SANTA YNEZ, CA – ShoBox: The New Generation returns tonight (July 20) with a doubleheader featuring former lightweight titlist Miguel Acosta and unbeaten super bantamweight prospect Roman Morales.
The main event showcases Acosta taking on undefeated and relatively unknown Art Hovhannisyan, a Glendale, California-based fighter making his second consecutive step-up class after his last fight, a four round technical draw against Cristobal Cruz, was cut short due to an accidental head butt.
Weight: 132 pounds
I’m really excited to be getting back into the ring. This is a great opportunity to get myself noticed. Cruz was a tough guy. Acosta is a tough guy, too, but with a big punch. I’m treating this like it is the biggest fight of my career, and the toughest fight of my career, which it is.
In my last fight I made a mistake. I played around too much and then the fight was called because of an accidental headbutt. I had a great training camp and I’m 100 percent ready for tomorrow night.
My best fighting weight is 130, but I couldn’t turn down an offer to fight somebody like this. It was a risk worth taking. But I’m always willing to fight anybody.
Acosta is known for his punching power, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to move on me, especially for at least the first couple rounds.
Weight: 134 pounds
I definitely feel I am good enough to fight for and win another world title. I’m looking at this fight as a measure for me to see exactly where I’m at.
I’ve been in with some really good fighters. I had things going my way against (Brandon) Rios before I ran out of gas.
Both of us need to win tomorrow, so it will be a great fight. Physically and mentally, I’m ready. My opponent is a good fighter, but this will be a real test for him. I came to the United States to establish myself; now I can re-establish myself with a big win on Friday.
Prediction: At 34 years old, this will likely be Miguel Acosta’s last push back to title contention. The Rios bout was a very good scrap, but it’s very likely the beating he endured over those last few rounds took something out of him. There’s no shame that he lost to Richard Abril in his last fight (despite the judges, we all know Rios lost to him as well earlier this year), but the fact he was dropped three times by just a decent puncher is troublesome going into this bout.
Nonetheless, I’m going to go with experience. Hovhannisyan isn’t a huge puncher and at 30 years old and six years as a professional under his belt, the only decent name on his resume is a faded Cristobal Cruz. If Acosta can bring in 75% of what he showed against Rios, it should be a enough to gut out a unanimous decision. Definitely a crossroads right for both.
Weight: 122 pounds for both
I’m relaxed and ready to go. I like to apply pressure but I’ve been working hard on my jab in the gym. I’m in great shape and have been sparring a lot. I’ve never gone eight rounds, but I’m not concerned about the distance.
This is really a great opportunity. I know that if I win and look good that could mean more TV fights for me. This guy has more ring experience and is a step-in class, but I’m ready. I’m trying to get to the top, one step at a time, and this is the next step.
This is my third fight since I started working with Roger Mayweather about nine months ago. Moving to Las Vegas from Phoenix has made a huge difference in training. Before I would go to the gym for 30-45 minutes and basically train myself. Since I’ve been in Vegas, I’ve been training really hard and sometimes I stay at the gym for three or four hours. I’m totally dedicated.
I really feel for the first time that I am coming into my own. Roger has really been working with me on setting down my punches.
I’ve always felt that I knew how to win and now I’m facing a good young opponent like me. I feel this is going to be a breakout fight for me. I’m confident and ready. I can’t wait for this fight on Showtime.
Prediction: Don’t know enough about either guy to really make an informed prediction, although this is being billed as an exhibition for Morales since he already has tentative plans to fight again next month. There’s not much to pick from regarding their records aside from both being very active over the last 2 years. These ShoBox undercards have a way of exposing who’s legit so if Morales is indeed a prospect to watch, we’ll find out later tonight.
ShoBox: The New Generation airs live on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET
Tickets for an event presented by Gary Shaw Productions in association with Thompson Boxing Promotions are priced at $35, $45, $55, $70, and $85 and are on sale at Chumash Resort Casino Box office or online at http://www.startickets.com.