Tonight on ShoBox: The New Generation, emerging super featherweight contender Diego Magdaleno meets Fernando Beltran Jr, and Cuban junior welterweight Yordenis Ugas attempts to atone for his last TV appearance with a fight against Michigan's Johnny Garcia.
On Friday, the fighters weighed in, with Magdaleno and Beltran at 129½ and 130, with Ugas and Garcia at 142 and 140.
Magdaleno (21-0, 7 KO) has become a Friday night regular on TV, and in a fairly soft division, has become someone to watch for sure. The Top Rank-promoted, 25-year-old Magdaleno is leaving his Las Vegas backyard for this one, heading down to Tucson, Ariz., a state that has potential to become a Nevada/California alternative out west.
Beltran (36-7-1, 20 KO) is a 30-year-old Mexican fighter who has lost four of his last six, and one of the wins was over an unnamed opponent via TKO-4, so I think that one is a bit suspect for acceptance as a win in a professional boxing match. He's the third scheduled opponent for Magdaleno, and the weakest of the proposed options. Miguel Beltran Jr dropped out first, followed by Chucky Lazcano.
In the co-feature, Yordenis Ugas (11-0, 5 KO) looks to erase awful memories of his last fight, an eight-round yawn against a club fighter in January on Friday Night Fights. Ugas, 25, is the latest Cuban export being hyped as more exciting than the typical boring Cuban fighter reputation, but his last fight did anything but convince viewers he was an exciting fighter. All night, Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas told us about how exciting Ugas was, but they had to all but apologize eventually. Showtime is doing the same right now.
Hopefully Ugas won't lay another egg against Garcia (11-0, 8 KO), who has run up a little record in the exceptionally soft Michigan club circuit. His opponents came into his fights with a combined record of 54-92-7, which isn't all that bad, but Michigan's boxing scene is just awful these days, so he's kind of in a guilty until proven innocent spot. His fights outside of Michigan have also been in circuits where it's easy to get a record (Illinois, Ohio, Iowa).
Here are some photos and quotes from the weigh-in on Thursday.
"Fighting a lefty won't be an issue. I know he's a late replacement but that doesn't force me to change anything in my game. My movement is the key for me to create openings against any opponent. So we're prepared for this.
"My goal is to be the 130-pound world champion. I hope to earn a mandatory title shot by the end of this year, but first I have to take care of business here. There are no easy outs on ShoBox and you have to respect anyone who is going to step into the ring with you.''
FERNANDO BELTRAN JR.
"My contracted weight for last week's fight (that was cancelled) was 126. But that doesn't worry me. I have experience and Diego Magdaleno does not. You can't substitute for experience. He's also never fought a lefthander and I am a natural southpaw.
"This is not about Diego Magdaleno. This is about me and a great opportunity that has come my way. I've been training since Jan. 3 and I am prepared for anything.''
"As a pro, I've been adjusting constantly. I've been growing into the longer rounds of the pro bouts and I am ready for this eight-rounder. It's a learning experience with every fight.
"Johnny Garcia made a mistake in taking this fight. I am a very disciplined man and I have set big goals for myself. There is no running. A lot of people say that they intend to stand and trade in a fight until they get into the ring, so we'll see.''
"I feel I am ready for this step up. I am very fortunate and proud to fight for Top Rank and to be fighting on SHOWTIME. This is a great opportunity for me and I need to take advantage of it.
"Ugas has accomplished quite a bit in his career thus far. So, when I beat him it should make a nice move up in terms of exposure and experience for me. He is going to come forward. That's his style and that's my style. So, I say let's get it on. I am excited. It's my time.''