23.06.04 – Although Adrian Mora is unbeaten and untested, the crowd-pleasing, promising lightweight prospect also is one victory away from gaining instant notoriety. “All fights are important, but my next one on SHOWTIME definitely is the biggest of my career,” said Mora (11-0, 7 KOs). The Denver native will take on former NABF and FECARBOX lightweight champion Steve Quinonez (28-7-1, 9 KOs) in the 10-round main event Thursday, July 1, on “ShoBox: The New Generation” at 11 p.m. ET/PT.*
“To look good and win a fight against a solid veteran in front of a national television audience on SHOWTIME will do more for my career than anything I have done. This is a giant step up in class for me, and I know it will be my toughest fight. I look forward to the challenge.”
In the co-feature from the Palace Indian Gaming Center in Lemoore, Calif., former Puerto Rican 154-Pound Champion Irving Garcia (9-1, 5 KOs) will oppose George Armenta (11-3, 10 KOs) in an eight-round middleweight bout. Goossen Tutor Promotions will stage the doubleheader. The telecast represents the 46th in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001.
Mora grew up in a family of fighters.
“Boxing is in my blood,” he said. “Although my dad was against it, I just had a desire to box.”
During an excellent amateur career, Mora compiled a 62-8 record, earned a silver medal at the 2000 Western Trials. He turned pro at age 22 with a fourth-round TKO over Arthur Medina on Oct. 29, 2000.
“I love the pro game,” said Mora, who has not come close to losing. “It is much more my style. If you take your time and control the tempo, you will do well.”
One of the major keys to his fight against Quinonez is whether Mora can dictate the pace.
“This is going to be a great fight,” said Mora, who will make his first start since stopping Richard Gonzalez in the second round on Nov. 21, 2003. “Quinonez is a great fighter and needs a win badly.”
Quinonez, of Desert Hot Springs, Calif., has captured five out of his past six contests. Following a five-bout winning streak, Quinonez lost a disputed 12-round split decision to Michael Clark in his most recent outing on May 4, 2003. A southpaw with excellent skills and movement, Quinonez fell short in his first and only NABF title defense by the scores 116-112 and 113-115 twice.
The fight was even on two of three judges’ card entering the 11th round, but Quinonez weakened slightly in the final two rounds.
“I paid the price for coming back too soon,” said Quinonez, who had captured the NABF 135-pound crown just five weeks earlier with a hard-fought 12-round decision over Antonio Ramirez. “I should have taken more time off between fights because I just could not be myself in the ring. I had no movement. I usually get stronger as the fight progresses.”
Quinonez has had plenty of time to rest and think in the 14 months since his uncharacteristic performance against Clark.
“If I stick and move, then I will be fine,” Quinonez said. “But, it seems I always make fights tougher on myself by slugging and going to war. I am 33 years old, and I do not have time to sit around anymore. I need to make something happen and show everyone I have a lot left.”
Quinonez, who possesses a huge edge in experience over Mora, has fought some excellent boxers in his career. Among them are Diego Corrales, Mickey Ward, Jose Luis Castillo and Lovemore Ndou.
“Mora’s camp probably feels that they are catching me at the right time,” Quinonez said. “They are making a big mistake. I have fought back from adversity before, and I will do so again July 1.”
Garcia, of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, went 55-6 in the amateurs and was a former Puerto Rican national champion before turning pro at age 19 on July 23, 1998.
An up-and-coming youngster with terrific overall ability, Garcia captured the Puerto Rican 154-pound title by scoring a ninth-round TKO over Melvin Cardona on Aug. 17, 2001.
After fighting exclusively out his homeland for his initial seven starts, Garcia made his United States debut on May 18, 2002, in Las Vegas.
The bout against Armenta will represent his fourth U.S. appearance and first since suffering his lone loss on a 10-round split decision to another Garcia, Julio “The Cuban Lover,” in a highly competitive match on Jan. 21, 2003.
Irving Garcia was the more accurate fighter, landing 284 of 695 total punches (41 percent), including 117 of 307 jabs and 167 of 388 power punches. However, it was not quite enough and the judges scored the contest in Julio’s favor, 95-94 twice and 93-96.
Armenta, of Silver Springs, Md., has won five straight bouts by knockout. In his most noteworthy performance, he registered a fourth-round TKO over U.S. Olympian Dante Craig on March 11, 2004.
“Craig had good skills,” Armenta said. “So, I made sure I trained hard. My power hurt him and enabled me to knock him out. The victory really helped my career.”
A powerful puncher with either hand, Armenta turned pro on June 6, 2000, and tallied a second-round TKO over Matthew Hill, in Rosedale, Md. In his last start, Armenta knocked out Horace Cooper in the fifth round on April 3, 2004.
Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.
For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http:www.sho.com/boxing.