-1-1) of Mandilesti, Moldova, over eight rounds; and in the eight-round junior welterweight telecast opener, Kazakhstan’s Bakhtiyar “Bakha Bullet” Eyubov (10-0, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, takes on Liberia-born Samuel Teah (7-1-1, 2 KOs), of Philadelphia.
Tickets for the event presented by Salita Promotions in association with AASHA Record Breakers are currently on sale and can be purchased at the Turning Stone Resort Casino Box Office, by calling 877.833.SHOW, or online at Ticketmaster.com. They are priced at $60 for ringside seats, $35 and $25.
Hard at work in Podolsk, Russia (near Moscow), Nikolay Potapov says he spends every minute of the day preparing. Here’s what he had to say:
“My training process has been happening with lots of hunger and desire to give a great performance on April 15th. I train six days a week and my seventh day I go to Banya “Russian Bath” for recovery purposes.”
“The first five weeks of camp, the emphasis was on physical conditioning which includes, running, weight training, circuit training and cross fit. My final five weeks emphasized boxing training, sparring, bag work, pad work, and lots of foot drills for balance and speed.”
“I have incorporated the CrossFit system into this training camp. It improves stamina, explosive fast-twitch muscles, endurance and strength. It consists of four to six exercises grouped together in a circuit. Each exercise is performed 100-200 times and the goal is to improve your total time with each session.”
“I train in two different gyms, one with a boxing conditioning trainer, the other is a boxing gym where I get the boxing part of my training complete.”
“Usually my day starts at 7 a.m., I wake, do my stretch routine, have a protein-based breakfast, take my daughter to school and drive to the gym. On sparring days, I have three to four sparring partners and they rotate one to two rounds each. Sometimes my coach changes sparring partners in the same round. It’s very intense training. Then I hit the bag or do other drills complete my training. Later I pick up my daughter from school and help her with homework. Sometimes I watch fight film to learn from great fighters. Then I go to sleep and start all over.”
“I don’t really have a problem making weight. I eat healthy and drink lots of liquids during training camp. The last two days leading up to weigh-in I just watch myself other than that it’s pretty smooth.”
“All my sparring partners are either accomplished amateur or pro boxers.”
Saying he is focused on this fight like never before, Stephon Young is planning the upset in Miami, Fla., with well-known trainer Herman Caicedo. Here’s what Young had to say:
“I’ve done a lot different things for this training camp. Everything I’ve done is different. I’ve done strength and conditioning, I’m punching more, stronger, boxing more. Doing a little bit more of everything. And then the sparring I’ve had is top-notch. I’ve been sparring with top notch fighters.”
“I’m very sharp and ready. I’ve never been so focused in my life. This is the biggest fight of my career. I’m finally getting a chance to fight at 118 pounds. I’ve never fought this weight before, but I had no problems making weight. I’m already on weight.”
“(Potapov) He’s a straight-forward fighter. He can’t fight going backwards and can’t fight under pressure. He’s uncomfortable. He likes to sit back and do what he wants to do. When you’re punching back… that’s when it’s a problem.
“He hasn’t met a skill level like mine yet. He’s fought a lot of guys that stand straight up and let him do the punching.”
“My sparring partners have been imitating him in the gym. No one throws more punches than Juan Carlos Payano. No one throws more than him. He throws so many punches and he’s strong, so I feel that will help me out with this guy. I know he comes forward but he doesn’t throw as many as Payano. He throws three of four and then goes back to defense. I’m looking forward to making this fight very easy for me.”