'ShoBox: The New Generation' To Kick Off Its Third Year

07.01.04 - “ShoBox: The New Generation,” which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001, will open its third season on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004, when undefeated Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith takes on former two-time world champion Randall Bailey for the vacant USBA/WBC Continental Americas and NABO welterweight titles. In the co-feature, southpaw Ian Gardner will battle hard-punching Julio Cesar De La Cruz in a 10-round middleweight bout. SHOWTIME will televise the Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, promoted doubleheader live at 11 p.m. ET/PT* from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif. The telecast represents the 37th in the popular “ShoBox” series.

Smith (13-0, 7 KOs), of Las Vegas, will make his third “ShoBox” appearance in less than one year. In his SHOWTIME debut on April 24, 2003, Smith earned a 10-round unanimous decision over Sam Garr in Gulfport, Miss. Less than two months later on June 20, 2003, the unbeaten youngster scored a second-round KO over Sal Lopez in the inaugural boxing event at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Smith then returned to “ShoBox” on July 31, 2003, and registered a 10-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten David Estrada in Sault St. Marie, Mich. In his main event debut, Smith, who has been the lead sparring partner for both Fernando Vargas and Sugar Shane Mosley, stopped late substitute Edson Madrid in the first round on Dec. 27, 2002. The 25 year old is on course to become the first boxer born in Las Vegas to capture a world title.

Bailey (27-3, 26 KOs), of Miami, won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) 140-pound title by scoring an opening-round knockout over Carlos “Bolillo” Gonzalez on May 15, 1999, from Miami. The champion made two successful defenses before his 21-fight winning streak ended with a 12-round split decision loss to Ener Julio on July 22, 2000. After rebounding to score early-round knockouts in his next three bouts, Bailey captured the World Boxing Association (WBA) 140-pound title with a third-round KO over Demetrio Ceballos on Feb. 2, 2002. In Bailey’s initial defense on May 11, 2002, Diosbelys Hurtado stopped the champion in the seventh round from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Following a first-round TKO over Alfonzo Fowler, Bailey fought then-WBO junior welterweight champion DeMarcus Corley to the distance on SHOWTIME before dropping a 12-round unanimous decision on Jan. 4, 2003. In his last outing, Bailey recorded an eight-round win over Reginald Strickland on May 17, 2003.

Gardner (15-1, 7 KOs), of Brockton, Mass., by way of Toronto, Canada, will put a 13-fight winning streak on the line in his 10-round debut. Following a pair of four-round victories to open his pro career, the New England 2003 Rookie of the Year’s only loss came in his third outing on a disputed four-round split decision to undefeated Peter Manfredo. Gardner retains the services of trainer Goody Petronelli, who also handled another talented southpaw middleweight from Brockton named “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler. In his last start, Gardner registered an eight-round unanimous decision over Joshua Onyango on Dec. 4, 2003, from Boston.

De La Cruz (15-3-1, 14 KOs), of East Hartford, Conn., by way of Santiago, Dominican Republic, has been beset by managerial and promotional problems and will make just his third start since May 13, 2000. In his last outing, the aggressive-minded slugger scored a fourth-round knockout over Dave Hadden on Nov. 21, 2003, from Taunton, Mass. De La Cruz has gone 10 or more rounds on two occasions, and 11 out of his 14 stoppages have come inside of three rounds. In his sole victory not involving a knockout, De La Cruz earned a four-round decision over Robert Muhammad on May 15, 1999, in Miami.

“ShoBox: The New Generation” features up-and-coming prospects determined to make a mark and eventually fight for a chance at a world title. The best of the new generation of hungry, young boxers will have an opportunity to showcase their talent and heart as they battle each other in competitive fights in front of a national television audience. “ShoBox: The New Generation” is pure, basic boxing, reminiscent of the golden days of the sport.

Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producers of the telecast are Jay Larkin and Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.

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

The Chumash Casino Resort is located in Santa Barbara County, Calif., between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. In its 190,000 square foot facility, the Chumash Casino Resort offers Las Vegas-style gaming, 24-hours seven days a week.

*Tape Delayed on the West Coast

Article posted on 07.01.2004

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