ShoBox To Feature Arnaoutis vs Santa Cruz on Feb.18

NEW YORK (Feb. 10, 2005) – Since his “ShoBox: The New Generation” debut last year, “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis has shown that charisma, style and speed can captivate an audience and confuse an opponent. The WBO No. 6/ IBF No. 14 140-pound contender will make his fourth SHOWTIME and “ShoBox” appearances when he defends his NABO junior welterweight title against Roberto Santa Cruz on Friday, Feb. 18, 2005.. In the eight-round co-feature from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., undefeated Shamone Alvarez will mix it up with Jose “El Macho” Medina in a battle of welterweights.

SHOWTIME will televise the Gary Shaw Productions doubleheader at 11 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on west coast). The telecast represents the 57th in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001.

Arnaoutis (12-0-1, six KOs), of Athens, Greece, will make his fourth SHOWTIME appearance in only six months. In his SHOWTIME debut on Aug. 5, 2004, from Hollywood, Fla., the undefeated fighter landed his jab effectively against Juan Urango and left the crowd chanting his name during a 12-round contest for the vacant NABO junior welterweight crown. The judges scored the exciting contest a majority draw, 115-113 for Urango and 114-114 (twice).

"Everybody thought I was out of my mind for taking the Urango fight," Arnaoutis said. "They thought Urango was going to blow me away. I guess they were wrong.”

In his next SHOWTIME appearance, Arnaoutis floored Jesse Feliciano three times in the initial three minutes to capture the vacant NABO junior welterweight title with an opening-round knockout on Oct. 22, 2004, in Santa Ynez.

Once again displaying his power on SHOWTIME, Arnaoutis dropped Juaquin Gallardo twice en route to a third-round TKO on Dec. 17, 2004, in Santa Ynez. “Mighty Mike” belted his opponent in the second round with a quick double left jab, followed by a combination. At 2:40 of the third round, Arnaoutis dropped Gallardo with a punishing left cross, prompting the referee to stop the contest.

“I love to fight and put on a show,” Arnaoutis said. “I see it as an incredible opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME so consistently. It is a big opportunity to display my skills on national television and to move forward and up the ladder. I am not going to let this pass me by.”

Santa Cruz (11-2, 2 KOs), of Los Angeles, turned pro on April 12, 2001, and tallied a second-round TKO over Joe Shedarowicz. After dropping two out of his next three fights, Santa Cruz has won his last nine fights including a six-round unanimous decision over Ricardo Barragan on Feb. 17, 2002, in Las Vegas. In his last outing, the Los Angeles native registered an eight-round unanimous decision over Sergio Macias in Burbank, Calif., May 8, 2003.

Alvarez (10-0, seven KOs), of Atlantic City, N.J., scored a first-round knockout over previously undefeated Mohammed Kayongo (11-0-1) in his SHOWTIME debut, Nov. 19, 2004 in Detroit. Alvarez came out firing from the opening bell. At the 2:30 mark of the first round, he connected with a jab and then a cross to the chin to send Kayongo face first into the mat.

“To be on national television, and to win like I did, I could not ask for anything better,” Alvarez said. “This next fight on SHOWTIME will be just as spectacular.”

Alvarez made his professional boxing debut on July 19, 2002, and scored a first-round knockout over Steve Evans in Reading, Pa. The undefeated fighter has dedicated his life to helping children. When he is not boxing, Alvarez works as a counselor for the Youth Advocate Program. He talks to the children, helps them with their problems and makes sure they do their homework.

Medina (11-2, nine KOs) of Philadelphia by way of Caugas, Puerto Rico, celebrated his son, Joshua's, sixth birthday on Sept. 11, 2004, with a second-round TKO over Juan Cintron in Philadelphia.

"It means a lot to fight on Sept. 11,” said Medina, originally of Puerto Rico, but a resident of Philadelphia. "I dedicated that bout to all the fallen heroes at Ground Zero."

A relative new comer to boxing, Medina made his pro debut at age 26 on March 22, 2002, and knocked out Octavise Harrison in the third round from Philadelphia.

Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.

For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at

Article posted on 10.02.2005

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