Four-Fight ShoBox Telecast Features Seven Undefeated Fighters Including Patrick Cora and Hurshidbek Normatov in the Main Event
NEW YORK – December 16, 2020 – ShoBox: The New Generation kicks off its 20th anniversary year showcasing boxing’s rising stars matched tough with a four-fight card headlined by a battle of unbeaten prospects as Patrick Cora and Hurshidbek Normatov meet in a 10-round super welterweight bout Wednesday, January 20 live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
The inaugural 2021 boxing event on SHOWTIME will feature eight prospects with a combined record of 93-1-3, 45 KO’s in their toughest tests to date. Seven of the fighters are currently undefeated and six will be making their ShoBox debuts.
The quadrupleheader also features Yeis Gabriel Solano making his ShoBox return against fellow unbeaten Mykquan Williams in an eight-round super lightweight bout and Panama’s unbeaten Jose Nunez facing decorated amateur Aram Avagyan in an eight-round featherweight matchup. Featherweight prospects Martino Jules and hard-hitting Pedro Marquez Medina meet in the eight-round telecast opener.
“We are excited to ring in the new year with a ShoBox event that brings together five promoters and features eight fighters with only one loss amongst them,” said Gordon Hall, executive producer for ShoBox: The New Generation. “Each fight presents prospects in both corners in their toughest tests to date with all looking to continue their quest to turn from prospect to contender. Our 2021 kickoff event speaks to SHOWTIME’s commitment to work with all promoters and managers to develop the stars of tomorrow.”
The event is promoted by Sampson Boxing and Paco Presents Boxing, in association with DiBella Entertainment, Kings Promotions and Salita Promotions.
Cora vs. Normatov – 10-Round Super Welterweight Main Event Bout
Hailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Cora (10-0, 7 KOs) aims to follow in the footsteps of fellow Puerto Rican world champions Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, both of whom competed in the super welterweight division during their legendary careers. As an amateur, Cora amassed a 65-19 record and captured a Puerto Rican National Championship.
The 21-year-old turned pro in 2017 and quickly built a perfect 10-0 record, highlighted by six flawless outings in 2019. Additionally, the southpaw is coming off back-to-back victories over undefeated fighters, including a fourth-round stoppage victory against Geronimo Nahuel Sacco in December 2019. January 20 will be his first fight in the mainland United States though he has spent time training in Florida and sparred with the likes of Erickson Lubin and Jeison Rosario.
“Fighting on SHOWTIME is a dream come true and being put in the main event is just beyond words,” said Cora, who will be making his ShoBox debut. “At the end of the night, I will prove I belong there with the best of the best. There are no excuses. I am ready for war and to win for Puerto Rico. My opponent had a great amateur career and he’s talented. It will be a great experience for sure, but I have worked hard for these types of fights and the hand they will raise at the end of the fight will be mine.”
Also holding the designation of being his home country’s top-ranked super welterweight, Uzbekistan’s Normatov (10-0, 3 KOs) who now resides and fights out of Brooklyn, N.Y., will face the toughest challenge of his professional career when he meets Cora. Normatov, 28, finished his amateur career in 2016 with a 190-40 record. In his first ten fights as a pro, the southpaw has faced seven fighters with winning records including two undefeated prospects. Normatov is trained by Andre Rozier who has trained several world champions including Richard Commey, Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
“I hope this fight will be a key one on the way to a world championship,” said Normatov, who will also make his ShoBox debut. “I am happy to be fighting on ShoBox as more than 80 ShoBox fighters have become world champions.”
Solano vs. Williams – Eight-Round Super Lightweight Bout
Making his super lightweight debut after campaigning primarily at 135 pounds over his first 15 professional fights, Solano (15-0, 10 KOs) returns to ShoBox to face the first undefeated fighter of his career. Solano, 28, who fights for Paco Presents Boxing, was impressive on the amateur boxing circuit in his native Colombia, notching a 118-12 record prior to turning professional in 2015. Fighting primarily in Colombia as a professional, the southpaw made his U.S. debut on ShoBox in June 2019 against Elias Damian Araujo, who he handed just his second career loss via split decision.
