Undefeated Mayweather Promotions 130-pound prospect Andres Cortes and once-beaten Jahmal Dyer talk about their respective training camps in advance of their eight-round matchup in the ShoBox: The New Generation telecast opener on Friday, April 5 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.
The ShoBox tripleheader is headlined by top 122-pound prospect Angelo Leo (16-0, 8 KOs) squaring off against Filipino Neil Tabanao (17-4, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout and super featherweight Xavier Martinez (13-0, 9 KOs) taking on John Moralde (21-2, 11 KOs) in the 10-round co-featured attraction.
Tickets for the Mayweather Promotions’ Sin City Showdown are priced at $25, $50 and $75 and can be purchased by visiting: mayweatherpromotions.com/ events/.
Cortes (10-0, 6 KOs) was influenced by his older brother and current trainer, former three-time national champion, Luis Cortes, and started his career in boxing at a very young age. He moved up the ranks in the amateurs amassing 150 amateur fights and making it to the finals of the Youth World Championship in 2014 and 2015. He faced rising stars including Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez before turning pro in 2016. Born and raised in Las Vegas, the 22-year-old Cortes was discovered by Floyd Mayweather at a sparring session with current WBA Super Featherweight Champion, Gervonta Davis. He signed with Mayweather Promotions shortly after.
Unlike Cortes, Dyer (9-1, 5 KOs) started boxing late in life. He was 19 when his father suggested he pick up boxing to bring some structure into his life. After a brief amateur run, the 27-year-old from Baltimore, Md. turned professional in early 2017. He trains at Charm City Boxing Gym with former boxer and now head trainer, David Sewell. Although Dyer consider boxing his full-time job, he also works the night shift at a milk factory six days a week to provide for his wife and children.
Here is what the fighters had to say ahead of their of their television debut on April 5:
How does it feel having your first televised fight on SHOWTIME on April 5?
Cortes: “It feels good, but at the same time I feel this is part of my destiny. I grew up watching ShoBox fights, and I’ve always secretly known I was going to end up there, on TV. Now that it’s actually here, I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. The moment is here and it’s really time to shine. Tune-in on April 5th, a star will definitely be born that night.”
Dyer: “I am excited at the possibility of being able to showcase my boxing to the viewing audience and show people what I can do. But other than that, it’s just another day at the office. Once that bell rings, it will be me and my opponent in the ring. The crowd, the lights, and the cameras will all get drowned out by that crazy voice that has always been inside my head telling me to push, work, fight, and never give up.”
On the progress of training camp:
Cortes: “My training camp has been going really good. It’s the longest camp I’ve had. I’ve been training for about 10 weeks. You can expect me to be 100 percent come April 5th.”
Dyer: “Training camp has been going great so far. I am in the best shape of my life. I am a gym rat and I’m always in shape. Even when I don’t have a fight lined up, I train twice a day at the gym and run five to 10 miles every day. It’s just a routine that I have always stuck with. Plus, I just had a fight on March 2, so I have pretty much just stayed in the gym and I’m feeling very sharp.”
Are you doing anything new this camp or making any adjustments to prepare for this fight?
Cortes: “My strength and conditioning has been very strict. More so than in previous camps. I’ve been focusing on my nutrition. Everything is going to be right in place when fight night comes around.”
Dyer: “I have always had tough fights and have always been able to overcome challenges. Inside and outside of the ring. The only thing new about this fight is that it is my first eight-round fight. I’ve been training to go hard and to go the distance.”
On what they know about their opponent:
Cortes: “I don’t see anything special on Dyer. I just see another opponent. He’s just there for me to beat. I see that he is tough but comes with nothing special.”
Dyer: “I don’t know much about Andres Cortes and, frankly, had never heard of him before I was offered this fight. Since then, I have looked him up and I know he is a good fighter. But I don’t think he has ever been taken into deep waters. How a fighter deals with adversity is what distinguishes a good fighter from a great fighter. I have no doubt about my grit and determination – I have always had abnormal amounts of it. Part of it may be from my upbringing and part of it may be in my DNA. But I don’t think even Andres Cortes himself knows whether he has that kind of grit and determination because he has never been tested. I will gladly administer the test.”
