Undefeated and top-15 rated super middleweight prospect Vladimir Shishkin and all-action fighter DeAndre Ware both made weight a day before their main event showdown on ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, August 23 on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT).
(Photo credit: Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME)
In the main event, Shishkin (8-0, 5 KOs) will make his U.S. and national television debut against Toledo, Ohio, firefighter Ware (13-1-2, 8 KOs), who is fighting for his third time on the prospect series.
Shohjahon Ergashev vs. Abdiel Ramirez in co-feature
In the co-feature, hard-hitting super lightweight Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0, 14 KOs) will face power-punching Mexican Abdiel Ramirez (24-4-1, 22 KOs) in a 10-round bout. And in the opening bout, Ukrainian super bantamweight Arnold Khegai (15-0-1, 10 KOs) will take on once-beaten Russian southpaw Vladimir Tikhonov (17-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.
All three “A” side fighters spent time training in Detroit at the new Kronk Gym and have worked with noted trainer Javan SugarHill Steward at some point during training.
Promoter Salita pleased with card
The chance of inclement weather forced the night’s action to be moved to an indoor venue as it was originally scheduled to be held on Main Street. The fights will now take place from the Central Park Community Center in the Rose District of Broken Arrow, Okla. The sold-out event is promoted by Salita Promotions in Association with Tony Holden Productions.
“This is going to be one of the best fight cards of the summer with must-win, pick ’em fights in every match up,” said Dmitriy Salita, head of Salita Promotions. “The winner of the main event will prove to be one of the best super middleweight contenders in the division.”
FINAL WEIGHTS, REFEREES AND JUDGES
Super Middleweight 10-Round Bout
Vladimir Shishkin – 167 lbs.
DeAndre Ware – 168 lbs.
Referee: Gary Ritter (Edmund, Okla.)
Judges: Henry Ellick (Miami, Okla.), Sarah Atwood (Edmond, Okla.), David Sutherland (Skiatook, Okla.)
Super Lightweight 10-Round Bout
Shohjahon Ergashev – 140 lbs.
Abdiel Ramirez – 141 lbs.
Referee: Gerald Ritter (Mustang, Okla.)
Judges: Henry Ellick (Miami, Okla.), Henry Gueary (Kansas City, Kan.), David Sutherland (Skiatook, Okla.)
Super Bantamweight 8-Round Bout
Arnold Khegai – 122 lbs.
Vladimir Tikhonov – 123 lbs.
Referee: Gary Ritter (Edmund, Okla.)
Judges: Henry Ellick (Miami, Okla.), Sarah Atwood (Edmond, Okla.), Henry Gueary (Kansas City, Kan.)
Here’s what the fighters had to say before they weighed in at Evolved Fitness in Broken Arrow.
“This is definitely the beginning of something big. I feel a responsibility to show a lot and show that I’m one of the better performers in the division.
“SugarHill will be in my corner and I’ve been with him for six weeks. I want to learn how to fight ‘Detroit style.’
“And, I feel phenomenal, I’m calm, confident and energized.
“I know Friday night is a big step for my career, I don’t think about it all the time, but I feel one hundred percent prepared and ready physically and mentally. I’m ready to put on a show and show that I’m a new name in boxing.
“I expect my opponent to come in and be aggressive, so I’m going to try to counter him. I plan to be the aggressor and start pushing back and showing my skills, strength and conditioning. It’s going to be a very exciting and competitive fight.
“I’m the best Russian prospect out there. I’m well-schooled and have made good progression.
“I like to fight on the inside and I don’t think Ware will go toe-to-toe with me. I’m prepared for anything.
“I know people are thinking this is a 50-50 fight, but I’m the better fighter and I will show that.
“I’m embracing this. I’m so excited to be here. It’s been a long road. I have to prove myself now. I’m an underdog but I’m coming. I’m prepared. I love fighting on SHOWTIME but this really is just like fighting in the gym.
“SHOWTIME brought me back after suffering my first loss (to Cem Kilic) and I’m going to show that they made the right decision. I didn’t have a full training camp for that fight. I’ve had a full training camp for this fight.
“I’m a complete fighter. I can fight, I can box, I can move. You will see all that on Friday night.
“This is my third time on ShoBox. I didn’t feel that pressure for the first fight, and I don’t feel pressure now. With my fight against (Ronald) Ellis I could have gone 12 rounds. I’m in better shape now and I have more confidence.
“This is it. Every fight is it. When you’re the ‘B’ side, every fight is it. Even the ‘A’ side. Every fight means something.”
“Tomorrow, I’m going to showcase a new dimension of my boxing skills. My power skills are old, but I’ve been working a lot on jabs, footwork, movement and mixing up speed of punching so I can land power shots in a more discrete way.
“I’m going to show a new Shohjahon tomorrow night. My opponent is aggressive, so I have a lot of other different weapons in my arsenal. If he can take my punches, I will show different weapons.”
“The fight is not going to go the distance. At the end of the day, I want to land power and score an exciting knockout always.”
“I fought a tall, awkward fighter my last fight on SHOWTIME and it was a great experience. (Mykal Fox) was tall and long, and now I’m fighting a shorter, more aggressive style fighter in Ramirez.
“This fight one hundred percent will not go the distance. I know I have fans because I punch hard. But I need to be flexible and slow things down a little bit. That’s what I’ve been focused on the last few days. At the end of the day, I want to land power and score an exciting knockout always.”
“My will and power are my strengths. I have deceptive power.
“I’ve fought some lefties like my opponent, but it’s been four or five years. I know my opponent has a big left hand.
“It’s all about defense for me in this fight. We’ve been working on movement and avoiding the big punch.
“I took some time off from 2014 to 2017 because of some management and promoter issues, but that’s in the past. I’m just trying to advance my career. I’ve been hanging out on the ‘B’ side and now I’m ready to be on the ‘A’ side. I need a chance and this is it for me.”
ARNOLD KHEGAI, JR.
“Last time, I should’ve come here earlier to get used to the climate. I couldn’t sleep for a week and I was a little sick. It should’ve gone a different way. This fight I came in a month and two weeks early, so no excuses this time.
“I feel great, I feel strong and I think I’m going to break my opponent tomorrow night. I just hope he’s ready.
“Don’t miss this fight. Watch me tomorrow and you will not be disappointed. You’re going to see fireworks.”
“I felt a lot of pressure in my ShoBox debut and fighting in America for the first time.
“I learned a lot from that loss (to Jesse Hernandez) in 2017. I’m one hundred percent focused.
After the Hernandez fight I had right elbow surgery. I’ll be ready for whatever my opponent brings on Friday night.”
Barry Tompkins will call the action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.