NEW YORK — October 24, 2018 — Highly touted unbeaten welterweight prospect Jaron Ennis will square off against 11-year professional Raymond Serrano in a Philadelphia vs. Philadelphia 10-round bout in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation, Friday, November 16 live on SHOWTIME® at 9:35 p.m. ET/PT from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
Ennis (21-0, 19 KOs) has knocked out 11 consecutive opponents including a third-round stoppage of Armando Alvarez in his ShoBox debut in July (Click HERE for video). The 21-year-old Ennis, who compiled an amateur record of 58-3 and was the 2015 National Golden Gloves Champion before turning professional in 2016, faces a stern test in fellow Philadelphia native Raymond Serrano (24-5, 10 KOs), a 29-fight veteran who’s five losses have come against opponents with a combined record of 89-1-1 at the time of their meeting.
The three-fight telecast features five ShoBox veterans and three fighters who call Philadelphia home. In the co-feature, a pair of ShoBox veterans meet when Chicago’s Kenneth Sims Jr. (13-1-1, 4 KOs) takes on Philadelphia’s Samuel Teah (14-2-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout.
Also on the card, undefeated Ukrainian Arnold Khegai (13-0-1, 9 KOs) faces New Jersey’s Jorge Diaz (19-5-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by Victory Promotions in association with Hard Hitting Promotions are priced $50, $75 and $125 and can be purchased at 2300arena.com and hardhittingpromotions.com.
Ennis returns to ShoBox for his second consecutive fight following a statement third-round knockout of then-unbeaten welterweight prospect Armando Alvarez in July. Making a name for himself in Philadelphia with his power and come-forward mentality, Ennis has scored 11 consecutive KO victories including two at 2300 Arena. A standout amateur who was ranked No. 1 at 141 pounds and won the 2015 National Golden Gloves tournament, Ennis narrowly missed the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the 2016 Olympics after losing a box-off to Gary Antuanne Russell at the Olympic Trials.
“Serrano is just another opponent on my way to my ultimate goal – a world championship,” said Ennis. “I am focused and I’m just going to keep working hard until I am able to accomplish that main goal. I can’t wait to display my talent once again on ShoBox.”
The 21-year-old Ennis currently trains under his father Derek “Bozy” Ennis Sr., who also trained his other sons Derek Jr. and Farah, both ShoBox veterans.
The 29-year-old Serrano turned professional in 2007 and rattled off 18 consecutive wins to start his career. Serrano, who will appear on ShoBox for the first time since his 2013 meeting with Emmanuel Taylor, will face his third consecutive unbeaten opponent after a No Contest against Gerome Quigley Jr. and a unanimous decision loss to 22-year-old welterweight prospect Malik Hawkins. Serrano, also from Philadelphia, had an impressive amateur career, winning the national and international Junior Olympic tournaments in 2005 and the Pennsylvania State Golden Gloves in 2006.
“I am excited – this is Philly vs. Philly,” said Serrano. “We are two of the best welterweights going at it. I believe my experience with my new trainer Shadeed Saluki will help me in this fight and I do not think he has been in the ring with anyone like me. I am excited to be on ShoBox because the world will see my talents. With a win, this will lead me to even bigger fights.”
Sims, a Chicago native, returns to ShoBox after his action-packed split-draw with unbeaten prospect Montana Love in July. Sims suffered the first and only loss of his career against Rolando Chinea via close majority decision on ShoBox a year prior but got back to his winning ways with a unanimous decision over Andrew Rodgers on October 13. The 24-year-old, who has sparred with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, was a 2013 U.S. National Amateur Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist.
“I am ready to fight,” said Sims. “I just fought on October 13 and got right back in the gym, so I am already in good shape. Teah is a good fighter but he is nothing special and certainly nothing that I haven’t seen before. I am happy to be back on ShoBox. I know they liked my last fight because it showed that I am only getting better and better every fight.”
Teah, born in Liberia and fighting out of Philadelphia, has had mixed luck on ShoBox. A two-fight veteran of the developmental series, Teah scored a unanimous decision over previously undefeated O’Shaquie Foster in 2015 but dropped a majority decision to Montana Love in February, an opponent who Sims Jr. drew with. Teah, who did not start boxing until the age of 19, scored an impressive first-round knockout of Zach Ramsey his last time out in August at 2300 Arena.
“I will be ready to fight come November 16,” said Teah. “I have seen Kenneth Sims fight. He is fast and was a good amateur. He just fought a draw against the last fighter who beat me, Montana Love. I am excited about fighting him and I am also excited to be on ShoBox. I always face a higher level of opposition when I am on and ShoBox is always a great showcase.”
The aggressive, come-forward Khegai made his U.S. debut at the 2300 Arena on ShoBox in May, registering the most impressive result of his career with a unanimous decision over Adam Lopez. The undefeated Khegai, who is a former Ukraine national amateur champion and two-time world champion in Thai boxing, made the switch to professional boxing in 2015 and has since compiled a near-perfect record while competing mostly in Russia. Born to Korean parents in Lymanske, Ukraine, the all-action Khegai will make his second ShoBox appearance in search of another statement win.
“I am excited to be fighting in the U.S. on SHOWTIME,” said Khegai. “I look forward to putting on a memorable performance and cementing myself as a top name in the division. November 16 can’t come soon enough!”
Jorge Diaz Jr., from New Brunswick, New Jersey, is coming off a significant victory over then once-beaten Adam Lopez, an opponent Khegai also beat via decision. The 31-year-old Diaz, who last fought in November 2017, also boasts impressive victories over Olympic gold-medalist Yan Barthelemy and former title challengers Alejandro Lopez and Emmanuel Lucero. Diaz’s five professional losses have come against opponents that hold a combined record of 88-1-4.
“I feel very confident,” said Diaz. “My opponent is a good fighter, who is strong, aggressive, and throws sharp punches but I will be in tip-top shape. This is a very important fight for me. I have this great opportunity, so I will be dedicated and will give my best effort.”
Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with fellow Hall of Famer Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Chuck McKean producing and Rick Phillips directing.