Tomorrow night's ShoBox triple-header is live at 11pm EDT, and today the combatants weighed in and offered some quotes.
(All photos by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)
Dyah Davis (169¼ lbs.) v. Marcus "Too Much" Johnson (170 lbs.) (10 rounds)
Johnson (20-0, 15 KO) is by default the featured fighter, as he's been on the cusp of becoming a ShoBox regular if it weren't for his overall inactivity. Davis (18-2-1, 9 KO) is the son of Howard Davis Jr.
The 25-year-old Johnson isn't worried about pedigree. "I don't feel like Davis is anything special. He's not his dad. I don't care about legacy. I don't care about any of that. I just have to fight him."
But Davis, 29, says he's not looking for charity respect. At this stage, I don't need softees. It's not going to propel me. Fighting tough opponents, this is the route we're comfortable with. I've never tried to trade on my father's career and I won't now. When I'm in the ring with Marcus, it will be all me."
Gabriel Bracero (140 lbs.) v. Danny O'Connor (137¾) (8 rounds)
Neither fighter can bust a grape. Gabriel has just one stoppage on his 14-0 record, while O'Connor triples that on his same 14-0 record.
30-year-old Bracero says, "I think I am a decent fighter, a good fighter. But it doesn't matter what you want to call it. It's about how bad you want it when you get in the ring. This is a big opportunity for me and I will take it."
O'Connor, 26, has a slightly higher opinion of himself. "I'm a problem for anybody. I'm really good with angles and technique. Anything can happen in a fight. It's an adapter sport."
Vincent Arroyo (144¾ lbs.) v. Willie Nelson (145¾ lbs.) (8 rounds)
Arroyo (10-1, 7 KO) fights out of Amherst, N.Y., listed originally from the Bronx. Nelson (16-0-1, 10 KO) is a 6'3" welterweight out of Ohio with a fairly high opinion of himself. Arroyo has fought just once since September 2009, a win last April in Atlantic City on the Pavlik-Martinez card. Nelson went 3-0 in 2010, including a TKO-1 of Jesse Feliciano. Both fighters are 23.
Nelson believes his height is his biggest advantage, and is probably right. "Arroyo has never faced a guy at my height. He won't be used to it. Think about it, everyone I fight is shorter than me. I'm used to it. He's not."
"I spoil clean records, period," says Arroyo. "If he thinks I'm a stepping stone, just wait until he gets to the ring and realizes he is in a real fight."
For the record, the only clean record Arroyo has spoiled in the pros was Jeremy Bryan last year on that card in AC. And technically Nelson's isn't clean, but...well, OK, I'll stop nitpicking.
A couple of the fighters have bigger plans in mind. Johnson says he'll go to Canada to fight Lucian Bute if the fight is available, and Nelson continues to call out fellow Ohio product Shawn Porter, saying, "I want to fight Shawn Porter. I'll do it whenever, the future, the past or now."