Undefeated, WBA No. 3-ranked super bantamweight Adam Lopez (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will face the WBA’s No. 4-ranked Danny Roman (20-2-1, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event of a Showtime televised quadrupleheader on Friday, Jan. 20, from Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.
The first ShoBox telecast in 2017 features eight fighters with a combined record of 115 wins against just seven losses.
In the co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Ronald Ellis (13-0-1, 1 NC, 10 KOs) will face off with Christopher Brooker (11-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round 168-pound matchup of ShoBox veterans.
In another eight-round featured bout, former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (10-0, 3 KOs) and Dominican Olympian Wellington Romero (11-0-1, 5 KOs) will clash in an eight-round matchup of up-and-coming, unbeaten super lightweights making their ShoBox debuts in their toughest assignments to date.
In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated bantamweight Stephon Young (15-0-3, 6 KOs) takes on Mexican veteran and two-time interim world title challenger Daniel Rosas (19-3-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.
ADAM LOPEZ VS. DANNY ROMAN – 10 Rounds, Super Bantamweights
Lopez, of San Antonio, Texas, by way Phoenix, Ariz., is a prototypical Shobox prospect-turned-contender. He’s 3-0-1 on the series, having defeated three previous unbeaten boxers on the series: Mario Muniz (11-0) in a hard-fought 10-round decision on Feb. 19, 2016, outpointing Eliezer Acquino (17-0-1) across 10 rounds on July 17, 2015, and knocking out Pablo Cruz (11-0) in the second round on March 13, 2015. In his most recent ShoBox outing, Lopez boxed a 12-round draw with Roman Reynoso (18-1-1) on July 22, 2016.
“This will be my toughest fight. It is all about levels and progressing,’’ Lopez said of the matchup between the 26-year-old world-ranked contenders. “This may be my last ShoBox fight so I want to save the best for the last.
“Roman is very good fighter and I’m ready for a tough fight. He’s progressed a lot. He’s a good puncher, counter puncher and works the body. But I’m ready for whatever he brings. A win would be huge -- it puts me in contention to fight a world champion.’’
An excellent boxer-puncher and tactician that likes to counter, Lopez was a standout amateur before going pro in February 2012. He is coming off an eighth-round knockout over Carlos Valcarcel on Nov. 11, 2016, and is facing likely his toughest test to date in Lopez.
Roman has won 13 in a row dating to March 2014 – and none of the fights have been close. He went 4-0 in 2014, 6-0 in 2015 and 4-0 in 2016. The Los Angeles native, who is coming of an eight-round decision over previously unbeaten Marlon Olea (12-0) last Nov. 18, will make his ShoBox and East Coast debut in just his second outing outside of Southern California.
“I’ve been extremely active over the last few years and now all the hard work is starting to pay off,’’ said Roman, a pro since October 2009. “This is a tremendous opportunity and the type of fight I’ve been preparing for. Adam Lopez is a great fighter, and he’s highly ranked just like me. We are going to give the fans an exciting fight.
“I can box, I can brawl. I give the fans what they want. I think people are going to be impressed with how I fight. People want to see a fight and I know I’m going to bring it. Boxing fans are going to know who Danny Roman is on Jan. 20.’’
RONALD ELLIS VS. CHRISTOPHER BROOKER, 8 Rounds, Super Middleweights
Ellis, of Lynn, Mass., and Brooker, of Philadelphia, are making their second ShoBox starts. Like Lopez, they fought Feb. 19, 2016, in Atlantic City. Ellis boxed an entertaining eight-round majority draw in a slugfest with hard-hitting Jerry Odom; Brooker took an eight-round majority decision over previously unbeaten John Magda (11-0) in a match that was originally announced a split draw but was later changed to a majority decision win for Brooker.
This will be Ellis’ second fight since the Odom fight. The 27-year-old Ellis, the older brother of welterweight prospect Rashidi Ellis, outpointed Oscar Riojas across eight rounds on Dec. 10.
Ellis feels he’s benefited from going the distance in consecutive contests. “It’s helped me that I’ve gone through it before,’’ said Ellis, whose 10 knockouts have come inside two rounds (eight in the first). “Now, I know what they’re looking for. This time I’ll finish super strong and put on a show. I need this to further my career and put me in main event fights.
“I’ve seen Brooker fight a few times. He’s a tough guy who comes forward and comes to fight, and that is perfect for me. Brooker will be there for me to hit, and it will give me a great opportunity to showcase my talents.’’
