Boxing

Match -Ups Set For ShoBox Tournament To Determine Top Super Middleweight Contender

NEW YORK (July 25, 2006) – Opening-round match-ups have been set for the upcoming “ShoBox: The Next Generation” super middleweight tournament – two dates (Friday, July 28 and Friday, August 4), four great fights on SHOWTIME. Both “ShoBox” telecasts will air live at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) from the PFTC at The Sports Center of Las Vegas. The winners of the opening-round bouts will then advance to the semi-finals on the Friday, Oct. 6, edition of “ShoBox”. SHOWTIME will televise the tournament finals on January 5, 2007..

Gary Shaw Productions, in association with Round One Entertainment and the McDonald Family Foundation, will promote the exciting tournament that offers two of the field of eight up-and-coming boxers the rare opportunity to appear on national television three times in only seven months, while earning the champion status as a consensus top-rated contender in the 168-pound division.

On July 28, Jean Paul Mendy of France, (21-0, 11 KOs) will face Dallas Vargas of Ohio, (21-2, 15 KOs) and Henry Buchanan of South Carolina (13-0, 11 KOs) will meet Lucas Green-Arias of Costa Rica (11-0, eight KOs).

On Aug. 4, Anthony Hanshaw of Ohio (19-0, 13 KOs) will take on Esteban Camou of Mexico, (18-1, 15 KOs) and Sakio Bika of Cameroon, (20-1-2, 14 KOs) will square off against Jose Luis Herrera of Colombia (14-1, 14 KOs).

A capsule look at the “ShoBox” super middleweight tournament participants:

JEAN PAUL MENDY, France, (21-0, 11 KOs) vs. Dallas Vargas: At 32 years old, Jean Paul Mendy is the oldest of the tournament participants and a five and one half year professional. The undefeated southpaw recently relocated to Las Vegas and will be making his desert community debut, and third U.S. start as a professional. Mendy turned pro on Dec. 22, 2000, in France. He captured the French super middle belt in his ninth start with a 10-round majority decision on Feb. 26, 2002, and has made four successful title defenses. He has KO’d four of his last five opponents, and is coming off an eight-round decision over Laurent Goury on June 10, 2006.

As an amateur, Mendy notched a 102-25 record. He represented his homeland of France at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

DALLAS “DEAF PRIDE” VARGAS, Toledo, Ohio, (21-2, 15 KOs) vs. Jean Paul Mendy:
Dallas Vargas fights with a handicap. At 29 years old, standing, six-feet tall, Vargas is legally deaf. He was born two months prematurely in Toledo, Ohio, and has been hearing impaired his entire life. As a child, Vargas said, he was always told that he could not do many things because of the disability. As a result, Vargas has lived his life to prove his detractors wrong. Vargas played defensive end on his high school football team in Ohio and won the city league championship. He fights, not only to quench his thirst for competition, but to inspire disabled children to overcome their handicaps.

As a fighter, Vargas has fought more than 300 amateur fights. He turned professional in 2001 and won his initial 14 fights, most at light heavyweight. The only blemishes on his professional record are two majority decision losses in 2004. Since then, Vargas has rebounded with four consecutive wins including three by knockout.

Dallas Vargas is the older brother of 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Captain Devin Vargas.


HENRY “SUGAR POO” BUCHANAN
, Capital Heights, Maryland (13-0, 11 KOs) vs. Lucas Green-Arias: Why Sugar Poo, you ask? Buchanan’s mother called him “Poo” as a child and his former trainer, Barry Hunter, put the Sugar on it, likening the young fighter to Sugar Ray Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson.

Buchanan, a very aggressive-minded prospect, turned pro on March 27, 2004.He won his initial 10 starts by knockout (all inside of six rounds, and eight inside of three) before taking back-to-back eight-round unanimous decisions in July and November of 2005. The stylish and supremely confident boxer-puncher displays impressive movement and hand speed. Buchanan is coming off a first-round TKO over Lloyd Brian on March 3, 2006, in Washington, D.C. Buchanan continues to impress industry experts with his power, a good uppercut from the inside and an ability to slip punches. He prefers to enter ring to the sound of rap music, wearing his trademark shades that give him the look of a superstar and adorning trunks emblazoned with the word, “Poo.”

LUCAS “El Pirata” GREEN-ARIAS, Costa Rica (11-0, eight KOs) vs. Henry Buchanan: Green-Arias notched a 48-11 record as an amateur and turned professional on August 30, 2004. He is undefeated, albeit untested, in his 11 pro starts. That’ll change on July 28th when Green-Arias ventures off the island he calls home to make his U.S. and “ShoBox” debut. This will be his 10th fight in the last 16 months. Green-Arias fought seven times in 2005 and he has won each of his two 2006 outings by knockout.