On what a win from this fight will do for their career:
Cortes: “It will definitely set things higher; it will set higher standards for me. The sky is the limit from this fight on. Just to getting my name out there will bring a lot more opportunities for me.”
Dyer: “Winning this fight will change my life. I am approaching this fight, both mentally and in training, like it is the unified world title – like it is the fight of my life. I have been through so much and sacrificed so much both in and out of the ring to get to where I am now. This is my opportunity to finally show the world what I can do and kick open the doors to my future in boxing. I don’t plan on knocking. I plan on kicking the doors wide open. Winning this fight will catapult my boxing career and, hopefully, I can focus full-time on boxing.”
Three undefeated prospects will make their ShoBox: The New Generation debut as super bantamweight Angelo Leo and super featherweights Xavier Martinez and Andres Cortes compete in separate bouts on a Mayweather Promotions card live on SHOWTIME Friday, April 5 (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.
Top 122-pound prospect Leo (16-0, 8 KOs) will square off against Filipino Neil Tabanao (17-4, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout in the ShoBox main event, while super featherweight Martinez (13-0, 9 KOs) will take on John Moralde (21-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-round co-featured attraction. In the telecast opener, Las Vegas prospect Cortes (10-0, 6 KOs) will face Baltimore’s Jahmal Dyer (9-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-round super featherweight bout.
Tickets for the Mayweather Promotions’ Sin City Showdown are priced at $25, $50 and $75 and can be purchased by visiting: mayweatherpromotions.com/events
“Mayweather Promotions is excited to bring the Sin City Showdown back this year, as it is home to a roster of talented prospects,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “The card features three of our young talented undefeated prospects Angelo Leo, Xavier Martinez, and Andres Cortes making their television debuts. It’s exciting to see these guys climb the ranks, as they look to take their careers to the next level. Each one of them will be facing tough competition on fight night. I expect nothing but fireworks.”
“We have three unbeaten and untested prospects ready for the next step of their careers in Angelo Leo, Xavier Martinez and Andres Cortes,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer, Senior Vice President, Production, Showtime Networks Inc. “ShoBox is all about introducing and developing new talent. It’s about pushing young prospects outside of their comfort zone, matching them tough and discovering the next generation of champions in the process. I look forward to see whether or not Leo, Martinez and Cortes will rise to the occasion.”
Originally from New Mexico and currently residing in Las Vegas, Leo, 24, recorded a unanimous decision over Alberto Torres in his 2019 debut on the non-televised undercard of Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz. Leo, who started boxing when he was eight, amassed a notable amateur resume, winning the state Golden Gloves and Jr. Golden Gloves Championships before turning pro at 18. Leo debuted under the Mayweather Promotions banner in November of 2017 with a fourth-round knockout of Dominican Republic’s Yasmaly Basilio Peguero-Nieves.
“This fight came to me at the perfect time,” said Leo, who has fought four of his last six bouts at Sam’s Town Live. “I’m in great condition coming off my recent fight last month. I think Tabanao is good fighter and a good counter-puncher. He fought good competition and he went the distance with a former world champion, so I know I have a tough fight ahead. He is a dangerous fighter but I have a solid plan. I have a unique style and I think I bring a lot to the table with my speed, angles and body shots. Fans should expect an exciting fight on April 5.”
Tabanao, 24, made his pro debut in 2012 in his home country of the Philippines. He will make his United States debut next month as he looks to move up the super bantamweight ranks. Tabanao won the WBO Oriental Featherweight Title in 2016 with a third-round technical knockout of Ibrahim Balla. In his next fight, Tabanao lost the belt when he dropped a unanimous decision to Isaac Dogboe, who would go on to become the WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion. Tabanao suffered two consecutive defeats after losing to Dogboe but has admirably rebounded by winning his last four bouts.
