Tonight's edition of ShoBox: The New Generation will air at 11 p.m. EDT on Showtime, and Bad Left Hook will be here for live, round-by-round coverage of the show. It's a double-header tonight, with both fights initially meant to be undercard attractions with a heavyweight eliminator between Eddie Chambers and Tony Thompson the originally scheduled main event, before Chambers came down with a back injury.
Let's take a quick look at tonight's fights.
Main Event: Middleweights, 8 Rounds
Brandon Gonzales vs Ossie Duran
Gonzales (14-0, 10 KO) is a recent Goossen Tutor signee originally hailing from Portland, now based in Sacramento. You may recall his name from recent news, as he was the fighter in the ring sparring with Andre Ward when Ward was cut, postponing Ward's fight with Carl Froch. This was to be sort of a TV first look at the 27-year-old prospect, and now he's in the ShoBox main event.
He'll be facing veteran Duran (26-8-2, 10 KO), a tough out for any young fighter who knows what he's doing in there and is tough to overwhelm. At 34, the Ghanaian Duran (now living in Paterson, NJ) has been in the ring with with plenty of notable names, and has never been stopped. He went the 10-round limit with James Kirkland in June 2007, back when Kirkland was thrashing everyone, and his last loss was a very close majority decision against Fernando Guerrero in October 2009. He's gone 3-0 since then, the best win coming against Matt Vanda.
Duran is a professional opponent, a good gatekeeper. He started his career as a lightweight, and won Commonwealth titles at welterweight and junior middleweight before moving his career to the United States. If Gonzales isn't as ready as Goossen Tutor believes he is, it could be a long night for the prospect.
Co-Feature: Welterweights, 8 Rounds
Javier Molina vs Artemio Reyes
Molina (9-0, 4 KO) is a former amateur standout that Goossen Tutor is pretty high on. Thus far in his pro career, he's sort of been impressive without making anyone's eyes pop -- his power is mediocre at best, and while he's a good boxer, he doesn't have the look of a special boxer. He was last seen on September 15, defeating the always-game John Revish over six rounds. At 21, he's still a baby in the pro game, and there's a lot to learn.
Reyes (13-1, 11 KO) feels like one of those ShoBox "opponents" that might spoil it for the higher-regarded guy. His one loss came back in 2008, in his second pro fight, against Mike Dallas Jr, so you can basically write that off as a non-event. Neither fighter has exactly faced stiff competition yet, but getting 11 knockouts in 13 wins means you do have some power, even if it's not amazing power.
Reyes also has a pretty amazing story, as profiled by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports this week:
His primary focus is the day-to-day care of his father, Artemio Sr., who has been comatose since being hit by a tractor trailer while driving to pick up his son from work in 2008.
He has been in a vegetable-like state ever since. Artemio needs to bathe him and, along with his mother, Fatima, attend to his father’s every need.
It’s a difficult job that is made worse by knowing that he can never converse with his father again, never share the joys of a big win or unburden himself by letting loose the pains of a tough loss.
Reyes, who wears the inscription "4POPS" on the waist of his boxing trunks, is profoundly sad but exceptionally realistic. A lot has been put on his plate as a 25-year-old, but he chugs along out of duty and honor to his father.
"The way I look at it, he was there for me the first 20 years of my life, and he took care of me and gave me what I needed," Reyes said. "I’m just doing the same for him, now. He changed my diaper when I was a baby and I couldn’t do it. He fed me, and he clothed me and all of that. Now, it’s my turn to pay him back for that."
Reyes also manages a restaurant for his day job. I can't imagine where he fits in the time to train.
Picks: I'm going safe with Gonzales winning on 5-3 or 6-2 type cards, and