VERONA, N.Y. – Undefeated middleweight prospect Antoine Douglas weighed in at 155 ½ pounds and once-beaten, former world title challenger Michel Soro tipped the scales at the contracted weight of 157 pounds during Thursday’s official weigh-in for Friday’s landmark telecast of ShoBox: The New Generation, live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
The 21-year-old Douglas (14-0, 9 KOs), of Washington, D.C., will take on his toughest test to date against the experienced Soro (23-1, 13 KOs), of France by way of Ivory Coast, in the 10-round middleweight main event from Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y. Soro, 26, will be making his U.S. debut but has won five bouts in a row since dropping a close decision to defending junior middleweight world champion Zaurbek Baysangurov in 2012.
The eight-round co-feature showcases a matchup of undefeated-yet-untested prospects with hard-hitting super middleweight prospect Jerry Odom (11-0, 10 KOs), of Washington, D.C., taking on Cuban amateur standout Vilier Quinonez (8-0, 5 KOs), of Miami by way of Cuba. Odom and Quinonez both weighed-in at 167 pounds.
Undefeated welterweight Cecil McCalla (18-0, 6 KOs), of Randallstown, Md., tipped the scales at 147 pounds and Oscar Godoy (13-2, 6 KOs), of Watsonville, Calif., measured 146 pounds for their eight-round welterweight bout.
Facing off in the eight-round opening bout of the telecast is unbeaten lightweight Wanzell Ellison (11-0-1, 5 KOs), of Newark, N.J., and twice-beaten Tony Luis (17-2, 7 KOs), of Ontario, Canada. Ellison weighed in at 133 pounds while Luis measured 135 pounds.
Here’s what the fighters had to say at Thursday’s weigh-in:
“On the stats sheet he [Soro] might be my toughest opponent to date but I don’t see it like that.
“He [Soro] can say what he wants, but he’s never been in the ring with Antoine “Action” Douglas before. I’ll show him what it’s like to face the real deal.
“I’m not concerned with going the distance. I’m a professional athlete and I have to be prepared for anything that they throw at me. Going 10 rounds comes with the territory. I’ve been ready for eight, 10, 12 rounds, you name it, I’m ready.
“You never know what’s going to happen next. That’s what makes boxing great. There’s always a surprise.”
“This is my first time fighting in the United States, and I’d be lying if I say I don’t feel I have to knock him out. He’s at home and I’m not. I feel that if I knock him out, the people in the U.S. will accept me more, so I’ll be looking for the knockout.
“Douglas has never faced somebody as tough as I am. He doesn’t know what he is in for.
“The fact that Douglas has never gone over 10 rounds and I’ve done 12 several times is definitely an advantage for me. I’m far more experienced than he is.
“It’s a huge opportunity to fight on ShoBox. Everybody back in France knows about SHOWTIME. My family and friends are proud of me. And the fact I’ll be on national television in the United States makes me feel proud of my achievements.
“This is my first fight as a middleweight, but I’m not concerned about moving up in weight class. I’ve trained as a middleweight, I’ve sparred with middleweights. My natural weight is super welterweight, but I’m ready for Douglas. I’m happy and eager to go through with this challenge. “
“Him knocking out [Edgar] Perez has nothing to do with tomorrow night. He knocked him out, that’s fine. But I’m not that person. He hasn’t been in the ring with anyone like me before.
“Is he my toughest opponent? Of course not. This guy hasn’t been in the ring with me. He doesn’t know what I bring to the table. It’s going to be a short night.”
“This is going to be a tough fight; we are both undefeated so we’re both hoping to keep our records intact. But the victory is going to be mine; I’m going to be the one that walks out undefeated.
“I haven’t had an opponent that has given me tough opposition. But if I had to choose my toughest opponent was, I would say Eddie Tigs, who I fought back in August of 2012. It was a four-rounder and I remember I thought he was a good boxer.
“This is my first time fighting an eight-rounder and I’m confident I can go the distance. I’m ready. The distance doesn’t worry me because I can adapt well to anything my opponent brings in the ring.
“I feel that when my opposition is better, then I perform better. Tough opposition brings the best out of me.
“Everything I have I owe to my trainer and the art of the Cuban school of boxing, and the result is a fighter that is at the top of his game. I’m confident, I’m ready and I’m not intimidated by my opponent.”
“I’m not worried about this guy; he’s never faced anyone like me before.
“I’ve been eight rounds three times and have been sparring 14 rounds in training camp. There is nothing this guy can bring in the ring that I haven’t seen before.
“We’re not looking past this guy, but I’m ready for the big guys in this division that are already there – Keith Thurman, Andre Berto. It’s taken me a while to get this opportunity and it’s finally here.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this big event –it’s a huge opportunity. I’m here to put on a show.”
“Fighting on the road doesn’t make me nervous, it motivates me more because it shows to all the fans that I can come to someone’s turf and be successful, get a win.
“I’m not coming out there looking for a knockout. I think I can win convincingly by decision.
“I was already training when I got the call for this fight. I thought, ‘hey, that’s an opportunity to fight on national TV and we have to jump on it.’
“This is my first time on SHO and I’m excited because I always grew up watching SHOWTIME. And I told myself I have to be on there one day. Dreams come true when you work hard.
“I think he’s the toughest opponent that I’ve faced, but I also think I’m the toughest guy that he’s faced. It’s just going to come down to who wants it more. We both want to win this fight to move onto bigger and better things, so that’s why I think this is going to be a good fight.”
“I don’t know too much about my opponent. There wasn’t much footage on him, but he looks pretty basic. He doesn’t seem to be as quick as I am or as slick as I am so I’m not worried about much.
“His record may be a step up but I’m not worried about him. I’ve been in this game for a while and been in there with decent people. I’ve also been in camp with some big names, Zab Judah, Kendall Holt, and I don’t anyone is punching as hard as Kendall Holt. He’s a KO artist. So I’m feeling real confident for this fight.
“I just have to stay calm, relaxed and keep my composure and stick to the game plan. Sometimes I get caught up in banging out with my opponents. But as long as I stay calm and relaxed and slick then everything should just flow fluidly.”
“I saw Ellison’s last fight three months ago and I saw a talented and aggressive fighter. So I’m expecting a good and competitive fight.
“This fight doesn’t necessarily have to be a war, but is that what it turns into, if that’s what it comes down to, we both know who’s going to win –me.
“I have more heart and character than Ellison and it’s going to show. I can match his boxing ability; I think I’m just as fast if not faster. I’ll fight sharp and fight with discipline.
“I’m expecting a tough fight. But as good as he is, as talented as he is, I am the better fighter.
“I cannot say Ellison is my toughest opponent to date until I’m inside the ring with him. I can say that I’ve fought much tougher opposition than he has.
“I have more seasoning and experience and I still have the skills and the ability to back it up and win this fight. “