As an amateur, Ellis upset Terrell Gausha to win the 2010 National Golden Gloves. Gausha went on to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games and is now an undefeated professional middleweight.
Brooker, a physically strong, aggressive-minded boxer-puncher, is trying to regain his winning ways after a nine-fight winning streak ended when he lost by 10th-round TKO to highly regarded Ronald Gavril (16-1) last Oct. 8 in Las Vegas. The 25-year-old Brooker dropped Gavril in the fifth round but went down twice in the 10th before it was stopped at 2:04. Entering the 10th and final round, the fight was even on the judges’ scorecards.
“I’m ready and excited to get back in the ring,’’ said Brooker. “I can’t wait to fight another undefeated fighter on ShoBox. I’m still looking to get to the next level. I was at Ellis’ last fight, and I saw an average fighter compared to the guys I’ve fought. He’s solid, throws nice, short punches but runs out of gas.
“In my last fight I lost because I kept looking for the KO. I have a new trainer now (Gaunch Muhammad), and I’m getting back to the technical part of boxing. I’m jabbing more, and in my previous camps I wasn’t jabbing or boxing enough. I have the heart and condition but I have to get to my opponent with the jab.’’
The Philadelphia native was a top level amateur who has been active since turning professional in 2015.
KENNETH SIMS JR. VS. WELLINGTON ROMERO – 8 Rounds, Super Lightweights
Sims, of Chicago, is matched with unquestionably the most dangerous opponent of a career that began in March 2014. This will be the eight-round debut for the 23-year-old, who has gone six full rounds six times.
“This is the biggest fight of my career,’’ said Sims, who is coming off a six-round decision over Jonathan Dinong last Nov. 11. “I will be prepared for anything that I have to do. I’ve seen videos of Romero and I know he is a good fighter. I fought world champions in the amateurs so it’s not a big deal to fight him. I need to take care of business and get my win on national television. It’s as simple as that.”
Sims was a main sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather (when he was getting prepared for Andre Berto) and Manny Pacquiao (as he was getting ready for Mayweather). Sims, known for his boxing skills and ability to work the body, was a 2013 U.S. National Amateur Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist.
Romero had 268 amateur bouts and represented his native Dominican Republic in the 2012 Olympic Games, where he lost to eventual Gold Medalist Vasyl Lomachenko. Shortly thereafter he relocated to New York, where he turned pro in 2013. The 25-year-old is coming off a first-round knockout over Engleberto Valenzuela on Dec. 10.
A slick boxer who can punch and gives opponent issues because of his awkward style and movement, Romero has been brought along carefully against mostly modest opposition. The southpaw is coming off a first-round TKO over Luis Meroles last Dec. 5.
Romero understands that this could likely be his most daunting task to date. “I’m looking forward to introducing myself to the American public,’’ he said. “Sims is a good fighter but I will always like challenges, and this will be my biggest challenge as a pro.’’
STEPHON YOUNG VS. DANIEL ROSAS – 8 Rounds, Super Bantamweights
Young, of St. Louis, is making his second ShoBox start. In his debut, he boxed a 10-round draw with previously undefeated Nikolai Potapov (14-0) in April of 2016.
“To be able to be back on ShoBox feels good,” said Young, who registered a majority 10-round decision over previously once-beaten Juan Lopez Jr. in his last scrap on Sept. 30, 2016. “My first fight on ShoBox was not a fair decision. It was my first 10-rounder and I feel like I won the fight. This time I will be able to show more of what I have.
“Training has been great. I already have been in camp for two months. The fight against Potapov was my first with my new coach (Herman Caicedo), and this will be our third fight. We won the NABA title by beating Lopez and now we’re back.”
The 25-year-old Young, who is currently ranked No. 9 in the WBA, was an experienced amateur who compiled a record of 86-13 while representing the U.S. in a number of tournaments. In the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2011, he lost to the No. 1-rated amateur, Rau’shee Warren.
The 27-year-old Rosas, of Mexico City, is a nine-year veteran who is experienced against top opposition. In 2011, in just his 13th professional fight, Rosas fought to a 12-round split draw against Jose Cabrera in a bout for the Interim WBO Super Flyweight World Title. In 2014, he lost a close, unanimous decision to Alejandro Hernandez for the Interim WBO Bantamweight Title.
Rosas has rattled off three consecutive victories since fighting Hernandezt. In his last bout on April 29, he lost via TKO to current IBF Super Bantamweight Champ Jonathan Guzman in his U.S. debut.
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December 23, 2016