“I am excited to be back on ShoBox,” said Solano. “Training this time has been a bit different, due to the pandemic, however, we are training very hard and preparing for a battle. I know my opponent will do the same, so expect a war.”
Solano will face his toughest test yet when he meets Williams (15-0-1, 7 KOs) who was featured in Ring Magazine’s “New Faces” column in 2019, which highlights the sport’s rising prospects. The 22-year-old was an amateur standout, earning three Ringside Championships and a Silver Gloves Championship in his home state of Connecticut. Williams is a natural super lightweight and is coming off a hard-fought majority draw against Tre’Sean Wiggins.
“I’m excited about this fight and am looking forward to showcasing my skills on a major platform like ShoBox,” said Williams. “I’m expecting Solano to be in great shape, but I will be ready. Thank you to DiBella Entertainment for getting me this opportunity.”
Nunez vs. Avagyan – Eight-Round Featherweight Bout
Hailing from Curundu, Panama, Nunez (11-0-1, 4 KOs) turned pro in 2016 and has built a solid resume en route to his U.S. debut on ShoBox on January 20. Nunez started boxing at 10 years old and competed in 45 amateur fights in Panama. In his last fight, the southpaw conquered Francisco Martinez via unanimous decision in Panama City, handing the tough Mexican fighter his second professional loss. Only 22 years old, Nunez is promoted by Sampson Boxing and has garnered buzz from many boxing insiders during his professional ascension.
“I am incredibly happy to be able to fight outside my country, with an opponent that will demand my best,” said Nunez. “Nevertheless, I have no doubt of my preparations and I have faith that I will be victorious. A victory will open many doors for me in the United States.”
Fighting under the Salita Promotions banner, Avagyan (10-0-1, 4 KOs) returns to ShoBox for the second time after surviving two early knockdowns in his debut against then-unbeaten Dagoberto Aguero in the last ShoBox telecast before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sports world for several months in March 2020. Born and raised in Yerevan, Armenia, and now residing in California, Avagyan is a decorated amateur with more than 300 fights. He captured two Bronze Medals at the European Championships and represented Armenia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The 29-year-old has faced undefeated fighters in his past three bouts.
“For every fighter, being able to show their skills, character, heart and fighting spirit on SHOWTIME is a goal, a dream and a great honor,” said Avagyan. “I want to convey to the fans that this will be a spectacular battle. I am hungry. I want to get in the ring and fight like a warrior!”
Jules vs. Medina – Eight-Round Featherweight Bout
Fighting out of his hometown of Allentown, Pa., Martino Jules (10-0, 2 KOs) is making his ShoBox debut as he continues to rise in the featherweight rankings. In his 90 amateur bouts, the southpaw won 75 fights prior to hitting the professional ranks in 2016. In his last fight, Jules, 23, beat the betting favorite Aleen Jumakhonov via majority decision in Las Vegas.
“I’m very excited to showcase my talent on SHOWTIME,” said Jules. “My opponent is world ranked by WBO so I’m expecting a tough fight. I’m very grateful for my manager Trifon Petrov, Marshall Kauffman and Sampson Lewkowicz for giving me the opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME. I view this fight as a step up which is all I want at this point in my career but it’s also a fight where I can learn what I have to strengthen for myself and also in my future training camps. I have no doubt that I will win this fight, I’m only focused on coming to fight night as the best version of myself.”
Living and training in his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Medina (12-1, 8 KOs) enters this fight as the more experienced professional fighter. In 2018, Medina bested Felix Caraballo, handing him his first professional loss. In January 2020, the 26-year-old captured the WBA NABO featherweight title via third-round technical knockout over Juan Carlos Pena who was 30-1.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME and in the United States for the first time,” said Medina. “My job is to train hard and meet the demands of my trainer Ricky Márquez. My opponent is good; he has solid boxing skills and throws a lot of punches, but I have no doubt that after this fight, many more opportunities will arise for me.”
International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins will call the action from ringside with fellow Hall of Famer and 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.