Green-Arias considers himself a boxer with a big right hand. His goal is to be Costa Rica’s first world champion. His mother’s last name is Green, hence the hyphenation and when not training or competing in the ring, Green-Arias is taxi driver in Costa Rica. His friends nicknamed him “El Pirata,” likening Green-Arias to a pirate cabbie.

TONY “THE TYGER” HANSHAW, Warren, Ohio (19-0, 13 KOs) vs. Esteban Camou: Hanshaw has reportedly fought 322 amateur bouts since he first stepped into the ring at the age of five. As an amateur, Hanshaw was a stand out fighter, recording impressive wins against some of today’s top contenders including Sechew Powell, Kelly Pavlik and Sergio Mora.

Hanshaw was introduced to boxing by his late father, Henry Russell, a professional light heavyweight, who died when he was electrocuted by a power line while trimming trees on a landscaping job. “I thought about giving up,” Hanshaw said. “My dad meant everything to me. I couldn’t imagine going back to my corner and him not being there.”

Shortly after his father’s death, at the 2000 U.S. Olympic team trials, Hanshaw suffered a unanimous decision loss to future world champion Jermain Taylor in a box off at 156-pounds. As a result, Hanshaw was named to the U.S. Olympic Team as an alternate. He turned pro in Las Vegas on June 16, 2000, choosing to forego the Sydney Games. As a professional, Hanshaw won his first five bouts inside of the distance. The still undefeated brawler fought nine times during his first year as a pro. In July of 2002, a shoulder injury sidelined Hanshaw for nearly two years, but he has come back strong with three of his last four wins coming by way of knockout.

ESTEBAN “ROCKY” CAMOU, Navojoa, Mexico (18-1, 15 KOs) vs. Anthony Hanshaw: The two-time Mexican super middleweight champion is 28 years old and stands 5-feet 10-inches tall. Camou will make his U.S. debut and first start outside of Mexico on the Aug. 4 edition of “ShoBox.” He turned pro on April 4, 2003, and won his first 16 starts before suffering his lone loss to former world champion Luis Ramon “Yori Boy” Campas on a sixth-round TKO in a bout for the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) belt (Sept. 30, 2005). Camou has gone 12 rounds twice, both times in retention of the Mexican 168-pound title. In his last two starts, Camou defended his Mexican belt (his second stint as champion) with a ninth-round TKO over Ernesto Zamora (Dec. 2, 2005) and a fifth-round TKO over Arturo Rivera (April 7, 2006).

SAKIO BIKA, Douala, Cameroon (20-1-2, 14 KOs) vs. Jose Luis Herrera: Born and raised in the Atlantic Ocean port of Douala in the south of Cameroon, Bika is 31 years old and stands 6-feet, one-inch tall. He competed at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 representing Cameroon. A member of Team (trainer Jeff) Fenech, Bika displayed class and performed well in his last start when he boxed to a fourth-round technical decision draw against the World Boxing Council (WBC) 168-pound champion Markus Beyer on May 13, 2006. The bout took place in Zwickau, Germany, and was even on two of the scorecards when it was stopped because Beyer could not continue following an unintentional head butt. After the bout, Bika said, “I am sorry that this happened. It was really not intentional.”

Bika, a natural middleweight, turned pro on Dec. 15, 2000, and won his first 10 starts. His lone loss, a 12-round majority decision, came at the hands of world-ranked Sam Soliman on Oct. 15, 2002, in Australia. Bika has gone undefeated since that time (10-0-1). He seems to overwhelm most of his opponents with amazing strength and a physique that appears to be carved from stone. He is a former Australian and OPBF 160-pound titlist.

JOSE LUIS HERRERA, San Onofre, Colombia (14-1, 14 KOs) vs. Sakio Bika: Jose Luis Herrera, a 26 year old powerhouse, has KO’d 13 of his 14 professional opponents. The Colombian super middleweight champion will be making his U.S. debut on August 4. He turned pro on June 15, 2002 with a first-round knockout of Alex Ochoa. Herrera suffered his lone defeat in his ninth start when Guzmil Perdomo won by third-round TKO on Feb. 7, 2004, in Caracas, Venezuela. Herrera rebounded to capture the Colombian 168-pound crown 14 months later with a ninth-round TKO over Felix Hernandez on April 22, 2005, in Cartagena, Colombia. Herrera is coming off a win by fourth-round TKO over Jorge Castro on April 22, 2006.

The critically-acclaimed series, “ShoBox: The New Generation,” debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001 as a proving ground for up-and-coming fighters determined to eventually fight for a world title. The Super Middleweight Tournament opening rounds represents the 80th and 81st episodes of “ShoBox”, which features young prospects matched tough. A number of fighters who have appeared on the series have gone on to become world champions, including Ricky Hatton, Juan Diaz, Leonard Dorin, Joan Guzman, Scott Harrison and Jeff Lacy.

Blow-by-blow announcer Nick Charles and expert analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood will call the action from ringside. The executive producer of “ShoBox” 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 http://www.sho.com/boxing.

Article posted on 25.07.2006



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