Boxing

Mendy-Hanshaw and Casal-Izquierdo: ShoBox Weights & Quotes

04.01.07 - Four talented, undefeated boxers with a combined record of 74-0-2 with 51 knockouts will compete in an excellent doubleheader on “ShoBox: The New Generation’’ on Friday, Jan. 5, 2007, on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). In the main event, southpaw Jean Paul Mendy (23-0, 12 KOs) faces Tony Hanshaw (21-0, 14 KOs) in the finals of the “ShoBox” super middleweight tournament. The winner of the 12-round bout also takes home the International Boxing Organization (IBO) 168-pound belt.

Lightweights Nick Casal (15-0-1, 1 NC, 12 KOs) and Jose Antonio Izquierdo (15-0-1, 13 KOs) collide in the eight-round co-feature at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southhaven, Miss. Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and Round One Entertainment will promote the event.

NOTE – WEIGHTS: Mendy and Hanshaw each weighed 167 pounds at Thursday’s weigh-in, while both Casal and Izquierdo tipped scales at 136.

JEAN PAUL MENDY:

“At the beginning, I knew I would be in the finals, but I was not sure who my opponent would be.

“Hanshaw is a good fighter but this is a huge opportunity for me. I am 33. It is not a make-or-break fight, but it is obviously very important. Win this and I can move up some more (in the rankings) and challenge the world champions. I want to fight the best 168-pounders in the United States.

“Hanshaw boxed and slugged in his two (tournament) wins, but I expect him to run (against me). But, really, it doesn’t matter how he comes out. How I fight depends on a lot of things, but I can tell you that I plan to definitely attack. It could be a short fight if he comes forward.’’

TONY HANSHAW:

“I feel as good for a fight as I ever have. My hands are fine. Physically and mentally, I am great. I am really prepared and have worked very hard. I am totally focused. This is my time. This is my year.

“This is going to be a fight. I am going to back him up and use the jab. Mendy is 33. I am not going to let him set the pace. If I have to switch to southpaw, I will. This is a big fight for me in the big picture.

“He is the guy I figured I’d fight for the championship. But nothing is going to stop me. I have worked too hard and overcome too much to get here. This fight is for my dad. He will always be with me.’’

NICK CASAL:

“I have had my ups and downs outside the ring, but I am more dedicated, focused and serious about boxing now than I have ever been. I made some mistakes, but I have learned from them.

“I was only 18 when I turned pro. I’ve had some success. But I now know that friends can come and go, but the opportunity to make a name for yourself only happens once in a while. This is my time to shine.

“My commitment is 100 percent. There was no celebrating over the holidays. There was no partying when I turned 21 on Dec. 28. You have just seen a glimpse of what I am really like. The best is yet to come.

“Izquierdo was a great amateur with a lot of experience fighting for Cuba. But I have the ability and skills to beat him. This is a great opportunity for me to fight on SHOWTIME. I plan to make the best of it.”

JOSE ANTONIO IZQUIERDO:

“I am here to fight, not to box. This is the kind of fight that can define a boxer’s career -- even a fighter like me at my stage of my career. A victory can only help me later.

“I have no specific strategy. I will do what I have to do. He is undefeated, but I have fought better guys.

“I was not prepared in my last fight, but I am 200 percent ready for this one. This is the most important fight of my career.’’

Article posted on 05.01.2007



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