“My trainer Sonny Dollente is working hard to prepare me for this fight,” said Tabanao. “We know this is our first fight in the States and TV debut, so we are working especially hard to put on a great performance and we thank Mayweather Promotions for this opportunity. Angelo Leo is a good fighter but we have a good strategy. It has always been my dream to represent The Philippines and to be known as a great boxer. This fight will bring me one step closer to my dream.”
Martinez, of Sacramento, Calif., is best known for his crafty and powerful fighting style and is regarded by many as a prospect to watch. After losing his first two amateur fights, he amassed a record of 88-10. He won the Jr. Golden Gloves in 2010, competed in the 2012 and 2013 Nationals Championships and was ranked No. 3 amateur in the country in 2013. He turned pro in Mexico at 17 and joined the Mayweather Promotions team in late 2016 with a unanimous decision win over Wilfredo Garriga at Sam’s Town Live. He’s coming off five straight knockout victories, with his most recent being an impressive fifth-round knockout against Deivi Julio Bassa on February 9. Martinez is looking for a statement victory over Moralde to assert his pedigree in the 130-pound division.
“It feels great to get back in the ring,” said Martinez. “I’m happy Mayweather Promotions found another great matchup for me, and on national television. Now it’s time for me to do my part as a fighter by training hard and getting the win. I came in to training camp with a fresh mindset and ready to go to war. I’m ready for whatever Moralde brings to the table. I don’t know much about him other than he has the guts to fight me. I heard two opponents said, ’No,’ to this fight because they didn’t want to face me.”
Moralde, who made his pro debut in 2011 as a 17-year-old, will see his toughest test to date when he meets rising star Martinez. Hailing from Davao del Sur in the Philippines, Moralde, who is 2-2 in his last four fights, is looking to redeem himself in this pivotal matchup. His U.S. debut in 2017 didn’t go as planned as he was handed the first loss of his career at the hands of Toka Khan Clary. He rebounded quickly against Ismail Muwendo but lost by decision against Jamel Herring in his next fight. He scored a second-round knockout victory over Elmer Colve in his last outing.
“It feels great to have another opportunity to put my skills on display for the world to see on national TV,” said Moralde. “I’m up against a tough fighter; we both have a tough fight ahead. I have to make a statement. This is the fight that will get me where I want to go. I want to fight the toughest and I’m ready to face anyone they put in front of me.”
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Cortes, 22, fell in love with the sweet science at an early age as he watched his brother Luis at the gym. He started training at Elite Boxing Gym when he was six, alongside Juan Heraldez and Andrew Tabiti, who would later become his Mayweather Promotions stablemates. He had a reported record of 130-20 as an amateur and turned pro in 2016. He caught the attention of Floyd Mayweather while sparring with lightweight champion Gervonta Davis. Cortes joined Mayweather Promotions soon after. He has won four of his last six fights by knockout including his last outing against Eder Amaro Fajardo on January 17. With a win, Cortes will be one step closer to becoming a legitimate contender.
“I’ve only taken off one week from the gym since my last fight in January,” said Cortes. “I feel great. I’m 100 percent prepared for whatever my opponent brings my way. I’ve been working on my power and my strength with my conditioning coach and overall development as a fighter. I’m ready for my next challenge.”
Baltimore’s Dyer, 27, picked up boxing at 19 and after a brief amateur career turned pro in March of 2017. He scored an impressive 22-second first-round knockout of Dwayne Martin in just his third professional bout. He was named 2017 Rookie of the Year by Boxing Along the Beltway, a Washington, D.C. boxing publication, and has won five fights in a row, most recently against promising undefeated prospect Carlos Dixon.
“I’m coming fresh off a fight so I’m still in great shape,” said Dyer. “Andres Cortes is a good fighter, but I’m a better fighter. I’m training to go a full eight rounds, but if I find an opportunity before then, I’m going to take it. I’ve been waiting for a chance to show the world how good of a fighter I am, and this is it. This is my time to show the world who I am.”