OMAR HENRY, ANGELO SANTANA HIGHLIGHT SHOWBOX ON NOV. 16
Junior middleweight Omar Henry (12-0, 9 KOs), of Chicago, will meet James de la Rosa (21-1, 12 KOs), of San Benito, Texas, in the main event of a Nov. 16, Showtime ShoBox: The New Generation card from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
The 25-year-old Henry and the 24-year-old de la Rosa will headline the card, whose promoter, Don King, 81, was joined by Miami lightweight Angelo Santana (13-0, 10 KOs) at a Thursday press conference at Gulstream Park announcing the event.
A 24-year-old southpaw from Cuba, Santana will be after his seventh consecutive knockout victory against Juan “Johnny” Garcia (13-0, 8 KOs), a 30-year-old resident of Holland, Mich.
Santana is coming off June’s career-best third-round, technical knockout victory over highly-regarded Justin Savi, who entered their bout with a mark of 26-1 that included 18 knockouts.
“I know Garcia is coming to fight but so am I,” said Santana. “It is our hope that this fight does not go to the judges’ scorecards. I’m ready to rumble. This will be a good fight for as long as it lasts.”
King will also feature local favorite and junior middleweight Joey “Twinkle Fingers” Hernandez (22-1-1, 13 KOs), a 28-year-old Miami resident who will pursue his third straight stoppage win against an opponent to be determined.
Also on the card is junior middleweight Amir Imam (5-0, 4 KOs), of Albany, N.Y., who is coming off June’s first-round knockout over Kelvin Williams. Nicknamed, “Young Gun,” Imam turns 22 on Nov. 5, and will face an opponent to be determined.
“Gulfstream Park is bigger and better than ever,” said King, whose offices are located in nearby Deerfield Beach. “The outdoor area where we will erect the ring over a fountain will make for one of the most intimate and elegant fight venues ever. South Florida fight fans will love it and it will look great on Showtime.”
MARCO HUCK 198.85 POUNDS, FIRAT ARSLAN 198.41
WBO cruiserweight titleholder Marco Huck (34-2-1, 25 KOs) weighed 198.85 pounds compared to 198.41 for challenger Firat Arslan (32-5-2, 21 KOs) in advance of Saturday’s clash at Gerry Weber Stadium, Halle, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
After losing February’s majority decision to WBA regular heavyweight beltholder Alexander Povetkin, Huck returned to the cruiserweight division, where he defend his title in draw with Ola Afolabi in May 5 which represented a rematch of Huck’s unanimous decision victory over Afolabi in December of 2009.
Before facing Povetkin and prior to the second bout with Afolabi, Huck had won 15 straight fights as a cruiserweight, including 11 by knockout, since falling by 12th-round stoppage to Steve Cunningham in December of 2007.
Arslan is 3-0-1, with three stoppage victories in his past four bouts since suffering consecutive knockout losses in the 10th and 11th rounds to WBA beltholder Guillermo Jones in September of 2008 and Steve Herelius in July of 2010, respectively.
Arslan is coming off a draw with Alexander Alekseev in May that ended Alekseev’s four-bout winning streak which included three stoppages.
PAULIE MALIGNAGGI WANTS A REMATCH WITH RICKY HATTON
Although WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) has been mandated to face the organization’s hard-hitting, interim beltholder, Diego Chaves, of Argentina by Jan. 27, the Brooklyn native craves a rematch with Ricky Hatton (45-2-2, 32 KOs), of England, to whom Malignaggi lost by 11th-round knockout in November 2008.
Malignaggi is coming off last month’s Showtime-televised split-decision victory over Mexico City’s Pablo Cesar Cano at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Malignaggi won the belt with April’s ninth-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko, which represented Malignaggi’s fifth straight victory as a welterweight during a run that has included two knockout wins.
The news about Chaves (22-0, 18 KOs) comes in the wake of Malignaggi’s having expressed the desire to face Hatton, 34, who will end a 3½-year retirement on Nov. 24 in a Showtime-televised clash with Senchenko (31-1, 21 KOs). Hatton was last in the ring when he was stopped in the second round by Manny Pacquiao in May of 2009.
Malignaggi, who turns 32 on Nov. 23, has not lost since falling by 11th-round knockout to Khan as a junior welterweight at New York’s Madison Square Garden in May of 2010.
Chaves, 26, is after his sixth straight knockout win, having earned his strap with a second-round stoppage of Ismael El Massoudi and followed that up with last month’s second-round knockout of Jose Miranda.
Malignaggi’s other losses were against Miguel Cotto by decision in June of 2006, and by a controversial unanimous decision to Juan Diaz in the latter’s hometown of Houston in August of 2009, which Malignaggi avenged the same way in Chicago in December of that year.
Malignaggi claims that he is a different fighter from the one who faced Hatton, crediting trainer California-based trainer Eric Brown, for the transformation.
“I think the next guy I fight should be Ricky Hatton, obviously, man. I guess that it’s unfinished business. That business is so unfinished that I don’t think that the business ever got started. I don’t think that he got to fight the same fighter Miguel Cotto had to fight, and same fighter Juan Diaz had to fight, and the same fighter that Amir Khan had to fight, even though Amir beat me. He didnt fight the same fighter Vyacheslav Senchenko had to fight,” said Malignaggi.
“It’s unfair to those guys, even the guys that beat me, that this guy gets to come in and say that he had the most one-sided victory over Paulie Malignaggi in Paulie Malignaggi’s career. Yet, he didn’t fight that version of him. Just watch me in that fight…and you tell me if that’s the same fighter for the rest of the videos you’ve seen and the rest of the footage from career. So the unfinished business really cuts deeper for me.”