Undefeated featherweight Luis Rosa will face once-beaten Yuandale Evans in a 10-round matchup of 126-pound prospects looking to make a statement in one of boxing’s deepest divisions in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, Nov. 10 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Masonic Temple & Performing Arts Center in Cleveland.
The quadruple header features eight fighters making their ShoBox debuts, including six undefeated prospects. The four-fight telecast is ShoBox’s first return to Cleveland since 2014.
In the co-feature, former Russian amateur standout Radzhab Butaev (7-0, 6 KOs, WSOB: 9-1) will take on Colombia’s Janer Gonzalez (19-0-1, 15 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight matchup. Butaev compiled a record of 304-12 in the unpaid ranks, followed by a 9-1 record in the World Series of Boxing, while Gonzalez was a member of the Colombian National Team with an equally impressive 291-29 record as an amateur.
In a televised heavyweight attraction, New Zealand’s Junior Fa (12-0, 7 KOs), who owns two amateur victories over countryman and current WBO Heavyweight World Champion Joseph Parker, will face Pittsburgh’s Fred Latham (9-0-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
In the ShoBox opening bout, undefeated 2016 U.S. Olympian and Cleveland native Charles Conwell (5-0, 5 KOs) will look to keep his knockout streak intact in his hometown debut in a six-round super welterweight matchup with Panama’s Roque “Rocky” Zapata (4-1-3, 0 KOs).
“I am thrilled to bring this talent-filled quadruple header to the ShoBox series, from the Masonic Temple in Cleveland, Ohio,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Undefeated featherweight contender Luis Rosa Jr. faces hard puncher Yuandale Evans. Amateur prodigy Radzhab Butaev and New Zealand heavyweight prospect Junior Fa –who defeated Joseph Parker as an amateur—will be tested by fellow unbeaten opponents. U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell, one of the most exciting young prospects in boxing, will make his national TV debut in his hometown. On November 10, to quote Ian Hunter, ‘Cleveland Rocks!'”
Tickets are priced from $35 to $90 and can be obtained by visiting BoxingCleveland.com. The Masonic Temple and Performance Arts Center is located at 3615 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115. Doors will open on the night of the event at 7:00 p.m.
LUIS ROSA vs. YUANDALE EVANS – 10-Round Featherweight Bout
The 26-year-old Rosa (23-0, 11 KOs) is a Puerto Rico native who lives and fights out of New Haven, Conn. The come-forward, aggressive Rosa has recorded four knockouts in his last seven fights.
Trained by his father Luis Rosa Sr. and managed by his mother Marilyn, Rosa is currently ranked No. 10 by the WBC at 126 pounds, and was 95-10 as an amateur. Fighting in one of boxing’s deepest divisions (Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Carl Frampton, Gary Russell Jr.), the U.S. National Silver Medalist is looking to establish himself as a featherweight contender, and has career wins over Luis Orlando Del Valle (18-1) and Jorge Diaz (17-2).
“I’m dedicating this fight to the people who are still suffering from the tragedy of the hurricane,” Rosa said. “We are and always have been very strong people and I take that into the ring with me on November 10. I’ve seen some tapes of Evans. He’s a tough, strong fighter but my skills are much greater and I will be victorious and move one step closer to a shot at a world title.”
The 28-year-old Evans (19-1, 14 KOs) is a Cleveland native fighting in his hometown for the first time. Known as a power-puncher who works fast, Evans has recorded eight of his 14 knockouts in the first round. His only professional loss came against future world title holder Javier Fortuna in April of 2012.
Evans, who took a three-year hiatus following the Fortuna loss, is coming off the best win of his career – a hard-fought 10-round unanimous decision over Billel Dib (21-1; WBO No. 7-ranked coming into the fight) in Miami, Okla., in April.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting at home in Cleveland, the city of Champions,” Evans said. “It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a home fight. Truly, I’ve been a road warrior fighting all over the world.
“I’ve followed Luis Rosa for a couple years, I know he’s a very tough Puerto Rican fighter. He’s the same height as me and will come to fight, which will make for an all-action fight. But I know I’m the toughest competition he’s had and I’m planning to win in front of the big hometown crowd and everyone watching on SHOWTIME.”
The vacant WBC Continental Americas Title belt is on the line for this fight.
RADZHAB BUTAEV vs. JANER GONZALEZ – 8-Round Welterweight Bout
Russian Radzhab Butaev had a stellar amateur career during which he compiled a record of 304-12 with 164 KOs. A former Russian National Champion, Butaev qualified for the 2016 Olympics but instead elected to turn pro in the United States.
