NEW YORK (April 17, 2014) – Nearly 1 million uniformed military personnel serving abroad will be able to watch and support U.S. Armed Forces veteran Sammy Vasquez, Jr., as part of a special agreement between SHOWTIME® and the American Forces Network.
Vasquez, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, is featured in the opening bout of Friday’s ShoBox: The New Generation telecast, which airs live at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME from Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pa.
“I’m excited to bring the military along for the ride with me,” Vasquez said. “I’m coming to the ring in a Humvee with the guys that I deployed with, as well as my wife and daughter and my three sisters. It’s great to have the rest of the military in my corner.”
The service men and women of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines stationed around the globe in over 1,000 outlets in more than 175 countries and on the high seas will have free access to Friday’s ShoBox telecast.
The airing of Friday’s ShoBox on AFN is part of a one-time special agreement to feature the armed forces veteran fighter. All SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecasts air on AFN as part of a gratis license agreement between the networks.
The undefeated Vasquez, who served in the National Guard from 2003 until 2012, was deployed to Camp Habbaniyah, Iraq for his first tour in ‘05-’06. He later returned to Iraq for a second tour in ’08-’09.
“My first tour was with the Second Brigade, which is not with the National Guard, but because of the high demand for soldiers needed over there, they started deploying the National Guard,” Vasquez said.
“When I went the second time, I was at JSS Fallujah in Taji, Iraq. That was with the 56th Stryker Brigade. I was with the first National Guard Stryker unit to go over there.”
Vasquez (13-0, 9 KOs), of Monesson, Pa., will meet Juan Rodriguez, Jr. (11-0, 5 KOs), of Union City, N.J., in a battle of unbeatens in an eight-rounder to open the ShoBox telecast.
In the main event, heavy-hitting Cuban Alexei “The Hurricane” Collado (18-0, 16 KOs), of Miami, Fla., will face off with veteran “Lightning” Rod Salka (18-3, 3 KOs), of Bunola, Pa., in a 10-round lightweight bout. In the co-feature, Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz (14-0, 8 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., by way of the Dominican Republic, will square off with Emmanuel Lartey (15-1-1, 7 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., in an eight-round welterweight bout.