Showtime has some Friday night action in store just two weeks from now. Unbeaten super welterweights Ardreal Holmes and Mekhrubon Sanginov headline a four-fight card on March 11th, live from Deadwood, South Dakota.
2016 Olympic alternate Holmes (11-0, 5 KO) hasn’t seen action since a November 2019 knockout of Jose Antonio Abreu. This will also be his return to Showtime for the first time since 2018.
“I am excited to jump back in the ring,” said the 27-year-old Holmes. “I am in a good spot, and I will make the most of this opportunity. I think I should be able to do anything that I want off the jab. I’m not worried about anyone slipping on me because I am in a position that people will get to know who I am really soon. Get ready for a great night of boxing. Seeing people come up that you know such as the Dirrell brothers motivated me, and March 11 people will get to know and remember who I am.”
The Tajikistan-born, Vegas-based Sanginov (12-0-1, 9 KO) went 4-0 in 2021, including a split decision over Quincy LaVallais in January. His last three victories have come in under five rounds apiece.
“I am very happy and excited for this opportunity,” said the 26-year-old Sanginov, who is five inches shorter than Holmes. “ShoBox is a steppingstone to bigger and better things. I know that a win gets me bigger fights. I don’t know much about my opponent except his amateur career. Training camp has been great and I can’t wait to get in the ring on March 11.”
The co-feature pits Hurshidbek Normatov (10-0, 3 KO) against Vernon Brown (13-1-1, 9 KO) at middleweight. Normatov will be ending a two-year layoff, while Brown fights his first opponent with a winning record since falling to Jamontay Clark in 2019.
“I am very happy to be back in the ring and especially to be on a big show like ShoBox,” said the 29-year-old Normatov. “This is a big chance for me to show what I can do. It’s a great opportunity and I will take advantage of it.”
“I am just ready to fight,” said the 5’7” Brown. “I haven’t fought in a year, but I have been in the gym, and I am just ready. My opponent is a crafty southpaw who is tall, but I have knocked out a couple guys with a similar style as his. I’m excited to fight on ShoBox and I’m ready to give people a show. A win will boost my career and will show a lot of people what I am made of.”
In addition, Luis Acosta (12-0, 11 KO) meets Edwin De Los Santos (13-1, 12 KO) down at lightweight. You may remember De Los Santos from January’s split decision loss to William Foster III on another ShoBox broadcast.
“I am very excited for my first televised fight,” said Acosta, 25. “I feel like I have something to prove. I will not get caught in the moment and I want to put on a show for everybody. I know that my opponent is a southpaw and is taller, and he looks like he is strong early on in the fight. May the best man win.”
“I am extremely disappointed in my last performance,” said De Los Santos of his ShoBox debut. “It did not go as I expected. A lot had to do with the weight loss, which caused me to get weak and tired after the third round. This is why I am fighting at 135 pounds in this fight. I will be stronger than ever so my opponent better watch out.”
The opener sees Giovanni Marquez, son of former super welterweight champion Raul, make his professional debut opposite Nelson Morales (2-0, 0 KO) in a super lightweight four-rounder.
“I am very excited to be making my debut on ShoBox,” said the 20-year-old Márquez. “I am excited to display my skills and everything that my father and I have been working on in the gym. I have been envisioning this moment for myself from a young age. There is footage of me mimicking walking to the ring in my house. To make that walk is a dream come true. Being on the show my dad works on is an honor, and I am definitely up for it. For some, that might be pressure, but I am embracing it. The audience will see the best of me on March 11.”
“This is a dream come true,” said Morales. “I have been watching SHOWTIME Boxing for a long time. I have been dreaming about this for a long time. I know that Márquez has been around boxing since he was in the belly. I know of his father Raul, so I know he will bring it. I have been working very hard and a lot had to happen for me to get this opportunity, and I won’t waste it.”