Butaev has progressed quickly since turning professional in March of 2016 – of his seven professional fights, six of his seven opponents have had winning records. The 23-year old is coming into his fifth fight of the year and the eighth fight in his short, 18-month professional career. Five of Butaev’s seven fights have taken place in the U.S, while his other two victories were on his home turf in Moscow, Russia. In his last fight in July, the 23-year-old Butaev knocked out Sherzodbek Alimjanov in Red Square in Moscow.
Said Butaev, “This is a great opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME and I’m looking forward to putting on a tremendous performance. I know that Colombian fighters are well known for their power but I faced many hard hitters in the amateurs and I’ll be ready for victory on November 10.”
A native of Barranquilla, Colombia, the heavy-handed Janer Gonzalez sports a record of 19-0-1 with 15 knockouts. Prior to turning professional in 2011, Gonzalez was a member of the Colombian National Boxing Team, compiling a record of 291-29. Gonzalez, who returned in September following a two and a half-year layoff, will make his U.S. debut against Butaev.
“It’s a dream come true to make my television debut in the United States,” said Gonzalez. “I grew up watching all of my favorite boxers fighting in the U.S. and now it’s my turn. It’s truly surreal how everything unfolded. I was ready to give up on boxing when an opportunity just came my way. I fought in Mexico and here I am.
“I had a long layoff, but I needed it. It has made me more appreciative, more motivated. I work harder now. I had my last fight on a Saturday and on Monday I was back in the gym. I’ve studied my opponent. I’m ready. My style will mold to his. I’ll get on his face and counterpunch. On November 10 boxing fans will see a Colombian warrior that came to America to become a legend.”
Butaev vs. Gonzalez is promoted in association with Fight Promotions.
JUNIOR FA vs. FRED LATHAM – Eight Rounds Heavyweight Bout
Standing 6-feet, 5 inches and weighing 270 pounds, the 27-year-old Junior Fa has compiled a professional record of 12-0 with seven knockouts since turning pro in February 2016. Fa had a successful amateur career, which included two victories over reigning WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker. The native of Papakura, New Zealand has most recently trained in England with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and has also sparred with Joshua’s Oct. 28 opponent Carlos Takam.
Fa, who won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, will fight for just the second time in the United States.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting in the United States again and on SHOWTIME,” said Fa. “I know Latham is undefeated but I also plan on staying unbeaten on November 10. Training with Anthony Joshua improved my boxing in many ways and just as important taught me what it takes inside the gym to become a world champion.”
Fighting out of Pittsburgh, Pa., Fred Latham (9-0-2, 5 KOs) is a former Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Champion. In his last bout on December 3, 2016, the 27-year-old Latham battled to a split decision draw against Alonzo Butler.
Said Latham, “I appreciate the opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME and I am looking forward to facing Fa. I’ve heard a lot about him and the great heavyweight prospect he is but on November 10 I’ll show the world that I’m a much better fighter.”
CHARLES CONWELL vs. ROQUE ‘Rocky’ ZAPATA – Six-Round Super Welterweight Bout
Nineteen-year-old Charles Conwell, who turns 20 on Nov. 2, is 5-0 with all of his victories coming by way of technical knockout. The Cleveland native has a decorated resume – he went 134-14, was the National Gold Gloves Champion in 2015, and a 2016 U.S. Olympian. Conwell has been busy since turning pro last year, having fought all five of his professional fights in the past eight months. In his last fight in August, Conwell earned a technical knockout against Rey Trujillo.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting at home for the first time as a professional and on ShoBox,” said Conwell. “I can’t wait to put on a great performance for the Cleveland fans and those seeing me for the first time on national television.”
The 21-year-old Zapata is a native of Panama City, Panama now fighting out of Culpepper, Va. Having compiled a record of 4-1-3 since turning professional 18 months ago, he is currently riding a three bout winning streak. Zapata is coming off the biggest win of his career, a six-round decision over previously undefeated Justin Steave on June 24 in Pittsburgh.
“This fight with Charles Conwell is an exciting challenge for me. He had a great amateur career and he made the Olympic team,” said Zapata. “I’ve been offered to fight him twice, but at the time I was injured and had to decline. But on November 10, Charles and I will come face-to-face and put on a show for the fans. I’m ready to do my job.”
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Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Rich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.