LAS VEGAS – In a battle of unbeatens, popular Sharif "The Lion" Bogere (20-0, 12 KOs) will defend his NABO lightweight title against hard-hitting Francisco Contreras (16-0, 13 KOs) in the 10-round main event tomorrow/Friday, Oct. 7, on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME ® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In the co-feature at Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., undefeated Jermell Charlo (15-7, 7 KOs) takes on Francisco Santana (12-2-1, 6 KOs) in a eight-round junior middleweight match.
Tickets, priced at $25 and $50, are on sale at the Texas Station Rewards Center or through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
WEIGHTS: Bogere and Contreras weighed the division-limit 135 pounds. Charlo tipped scale at 153½ pounds, Santana 154.
REMINDER: The exciting ShoBox fight last May 13 between Bogere and Raymundo Beltran can be viewed in its entirety at sports.sho.com. Bogere survived a cut over the left eye and an inspired performance by the upset-minded underdog to capture a bloody, close, crowd-pleasing 10-round decision at Primm, Nev. Bogere won a hard-fought, unanimous nod over Beltran by the scores of 96-94 twice and 97-93, but some felt it could have gone either way. SHOWTIME announcers Curt Menefee and Steve Farhood both scored it a draw.
What Friday’s fighters said at Thursday’s weigh-in at Texas Station:
“Against (Raymundo) Beltran (last May 13 on ShoBox), I got cuts above both eyes. That took me off my game plan. So, in this training camp we straightened some things out. And I added a strength coach (Darrell Hudson of Las Vegas).
“Coming out of that fight (Beltran), I boosted my confidence. I had to dig deep and I feel stronger now because of that. I feel that I can take on anybody in the lightweight division.
“My last opponent was tougher than Contreras. He thinks he has power but I am not concerned. I am ready for the next level.’’
“I am always prepared to go the distance but if the KO is there, I have the power to take it. On Friday, I'm going to surprise everyone and demonstrate who the real Francisco Contreras is.
“I don't watch tapes of my opponents. I never do and Bogere is no different. I've seen his ring walk, though, and I’m not distracted by it. I don't have a lion or anything like that to help me in a fight. I am focused.
“This is the most important fight of my career. He carries an impressive record. I haven't fought anyone with his record. People say he's the man because of that record so this is the win I need to move to the next level.’’
“In four years as a pro, I have grown steadily. I'm more relaxed in the ring now. And have better skills, movement and combinations.
“This is a step up for me mentally. I know I'll grow from this experience, fighting on national TV. I'm getting the exposure I need to prove myself to the boxing world. But physically it's no different. This guy cannot threaten me. I have pressure on me but I have a great team and I'm ready. ‘’
“This is a great opportunity for me to fight on ShoBox. When we got the call for this fight at 154, we had no problem taking it.
“We’ve assembled a professional team now and I am in a very positive place, so much more so than I've ever been.
“I have to thank Victor Ortiz. He and his team took me in and gave me a renewed spirit and love for the sport. I've come here with a new level of maturity and an appreciation for moments like this. I don't plan to waste it.’’